It’s a Blizzard of Texas Goodies for You!


It’s a Blizzard of Texas Goodies for You!

Several Amarillo area authors have teamed up to offer you the chance to win this basket of books and goodies. All of the stories are set in the Texas Panhandle and written by Amarillo authors Linda Broday, Marcy McKay, Vicki Shoen, and by Canyon author, Natalie Bright.
It’s the perfect basket of entertainment for you when that first blizzard hits!

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Contest Rules
Subscribe to each author’s Newsletter for a chance to win. Links are below.
To increase your chances, follow each of the authors on Twitter, Facebook Author Pages, LinkedIn or Instagram. The more likes on social media, the greater your chances of winning.
Like, share and re-tweet our posts on Facebook and Twitter to increase your chances even more. Links are below.
Thank you for your interest and participation!
List of Basket Items over $100 Retail Value!

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To Love a Texas Ranger by Linda Broday
Award winning and New York Times Best selling author, Linda Broday, is giving you the first in her new MEN OF LEGEND series,
Gravely injured on the trail of a notorious criminal, Texas Ranger Sam Legend boards a train bound for his family ranch to recuperate…only to find himself locked in battle to save a desperate woman on the run. Determined to rescue the beautiful Sierra, Sam recruits an unlikely ally. But can he trust the mysterious gunslinger to fight at his side?
Sam is shocked to discover his new ally is not only an outlaw, but his half-brother. Torn between loyalty to his job and love of his family, Sam goes reeling straight into Sierra’s arms. Yet just as the walls around his battered heart begin to crumble, Sierra is stolen away. Sam will risk anything to save her—his life, his badge, his very soul—knowing that some bonds are stronger than the law…and some legends were born to be told.
Follow Linda on FACEBOOKTWITTERLinkedIn

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Pennies from Burger Heaven by Marcy McKay
Marcy McKay, offers you her dark and heart stealing story about homeless eleven-year-old Copper Daniels. She spends her nights sleeping beneath the cemetery’s Warrior Angel statue for protection, and her days battling the mean streets of Remington, Texas, hell-bent on discovering what happened the night her Mama disappeared. While Copper and her rag-tag group of friends find danger at every corner, two horrors are certain: her Mama’s really missing and someone’s after Copper, too.
“[Pennies from Burger Heaven] gave me shivers on the first page…[Marcy McKay’s] writing is beautiful and emotional, without being sappy.”- Frontiers in Writing Contest Judge
Follow Marcy here: Website –  Facebook –  Twitter
You can email Marcy here: marcy@marcymckay.com

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Inherit the Texas Earth by Vicki Schoen
Set in 1930s Texas Panhandle, a young farmer must fight the long drought as it ravishes the land he loves–and solve a long-suppressed mystery triggered by the return of a Comanche, his former friend. Willy Gil Kellogg finds himself caught between promises he made his grandfather and tough truths about farming methods and prejudice–issues Gramps never faced.
“This is a raw, gut-wrenching novel about the effects of the Dust Bowl on Texas farmers and ranchers as well as their families.” –Amazon Reviewer.
Follow Vicki here: WebsiteBlogspotFacebookLinkedIn

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West Texas Christmas Stories Anthology includes “A Cowboy’s Christmas Blessing” by Natalie Bright
This anthology gives you 30 Christmas stories set in West Texas or by West Texas authors, both fiction and non-fiction. In Natalie’s story, a hard-working cowboy recalls the beauty of the season despite his isolation on a ranch without being surrounded by an abundance of decoration and crowds.
Find Natalie here: WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedInPinterest

Additional Basket Goodies
In addition to four books listed above, you’ll win genuine home-grown Texas Pecans, Texas Ginger Snaps, cowboy ornaments, and other surprises. All totaling over a $100 value!
Contest open to U.S residents only. The winner will be chosen by a random draw of all the entries and the prize will be mailed. Remember to follow, share and like for more chances to win.

Winner will be announced December 15!

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It’s a Blizzard of Texas Goodies for You!


It’s a Blizzard of Texas Goodies for You!

