Gunsmoke Actors

Have you ever wondered about the actors and actresses who portrayed the characters on the western shows that we and/or our parents grew up with on our TV screens? After watching re-runs of several westerns from my past, I decided I wanted to find out about these people who entertained me. After looking them up, I thought you might be interested, too. Today I’m concentrating on one of my favorites, GUNSMOKE which ran for 20 years.

                                                              matt-dillonMatt Dillon was played by 6’7” James Arness, who was born in Minneapolis, MN on May 26, 1923. His given name was, ‎James King Aurness.

When he accepted the role of Matt Dillion, he had to dye his naturally blond hair for the role, since dark hair was considered more masculine at the time. Because of his unusual height, many people guesting on the show had to stand on boxes or in ditches to look good in the pictures. He retired from acting at age 71.

He held the record for the longest continuous role (Matt Dillon) portrayed by a single actor (20 years) on prime-time television, until Kelsey Grammer (Dr. Frasier Crane on Cheers (1982) and Frasier (1993) tied the 20 year record in 2004.

James Arness was a veteran and during his service in World War II, he received the Bronze Star; the Purple Heart; the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three bronze campaign stars; the World War II Victory Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

Married twice James Arness was the father of 4 children, including his first wife’s son who he adopted.

Many stars were friends with James Arness, including John Wayne who had suggested he be given the role of Matt Dillon, but he considered his younger brother, Peter Graves (Mission Impossible) his best friend.

James Arness died of natural causes in 2011 in Los Angeles.


Miss Kitty Russell, the red-haired owner of Gunsmoke’s Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City, Kansas was played by Amanda Blake an American actress. Ms. Blake was born on February 20, 1929 in Buffalo, NY. Her given name was Beverly Louise Neill. She was married four times, but had no children.

Before making it in show business, she worked as a telephone operator.

An animal lover, in 1971 she joined with others in Phoenix, Arizona, to form the Arizona Animal Welfare League. The AAWL is now the oldest and largest “no-kill” animal shelter in Arizona. (Ms. Blake’s 2nd husband was an Arizona cattleman.)

Amanda Blake smoked 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day until being diagnosed with oral cancer in 1980. After enduring oral cancer surgery in 1984, the American Cancer Society awarded her with its Courage Award which was presented to her in Washington, DC by President Reagan.

In 1961 she sold her residual rights to Gunsmoke for $100,000.

Ms. Blake was believed to have contracted the AIDS virus from her last husband who was openly bisexual.

Amanda Blake died of AIDS-related hepatitis in 1989 in Sacramento, California.


Chester Goode: Dennis Weaver. Weaver was born June 4, 1924 in Joplin, Mo. His birth name was William Dennis Weaver. A part-American Indian, he was a registered Cherokee, as well as Osage.

He was a struggling actor in Hollywood in 1955, earning $60 a week delivering flowers when he was offered $300 a week for a role in Gunsmoke. After nine years as Chester, who he played with a stiff-legged gait, he was earning $9,000 a week.

Weaver was a veteran and served as a pilot in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

A vegetarian, he served as the president of “Love Is Feeding Everyone” (LIFE), which fed 150,000 needy people a week in Los Angeles County.

Dennis Weaver died, February 24, 2006, in Ridgway, Colorado from complications of cancer.


Doc Galen Adams was the character played by Milburn Stone. His full name was Hugh Milburn Stone, sometimes known as Milly Stone. He was born July 5, 1904 in Burrton, Kansas. He was married twice and had one daughter.

At one time he sang with Harry James and His Orchestra.

Stone’s uncle was the famous Broadway comedian, Fred Stone. Milburn moved to Los Angeles in 1935 to try his luck in films. He toiled for years and became an “overnight” star in Gunsmoke. He remained a citizen of Dodge City throughout its entire 20-year run (500 episodes), although he was temporarily sidelined by a heart attack in 1971. The ever-durable Stone missed only seven episodes. Milburn won a well-deserved Emmy award in 1968 for his crusty role.

In 1961, he sold his residual rights of Gunsmoke to CBS for $100,000.

