Forget Him Not

Wait! We’re not finished yet! What cowboy culture blog series is complete without taking a gander at the man that makes the cowboy? None.

You may think this is a cheat post, but bear with me. Hop on over to my Cowboy Heat page on Pinterest and take a gander at the ever endearing, enticing, enthralling cowboy! I hope it brightens your Tuesday!

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Lore Book Blitz – Tales of Myth and Legend Retold

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Lore: Tales of Myth and Legend Retold

– A collection of six folklore retellings that will twist your mind and claim your heart.

by Brinda BerryKaren Y. BynumLaura DiamondJayne A. KnollsTheresa DaLayneCate Dean

Release Date: 03/2014

Lore

Includes:

SHIMMER: A heartbroken boy rescues a mermaid… but is it too late to save her?

BETWEEN is about a girl, a genie, and a ton of bad decisions.

SUNSET MOON: Eloise doesn’t believe in Native American magic–until the dreamcatcher spiders spin her down an unknown path.

THE MAKER: An incapacitated young man bent on revenge builds a creature to do it for him.

A BEAUTIFUL MOURNING: The story of a Maya goddess torn between duty and love, and the ultimate sacrifice she must make to achieve true happiness.

THE BARRICADES: When a human girl risks everything to save the life of an Eternal prince, will their feelings for each other change the world they know, or tear it apart?

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(We’re giving away 6, $10 Amazon Giftcards if entrants like our pages on FB and tweet a message about LORE.)

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Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iTunes 

Goodreads 

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Meet Featured Author Brinda Berry:

Brinda Berry lives in the southern US with her family and two spunky cairn terriers. She’s terribly fond of chocolate, coffee, and books that take her away from reality.  She doesn’t mind being called a geek or “crazy dog lady”. When she’s not working the day job or writing a novel, she’s guilty of surfing the internet for no good

Find Brinda at www.brindaberry.com .

Excerpt:

Shimmer by Brinda Berry

Draven Manning watched the naked female wade into the inky waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Silent as a hermit crab, he sat on the sand hidden by tall sea oats and studied her petite body, long hair thickly draped to the waist. She held a backpack, an odd addition to her nakedness, which she dropped on the sand. He could have loudly cleared his throat or walked back up to the house. But he didn’t.

Not that he was a total creeper. She’d appeared from nowhere like some magical mist formed in a female shape. The wind lifted strands of her hair away from her body increasing the otherworldly feel of the scene.

He continued to watch and acknowledged that wishing he could see better or had binoculars did fall into creeper territory. His friends always talked about what a nice guy he was. Maybe he didn’t want to be a nice guy.

Being the nice guy had landed him here in this tiny Gulf Coast town with his dad for the summer. He had no choice, because he couldn’t stand to look at the people he’d trusted. They had betrayed him, and he’d pretended it was no big deal. He lowered his forehead to his bent knees and pulled air into his lungs. A deep exhale steadied the shaking. He was eighteen, not eight. It was time to man up. Move on with life. Forget what had happened and quit feeling sorry for himself.

For a week, he’d strolled the beach by himself. In the daylight hours, families cluttered the sand so he waited for nightfall. He always returned to this spot on the sand to sit and think. He could’ve sat on the deck with the same view, but that’s where his dad always sat and smoked cigars.

His dad would already be in bed at this hour.

The girl swam farther and farther out to sea. Her moonlight swim went beyond his seeing range. She was far enough out that he couldn’t tell if a glint on the water might be her head or a fish or a buoy. She had to be an excellent swimmer.

Clouds moved across the moon to dim his view of her even more. A gust of wind blew sand into his face. He jumped from his spot and ran, his bare feet pounding on the packed sand. He saw the crashing wave deliver her body to shoreline and teasingly pull her back. Why hadn’t he noticed that she was in trouble?

He stomped into the chilly ocean. “Shit.” His jeans sucked up the water and clung to his legs. “Shit, shit, shit.” Waves pushed against his thighs, whipping him off balance until he braced himself for the tide.

She floated face down with her hair billowing out in thin tentacles. He grabbed her upper arms, flipped her body, and pulled her to shore. Her lower body dragged in the sand, so he picked her up. She probably didn’t weigh much, but her limp body sagged as he carried her like a sleeping child.

Out from the tide’s reach, he placed her on the sand and pressed two fingers against her neck. Not dead. Not dead. Not dead. But not breathing, either. He couldn’t remember the steps. His heart slapped against his chest like paper caught in moving bicycle spokes. People learned CPR just in case. He never expected to actually need it. He squeezed his eyes shut, heard Coach Vorlosky’s calm instructions, visualized each step, and began chest compressions.

One push, two, three, four…one push a second how many times? Maybe thirty. He’d barely passed the test and wished he’d paid more attention. “You better not die. I’ve had a shitty week. Come on, come on.” Her head lolled to the side. He grabbed her chin, tilted her head back, pinched her nose, covered her mouth with his and blew.

He hovered above her mouth to see if she breathed. Strands of long, dark hair draped over her face. He brushed the hair out of the way and started again. On his fifth round of administering CPR, he glanced around for help, which wouldn’t happen at 2:00 a.m. on a deserted strip of beach in the middle of nowhere.

Her loud gasp, sounding like the reverse of a balloon losing air, startled him.

She turned her head to the side and coughed out water. “What…” She coughed again.”…do you think you’re doing?”

He barely heard her. The girl must be out of her mind, which would explain why she thought a night swim by herself was a good idea. “Saving you.”

“I didn’t need your help,” she muttered.

He scooted back on the sand several inches—his heart starting to slam again—and rubbed his face. Sand coated his hand and clung to his eyelashes. “Not the way I see it.” His voice sounded strangled and loud.

