Blog Tour for Delilah by Kaye Lynn Booth
Hello and Welcome Everyone!
I am happy you stopped by my blog. Today I’m the host at Wordcrafter Book Blog Tours and I want to announce the release of Delilah by Kaye Lynn Booth. Kaye has written a guest post today telling us all about Delilah, Book One in her Women in the West Adventure Series. Delilah sounds like a fascinating and entertaining book.
Thank you Kaye and congratulations on the release of Delilah!
Writing Sarah – strong female characters right out of history
One of the fascinating things about the Women in the West adventure series is the fact that there is a true-life historical female character in a supporting role, along with the strong female protagonist in each book. Life on the American frontier was filled with hardship which many believed did not fit well with the female constitution. Women on the frontier were few, and most of those were included in a family unit. Single and widowed women did exist on the frontier, as did those whose husbands just never came home for whatever reason, went back to the family unit in most cases. Women who chose to go it alone, defying societal expectations were rare. Those who did, chose a hard life and had to have backbone to survive. In Sarah, the supporting character will be Kate Elder (Big Nose Kate), who was the consort of the infamous dentist, gambler, and gunfighter, John (Doc) Henry Holliday. In this case, our character was the woman behind the man, and is little known for her own merit.
Mary Katherine Horony-Cummings a.k.a. Big Nose Kate Elder – the woman behind the man
Mary Katherine Horony was born in Budapest, Hungary on November 7, 1850. It is said that her father was a skilled surgeon, appointed the personal physician for the Mexican emperor, Maximillian I, and they came to the U.S. when the regime fell, and settled in Davenport, Iowa when Kate was ten. It is said that Kate was educated and could speak several languages, and as the daughter of a prominent surgeon this could be true. Perhaps it is what drew her the well-educated Holliday when they crossed paths in Texas.
Both of her parents died within a few months of each other, leaving Kate and her siblings orphaned when she was 15, and they were moved around to different foster homes. She ran away with her sister from foster placement within a year, and they jumped a ship to St. Louis. It took tremendous courage for a girl of that age to set out on her own to take up the often unforgiving life of the American frontier, or perhaps just desperation. I’m not sure what happened to the sister, but Kate was working as a prostitute by 1869.
Kate was a tough cookie of her own accord. In 1887, in Fort Griffith, Kate was almost in a gunfight herself, when she accused another woman of setting her sights on Doc, and the other woman drew a gun, forcing Kate to draw her own. Doc was able to break up the altercation before shots were fired, but Kate was not one to back down from a fight. Certainly, she had a wicked temper and a hard drinker, which might lead us to believe that she was the type of woman who thrived on excitement and enjoyed the wildness of the frontier.
Kate & Doc – True love on the frontier: the real story
In Texas, in 1877, she met John ‘Doc’ Henry Holliday, who worked as a dentist during the day, and spent his evenings in the saloons and gambling houses. In their travels through Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Arizona, Kate worked as a dance hall and saloon girl, as well as a prostitute. Unlike most prostitutes in the old west, Kate paid tribute to no madam or ‘mac’, but instead acted as her own handler. Kate’s occupation may have been a sore spot in her relationship with Doc.
Doc and Kate were known to have a volatile relationship, at times marked with drunken arguments which often turned violent, and the pair parted ways more than once, only to be reunited later. The registered in Dodge City, Kansas as Mr. and Mrs. John H. Holliday, but there is no evidence that the couple were ever actually wed. Despite behaviors brought about by drink and hot tempers, and the ups and downs which made their relationship a rollercoaster ride, Kate always remained loyal to Doc.
Their departure from Fort Griffin, has become one of legend in the history books. With little supporting evidence, the story goes that Doc knifed a man named Ed Bailey, when Bailey pulled a pistol over a poker game. Although it was self-defense, Doc and was placed under arrest, held in a hotel room with sentries posted outside the door until the magistrate showed up to hold court. Magistrates and judges presided over vast territories in those days, and in many towns court was only held once a month, so waiting for trial was not unusual. Kate caught wind of a lynch mob forming, unwilling to wait for Doc to go to trial, so she set a small shed on fire to draw everyone’s attention and then held his guard at gunpoint and aided Doc in his escape, before the mob could hang him.
