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Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Wings of the West Series #OldWest #Romance @McCaffreyKristy

By Kristy McCaffrey

I’d like to share background on the formation of my historical western romance series, the Wings of the West. When I began developing characters and ideas, the titles intuitively came to me—The WrenThe DoveThe SparrowThe Blackbird, and the forthcoming final installment, The Bluebird. How I would tie the birds into the storylines was a great unknown as I began each tale, but one thing emerged rather quickly—an underlying psychological theme of the journey of the feminine psyche.

In The Wren (Book One), the heroine Molly has been abducted by Comanche when she is nine years old. At nineteen, she finally finds the means to return home to Texas, to search for the life she’d lost so abruptly. We must all leave the safety of ‘home’ at some point in our lives to grow, whether physically or metaphorically, and the lesson is always that home isn’t a place outside of us but an internal sanctuary that we must nurture within ourselves. Molly’s journey comes full circle when she makes a home with the hero, Matt.

In The Dove (Book Two), Claire lives in a saloon run by her mama. While Claire herself isn't a soiled dove, she still faces the decisions many women face—does she live a life for herself or for others? How many times do women prostitute themselves because they don't feel they're worthy, or they perceive they have no choice? How do we 'use' others to gain our own ends? Claire also yearns to become a doctor, and this addresses the idea of healing through outside, external means. These can be effective, but only to a point. This leads to the next book.


In The Sparrow (Book Three), the heroine Emma undergoes a shamanic journey of initiation while traversing the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. During this process, she is helped by her power animal, Sparrow. Life causes wounds—we all have them—and while mending these are often sought through medicine, at some point an internal journey will be required. It’s the only way to truly heal the soul. While today we might seek the counsel of a trained psychologist, many indigenous people used the medicine man or shaman. The techniques of both are strikingly similar.

In The Blackbird (Book Four), Tess is a storyteller, A Keeper of the Old Ways; this is, and always has been, connected with imparting wisdom and magic to listeners through the telling of tales. She meets a hero who nurtures and protects this side of her, as any true life-partner should. Stories have the power to heal. It is yet the next step in mending the heart and the soul.

In The Bluebird (Book Five ~ coming October 31st), the heroine Molly Rose (niece to the Molly in the first book) yearns to travel and see the world. She connects with a man who can help her achieve these goals. The final step in the psychological journey—once healing has been undertaken and a new, better version of oneself is achieved—is to take all that’s been learned and go forth in the world. Life is an adventure and is meant to be experienced as such.


To learn more about Kristy’s work, visit her website at www.kristymccaffrey.com or sign up for her newsletter.


Today thru Sunday -- THE DOVE is on sale for 99 cents.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Humane Societies

By Kristy McCaffrey

Henry Bergh
The first humane society in North America—the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)—was founded by Henry Bergh in New York in 1866. Its purpose was, according to Bergh, “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.” He established the ASPCA three days after the first legislation against animal cruelty was passed by the New York State Legislature. He had prepared these laws himself.

In 1873, Bergh made a lecture tour of the western U.S. which resulted in the formation of several similar societies. The American Humane Association was created in 1877 as a network of local organizations to prevent cruelty to children and animals.

One consequence of Bergh’s work was the establishment of an ambulance corps for removing disabled animals from the street and a derrick for removing them from excavations into which they had fallen. He also invented a substitute for live pigeons with artificial ones as marks for sportsmen’s guns.

George Angell
The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) was founded in Boston in 1868 by George Angell and Emily Appleton. Angell, after reading about two horses that were raced to death by carrying two riders each over 40 miles of rough roads, began a high-profile protest of animal cruelty. He also created a publication—Our Dumb Animals—as a way “to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.” (“Dumb” refers to the fact that animals can’t speak.) The following year, the Massachusetts General Court passed the first anti-animal cruelty act.

By 1886, 39 states had adopted statutes relating to the protection of animals from cruelty, based on the original laws set forth by Henry Bergh in New York.


Today, the ASPCA is one of the largest humane societies in the world.




Thursday, August 25, 2016

What Did You Do For Fun As A Child?

By Kristy McCaffrey

What did you do for fun as a child? Chances are you’re still drawn to whatever activity brought you joy. And if you’re not doing it at this point in your life, then you should be.