Milburn Stone died from a heart attack on June 12, 1980, La Jolla, California.



Festus Haggen, played by Ken Curtis, who was born July 2, 1916, in Lamar, Colorado. His birth name was Curtis Wain Gates.

Curtis began his show business career as a singer in the big-band era, and was a vocalist in the legendary Tommy Dorsey orchestra.

As the son-in-law of director, John Ford, he appeared in many of Ford’s singing westerns. He also appeared in Carnegie Hall with the Sons of the Pioneers.

Curtis was married twice and was the father of two children.

He died on April 28, 1991 in Fresno, California from a heart attack in his sleep.


Quint Asper was played by Burt Reynolds.  Burton Leon Reynolds was born February 11, 1936 in Lansing, Michigan.

He was married twice and has one son.

In 1962, Burt Reynolds was added to Gunsmoke, as the half-Comanche blacksmith, Quint Asper. He performed that role in the years just before the departure of Chester Goode and just after the appearance of Festus Haggen.

Reynolds’s latest project is to film a movie with Modern Family’s, Ariel Winter to be filmed in Knoxville, Tennessee in June/July 2016.


Newly O’Brien, gunsmith-turned-deputy in 174 episodes during the last eight seasons of Gunsmoke is played by Buck Taylor. Walter Clarence “Buck” Taylor, III was born on May 13, 1938 in Los Angeles, California.

Taylor was married twice and is the father of 3 children.

He studied art on a scholarship while in college and later was seen sketching during film and TV breaks. An accomplished and well-known western artist who enjoys exploring America’s “Old West” and delving into typical everyday cowboy scenes of hitching horses or setting up camp, he specializes in watercolor. His art is now sought after by collectors.

He and current wife live on a ranch north of Fort Worth, Texas.


Sam Noonan, the bartender at the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City, Kansas was played by Glenn Strange. Strange was born George Glenn Strange in Weed, New Mexico, on August 16, 1899, but grew up a real-life cowboy in Cross Cut, Texas. He was of Indian descent.

Strange was married three times and had four children.

He taught himself the fiddle and guitar at a young age and started performing at local functions as a teen. At various times in his life, this huge, towering 6′ 5” beast of a man worked as a rancher, deputy sheriff and rodeo performer.

He played several monsters in movies including Frankenstein’s monster. Though Boris Karloff was famous for the role, the studio often used Strange’s picture to promote the show. Ironically when Boris Karloff‘s obituary was run in newspapers in 1969 it was with Strange’s picture as Frankenstein’s monster.

He capped off his career with a steady 12 years by playing the role of Sam the bartender on Gunsmoke.

Glenn Strange died on September 20, 1973 of lung cancer.



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In 1848, James Marshall dug in a riverbed near San Francisco and found a glittering rock about  the size of a thumbnail.  He told his boss, John Sutter and the two of them ran tests and realized they had real gold. Without telling anyone about the find, they spent weekends searching for more gold and found it. No matter how careful they were, the word was soon out and almost all the population of San Francisco (about 800 at the time) rushed to the area to search for the real thing. By 1849 the population of the area reached about 80,000 people searching for their fortune, creating the largest gold rush in history.

It may have been the biggest, but it wasn’t the first. It wasn’t even the second.

In 1799 Conrad Reed found a 17-pound large yellow rock in his father’s field in Cabarrus County, near Midland, North Carolina.  Neither did he or his father, John Reed, realize what the rock was. It’s reported that the family used it as a doorstop for three years.

In 1802, a visiting jeweler recognized the rock as gold. He purchased the rock for the asking price of $3.50.

The next year, John Reed, with three partners, began Reed Mining Operation. They worked mostly on weekends and the story goes that a slave named Peter unearthed a 28-pound nugget. By 1824 the part-time miners had recovered a yield of one hundred thousand dollars.

The first gold rush was now on. Farmers all over North Carolina began searching their creeks and rivers for the precious stones.

