Tuesday, February 19, 2019


When the cold weather starts up (and seems to continue forever!), I’m all too ready to just hunker down and get out of the Oklahoma wind—the older I get, the more I feel that way. But one thing I’ve discovered: If you have plenty of food (for both humans and the dog), running water, and firewood, it’s not terrible. Well, until you have to go out for MORE food!

In Oklahoma, we don’t normally get a lot of snow, but we do get some. The worst problem is the ice. It seems, here in Oklahoma City, we sit on the very cusp of the jet stream—and I can’t say how many times we’re told, “It COULD be just rain, but if the temps drop even one degree, it’ll be FREEZING rain and ice.”

I can’t even imagine how the men and women we write about in our novels survived those long, cold winters. They must have been chopping firewood every day, year-round, except when the freezing rains hit in the winter. With books so scarce, I’m sure the ones that were available must have been memorized by those who read.

Thank goodness we live in a day and age when we are able to read as much as we want—online (if the electricity stays on!) or the old-fashioned way—a paperback book in hand. I do a lot of reading for my work at Prairie Rose Publications, but I have books I read “for pleasure” when I get a chance—and in the winter months it seems I get a lot more time for that than in the summer. This is how I keep cabin fever at bay when the weather is too awful to venture out.


Here are some of my picks I read while I was waiting for spring to roll around. How about you? What do you do to stave off cabin fever in those winter months? Read any wonderful books lately? Please share! I’m always looking for more reading material!


This revised and updated edition contains the most important writings of Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa), the first Native American author to live simultaneously in both the traditional world of the Santee Sioux and the modern civilization of the white man. Dr. Eastman also attended the injured at the Battle of Wounded Knee. Ohiyesa's works represent a complete explanation of the philosophy and moral code of the Plains Indian. Ohiyesa's message speaks to every person who seeks a spiritual way in the midst of a society increasingly dominated by materialism and industrial technology. Sun Dance chief, James Trosper writes, It is a small miracle that these important spiritual teachings have been preserved for us. This new edition contains 10 sepia photographs from Eastman's life and a thought-provoking foreword by Raymond Wilson.

There are a LOT of books of writings by Charles Eastman—very thought provoking and just downright wonderful, in my opinion.

Another excellent book—not really a romance, but a true western, is by my friend Robert Randisi—THE GHOST WITH BLUE EYES. It’s a story of how one mistake can make a person sink to the depths of a whiskey bottle, and what it takes to make him climb back out of it.

HERE’S THE AMAZON BLURB: Lancaster hangs up his six-shooter and grabs a bottle after accidentally killing a young girl in a gunfight, but when another girl needs his help, he will fight to regain his soul and his honor in order to save her.

Okay, not a western, but a ROMANCE-- THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE is book 1 in the "Highland Pleasures" series, or what is known as The Mackenzies. This is an excellent tale by Jennifer Ashley, a shorter piece, and it has a hero you will not likely forget. Ian Mackenzie is afflicted by something—because of the time period this story takes place in, we don’t really know what it is, but it could be autism, could Asperger’s Syndrome—and he is very different. This is the first in a series and I would like to read the others!

I must confess, I did some re-reading of some old favorites, as well. GOLDEN NIGHTS by Christine Monson…speaking of “different” heroes—and heroines—Christine Monson’s characters are always intriguing and no matter how many times you read her stories, the next time you read it again you will find something you didn’t see before.

Here’s the Amazon blurb: Abandoned by her weakling husband on their wedding night, beautiful socialite Suzanne Maintree sets out to track him down in the wilds of Colorado, but is quite distracted by her guide, a handsome English adventurer.

By the way, this blurb doesn’t do this book justice at all. It’s like saying your grandma’s homemade chicken and dumplin’s and cornbread was “good”—there’s so much more to this story!

I could go on and on, but how about a MOVIE to break the cabin fever monotony? Have you ever seen this one? PURGATORY is one you will want to watch. Refuge is a small town in the west where no one carries weapons. There’s no jail, and neither the sheriff nor his deputy even carry a gun. It’s an odd assortment of citizens, who know the rules, and to kill someone else for whatever reason means their mortal soul. It’s not gory, but does have some supernatural elements that are very well done. Stars Sam Shepard, Eric Roberts, Donnie Wahlberg, Randy Quaid, and JD Souther, among others.