When I was ten years old I began a habit that I still continue today. Every time I went to the movies, I transcribed it into my Movie Log. It began after I’d seen Star Wars and was mesmerized by the scope and spectacle thrumming through me as I watched such an amazing mythology unfold before my eyes. I soon contrived to see the movie nearly 30 times in the theater and was compelled to start a Movie Log to keep track of each viewing.

My very scientific Movie Log.

I still add every film I’ve ever seen to the list. By now, my kids and husband tease me about it, or as my daughter recently said, “You really ought to put it in a file on the Cloud before you lose it.”

The reason this activity brings me so much joy is related to my vocation as a writer. My Movie Log is my collection of stories. Every writer, in order to have a vast reservoir of material to work from, must amass stories in some form. This is my way of keeping them all close. I can review the list at any time. I can remember how I felt when I experienced that particular tale. I can track how deeply a story made an impression on me by the number of times I engaged in repeat viewings. (Flash Gordon, anyone?)



This activity still brings me satisfaction today, which is why I’ve continued it. (I also suspect I’m a little OCD, but I digress.) What childhood activity did you engage in that made you blissfully happy? And more importantly, are you still doing it?


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THE WREN is on sale this weekend!!
Grab a digital copy today.


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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Prairie Rose Publications Celebrates 3 Years!!

By Kristy McCaffrey



I'm considered a hybrid author because although I self-publish (my Wings series and Alice: Bride of Rhode Island), I also work on projects with a small publisher -- Prairie Rose Publications. Three years ago, Prairie Rose was founded by two women -- Cheryl Pierson and Livia Reasoner -- both wonderful writers with years of experience in the industry. They sought to provide a home for writers who were looking for that extra support (editing, formatting, book cover designs, and marketing) while also offering some of the best contract terms available today. It's been a real pleasure for me to be a part of the PRP family.



Prairie Rose is celebrating its 3rd Birthday this week with lots of fun over at the PRP Blog. Although the festivities began on Friday, there's still more to come.

Catch up on what you missed:

Friday, August 12 -- Welcome to PRP's Third Birthday Bash

Saturday, August 13 -- New Quick Reads

Sunday, August 14 -- Boxed Set Bargains For One And All

The partying continues until August 19 with LOTS of book giveaways!! Each day at the blog one lucky commenter will win prizes so be sure to check back each day.

Also, sign up for PRP's newsletter (you can choose your genre -- western, romance, or sci-fi) and be entered for a Grand Prize on August 19.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Cover Reveal and Kindle Unlimited

By Kristy McCaffrey

I'm so pleased to share the cover for my upcoming book ~ THE BLUEBIRD, Wings of the West Series Book 5 ~ Coming October 31.


Molly Rose Simms arrives in Colorado to meet her brother, but instead finds herself searching for the mythical Bluebird mining claim with a man known as the Jackal.

Subscribe to Kristy's newsletter to stay updated.

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I also wanted to share that my entire backlist (except for ALICE: BRIDE OF RHODE ISLAND) is now available in Kindle Unlimited, Amazon's subscription reading service. Because a requirement of the program is to be Amazon exclusive, the books are no longer available on other platforms (iBooks, Kobo, Nook or Smashwords). This will be a limited run for my Wings series (they will probably come out next spring and be distributed wide once again), so please take advantage of the opportunity to catch up on any books you might've missed. Also, the Wings series will be going into print this fall.

**The following books are now available in Kindle Unlimited**

To learn more, visit Kristy's Amazon Author Page





















Thursday, July 28, 2016

Twitter

By Kristy McCaffrey

To tweet or not to tweet—it’s a conundrum, especially for today’s author. Social media is such an awesome way to connect with readers and like-minded individuals that it simply can’t be ignored these days. While Facebook and Instagram offer a more interactive and friendly medium, Twitter can be overwhelming in terms of the flow of information and the necessity of posting in only 140-character bursts of words, links, and images.

The 10-year-old social platform has been likened to a town square in which we’re plugged into our collective hive mind: people share opinions, argue, and gossip, sometimes on a global scale.

“The platform provides a voice and a microphone for everyone, and that’s what’s exciting,” says Twitter’s executive chairman Omid Kordestani.