In 1845 John Reed died a wealthy man and the Reed Mine was sold at public auction. The mine changed hands several times by 1912 when the last underground work took place there. Portions of the underground tunnels have been restored for guided tours.

reed-tunnel1Eventually, Congress built the Charlotte Mint to cope with the volume of gold dug up in North Carolina.  When NC seceded from the Union in 1861, the Confederacy took control of the Charlotte Mint. It continued coining operations until October when it became clear it was a futile effort. (The coins minted here are among the rarest and are highly desired by collectors because of their great value.) The mint was then converted into a hospital and military office space for the remainder of the war. In 1873, the North Carolina General Assembly petitioned Congress to reopen the mint at Charlotte. This request was denied. The mint is now a museum.


In 1829, the Georgia Gold Rush became the second major gold rush in the US. It soon overshadowed the Gold Rush in North Carolina as it spread through the North Georgia Mountains. Much of the land where gold was discovered here belonged to the Cherokee Nation, but it didn’t take long for the Government of Georgia to rectify this problem. They seized the land without a treaty and divided it among Georgia veterans and residents by using a lottery system. By 1840s it became hard to find gold in Georgia and many of the miners moved west where gold had been discovered in California.


The 1849 Gold Rush in California was actually the third major incident of gold being discovered in the United States. But it was the largest and the most well-known.

  Sutter’s Mill in California


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New Release

New Release — XENIA’S RENEGADE by Agnes Alexander — Giveaway!


         An urgent plea for help from a family member calls for action from Xenia Poindexter and her sister, Mea Ann. How can the rest of the family ignore Uncle Seymour’s plight and let him hang? Xenia and Mea Ann leave the comfort of their Virginia home for the wild, untamed Arizona Territory to do whatever they must to save their uncle.
But traveling west is not what these two well-bred, innocent ladies expected.

A raid on a stagecoach way station would have seen them dead if not for the quick thinking of one of the other passengers, handsome rancher Ty Eldridge.

In the midst of the deadly raid, Mea Ann finds an orphaned Indian baby that she adopts as her own. Once the stage reaches Deer Meadow where their uncle is being held, Mea Ann and Xenia discover the deep-seated prejudice that pervades the town. Indians are not welcome—even Indian children. Ty and his cousin Wilt are all too familiar with the bigots in Deer Meadow, being half Sioux, themselves.

Ty wants to protect Xenia from her uncle’s schemes to use her and Mea Ann as prostitutes in his saloon—sold to the highest bidders—but can he? Though romance blooms for Wilt and Mea Ann, Ty has been burned in the past by his love for a white woman—and he won’t risk his heart again.
Though others say they’re all wrong for each other, Xenia has never felt more “right” than when she’s in Ty’s arms. She is determined to show him she’s strong enough to adapt to ranch life—his life. For Xenia, prejudice doesn’t exist—there’s enough love in her heart to hold Ty and heal his wounds. But Ty knows if he gives in to Xenia, he runs the risk of being hurt again. Is true love worth the chance of becoming XENIA’S RENEGADE?


“When you get to Deer Meadow, I’m sure you’ll find the men will appreciate you more. Then you won’t have to be subjected to an Indian raid or a man like Ty Eldridge.”

“Mr. Eldridge doesn’t seem so bad,” Mea Ann said. “He was careful to make sure there was no danger in here before he let us come in.”

He shook his head. “Now I know how innocent you and your sister are. Don’t you know what Eldridge is?”

Xenia interrupted. “I don’t think we should be discussing Mr. Eldridge or anyone else. It looks to me like we should be trying to find out what’s going on here.”

“Xenia’s right,” Mea Ann said.

“You don’t have to worry. I’m sure the stage driver will know what to do if Eldridge doesn’t kill him first.”

“What do you mean?” Mea Ann looked scared.

“Don’t you know what he is?”

Xenia wasn’t sure what Lou was going to say, so she said, “It doesn’t matter what he is.” She stood. “I’m going to look out the window and see if I can tell why Mr. Eldridge told us to stay in here.”

“The breed probably put us here to wait for his friends to come back.”

She whirled around and glared at him. “What are you saying?”

