What Month Is It? by Paty Jager

Wallowa Mountains- where I grew up and where Gabriel Hawke series is set.

Wow! Just Wow!

I started the month watching two of my granddaughter’s while our daughter and her husband went on a much needed vacation. As their parents were leaving it started snowing and by the time it stopped we were under two feet of snow.

One of the several times my granddaughter removed snow from the patio.

The oldest and I dug paths for small dogs to potty and so I could hopefully turn around and get out the uphill driveway. There wasn’t any school for four days, then Friday I had to transport the girls around to school and events. We hunkered down over the weekend and they had school on Tuesday and I was able to come home on Wednesday when their parents returned.

I arrived home to laundry, cleaning up after a husband and three dogs, and packing for a two stop book signing trip. I was home a day and a half and headed back out on the road for the signings.

I was able to spend several hours with my dad who is in a senior living facility before my first event in the county where I grew up and where I’ve set my Gabriel Hawke series.

After a good night’s sleep there, I set off to Clarkston, WA for my signing from noon to three on Saturday. I had a beautiful drive with sunshine and snowy hills.

Rattlesnake grade: the only way in or out of the county to the north.

I met up with my brother and his wife, to see where they live now and learn more about his new job. After a night and morning with them, I headed to Pendleton, OR. I wanted to go to the Tamástslikt Cultural Center, but while everything in the Casino/motel where I stayed, that is next door, said it opened at 9 am, I arrived and found it wouldn’t open until 10. I’d already sat around for two hours waiting for 9 o’clock to roll around and decided to just head for home.

I had great roads on the drive home and stopped off at Ontario, Oregon to do some grocery shopping before arriving home around 3 pm. And that’s when I realized nearly half of March had gone by while I was watching granddaughters and traveling for book signings. My hubby was on the phone to his mother wishing her a happy birthday. I said, “It’s the twelfth already?”

I came home to sunshine and thoughts of riding my new horse, but now…it is snowing again. Not sure when winter will decided it’s over and spring can lighten everyone’s moods.

I hope you are having a safe winter and jump into spring with both feet when it finally arrives.

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All Emotions are Universal by Paty Jager

As I am flowing to the end of the next Gabriel Hawke book, my mind has already started “stewing and brewing” the next book on my list. It will be another book where I write about an ethnicity not my own. It will require some reading and research. But as was said at the Diversity Conference I attended last year.

All emotions are universal. As long as I portray the correct emotions and bring the character to life as a human being, I will have done my job.

My next book is Freedom– Book 3 in the Silver Dollar Saloon series. Freedom is an African American woman who was born after the Civil War but still suffered at the hands of man who whipped his workers and withheld food if he thought they weren’t giving their all to their work.

She’d been caught visiting with her employer’s son when she was supposed to be doing the laundry. The man whipped her, leaving scars across her back, and put her on a train to North Dakota with only a few dollars. He didn’t want his son to be friendly with girl like her.

When she’d run out of money and couldn’t find anyone who would hire her, Beau Gentry came along. He told her he owned the Silver Dollar Saloon in Shady Gulch, ND and she could work for him. Unsure if she could trust another rich White man, she declined his offer.

Within an hour of declining his offer, a man of color walked up to where she stood on the street, asking the women who passed by if they needed help. He told her he was partners with Beau Gentry and if she came along with them, she wouldn’t have to beg or ward off advances from men.

And that is how she ended up working at the Silver Dollar Saloon. Her book will be about how she finds love and the life she’d been hoping for that matched the name her parents gave her- Freedom.

The research I’ll be working on is how African Americans were treated in the late 1880s and how to use a scenario I started with her in the other two books to work in her book. She is the best Shoo-fly pie maker in North Dakota which caught the eye of a trapper, but do I want him to be the man who sweeps her off her feet, or, do I want more conflict and her discovering he is a lot like the man who put her on the train?

If you have suggestion for books that would help me learn more about the life of African Americans settling the West, I’d appreciate it.

Christmas at Valentine’s by Paty Jager

Blaze

Two weeks before Christmas my hubby told me my Christmas present would be a new horse. I’d sold Bud, the gelding I’d had since he was born because he wasn’t fun to ride. I know most of the problem was me, but I wanted a horse I could get on and ride, not spend the little time I had to ride, making him pay attention and do what I asked.