Several Amarillo area authors have teamed up to offer you the chance to win this basket of books and goodies. All of the stories are set in the Texas Panhandle and written by Amarillo authors Linda Broday, Marcy McKay, Vicki Shoen, and by Canyon author, Natalie Bright.
It’s the perfect basket of entertainment for you when that first blizzard hits!

image005

Contest Rules
Subscribe to each author’s Newsletter for a chance to win. Links are below.
To increase your chances, follow each of the authors on Twitter, Facebook Author Pages, LinkedIn or Instagram. The more likes on social media, the greater your chances of winning.
Like, share and re-tweet our posts on Facebook and Twitter to increase your chances even more. Links are below.
Thank you for your interest and participation!
List of Basket Items over $100 Retail Value!

image001

To Love a Texas Ranger by Linda Broday
Award winning and New York Times Best selling author, Linda Broday, is giving you the first in her new MEN OF LEGEND series,
Gravely injured on the trail of a notorious criminal, Texas Ranger Sam Legend boards a train bound for his family ranch to recuperate…only to find himself locked in battle to save a desperate woman on the run. Determined to rescue the beautiful Sierra, Sam recruits an unlikely ally. But can he trust the mysterious gunslinger to fight at his side?
Sam is shocked to discover his new ally is not only an outlaw, but his half-brother. Torn between loyalty to his job and love of his family, Sam goes reeling straight into Sierra’s arms. Yet just as the walls around his battered heart begin to crumble, Sierra is stolen away. Sam will risk anything to save her—his life, his badge, his very soul—knowing that some bonds are stronger than the law…and some legends were born to be told.
Follow Linda on FACEBOOKTWITTERLinkedIn

image002

Pennies from Burger Heaven by Marcy McKay
Marcy McKay, offers you her dark and heart stealing story about homeless eleven-year-old Copper Daniels. She spends her nights sleeping beneath the cemetery’s Warrior Angel statue for protection, and her days battling the mean streets of Remington, Texas, hell-bent on discovering what happened the night her Mama disappeared. While Copper and her rag-tag group of friends find danger at every corner, two horrors are certain: her Mama’s really missing and someone’s after Copper, too.
“[Pennies from Burger Heaven] gave me shivers on the first page…[Marcy McKay’s] writing is beautiful and emotional, without being sappy.”- Frontiers in Writing Contest Judge
Follow Marcy here: Website –  Facebook –  Twitter
You can email Marcy here: marcy@marcymckay.com

image003

Inherit the Texas Earth by Vicki Schoen
Set in 1930s Texas Panhandle, a young farmer must fight the long drought as it ravishes the land he loves–and solve a long-suppressed mystery triggered by the return of a Comanche, his former friend. Willy Gil Kellogg finds himself caught between promises he made his grandfather and tough truths about farming methods and prejudice–issues Gramps never faced.
“This is a raw, gut-wrenching novel about the effects of the Dust Bowl on Texas farmers and ranchers as well as their families.” –Amazon Reviewer.
Follow Vicki here: WebsiteBlogspotFacebookLinkedIn

image004

West Texas Christmas Stories Anthology includes “A Cowboy’s Christmas Blessing” by Natalie Bright
This anthology gives you 30 Christmas stories set in West Texas or by West Texas authors, both fiction and non-fiction. In Natalie’s story, a hard-working cowboy recalls the beauty of the season despite his isolation on a ranch without being surrounded by an abundance of decoration and crowds.
Find Natalie here: WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedInPinterest

Additional Basket Goodies
In addition to four books listed above, you’ll win genuine home-grown Texas Pecans, Texas Ginger Snaps, cowboy ornaments, and other surprises. All totaling over a $100 value!
Contest open to U.S residents only. The winner will be chosen by a random draw of all the entries and the prize will be mailed. Remember to follow, share and like for more chances to win.

Winner will be announced December 15!

BUTTON METHOD FOR WRITERS


BUTTON METHOD FOR WRITERS
By Natalie Bright

The Button Method for Writers combines the psychology of a creative mind along with plain ole common sense, and is easy to implement. It’s guaranteed that you will experience an unbelievable increase in productivity and quality of work.

The Button Method is best explained like this:

1. Butt-On Chair
2. Write

The more you do, the better you become at the doing. Isn’t that true with almost every career? I heard the Butt-on tip early as a newbie writer, but honestly I haven’t always applied the method.

