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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Into The Land Of Shadows Goodreads Giveaway

By Kristy McCaffrey

I'm giving away 5 autographed print copies of INTO THE LAND OF SHADOWS over at Goodreads. To enter, click the link below.

“…as if ‘Romancing The Stone’ and ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ and ‘Dances With Wolves’ got together and had a kid.” ~ Armenia, Reading Alley Reviewer

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Into the Land of Shadows by Kristy McCaffrey

Into the Land of Shadows

by Kristy McCaffrey

Giveaway ends May 05, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

In the land of the Navajo, spirits and desire draw Ethan and Kate close, leading them deeper into the shadows and to each other.

“Into the Land of Shadows is a must read. Kristy McCaffrey tells a story that is engaging and edge-of-the-seat gripping. Her vivid descriptions and great cast of characters, with exceptional dialogue, bring this story to life.” ~ Cherokee, Coffee Time Romance & More
Kate Kinsella has no choice but to go after Charley Barstow and talk some sense into him. After all, he's skipped town, leaving a string of broken hearts and his pregnant fiancée, Agnes McPherson. But Kate didn't count on being kidnapped by a band of criminals along the way!

Ethan Barstow is hot on his younger brother's trail, too. He rescues Kate, believing her to be Charley's fiancée, and suggests they try to find him together. Kate's reluctance has him baffled.

All hell breaks loose when they discover Charley in search of a copper mine—not wishing to be found by anyone; certainly not Kate! But, then, Kate was always trouble—and now she's brought it to his doorstep, with tales of a pregnant fiancée and his brother Ethan, who he hasn't seen in five years.

Can Ethan and Kate ever find their own love and happiness with one another through the dark deception and hurt? Or will they both return INTO THE LAND OF SHADOWS...
A steamy historical western romance set in 1893 Arizona Territory.

Carolyn Readers’ Choice Award Finalist
“Kristy McCaffrey brings us a story with heart and spirit, characters that live, and an understanding of the place and people that far surpasses a traditional romance…” ~ Marcy Waldenville, author of Tears of the Damned

“…a haunting story with suspense, passion, and excellent character building.” ~ Jane Bowers, Romance Reviews Today

“With a vividly painted background, engaging and compelling characters and pages that just fly by, Into The Land Of Shadows is a superb read for any western or historical romance lover.” ~ Wendy, Romance Junkies

“Tighten that cinch because Into The Land Of Shadows is a fast paced ride.” ~ Emmanuelle Wilder, author of French Crème and French Heat

“The author’s descriptions of the Arizona desert and the Indians who inhabit it are beautiful. You almost feel as if you are there. There are surprises, an element of the paranormal, which is done exceptionally well, and romance. If you love Westerns, then don’t miss this one.” ~ Linda Tonis, Paranormal Romance Guild

“McCaffrey has yet another hit with this one.” ~ Jonel Boyko, Pure Jonel Blog

“…action-adventure, mystery, and romance…” ~ Susan Frances, BTS eMag

“...a good old-fashioned western, a romance and an adventure...I loved it!” ~ Willa Jemhart, author of Drowning in Deception

“McCaffrey's novels spirit you off to the Old West, holds you captive then rescues you by the most charming of heroes, leaving you breathless and wanting more.” ~ Joan Mauch, author of Halifax and The Mangled Spoon

Monday, April 25, 2016

Massacre At Camp Grant

By Kristy McCaffrey

Camp Grant in 1870
In the 1860’s and 1870’s, the state of unrest in the southern Arizona Territory varied widely. At times, depredations by Apache Indians was severe and led to an increased military presence in the area. There existed, however, little unity among the tribes, and some of the more peaceful bands suffered. The massacre at Camp Grant is one such example.

On April 30, 1871, a group of Pinal and Arivaipa Apache Indians were slaughtered at Camp Grant, a crucial garrison located at the outlet of Arivaipa Creek where it meets the San Pedro River, about sixty miles northeast of Tucson.

Royal Emerson Whitman
Several months prior, First Lieutenant Royal Emerson Whitman assumed command of Camp Grant. A respected officer from the northern side of the Civil War, he likely viewed his new commission as reaching the end of the earth. Camp Grant was nothing more than a rectangle of filthy adobe buildings around a dusty parade ground.

