Welcome to the thirty-third and final day of my Almost Heaven West Virginia Blog Bash.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone     

Today I thought I would do something a little different I’m going to Spotlight a couple of WV men, all manly men as we like to say.

   I was watching Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader last night and one of the contestants was Phil Pfister, Strongest Man in the World 2006, that’s where my idea came from.                   

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Phil Pfister (born May 15, 1971 in Charleston, West Virginia), is an American strongman competitor, winning the 2006 Met-Rx World’s Strongest Man competition and its $41,000 grand prize on September 23, 2006 in Sanya, China. He is the first American to win since Bill Kazmaier in 1982.[2] Pfister stands 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) and weighs 375 pounds (170 kg).‎

Prior to 2006, Pfister’s previous best finishes in the World’s Strongest Man were fourth place in 1998 in Tangier, and fourth place again in 2001 in Victoria Falls. He placed fourth at the 2007 and 2008 WSM contests, and seventh in 2009.[3] ‎ While qualifying for his 4th place finish in Victoria Falls, during an event known as the Hercules Hold, Pfister made a verbal promise that he would be the man responsible for bringing the World’s Strongest Man title back to the United States. He went on to set two qualifier records in the Hercules Hold and in the Atlas Stones, but was unable to contend in the finals against the Scandinavian competitors who took the podium finishes that year, Magnus Samuelsson from Sweden, Janne Virtanen from Finland, and Svend Karlsen from Norway, respectively. Pfister has also achieved a podium finish at the Arnold Strongman Classic when he came third in 2002.

Retiring after the 2009 Competition, Pfister currently comments for the World’s Strongest Man competition on ESPN2 along with Bill Kazmaier and Todd Harris.

I know that Phil was a firefighter in Charleston, WV, just don’t know if he still is, but I belive so.

Next we have Arden Cogar, who just happens to be a cousin of my husbands. I do enjoy watching him on TV in the Lumberjack competitions, otherwise he is a defense attorney in Charleston and Morgantown, WV. Born April 21 in West Hamlin, WV , 5″11″ and 231 lbs.

Legal eagle soars in lumberjack sport                  Man what arms he has.

By Catherine Zacchi and Patricia Sizemore ( I have cut some of the article)

From his winning record to his imposing physique, attorney Arden “Jamie” Cogar Jr. commands respect in a court of law.

The West Virginia native is also a fierce competitor in lumberjack sports, as evidenced by his multiple awards and championship titles.

Cogar works as a civil defense trial attorney with MacCorkle Lavender & Sweeney with law offices in Charleston and Morgantown, W.Va. His practice focuses on products liability, insurance defense and general commercial litigation. He sits in a law office or court room or in front of a computer terminal for up to 70 hours a week.

After work, his passion shifts to wielding an axe or saw in a showdown of timbering skills.

“I was born into a logging family in Webster County,” Cogar said. “My family has been involved in lumberjack sports for three generations. I started competing while in elementary school. What I learned from splitting firewood, cutting timber, and setting chokers has carried over into my adult life: work hard and persevere.”

That ardent determination propelled him to the top of his high school class. He enrolled at West Virginia University, where he earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees, graduating Summa Cum Laude. The following year, Cogar received his masters degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude. Four years later, he earned his Juris Doctorate.

“Law is my profession and lumberjack sports my passion, Cogar said. Those who have met me know I bring that zeal and positive attitude into both fields. I have lived by the sweat of my brow and understand the importance of working hard for what I want. I have a friendly nature and am willing to roll up my sleeves and get dirty. During my 10 years in the legal profession, I have tried numerous cases throughout West Virginia and received favorable results for my clients.”

To date, Cogar has been a 13-time finalist in ESPNs STIHL Timbersports Series; a multi-time winner in ESPNs Great Outdoor Games; a multi-time Carhartt Chopping Champion; 2006 Standing Block World Champion; captain of STIHLs United States National Lumberjack team; and winner of 43 individual world titles including the 2007 All Around World Title at the Webster County Woodchopping Festival.

