Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Scottish, Irish, and British Connection with Wyoming

Sitting in a booth in The Albany restaurant, bar, and liquor-mart in Cheyenne, Wyoming, my husband and I never suspected we would have the best bread pudding ever in just a few minutes. My husband is somewhat of a connoisseur of bread pudding. No matter where we are in the world, if bread pudding is on the menu, he must sample it. Last month in Cheyenne was no exception.


How good was it? Mouthwatering. Perfectly balanced sweetness, perfect moistness, just divine.

Who would expect such wonderful bread pudding in a town known for being part of the Wild West? Who would expect to find high tea being served at the Nagle Warren Mansion either? The answer to those two questions is anyone who has studied Wyoming history.

Wyoming was a magnet for Scots, Irish, and British immigrants, some of them second sons of aristocrats who came to Wyoming to make their name as Cattle Barons. Here are just a few famous Wyoming citizens with roots across the pond.

William Drummond Stewart came to Wyoming in 1833, the second son of Sir George Stewart and Catherine Drummond. When his father passed away, he inherited £3000 but control over the inheritance was given to his older brother. Stewart decided to cross the Atlantic and make his way as an American fur trader along the Green River in Wyoming. During his time in America, he met William Clark of Lewis and Clark, traveled with the son of future President William Henry Harrison, as well as Eliza Spaulding, the first Euro-American woman to cross South Pass Wyoming. He eventually returned to Scotland upon the death of his elder brother in order to inherit the title and live out his days in Scotland.

Ella “Cattle Kate” Watson, daughter of a Scotsman who immigrated to America, was a woman homesteader who got caught in the crosshairs of a powerful cattle baron, Albert Bothwell who claimed, erroneously, that she was homesteading on his land (it was public domain land) and had rustled his cattle. He came with several men to her ranch, abducted her, and took her and her partner, James Averell to a large tree near the banks of the Sweetwater River and hung them. Witnesses to the crime either disappeared or were found dead and so the lynching party escaped any consequence.

This event, however, precipitated the Johnson County wars. John Clay Jr. of Perthshire,  managed ranches for Scottish investors of the Swan Land and Cattle Company. He became President of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association which held meetings at the exclusive Cheyenne Club where decorum was insisted upon and tea was served. As President, John Clay Jr. defended the actions of the hired guns who invaded Wyoming’s Johnson County and killed the falsely accused Nate Champion for cattle rustling and laid siege to another ranch. The shootout, which involved law enforcement and the militia, took place over 3 days until the invaders could be arrested. Clay denied any knowledge.

Military service and construction of railroads brought the Irish to Wyoming including one very prominent Irishman, Fightin’ Philip Sheridan, son of Irish immigrants from  KillinkereCounty Cavan, Ireland. Sheridan, a military man throughout the Civil War and into the Indian Wars received a commission to the guard the natural resources of the Yellowstone area, an assignment Sheridan relished and took very seriously. Not only is Sheridan, the town, and Sheridan, the county, named after him but so is Mount Sheridan which was named in 1871 when he was still actively guarding the area.

Sir Horace Plunkett came from an aristocratic background. He was the third son of Admiral Edward Plunkett, the 16th Baron of Dunsany, of Dunsany Castle, and the Honorable Anne Constance Dutton (d. 1858) (daughter of John Dutton, 2nd Baron of Sherborne). He attended Eton 
College and University College, Oxford, of which he became an honorary fellow in 1909. Threatened by lung trouble in 1879, Horace Plunkett thought ranching in the healthy air of the West could help. He ranched for ten years (1879–89) in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming, which proved to be quite lucrative as he amassed a substantial fortune. He also learned a lot about agriculture during his stint as a rancher and, once he returned to Ireland, he used his new knowledge to improve agriculture techniques in Ireland.
Richard "Dick" and Moreton Frewen were sons of a wealthy Sussex, England, squire. Unfortunately, Moreton recklessly spent the money he was given by his father and decided to try his luck in America. He convinced his brother to accompany him out West. A chance meeting with General Sheridan sent the Frewen brothers to Powder River country. There the brothers acquired cattle and built a sumptuous home dubbed the Frewen Castle. Bad investments and rough winters soon sent the brothers back to England, poorer for the adventure.
And then there were Scottish born ranchers Malcolm and William Moncrieff, sons of Lord Thomas Moncrieff, and their English cousin Oliver Wallop who are credited with bringing polo to Wyoming.  
The influence of the United Kingdom and Ireland had found its way into the culture of the West and left behind some of the best bread pudding ever.
Where have you had great bread pudding? Hubby would love to know, lol.


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Exploring Wyoming for HEARTS OF WYOMING

Took some time last week to enjoy Southern Wyoming where much of the Hearts of Wyoming series takes place. Traipsed around Cheyenne which still retains much of the flavor from the turn of the last century. Checked out the Cheyenne Frontier Days fairgrounds where Chance became a million dollar cowboy in Loving a Cowboy. Then took a drive to Laramie and enjoyed the sights of ranches and cattle as depicted in The Rancher’s Heart and Loner’s Heart with rolling hills and formidable mountains in the background. Saw a rodeo in Laramie, the kind that the Prescott Rodeo Company would have put on in The Maverick Meets His Match and Lonnie Kasin would have participated in ala my new work in progress. Then headed to Denver where Haylee from The Rancher’s Heart lived before she found Trace and saw the place where the Western Stock Show takes place which will figure into the new Hearts of Wyoming story, yet to be titled.  Here are some pictures of my trip you might enjoy. I have a ton from the Laramie rodeo and will be posting one every Tuesday for True Cowboy Tuesday on the LOVE WESTERN ROMANCE page. Enjoy!



