Monday, October 8, 2012


Several years ago a friend of mine called to say she ‘met a man’. I was so thrilled for her, since she’d been a widow for a long time. A year later I went to her wedding and SUE WATKINS: OVER THE HILL BIKER BRIDE was born. I am pleased to say my dear friend, the original biker bride is still married to her biker groom and they’re very happy.


1.)    You’ve been a widow for several years. How did you feel when Russ sent a drink over to your table? I was surprised, to say the lease. I mean he’s only a few years older than my oldest son. Even more surprising was when he joined my son Danny and me at the movies on Saturday afternoon and took us out to supper.
2.)    Russ is so different from your first husband. Do you really think you can be attracted to him? It’s hard not to be attracted to him. Of course, I have Danny to think about. The best part is Danny and Russ are becoming great friends. I don’t know how I could even think of not being attracted to him.
3.)    When you got cut doing dishes, it was Russ who kept his head and got you to the hospital. Did it bother you to give up control of your life? Yes, it did. Only minutes earlier we were talking about Russ moving out to the farm to be closer to Danny and me. To my surprise it was my former mother-in-law, Lillian, who suggested the move. Russ’ apartment building has been sold so he has to move somewhere in the next sixty days. I have to admit, I do enjoy his pampering.


1.)    Have you completely lost your mind? Sue Watkins is almost old enough to be your mother and she has a handicapped son to boot. You could have your choice of any woman in town. Why are you so interested in Sue? What you don’t understand is that I’ve done the trophy wife thing and what did it get me? She left me for a guy she met on the Internet and took me for everything I had. I’m lucky I was able to keep my bike. Sue is special. I knew it the first time I saw her at the bowling alley. As for her son, Danny he's a child in a man’s body. I’ve found when it’s one on one between the two of us, he’s more mature than people give him credit for. It must be terrible to know you were perfectly normal before the accident that left himyou handicapped and now to know the friends you once had have grown up without him and have left him behind and alone.
2.)    How did your move to Sue’s place come about? I came home on Friday night and found a note slipped under my door. It said my building had been sold and I had sixty days to move. I’ve been thinking about buying a house for Sue, Danny and me, but I knew we couldn’t talk about it until Sunday when we’re alone. I guess I was muttering about it when Danny and I were fishing. He was the one to drop the bombshell, then Sue’s mother-in-law, Lillian, suggested I move out to the farm. She says it would be perfectly proper, since Sue is so old she’s not interested in sex. I have to say, that’s not the vibe I’m getting from her.
3.)    It seems like you’ve completely taken over the running of Sue’s life. How did that come about? Sue was doing the dishes after our picnic lunch and she cut her hand on the blade for the food processor. I got her to the hospital and they put in eighteen stitches and insisted she not work for at least a week. Once I heard that, I called my friends in Door County and arranged for the three of us to take a vacation. From everything I’ve heard, Sue is such a hard worker she hasn’t taken any time for herself in years. I hope this trip will be good for both Sue and Danny.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