“My legal career and my athletic career are rooted in the hills of West Virginia. I can never see myself working anywhere but West Virginia,” he said. “I see West Virginia as the perfect balance of wilderness and metropolitan areas. My office is on the eighth floor in one of many high rises, yet I’m less than a 10-minute car ride from the countryside.”

I would like to take a moment to thank all the authors, friends and fellow bloggers that have joined me to celebrate this major event in my family. I also want to thank all of my followers that have been with me from the beginning, hugs and kisses. Hello to all my new followers and welcome. I hope you stick around after the blog bash is over . Thank you all again, Please enjoy todays last post.

Welcome to all my followers and visitors, I have had a month-long celebration in my husbands honor. My husband Denny has retired from the Navy after serving for 24 years. We are packing up one last time and moving back to his home state of Wild Wonderful West Virginia, we still have packing to do. Each post will start off with a picture to showcase West Virginia.  Everyday their will be a prize up for grabs and at the end we’ll be giving away some chocolate.

Please follow the rules posted at the end of each post to enter the daily contests and remember you don’t have to subscribe to win but I hope you decide to stick around. Also any post that contain super erotic material will carry the warning label so as not to shock or offend anyone upon opening.

Todays guest is another manly man, he is an author and a cowboy on his ranch in Wyoming. He is Reid Lance Rosenthal.      Bio:    Reid is fourth generation land and cattle. His cowboy heart and poet’s pen captures the spirit of the western landscape and its influence on generations of its settlers. His long-standing devotion to wild and remote places, and to the people—both past and present—who leave their legend and footprint upon America and the American West is the inspiration and descriptive underpinning of all of his writing.
“If your mind and spirit are seduced by images of windswept ridge tops, flutters of aspen leaves caressed by a canyon breeze, and the crimson tendrils of dying sun…if your fingers feel the silken pulse of a lover and your lips taste the deep kisses of building passion…if nostrils flare with the conjured scents of gunpowder and perfume, sage brush and pine, and your ears delight in the murmur of river current…if your heart pounds at the clash of good and evil and with each twist and turn of interwoven lives you feel a primal throb, then I have accomplished my mission.” 
  ~Reid Lance Rosenthal, author of the Threads West, An American Saga series.

 Passion fuels each thrilling adventure and romance-packed novel in this multiple best-selling series and epic of the historical and contemporary American west.  Recipient of an astounding eight National Awards so far, Reid’s eight part saga has been compared to McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove and Michener’s Centennial.  Each ensuing book further unfolds the riveting, sensual, adventure-filled tale of a country on the cusp of greatness, personalities from uncommon origins, and lives weaved into generational tapestries of lust, duplicity, enmity, love and triumph.  Maps of Fate is Book Two of this tale of the romance of America, her people and her spirit.  “It is our story,” Reid whispers.

  

I met Reid one day on Facebook, well he met me, well someone met someone anyway. He asked me about my blog and asked me if I would like a copy of his book Thread’s West to read and review. I warned him, I give honest reviews, I write what I think of the book, even if I do not care for it. He was ok with that, I find he is a very forthright man and he said I could burn it if I didn’t like it. I would never do that to a book, I’d donate it to the library first. I was a little leery reading a book written by a man, I was afraid it would be all starch and well, boring as hell. I am very happy to say I was dead wrong. I knew after reading the inside cover that I wouldn’t have any problem reading his book.

Introduction:

Threads West An American Saga—the romance of America, her people, her spirit and the west.  This is our story.

    1855: A period of promise and fear, the beginnings of the second great European immigration. Imagine this as a big screen movie of living American history. Reel One: the East. Reel two: the West. When I began writing Maps of Fate, Book Two of the eight-book series, I was startled to realize that Book One, the foundation for the 170-year epic story arc, encompassed only four months. Actually, startled is not the right word. Shocked is more apt.