“Can’t you tell he’s part Indian? They’re all alike. I got in a little trouble with one in Deer Meadow last time I was there. Just hope it’s all been cleared up by the time we get in.”

“What difference does it make if he has some Indian blood in him?”

“Oh, Miss Xenia. It’s an important factor in this area.”

Be sure and leave a comment for a chance to win a free ebook of XENIA’S RENEGADE.

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Taboos in the Western Historical Romance

Are There Taboos in Writing the Western Historical Romance?

I had a new writer tell me she didn’t think you could tackle a controversial subject in a western romance like you could in other genres. She said all you have to do to write a western romance is dream up a handsome cowboy and a pretty maiden, throw in a few gunfights, a fistfight or two and a gang of outlaws or rustlers. Then you have the couple argue and make up and all will end well.

Of course, those of us who write western historical romance know there is more to the story than gunfights, outlaws, rustlers, (though they may be there) and a romance that ends well.

When I started writing western romance it never occurred to me the number of topics some people might consider taboo, that I’d end up including in my novels.

Fiona's Journey

My first western historical rromance, Fiona’s Journey came out in 2012. It touched on the horrible subject of child molestation and rape. Though I never graphically described either of these in my writing, it left no doubt in the reader’s mind what was being referred to.


Valissa's Home - WEBIn Valissa’s Home I discussed gambling. Not the regular kind of gambling that takes place in a saloon as happens in most westerns, but one of my characters suffers a gambling addiction so bad that he not only lost all his fortune, but also that of his sister.


Amelia's MarriagePrejudice was one of the topics in the book Amelia’s Marriage. A lot of people, including her father, were appalled when Amelia fell in love with, not only a bounty-hunter, but a bounty-hunter who happened to be half Lakota Indian.


Drina's Choice 2Drina’s Choice was a mail-order-bride story. Though many men in the west wanted a wife to ease their loneliness and to give them children as heirs, there were other reasons for using this service. In my book, the mail-order-bride was arranged to keep a rancher from losing the ranch he’d worked so hard to build into a profitable enterprise.

Hannah's WishesDealing with a heroine who was born with a withered foot and could never walk, but who had dreams and hopes of one day having a man to love and to love her back was the premise of Hannah’s Wishes. Also I touched on how an unscrupulous relative could take advantage of someone with a disability.


RenaCowboy_smRena’s Cowboy was the one time-travel I’ve written. It explores how an accomplished, savvy policewoman of today’s world copes when thrown back into the primitive way people had to live in the 1800’s. It also shows how men of that place and time could learn that women were strong and could hold their own in most any situation.

edwina COVER (1)Edwina’s Husband deals with a woman who has been raised by her not-so-religious preacher uncle who has a bible verse for everything that happens, though he sees everything in the world as evil, including his wife and his niece. Of course, he sees no wrong in himself.


camillaCOVERChild abandonment is the first problem that crops up in Camilla’s Daughters. There is also the problem of child slavery and how a woman who never wanted children contends with having two girls thrust upon her – one an infant and the other an eight-year-old.


Opla's Faith

Family loyalty and revenge is in Opal’s Faith.



Hate and acceptance is forefront in Belinda’s Battle, my newest romance from Prairie Rose Publications released May 19.


In some of the books I have sketched out I will tackle such things as: Remorse and loneliness in Zenia’s Guilt; Unwanted pregnancy and responsibility in Isabel’s Baby; and infidelity and forgiveness in Nelda’s Return.

After these books are finished, I’m not sure what, but I will come up with something else for my main characters to face. I hope it will be something I won’t be afraid to tackle or something that I’ll shy away from. I have learned that no subject is taboo when you write a western romance as long as it is written with tact and in a non-offensive way.


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Belinda’s Yankee Release

Belinda's Yankee

Release date for Belinda’s Yankee – May 19, 2016

Belinda Babcock’s father shoves her into the tunnel under her plantation home, but refuses to join her because the Yankee soldiers saw him enter the house. She is devastated when she hears them enter the house, kill her father then set far to her home.

