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Sunday, November 18, 2012

SIX BOOK GIVEAWAY OF TEXAS TRAILS!!


THIS WEEK WE ARE SPONSORING A GIVEAWAY OF THE ENTIRE TEXAS TRAILS SERIES!!!  Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win. For additional chances, (1) become a follower of my blog (2) tell us about your experience (or dreams) of life on a ranch (3) tell us one thing you learned at the website http://texastrailsfiction.com/

VICKIE MCDONOUGH wrote today's post. Her book, Long Trail Home, is on sale in the Kindle store for 99 cents this week. 

           I have loved horses for as long as I can remember. I grew up watching the westerns of the 1960s with my Dad, and my affection for horses and cowboys has never waivered. When I was young, I read every horse book I could get my hands on, from Misty of Chincoteague to all of the thick books in the Black Stallion series. Here’s a tidbit that might make you smile. I grew up in a Christian home, so when I read Son of the Black Stallion and discovered the horse’s name was Satan, I changed it to Satin. I didn’t want to keep reading the other word over and over.
            When I was 10, my cousin decided to sell a pinto yearling colt she owned. I begged and pleaded and talked my dad into buying him for $50. My lofty dreams of training Patches remained only dreams. He had lived in a pasture his whole life and was wild—and mean—and I was a ten-year-old greenhorn who grew up in the city. We didn’t keep him long and sold him after he bit me several times. I guess my dad felt bad about that experience, because he turned around and bought me a bay gelding named Buddy Boy. He was ¾ quarter horse and ¼ thoroughbred. I loved Buddy and rode him all over my side of town. I raced cars down Riverside Dr. and rode through soybean fields that now house a high school. We lived right on the city limits, so I was able to keep Buddy just two blocks from home. I’d walked over everyday and feed and brush him.
            I had a friend named Carl who attended the same school as me, and he raised Palominos. I took Buddy over to his house, and he trained Buddy to jump. Bad mistake. Buddy turned out to be a fabulous jumper, and before we knew it, he was jumping the four-foot fences where we kept him and getting out. After he escaped several times, Dad said he’d have to go. L
            It wasn’t long afterwards, Dad—did I mention he was a softy?—bought me a roan mare named Dolly. I honestly can’t remember how long I had her, but it was a year or two. As I got older, my interests moved from horses to motorcycles. Sad but true. I knew I couldn’t drive a car until I was 16, but I could get a motorcycle license at 14, so I saved up my babysitting money and bought one.
            I never owned another horse after Dolly. I do know that the knowledge I gained from reading so many books about horses and from owning several helped me to be a better writer of western fiction. I certainly don’t know everything about horses, but God has blessed me with writer friends who have greater knowledge and more recent experience to help me when I need it. I never once dreamed as a kid that I’d grow up to become a writer. My dream was to grow up and marry a rancher, but instead, I married a sweet computer geek who’s scared spit-less of horses. My love for horses continues still, and it’s evident in the type of stories that I write—mainly western romances set in Texas. God knew way back then that owning horses would help me to become a better writer, even if I didn’t know it.

Vickie McDonough
Award-winning author of 25 books and novellas

75 comments:

E. Westerhout said...

I've read the first book of the Texas trails series on my ipad today using the Kindle app. It made me curious to learn more about the series, and I stumbled upon this site and texastrailsfiction.com. Great to learn that there's a whole series of books on this family! I'm living in The Netherlands, so the whole ranch experience is unknown to me, but I especially like the way in which people are living close to nature and God. The stress and bustle of everyday life often makes it difficult to set the right priorities. Since I've never been to America, the map on the website was quite useful for me. Unfortunately, the books have not been translated in Dutch (yet?), but I'ld love to win the whole series in English!

Darlene Franklin said...

E. Westerhout: How exciting that you found us at this time! Please give me your email address so I can let you know if you win.

Patti Shene said...

Hi Darlene & Vicki! Darlene, I have not had the opportunity to read one of your books for quite some time since God has led me down some very different trails over the past few years. I'd love to win the series and immerse myself in some good historicals again!