Buried in writing Maps of Fate, I found to my amazement that the first 180 pages literally covered only three weeks of what was originally intended in Book Two to be a twenty-year segment in the saga’s overall storyline. Indeed, I ended Maps of Fate far earlier than my outline, and my terrific publishers and distributors are now urging me to expand the series – already expanded from six books to eight – to at least twenty. We shall see. Time tells all tales.

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Threads West is the first book in a new series about immigration and the Western Movement that helped form our country’s rich history. I would love to see it as a TV miniseries.  So we are introduced to six main characters:

Johannes from Denmark, Ruben from Prussia, Zeb an American Mountain Man, Rebecca a very proper English Miss, Jacob a burley Irishman, Inga a Norwegian immigrant already working in the states, and Sarah a seamstress from Liverpool, England.

We follow them on their immigration from their perspective countries to America and then their start westward to new lives except Zeb and Inga who are already here. Mr. Rosenthal truly has a gift to bring his characters to life. I truly felt I knew the characters very well by the end of the book and I can’t wait for the second book to come out.  In fact, I’ll go so far as to say I wish Sarah’s aim had been better and I sincerely hope that Jacob gets his comeuppance soon and I hope it’s extremely painful and bloody!!! I wish I could find someone like Ruben for my oldest daughter to marry, or Johannes if he could be reformed. One could count one-self lucky if they could have friends like Sarah and Inga and there’s hope for Rebecca yet. Zeb is the man I would want leading me west, he’s got a true mountain man feeling about him.

Mr. Rosenthal has woven in  many supporting characters that help the story come to life as if it’s unfolding before one’s eyes. His descriptions of backdrops and landscapes make the story jump out at you in Technicolor, they so enhance the story and make me wish I was there getting ready to make that trip with them. I enjoyed his character interaction as well and can’t wait to see how these relationships move forward.

When I was young I fell in love with the mini series How the West was Won, North and South and  Lonesome Dove and now I have Threads West. I think based on this first book it would make a great miniseries, read it and I’m sure you’ll agree. I plan on picking up the second book Maps of Fate as soon as it comes out.

I just gave the book to my da to read as he’s visiting and wanted something to read. When he was done he cursed at me ( no bad words) for giving him the first book and getting him all interested in the story and then not having the next book for him to read.

Here is the inside cover book blurb:

The High Ceiling Of The Central Train Station of New Jersey’s main terminal echoed with the sound of travelers scurrying to and fro.  Mothers shepherded children . There were the occasional broad brims of the western hats which had begun to be popular.  Johannes and Ruben stood transfixed by the tumultuous scene.  The electricity of the crowd fired their already heightened sense of adventure.

The men carried only their duffels and the map case.  Each clutched their long guns sleeved in fringed leather.  A Colt Army pistol was tucked into Johannes’ waistband.  Reuben’s Navy Squareback Colt was tied down into a holster on his hip– the bottom of which was loosely trapped to his thigh with rawhide.  He had oiled the stiff skin, but it still had that particular light tint of new leather.

“There it is!” Reuben pointed toward the track.  The sign read, ” West Bound:  Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, St. Louis.”  Steam already billowed from the engine of the westbound Pennsylvania Rail Road train.

“Let’s go!’  Reuben shouted above the din.  Then he realized Johannes wasn’t behind him.  He turned.  Johannes had stopped to look down the terminal.  Reuben followed his gaze and laughed.  Johannes’ attention was fixed on a tall, beautiful woman five cars down the track.

So let’s see what Reid has to say to some of our Questions: We tried to beef them up for him and he said he’d try to get in touch with his feminine side a bit.

Z:  Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?