1.)    Crooked Snake’s sons, Tall Elk and Growling Bear came back to the village in Canada. Did you fear for Crooked Snake’s life? More than you will ever know. The blue coats hate him and with good reason. No one was more surprised than me when he returned with Quade and Major Roberts.
2.)    You returned to the village in Montana with Crooked Snake. Did you think he would ask you to become his third wife? I hoped so, but since our return he has been too busy to care what happens to me. The only time he has come to my lodge is when he asked for my counsel about becoming chief of these people.
3.)    It is said you are planning to become the second wife of another man in the village. Is this what you want? Of course it isn’t, but what else can I do? I cannot continue to depend on my son, Wolf’s Heart, and my son-in-law, Growling Bear, to kep me supplied with food. I need someone to provide for my needs. All I need to do is give him a son.
1.)    Since your return, there have been many changes in the village can you tell us about them? The first of course is Quade becoming the Indian Agent. He cares for the people. Then came his marriage to Hannah and the loss of the missionary. With settling my family in a new village things have been very trying to say the least.
2.)    Charging Buffalo has asked you to take his place as chief of this village. Are you prepared for such a thing? My father was the great chief, Hunting Hawk. From the day I was born, I was trained to take his place. The massacre changed everything. My heart has been too full of hate to be a good leader. Now that has all changed. I conferred with Wind Dancer and we both agreed this is what I was meant to do.
3.)    You have been told Wind Dancer is going to become the second wife of another. Can you give her your blessing? There is no way that woman will become wife to anyone but me. I have loved her ever since her husband, Running Horse, was killed. When my heart was filled with hate I could find no place for love. Since coming here I have become too busy to think of her feelings. That is all about to change.
The Quade series will continue with JOSEPHINE’S JOURNEY Thursday and Friday. On Monday and Tuesday look for the last of the Gals From Minter series, SUE WATKINS: OVER-THE-HILL BIKER BRIDE. This one is based on a true story.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


While QUADE’S QUEST told the story of Quade and the Cheyenne from the white point of view, WIND DANCER’S DESIRE tells the same story from the Cheyenne point of view.
1.)    You were with the hunters when they returned to find the people of your village massacred. How did you feel to be one of the few to survive? Everyone I knew and loved was in that village. The only reason I wasn’t in the ground with them was because I insisted on going on the hunt. Had it been known I carried Running Horse’s child, I wouldn’t have been allowed to go. For some reason, the Great Spirit spared me when he allowed Running Horse to lose not only his children but also his mother-in-law.
2.)    You’ve lived in a village in Canada for the past fifteen years. Why go there and not stay with your people? My sister and her husband were in the Canadian village as was my mother. Running Horse, like Crooked Snake didn’t want to be confined to the reservation as were others of our people.
3.)    You’ve been widowed for many years. How have you managed to survive? Crooked Snake has provided for me for many winters. Of course for many years I have been raising my sister’s daughter and she has married Growling Bear, so he also helps with providing for me. Then there is my son. Wolf’s Heart. He is of an age to help. I only wish Crooked Snake would ask me to be his third wife and provide for me taking the burden from the young men I call son.
1.)    For the past fifteen years you have gone south to get revenge for your people. It is said you want the killing to end. What has softened your heart? I have had dreams and visions from both my father’s spirit and that of my wife. They tell me the time for fighting has ended and a white man is coming to the fort who will bring peace to the Cheyenne.
2.)    You’ve been talking with the white missionary and have agreed to help the soldiers find out where the Indian Agent is selling the supplies meant for the Cheyenne. We’ve also been told the daughter of the missionary is your long lost child, Little Hummingbird. How do you feel about this? Hannah is a beautiful woman but she is more white than she is Cheyenne. I’ve also learned she is in love with the white Lieutenant, Quade. The reason I took him prisoner is so she will come to me. I’ve been told she knows of her connection to me as well as to her brothers. I pray she will accept us and I want to know if this white man returns her love.
3.) You’ve advised your sons to return to Canada and now you’ve given yourself up to the white soldiers. Do you not know this could mean certain death for you? The soldiers have cause to want me dead, but I had cause was well. Quade has told me he will represent me in the white court. I can only pray they will show me mercy and allow me to live out my days in the company of my daughter.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012



1.)    You weren’t in town very long before there was a double murder and arson. How did you cope not only with losing two of your congregation but also having to do a funeral for the young man responsible for their deaths? The whole incident was tragic. I was there when the bodies were brought out of the house and gave comfort to the young man who was responsible before he died. It was a robbery gone so very wrong and when he asked me if God would forgive him, I assured him, he would be forgiven. I know I flew in the face of my congregation when I presided at his graveside service, but I had no other choice. I couldn’t allow his family to grieve without spiritual guidance.
2.)    Were you surprised at the respect you received from the community? I certainly wasn’t expecting it. It goes to show what small town USA is all about. Here I found people caring for people. I was thrilled I could be a part of this.
3.)    You’ve met Jim’s family and friends. Do you see yourself sharing his life? I would love to be part of Jim’s life, but I’ve never been in a league with these people. I hope I can fit in when and if Jim ever asks me to be within him for more than friendship.