A wise long time cowgirl told me to get rid of Bud and find one I could go out and ride without a hassle. I took her advice and sold Bud. And the funny thing, you’d think having a horse for 18 years I would have been sad, but I was so frustrated about not being able to ride when I wanted to that it was almost a relief.

After hubby told me to start looking for a horse, I began searching the paper and Craigslist in our area and a little beyond. Of course, the horses I would have liked were out of the price range hubby was willing to go. I love paints and appaloosas.

I did go ride two paints that were at the top of his price range. The first one I’m pretty sure the people had either drugged it or had worked the tar out of it before I got on. There were four horses, two that the man and his son had rode and the two they’d brought down for me to try. (They had ridden down a hill to meet me saying my car wouldn’t make it up to where they lived)

Me and Blaze

The paint I was interested in was soaking wet with sweat. The other one they had for sale was half wet and the ones they were riding were barely sweating. The paint’s head was down, his eyes half closed and his ears weren’t perked up. They put my saddle on him and I rode for about twenty minutes up in the hill with the son. The horse stumbled a little and tried walking under trees.

The other horse I wasn’t even interested in when I saw the high withers. We already have Jammer who has high withers and is hard to blanket up to keep the saddle from rubbing her withers.

I told the man I’d talk it over with hubby, but I’d made up my mind I wasn’t interested by the time I arrived at my destination.

Then Hubby and I went to Walla Walla to try out another paint. He was cute and the right height. But he had really round withers and the saddle wouldn’t stay tight. He also liked to whirl around backwards when he was scared. Not good for this person who has inner ear crystal problems.

Then my daughter sent me a link on Craigslist to a gelding only 2 hours from where we live. He’s not a paint but he looked sweet and my size.

Blaze

Hubby and I went there last Friday and I am now the proud owner of Blaze. He is an 11 year-old gelding that is the perfect height, he is friendly, and when we get some decent weather, I’ll see how well he does riding out on his own. I’ve been going down every day, brushing and messing with him with the saddle, bridle and leading him around. The weather is a mess to try and ride with snow and ice everywhere.

I’ll keep you updated on how Blaze and I get along. I’m looking forward to going on trail rides with my daughter and grandchildren.

My Favorite Place

Oregon Coast

This week I’ve been at the Oregon Coast at a week long writing retreat. I love the beach. The waves curling, foaming, and racing up onto the beach. The roar of the churning water and the shrill cries of the seagulls.

I gain energy from the water, the sand, and this week the sunshine.

Photo of me taking photos

When I’m at the beach writing, I set a goal of how many words I have to write before I take a walk on the beach. That prods me to get writing each morning and keep writing throughout the day. I usually get to walk twice on the beach and in the evening when I meet my goal, I can watch a movie on my kindle. LOL Yes, we writers need rewards even though just getting our stories written is a reward.

Do you see the wolf head on this crab shell?

One of my favorite things to do while walking on the beach is taking photos of pretty shells or unique things I see in a shell, or the way the water made a design in the sand. This may sound like I dawdle when I walk the beach. I don’t. I actually walk fast and when something catches my eye, I take a picture.

And this trip so far, I’ve found 4 sand dollars in perfect shape! I never find a full sand dollar so that alone has made my trip something special.

My sand dollars

I started out writing hard on my story. Mid-week I floundered, but am picking it up today, Thursday and will push through to get this book to the halfway point by the time I go home on Sunday.

I feel for all the people in the Midwest and back east getting hit by winter storms, but this week of warm- 50ish- weather and the sunshine has made the thought of us finally getting winter in SE Oregon something I’m actually looking forward to.

Enjoy the rest of your week and on the 5th, I’ll post my Rafflecopter winner!

Pass It Along Giveaway

To help boost the number of sales for the first book of my new series, I’ve made a contest. All you have to do is share my book through the links below at your favorite social media and you’re name will go into rafflecopter for a chance to win autographed print copies of the first three books in the series and a $50 gift card.

the ancient indian art of tracking is his greatest strength... and also his biggest weakness.