Reid:  You could say the genres of Romance, Historical Fiction, and Western chose me, and I chose them. A mutual love affair, no pun intended. I am intrigued by universal energies. As a rancher, I am drawn by the power of the land. As a man, I am intrigued by the energy of steamy passions and the enveloping flow of heart-felt romance. As an American, I am enamored of the unique spirit of America and her people, and the evolution of all these energies through the relatively short span of American History.

Yes, my novels are stories. But they have a message – about universal truths, about romance, the difference between sex and making love, the synchrony of true feelings and passions, and the juxtaposing coldness of just the physical, or the forced.

I am writing the series, Threads West: An American Saga, not only because I am compelled to write to keep the promise I made to myself when I was only nine years old, but because this series is “our” story. It is the ongoing story of us, of America’s shared magical history. I pray that the actual historical events which transpire as seen through the eyes of Threads West’s fictional characters, will provide a touchstone in these troubled times, that can perhaps be used as a guidepost moving forward in the future.

Z:   Wow this statement had me sitting up and taking notice. “As a man, I am   intrigued by the energy of steamy passions and the enveloping flow of   heart-felt romance.” You don’t meet many men nowadays that think like   that.

Reid : Tugs of the heart, pulls on the soul,  kindling to the libido are all very good “thangs”. Life is to be lived, and  there is nothing worth doing if not without one hundred percent energy on all  levels–emotion, expression, the tactile and the torrid.

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Z: Who are some of your favorite authors?

Reid : I have been influenced by many great authors. Crane and Hemingway, whose detailed descriptions of scenes and circumstances have always enthralled me. Leon Uris, whose brilliant schemes of converging life threads has had a major effect on the presentation in my novels, the gritty west of McMurtry, and Max McCoy’s dazzling dedication to historical context.

Z:   Now I know who we can thank for your descriptive  genius.
Reid : You are way too kind. To even be mentioned on  the same page as any of the above is a huge honor.
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Z: Research? How do you prefer to do it; plane/train/automobile, laptop or library?

Reid : Research is fascinating and tedious, exhilarating and surprising, mandatory and time-consuming – a far bigger task than I anticipated. I did virtually all the storyline research on the first novel, Threads West –I had important help from several researchers on details of dress, circumstances and some great historical tidbits, and gave them credit in the book. But I wanted to learn what was entailed and though I thought I was familiar with this special moment in American history, I was mistaken. 1855 may be one of the most pivotal years in the history of this country, certainly of the West. The great westward migration was in its infancy. The breach of the 1854 Kansas/Nebraska Act, and the Compact of 1850 between the states were stirring the winds of war. The later turmoil between the northern and southern states, (part of the Book Two Maps of Fate plot) was beginning to darken the rhetoric of both sides. Native Americans had rightfully lost trust in the promises of the white man and the broken treaties of the years prior. Gold would soon be discovered in Colorado, becoming the real precipitator of the tidal wave of westward migration that began in 1858 including Mormons, desperate to escape violence and prosecution in the East.

The Singer sewing machine had just been invented, foreshadowing the Industrial Revolution. The repeating rifle had not yet been released. It was this point in time that American and the world breathed in, held their collective breath, and exhaled with a rush toward the Great Plains and the Rockies.

My research sources are many and varied. They include print, web, nonfiction and historical memoir, interviews, and travel to specific geographic locations where my wandering feet have, for some reason, not yet visited.

I was stunned when the novel achieved multiple #1 Best-Seller rankings in Romance, Historical Fiction, Western, Historical Romance, Western Romance, Women of the West and other genres. I’m extremely proud of the eight national awards the series earned in the last year, including four in Romance, one in Western and, perhaps the most difficult, a Best in Historical Fiction from the Independent Book Publishers Association. It was a surprising pat on the back for extraordinary amounts of hours invested in research.

Because of the many little anecdotal twists in the novels, sometimes people ask me, “How could you possibly come up with that idea – how could you imagine that situation?” My answer is typically, “I didn’t have to. It is our history.” For instance, in Threads West, Book One of the series, the details about the captain’s dog, the woman who lost six children, the wild life and antics of the Mayor Ferdinando of New York, are all real, historical tidbits. Oftentimes, the best stories are hidden in these nuggets of historical details. 