1.)    Since Jayne came to town, you seem to be with her more and more. Are you two a couple? I certainly hope so. She’s a very special woman. I didn’t think I’d ever be this happy again after Meg was killed, but Jayne has rekindled a fire I thought has been extinguished.
2.)    Your house has sold and you’re getting ready to have an auction. Are you sure you’re ready for such a change in your life? I’m more than ready. The kids were upset when I first mentioned selling the house, but they understand my need to put the past behind me. I’ve actually purchased a house I’ve had my eye on for several years. It’s just the right size for one or maybe even two.
3.)    Do you think you’re ready to be the preacher’s husband? I most certainly am, I just hope she’ll be willing to settle for a sinner like me.

Next week look for the last of the books about Those Gals From Minter, WI. Unlike any of the other books SUE WATKINS: OVER THE HILL BIKER BRIDE is not a figment of my warped imagination. Sue’s real name is Sandra and the story is about her as well as her younger husband Rick.

Monday, October 1, 2012


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As an older woman, Jayne gave up everything to become a minister. Hopefully getting a position in Minter, WI will give her back some of what has been lost.


1.)    As the oldest member of your graduating class from Wartburg, are you worried about getting a call from a congregation who needs you? Of course I am. I want to preach the word, but when there are so many younger ministers out there looking for positions, I can understand why I would be overlooked.
2.)    Were you surprised when your friend Claire said she was giving up her life in Dubuque to go to Minter with you? I probably should have expected it, but it came as a complete surprise. When I accepted the call to Minter, Claire told me she could get a new job easier than she could get a new best friend. We met when I first came to Dubuque four years ago. At the time she’d come here to take care of her mother, but with her mother’s death, we became even closer. There aren’t a lot of friends like that in the world.
3.)    When you went to Minter for your final interview, you had a car accident. Did you take this as a bad omen? At first I did, but then things just started falling into place. Not only did I meet Jim Preston, but Claire made some good connections and got the dream job she wanted. It all worked out for the best.


1.)    You’ve been a widower for almost two years. What did you think when you literally ‘ran’ into Jayne? I have to admit, the time for mourning was past. I was just accepting the fact when I backed out of a parking stall and into one of the most amazing women I ever hoped to meet. The problem is Jayne is a minister, I doubt she would want anything to do with someone like me.
2.)    No one can believe you actually paid the down payment for her new car. Why would you do such a thing? I know what it’s like to start a new job, even if it was over thirty years ago. Money isn’t anything that’s readily available. Besides, the accident was my fault and I can certainly afford to help her out. I have this money, what good does it do me sitting in the bank?
3.)    You’re making a lot of big decisions. Do you think it’s wise to put your house on the market? I think the time is right. This house was Meg’s domain. Everything here reminds me of her. I can’t bring her back and what do I need with a big empty house? What I need right now is something small that is free of all the old memories. I know the kids will be hurt, but they’ll get over it. It’s time to move on. Meg is my past. Hopefully Jayne will be my future.