Twitter has 320 million users, well behind Facebook’s 1.59 billion active users. It’s also been expanding slower than newer apps such as Snapchat. Due to the unrestricted nature of public conversations, some users have left Twitter after being bullied or harassed. But changes are in the works for Twitter.


Because utilizing Twitter can be confusing—especially to newcomers—with the use of hashtags and timelines displayed in reverse-chronological order, the company has been tweaking the site with features such as “While you were away,” which bumps popular tweets to the top of users’ timelines, and “Moments,” which offers users the ability to see at glance what people are saying about a particular news story or cultural event. Earlier this year, Twitter announced that it would expand the 140-character limit to 10,000 characters. Core users voiced their dissent, stating that the limitation is what made it unique, but current CEO Jack Dorsey stated that the strength of Twitter wasn’t in its limited word count but rather the real-time feel of the site. “What makes Twitter, Twitter is its fast, public, live conversational nature,” he said.

If you decide to join Twitter (with either a public or private profile), it’s helpful to learn the basic vernacular.

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Tweet: a 140-character message.

Retweet (RT): Re-sharing or giving credit to someone else’s tweet.

Feed: The stream of tweets you see on your homepage, comprised of updates from users you follow.

Handle: Your username.

Mention (@): A way to reference another user in a tweet by his username. Users are notified when @mentioned. It’s a way to conduct discussions with other users in a public realm.

Direct Message (DM): A private, 140-character message between two people. You can decide whether to accept a Direct Message from any Twitter user, or only from users you are following. You may only DM a user who follows you.

Hashtag (#): A way to denote a topic of conversation or participate in a larger linked discussion. A hashtag is a discovery tool that allows others to find your tweets, based on topics (for example #TheBachelorette). You can also click on a hashtag to see all the tweets that mention it in real time, even from people you don’t follow.

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Another helpful tool in organizing your Twitter feed is the use of lists, allowing you to group accounts of similar interest so that you can better view tweets. This can be done inside Twitter or with programs such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. There are many other Twitter-related apps, so it doesn’t hurt to investigate options to help manage the flow of information into something useful.

It’s interesting to note that certain features of Twitter—such as hashtags—weren’t invented by the company but were shaped by the users themselves. Twitter is an interactive and constantly-changing medium, and therefore a reflection of the people who use it.


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Works Cited
Friedman, Ann. “Social Media’s Megaphone.” Sky Magazine. April 2016.

Smith, Brandon. “The Beginner’s Guide To Twitter.” Mashable. 5 June 2012. <http://mashable.com/2012/06/05/twitter-for-beginners/#vwvY_SOfPEqG>.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Meet Author Vivi Holt

Please welcome author Vivi Holt to my blog. She writes inspirational historical western romances and has a new release out today!! Always an exciting day for an author.




What kinds of books do you love to read?

I love all kinds of books in a variety of genres. There are some genres, like horror, that I don’t read, but otherwise I’m pretty open to any genre if the story is good. Some of my favorite books of all time are anything by Jane Austen or the Bronte Sisters, Rebecca, Gone with the Wind, the Little House series, CS Lewis, Brave New World, The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, anything by Francine Rivers – and so many others I can’t think of right now. But they cut across all genres. It also keeps things interesting to me to change genres and read different types of books.

What do you like about historical romance?

I write sweet, historical romances – I love the history, of course. I actually live in Australia, so learning more about American history is fun for me. I’m officially an American citizen though, because I lived there for many years and my husband is from Atlanta.

I like also that sweet historical romance gives the opportunity to tell a story without any of the explicit language some genres use. I don’t like to read those types of books, and so it’s always great when I discover a book that I love that’s a clean read. It’s great when you discover a new author who writes books you know will be a safe read, so that’s what I try to do for my readers.

Some of the books I write are also Christian, so I love having that opportunity to weave encounters with God through the tale. My new book, Of Peaks and Prairies, isn’t a Christian book, per se, but it does reference prayer and is a sweet read.

Tell us about your new book.