Vicki, I enjoyed your post about your horses. My first real encounter with a horse for any length of time was when I came to Colorado from New York and took a trip on horseback in the San Juan MouIntains for eleven days. I could go on for hours about the experiences I had on that trip, but suffice it to say that a month from the day I got home from that trip, I was living in Colorado. A couple of years later, I bought a horse, but since I was living at the facility where I worked (a VA hospital) the cost of pasturing and feeding was prohibitive, so I had to sell him. I, too, always dreamed of living on a ranch someday. Never quite made it. I live around farmers and ranchers, but most of what I know about the lifestyle is what I learn from those around me or what I read. My first hand experience is limited (sigh!)

Oh, almost forgot to leave my email! patgonzales(at)arkvi(dot)com.

kris said...

I woud love to win!
kristine(dot)morgan@yahoo(dot)com

Darlene Franklin said...

Kris, you can increase your changes of winning by answering more of the questions at the beginning of the blog post!

Jan said...

I learned from the Texas Trails fiction site that the series is about the Morgan family.
godblessamerica.jan(at)gmail(dot)com

karenk said...

darlene,

thanks for the chance to read ALL of these wonderful novels...

i'm a follower, too

i've never been on a ranch, but i would love to visit for a weekend...

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Wendy Newcomb said...

This is a great giveaway, thank you for hosting it.

wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

Wendy Newcomb said...

I am a new GFC follower of your blog (wfnren)

wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

Wendy Newcomb said...

I lived on a cattle ranch from 1966 to 1970 when my step-dad moved us to Atkinson, NE. That is where I learned to drive an old pick-up that you had to double clutch to get in into gear. Oh, and did I mention that I learned by driving in the corn fields going to check the irrigatin rigs. He always told everyone that I could drive anything I put my mind to.

wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

Wendy Newcomb said...

I learned on Texas Trails Fiction that these books were written by different authors, I hadn't noticed that before.

wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

Darlene Franklin said...

Jan, the Morgan family has become near and dear to me over these last few months . . .

Darlene Franklin said...

karen, You know, I'm not sure if I've been to a working ranch either . . . I've certainly never lived on one, except in my imagination.

Darlene Franklin said...

Wendy, driving through irrigation ditches . . . wow. How fun!

Anonymous said...

What a great giveaway. Thank you for the opportunity to win this series.

I have never had the experience of visiting a ranch. Someday I would love to. Anything I know about ranching is what I have read in books and watched in movies.

After visiting the Texas Trails website I learned that the series is about the Morgan family set in the late 1800's during a very difficult time in Texas History.
I would be so excited to win this series. Thank you again for the opportunity.

Katie Johnson
(johnsonk133@yahoo.com)

Darlene Franklin said...

Thank you for the chance to win these books, they look good to me.

Griperang at embarqmail dot com

I would love to live on a ranch. I am do not care for the city and prefer the country. My daughter loves horses and has always wanted one so if we lived on a ranch she would have many horses.

I learned that even though all the books are in a series you can also read them as stand alone books and that each author wrote two books.
From Angela Holland.

Angela Holland said...

Darlene,

I forgot to mention I would love to follow your blog and I have opened it in two browsers now and neither one has a follow button at the top or anywhere. Is there another way to follow your blog?

griperang at embarqmail dot com

Emily C. Reynolds said...

My favorite campground in upstate NY hosts a "rodeo night" at their ranch. It's a ton of fun, and when I'm there I get to day-dream about the wild west days, which is just plain fun!!!

Thanks for the giveaway, Darlene!!! This is an *awesome* one! Please toss my name in the Stetson....

emily_reynolds(at)hotmail(dot)com

E. Westerhout said...

My email address is elinewesterhout (at) gmail (dot) com

Patty said...

Thanks for the opportunity to win this whole series! I haven't spent any time on a farm or ranch. I road horses several times in my youth, but it has been many years!

Patty
pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

Darlene Franklin said...

