Thursday, October 12, 2017
By Kristy McCaffrey
Halloween is near, but it wasn’t always a one-day celebration. It evolved from a triduum called Hallowtide (derived from halig, meaning saint, and tide, meaning season). While many cultures celebrate the dead from October 31 to November 2, the most notable contributions to our westernized celebration of Halloween come from the Roman Catholics, the Mexicans, and the Celts.
In Catholic theology, November 1 is All Saints’ Day and commemorates those who have reached perfect salvation. The following day, November 2, is All Souls’ Day, devoted to those who have not reached a beatific vision. It stands as a day of prayer for the dead, and lighting a fire or lantern was often done to provide guidance to the souls of the dead. Public worship, or liturgy, would begin on the eve of All Saints’ Day, thus making Halloween All Saints’ Eve or Hallows Eve.
In Mexican culture, celebrations of the dead can be traced back thousands of years. Giant skulls, sugar skulls, shrines, decorated rabbits, poems and dancing with colorful costumes and devil masks in the town center are all part of Day of the Dead (October 31 – November 2) celebrations, and are thought to bring good luck and peace. It encompasses All Hallows’ Eve, when spirits of dead children are welcomed with the presence of a children’s altar; All Saints’ Day, when adult spirits are invited; and All Souls’ Day, when families visit cemeteries.
In ancient Gaelic culture, the end of harvest season was celebrated with the festival of Samhain, beginning at sunset on October 31 and lasting until sunset on November 1. This is a liminal period for the spirits, or aos sí, to enter our world. Lighting bonfires served as protection from the spirits and costumes were thought to help in appeasing them. Divination and feasting rituals were also practiced.
Looking for a spooky and romantic read this October? Check out these two historical western romance novellas with paranormal twists.
THE CROW AND THE COYOTE
In Arizona Territory, Hannah Dobbin travels through Cañon de Chelly, home to the Navajo, in search of a sorcerer who murdered her pa. Only when she retrieves the silver cross taken from her father's corpse will she be able to free her pa's spirit, and allow him to be at peace.
Bounty hunter Jack Boggs—known as Crow—is on the trail of a vile Mexican bandito when he discovers Hannah and her companion, a superstitious old Navajo woman. He knows he must protect them, but with the shadows of Hallowtide descending, more dark magic is at hand than any of them know.
Available at Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited
THE CROW AND THE BEAR
Bounty hunter Callum Boggs—sometimes called Crow—arrives in the mining town of Silverton on a cold October day in search of a man who has committed unspeakable crimes. Skilled in the technique of dream scouting, Crow has narrowed the location of the criminal to Silas Ravine. No normal man would dare to venture into this region, where so many gruesome and unexplained murders have taken place—a piece of land forever haunted where Death still walks. But Crow is no normal man...
Jennie Livingstone knows her papa is in trouble. When none of the local men will come to her aid, she must accept a newly-arrived stranger—a half-Comanche bounty hunter—as her only ally. As they head into the mountains to track Jennie’s father, she can hear more than the whispers of man. The mines carry spirits, and her only hope in navigating the living and the dead lies with the Crow.
But is Jennie prepared for the consequences of where her fate with Callum Boggs may lead? And is she the woman who can hold fast to the Crow’s heart after all his years alone? Bewitched by the beautiful young woman, Callum must do everything he can to stay one step ahead of the spirits that can’t rest—just to keep Jennie and himself alive.
Available at Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
All Reviews By Kristy McCaffrey
I've included Amazon links, but most of the books are also available at Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, as well as print and audio.
The Lost City of Z
This book is part memoir, part modern-day adventure. Mr. Grann recounts the life of Percy Fawcett, who in the early 1900’s explored the dangerous Amazonian jungle along the Brazil-Bolivia border. Fawcett was in the rarefied company of other extraordinary explorers such as Richard Burton (who searched for the source of the Nile) and Ernest Shackleton (an early explorer of the Antarctic), all members of the Royal Geographical Society in London. Fawcett’s repeated expeditions into the jungle—along with his amazing ability to survive lethal indigenous tribes, starvation, piranhas, and the particularly ghoulish occurrence of maggots under one’s skin—left him convinced that a mythical city (the Spanish conquistadores called it El Dorado) existed somewhere in the area. His preoccupation would eventually lead to his disappearance in 1925. He was never heard from again. Did the lost city of Z exist? Read the book to find out! A gripping and well-written account of the intersection of compulsion and passion within the human spirit.