In February 1871, five old Indian women from a band of Arivaipa Apaches came to the post under a white flag, searching for a boy they believed was held prisoner. Whitman treated the women kindly, and they stayed for two days. When they left, they asked if they could return with more of their people. Whitman agreed. Eight days later they came with more Indians, along with goods to sell. Whitman again treated them well. The Apache said that many of their band wanted to come in, and Whitman promised that he would protect them.

A few days later, more Apache arrived, represented by their chief, Eskiminzin. Also present was a Pinal chief known to the whites as Capitán Chiquito, and a chief called Santo. Whitman found Eskiminzin to be friendly. His people were weary of the constant danger from the troops and wanted to settle down in their ancestral territory along Arivaipa Creek. They wanted peace and asked Whitman to give them tools and issue rations until a harvest was ready. This was a common promise given to Indians at the time so the request wasn’t out of line.

Unfortunately, Whitman had no authority to make this peace and explained this to Eskiminzin. He suggested they go to a reservation in the White Mountains. But not all Apache got along, and Eskiminzin refused. Whitman decided to take a chance with the thought that if he could pacify this band then others might follow. He agreed for them to come in and that he would issue a pound of beef and a pound of corn or flour per day per adult. He would also allow them to gather mescal as needed. In the meantime, he would write his commander to gain the required permission. He immediately sent word to Department Commander George Stoneman at Drum Barracks, California.

At the beginning of March, Eskiminzin returned with his entire band of Arivaipa Apaches—about 150 people. Soon, that number doubled, and finally over 500 Indians had come in. Whitman could see that the Indians were desperately poor so he made arrangements for the Arivaipa’s to gather hay for the fort, at the rate of one penny a pound. In two months, over 150 tons was brought in, worth $3000, which made the Apache wealthy. Before long, it wasn’t just the women and children submitting to labor, but the warriors as well.

Whitman was firm but fair with the Indians. After a time, he relaxed restrictions on them, and relations were good with nearby ranchers, who even hired on some of the Apache. By all accounts, his unofficial reservation was flourishing. But by the end of March, Whitman had still not heard from General Stoneman.

Whitman kept an eye out for treachery, but he could discover no wrongdoing when it came to the Indians. They were happy and content. Other soldiers at the post, civilian employees of the army, and even veteran Indian haters all agreed that something profound was occurring here. The Indians trusted Whitman. Only once did he overstep himself when he asked if they would provide Apache scouts to help fight other, more hostile, Apache bands. Eskiminzin said no, stating that they were not at war with those other bands.

Around the beginning of April, a new commander arrived to take over Camp Grant. Whitman briefed Captain Frank Standwood on the situation. Standwood approved and instructed him to carry on. In mid-April, Whitman received word that his request to General Stoneman had been misfiled and therefore not approved. It’s been theorized that Stoneman did read the letter, but refused to act one way or another regarding it. Politics were delicate when it came to providing a feeding-station to Indians who might then go out and pillage and raid.

On April 30, only Whitman and a small garrison of fifty men were in residence at Camp Grant because Captain Standwood had left on an extensive scouting mission days earlier. Word came that a large force of armed citizens from Tucson were on the loose and were believed to be headed to Camp Grant and the Apache rancheria. Word would have reached Whitman sooner, but the leaders of the Tucson mob—the influential Oury family on the white part and the Elias family on the Mexican side—had set sentries and sealed the road to insure their success. Reacting quickly, Whitman sent word to the Indians but he was too late.

The massacre was ruthless. The mob consisted of six whites, forty-eight Mexicans, and ninety-four Papago Indians. Men, women, and dogs were clubbed. Those that escaped were shot. The assault was over in thirty minutes.

Whitman did what he could. He tried to contact survivors who’d managed to escape. He sent the post surgeon to help any who lived, but unfortunately there were none. The scene was grisly. Skulls had been crushed, women sexually assaulted and mutilated. Infants had been shot. Whitman took on the task of burying the 125 dead, of which only eight were men. Slowly, survivors returned.