Two of my writerly friends have, and they are a source of great inspiration for me. Linda Broday and Jodi Thomas are both New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors. They’re currently writing series; Linda for Sourcebooks and Jodi for HQN. By writing, I do mean they’re ALWAYS writing. They both have set times every day, and rarely waiver from that schedule. They both practice extreme self-discipline.

I asked Linda one time how she manages to keep pushing herself, and she told me that when she’s writing, it’s the time she feels the most calm and relaxed. For her, social media and crafting blogs creates more anxiety than disappearing into her fictional world.

Jodi fell several years back and injured her wrist. During that same time, I twisted my ankle. We met for lunch and exchanged details and sympathies. Jodi says,” I asked the doctor to set my cast in a different way, because if I prop my arm on pillows I can still type with the tips of my fingers.”

I had planned to head home for aspirin and to prop my foot on pillows. Jodi went home to write.

Butt-On is the key.

Writing Benediction: Focus on the pure joy of crafting stories with words.

BUTTON METHOD FOR WRITERS


BUTTON METHOD FOR WRITERS
By Natalie Bright

The Button Method for Writers combines the psychology of a creative mind along with plain ole common sense, and is easy to implement. It’s guaranteed that you will experience an unbelievable increase in productivity and quality of work.

The Button Method is best explained like this:

1. Butt-On Chair
2. Write

The more you do, the better you become at the doing. Isn’t that true with almost every career? I heard the Butt-on tip early as a newbie writer, but honestly I haven’t always applied the method.

Two of my writerly friends have, and they are a source of great inspiration for me. Linda Broday and Jodi Thomas are both New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors. They’re currently writing series; Linda for Sourcebooks and Jodi for HQN. By writing, I do mean they’re ALWAYS writing. They both have set times every day, and rarely waiver from that schedule. They both practice extreme self-discipline.

I asked Linda one time how she manages to keep pushing herself, and she told me that when she’s writing, it’s the time she feels the most calm and relaxed. For her, social media and crafting blogs creates more anxiety than disappearing into her fictional world.

Jodi fell several years back and injured her wrist. During that same time, I twisted my ankle. We met for lunch and exchanged details and sympathies. Jodi says,” I asked the doctor to set my cast in a different way, because if I prop my arm on pillows I can still type with the tips of my fingers.”

I had planned to head home for aspirin and to prop my foot on pillows. Jodi went home to write.

Butt-On is the key.

Writing Benediction: Focus on the pure joy of crafting stories with words.

Most Memorable Books 2015


Most Memorable Books 2015

Natalie Bright

New York Times Bestselling author Jodi Thomas tells her students to set aside time to write every day, and that reading works by other writers is just as important. Just as we can recognize the musical strains of jazz or bluegrass or hip hop, so too must writers be able to recognize and learn from reading brilliant prose.

Here are a few of my most memorable reads of the past year:

RANSOM CANYON by Jodi Thomas. (Harlequin) Not because she’s a local Amarillo author and a friend, but because she’s done it again with this new series set in the heart of Texas. The cast of characters in the world of West Texas ranching makes for good entertainment.

WHITE STALLION OF LIPIZZA by Marguerite Henry. (Aladdin) Engaging story about a boy’s dream to work with the world famous Lipizzaner horses. Many of Marguerite Henry’s books have been reissued for today’s readers. It is my deepest inspiration to be able to write with as much emotion and clarity as Ms. Henry. At first glance they seem like simple stories, but as writers we can appreciate the complexities of her talent.

FIRST BLOOD by David Morrell. (Hachette Book Group) In 1982 Rambo hit the big screen. I have to admit that I was over my crush by Movie #3, but now my boys are huge fans. I heard the “father of Rambo” speak at a writers conference and he signed two copies of FIRST BLOOD for my boys. They were so thrilled with his autograph, they refused to loan me a book to read and I had to settle for an eBook version. The writing blew me away. It’s a vivid, often times violent tale, with a great lesson in how to write suspense. I’m forever more a huge fan of Mr. Morrell.