Knowing her father died so she could live, she follows the tunnel to the cave where a hiding place has been set up. When she feels it’s safe to go outside, she stumbles upon a severely wounded man – Yankee Major Victor McKay.

Will Belinda get revenge for her father’s death by killing the almost dead man or will she do what she can to save his life?

If you’d like a signed copy of Belinda’s Yankee, leave me a comment and I’ll draw a name from all who post. I will  have print copies in a couple of weeks.  Drawing will end on May 31.  (If you choose, there is the option of getting a digital copy.)

I hope you enjoy Belinda’s Yankee as much as I enjoyed writing it.





Thanks to all who entered.

Keep checking out my blog because I’ll have other chances for you to win copies of my books.

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I have a lot of respect for the men and women who first made the trek across this great land of ours. The more I research this topic, the more respect I have. I don’t know if I would’ve had the grit and stamina to take the chance of settling in a new life in a strange part of the country. Researching for a western historical romance I’m working on helped me understand the many sacrifices these pioneers made.

The thing they had to decide was if they were going to convert their farm wagon into a covered wagon or to buy one already ready to go. A wagon ran from $150 to $250. The wagon was 6’ wide and 10’ long and could carry around 2500 pounds of food supplies. (The recommended amount for a family of four.) Some pioneers brought their own linen wagon covers and waterproofed them with beeswax or linseed oil. If converting a farm wagon for the trip the bows to hold the top covering were $3 a set.  To buy a wagon cover of heavy canvas sailcloth was $6 to $8

4 to 6 animals were needed to pull the wagons. Oxen were the best choice and were often recommended since they required less water and had no trouble surviving on the different grasses they would encounter. They cost $25 to $35 each. Mules were the next best selection. They ran $10 to $15 each and were often chosen because of the price, though it was recommended to bring extra along in the case of losing one or more on the trial. Horses were not recommended for the journey, but one was often brought along for the man of the family to ride in a hunting excursion or to use when serving as a look out. A prime horse sold for $100, but an acceptable one could be bought for $50. Many families brought a milk cow for milk and for the butter that could be churned by fastening a barrel to the side of the wagon. It would be jostled enough by nightfall to have made the butter. A good milk cow could run between $70 to $75.


Of course animals had to have riggings. An ox-yoke $8. Horse or mule harness $8. Also needed were 1 to 3 whips ($1 each). Other items suggested for the wagon were extra wheels since they often broke or came off on the trail, (Wheels sold at 2 for $50) and it was a good thing to have an extra axel ($75).

Getting the wagons ready for the trek across the wilderness was only the beginning. There are the food supplies, clothing, tools and many other items that the pioneers needed and wanted to take with them. Sometimes to survive they had to make a choice between food and some piece of furniture.

To take a wagon train west was more costly than most people realize. The average it cost for a family of four was $1,000. In that day this was a large amount of money and more than most people had. Many families not only used what little savings they had, but sold all their possessions and some still had to borrow from family and friends.

This was my first book about the Oregon Trail. It is still available on Amazon and other online outlets.

My contact:


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New Anthology

Lariats Letters and Lace Web

Love doesn’t happen only at Valentine’s Day, but that is a good time to read a good story.

Lariats, Letters and Lace gives you 8 stories from women who not only write the Western Historical Romance, but read them, too. Check these out. You won’t be disappointed!

Stories as they appear in the book:


Samantha Whitener delivers the children of her deceased friend to their grandmother, Nellie Jenson, in Wyoming. She likes Nellie and the children thrive under her influence. But Nellie’s son, Russ, is another matter. Samantha is attracted to the rugged, handsome rancher. But when she overhears him tell his mother that Samantha is the least useful women he’s ever met, she knows she must return to Philadelphia before it’s too late – and she loses her heart to him completely.


Brady Wells, a half-Sioux orphan, finds work on the Triple C Ranch. The ranch owner’s young daughter, befriends Brady, and through the years she never fails to give him a card on Valentine’s Day. When Kitty is sixteen, Brady promises her if she’s not married by the time she’s twenty-one, he will marry her – but how can that happen when he’s set on leaving the Triple C? Even though he rides away, Kitty is determined to hold him to the promise he made so long ago…and she sets out to track him down. She’s in love with Brady Wells and he made her a Valentine promise.

