Today I get to spotlight one of the Featured Authors from the 2023 Coastal Magic Convention. Sylvia McDaniel will be participating for the first time, and I’m excited to get to know her a bit more!! Considering her book catalog is full of western/cowboy romances – it seemed perfect to have her join us to celebrate tomorrow’s National Day of the American Cowboy! Check out one of her favorite “cowboy places” below, and info on an awesome giveaway!!
Fort Worth, Texas a Wild Place
July 23rd is National Cowboy day. For me, when I think of cowboys, besides, calf roping, line dancing or riding a bull,I think of Fort Worth Texas. Downtown you will find so much history about cowboys. And no, not the football kind – those are in Dallas.
While doing research for my series The Burnett Brides, I read a book called HELL’S HALF ACRE by Richard F. Selcer. This book gives details about a half acre section in downtown Fort Worth in the late 19th century where cowboys, gunslingers and gamblers frequented. This area of town had everything a traveling cowboy could ever want when they came to town with the cattle drives; saloons, dance houses, bordellos, cribs and gambling.
But the one item in the book that surprised me, and I used in my own novel, was the number of lawmen who once walked on the other side of the law. In my novel, THE MARSHAL TAKES A BRIDE, Tucker Burnett was once a well-known gunslinger.
Many lawmen from this era were reformed gunslingers and men who had decided against a life of crime. Given the time they lived in, I’m sure they lived longer by being quick with a gun in a wild, lawless town. But they also were often friends and acquaintances with gamblers and gunslingers.
This book also revealed for me the true life of a soiled dove. Soiled dove is a pretty name for the profession, but few ladies actually chose this life, but were women down on their luck. If you were in the profession, you were lucky to be working in a sporting house. Most soiled doves worked in shanties called cribs and earned pocket change. The Miss Kitty I remember on Gunsmoke, would have lived in a crib or perhaps a sporting house. According to arrest records there were less than twenty women who worked in the sporting houses and the saloons were usually a male only establishment.
If you get the chance to visit Fort Worth, I encourage you to get a copy of HELL’S HALF ACRE. There’s an interesting map in the front of the book that shows the location of the saloons, the hotels and even Jim Earp’s residence. Most of these locations were in the area where the Convention Center is now. It’s fun to walk down the street and try to figure out where the past occurred. I believe they even have one of the saloons still open.
The series that I based on this book is called The Burnett Brides. Recently, I brought the family all the way into the future. The first book Travis is out now and Tanner will be available on August 4. Let’s play a game…Who would you like to be?
- A soiled Dove
- A Lawman
- Just some good-looking modern day cowboy who wears tight jeans and knows how to dance?
- Or the billionaire cowboy who lives on a ranch and takes his helicopter into town. That way he avoids the traffic?
Two winners will win a copy of Travis and a $10 Amazon gift card
If you’d like to join Sylvia and a whole slew of fellow readers and awesome authors for a weekend of bookish shenanigans by the beach… you should DEFINITELY check out the Coastal Magic Convention. February 23-26, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida, Sylvia and I will be there with everyone for discussion panels, meet & greets, chill time, and a big book signing. **Masks will be required for the duration of the event.** We’d love to see you there!! http://CoastalMagicConvention.com