GIRL ON A WIRE by Gwenda Bond. (Skyscape) Unique twist on the age old Romeo and Juliet scenario set in the fascinating grit of a traveling circus. The tight wire scenes are fantastic writing.

WILD RAN THE RIVERS by James Crownover. (Five Star Publishing) Told in the unique style from the point of view of a young women and her young brother, their story pulls you in from the beginning. The imagery of the old west proves a well-researched historical story. I love books that make we want to learn more about the time period and place. The scenes involving the New Madrid earthquakes (1811-1812) are edge of your seat storytelling. Well-deserved winner of two prestigious SPUR awards from the Western Writers of America for best historical and best first novel.

SAILING WITH IMPUNITY by Mary E. Trimble. (nonfiction, Shelter Graphics) Sailing the Pacific is something I can’t foresee doing in my life-time, so this book is the next best thing. If you’ve ever dreamed about sailing the high seas, you will love this book. Learn about the prefect sail boat, the preparation, maritime regulations. Experience the isolation, details of daily living, the islands, and the people. An unforgettable read.

ALL FALL DOWN by Ally Carter. (Scholastic) If you’ve ever wondered about the young adult genre, start with this one. Set in Embassy Row the main character is the grand-daughter of a powerful ambassador. Filled with a teenaged world-view of complications and angst, there’s also a mystery to be solved.

GEORGE WASHINGTON SECRET SIX by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger. (Penguin Group) Another standout nonfiction book for me about “the spy ring that saved the American Revolution”. The book flap indicates that this story is based on extensive research and there’s no doubt. It inspired me to keep writing on my story idea set in pre-revolutionary times and made me realize how much more research I need to do.

TEXAS MAIL ORDER BRIDE by Linda Broday (Bachelors of Battle Creek Series). (Sourcebooks) Also from an Amarillo author and friend, this is a new series about cowboys, the old west, and sweet romance. What more could you possibly want in a story?

We’d love to know about some of your standout reads in the past year.

Thanks for following WordsmithSix!

 

Go West Young Man, Go West!


Go West Young Man, Go West!

By Rory C. Keel

“Not a hard man to track. Leaves dead men where ever he goes.” – Outlaw Josey Wales

The Western genre is defined by a specific time and place. Most are set west of the Missouri River from Mexico to the south and as far as Alaska to the north. The stories flourish with greenhorns, gringos and cattle driving cowboys. Usually set between about 1800 and 1890, the rugged hero or heroine always endures through any adversity.

Some of the most popular authors include Louis L’Amour, Zane Grey, and Elmer Kelton.

 Western Subgenres include:

Black Cowboy (buffalo soldier) and Civil War westerns.  Bounty Hunter stories of men chasing outlaws, and Cattle Drive westerns which are set during a frontier cattle drive, such as Larry McMurtry’s novel Lonesome Dove.

Cowpunk, these tales depict all sorts of bizarre happenings on the remote frontier with slight sci-fi slant. Eurowestern, Gunfighter, Indian wars such as James Fenimore Cooper’s 1826 novel The Last of the Mohicans.

Land Rush stories usually focus on the Oklahoma land rush. Lawmen (Texas Rangers) are about the honest lawmen who brought order and justice to the wild frontier. Mexican wars (Texan independence), Outlaw westerns, and yes, most of them wear black hats.

Railroad stories connect the east with the west and Range wars are stories where ranchers are pitted against the farmer. Romance is an overlapping subgenre, which features romance relationships in a ‘western’ novel. An excellent example of romance western is the anthology Give me a Texas Ranger by Jodi Thomas, Linda Broday, Phyliss Miranda and DeWanna Pace.

Wagon Train westerns tell the historical stories of the pioneers’ struggles on their transcontinental journey on the Oregon Trail.

Just remember “Every gun makes its own tune.” – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

roryckeel.com

Go West Young Man, Go West!


Go West Young Man, Go West!

By Rory C. Keel

“Not a hard man to track. Leaves dead men where ever he goes.” – Outlaw Josey Wales

The Western genre is defined by a specific time and place. Most are set west of the Missouri River from Mexico to the south and as far as Alaska to the north. The stories flourish with greenhorns, gringos and cattle driving cowboys. Usually set between about 1800 and 1890, the rugged hero or heroine always endures through any adversity.