It is said that Kate was running a bordello when Doc reunited with her in Tombstone, Arizona. Later, Kate implicated Doc in a stagecoach robbery, that he, in all likelihood, had no part in, after Sherriff Johnny Behan and the cowboy faction which opposed the Earps and Holliday, found her drunk after one of she and Doc’s spats, while she was still angry with him. They plied her with liquor until she made the claim against Doc. Once sober and level-headed once more, she recanted her story, but the damage had been done and she and Doc parted ways once more.
But as Doc lay dying in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, sick and destitute, a friend of his contacted her and Kate came to Glenwood Springs to help care for him and pay the bills, so he wouldn’t be turned out into the street. She collected firewood from the rough terrain of Glenwood Canyon and sold it to help to pay Doc’s expenses. And after he passed, she packed up his dentist equipment and the tools of his gambling trade, and shipped them back east, to whatever family he had there. True to the very end.
Kate – the woman in the west
In a time when most women were a part of a family unit and were not allowed to make a living, a time when there were few opportunities for a woman to make a living, Kate was four-leaf clover in a field of green. Acceptable vocations for women were limited to seamstress, laundress, domestic servant, milliner, teacher, wait staff, or prostitute. She was an independent woman, and a survivor, who did what she could and what she had to do with whatever was available to her.
Following Doc’s death, as she reached an age when working as a prostitute was no longer profitable, Big Nose Kate Elder hung up her garters and became Mary Katherine Horony once more. Becoming respectable, she married a blacksmith and worked as a cook and shop operator, until she left him eleven years later. She died as a ward of the state, at the Arizona Pioneers Home, in Prescott, Arizona, in 1940.
In the words of Patrick A. Bowmaster, in his article “A Fresh Look at Big Nose Kate”
“Kate was a survivor. But more than that she was a woman who survived on her own term at a time when few of her gender did likewise.”
Carla Jean Whitley (3/10/2017) To Doc From Kate – But Who Was Kate? Post Independent. Retrieved from https://www.postindependent.com/news/local/to-doc-from-kate/
Patrick A. Bowmaster. A Fresh Look at “Big Nose Kate”. Tombstone History Archives. Retrieved from http://www.tombstonehistoryarchives.com/a-fresh-look-at-big-nose-kate.html
Maggie Van Ostrand (2017) Katie Elder a.k.a. Big Nose Kate, Her True Story. Goose Flats Graphics & Publishing. Retrieved from Southern Arizona Guide: https://southernarizonaguide.com/katie-elder-her-true-story-by-maggie-van-ostrand/
Joseph A. Williams. The Real Story of Doc Holliday and Big Nose Kate. Old West. Retrieved from https://www.oldwest.org/doc-holliday-big-nose-kate/
Big Nose Kate – Doc Holliday’s Sidekick. Legends of America. Retrieved from https://www.legendsofamerica.com/we-bignosekate/
(2/28/2022). Couples with History: Glewood Springs Loves Stories. Glenwood Springs Blog. Retrieved from https://visitglenwood.com/blog/2022/02/couples-with-history-glenwood-springs-love-stories/
The True Story of Katie Elder. Notes from the Frontier. Retrieved from https://www.notesfromthefrontier.com/post/the-true-story-of-katie-elder
About the author
Kaye Lynne Booth lives, works, and plays in the mountains of Colorado. With a dual emphasis M.F.A. in Creative Writing and an M.A. in Publishing, writing is more than a passion. It’s a way of life. She’s a multi-genre author, who finds inspiration from the nature around her, and her love of the old west, and other odd and quirky things which might surprise you.
Her latest release is the re-release of Delilah, as Book 1 in the Women in the West adventure series. She has short stories featured in the following anthologies: The Collapsar Directive (“If You’re Happy and You Know It”); Relationship Add Vice (“The Devil Made Her Do It”); Nightmareland (“The Haunting in Carol’s Woods”); Whispers of the Past (“The Woman in the Water”); Spirits of the West (“Don’t Eat the Pickled Eggs”); and Where Spirits Linger (“The People Upstairs”). Her paranormal mystery novella, Hidden Secrets, and her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction, are both available in both digital and print editions at most of your favorite book distributors.
