Monday, May 21, 2018

Story Sparks and Six Authors: Featuring Jodie Wolfe Today!

125th Anniversary of the Cherokee Strip Land Run of 1893
By Jodie Wolfe

Welcome to the Story Sparks multi-Author Blog Tour. Between May 21-26, 2018, readers get a chance to enter and win ebooks from six different authors. Today, Jodie Wolfe is the featured author. Two lucky winners will be awarded either her To Claim Her Heart or Mrs. Wigglesworth's Essential Guide to Proper Etiquette and Manners of Refined Society. Jodie will be talking about the Cherokee Strip Land Run of 1893. Read on to discover what sparked Jodie's creativity and to enter the Rafflecopter to win her heartwarming book.

September 16th will mark the 125th anniversary of the Cherokee Strip Land Run of 1893. It was our Nation’s last great race for land. 115,000 people showed up to race for 42,000 plots. I can clearly picture that day. It was hot and dry. Folks gathered along nine different starting places located along the Kansas border and south of the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma Territory.

All manner of conveyances could be seen—people on foot, horseback, buggies, wagons, bicycles, trains, etc. I can easily imagine the clamor and chaos as all those assembled awaited the gunshot that would signify the start of the race at noon. People were desperate. The country had undergone an economic catastrophe with the plummet of the New York Stock Exchange due to the overinvesting in the railroads. Many businesses that depended upon the railroad were forced to close their doors. Quite a number of banks either closed or called in their loans. It was a difficult time.

Such is the backdrop for my new novel, To Claim Her Heart. This book is especially significant to me since it was my dear mother-in-law who introduced me to the history of the land run. It mattered to her because she had several relatives who completed in the landrace and found claims. I vividly remember the summer of 1997 when we stopped off in Oklahoma to see one of those original properties. My sons and I tromped over the land and saw the homestead that was built in 1894. The first home had been a soddy that didn’t last longer than a year.

The rock home I saw was partially built into the side of a hill and in a state of disrepair. A stream gurgled nearby and within a couple of miles, the Gloss (Glass) Mountains cropped out of the landscape. It didn’t take much for me to start imagining characters tromping through the area and choosing to settle there.

While Mom never lived to see this book finally published, she knew that I was working on it in her last days. I’m so thankful that she shared her rich family history with me. Quite a few of the family stories she told me were included in my book.

Here’s what the back cover blurb says:

In 1893, on the eve of the great race for land, Benjamin David prays for God to guide him to his 'Promised Land. Finding property and preaching to the lost are his only ways of honoring his deceased fiancée. He hasn't counted on Elmer (Elsie) Smith claiming the same plot and refusing to leave. Not only is she a burr in his side, but she is full of the homesteading know-how he is sadly lacking.

Obtaining a claim in the Cherokee Strip Land Run is Elsie Smith's only hope for survival, and not just any plot, she has a specific one in mind. The land's not only a way to honor her pa and his life, but also to provide a livelihood for herself. She's willing to put in whatever it takes to get that piece of property, and Elsie's determined to keep it.

Her bitterness is what protects her, and she has no intentions of allowing that preacher to lay claim to her land . . . or her heart.


Purchase Link for Mrs. Wigglesworth's Essential Guide to Proper Etiquette and Manners of Refined Society:


Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. The power of story to influence lives and change hearts is what motivates her to weave tales that tell of the Savior's faithfulness and forgiveness. She's been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests and is a member of ACFW and RWA. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at

Here’s the first scene:

Chapter One
Competition should be relegated to the male species. Proper young ladies should avoid a situation which permits rivalry, particularly involving the male species. If unavoidable, allow the gentleman to win. Be above reproach in this manner.
Mrs. Wigglesworth’s Essential Guide to Proper Etiquette and Manners of Refined Society