A satisfying short read about single mom Angel Harper trying to run a vacation ranch in Arizona and the cowboy/firefighter who turns her world upside down. Boone Donovan isn't looking for romance but sparks fly the moment he meets Angel. With many obstacles between them, not the least of which is Angel's reluctance to let a man into her and her son's life, this romantic tale will have you rooting for them. And don't miss the follow-up story, Phoenix Heat, about Boone and Angel's daughter Harper. I loved both!
Bad Boy, Big Heart
East coast city girl K.C. has come to Wyoming for the summer to work at a ranch. She's warned to stay away from bad boy Chay, but that soon proves difficult to do. Ms. Downing has written a romantic novella with a sexy hero and a smart heroine. Loved it! And don't miss the follow-up story, City Boy, Country Heart.
Breanne O’Donnell is training in the druidic arts when her mentor Heremon is murdered. A mysterious knight named Ashlon Sinclair is left behind, ill and unable to recall what happened. Breanne nurses him back to health, but he is English and she is Irish, so she keeps his identity hidden. But Sinclair, a Templar Knight, is in pursuit of a chest that has been stolen from him and he ingratiates himself into Breanne’s clan to locate it. He’s also drawn to Breanne but his nomadic life leaves him conflicted about what he can offer her. She has seen with her second sight the fate that intertwines them and worries for his safety, believing that he must leave her to stay alive. This is an enchanting story filled with magic and Irish lore. Breanne is a strong heroine and Ashlon a compelling and romantic figure, and you won’t be able to stop reading this steamy love story until the satisfying conclusion.
Nearly Departed In Deadwood
Single-mom Violet Parker has got problems. Unless she can sell a house, she’s about to lose her job as a realtor. Her prospects involve a house-sniffing, enigmatic man named Doc (although he’s not an MD) and a handsome Ken-doll client whose efforts to woo her may be too good to be true. Throw in a paranormal mystery involving several missing girls alongside Violet’s ensuing anxiety about the safety of her own two children, and you’ve got a nonstop thrill-ride of a tale, which I dare you not to read in one sitting. This is the first in an ongoing series told from Violet’s point-of-view (Book 8 is soon to be released). Ms. Charles has a flair for dialogue and humor, and you’ll fall in love with Violet and all the quirky side-characters that populate Charles’ version of modern-day Deadwood. But be prepared: this series will grab you and you’ll disappear until you’ve read each and every book.
SladeSlade (Jackson Creek Series Book 1)
As part of his incarceration, outlaw Slade Barlow has been placed on work detail at the Prescott farm. Thrown in the calaboose on tenuous charges, he needs to keep his head down and bide his time until he can flee the Widow Prescott and her two daughters, Jillianne and Camille. But he hadn’t counted on his growing feelings for Jill or the fact that someone is stalking their property. As he digs deeper, he comes to realize that he may be more deeply involved in the mystery of Jill’s deceased father and the time the man spent away from the farm than he’d like to be. And, at the end of the day, can he walk away from Jill? This is a solid western romance with great descriptions that will put you right in the time period. Slade is a tormented hero, Jillianne is a kindhearted heroine, and their romance will hold you in its grip until the end. Don’t miss another winner from Ms. Lence!
Lead Me Into Temptation
In this historical western romance, Violet Webster is looking for her father and her only option is to become a mail-order bride. Garrett Sutherlin, her betrothed’s son, has been sent to escort her, a task that will free him from living under his father’s dictates. Ms. Devlin takes this standard trope and delivers a richly-drawn tale with a likable heroine and a compelling hero. Fans of this genre will love the story! I certainly did.
Calvin “Choctaw” Taylor is a young Indian scout contracted to guide a peace ambassador into the stronghold of the famed Apache leader Cochise. Accompanying them is the man’s adopted Apache daughter Nahlin. Together they enter one of the most dangerous areas in the old west—the Dragoon Mountains. Their journey is one of bold intentions, treacherous encounters with both Indians and white men, and, ultimately, agonizing heartbreak. This is a well-told story of historical fact woven within fiction, of well-crafted and flawed characters, and a plot that will leave you guessing and eager to reach the conclusion. I highly recommend.
Ms. Brown considers vulnerability in all its many forms, whether it be in the workplace, in schools, or in your own home. Through years of research she’s compiled real-life data and offers practical and stark truths about how to deal with the shame inherent in our culture as a result of being vulnerable.