Some of the most popular authors include Louis L’Amour, Zane Grey, and Elmer Kelton.

 Western Subgenres include:

Black Cowboy (buffalo soldier) and Civil War westerns.  Bounty Hunter stories of men chasing outlaws, and Cattle Drive westerns which are set during a frontier cattle drive, such as Larry McMurtry’s novel Lonesome Dove.

Cowpunk, these tales depict all sorts of bizarre happenings on the remote frontier with slight sci-fi slant. Eurowestern, Gunfighter, Indian wars such as James Fenimore Cooper’s 1826 novel The Last of the Mohicans.

Land Rush stories usually focus on the Oklahoma land rush. Lawmen (Texas Rangers) are about the honest lawmen who brought order and justice to the wild frontier. Mexican wars (Texan independence), Outlaw westerns, and yes, most of them wear black hats.

Railroad stories connect the east with the west and Range wars are stories where ranchers are pitted against the farmer. Romance is an overlapping subgenre, which features romance relationships in a ‘western’ novel. An excellent example of romance western is the anthology Give me a Texas Ranger by Jodi Thomas, Linda Broday, Phyliss Miranda and DeWanna Pace.

Wagon Train westerns tell the historical stories of the pioneers’ struggles on their transcontinental journey on the Oregon Trail.

Just remember “Every gun makes its own tune.” – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Rory C. Keel

Thank You


Outtakes 69

 Thank You

By Cait Collins

It’s that time when we begin looking back over the events of the year, assessing the good and the bad, the successes and the disappointments. No matter how tough the year may have been, it’s important to realize that writers have much for which to be thankful. It’s been a good year for me. I have completed HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW and am working on the final edits. I have started a contemporary western short story. I’m working on a short work entitled Borrowed Uncles. There have been disappointments, but the good far outweighs the bad. I sat down and made a list of some things for which I am truly grateful.

  1. I’m thankful for parents who taught me to love books and stories. Even before my sisters and I were old enough to read on our own, Mom and Dad took turns reading to us. They made sure there were books in the house. No matter where we were stationed, they found the public library and took us to get library cards. They encouraged my story writing.
  2. I have five sisters who are a major part of my support group. They want me to succeed. They have encouraged me to investigate publishing my novels as E-Books. (It’s on the agenda.) The great thing is they don’t gloss over my mistakes. When something is not right, they tell me.
  3. I have a great critique group and a reader. Natalie, Dee, Craig, Sharon, and Joe give good advice. They temper the problems with positive comments. Cynthia takes the completed work and gives it a final read. Their support and friendship means more than they will ever know.
  4. I’ve been blessed with good mentors. Successful writers tend to give back. They’ve been through the early struggles, have been given support by their peers, and now they reach out to newer writers who are finding their footing. Michael Cunningham told me to write my story. Author/actor Bruce Campbell showed me how to treat fans, Michael Blake spoke of keeping on in the face of rejection. Nicholas Sparks honestly told a group of writers at a book signing that being successful doesn’t make the job easier. It means you have to do it better next time. Jodi Thomas, Phyliss Miranda, Linda Broday, Kim Campbell, Jenny Archer, Gail Dayton, Terry Burns, Candace Havens, and the late Rhonda Thompson guided my early efforts and told me never to give up. I could fill this page with other writer friends and mentors. There are so many who have been part of my growth.
  5. I’m grateful there are a limitless number of stories to tell. Okay, were told there are only about seven stories. That may be true, but there are so many ways to tell them. The challenge is to create a unique version of the theme.

This is just a sample of a writer’s list of blessings. Each of us can add more and more to the list. Recognizing the endless blessings and expressing our gratitude helps us through the dark times when we stare at the screen and nothing comes. It makes the rejections easier and the critics less upsetting. Thank you to all of you who read and follow this site. I appreciate every one of you.

DESTINATION


DESTINATION

by Sharon Stevens

“Destination-The purpose for which anything is intended or appointed; end or ultimate designs.” 1890 Webster’s Dictionary

I just love pageantry, don’t you? I love everything about it… the colors, the music, the fanfare, the camaraderie, the life stories, what’s not to like? I am amazed how people can pull together thoughts and families and turn them into visions and images for the whole world to view.