Of Peaks and Prairies is the first book in a new series, Paradise Valley. It’s going to be a series of sweet, historical romances. The setting will be Paradise Ranch in Paradise Valley, Montana Territory. This book follows a young woman, Genevieve, and her journey to wholeness after a childhood of brokenness. She leaves Fort Worth, Texas, running from her troubled past, and hitch-hikes on a cattle drive, north to Montana. The story is full of drama, romance and suspense. It also follows the journey of Sarah Songan and Bill Hanover from the second Cutter’s Creek book – after their wedding. So that’s been fun as well.



What will you be writing next?

Next, I have another installment of Cutter’s Creek coming out. That will be in early August. The book is called The Betrothed, and has a bit of a different angle to the other books. It will start out in England, where Lady Charlotte Bainbridge will decide to run away from home to start a new life in America. She’ll discover that it’s not so easy to establish yourself without money, status or family to back you up, and she’ll have to rely on her new friends to help her along the way. One of these friends just happens to be an attractive young man from her home town – so the romantic tension will be high! If you sign up for my mailing list you’ll get a free book, and I’ll be able to let you know when the book will be out. Here’s the link for the newsletter sign up.

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Excerpt

Of Peaks and Prairies – Book 1, Paradise Valley

Chapter One

Fort Worth, Texas
1867
Genevieve Waters-Ewing walked from the church with her hand resting lightly on Quincey Ewing’s raised arm. He’d shaved for the first time in months, and she glanced with distaste at a scratch on his cheek where the blade had nicked his weathered skin. Her whole body trembled, and she fought hard to push down the sobs that threatened to escape her aching throat at any moment. He turned to face her with a grin, his ten gallon hat perched unevenly on his square head.
The minister who’d married them was so old and frail, and his hearing so bad, each time she shook her head and shouted ‘no’ during their vows, he simply nodded with a toothless grin and continued on with the ceremony. If she tried to run, Quincey held her close and pinched her arm. In the end she stood her ground, confident that the law would never uphold such a marriage — until, that is, her new husband forged her signature on the certificate of marriage. Now she wasn’t so sure.
She glared at him as her stepfather came up alongside her.
“Congratulations Genny, you’re a married woman now. Isn’t that what you’ve always wanted?” He chuckled, she caught him winking behind her back at his childhood friend - the man who’d just been pronounced her husband.
“Well, at least it’ll get you out from under my feet,” he continued. “I can’t be payin’ for yer upkeep forever. Your Ma done died on me, leavin’ me with a rug-rat I never wanted, and now it’s time for you to find yer own place in life. Can’t say as I’ll miss ya much, ‘part from the cookin’ an sech of course, but I’ll find a missus to do that soon enough, with you out of the house. ‘Course, you’re not goin’ far — just across the way. I’m sure you could find it in yer heart to help me out a time or two.”
They’d stepped out into the bright Texas morning, and Genevieve squinted her eyes against the sunlight that streamed down through a faint fuzz of thin clouds above. She cast her gaze about - they were on the outskirts of Fort Worth, Texas, and she could see the plains stretched out before them. The town pushed toward the openness, threatening to civilize its bluffs, rises and hollows. Chaparral tufts littered the landscape, sheltering hare and various rodents, and giving the plains an unkempt look. She smoothed the skirts of her burgundy plaid dress. It was the nicest dress she owned, even so it was well worn, and pulled tightly across her chest and hips where she’d grown in recent years. A long line of small buttons ran up the front of the bodice. The sleeves no longer reached her wrists even when she tugged at them, and her stays pinched her tiny waist. She sighed.

          “If Ma knew what you had planned for me, Fred, she’d roll over in her grave.” Genevieve caught a sob, and pushed it back down with a grimace.

Buy Of Peaks and Prairies Today!!

Only 99 cents for the next 3 days. Don't delay!!


Vivi Holt writes inspirational, historical romances with a western flavour. Of her books, readers say:

"The plot kept me enthralled and the pages turning."
"I cried and laughed."
"What an awesome ending. Can't wait for more!!"

Vivi lives in beautiful Brisbane, Australia with her husband and three young children. Growing up on a farm she learned to love the country life and now she writes about it in her books. History has always fascinated her as well, so writing historical romance seemed a natural progression. She loves horse-riding, hiking, and reading.

Her goal is to write touching, emotional and sweet romance stories that captivate the reader and transport them back in time.

Follow Vivi Holt: