Musts Every Western Historical Story Should Have by Linda Broday – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Musts Every Story in My Genre Should Have
As a published western historical romance author I have definite ideas about what my genre requires. Here are some:

1. Passion – Probably first and foremost would be a passion for the history of the American West. I believe a writer should love what they write no matter the genre, but it’s necessary for western historical romance authors to be able to put themselves back in the 1800s when the land was raw and untamed. They should “feel” the barrenness the settlers felt and know the strength it took to survive. He/she should also enjoy researching details of the era because this genre requires a tremendous amount.

2. Cowboys – The western genre requires an understanding of cowboys. They’re a special breed. They think and act differently than other men. Cowboys consider themselves caretakers of the land and that duty and love is embedded deep in their hearts and souls. It’s a calling with them. Cowboys of yesterday worked from sunup to sundown in all kinds of weather seven days a week ensuring the cattle and the ranch thrived. They’re extremely loyal to the brand for which they ride. Cowboys were and still are the lifeblood of the American West.

3. Terminology – They should have the correct terminology of the time and a command of the specific words and phrases relevant to that period, to know how the people talked. They need to be familiar with slang because at least half in the American West were uneducated.

4. Technology – A writer should be knowledgeable about the limited technology and everyday items that were not available in the American West. Just because people had things back East, they didn’t make it west for a long while. You can’t have your characters turn a knob on a wood stove and have fire, wear makeup, flip a switch for light or talk on the telephone.

5. Modes of Travel – Some knowledge of modes of travel, especially by horseback, would be helpful. A writer should be aware of the time it took to get from one place to another. People don’t realize that a wagon could only travel no more than two to three miles an hour. It would take an entire day (round trip) to go ten miles. A lot of information is available on the Internet and in books, but having a basic understanding about the slowness of getting around is crucial.

6. Horses – Some idea of horses and their behavior is necessary. A writer should know what it takes to keep them healthy and be able to travel at a moment’s notice. How to mount, the various speeds a horse can withstand without collapsing, how frequently to water and rest, etc.

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5_6 linda book cover

Left with emotional scars from his time in an orphanage, Rand Sinclair has vowed never to marry. But when he discovers Callie Quinn and a small orphan boy hiding on his ranch, he can’t help but open his home to the desperate runaways.

Callie has been betrayed by every man she’s ever known. While she’s grateful for Rand’s incredible kindness, she knows it’s only a matter of time before he shows his true colors. But she needs this safe haven—maybe the outlaw on her trail won’t find them here. Yet as Rand slowly uncovers her secret fears, they each come to realize that the only way to keep her safe is for Rand to risk everything to offer her the protection of his name…and his heart.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Toby barreled out the kitchen door, trailed by Biscuit. “What’cha doin’?”

“Hi, pardner.” Brett ruffled Toby’s dark hair. “I brought you something.”

“What is it?”

“Your very own tepee.”

“To keep?” Toby’s eyes widened and his big grin spread.

“Maybe. We’ll see how it goes. If you mind your elders, you can keep it. If not, I’ll have to take it back.”

“I’m the best boy in the whole world.”

Brett’s grunt seemed to say that time would tell as he arranged twelve long poles on the ground and began tying the tops of three together with a length of rawhide. “Where do you want to put this, Rand?”

“Let’s move it over by the woodpile, where it’s out of the way.” He was going to be the only white man with an Indian tepee on his ranch. How had this sorry state of affairs come to pass? But he wouldn’t say no. It meant too much to Brett and to Toby.

Callie came from the house looking fit to be tied. “Hello, Brett. I hope this isn’t what it looks like.”

“Miss Callie, I wanted something special for Toby to play in, that’s all. If you draw the line at him sleeping out here, that’s all right. It’s up to you to decide when and how often you want the boy to use it.” Brett gave her a smile. “I’d never undermine you.”

“This could be very magical to a child,” Rand said gently.

“Please, ma’am?” Toby begged. “I wanna be an Indian.”

