Eyes on Best Western Historical List

Those of you who have read here for a while probably have a good (and true) idea that it takes something equivalent to a nuclear explosion to get me to leave home and travel and when I do it it’s pretty much guaranteed that the reason is some doggy event. Well, here I am typing this on my netbook from a motel in Albuquerque after a day on the road, with a very unhappy Schara panting on the end of the bed. See below for what I, at least, think are very funny Schara in motel stories.

The purpose of this post, though, is to pass along the info that Regan Walker emailed me today to say that she’s just read Eyes, loved it, and is featuring it on her blog tomorrow, the 10th. She’s making June her Western Historical Romance month, and Shirl Henke will make a guest appearance at the end of the week.  Further, next week, she’ll post her list of best Western Historicals, and she was  nice enough to give me a heads up that Eyes will be on it.

News: Victor is now officially adopted by me. Of course instead of some wonderful doggy celebration, he’s getting to spend a few days in a boarding kennel while Schara and I hit the road. At the moment, I think she’d happily trade places with him.

Schara Motel Story One: Since I don’t travel much, neither does Schara. The first time she was in a motel, she was 6 years old. The noises of people in rooms around us coming and going really upset her, and she kept barking at them. So there I was, hushing her, telling her to be quiet, and really getting after her. She finally gave it up, got the point, and stopped reacting.

So, in the middle of the night, I wake to hear someone outside, stomping up and down the stairs as if he had cement shoes on, etc. I sat up, put on the light, and was listening hard, when the noise stopped right at my room door, and he (it was a he of course) started pounding on the door so hard, I swear I saw in jump in the frame. My Rottweiler? Not a peep. Hadn’t I spent all evening teaching her not to make a peep no matter what happened in this strange place? I swear she rolled her lips inward as she gave me a You Asked For It look. (Motel security took care of the guy, a drunk who said he thought it was his room.)

Schara Motel Story Two: At home Schara sleeps in a crate (open door) beside my bed. She’s never been interested in sleeping on the bed, although she’ll get up there now an then if I’m not in the bed, which I find vaguely insulting, but there it is. However, if she’s not feeling good or is worried, she all of a sudden wants the security of touching me. So on our second motel adventure, there she was, on the bed with me. Of course at home we have a king-sized bed and in the motel it was a double, so in the middle of the night, thump. She fell off the bed! Funnier still, to me, was the fact she looked around half-awake, climbed back up, and went back to sleep.

What I’m Up to Writing-Wise: I wish I could tell you. I think my plodding linear mind has come up here in the past. That means, I come up with a story, work it out in my mind, outline, and write. That is, write that one, and just that one and then go on to the next. Right now I’m in this muddle with what was to be the next book outlined and ready to go, still working on the mystery, and a new story popped up in my mind that is bugging me so much that I’m working on it when I can. My plodding linear mind has slipped the rails… or whatever.



20 Responses to Eyes on Best Western Historical List

  1. mesadallas says:

    Wonderful review, Ellen. I also saw some other westerns that she has reviewed and look good so I am going to give them a try.

    I have no doubt you’ll get your muddle figured out and will once more be writing like crazy.

  2. McD says:

    That’s a great review, Ellen. And you’ve been on the road? Sounds like quite the adventure!

    As to your writing, please don’t say your next historical western romance will be late. Please.

  3. It is a great review, isn’t it? And Regan is going to post it to GR and Amazon also. I’m eager to see her Best Western Historicals list. I think it’s not just this year but all time.

    Now how can anything be late? I’ve given up predictions of when because I’ve been so optimistically wrong in the past. Will try to at least give progress reports.


  4. MerviR says:

    Well, I’m glad that you have two stories developing in your head. That means we are going to get two new books instead of just one, even if the wait is a little longer.


  5. Thanks, Mervi. What I’m doing is certainly not going to result in a finished, edited, and proofed book actually being ready sooner, but sometimes these things take on a life of their own. ~Ellen

  6. mesadallas says:

    I see you mentioned more than once on her list of all time favorite westerns. Good job!

  7. Hi mesadallas – Yes, she reviewed both Eyes and Dancing, put Eyes on one list, and all three books on another, and in some pretty distinguished company. I don’t know about you, but I saw references to some other books over there that looked pretty interesting. If I have time to look some of them up I may do another post about that. ~Ellen

  8. McD says:

    That’s quite a list of best westerns. Interestingly (and rather surprisingly) she has no Jodi Thomas, Lorraine Heath or Maggie Osborne. Still, she does mention my current favorite author of westerns a few times.

  9. Hi McD – You know I hadn’t thought about what wasn’t there. Some of the names and books are ones I’d have on my own list for sure, and some I haven’t read, but I didn’t think of who I’d have that isn’t there.