Monday, December 11, 2017

Decorating the Christmas Tree

We lived for thirteen years in a Victorian-era home and for that time our tree was decorated in a Victorian theme. When we moved in the year 2000, it was difficult for me to leave that house because it always represented hearth and home to me. So, even though we had moved to a newer home and then to a brand new home, we continue to decorate our Christmas tree in a Victorian theme. It may not "fit" with the contemporary decor of our current house, but to our family, it fits perfectly in our hearts.  Here are some pictures of our former home and tree and our tree today. Have you put up your tree yet? What are some of your favorite ornaments that say Christmas to you?




And here is our tree today:

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Monday, June 12, 2017

FUN FACTS ABOUT WYOMING! THE HEARTS OF WYOMING SERIES



Why did I choose Wyoming for the setting of my Hearts of Wyoming series? There are lots of things about Wyoming that make it a perfect setting for a western romance...the cowboys being just one such reason, lol.

Here are some fun facts about Wyoming:

1. Wyoming is the Equality state because it was the first state to give women the right to vote, which it did in 1869
2. Nellie Tayloe Ross was the first woman to be elected governor of a U.S. state and that state was Wyoming!
3. Louisa Ann Swain was the first woman in the U.S. to vote and she cast her ballot in Laramie, Wyoming in 1870
4. Wyoming is home to the pronghorn, the fastest mammal in the Western Hemisphere


5. The first Dude Ranch in Wyoming (and possibly anywhere) was the Eaton Ranch, near Wolf (1879). The Eaton's also came up with the term "dude". The Eaton Ranch is still a dude ranch and still run by members of the Eaton family. http://eatonsranch.com/the-ranch/history/ 
6. In 2014, Wyoming was estimated to have 11,700 farms and ranches with an average acreage of 2,598!
7. Wyoming has the lowest population of all the 50 states
8. The name Wyoming originated from a Native American word, mecheweamiing, meaning land of big plains.
9. The horse on the license plate is named Old Steamboat after a bronc that could not be ridden back in the day.
10. Yellowstone is the first official National Park (1872).

So you see, this state is the perfect setting for romance western-style!  The Heart of Wyoming Series currently has three books available on Amazon:


The next and fourth book in the series, The Loner's Heart (Trace's story), is due out in 2017!


Monday, March 20, 2017

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY SALE! Kindle Scout goes on Sale!!!

As many of you know, my second book in the Hearts of Wyoming series was submitted to Amazon’s Kindle Scout program where readers vote on books to be published by Kindle Press. The Maverick Meets His Match was selected in December 2015 and published in January 2016. (The Rancher’s Heart,the 3rd book in the Hearts of Wyoming series didn’t go through the scout program but was also published by Kindle Press.)

In celebration of the second anniversary of the Kindle Scout program (reader powered publishing), Kindle Press is putting all Kindle Scout books ON SALE for 99 CENTS for the next few days, including my Kindle Scout book, THE MAVERICK MEETS HIS MATCH.

You will find some terrific books in just about every genre for just 99 cents here:

Friday, March 17, 2017

WHEN LOVE COMES CALLING

My short story, When Love Comes Calling, is in the western historical romance anthology Journey of the Heart. I have been wanting to write Callie's story for some time and this anthology seemed the perfect place for it.

Becoming a Harvey Girl has been a lifesaver for homeless Callie Rhinehart. Working in the Harvey House Restaurants has provided a roof over her head, the security of decent pay, and a path for a respectable career. When handsome widow Frank Sutton sits at her counter with a little boy in need of a mother, Callie’s carefully laid plans are threatened. But despite her growing feelings for the rancher, can she risk giving up her career for a marriage of mere convenience and leave her future in the hands of any man? It’s the 1880’s after all.


It’s true that Frank originally pursued Callie because he needed a mother for his child, but he’s fallen in love with her independent spirit. Competing with another man for her affections is one thing, competing with the Harvey Company is proving to be quite another.

I have always been fascinated with the Harvey Girls--young women who would never have an opportunity otherwise to leave home for a respectable position out West. Just like teachers and mail-order brides, these women took their fate in their own hands, ventured West and often found love in the waiting arms of a cowboy, rancher, or railroad man.

There are some excellent books on the Harvey Girl experience including The Harvey Girls by Lesley Poling-Kempes and Appetite for America by Stephen Fried. The Harvey Girls were often the civilizing force in the towns where they work. Will Rogers exclaimed that Fred Harvey..."kept the West supplied with food and wives" (Poling-Kempes p. 102) Callie Rhinehart will be no exception!

For sale on Amazon


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

ON SALE! THE RANCHER'S HEART

The Rancher's Heart is being featured in Amazon's 100 kindle books for $1 each event for a limited time. So if you want to pick up a copy of this newly released Book 3 in The Rancher's Heart series, now is the time. And it just hit #3 in Western Romance.



Families feuding, cattle missing, and two people falling in love. What could go wrong?
https://www.amazon.com/Ranchers-Heart-Hearts-Wyoming-ebook/dp/B01MYTS6SB


And love this latest review:
on March 5, 2017
Mistakes in life can get heavy, but the main characters in this story had the strength to ride past and be strong !! At the end of the book I felt good, and I like a feel good story !!