September 15, 1893, Kiowa, Kansas—Border of the Cherokee Strip
Elmer Smith?”
For once in all of her days, Elsie welcomed the name Pa had insisted on when her life began and Ma’s had ended.
Is that you, son?”
Ain’t your son.” Ain’t no one’s son. Elsie shifted her Stetson lower to ward off the man’s scrutiny.
There’s no need to get your prickles up. Do you testify you’re at least twenty-one years of age and head of your household?”
Elsie nodded and bit back a retort.
Then sign here.” The man shoved a paper across the makeshift desk. Beads of moisture dotted his upper lip.
She scrawled her name on the line. The page crinkled when she folded and shoved it into her shirt pocket, along with the copy of The Homestead Laws and Pa’s hand-drawn map.
Get out of the way, kid.” A scraggly looking fellow jabbed into her shoulder.
Elsie stepped out of line, glaring at him. He ignored her and turned his attention to the clerk.
She elbowed through a crowd of men. How had her small town swelled to so many folks? Thankfully there were few she recognized, or, more so, who could recognize her. The less who knew her gender, the better. She certainly didn’t need no man to help her get the land she and Pa had dreamed about.
Elsie scooted her hat up and swiped at the sweat on her forehead before dropping it back into place, scrunching the thick braid she’d pinned up three days prior. Hefting her saddlebags to her opposite shoulder, she hiked the short distance to the livery and retrieved Buster. A short ride would clear her head and prepare her for what lay ahead.
Dust swirled and nearly choked Elsie as she rode in the opposite direction of the throngs, to see the old farm one last time.
Acrid smoke filled her lungs. Nearby fires, to deter Sooners from entering the strip before the race began, burned in the west, but not out of control.
Elsie urged Buster, careful not to tire him. Everything hinged on finding the land tomorrow.

At the beginning of each chapter I created advice from a Mrs. Wigglesworth. Of course, most of my characters do the complete opposite. :) Because I’ve had such positive feedback in regard to these sayings, I created an ebook of her quips. I’ll be giving away a copy of it as well as an ecopy of To Claim Her Heart, so be sure to leave a comment.

Question for Readers:

What time period/historical event draws your attention?

Monday Morning Gratitudes

Newly painted and decorated bathrooms
good buys
Menards for the rebates
having an open window to enjoy the outside
Morels found and enjoyed
a great past Saturday with family
rest and uplifting of the spirit


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday Morning Peace: Spring has Sprung!

Zechariah 10:1

Ask rain from the LORD at the time of the spring rain-- 
The LORD who makes the storm clouds; 
And He will give them showers of rain, 
vegetation in the field to each man.

Gorgeous Wildflowers

Earliest spring flowers

Snowball bushes and the Dogwoods

Bleeding Hearts

Bradford Pears

Rose of Sharon


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Passionate Writing: Work...and Contest Question #2

Can Anything be Sadder than
Work Unfinished?
Work never begun.
--Christina Rossetti

Fear cripples.
Fear damages
Fear holds a person back
from accomplishing.

I don't have time
I have to finish this first
I have to much to do right now
I don't know how
I'm not smart enough
big enough
strong enough
important enough--
I'm too tired.

Tomorrow I'll have more time
After I come back from--
the store
visiting my mother, children, family, friends, whoever--
Not today, I've got to--
practice the piano
prepare dinner--

But wait:

You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again.
— Benjamin Franklin

“The really happy people are those who have broken the chains of procrastination, 
those who find satisfaction in doing the job at hand. 
They’re full of eagerness, zest, productivity. 
You can be, too.”– Norman Vincent Peale
Contest Question #2
REMEMBER, Two things:
  • YOU MUST ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH to be considered for the monthly prize. And...

  • You MUST check back here on the last Wednesday of the month to see if you've won. I will usually share the blog link on my Facebook author page but it's YOUR obligation to contact me here on the blog with your mailing information (or you can let me know you'll share it with email or private message on FB. 

May's First Question:
Is there a genre you totally do not like?

May's Second Question:
What makes a wonderful mother?

Don't forget to share this site!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Monday Morning Gratitudes

green grass
bird songs
a blessed Sunday
seeing old friends and family once again.


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sunday Morning Peace: Mothers

Strength and honor are her clothing;
and she shall rejoice in time to come.

My mother:

To My Sons:
What it means for me as a mother

One little boy with eyes of blue,
Scuffed up knees, and holes in his shoes,
jumping climbing--running hard,
Laughing, crying--spirit unmarred.

One little boy, still afraid of the dark,
Up at dawn, then out for a lark,
Quiet one minute, tornado, the next.
Expanding his wings, and heavens!
What's next?

One little boy, out to change the world.
Exploring the creek bed, his flag unfurled.
Rocks in his pockets, his shores untied,
Unmindful of dirt, with his dog at his side.

One little boy, yes, that's my son!
Whether he's reading his books
or having some fun,
Asleep in his bed, or awake with some noise,
He's God's gift to me--and
I thank Him for boys!