BETWEEN THE LINES — Linda Carroll-Bradd

Dance hall girl, Daisy Shaddock and her miner brother, Perry, work toward a mutual dream of owning a book shop. Perry’s partner, Walt Renfrid, arrives in town, dreading the promise he must fulfill — delivery of a faithful letter. Recognizing Daisy, Walt can’t resist delaying his purpose for a few stolen moments in her company. Will the news he must deliver push her away or draw the couple closer?

HE IS A GOOD MAN — Zina Abbott

Convinced he won’t make it out of the Civil War alive, Joshua persuades his best friend, Hal, to promise to deliver a letter. Joshua’s childhood sweetheart, Melinda, waits for him to return to her in California when the war ends – but Joshua won’t be coming back. Instead, he ask Hal to deliver his last letter to Melinda – in person

HEARTS IN HARMONY — Patti Sherry-Crews

It seems like Harmony and Alice have been best friends forever. They are of the same mind, and he can talk to her about anything – anything except the fact that he’s fallen in love with the young woman she’s become. He’s so in love, he’s speechless in her presence. But his sister, Melody, has a plan. Harmony sends Alice an anonymous declaration of his love, promising to reveal himself at the Valentine’s Day dance. What could go wrong?


A letter brings Chance Riebold to Lone Pine. Having been released from jail after being framed by his former girlfriend and her accomplice, he is ready for a second chance. As sheriff of the mining town, he’s tough enough for the job – but he’s in for a few surprises. Katherine Whitworth, aka as Kitty, runs her  down-and-out father’s saloon, but has every intention of leaving Lone Pine to start a new life. The sparks fly as Chance comes to see that Kitty – far from being a loose woman – is indeed a most respectable woman.


When Chantilly Walsh’s older brother is gunned down outside a Carson City saloon, she’s determined to save her younger brother from the same fate. Adventurous Pony Express rider, Blaze Steele, gallops into town and captures her heart and soul. Wealthy rancher, Daniel Braddock, sets his sights on her as well, offering stability and security. There’s been a terrible misunderstanding that could change everything. Set to marry on Valentine’s Day, who will Chantilly choose?


Remarrying isn’t on Dale Forbe’s mind, but his granddaughters want a grandma. Widow Irene Maxon yearns for something more than the disappointments life has handed her. A mail-order catalogue, a secret letter, and a blizzard combine to strike up a well-made match for Dale and Irene. However, another man expects Irene to fulfill their marriage agreement, and he isn’t going to take no for an answer.

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My Writing Path

As a lot of writers, I’ve been in love with the written word since I was a child. As many people know I wrote my first book when I was eight years old. It was a re-write of Beauty and the Beast. Of course, it’s lost in the past, but it wasn’t the only book I’ve written that never saw the light of day. There were several as well as the beginnings of many more.

My first published writings were short subjects and short stories, mainly for Sunday School take home papers and small magazines. I did have a recipe published in Southern Living and a hint found its way into Family Circle. I wrote and sold around seven hundred of these. The rejections I got amounted to over a thousand. Most paid me from .00 to 10.00, though there were four or five that paid 50.00 to 100.00.  I lost money because in all these ‘manuscripts’ I had to enclosed self-addressed- stamped-envelopes and/or return postage. (It was before the PC was a household necessity.)

Eventually I put together a book of games and puzzles based on the Bible called, Fun with the Bible and it was published by the Lutheran Synod. They also published two children’s activity books: Who am I, Old Testament and Who am I, New Testament. This happened in the 80’s.

After this, I hit an almost 20 year dry spell. It seemed nothing I wrote would sell. I received rejection after rejection, but I didn’t let this stop me. I wrote a couple of books and one actually caught the eye of a NY agent, who eventually rejected it. I was crushed, but I kept writing. No publisher would even look at it. After a good cry, I kept writing.