There is so much pageantry going on this weekend. To name just a few, the Olympics begin, the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon will be displaying a lock of George Washington’s hair, and last but not by any means least, Linda Broday, Phyliss Miranda and Jodi Thomas are in Anaheim California for the Romance Writers Conference and Awards.

There is enough inspiration in just one moment with any of these events to carry an average observer for an entire year.  I was reminded of this when I was cleaning out the trunk of my car and came across the May 2001 issue of the local magazine ACCENT WEST. In it was the article by Liz Cantrell, “The Power Of A Dream,” about Brandon Slay and the story of his memories with the Olympics.

I had forgotten there was so many connections to our area so I stopped by the Canyon Public Library and picked up a copy of “Pride Of The Plains, 50 Years of the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame” by Mike Haynes and Dave Wohlfarth. The first story was about Joe Fortenberry, the Olympic basketball player from Happy Texas who attended WTSU. The last story was about Brandon Slay and his commitment to youth and sports all around the country. One of the many stories in the book was written about Merry Byers from Canyon, and her journey in basketball, all written by Jon Mark Beilue.

Every story I read is pageantry. I can’t help it. My heart doesn’t need to hear the “Star Spangled Banner” to explode with pride. It swells with everything I read in every publication with each word printed, and every photo posted no matter what country is represented. I can celebrate every single second all the way from the Opening Ceremonies to the last fireworks bursting in the skies over London. And this leads me to the connection with destination.

Diane Sawyer interviewed Apolo Ohno for the 2010 Olympics. He said something so interesting and deep I have carried this in my writing ever since.

Ohno mentioned that most of the other kids were there to win a Gold Medal, but he said he was living his destination. He had come to enjoy and celebrate the experience of just being among competitors and athletic friends.

So this weekend if you watch the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics, or travel to the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum to view the lock of George Washington’s hair, or google the awards at the Romance Writers Convention in California of Jodi Thomas, Phyliss Miranda, Linda Broday and DeWanna Pace, embrace the joy and excitement and pageantry each represents. Wish them God Speed as they travel to their destinations, and don’t forget that they cherish these wishes as they return home.

As always I am living my destination. Happy trails as you journey to yours.

Sharon Stevens

Go West Young Man, Go West!


Go West Young Man, Go West!

“Not a hard man to track. Leaves dead men where ever he goes.” – Outlaw Josey Wales

The Western genre is defined by a specific time and place. Most are set west of the Missouri River from Mexico to the south and as far as Alaska to the north. The stories flourish with greenhorns, gringos and cattle driving cowboys. Usually set between about 1800 and 1890, the rugged hero or heroine always endures through any adversity.

Some of the most popular authors include Louis L’Amour, Zane Grey, and Elmer Kelton.

 Western Subgenres include:

Black Cowboy (buffalo soldier) and Civil War westerns.  Bounty Hunter stories of men chasing outlaws, and Cattle Drive westerns which are set during a frontier cattle drive, such as Larry McMurtry’s novel Lonesome Dove.

Cowpunk, these tales depict all sorts of bizarre happenings on the remote frontier with slight sci-fi slant. Eurowestern, Gunfighter, Indian wars such as James Fenimore Cooper’s 1826 novel The Last of the Mohicans.

Land Rush stories usually focus on the Oklahoma land rush. Lawmen (Texas Rangers) are about the honest lawmen who brought order and justice to the wild frontier. Mexican wars (Texan independence), Outlaw westerns, and yes, most of them wear black hats.

Railroad stories connect the east with the west and Range wars are stories where ranchers are pitted against the farmer. Romance is an overlapping subgenre, which features romance relationships in a ‘western’ novel. An excellent example of romance western is the anthology Give me a Texas Ranger by Jodi Thomas, Linda Broday, Phyliss Miranda and DeWanna Pace.

Wagon Train westerns tell the historical stories of the pioneers’ struggles on their transcontinental journey on the Oregon Trail.

Just remember “Every gun makes its own tune.” – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Rory C. Keel