Amazingly, the surviving Pinal and Arivaipa Apache continued to express their confidence in Whitman. Eskiminzin, deeply grieved over losing his family, nevertheless remained steadfast in his determination not to retaliate with war. Some believe it is a testament to the goodwill that Whitman had extended to them, a policy that had been strikingly effective, even in the face of this unspeakable tragedy.

As a side note: Twenty-nine Apache children went missing that day. The mothers implored Whitman to get them back. Two of the children managed to escape. Five were later recovered from Arizona citizens. The remaining twenty-two were taken to Sonora, Mexico and sold. Also, because this was labeled a massacre by the military, President Grant told Arizona Territorial Governor A.P.K. Safford that if the perpetrators weren’t brought to justice then he would place the area under martial law. In October 1871, 100 assailants were indicted under Tucson law, but because the ensuing trial focused solely on Apache depredations, all of the men were found not guilty.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Zina Abbott Blog Blitz

I'm pleased to have author Zina Abbott as a guest today on my blog. She's sharing about her latest book release. Take it away, Zina!

Today my alter-ego, Zina Abbott, will share with you excerpt #2 and
a chance to win a copy of Her Independent Spirit by playing the Amazon Giveaway sweepstakes.

Catch all seven excerpts on participating blogs on Zina Abbott's website by CLICKING HERE.

Please join Zina Abbott on the Sweet/Clean Romance Facebook event
Monday, April 11th at noon/1:00/2:00/3:00p.m. or
Wednesday, April 13th at 3:00/4:00/5:00/6:00p.m.

About the Book:

Beth Dodd has made a promise to help “Lulu”, a young prostitute at the Blue Feather, keep her baby if she decides to leave the whorehouse and become a respectable woman. But Beth hadn’t counted on the obstacles she and the new mother will face from society in the mining town of Lundy. From the obstinate landlady, Mrs. Ford, to her intractable German boss, Gus Herschel, Beth must fight for the woman she’s promised to help. But Beth Dodd never gives in, and she keeps her word with a stubbornness that Lundy folks are not accustomed to seeing from a woman.

Once Lulu, now known as the more respectable Louisa Parmley, starts working for Gus in his kitchen, she proves that Beth was right to take a chance on her. She has every intention of making a good life for her new daughter. But can she also hope to find happiness with Gus? And will Gus be able to accept her and baby Sophie Ann as his? Love was never in the cards for Gus, but Louisa dreams of happiness with the stoic man, and Beth is determined to bring them together through HER INDEPENDENT SPIRIT.

Excerpt #2:

     “Speakin’ of Miss Flora, I done promised her I’d not be the one to pull you out of the Blue Feather. You got to be the one to walk away. If you do, I ain’t wantin’ to hear much more about Miss Flora.”
     “I will, Mrs. Dodd. Anything to keep my baby, especially if it will get me away from doing this. And, this man, Mr. Herschel, he said it’s all right for me to work there?”
     “Reckon I’ll tell him you’re comin’ this Friday. If Gus don’t have enough work, I’ll teach you to bake for me.”
     “You’re sure? And it will be all right for me to keep Sophie Ann with me while I work?”
     Lulu watched the woman purse her lips. She hurried on before Mrs. Dodd could change her mind about helping her.
     “Also, I’ll need someplace to rent for me and Sophie Ann to live. Is there a place with rooms by this eating place where I’ll be working?”
     “Reckon you and Sophie Ann best live with me at the Pioneer Lodging House.”
     “Isn’t that Mrs. Ford’s place? Will she let the baby and I live there, considering my-my past?”
     “I’ll speak with her.”
     “What if one of them says no, Mrs. Dodd? What can I do then?”

Photo: Many buildings closer to the lake burned down in the great fire of 1886 (some sources say 1887), but this 1890’s photo gives a good idea of what buildings in Lundy looked like in 1884. To learn more about the town of Lundy, click here.

Zina Abbott is offering a copy of the book through Amazon Giveaway sweepstakes with a  one in fifty chance of winning. You may access Amazon Giveaway by CLICKING HERE and following the instructions.

About the Author:

Zina Abbott is the pen name used by Robyn Echols for her historical novels. You may find the first two novellas in the Eastern Sierra Brides 1884 series, Big Meadows Valentine and A Resurrected Heart, by clicking on the hyperlinks for the novel titles or by going to Zina Abbott’s Amazon Author Page by clicking HERE.