Friday, September 28, 2012



1.)    What did you learn about conditions at the reservation when you arrived at the fort? Things there are not good. The Indian Agent, Simon, is cheating the very people he’s been sent here to help. Not only has he been selling the supplies meant for the Cheyenne, he’s been bringing them rotten meat and buggy flour. Something has to be done to stop him. Thank goodness the Cheyenne have agreed to help us find out what’s been going on with him.
2.)    When you were heading to the area where you hoped to catch Simon in the act of selling the supplies, you were taken prisoner by Crooked Snake. Did you fear for you life? I’ve heard all the stories about him. Of course I feared for my life. It didn’t take him long to admit to me he is Hannah’s real father. I love her so much, but I can tell he hates me because I’ve asked her to be my wife. I had my suspicions about her parentage before I asked her, but I’d never mentioned it to anyone. Hopefully, I’ll live long enough to tell her none of this matters, I love her and want her in my life forever.
3.)    Were you surprised when Crooked Snake took you back to the fort and turned himself in? I saw a much different side of Crooked Snake when I was his prisoner. He allowed his anger to overflow at first, but then he became very caring. I think it was because Hannah came to find me and talked to him. I see what he did as acts of war and have decided to be his counsel at his trial. I know I’d hate to be tried for the number of Apache’s I killed while I was fighting them in Arizona Territory.


1.)    Quade is a very handsome young man. Do you think the two of you could ever be a couple? I would be so proud to be his wife, but once he knows who my father and brothers are, he will want nothing to do with me. Thank goodness I have my position teaching at the school on the reservation. When I tell them who I am, I’m sure they will accept me as Crooked Snake’s daughter and one of their own.
2.)    Your aunt, Owl Woman, has recognized you. Will that make your transition into life on the reservation any easier? I don’t know. I love the children as well as the rest of the people, but I have no idea how to live the life they do. I’ve been raised white. Then there’s the problem with my brother, Tall Elk. He wants me to be his wife. I can’t tell him of our true relationship, at least not yet.
3.)    When your father took Quade prisoner, you went to be with him. Do you really love him? Of course I do, but in all the time I was in my father’s camp, Quade never once said he loved me. I’m afraid he sees me for what I really am, the enemy. It’s best if I go out to the reservation and the house set aside for my white father and me. There is no future for Quade and me.

Being Cheyenne and yet having been brought up in the white world has made life hard for Hannah. Follow the story from the Cheyenne point of view next week when the characters from WIND DANCER’S DESIRE are interviewed on Thursday and Friday. On Monday and Tuesday find out what happens when THE PREACHER TAKES A HUSBAND.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


The army was Quade’s life. He liked everything about it, with the exception of fighting Indians. So what’s he doing going to a fort on the fringes of a Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana?
1.)    You’ve been stationed in Virginia City for a long time. How is it you’re being relocated to Montana? It was a misunderstanding. The commander’s wife, Grace Walters, told her husband I’d made advances toward her. He had me shipped out to the middle of nowhere. She’s apologized several times, but it doesn’t change my options.
2.)    Were you surprised when Grace got off at the same stop as you? Hell yes I was surprised. I don’t want anything to do with her. Thank goodness the people at the railhead needed a cook and let her stay on.
3.)    The fort wasn’t anything spectacular. Do you really think you can make a difference here? I’m good at getting my point across. There’s no excuse for the men living in filth. Even though I had to fight them on every point they at least cleaned up their barracks and took a bath.


1.)    As a child your family was massacred by white soldiers. How did you come to be called the daughter of the missionary? Horace and Martha came on our village just after the soldiers left. They were the ones who buried the people and rescued me. They raised me as their own daughter, but they never allowed me to forget the names of my father and brothers, Crooked Snake, Growling Bear and Tall Elk. Now that my white mother has died, my white father has brought me back to the land of my birth.
2.)    You’ve been at this fort for a while. Are you afraid someone might question your heritage? Horace has told everyone I was adopted from one of the Eastern tribes, but I know too much about the Cheyenne and look too much like the children I teach at the reservation for someone not to question my background.
3.)    Crooked Snake and his sons have terrorized the soldiers at this fort for many years. Are you afraid he might be killed? I pray for his safety every day. I don’t blame the soldiers for hating him, but he carries his own hatred for the whites. From what I’ve been told, he’s been avenging the death of his people including my mother and myself for the past fifteen years.