I will leave you with an excerpt from FIRE EYES that takes place (appropriately!) in my heroine’s cabin. FIRE EYES is part of a 6-book boxed set, UNDER A WESTERN SKY! I’m so proud to have my story in this set with 6 different authors (Agnes Alexander, Celia Yeary, Kaye Spencer, Patti Sherry-Crews, Tracy Garrett and Cheryl Pierson). The best part is, it’s only .99 right now!

THE SET UP: Jessica Monroe is living alone with her adopted daughter in the eastern part of Indian Territory. Her husband has been murdered by Andrew Fallon’s border raiders. Now, the Choctaws have brought her a U.S. Deputy Marshal who has been badly wounded by the same band of outlaws, in the hope that she will be able to save his life. Here’s what happens:

“You waitin’ on a…invitation?” A faint smile touched his battered mouth. “I’m fresh out.”

Jessica reached for the tin star. Her fingers closed around the uneven edges of it. No. She couldn’t wait any longer. “What’s your name?” Her voice came out jagged, like the metal she touched.

His bruised eyes slitted as he studied her a moment. “Turner. Kaedon Turner.”

Jessica sighed. “Well, Kaedon Turner, you’ve probably been a lot better places in your life than this. Take a deep breath, and try not to move.”

He gave a wry chuckle, letting his eyes drift completely closed. “Do it fast. I’ll be okay.”

She nodded, even though she knew he couldn’t see her. “Ready?”

“Go ahead.”

Even knowing what was coming, his voice sounded smoother than hers, she thought. She wrapped her hand tightly around the metal and pulled up fast, as he’d asked.

As the metal slid through his flesh, Kaed’s left hand moved convulsively, his fingers gripping the quilt. He was unable to hold back the soft hint of an agonized groan as he turned away from her. He swore as the thick steel pin cleared his skin, freeing the chambray shirt and cotton undershirt beneath it, blood spraying as his teeth closed solidly over his bottom lip.

Jessica lifted the material away, biting back her own curse as she surveyed the damage they’d done to him. His chest was a mass of purple bruises, uneven gashes, and burns. Her stomach turned over. She was not squeamish. But this—

It was just like what they’d done to Billy, before they’d killed him. Billy, the last man the Choctaws had dumped on her porch. Billy Monroe, the man she’d come to loathe during their one brief year of marriage.

She took a washrag from the nightstand and wet it in the nearby basin. Wordlessly, she placed her cool palm against Kaedon Turner’s stubbled, bruised cheek, turning his head toward her so she could clean his face and neck.

She knew instinctively he was the kind of man who would never stand for this if it wasn’t necessary. The kind of man who was unaccustomed to a woman’s comforting caress. The kind of man who would never complain, no matter how badly wounded he was.

“Fallon.” His voice was rough.

Jessica stopped her movements and watched him. “What about him?”

His brows drew together, as if he were trying to formulate what he wanted to say. “Is he…dead?”

What should she tell him?

The truth.

“I—don’t know.”

“Damn it.”

“You were losing a lot of blood out there,” Jessica said, determined to turn his thoughts from Fallon to the present. She ran the wet cloth lightly across the long split in his right cheek.

His breathing was controlled, even. “I took a bullet.” He said it quietly, almost conversationally.

Jessica stopped moving. “Where?”

Here’s the BUY LINK for AMAZON:



  1. Thanks for all of the inspiration, Cheryl. It can be a long, cold winter without some good books and movies to keep us going. I'm with you. I don't know how those early pioneers did it. I think just the effort of staying warm and fed and healthy was all-consuming for them. I doubt that they had much time for boredom.

    1. Yes, and I think of how worried I always was, as a mom, when my kids would get sick--how awfully hard it would have been to see your children get sick and not have the medicines we have today, as well as the medical knowledge, to get them well. In the book I mentioned by Christine Monson, one of the horrors of the main male character's childhood was that he was trapped in a cabin with his dead mother in a blizzard for several days when he was very young. I'm sure things like that happened "in real life" too. We have so many diversions now, and gadgets, that there's no way we can relate to what cabin fever was like back in those days.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Michael and for sharing on FB! Much appreciated, my friend!

  2. Some great tips here. Can you imagine living in a world where books were rare? Goodness! It doesn't bear thinking about.

    1. Now it's easy to understand why they were able to memorize things, right? LOL MG, if I only had a few books I probably would have every single one of them memorized! Thanks for coming by, Christine!