To learn of new releases and special offers, Zina Abbott invites you to sign up to receive her monthly NEWSLETTER. You may sign up by CLICKING HERE.

Zina Abbott Author Links:

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest  |  Goodreads  |  Google+  |  Twitter 

Purchase links for Her Independent Heart:

Amazon  |   Smashwords  |  Kobo  |  iBooks

Please tweet this blog post:
Excerpt 2 & #AmazonGiveaway on Blog Blitz: 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Navajo: The Long Walk

By Kristy McCaffrey

The "Long Walk" was the incarceration of the Navajo Indians at Bosque Redondo—near Ft. Sumner in New Mexico Territory—from 1864 to 1868, after which they were released and allowed to return to their lands in northern Arizona Territory.

James H. Carleton
In 1862, Colonel James H. Carleton asserted the authority of the Federal government within the Arizona territory. He designated himself military governor, contending that Arizona was in a chaotic state with no civil officers to protect life and property. He acted swiftly and harshly against Confederate sympathizers as well as desperadoes. Soon promoted to Brigadier General, Carleton spent the next four years attempting to subdue the Indians of New Mexico and Arizona. Practicing a policy of extermination, he felt that the lines of communication to the increasingly valuable west coast needed to remain open. This mostly affected the Apache Indians in southern Arizona.

Because of the treachery of both the military and the Apache, no one could be trusted, and extermination and ejection from the land was practiced on both sides.

Kit Carson
During this time, the Navajo became more aggressive. Due to troop removal to aid the Civil War in the east, they believed they were defeating the white man. In 1863, Colonel Kit Carson was appointed by General Carleton to organize an expedition against them. Carleton notified the Indians that they had until July 20, 1863, to surrender and go to the Bosque Redondo Reservation in New Mexico. If they refused, every Navajo male capable of bearing arms was to be killed. The Navajo didn't take the threat seriously.

With 700 troops at his command—along with Ute Indian scouts who were eager to fight and were highly effective in tracking the Navajo, whom they considered their enemy—they managed to kill or force into surrender all Navajo outside of their stronghold, Canyon de Chelly. A small number managed to escape and flee south. All means of livelihood for the Navajo were destroyed—cornfields torn up and thousands of sheep slaughtered and left to rot in piles. Carson managed to break the spirit of the Navajo. So began "the Long Walk."

The Long Walk wasn't a single event. From 1863 until 1866, well over 50 treks took place from northern Arizona to Fort Sumner in New Mexico. Sometimes there were just a handful of individuals, other times there were hundreds. The trip took several different routes, beginning in the Fort Wingate area (New Mexico), heading toward Albuquerque, and then branching south to the Bosque. If the Navajo survived the journey, they faced utter desolation at the Bosque. It was flat, barren, and the nearby water in the river alkaline.

They were incarcerated with Mescalero Apaches, an old enemy, leading to inevitable clashes. They also suffered repeated attacks from the Comanche. The soil was unproductive and couldn't support them, forcing the government to provide them with rations. A smallpox epidemic further demoralized the Navajo in 1865, costing more than 2,000 lives.

In a rare move, the War Department concluded that the Navajo could not be self-sustaining on the Bosque. In 1868, the Navajo were permitted to return to a defined portion of their homeland, and they were provided with liberal federal assistance to help them gain their footing again.

The Long Walk inflicted enormous suffering and trauma on the Navajo, and is still spoken of today. But it also focused the spirit, dedication, and loyalty that the Navajo have to their lands and their culture. Today, they are the largest federally recognized Native American tribe in the United States.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Irish Fairy Tales

By Kristy McCaffrey

The Irish have a great lore concerning fairies. It is believed that fairies are “fallen angels who were not good enough to be saved, nor bad enough to be lost.”

The Tuatha Dé Danann (an ancient supernatural race that resided in Ireland according to Irish mythology) became the fairies that are spoken of today. The Tuatha Dé Danann represent the main deities of pre-Christian Gaelic Ireland.