I just realized I haven't answered the last emails. Forgive me! Yes, I discovered long ago that the Old West is the equivalent of American mythology. It's how we like to see ourselves, and the kind of people we want to be. Even more so, I think, than our revolutionary, patriot roots (I grew up in New England, after all.) So here's to ranches, whethr real or the ranch of our imagination . . .

Judy said...

I think the Texas Trails series sounds like such good books to read. I think it would be the coolest thing to win all six! Thank you for this wonderful giveaway!
Blessings!
Judy
judyjohn2004(at)yahoo(dot)com

I am also a follower and
I learned from texastrailsfictio.com that although a series, each book can be read on its own.

Amada Chavez said...

I have been wanting to read this whole series for a while now. Thanks for the opportunity to get them all at one time! :)

Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a) Chavez

amada_chavez{AT}yahoo{DOT}com

2.) I have lived on a ranch my whole life, first cattle and now meat goat! I LOVE it! Living in the middle of no where with tons of animals including horses is wonderful!

Exodus 14:14

Darlene Franklin said...

Amada, my name means Amada in Spanish! How blessed to live on a ranch. Judy, thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

I love western and would like to win this series of books. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

Anonymous said...

I am a follower of this blog.
Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

Anonymous said...


The nearest I have been to living on a ranch, was working at a Dude Ranch.Had horses for us to ride. My 12 year old girl liked leading groups on a trail. i've always loved Bonanza and Big Valley, and it was like being a part of the Ranch. I still watch them now. Please give me another entry.
Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

Anonymous said...


I learned on texastrailsfiction.com that the girl on Rocking P Ranch, got a group of women from town to help her take the herd on the cattle trail ride, after all of the cowboys walked off. The Morgan family had 2 sons and 2 daughters. The mom and dad married in 1812. A good state for a Ranch.
Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

Deanna Mundy said...

I have never been to a ranch and if I went to one, I would be too scared to ride a horse.

deamundy(at)yahoo(dot)com

Deanna Mundy said...

I have never been to a ranch and if I ever do, I do not think I would ride a horse. The first time I ever rode on, it was with a trail guide. The horse wanted to follow someone else and left the trail. I was in for a scare because I did not know what to do and then it ended up bolting and taking me for a wild ride before it stopped and finally obeyed the trail guide.

Deanna Mundy said...

I forgot to leave my email address. It is deamundy(at)gmail(dot)com.

Deanna Mundy said...

I am a follower.

deamundy(at)gmail(dot)com

Deanna Mundy said...

I learned that there are three authors--Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough, and you all wrote two books each of the series. Even though these books are part of a series, they can be read out of order which is a good thing to know.

KayM said...

I am now a follower of your blog. I never did go through a stage of dreaming about living on a ranch. I did have a chance to ride on a horse once. I rode bareback behind one of my friends. I had a difficult time walking for a few hours afterward. I never was much interested in trying it again. Thanks for the opportunity to win these books.
may_dayzeeatyahoodotcom

Darlene Franklin said...

I once had the experience of the horse chasing after the leader as well. Eager to get the weight off his back. It hurt, but I'm glad I had the experience. :)

Darlene Franklin said...

I'm not sure how one follows on the blog. I don't see the screen the same way you do, since I'm the owner. Can anyone else help Maxie?

eyeballlucy said...

I look forward to reading Darlene Franklin's 'Texas Trails series'...they all sound soo good...I love outdoor adventure...good times...hiking, horsebackriding...and just the plain outdoors...nothing better than camping out under the stars,,,campfire and eating out under the stars.....babyruthmac16ATyahooDOTcom

Darlene Franklin said...

I wrote two of the Texas Trails books, but it's a very collaborative effort. Vickie McDonough and Susan Page Davis also wrote two books each. I hope you get involved with the books . . . it's a great series!

Amada Chavez said...

That's awesome Darlene! I never knew that! :)

Darlene Franklin said...

Amada, yes! That's why the email address reads "beloved". :)

Erica Vetsch said...

This would be an epic series to win! count me in!

ericavetsch at gmail dot com

I'm also a new follower to the blog! :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

K.R. LaLonde said...