In addition, she keeps up her authors’ blog, Writing to be Read, where she posts reflections on her own writing, author interviews and book reviews, along with writing tips and inspirational posts from fellow writers. Kaye Lynne has also created her own very small publishing house in WordCrafter Press, and WordCrafter Quality Writing & Author Services, where she offers quality author services, such as publishing, editing, and book blog tours. She has served as a judge for the Western Writers of America and sitting on the editorial team for Western State Colorado University and WordFire Press for the Gilded Glass anthology and editing Weird Tales: The Best of the Early Years 1926-27, under Kevin J. Anderson & Jonathan Maberry.
In her spare time, she is bird watching, or gardening, or just soaking up some of that Colorado sunshine.
Link to buy a copy of Delilah.
- author's life, Awards, Books, Contests, Female Poets, Monday Blogs, Poetry, Poetry blogs, Rejection, the writer's life, writing
Winning and Losing Writing Competitions
My favorite poet Emily Dickinson sent her poems to The Atlantic Monthly Magazine in 1862. Editor Thomas Wentworth Higginson promptly rejected them. That rejection inspired more poems. The communication turned into a relationship based on poetry that went on for many years.
If there’s a chance the winner might only receive a virtual pat on the back, why do people enter writing competitions? They might lose. Sending your writing to a competition involves risk. What if nobody ever acknowledges them and they have to contact the magazine to see who won? I did that. Sometimes, only Grandma and your husband will know you won that gift certificate or a Famous Writers tote bag. Do it, even if all you win is a note saying your work is promising.
A writing competition is where a person submits a piece of writing by the deadline following the submission guidelines and paying a fee. Different publications and contest sponsors have varying standards. The judges likely have favorite things to look for or that one thing that catches their eye. Judges may have diverse lifestyles, experiences, or education. Submissions are often read first by assistants before sending their choices to the judge. Prizes may include money, from ten dollars to thousands. Your writing could win publication. The prize could be a subscription to the magazine or a free course. Don’t forget that part where your name appears in print. If you’re lucky, your photo could be featured. The word “winner” looks good on a resume.
One of the best things I said to myself after I lost a prestigious contest is “I’ll show them! Just wait until next year. “
One of the best things I said to myself after I lost a prestigious contest is “I’ll show them! Just wait until next year. ” Even losing a competition for creative writing at the county fair caused me grief. ” They’ll be sorry. The State Fair has a better prize anyway!” I have lots of dialogue and pep talks with myself. After all, I’m a writer. Who else is going to listen to me analyze why my writing wasn’t chosen? Was it that word I changed at the last minute? Can they tell how old I am by my writer’s voice? I guess they wanted a younger person. Was my poem too conservative or too artistic, or too political, religious, personal, or contained too many foreign-language words? A woman ridiculed me once because I lost a poetry contest. I composed a great comeback on the spot. Being a winner means continuing to do what matters. It shows you’re alive and you didn’t let life defeat you!
Then there are the questions about what my writing was “not.’ Not creative enough, not contemporary enough, not relevant, not rigid enough, not original enough, or not bold. I didn’t make the judges cut since I was afraid to go outside the boundaries, whatever those unspoken boundaries are, those boundaries that are really what the judges say they are but never stated in the guidelines. Maybe my story was offensive since my poem talked about a sensitive topic. My novel had things that might trigger a reader’s anxiety or cause bad memories. I forgot to include trigger warnings at the front of the manuscript. How am I to know what will trigger another person’s anxiety? What about the thousands of years since writing was invented and the author just wrote whatever was in their mind?
“They’ll be sorry. The State Fair has a better prize anyway!”
I’d be crazy not to use my education. I love writing so much that I majored in creative writing. My dream was always to be a writing teacher. I used examples of writing competitions in the classroom; the winners, the losers, the good and not so good, even though they were officially the winning submission. We discussed many of the things I’m writing about today. My students worked in groups to critique winning entries. They judged each other’s writing for fun. They learned where winning poems and stories are published. Students researched literary journals, magazines, online publications, and competitions sponsored by libraries and schools. Entering all those competitions gives the writer practice in editing, proofreading, and other valuable skills.