The king of the Tuatha De Danann--Nuada--led his people to
victory in war but lost an arm when one of the Fir Bolgs
sliced it off.
The Irish word for fairy is sidheóg (pronounced sheehogue). Fairies are daoine sidhe (deenee shee), meaning fairy people.

Fairies live on the earth and the visible world is their skin. We travel among them in dreams. They occupy themselves with feasting, fighting, making love, and creating the most beautiful music. Among the fairies live the lepra-caun, also known as the shoemaker. Maybe they wear their shoes out with so much dancing. Near the village of Ballisodare was a little woman who lived among them for seven years. When she returned home, she had no toes for she had danced them all off.

Fairies have three great festivals during the year—May Eve, Midsummer Eve, and November Eve.

On May Eve (April 30, also called Beltane), the fairies fight every seventh year for the best ears of grain. An old man once described how the thatch of a house was torn off during such a scuffle, although to anyone else it would have been seen as simply a great wind.

On Midsummer Eve (between June 21 and June 24, the Summer Solstice), bonfires are burned to honor St. John and this is when the fairies are the happiest. Sometimes they steal beautiful mortal women to be their brides.

On November Eve (October 31, also called Samhain—pronounced sow-een), fairies are at their gloomiest because this is the first night of winter. They dance with ghosts, and witches make their spells, and pooka abound (hobgoblins). After this night the blackberries have been spoiled by the pooka and can no longer be eaten.

Up the airy mountain,
            Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a hunting
            For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
            Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
            And white owl’s feather!
                                    ~ From The Fairies by William Allingham

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Works Cited
“Tuatha Dé Danann.” Wikipedia. <>
Yeats, W.B. Irish Fairy & Folk Tales. Fall River Press, 1892.

Photo Credits

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Master Switch Of Life

By Kristy McCaffrey

P.F. Scholander
In 1963, Per Scholander, a Swedish-born researcher working in the United States, discovered a Master Switch of Life in vertebrate animals—a defense against asphyxia. For humans, it’s a nod to our dormant amphibious reflexes. In simple terms, it’s the body’s response to being underwater. As soon as we place our faces in water, an onslaught of physiological reflexes affects our brain, lungs and heart. When your mother told you to “splash water on your face” during times of upset, she was on to something.

What happens to the human body as it enters an arena usually reserved for marine life? As a diver descends, blood begins flooding away from limbs and toward vital organs. This shunting—called peripheral vasoconstriction—from less important areas helps keep the brain and heart oxygenated longer, thereby extending the amount of time a diver can remain submerged. When a diver descends to 300 feet—a depth frequently reached by modern freedivers—vessels in the lungs engorge with blood, preventing them from collapse. The deeper a human descends, the stronger the peripheral vasoconstriction becomes. What’s curious is that Scholander found that a person need submerge only his face in water to activate these lifesaving reflexes. But these responses can only be triggered by water and it must be cooler than the surrounding air.

A freediver.

Today, freedivers exploit the Master Switch to their advantage, but it isn’t without risk. Here is what occurs in the body as a swimmer freedives:

First 30 feet: With the lungs full of air, the swimmer must paddle to descend.

Once past 30 feet: The pressure on the body doubles and the lungs shrink. The swimmer is now in neutral buoyancy and feels weightless. It’s here that something extraordinary happens—the ocean pulls the diver down. Swimming is no longer required.

At 100 feet: The pressure triples and the ocean’s surface is barely visible.

At 150 feet: The diver experiences high levels of carbon dioxide and nitrogen in the bloodstream, causing a dream-like state.

At 250 feet: The pressure is now so extreme that the lungs shrink to the size of a small apple and the heart beats at half its normal rate to conserve oxygen. Some freedivers report heartrates as low as 14 beats per minute

At 300 feet: This is where the Master Switch really kicks in. There is a free flow of blood and water into the thoracic cavity as the chest collapses to half its original size. The effects of nitrogen narcosis are so strong that divers forget where they are, what they’re doing, and why they’re in such a dark place. Hallucinations are common, as is the loss of motor control.