Hey there, Darlene; Mrs. Mcdonough (sp?). Great to see so many comments! Fantastic indeed! I keep hearing great stuff about this series, but have yet to read any of the books. I hope to get the chance real soon!!

email:
kaymart_1984@hotmail(dot)come

Vickie McDonough said...

Sorry for chiming in late. I just found out my story was up on Darlene's blog.

E Westerhout, thanks for stopping by---all the way from The Netherlands. That's so cool that you've discovered the Texas Trails series. I hope you get a chance to read each book. They're all great! And my Long Trail Home is currently 99 cents on Kindle.

Patti, sounds like you had a dream ride. I would have loved to go on a horse ride like that when I was younger.

Emily, Rodeo night sounds like a great time.

Wendy, I learned to drive by driving my dad's car around the lot where we kept my horse. Fun times.

Amada, You're living the life many of us have dreamed about.

Maxie, I loved Bonanza and The Big Valley too. Here's a fun fact. My grandma LOVED Bonanza, but she never could remember the name of the show. She called it Lorenzo. :)

Deanna, No wonder you don't want to ride horse with a story like yours. That would be scary.

Kay, Riding bareback is an acquired taste. Not easy, especially when it's your first time on a horse.

Waving at Erica. I've got one of your books on my Christmas wish list.

Thanks for stopping by, everyone, and for visiting the Texas Trails website. It has some great info about our series on it. Good luck in the drawing.

Tarrah said...

I was fortunate enough to have a friend who owns horses, so then I could enjoy them without having the responsibility that comes with owning them. I can see how your experience has helped you become a better writer. Thank you for sharing your story. I love your books by the way. my email is
tarrahmont at yahoo dot com

Susan Snodgrass said...

I admire all you folks who own and ride horses. I'm scared to death of them. I see the westerns from the old days and wish I were brave enough to get on a horse. I'd love to win the books, which I haven't read yet.
Susan Snodgrass
TSL9Snodgrass@aol.com

Darlene Franklin said...

Tarrah, how blessed to have a friend who owned horses and let you ride! Susan, I know what you mean. I love to read (and write) about the west, but not sure if I would want to travel everywhere on horseback. . .

Anonymous said...

I would love to win the whole series. I love historicals and horses. I raised, broke and trained horses for many years. All through my teen years and even through a good portion of adulthood. Please put my name in the contest. Jan

Darlene Franklin said...

Jan, wow, you're a real expert on horses! Please leave your email address, though. Thanks!

Lane Hill House said...

Thank you, Vickie. I really enjoyed your post. When I was a young girl on a farm, immediately dad sold the young colt that came along with it. I had a stick (tree limb) horse I would ride though our neighbor's grain field, calling out its name, Gal-leen, rhyming with my name. When I got to a real horse I would go up as it came down. We did have an old work horse, Dobbin, who could take off when he got sight of the barn where his feed was. Once he drug us under the wire clothesline. I yelled duck, but my younger brother didn't. Off he went. Our sweet neighbor never mentioned the little girl who was tearing up his grain!
Kathleen
lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

Lane Hill House said...

Texas Trails: Although a series, each book can be read on its own.
Kathleen
lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

Lane Hill House said...

Darlene, I found your blog from Vickie's post on Facebook. I graduated from Will Rogers in Tulsa. We now live in the middle of the Ozarks near the Mark Twain National Forest. Very few flat plains here! My heart still skips a beat when I hear the strains of "Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'" and can see the corn as high as an elephant's eye. Kathleen
lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

Darlene Franklin said...

Lane, love your childhood story about Dobbin! I know, the songs from "Oklahoma" are special . . .

Dana Wilkerson Spille said...

I seen TEXAS TRAILS series they look like they would be a good read !! jashbk@earthlink
Thank you ,Dana

Vickie McDonough said...

Tarrah, That's really cool that you can ride your friend's horses. Thank you for your kind compliment.

Susan, I do hope one day you will get to ride a horse. It can be an exhilarating experience.

Jan, I'm jealous of your horse experience. How cool is that to get to train them.