The simple truth is that “to feel is to be vulnerable.” Brown addresses fallacies of vulnerability: It’s not a weakness and it’s not letting it all hang out. It does require trust and boundaries. She stresses the importance of developing shame-resilience: recognizing shame and understanding its triggers, practicing critical awareness, reaching out, and speaking about it with a trusted someone.
The last part of the book deals with parenting and how we can all do better by simply engaging with our children, developing our own ability to be vulnerable and mirroring that to them, and forgiving ourselves when we’re not perfect. Perfection is a form of shielding and freeing ourselves of our “armor” is an important first step. “I am enough, I’ve had enough, and showing up, taking risks, and letting myself be seen is enough.”
This book is amazing and authentic, and Ms. Brown hasn’t taken the easy road—she digs deep into the subject matter, offering insights that are painful yet ultimately healing.
Texas Mail Order Bride
Cooper Thorne lives in Battle Creek alongside his adopted brothers, Rand and Brett. They were all raised in an orphanage and now steadfastly guard their independence and freedom, which means no matrimony. They’ve even formed a ‘Bachelor’s Club’. When determined Delta Dandridge arrives in town fully expecting to become Cooper’s mail-order bride, his answer is a swift no. He never sent for her, so refuses to honor a promise he never made. However, Delta decides to remain in Battle Creek and forge a new life for herself, and Cooper can’t seem to avoid the woman. And soon enough, he doesn’t want to. Ms. Broday’s novel is an entertaining western romance with great banter between the leads, wonderful side characters, and a steamy love story. The perfect tale to curl up with before bedtime.
Jennifer Foehner Wells
In this follow-up to Book 1: Fluency, we find Dr. Jane Holloway and Dr. Alan Bergen on the alien spaceship discovered near earth. They are now headed to the home world of the creatures who mysteriously perished on board. Guiding them is the only survivor, a massively intelligent squid-like creature who controls the ship and is telepathically linked to Jane. Because of this connection, Jane is now the commander. The tale unfolds as they make first contact with a species known as the Sectilius. I really enjoyed this story, especially the relationships between Jane and the entity and the prickly romance between her and Bergen. Thankfully, it comes to a satisfying ending and I'm eagerly awaiting Book 3!
The Devil’s Teeth
The Farallon Islands—a rocky and barren chain of jutting, granite peaks—sit just 27 miles from the San Francisco coastline. A handful of biologists reside in this remote outpost to study the bird, pinniped, and shark populations. Every fall, great white sharks arrive to feed on the local seal population and Ms. Casey delves into the research undertaken in the surrounding waters. It’s a story of grit and terror, and a testament to how little we know about these fascinating and monstrous creatures. Casey also recounts the history of the island—at one point, the eggs sold in the Bay area markets were collected from the massive seabird population, nearly depleting their numbers. The main attraction, of course, is the sharks, with personalities as varied as the people who investigate them. By the end of the book, despite a lingering fear of the giant fish, I couldn’t help but gain a healthy respect for the apex predators of the ocean. This is a riveting and enlightening read.
In Love Proof, lawyer Sarah Henley must work opposite her former lover from college, Joe Burke. He broke her heart six years prior and never had the decency to tell her why. This premise may sound too simple, but in the hands of the talented Ms. Brande, a solid, compelling love story unfolds. I definitely lost sleep reading this on vacation.
The romance is hot, the legal proceedings are entwined just enough to give context but not overwhelm the story, and the characters are likable and credible. But not perfect. When the romance is re-ignited, Sarah and Joe face an ethical issue as they work on opposing sides of the same case. How that unfolds, as well as Sarah’s own reservations about Joe, create the obstacles they must overcome. It’s a reminder that despite mistakes made along the way, everyone has the power to become a better version of themselves.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy a great read. You won’t be disappointed.
Deer Hunting in Paris:
A Memoir of God, Guns, and Game Meat
Paula Young Lee
In the title of this memoir, author Paula Young Lee refers to both Paris, France, and Paris, Maine. How she connects the two disparate places speaks to the overall theme—you never know where you’ll end up, but chances are, it will be a place that softens the quirky edges and incongruent personality traits that never quite fit together.
Lee is a Korean woman raised in the United States by a father who preached Christianity in rural America—mostly in the backwoods of Maine. Paralyzed from the waist down, his belief in God never wavers, but Lee constantly questions and strives to stretch beyond the dictates of Korean culture.
For a time, she lives in Paris, France. When severe food and other allergies besiege her, she develops a love of meat. Hers isn’t just a cursory fascination; she’s taken it to the next level, trying to understand where cuts of meat originate in an animal and sharing recipes that are hundreds of years old.