    One of her articles mentions that Westerns were always something she didn’t think she’d enjoy, then she read one and liked it a lot and became a fan of the subgenre. So maybe the explanation is that she hasn’t gotten to some authors yet.

    We, of course, agree that among those authors she has read, she has exquisite taste.


    P.S. I got through a sex scene without beer last night. Is that good – or scary?

  10. mesadallas says:

    I’d say that’s good. Especially if it’s in a western and not a mystery.

    Just wondering if you’re near any of the fires and if you’re o.k.

    They look pretty bad.

  11. Ha ha. You forgot the :-). Cozy mysteries don’t get sex scenes, which is a plus. Rereading the whole thing, maybe I need to get the beer and revise.

    No, I’m SE of Denver and kind of on the plains, although there are hills and a scattering of trees here and there. However, they’re evacuating areas that are subdivisions and not exactly in forests, so I’m starting to think that I can’t just figure we’re safe here. It’s so dry that grass could carry fire between trees and other sources of more fuel. I think I need to start paying more attention. I can fit all 3 dogs in the car, but the horse would be dependent on charity of neighbors.

    Thanks for thinking of me.


  12. McD says:

    P.S. I got through a sex scene without beer last night. Is that good – or scary?

    Lol! All depends Ellen, were you reading it or writing it??

    Not being in the States, I haven’t heard about the fires there. Hope all’s well, Ellen. Keep us up to date, please on your state of affairs there.

  13. mesadallas says:

    ……. or living it.

    sorry. Too good to resist.

  14. Ho ho – You two are cute. I only need beer for writing it.

    The fires really are scary. Nothing but rain is going to fix things, and it’s dry as a bone with record temps day after day. ~E

  15. McD says:

    ~ The fires really are scary. Nothing but rain is going to fix things, and it’s dry as a bone with record temps day after day. ~
    Yes, I’ve heard from some friends there that it’s a hot summer. Hope and pray you continue to be safe, Ellen.

    ~ I only need beer for writing it. ~
    Then that’s great news! Because it means Ellen O’Connell has to be hard at writing her next western romance. And she’s already to the first (at least!) love scene!

    ~ ……. or living it. ~
    Lol! That’s funny, mesadallas!

  16. mesadallas says:

    ……..and hopefully it lives as good as it reads.

    Allright. I’ll stop now.

    Ellen, just in case- perhaps you’d better have a suitcase packed along with your most irreplaceible items. Do you have a horse trailer?

  17. Yes, I just started looking at a checklist sent out on one of my dog lists of things to pack. I still don’t think this is a danger area, but what the heck.

    No, I don’t have a trailer any more, and my single remaining horse hasn’t been in a trailer at a guess for close to 20 years. My favorite neighbors have a slant 3 and only 2 horses, so I’d have to beg a ride for her.

    A friend who hauled supplies to the south for the firefighters yesterday told me in some areas, they’re just letting horses out onto the roads and herding them from danger because they can’t transport them all. I have no idea what they do with them all when they get them somewhere safe loose like that.

    And, yes, McD, I’m in the middle of another one. I conceived of this idea and became obsessed with it to the exclusion of all my neat plans, so I’m pecking away. It’s the first time I’ve ever done anything close to off the cuff, make it up as you go, and heaven knows what kind of mess I’ll end up with. My new plan is to let it sit and cook for a while after first draft, do the things I thought I’d be doing now, and then go back and see what I have.


  18. mesadallas says:

    Several years ago we had some very bad fires in the White Mountains which are about two hours from me. Entire towns had to be evacuated and we had the same problems with horses and livestock- there were so many the officials didn’t have enough resources to evacuate or keep them. The towns sent up a plea to the people in other parts of Arizona for help with the horses- and goats, cows ect. Hundreds of people responded by going up with their trailers to help evacuate the animals while others voluntered to have them taken to their property until it was safe for their owners to take them back.

  19. We had something similar happen the last time we had bad fires in Colorado, but as I remember there were also problems with getting animals back to owners, not just horses but smaller pets that ended up in shelters, and some never did get picked up. I suppose if you lose your home, you can’t go get Fluffy, and if you have kids, that’s the least of your problems.

    The news today says that just one of the fires has burned 346 homes so far.

    Last time there was talk about making sure i.d. was on horse halters, etc., but I know horses that have died because halters were left on and caught on something and won’t leave them on. I did have a breakaway halter on Kate for a while, but my guess is if strangers were trying to get her on a trailer, it would, well, break away. Other suggestions were i.d. tags braided into manes and tails. I haven’t been an active horse person for some years now. Maybe some are microchipping horses. I don’t know if that’s common enough that someone would scan. My dogs are all microchipped.


  20. mesadallas says:

    Don’t know if there were problems afterward getting animals back but it sure wouldn’t surprise me- I would expect there would have to be some.

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