In 2000 I sold my first full-length fiction manuscript. Jilted by Death was published in 2003. The publisher then went out of business. I couldn’t attract a publisher for the next two books, Echoes of Mercy and Duo of Opposites, so I self-published them in 2006.  I owned the rights on Jilted and Echoes so in 2007 I sent them to Harlequin’s Worldwide Mysteries. I didn’t hear anything for 18 months, then out of the blue they sent me a contract for both. One was published in 2010 the other in 2011.

In 2008 I found a small publisher and they accepted the manuscript, Stetson Mold. It came out in 2009. The second book they published was Duo of Opposites since I owned the rights to it. They went on to publish The Calendar Clan, June & Wallace, The Ferrington Men: Gabe, The Ferrington Men: Josh and Emerywood Park.  They also published two western romances: Opal’s Faith and Valissa’s Home.

Another small firm published Your Place or Mine, Lady Slippers for my Lady, Wildflowers for the Senator and A Rose for my Forever Love.

My state murder series was first published by an e-book publisher: A South Carolina Murder, A Georgia Murder and A North Carolina Murder. I left this publisher.

For a new publisher. I began writing western romance under the name, Agnes Alexander. My publisher requested I only write under this name because it sold better than my birth name. I now answer to that name as often as I do my real name. My first book with them, Fiona’s Journey came out in 2012. They have also published in the western romance genre Rena’s Cowboy, Quinn’s Promise, Edwina’s Husband, Camilla’s Daughters, Amelia’s Marriage and Grace’s Dream. In the romance field they’ve published, The Island and Bought Bride. They re-named and re-published the mystries, Murder in North Carolina, Murder in South Carolina and Murder in Georgia.

I then found a publisher who only publishes western romance. They have published 2 books: Drina’s Choice and Hannah’s Wishes. I’m currently working on the 3rd and last in the series. At this time they have under contract, Belinda’s Yankee, a stand-alone that will be out in early 2016. In an anthology called, A Cowboy’s Celebration, they published my short-story: Second Chance at Love. In a boxed-set of books called, Love’s First Touch they re-published Drina’s Choice.

What did I learn from all this that might be of benefit to the new writer?:  (1) I didn’t let anything publishers or editors say discourage me. (2) No matter how my sales dropped, I kept writing. (3) I never refused to change or re-write when the editors requested it if it didn’t change the focus of the story. (4) I changed my genre when I felt I needed or wanted to. I started out writing non-fiction. I moved to Cozy Mystery, then Romantic Suspense, then Romance then Western Romance. Though I write a mystery or a present day romance occasionally, I’ve found I truly love writing the western romances and plan to continue – at least until I finish the alphabet with a woman’s name. (5) I now make a little money from my books, but I love writing them and know I will continue to write as long as the Good Lord lets me, whether I made money or not.

Leave a comment under this writing and be in a drawing for one of my print books. I’ll even autograph it for you.


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When I first started writing I thought the release date of my books would be some great day in the history of my writing. When it actually happened the first time, the date came and went without anything special happening. Now that I’ve been at it a while, I have learned a lot. I now know that unless the writer announces the date it is nothing more than a date on the calendar for everyone else, including the publisher.

I’m not saying the date isn’t important to the writer. It most definitely is. It means the public can now go to Amazon or their favorite bookstore and buy the book and in the end that is the important thing. But it’s not the earth shaking event I had thought in the beginning. The publisher didn’t call, or send flowers, or send me on a book signing tour across the country. If I’m lucky, they put a bit about the book on Twitter. Any other promotion is up to me.

That’s the reason you get bombarded on FaceBook and other media outlets with announcements of my book making it to market. Now you know why a writer tells you they have a new book on the market. Thanks for reading and if you’ll  leave a comment you’ll have a chance to win a free autographed copy of Grace’s Dream.

Grace’s Dream

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New Boxed Set

My Novel DRINA’S CHOICE is included in the boxed set entitled LOVE’S FIRST TOUCH. Loves First Touch Box 3The set sells for .99 on Amazon and is a must for anyone who like a good love story.

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