She sat up and pulled her knees to her chest. Anger flashed in her eyes. “What’s your deal?”

“You weren’t breathing.” He wiped dripping water from his forehead with the back of his hand. “I was scared that you’d…never mind that thought. You’re alive.”

“Um hmm. Sure am. Back here on the shore whether I like it or not.” She was all hair and limbs with her arms wrapped around her knees.

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Wild West

Well kids, we’ve talked about the cowboy’s horse, art, music and food. What’s left? The land! The Wild West!

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cc – Randy Pertiet

Here is an interesting article written by J. Wisniewski and Kevin Nakamura about five myths of the Wild West.

And here are a few eye-candy pictures of the landscape. Enjoy!

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cc – Phil Constantine

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cc – Frank Kovalchek

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cc – Ron Reiring

Like Me, Friend Me Contest Winner…

After logging 268 entries on the first day of the contest, my smile couldn’t have been wider. It tickled me to giggling bits that you guys responded so eagerly to the challenge. By the time I logged the 876th entry I wondered what the heck I’d gotten myself into with the entry points system. But meeting so many new and fascinating people made it worth the effort.

I hope to entertain you with cultural tidbits of art, food and music from the settings of my stories, along with guest authors, the odd this is what’s going on in my life post, along with other chances to win. Now, drumroll, please!

The winner of the like me, friend me contest chosen by random.org is……Marci K.!!!!!!! Congratulations!!!

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cc – Crystal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rustle Up Some Grub

In honor of the new release, Cowboy Heat, an anthology featuring stories from 14 other authors with fierce cowboys and the women strong enough to tame them taking the lead, we’ll walk in the boots of a cowboy for the next few Tuesdays and explore interesting facets of his life in the blog series, Cowboy Culture.

Last week, we talked about the cowboy inspired music. This week, it’s all about the food. So, get out your aprons! We’re cooking up a storm!

Man, I forgot the chuckwagon. Okay, I’ve got it hooked up. Before we set off on this adventure, there are a few terms you need to know.

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Wreck Pan = Sink

Squirrel Can = Compost Jar

Cook = Biscuit Shooter

Hen Fruit = Eggs

Swamp Seeds = Rice

Cow Grease = Butter

Texas Butter = Brown Gravy

Mountain Oysters = Calf Testicles (Go ahead and take a moment to either laugh or cry.)

Boy in Bag

2 cups raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts (black walnuts are fine)
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup chopped suet
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup chopped dried fruit of any kind.

Chop suet into small pieces no pieces being larger than a bean.
Combine with raisins, nuts, brown sugar, and chopped dried fruit.

Then mix flour, spices, and salt with baking powder.
Add gradually to fruit mixture with milk, beating well.

Put in flour sack or tie in large square of cloth. Put in kettle of boiling water and boil 3 hours, always keeping enough boiling water, and put on cloth to drain.

After about ½ hour, untie cloth and turn pudding onto dish. Let chill.

Slice and serve with hard sauce.
This pudding will keep well and is similar to plum pudding.

This can be made in camp with molasses instead of brown sugar. Or can be made with white sugar instead of either brown sugar or molasses.
This was a great favorite with chuck wagon cooks.

 

Soda Biscuits

Take 1lb flour, and mix it with enough milk to make a stiff dough;
dissolve 1tsp carbonate of soda in a little milk;
add to dough with a teaspoon of salt.

Work it well together and roll out thin;
cut into round biscuits, and bake them in a moderate oven.
The yolk of an egg is sometimes added.

 

Texas Butter or Brown Gravy

The following is a farm recipe for gravy from the late 1880’s. This gravy may be made in larger quantities, then kept in a stone jar and used as wanted.

Take 2 pounds of beef, and two small slices of lean bacon. Cut the meat into small pieces. Put into a stew-pan a piece of butter the size of an egg, and set over the fire.

Cut two large onions in thin slices. Put them in the butter and fry a light brown, then add the meat. Season with whole peppers. Salt to taste. Add three cloves, and pour over one cupful of water.

Let it boil fifteen or twenty minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add two quarts of water, and simmer very gently for two hours. Strain, and when cold, remove all the fat. To thicken this gravy, put in a stew pan a lump of butter a little larger than an egg, add two teaspoonfuls of flour, and stir until a light brown. When cold, add it to the strained gravy, and boil up quickly. Serve very hot with the meats.

-Until next meal!

Boot Scootin’ Boogie

In honor of the new release, Cowboy Heat, an anthology featuring stories from 14 other authors with fierce cowboys and the women strong enough to tame them taking the lead, we’ll walk in the boots of a cowboy for the next few Tuesdays and explore interesting facets of his life in the blog series, Cowboy Culture.

Last week, we talked about the cowboy inspired art. This week, it’s all about the music.

Long before Brooks & Dunn’s heel-toe, do si do, come on, baby, let’s go boot scooting’…boogie, the cowboy made his mark on the musical world. With a freedom never before experienced he broke all the rules, changing a steady four count to five, four, five and however else he pleased. The open west was his amphitheatre. The crickets his accompaniment. The cows and horses his adoring fans.

A harmonica became his go to instrument on the trail for its compact size and soulful bravado. Here is an example of its boastfulness.

The cowboy took the mandolin from Vivaldi’s European concert halls and gave it the earthen twang of the people.

What sings country and gets boots scootin’ like a fiddle?

Do you have a favorite country/western-fied instrument? The guitar, bass, piano or one of the above? As a former guitar picker and violin bower, I’m torn. But the fiddle wins my vote.

Remember to check out the Cowboy Heat Blog Tour and the Like Me Love Me Contest running through April 18th for prizes!