--Carole Brown
(copyrighted. Must have permission to reprint)

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Wacky Special Days and May Contest Question #1

This caught my eye and thought it was fun enough to include in this Wednesday's post. How many have you heard about and/or keep?

May, 2018 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:
May, 2018 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:

1 May Day

1 Loyalty Day

1 Mother Goose Day

1 Save the Rhino Day

2 Baby Day

2 Brothers and Sisters Day

3 Garden Meditation Day

3 Lumpy Rug Day

3 World Press Freedom Day

4 Bird Day

4 International Tuba Day - first Friday in May

4 National Candied Orange Peel Day

4 Renewal Day

4 Star Wars Day

4 Space Day - first Friday in May

5 Cinco de Mayo

5 Free Comic Book Day - first Saturday in May

5 National Hoagie Day

5 Oyster Day

6 Beverage Day

6 National Tourist Appreciation Day

6 National Nurses Day

6 No Diet Day

7 National Tourism Day

8 Iris  Day

8 National Teacher's Day - Tuesday of first full week of May

8 No Socks Day

8 V-E Day

8 World Red Cross Day / World Red Crescent Day

9 Lost Sock Memorial Day 

9 National Receptionist Day the second Wednesday in May

9 School Nurses Day the Wednesday during Nurse's Week

10 Clean up Your Room Day

11 Eat What You Want Day

11 Child Care Provider Day or Daycare Provider Day - Friday before Mother's Day

11 Military Spouses Day the Friday before Mother's Day 

11 Twilight Zone Day

12 Birth Mother's Day - Saturday before Mother's Day

12 Fatigue Syndrome Day

12 International Migratory Bird Day the second Saturday in May

12 International Nurses Day

12 Limerick Day13 Frog Jumping Day

12  National Train Day- Saturday closest to May 10th

12 National Windmill Day - the second Saturday in May

13 Leprechaun Day

13 Mother's Day second Sunday in May

14 Dance Like a Chicken Day

15 National Chocolate Chip Day

15 Police Officer's Memorial Day

15 Ramadan - begins at sundown, date varies

16 Love a Tree Day

16 National Sea Monkey Day

16 Wear Purple for Peace Day

17 Pack Rat Day

18 International Museum Day

18 National Bike to Work Day - third Friday of month

18 No Dirty Dishes Day

18 Visit Your Relatives Day

19 Armed Forces Day - third Saturday of month

19 Boy's Club Day

20 Be a Millionaire Day - now we all can go for that

20 Pick Strawberries Day

21 National Memo Day

21 National Waiters and Waitresses Day

22 Buy a Musical Instrument Day

22 World Goth Day

23 Lucky Penny Day

24 National Escargot Day

24 Victoria Day(Canada) - usually the 24th

25 Don't Fry Friday - Friday before Memorial Day

25 National Missing Children's Day

25 National Brown Bag It Day

25 National Towel Day - in the UK

25 National Wine Day

25 Tap Dance Day

26 International Jazz Day - Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.

26 Sally Ride Day

27 Sun Screen Day

28 Amnesty International Day

28 Memorial Day last Monday of month.

28 National Hamburger Day

29 Learn About Composting Day

30 Water a Flower Day

31 National Macaroon Day

31 Save Your Hearing Day

31 World No Tobacco Day


May is here! 
Mid Spring.
May Flowers, you know
Mother's Day Month
May Day Month
School's out (well, in a lot of states)
What's not to love?

REMEMBER, Two things:
  • YOU MUST ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH to be considered for the monthly prize. And...

  • You MUST check back here on the last Wednesday of the month to see if you've won. I will usually share the blog link on my Facebook author page but it's YOUR obligation to contact me here on the blog with your mailing information (or you can let me know you'll share it with email or private message on FB. 

  • May's First Question:  
    Is there one genre you totally dislike?

    Don't forget to share this site!

Monday, May 07, 2018

Monday Morning Gratitudes

My mother, an example, a godly, a strict but loving mother
memories of her
memories of other precious mothers
a good mother to my grandsons: Beth
a sweet mother named Amy
a mother-in-law that I loved: Mary K


Story Sparks and Six Authors: Featuring Jodie Wolfe Today!

125 th Anniversary of the Cherokee Strip Land Run of 1893 By Jodie Wolfe Welcome to the Story Sparks multi-Author Blog Tour. Betw...