A wanderer, she doesn’t desire to be tied down. Then she meets John, a divorced lawyer from Paris, Maine. The bulk of Lee’s story unfolds as she and John spend time with his folks, siblings, and extended family. And they are hunters. Lee expounds on tracking bear and moose. She explains in great detail how to dress a deer in the wild upon its execution. She describes the process of a pig roast with such detail that you’ll smell the succulent meat and your mouth will water.
Deer Hunting in Paris is a love story. John and Lee couldn’t be more different, but on a deeper level their relationship works. Her appreciation for the animals and the process of hunting wins over John’s family, and while many will cringe over the gory descriptions of how an animal is gutted and quartered, there is a sense of the order of nature here. Living close to the land—a skill many of us have lost—isn’t for the faint of heart. Lee has qualms as well, but in the name of love she pushes through. Her forthright and honest prose had me laughing aloud in parts, and her esteem for the natural world and the man she loves make for a unique and compelling read.
Deer Hunting in Paris: A Memoir of God, Guns, and Game Meat (Travelers' Tales Guides)
The Dark Net
In this paranormal technological thriller, we meet a diverse crew of characters: Lela, a laser-focused journalist with no life; Mike Juniper, hiding a past as an evangelical minister and owner of a homeless shelter; Sarin, a woman who may be far older than many realize; Cheston, a computer hacker and voyeur; and Hannah, a young blind girl who will play a pivotal role in the storyline. Evil has come to Portland, Oregon, and the pathway is the Dark Net. I don’t want to say too much more because the story unfolds with many interesting twists, and I was quite glued to my e-reader until the end. Mr. Percy offers insights into our digital age that will astound and horrify you, while giving us an edge-of-the-seat terror ride. I highly recommend the novel and I wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually turns up in the movie theater.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
It's a 99 cents sale extravaganza!! Sept. 18-22!! Check out these 36 historical western romances by some of your favorite authors -- each only 99 cents this week, including my book THE DOVE.
Click here for links to ALL the wonderful books.
The Dove is available for 99 cents at all vendors and can be read as a standalone.
Reunited with Logan Ryan on the steps of the White Dove Saloon, Claire Waters hides under the guise of a fancy girl...and lets the ex-deputy believe the worst.
“Ms. McCaffrey writes from the heart…a definite must read.” ~ The Romance Studio
Disappointment hits ex-deputy Logan Ryan hard when he finds Claire Waters in the midst of a bustling Santa Fe Trail town. The woman he remembers is gone—in her place is a working girl with enticing curves and a load of trouble. As a web of deceit entangles them with men both desperate and dangerous, Logan tries to protect Claire, unaware his own past poses the greatest threat.
Plagued by shame all her life, Claire is stunned when Logan catches her on the doorstep of The White Dove Saloon dressed as a prostitute. She lets him believe the worst, but with her mama missing and the fancy girls deserting the place, she's hard-pressed to refuse his offer of help. As she embarks on a journey that will unravel the fabric of her life, one thing becomes clear—opening her heart may be the most dangerous proposition of all.
A steamy historical western romance set in 1877 New Mexico Territory.
Excerpt from THE DOVE
They continued north, passing through Ocate Crossing and watering the horses at Rayado, a stagecoach stop with only a handful of buildings. The Sangre de Cristos flanked their progress, a protective barrier as the sun moved to a steady descent behind the hills. By late afternoon they rode into
The town was located in the foothills, the mountains on the left a looming reminder of the mining hopes of the many men who ventured into the interior. Struck by the allure of the immense slopes, strongly outlined by the setting sun, Claire couldn’t take her eyes off the promise of anonymity and peace the high country represented. Would losing herself in those hills give clarity to her life? Make all of the struggles disappear? It was an enticing thought, and an entirely unrealistic one. But she tucked the image away to revisit when needed.
They rode past the jail, the structure surrounded by a ten-foot-high stone wall, and guided their horses behind the Barlow, Sanderson & Company stage office. On the opposite side of the road Claire noticed Schwenk’s Hall and beyond was a three-story square building with a sign that read Aztec Grist Mill.
Glancing in the direction of the saloon again Claire knew that soon women would start peddling their bodies to any man willing to pay for it. She wondered if her mama would be there. More than likely she was at the St. James—if she was here at all. She had frequently mentioned that saloon in the past.
They approached the Old National Hotel, situated across from a hardware and livery stable. Next to it was a gazebo that covered a well. Having been here once before Claire noted that not much had changed.