Why do I continue entering competitions after suffering so much doubt about myself? I might give up writing forever and take it easy. What good does it do to hit the submit button again after feeling so hurt when my manuscript wasn’t chosen? What makes me sure of my creative talent that I write cover letters and check to see if I used the correct font or spacing? I remember my Dad’s favorite answer when my sisters and I would fail at something. Try, try again, he’d remind us.
What have I won? I’ve won honorable mentions, third place, and a critique. Two of my stories were published in an anthology. Three of my poems are now included in the Indiana State Library’s Hoosier Author Section. I won a scholarship to a writing course in Lithuania. There’s more as they say on those late night info-commercials. My writing resume keeps getting better and better.
Here are the links to read my poems on the Indiana State Library website.
A Writer’s Hands
Have you ever noticed those photos of hands that some people use for blog headers or advertising? You may have seen an ad for an editing service or a proofreading business that shows a pair of hands on a keyboard. Anyone who sees the ad would likely be convinced the company knows how to edit. The text in the ad would explain about the service. Schools many times use hands in their ads or on their website. A photo of hands on a keyboard or a hand holding a pen are common. Sometimes all you see are the fingers on the keyboard, not the whole hand. I could expand on types of ads, but I will stick to those writing-related.
Learn to type, Learn penmanship, learn cursive!
The hands are usually young hands with manicured nails polished in pretty colors. Some wear jewelry to show their individuality, whether tastefully conservative, artistic, boho, glittering jewels or antique. The hands you see typing or using a pen to write in a notebook can be neatly summed up into one category. Color. The hands are usually White.
One of the images often seen shows a woman typing on a laptop as she works at her favorite coffee shop. Another image marketers use features a young girl sitting cross-legged on her bedroom floor, writing in her journal with purple ink pen or pink gel pen, whatever they use these days. The girl writes by hand in cursive, sometimes for the world to see, or other times for her eyes only. But the hands are usually White.
The setting can vary from a library, a classroom, a woman writing on a park bench, or a young girl at the beach. The girl is spread out on a blanket typing on the laptop she brought from home. She’s writing a novel, or a short story, a poem. Slowly, no hurry, yet her hands stay busy. They are tan from her days at the beach, but they are White.
Busy moms are a common theme in advertisements. Moms who write at the kitchen table while their young child plays happily on the floor; Moms writing at the bookstore cafe while their daughter or son searches the shelves; or Moms sitting on the sofa, writing on a tablet, the coffee table serving as a desk. A bassinet over in the corner represents Moms who write while their baby naps. One Mom’s hands busily type the article she’s submitting to a magazine today. Her hands, all the Moms’ hands, are White.
You may come across a photo of an older woman writing her first book or her tenth, maybe a letter to her grandchildren, or she’s recording her memoirs which she plans to publish one day. Advertisements with women taking classes at the Community Center are common. Ads that promote self-improvement and a better life use strong language and large fonts.
Start A Blog! Start Your Online Business Today! Go Back To College!
Of course, hands are prominent in the photos. These are directed at retirees, empty-nesters, or anyone at a quieter time of life, possibly unemployed. A gray-haired woman sits at her desk with a blank notebook in front of her. She gazes out the window while holding a new pen she bought for her first day as a writer. What is she thinking about? The blank paper represents so many chances to begin putting her thoughts down on the page. The hands that hold the pen are White.
This post isn’t meant to be a thesis on race, inequality or poverty, although those are important topics. In my opinion, the advertising world is getting better but they have a long way to go in selecting models to represent products and services. All these examples are stereotypes, someone’s preconceived notion of what a writer looks like. Maybe it’s just a habit. Those are the types of hands and the color that’s always been used.
I just wanted to analyze the images of hands I see so often and explore my observations. Why do I notice the color of these hands? Why does the subject of hands pop into my mind when I see these types of ads or images? Why is this topic relevant enough for me to write about in a blog? What do hands mean to me? The characters I write about, not all, are white. Like me. I’ll try to go beyond color.
I’ve taken several art classes. I love to draw and paint. A teacher once said that hands are the most difficult part of the body to draw accurately and I believe it. The hands on my drawing page looked nothing like the model’s hands!