As a diver reverses and begins to ascend, the Master Switch also reverses. The heart rate increases and blood floods back into the veins and arteries and organs. However, the lungs ache to breathe and the vision fades. The chest convulses from the buildup of carbon dioxide. A diver must hurry or risk blacking out. If a black out occurs, a diver can stay submerged for up to two minutes. At the end of two minutes, the body will wake itself up and breathe one last time before death. If a diver has been rescued and carried to the surface by this time, he or she will inhale much-needed air and probably survive. If the person is still underwater, their lungs will fill with water and they’ll drown.

Humans connection to the ocean runs deep. In the womb, we grow within an amniotic fluid that is similar in makeup to ocean water. At one month, an embryo will grow fins first, then feet. At five weeks, that same embryo will have a 2-chambered heart, akin to a fish. Human blood has a chemical composition similar to seawater.
A blue whale.
Ancient cultures knew all about the Master Switch and employed it for centuries to harvest sponges, pearls, coral, and food hundreds of feet below the surface of the ocean. We carry within us latent abilities that connect us to the whales and dolphins, a key from our distant past.

Works Cited
“Freediving.” Wikipedia. <>
 Nestor, James. Deep. Mariner Books, 2014.
 Scholander, P. F. “The Master Switch of Life.” Scientific American Magazine. December 1963.

Photo Credits

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Apache and the Bascom Incident

By Kristy McCaffrey

In the latter half of the 1800’s, the westward expansion of the United States brought with it endless clashes between immigrants and the military with Native American peoples. Oddly enough, the Apache Indians of the territories of Arizona and New Mexico initially tolerated Americans, and didn’t consider them an immediate threat. Apache had their hands full with the Mexicans, who passionately despised the Indians for all the raiding and plundering they wreaked in northern Mexico. Historians generally agree that this all changed with the Bascom Affair.

In January 1861, Apache marauders attacked John Ward’s farm, located in the Sonoita Valley of the Arizona Territory, eleven miles from Fort Buchanan near the U.S./Mexican border. Two war parties stormed the ranch, one driving off a number of cattle, and the other abducting Ward’s twelve-year-old adopted son, Felix Martinez, who was outside herding stock. Ward himself was away on business at the time, and while two men from the ranch attempted to pursue, they were unsuccessful.

George Bascom
When news of the raid reached Fort Buchanan two weeks later, the post commander, Lieutenant Colonel Pitcairn Morrison, ordered Second Lieutenant George N. Bascom to locate the Indians and recover the boy. Morrison incorrectly assumed that Cochise and his band were accountable for the kidnapping, so he directed Bascom to proceed east toward Apache Pass in search of the boy and the stolen cattle. Had the military been more familiar with the habits of the Indians in their district, they would’ve known that Cochise, a Chiricahua Apache—while certainly not innocent in other circumstances—had never been known to take American captives. The White Mountain Apache, however, habitually kidnapped whites to barter with other tribes or the Mexicans.

Cochise had made efforts to keep a friendship with the U.S. government by frequently returning token animals stolen by other bands. But the increasing occurrence of raids on the Sonoita and Santa Cruz valleys had hardened the army toward the Chiricahua. Morrison told Bascom that if he located Cochise he was to settle for nothing less than the return of the boy and to use force if necessary. Bascom assembled 54 men and rode toward the Chiricahua Mountains, known to be a winter home for Cochise.

Apache Pass
Once they arrived, Bascom learned that Cochise was indeed in the area and sent word to him. After a lengthy delay, Cochise finally came to Bascom’s camp, along with his brother, three other male relatives, his wife, and two boys. It is thought that Cochise must not have sensed danger in the meeting since he brought immediate family members with him. When Bascom questioned him about the raid on Ward’s farm, Cochise denied any involvement and even offered to help find the boy, cautioning that it could take at least ten days. Bascom agreed but would keep Cochise’s family hostage until the boy was returned. At this point, Cochise and his brother, Coyuntura, pulled their knives and slashed their way out of Bascom’s tent. Cochise managed to escape.

Bascom now had six Apaches in custody, many of them related to Cochise, and he swiftly reinforced his defensive position around the camp. They readied for a long siege if necessary. The following morning a large contingent of Chiricahua Apache assembled in the distance, but after a time most dispersed, leaving a small party bearing a white flag. Bascom reciprocated with his own white handkerchief, and a warrior approached. Cochise wished to speak with Bascom so arrangements were made for a meeting. Each leader would be permitted to bring three men, all unarmed.

