Absorbing historical novel; comprehensive image of a distinctive period; cast is vast and diverse; zippy, energetic style, gripping setup for a sequel.

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Look inside the world of Cat’s Cafe (video, sound on!)

Art, Architecture, and Book Presentations for 2023

Enjoy Ralls’ engaging speaking style on art, architecture, and becoming a national influencer before the term made it into our cultural lexicon. RCM011447@gmail.com to discuss your in-person group event.


  • A Busy Spring for a New Author
    Book signing at the Springfield, Illinois, Barnes & Noble Bookstore Early Experiences with Book Marketing As mentioned in my last post, in mid-April I spent a week in Springfield, Illinois. I gave a presentation on the restoration of the stained glass at the Dana Thomas House, a book signing at Barnes & Noble and a … Read more
  • Traveling by wagon in the mid-1880s
    Diagram of a Prairie Schooner used by many pioneers to travel west. National Oregon/California Trail Center (OregonTrailCenter.org) Although people equate wagon trains with the conestoga wagons, those were primarily used to haul huge, heavy commercial loads long distances and were generally unaffordable for families trying to relocate in western America. Even prairie schooners were beyond … Read more
  • Cat’s Cafe has made it into bookstores! (lots of photos)
    Barnes & Noble Lincoln Public Library Lincoln Memorial Garden A busy week in Springfield, Illinois Lincoln Library The week began with my evening presentation to a full Lincoln Library Carnegie Room. I presented a photo-driven program about my early work with Melotte Morse Stained Glass restoring the Frank Lloyd Wright Dana-Thomas House stained glass windows, … Read more
  • Ralls Melotte author~ On the road, and a video
    I’m on the road again making presentations and signing Cat’s Cafe books! Monday, March 20, I’m off to Springfield to present a program about the Melotte Morse Stained Glass Studio museum-quality restoration of the Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass in the Dana-Thomas House and to sign copies of Cat’s Cafe. It will be a good … Read more
  • The author’s life ~ Mounds of snow on Monday
    When I see you, and you ask me why I’m not farther along in Book Two, which I’m confident some of you will (!), I’ll mention this, the latest delivery of deep, drifting, lake effect snow on my beloved Wisconsin town … driveway … deck … I’ve been shoveling snow for what seems like weeks, … Read more
  • The author’s life — Thank you to the Museum of Idaho
    Photo of Museum of Idaho, from Visit Idaho My great thanks to the Museum of Idaho for the wealth of its resources and the helpfulness of the team there. They helped Cat’s Cafe, Eagle Rock Trilogy Book One come to life in the most realistic way, and my early research for the trilogy a complete … Read more
  • Saloons in the Old West ~ Whiskey and Women (update)
    Image from LegendsofAmerica.com In my historical fiction novel, Cat’s Cafe, two saloons compete for hard-drinking rail workers, cowboys, bullwhackers, and others who love a stiff drink as often as they can afford it. In July of 1879, the town of Eagle Rock had just been formed but more saloons would swiftly follow. As an example … Read more
  • The author’s life ~ Talks in towns … or, it could snow
    The forecast was for Kewaunee and nearby towns on Lake Michigan to be “walloped” night before last. We were. Sideways snow, wind roaring past our upstairs windows. A proper Wisconsin snowstorm. And within several hours, I was to spend a pleasant evening talking to a group and signing books in Algoma. That program was cancelled, … Read more
  • Saloons in the 1870s Old West ~ And an update: Books and Talks!
    Patrick’s Saloon in the historical novel Cat’s Cafe, Eagle Rock Trilogy Book One, wasn’t the highly polished, rich mahogany, mirrored saloon depicted in film and television westerns — at least not in the beginning. Western towns in the 1860s and ’70s were thrown up faster than they could be properly built. Only a few buildings … Read more
  • Four Women Who Tamed the Wild West
    Welcome to Eagle Rock, Idaho Territory, 1870s Determination and ingenuity brought irrigation to the desert, education and Christianity to pioneer families and Native American children in a Mormon enclave, women’s suffrage to the West, and civilization to the small town of Eagle Rock where four remarkable women, based on real life late 19th-century women, lived. … Read more

Purchase Cat’s Cafe

Cat’s Cafe, paperback

Sales to U.S. through this site, U.S. and international, paperback, hardcover, and digital available now through Amazon. Current prices listed here are for the remaining in-stock pre-review copies.


Cat’s Cafe, hardcover

Sales to U.S. through this site, U.S. and international, paperback, hardcover, and digital available now through Amazon. Current prices listed here are for the remaining in-stock pre-review copies.