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… Continue reading Traveling by wagon in the mid-1880s
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,… Continue reading Cat’s Cafe has made it into bookstores! (lots of photos)
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… Continue reading The author’s life — Thank you to the Museum of Idaho
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… Continue reading Saloons in the Old West ~ Whiskey and Women (update)
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. https://videopress.com/v/NW8CtZhe?resizeToParent=true&cover=true&preloadContent=metadata&useAverageColor=true And within several hours, I was to spend a pleasant evening talking to a group and signing books in Algoma. That program was… Continue reading The author’s life ~ Talks in towns … or, it could snow
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… Continue reading Saloons in the 1870s Old West ~ And an update: Books and Talks!
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.… Continue reading Four Women Who Tamed the Wild West
It's official! Friesen Press, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble (more limited) are now accepting orders for Cat's Cafe, Eagle Rock Trilogy Book One. Paperback and hardcover orders will be fulfilled as soon as the publisher delivers the first orders to warehouses, and digital copies are available NOW! Here's how to get yours. Important note (smiling!)… Continue reading Cat’s Cafe — In stores now!
Ralls is scheduling "In real life" presentations in south central Wisconsin and central Illinois, as well as virtual presentations via Zoom that can be tailored to your group's meeting schedule. All in-person meetings will include time for book signing as well. Contact Ralls to discuss fees and schedules at firstname.lastname@example.org. Presentation list, author information Cat's… Continue reading 2023 “IRL” and Virtual Presentations
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, photo from http://www.doi.gov National Endowment for the Humanities Chair Shelly Lowe, photo from http://www.neh.gov Native American women now lead the Department of the Interior and National Endowment for the Arts. At last. On January 15th,, 2022 Debra Anne Haaland, a member of New Mexico’s Laguna Pueblo, became the… Continue reading Native American women guide the U.S. forward