“I’m going to check the registry,” she said and climbed down from Reverend, giving a tug on her skirt when it caught on the sombrero tied behind the saddle. “I’ll be right back.”
It didn’t take long to learn that her mama’s name wasn’t in the hotel’s logbook. She stewed over that while she returned to the porch and stared at several men to her right. One in particular caught her eye—a tall Mexican with a splotchy, scarred face shaded by the brim of his hat. He was walking toward them. Fear slammed through her and her heart pounded at twice its speed. Her throat tightened and she struggled to breathe.
His lips were warm, but Claire was too tense to do anything other than stand there, her hands clutching his shoulders for dear life.
It was seldom life threw the unexpected at him, but
was surprised as hell by this woman suddenly all over him. It wasn’t that the
thought of kissing Claire had never crossed his mind or that her determined
lip-lock undoubtedly had little to do with him, what astounded him most was her
total lack of expertise in the task. As he broke the highly unromantic mating
of their mouths, he said quietly, “I’m not a piece of wood, Claire.” Logan
He shifted so his body shielded her from anyone on the street and pushed her up against the hotel exterior. If it was a show she wanted, he’d teach her a thing or two about kissing a man while he had her at a distinct disadvantage. Taking control of the situation, he brought his hands to the sides of her head and took her lips with his. She was a temptation he hadn’t planned to indulge, but now he gave himself to the task with a focused tenacity. He would enjoy Claire like he’d wanted to since the first moment he’d laid eyes on her, months ago at the SR.
She hardly moved. And her eyes were wide open. “Relax,” he murmured, and covered her mouth fully with his. Tentative, yes, but she wasn’t completely unwilling. Slowly she yielded, her mouth surrendering in small increments, teasing him with the promise of so much more.
Sweet and soft, he savored the intimate contact with her. He’d needed to touch her and now that he had he wondered how long he could go before needing to again. He was a man who could control himself but damn if he wasn’t close to tossing all that control to the wind. It’d been a long time since he’d felt this way about a woman.
“Are they gone yet?” he asked quietly. He still protected her with his body.
“What?” Her rapid breath and flushed face aroused him yet again and he willed himself not to skim her curves with his hands. He took it as small comfort that she wasn’t immune from him, no matter how hard she tried to pretend otherwise.
“I’m sorry I threw myself at you,” she said in a frantic whisper. “I saw Sandoval and wanted to hide.”
“You can hide behind me anytime.”
allowed his thumb to caress her cheek before he turned around to scan the
street. He wanted to get a good look at the bastard in question. Logan
“He’s gone,” Claire said from behind him. “My mama’s not at this hotel, but she could still be in town. I plan on staying the night. If you need to move on I understand.”
“No,” he said and continued to scrutinize the street. “I’ll be staying, too. I’ll get us a room together.”
“There’s no way in hell I’m leaving you alone if Sandoval is here. I’ll sign us in as a married couple. Do you have a middle name?”
Claire appeared flustered and confused.
could certainly relate to that. Logan
“Margaret,” she replied. “Why?”
“Well, that won’t do,” he said. “I’ll register us as Logan and Peggy Ryan.”
She nodded uncertainly. “That kiss,” she said, “you realize that I’m not going to…that I’m not going to entertain you, no matter how much you offer me.”
“I seem to recall you threw yourself at me, Claire, not the other way around. Your inexperience shows.” Hell, that came out wrong. And the flash of humiliation on her face confirmed it.
“Claire—” But she disappeared into the hotel before he could stop her. Nice going.
He went inside and within ten minutes they were registered as Mr. and Mrs. Ryan. In an uneasy silence they went to their room to get settled.
Copyright © 2005 K. McCaffrey Inc.
Sunday, August 20, 2017
By Kristy McCaffrey
As early as the 1700s, women were drawn to scientific fields but society excluded them from receiving proper training and the same employment opportunities as their male counterparts. However, that didn’t stop the following women from educating themselves and making important breakthroughs during their lifetimes.
Sophie Germain was born in Paris, France, in 1776. Her father was a wealthy merchant and when Sophie was 13 years old she began to read books on mathematics and physics in her father’s library. Her parents disapproved of this interest and would often deny her warm clothes and a fire in her bedroom to keep her from studying. When they finally realized her serious intent, they secretly supported her. When Sophie was 18, the Ecole Polytechnique opened but women were not allowed. However, notes from the classes were made public and she was able to obtain the material and study along with the male students. She submitted her work under a man’s name and when Joseph Louis Lagrange, a faculty member, requested a meeting, he didn’t turn her away when he learned she was a woman. Instead, he became her mentor. She is known as one of the pioneers of elasticity theory, and she won the grand prize from the Paris Academy of Sciences for her essay on the subject, the first woman to do so. She also contributed foundational work on Fermat’s Last Theorem, ideas that were central to other mathematicians works for over two hundred years. She died at the age of 55 from breast cancer.