Here are the rules:

Share Murder of Ravens with links below on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Bookbub, and Pinterest. Each time you share your name will go in the Rafflecopter. Giveaway ends on Jan. 31st. The winner will be announced here and contacted on February 5th.

At Goodreads add to TBR list

At Bookbub click and share

At twitter go to my page and share the tweet about the book Murder of Ravens

Go to my pinterest page and pin the book to your pinterest page

Visit my author FaceBook page and share the comment about the new release.

Click below to go to Rafflecopter and the links to get your points!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet Gabriel Hawke

Gabriel Hawke LogoFish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke works in Wallowa County. It is in the NE Corner of Oregon and has a population of just over 7,000 people and covers 3,152 square miles

In my books, I use the same geographical area, but I’ve made some of the towns a bit larger than they really are and gave them names from old towns that had once been in the county. I’ve also populated the county with fictional people and businesses. Having grown up in the area, I didn’t want people to think I was writing about them. all of my characters and situations are figments of my imagination.

Hawke, who prefers to be called that rather than Gabriel, was born on the Lapwai Reservation in Idaho. After his parents divorced his mother moved to the Umatilla Reservation in Oregon where her family lived. Hawke is Nez Perce. His father’s people were of the treaty Nez Perce and his mother a descendant of the non-treaty Nez Perce.  Reading this series will teach you the difference and how it has affected Hawke’s way of thinking and life.

When I saw a photo of Adam Beach from the movie  “The Watchman’s Canoe”, I knew this was my prototype for Hawke.  He’s 52 years-old, divorced.  His wife left him when Hawke arrested her brother on drug charges. That’s when he decided living on his own and having no one to be responsible for, was the best option.

After a short stint in the military, Hawke returned and applied for the Oregon State Police Academy. He was accepted and after five years as a patrol trooper, he was able to get on with the Fish and Wildlife State Troopers as a Game Warden in Wallowa County.  Land that has remained dear to the Nez Perce. What propelled him into the Fish and Wildlife division was his master tracking skills that he’d learned from his grandfather.

It is his love of the Wallowa country, his tracking skills, and a keen sense of justice that propels him in the books in the series.

Hawke is introduced to my readers in book 12 of my Shandra Higheagle series, Homicide Hideaway releasing Jan. 4th.

MURDER OF RAVENS

1 GH Murder of Ravens 5x8The ancient Indian art of tracking is his greatest strength…

And also his biggest weakness.

Fish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke believes he’s chasing poachers.

However, he comes upon a wildlife biologist standing over a body that is wearing a wolf tracking collar.

He uses master tracker skills taught to him by his Nez Perce grandfather to follow clues on the mountain. Paper trails and the whisper of rumors in the rural community where he works, draws Hawke to a conclusion that he finds bitter.

Arresting his brother-in-law ended his marriage, could solving this murder ruin a friendship?

Universal Buy Link: https://www.books2read.com/u/bxZwMP

Book 2, Mouse Trail Ends will be on pre-order in January and releases February 20th.

MOUSE TRAIL ENDS

Parents are killed while on a camping trip.

Daughter is missing.

Fish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke remembers coming across the missing family in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. When he finds their camp, the parents have been shot. All the clues show the girl is on the run. Using his tracking skills, Hawke gets closer to the girl and discovers someone is also trailing him. Believing it is whoever killed the parents and wants to silence the child, he moves faster to catch up to the wily nine- year-old.

Can he reach the girl without compromising her or will his need to save her put others he knows and cares for in danger?

Book 3 in the Gabriel Hawke series, Rattlesnake Brothers, will release March 20th.

RATTLESNAKE BROTHERS

Corrupt officials.

Death to those who dare complain.

Fish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke encounters a hunter with an illegal tag. The name on the tag belongs to the Wallowa County District Attorney and the man holding the tag isn’t the public official.  As Hawke digs to find out if the DA is corrupt the hunter’s body is found.  Zeroing in on the DA, Hawke finds his hands tied by both the county and the State Police.

Being suspended doesn’t stop Hawke from digging deep into the lives of the county officials and dodging a murderer out to stop his investigation.