While they spoke, two civilians by the name of Culver and Wallace, ignored the rules set forth and began to approach the meeting. Bascom told them to stay back, but they didn’t. Apache warriors struck and managed to drag both men into a ravine. Both sides opened fire and a battle continued throughout the day. The following day, Cochise appeared on a hill with Wallace—hands bound and a rope about his neck—and 16 stolen government mules and offered to exchange them for the Apache prisoners. Bascom agreed, but Ward’s boy also needed to be returned. No resolution could be reached.

Unbeknownst to Bascom, Cochise managed to gain three additional prisoners by attacking a train of five wagons loaded with flour eastbound for the Pinos Altos mines through the pass they all now occupied. Six Mexican teamsters had been killed during the abduction. Two of the survivors had been lashed to wagon wheels and set on fire. Cochise only spared the three white men to use as a bargaining position with Bascom. Cochise left a dictated note on a bush near Bascom’s camp stating that he would come in the following day to negotiate.

But due to the lack of cooperation of the army to exchange the prisoners, Cochise decided he would take back his people by force. He enlisted the aid of Francisco and the White Mountain Apache as well as Mangas Coloradas’s band of Mimbres Apaches. Over 200 Apache attacked two days later. Bascom’s men held them off, and for days he and his men were trapped. Reinforcements arrived and troops were sent out to scout the situation. They found the decomposed remains of Cochise’s four prisoners—Wallace and the three men taken from the attacked wagon train.

The dead were buried and talk soon turned to retribution. It was suggested that the Apache hostages be hanged in reprisal for the murders of Wallace and the three men. A Lieutenant Moore made the decision to hang the Apache prisoners, and while Bascom objected, Moore outranked him. The bodies of three warriors were left swinging to insure that Cochise saw them.

Felix Martinez, aka "Mickey Free"
The Bascom Affair, as it is known today, marked a significant turning point in relations between the Americans and the Chiricahua Apaches. It’s speculated that if Lieutenant Bascom hadn’t been duplicitous with Cochise at the outset (by keeping those Apache who accompanied him prisoner), then the outcome might have been much different. As for the abducted Ward boy, Felix Martinez did live and later became an army scout called “Mickey Free.” It’s very possible that Cochise could have obtained the boy’s freedom if Bascom had just been more patient. In the killing of his white hostages, Cochise forever changed the Apache-American relations, and the officers responsible for hanging the Apache men demonstrated that, in the end, they were no better than the savage men they condemned. This would lead to hostilities between the Chiricahua and Americans that would last for the next 25 years.

* * * *

Available at

Arizona Territory 1877

Bounty hunter Cale Walker arrives in Tucson to search for J. Howard “Hank” Carlisle at the request of his daughter, Tess. Hank mentored Cale before a falling out divided them, and a mountain lion attack left Cale nearly dead. Rescued by a band of Nednai Apache, his wounds were considered a powerful omen and he was taught the ways of a di-yin, or a medicine man. To locate Hank, Cale must enter the Dragoon Mountains, straddling two worlds that no longer fit. But he has an even bigger problem—finding a way into the heart of a young woman determined to live life as a bystander.

For two years, Tess Carlisle has tried to heal the mental and physical wounds of a deadly assault by one of her papá’s men. Continuing the traditions of her Mexican heritage, she has honed her skills as a cuentista, a storyteller and a Keeper of the Old Ways. But with no contact from her father since the attack, she fears the worst. Tess knows that to reenter Hank Carlisle’s world is a dangerous endeavor, and her only hope is Cale Walker, a man unlike any she has ever known. Determined to make a journey that could lead straight into the path of her attacker, she hardens her resolve along with her heart. But Cale makes her yearn for something she vowed she never would—love.

* * * *

Kristy McCaffrey has been writing since she was very young, but it wasn’t until she was a stay-at-home mom that she considered becoming published. She’s the author of several historical western romances, all set in the American southwest. She lives in the Arizona desert with her husband, two chocolate labs, and whichever of their four teenaged children happen to be in residence. Sign up for her monthly newsletter or visit her website for more info.