Ada Lovelace was born in London, England, in 1815. She is best known for her work on a proposed mechanical general-purpose computer known as the Analytical Engine. She created the first algorithm and is often credited as the first computer programmer. Lovelace was the only legitimate daughter of the poet Lord Byron and his wife Anne. (His other children were born out of wedlock with other women.) Byron left Anne only a month after Ada was born and died when Ada was 8 years old. Anne remained bitter toward her husband and encouraged Ada’s love of mathematics and logic in an effort to subvert the madness that had seemed to grip Byron. Never close with her mother, she was raised by her grandmother and led a fairly scandalous adult life, with numerous purported affairs and a love of gambling. One project that never reached fruition was her desire to create a mathematical model for how the brain gives rise to thoughts and nerves to feelings, a ‘calculus of the nervous system’. Her interest in the brain came from an obsessive focus on the potential madness she may have inherited from her father. Ada died at the age of 36, most likely from uterine cancer.
Sofia Kovalevskaya was born in Moscow, Russia, in 1850. Her military father, along with her mother, provided a good education. When Sofia showed an aptitude for math, they hired a tutor to teach her calculus. In order to study abroad, she needed permission from her father or a husband, so she contracted a ‘fictitious’ marriage with Vladimir Kovalevskij, a young paleontology student who later became famous for collaborating with Charles Darwin. In 1869, she attended the University of Heidelberg in Germany by auditing classes. After two years, she moved to Berlin where she took private lessons since the university wouldn’t even allow auditing. In 1874, she presented a doctoral dissertation at the University of Gottingen with three papers—one on partial differential equations, one on the dynamics of Saturn’s rings, and one on elliptic integrals. With the support of her private tutor, she was awarded her doctorate in mathematics summa cum laude, becoming the first woman in Europe to hold such a degree. Although Sofia and Vladimir had a fake marriage, for a short time it became real and together they had a daughter. However, much of their married life was spent apart. Vladimir, who suffered mental problems, eventually committed suicide. Sofia later settled in Sweden where she secured a teaching position and died at the age of 41 from influenza. She made noteworthy contributions to analysis, partial differential equations, and mechanics.
Emmy Noether was born in Erlangen, Germany, in 1882. Inspired by her mathematician father, she sought to follow in his footsteps but German universities didn’t admit women. She circumvented this obstacle by auditing classes and eventually proved herself so adept at the curriculum that she earned an undergraduate degree. In 1904, she was permitted to enroll in a doctoral program at the University of Erlangen and received a Ph.D. in 1907. For over eight years she worked for no pay, relying on her family to financially support her. It wasn’t until 1922 that she became an untenured associate math professor at the University of Gottingen, where she earned a modest salary. Noether is well-known in the physics community for two theorems she proved. The first dealt with a problem in Einstein’s theory of general relativity in relation to conservation of energy. She resolved the issue by showing that while energy may not be conserved ‘locally’, it is conserved if the space considered is sufficiently large. The other theorem uncovered a link between conservation laws and the symmetries of nature. Today, our grasp of everything from subatomic particles to black holes draws heavily from this theorem, known as Noether’s theorem. When Hitler came to power, she was forced to leave Germany and came to the United States to teach at Bryn Mawr College. Noether never married and died at 53 from complications stemming from a pelvic tumor.
Connect with Kristy
Friday, July 28, 2017
By Kristy McCaffrey
A death mask is a likeness of a deceased person’s face following death. Typically constructed of wax or plaster, the impression is made directly from the corpse.
|Death Mask of King Tut|
In many cultures, a death mask was used during the funeral and was usually buried with the body. The Egyptians made them as part of the mummification process, the most famous being King Tut’s golden mask. They believed the death mask allowed the deceased person’s spirit to find its body in the afterlife.
Some African tribes believed a death mask imbued a wearer with the power of the dead. But in the Middle Ages, the practice became less of a spiritual link and more a way of preserving the dead. Death masks weren’t buried with the deceased but instead were used in funeral ceremonies and later kept in libraries, museums, and universities.