Children have an easier time with art and writing because they don’t censor themselves. If they feel like using a pink crayon, a blue one or a white crayon, they just do it without thinking or debating. Color plays no role in their life. Color just IS.
Maybe I notice the color of hands because I’m a writer. I notice people who later become inspiration in my stories. Voices, mannerisms, facial expressions, hair, eyes-these have given me inspiration to base a character on or to deepen that character’s personality. I think it’s also difficult to write about hands. I don’t want to only write “He reached out with his hand” or “She folded her hands together.” I admire writers who describe people and their actions with originality, who go beyond the usual.
Ten years ago, I broke my wrist when I fell. It was my fault because I was standing on the toilet seat to reach the top of a cabinet so I could dust up there. Who was going to inspect anyway? The seat was down but it slid, then I fell, hitting my head many times. I can still remember the sound of my right hand smacking the wooden cabinet over and over again like I was doing it on purpose. The surgeon placed eight screws and two titanium plates in my wrist. During the six weeks I wore the cast, I learned to do everything with my left hand. Things I used to do so easily such as brushing my teeth, combing my hair, and showering were difficult. Holding a fork was impossible so I ate with a spoon. I never realized how many times I used my hands until I tried to drink my morning coffee and dropped the cup on the floor.
I was so worried that I would never be able to write with my right hand again although my left did an okay job scribbling. Typing with the fingers of my left hand was better. At least people would be able to read whatever I wrote. My physical therapist probably thought I was too concerned with being able to write instead of daily activities of living that a normal person needs.
I’m not normal. I’m a writer, and the ability to write is something I’ve always loved. If I couldn’t write, it would make me feel hopeless. Sure, I could speak into a microphone and let the computer type my book. But that wouldn’t be fun. I wrote on my blog about things a writer does and talking to a computer wasn’t one of them. Maybe I should update that post. https://bookplaces.blog/what-does-a-writer-do/
My wrist healed and it works the same as ever thanks to God and my talented surgeon. The scar isn’t ugly. I see the scar every day when I reach for my coffee cup, when I brush my hair or put lotion on my hands and of course, when I write.
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe
To those who say Mary is not important. Mary is certainly important because she is Jesus’ mother. They give that old, tired argument without bothering to investigate whether it’s true or false. Catholics honor Mary. We do not worship her. We worship God. Jesus said as he was dying on the Cross “Behold your Mother.” John 19: 26-27. He said that for all of us! Here’s a reply I made to a friend from my church back in Indiana after she shared this image.
When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son”, and to the disciple, “Here is your Mother.” From that time on, the disciple took her into his home.
Suzin, we have visited Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica in Mexico City twice. It was amazing. There are three churches-the 1st built on the hill of Tepayac soon after Mary appeared to Juan Diego; the 2nd farther down which was built in the 1600s, and the modern one built in the 1950s. The modern church is where the Tilma is kept. The Tilma is the cloak of Juan Diego’s with the image of Mary. When Juan Diego went to the bishop as Mary requested him, the beautiful image appeared where previously it had been Juan Diego’s peasant covering (serape or cape he wore at night.) Roses fell out of his tilma, real roses. Mary’s image remains on that Tilma to this day! I’ve observed it with my own eyes.
One beautiful thing was when we drove there from our town which is about 600 miles from Mexico City. You could see thousands of pilgrims walking from all over Mexico in groups while singing and praying the rosary. People in towns along the highway set up free food and drink stations, sometimes letting the pilgrims rest awhile. Doctors and nurses follow the procession ready to give aid if needed. Signs say “Careful! Pilgrims Ahead!” Semi drivers flash their lights, signaling caution to vehicles, warning drivers to slow down. And so you follow.
Some people push their disabled family or friends in wheelchairs. Some on hospital beds. I watched a man walk on crutches because he had only one leg. A children’s confirmation class, girls in white dresses, boys in white shirts with ties walk behind their teacher. A soccer team. A small group of eldery nuns. Old people, young, mothers carrying babies, fathers, pregnant women, and the pilgrims who crawl on their knees!!!!!
They are all making a journey, traveling to visit with their Mother. Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray For Us! 🙏🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