Biscuit gave a loud whine and spun around in a circle as though she too was adding her two cents’ worth.

“Please?” Toby persisted.

When she lifted her eyes to Rand, he gave her a lopsided grin and a wink. Getting tangled up in her warm whiskey gaze could be quite pleasurable, he found.

“Oh, all right.” Callie threw up her hands. “But I won’t have you sleeping out here, young man. You’ll play in it only when I give you permission. And you’ll have chores to do each day before you can play. Understand?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“It’s too dangerous out here at night anyway, with that mountain lion hanging around,” Rand said. “I’ll keep an eye on him during the day. I don’t want you to worry.”

Toby hugged Callie, then threw his arms around Brett’s waist. “Thank you. I’m glad we came here.”

Brett returned Toby’s hug, then knelt to rub Biscuit’s head. “Now tell me where you got such a fine-looking animal.”

Rand stood watching the pint-sized squirt relay what little facts he knew. He already loved this little kid. Whatever had happened to them, it made him happy that he could help bring a light to the boy’s eyes. He remembered how dull they’d been when he’d first found them in the run-down bunkhouse last week. His mind turned back time to the days following his, Cooper’s, and Brett’s escape from the orphan train. To avoid detection, they’d slept during the day and traveled by the light of the moon, eating food whenever they found some or managed to kill a rabbit or squirrel. Cooper was always the one to watch over them and fight when things called for it. He’d once tried to kill Tolbert Early in a bathhouse for attacking Brett.

Toby had that same protective instinct. Rand only prayed he could help the boy stay a boy a while longer. Once you became a man, you could never go back.

“Where are you, brother?” Brett asked.

“Just thinking that you’d best explain what we need to do.”

With Biscuit supervising and pretty much getting in the way, they all pitched in erecting the tepee, which was made from buffalo hide.

Working side by side with Callie proved the best part. Each time their hands touched, a current ran up Rand’s arm. He couldn’t imagine what might happen if the touching involved a bed and the scent of night around them. He’d probably just explode faster than a load of nitroglycerin. Likely find pieces of him three states over.

The haunted look had begun to fade from her eyes a little, and she wasn’t as tense and anxious as when they first arrived.

Maybe, just maybe, the fear would be gone soon.

And then he intended to kiss the daylights out of her.

Of course he’d go slow. He closed his eyes and watched it play out in his head.

He’d start by kissing each eyelid, then move to her shell-like ears and trail kisses down her long slender throat.

Tiny nibbles at the corners of her mouth.

Trace the seam with his tongue.

Breathe her fragrance.

Whisper tender words.

Only then would he press his lips fully against hers and take all that she wanted to give.

And then…


It took a minute to sink in that someone was trying to get his attention. “What?”

“Where did you go?” Brett asked. “I need you to help me get these sewn buffalo hides around this tripod and cone I’ve made. Of course, if you’d rather take a nap—”

“Just show me what to do,” Rand snapped.

As they worked, Rand’s gaze kept straying to Callie’s soft, round curves. The woman was going to be the death of him yet.

Even so, he was realizing he’d die a happy man if he could only get a taste of her lips.

About the Author:Linda Broday now resides in the panhandle of Texas on the Llano Estacado. At a young age, she discovered a love for storytelling, history, and anything pertaining to the Old West. Cowboys fascinate her. There’s something about Stetsons, boots, and tall rugged cowboys that get her fired up! A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Linda has won many awards, including the prestigious National Readers’ Choice Award and the Texas Gold Award. She blogs regularly at

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  1. Thank you so much for having me! I love writing western historical romance and can’t imagine anything else. I love and breathe the old West and often feel the spirits of the people around me here in the Texas Panhandle.One famed cowboy, Charles Goodnight, is buried not far from where I live. People who visit his grave tie bandanas on the fence surrounding it. Seeing all those bandanas fluttering in the wind always brings a lump to my throat. The West couldn’t have been settled without cowboys. They were and still are today the lifeblood of this Texas land.

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