Famous death masks include Ludwig van Beethoven, Napoleon Bonaparte, Frederic Chopin, Oliver Cromwell, John Keats, Nikola Tesla, Mary Queen of Scots, and John Dillinger.
|Death mask of Napoleon Bonaparte.|
|Alleged death mask of Shakespeare.|
In Kristy’s story, BLUE SAGE, a death mask plays an important role.
AMAZON | Also available in Kindle Unlimited
Catch a cowboy … Keep a cowboy …
THE LEGEND OF BAD MOON RISING by Carra Copelin
Sheriff Ben Hammond is finally over the woman who shattered his heart, but when Dinah Horne suddenly returns, can he ignore the passion still burning bright between them?
CITY BOY, COUNTRY HEART by Andrea Downing
Trading horses for subways for two years seemed like a good idea to cowboy Chay Ridgway, but can city girl K.C. Daniels keep a rein on his country heart?
BLUE SAGE by Kristy McCaffrey
Archaeologist Audrey Driggs rolls off a mountain and lands at the feet of rugged cowboy Braden Delaney. Together, they’ll uncover a long-lost secret.
THE DRIFTER’S KISS by Devon McKay
Determined to take back what belongs to her, Addison Reed will do anything. Even trust a complete stranger.
HER MAN by Hildie McQueen
Deputy Mark Hunter falls for Eliza Brock during a murder investigation. Is it fate or bad luck, especially when she may be involved?
BORDER ROMANCE by Hebby Roman
Widow Leticia Villarreal wants to establish a horse-racing stable and an old acquaintance John Clay Laidlaw offers to help. But can she trust him with her business and her heart?
PHOENIX HEAT by Patti Sherry-Crews
After losing her fiancé and her New York City business, Harper Donovan returns to Arizona and meets cowboy Frank Flynn. Will his past and their differences extinguish the heat between them?
Blue Sage Excerpt
Braden sat across from Audrey, a fire flaming between them, holding the darkness at bay. They’d found a flat patch of land not far from the spot where they’d discovered Blue and had set up a small tent and supplies. Braden planned to sleep outside, and if Blue’s affectionate attentions were any indication, he’d have plenty of warmth from the mutt. Not that snuggling against Audrey didn’t have its merits, but he wondered if it was too soon to make a move.
She’d seen him cry like a baby after all. So much for giving an impression of strength and confidence. Damned if he hadn’t spilled his emotions out like a broken water pump. But in some ways losing his dad had broken him.
The horses and Stevie were picketed nearby munching on oats and grass, and Audrey had prepared peanut butter sandwiches for dinner. After the days’ events, Braden had eaten four.
“What did you want to tell me?” he prompted, running a hand along Blue’s back as the dog lay curled up against him.
Audrey crossed her legs and leaned forward, resting her elbows on her knees. Bundled in her brightly-colored fleece, the garment seemed to heighten the flush of her cheeks to a rosy glow. Although her hair was still pulled back from her face, strands had escaped and framed the soft contours of her cheeks, her eyes a deep blue-green in the flickering firelight.
Her only makeup was a sunburned nose and faint smudges of dirt, and he watched her like a lovesick puppy.
When had it happened? When had he fallen for her?
He hoped she wasn’t about to tell him she had a boyfriend.
“This isn’t the first time I’ve been here,” she said. “When I was nine, my dad took my sister and me for a weekend in the wilderness. I’m fairly certain this is where we were. When you mentioned seeing a family here years ago—I think it was us.”
That caught his attention. He laughed as he scratched behind Blue’s ear, the dog in canine bliss. “I remember you. It was early in the morning, and I was scouting around alone when I saw a dark-haired girl talking to herself.” He grinned. “Then she did a dance.”
Audrey twisted her mouth, appearing self-conscious. She took a deep breath. “Yeah, that was me. First, let me apologize for the fact that we were on Delaney land. I’m sure my dad didn’t realize we’d crossed the boundary between public and private lands.”
She chewed on her lower lip. “So, you should know that as a young child I was very sick.”
Copyright © 2017 K. McCaffrey LLC
Kristy McCaffrey writes historical western romances set in the American southwest. She and her husband dwell in the Arizona desert with two chocolate labs named Ranger and Lily, and whichever of their four children that are in residence. Kristy believes life should be lived with curiosity, compassion, and gratitude, and one should never be far from the enthusiasm of a dog. She also likes sleeping-in, eating Mexican food, and doing yoga at home in her pajamas.