Kathleen, I bet you enjoy poking fun at your brother for falling off the horse. I sure hope he didn't get hurt. And guess what, my Mom graduated from Will Rogers in Tulsa!

Dana, Thanks for stopping by.


Susieq said...

I love reading about the West and would love to win these books! Looking at the Texastrailsfiction.com website makes me want to read the books even more! Thanks for the chance!

seventysevensusieq[at]yahoo[dot]com

Darlene Franklin said...

Dana, Susie - I hope you have a chance to read these books even if you don't win them . . .

spangldlady said...

I'd love to win any one of these books! They are fantastic covers. I won Cowgirl trail sometime ago on another giveaway but have never received it so guess that is one gone. :( Blessings! Darlene
spangldlady[at]gmail[dot]com

Susan Page Davis said...

Wow--I went away for a couple of days, and this is my first chance to stop by. Look at all the wonderful people who came by to talk about Texas Trails! Thanks for offering our books, Darlene! Great to see everyone here. Spangldlady, I will contact you to see what happened to your missing book. So sorry about that! We'll get to the bottom of it. Cowgirl Trail was great fun to write, and I want to be sure you get to read it.

Veronica Sternberg said...

I think I've visited touristy ranches, but not one that's a true working ranch. I would love to stay at one for a week and ride horses. I couldn't find a follow button? I learned from texas trails that this series features multiple generations but can be read as stand-alones.
shopgirl152nykiki@yahoo.com

Darlene Franklin said...

Veronica, I'm not sure how to find the follow button. Some people find it easily, and others don't. It doesn't show up when I go to the blog because I'm the owner, I suppose. But thanks for coming by! My ranch experience is limited to those touristy places as well.

KatieC said...

This series looks fun! Kclark0637 @ Yahoo. Com

Lee Carver said...

Hi, Darlene. I'm interested in reading your whole series. Pick me, and I'll put a paragraph about it on my blog, comment on it in FaceBook, and write a favorable review on Amazon.com. BTW, my blog is not written to attract writers. It's especially for readers.

Lee Carver said...

Hi, Darlene. I'd like to read your whole series. Pick me, and I'll put a paragraph about the series on my blog, post on FaceBook about it, and write a favorable review on Amazon.com. (I never post unfavorable reviews.)

Darlene Franklin said...

Lee, please leave your email address. I appreciate your enthusiasm!

Pam Hillman said...

What a great giveaway and a wonderful turnout! I've read part of this series and loved them.

phillman64 at gmail dot com

Darlene Franklin said...

Pam, thanks for stopping by! Thanks for commenting as a reader of part of the series. Yes, I am thanking God for the turnout.

Vickie McDonough said...

Thanks to everyone who visited Darlene's blog this week. I've enjoyed your comments and wish each one of you good luck in the drawing.

Susan Page Davis said...

It's been fun reading all the responses. I'm glad you all have such positive thoughts about ranches, horses, and Texas Trails!

Steve said...

Great to find the site via the ACFW Loops. Love and write Romance (Contemporary and Historical). Love anything having to do with Texas as I write from that state of mind (and residence). Steve Myers in DFW. tvproducersm@yahoo.com

Darlene Franklin said...

Steve, I love a "Texas state of mind."

Darlene Franklin said...

Oh, and Steve - I'm so glad you found us by way of the ACFW loop!

Lane Hill House said...

So thankful!!! Yes! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

Darlene Franklin said...

Kathleen, I sent you an email, asking you to send me your mailing address.

Frances said...

Darlene, I've been reading your posts about your experiences in the nursing home and you inspire me. I've been very sick lately but I've gotten so self centered and i must admit full of self pity.
I loved the first three books in the Texas trails series. Had to stop buying them due to finances, but if I don't win them I will eventually buy the rest one at a time.

Darlene Franklin said...

Frances: What's your email address? I'm glad you find my stories inspirational. I was reading I Peter 3 this morning, and realized how much I have to learn about responding kindly--in spite of pain and irritation and impatience.
Also - this big giveaway is over - but leave a message on this week's post for more chances to win.