  3. Cabin fever? Quite frankly, it sounds ideal to me: deep snow, no-one knocking on the door, dogs snoring on the rug in front of a blazing fire, warm purring cats. I've never owned a television, thank goodness, so books are a delight. But what if I didn't have books in that snowed-in cabin? Well, I'd just have to write a few.

    1. LOL THAT is one positive outlook! I love it! When I think of cabin fever, I think of the pioneers with nothing but miles of prairie, the bitter cold wind blowing without letting up (and it is LOUD) and the fear of running out of wood. Yes, there is a lot about it that would be good, but only up to a point. LOL Thanks for stopping by, Jill!

  4. Like J. Arlene, this sounds like a winter's dream. Give me a stack of romance books by my favorite authors, plus a steaming cup of creamy hot cocoa, and a lap blanket. Who cares about leaving the house? I can hole up until spring and read about the different season. Someone might have to nudge me back to reality with the words, "Hey, winter is over. You can come out now." Lol

    1. Yes! I remember how I lived for that day when my kids were younger and we were on the go all the time. I was soooo tired. LOL I just wanted to sit and relax in front of the fire with a good book. But I don't know if I could have done that for days on end, or weeks, in some parts of the country! LOL Thanks for stopping by Laurean!

  5. Having a stack of books to read is like having a big bowl of your favorite candy. It's hard to limit yourself, but you know you must even if you're shut in. Even in winter you have to cook occasionally and do laundry once in a while. Of course, in my area you don't get shut in often (darn it) so life goes on pretty much the same all year. Of course, when the temps get high and the humidity kicks in is a good time to stay in and read, too. Good post, Cheryl.

    1. Hi Agnes, we get a lot more ice and freezing rain than we do snow. IMO, that's worse than snow! I really hate it when that happens and my kids have to get out and drive on it. I am a worrier. If it weren't for that, I'd just stock up on groceries and firewood and dogfood and not worry about anything--I do have more books here in my office than I'll ever have time to read! LOL Glad you enjoyed it!

  6. I wrote a bunch of stuff of stuff and then it just disappeared. So here I go again with a shorter version.
    I don't mind hanging out in my house for days on end. I have bunches of projects to do, books to read, and I have my dog for company.
    After days inside the house from this cold and rainy weather I absolutely had to go to the store because I ran out of everything. I knew I'd been cooped up in the house too long when I started talking nonstop to the check-out guy the entire time he was checking out my groceries.

    I would have not faired well back in the day out on the prairie though with no books, no neighbors, and no devices. Mostly, I would have hated winter out there and no central air. I would have ended up burning my furniture.

    Loved your post, Cheryl. It certainly reminded me how lucky we are to be living in this century.

    1. Sarah, I've thought so many times of how desperate times must have been back then and how hard furniture was to come by and to think of having to just chop it up to burn it if it came to that --that must have been so hard.

      You made me laugh about the conversation with the check-out guy. I would do the same thing! I have not been out of the house for a while now, but I sure got chatty with the insurance guy who called to go over our info on the autos the other day. LOL Reminded me of that when you wrote about the check-out guy.

      Sorry blogger ate your first post. GRRR. It does that sometimes and it makes me so mad! Thanks for trying again and persevering! Thanks for stopping by today, Sarah!

  7. I love books on history and the one about Dr. Eastman sounds incredible. One that I would recommend that dovetails into the story of Helen (Hunt) Jackson is "I Am A Man: Chief Standing Bear's Journey for Justice" and "A Warrior of the People", the story of Susan La Flesche- America's First Indian Woman Doctor.

    Of course any of the books written by the authors you mention are well worth taking the time to read. For myself...winter is the time I can maybe focus on writing (not suppose to work as much, but my boss forgets that sometimes. *Sigh*). And of course the assigned reading this year. (Which I am enjoying).

    Thanks for some great ideas, of course I live in a moderate climate and don't spend that much time indoors. And yes, I know it's Colorado, but high plains desert Colorado surrounded by higher terrain that cuts most of the weather off from where I live. Doris

    1. Doris there are several by Dr. Eastman--I just need a day with 50 hours in it instead of 24. I don't have much time to read for pleasure and I miss that! The two you mentioned sound wonderful too!

      I THOUGHT we were more moderate than we have been here in Oklahoma. LOL It seems like this winter has just been wave after wave of freezing drizzle and cold winds, but gosh, I can't complain when I look at all the parts of the country that are experiencing record snowfall--places like Minneapolis that get a lot of snow anyhow--saw the other day where it broke a record there. Thanks so much for stopping by today!