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Thursday, July 6, 2017
By Kristy McCaffrey
|View from the Bright Angel Trail at the South Rim of|
the Grand Canyon. Photo Kristy McCaffrey.
“All the descriptions written over the decades land with a dull thud next to the real thing. It’s because the Canyon is overwhelming. It is so personal, yet a beauty beyond us—a far world, unknown, and unknowable.” ~ Arizona author Leo W. Banks
Arizona’s number one tourist attraction is the Grand Canyon, and it should come as no surprise that the state’s nickname is “the Grand Canyon State.”
Grand Canyon National Park is known for its overwhelming size and its intricate and colorful landscape. Over time, the elements have scoured and carved the dramatically splendid Grand Canyon, known as one of the world’s seven natural wonders. The distance from the South Rim to the North Rim varies from half a mile to eighteen miles, and the canyon has a maximum depth of 6,000 feet. This great range in elevation allows for a variety of climate, flora, and fauna; of the seven life zones on the North American continent, four can be experienced within Grand Canyon.
|View from Grandview Trail at the South Rim of the Grand|
Canyon. Photo Kristy McCaffrey.
The most prominent feature in the Grand Canyon, besides the deep gorges exposing millions of years of rock layers, lies at the bottom—the Colorado River. Named in 1776 by a Spanish missionary, Padre Francisco Tomás Garcés, it means “red” in Spanish, which is how the river would have appeared back then. Due to the construction of Glen Canyon Dam in northeastern Arizona in 1964, the river is now clear, clean, and cold.
|The Colorado River as seen from the|
Desert Watchtower at the South Rim
of the Grand Canyon.
Photo Kristy McCaffrey.
The first documented expedition of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon was accomplished by Major John Wesley Powell in 1869. Powell, a Civil War veteran with only one arm, and nine companions became the first men to journey 1,000 miles on the river, part of it through Grand Canyon. They braved rapids, heat, plummeting morale, and the loss of three men. Powell’s account of this expedition, Exploration of the Colorado River of the West and Its Tributaries, made him a national hero as well as brought the canyon to the attention of the country. The Paiutes called the plateau that the canyon cuts through ”Kaibab” or “Mountain Lying Down,” but it was Powell who first consistently used and published the name “Grand Canyon” in the 1870’s.
|Inside Desert Watchtower.|
Photo Kristy McCaffrey.
|My daughters inside Desert Watchtower.|
Photo Kristy McCaffrey.
There are many options when visiting the Grand Canyon. The most popular location is the South Rim with many lodging choices, including campsites. These are booked one year in advance, so plan accordingly. (However, if you’re flexible you can sometimes find last-minute cancellations.) My favorite place is the El Tovar hotel, built in 1905. Be sure to grab lunch in the dining room (my favorite dish is the Traditional Navajo Taco). Learn more about where to stay here.
|My daughters and a friend.|
Photo Kristy McCaffrey.
Activities while at the South Rim include hiking (the famed Bright Angel Trail begins here—if you’re in good physical condition then consider a day-hike to Indian Gardens, a halfway point to the bottom of the Canyon; overnighting inside the Canyon requires a permit), bike rides, and many lookout points (Desert Watchtower and Hermit’s Rest are my favorites). People often ask about the Skywalk, a 10-foot wide, horseshoe-shaped glass bridge that extends 70 feet over the rim of the Canyon. It’s not accessible from the South Rim, but lies farther west and is more easily reached from Las Vegas. A bit of trivia: the walkway is actually built over a side canyon and not Grand Canyon, although the view is still spectacular.
|My daughter Kate taking a photo on the Bright Angel Trail.|
Photo Kristy McCaffrey.
|My daughters at the start of the Bright Angel Trail. We|
didn't get far before they were distracted with photo ops.
Photo Kristy McCaffrey.
|My husband and daughter on Bright Angel Trail.|
Photo Kristy McCaffrey.
You can also visit the North Rim during the summer months (the roads are closed during the winter). It’s more remote and more difficult to reach, but there are also less crowds. And the different views of the Canyon make it worthwhile (the North Rim is at a higher elevation than the South Rim). The Grand Canyon Lodge offers a perfect place to stay, but remember to book 12 months in advance. You can find more info here.
|Me and my girls.|
Photo Kristy McCaffrey.
|Kate and Hannah commemorating their visit with a selfie.|
Photo Kristy McCaffrey
|We saw this magnificent bull elk grazing by the side of|
the road as we were leaving the park.
Photo Kristy McCaffrey.