Z:   Oh my gosh it’s great to learn that parts of the story that were used were in   fact truths. Congratulations on the awards, after reading the book I concur. I   was raised in Northern California and I always thought that the gold find in   Sutter’s Mill started the big westward gold rush movement. I can’t wait to see   how you portray the Mormon’s, my family is Mormon.
Reid : I think you will be most surprised with Book Two,  Zina. As you already know from Book One, the Threads West, An American  Saga series is not your father’s typical Western, nor is it your  mama’s dusty romance. I strive to truly write the ongoing story of  us–and “us” means a wide range of religions, a broad spectrum of  conflicted peronalities, and a wide swath of cultures. Isn’t that what America,  and the West really is, and always has been? The publishers and I are  amazed at the hundreds–if not thousands–of letter and comments we have  received from folks who had never before read a “Western”, or from men who had  not previously cracked the covers of a “Romance”. There are an equal number of  letters from long time Western, Romance or Historical fiction fans which discuss  how different the books and story lines are from the stereotypical image of  those genres. And, the great majority clamor for the next novel in the the  series. Virtually all pick up on the message of American spirit. Yep–that  all makes me smile. The passions  and physicality are real, consummated,  and not contrived. There is much triumph, but as in real life and history,  there are equal doses of pathos and loss. It is an epic saga, and a  continuum, just like life.   The intertwined sub-story of  the Mormons begins in Book 2, Maps of Fate, but continues through  intriguing twists of fate, and life threads destined to intertwine, throughout  Book 3 and into Book 4, (here are just a few teasing hints…Johnny Reb, Cache  Valley, California, Brigham Young, and Nancy.) Now, don’t you feel better?  Satiated, maybe?
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Z: What is something that scares the heck out of you?

Reid : I am chuckling as I write this. Deadlines! (My publisher knows about that – as do my editors!) However—and I am not chuckling now—the thing that concerns me most is the future of America. The disintegration of the values of the old West and of our revolutionary forefathers distresses me. The traits that made us great seem to be slipping away, replaced by the mentality of entitlement, and dependency on the Siren Song of government rather than the tried and true foundations of self-reliance, individualism, family and community.

Accordingly, the Threads West series begins in 1855. It is the tale of disparate threads of lives, from many locations around the globe, different social origins, ethnicity and creeds, that weave together into the tapestry of an emerging nation; a country on the cusp of greatness, offering opportunity and freedom.

The last book of the series will be set in the real-time, contemporary West.  Just as the historical novels in the Threads West series accurately portray what transpired in our history, in the evolution of our lands, our thought processes, morals and freedoms, so too will the contemporary novel portray in vivid reality—couched in sizzling romance and nonstop adventure—the current state of affairs in the West, and the United States. The fictional series is, in essence, an historical anthology of true life. If the series evokes every imaginable emotion, inspires passions, and delights readers, that’s great. But, if by chance, the tale reacquaints folks with the basic principles that form the foundation of this enthralling experiment we call the United States of America, then I will be truly satisfied.

Z:   I agree with so much that you say here especially this. “However—and I am not chuckling now—the thing that   concerns me most is the future of America. The disintegration of the values of   the old West and of our revolutionary forefathers distresses me. The traits   that made us great seem to be slipping away, replaced by the mentality of   entitlement, and dependency on the Siren Song of government rather than the   tried and true traits of self-reliance, individualism, family and   community.”

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 Z : What is your favorite comfort food. 

Reid : I’m not a half bad cook. The alternative to acquiring culinary skills was, of course, starvation. I can honestly say there are no foods that I won’t eat, though there are some held in less high regard than others. Truth be known, I have three main food groups: coffee, elk, and Nestlé’s semi-sweet morsels. All other foods are mere derivatives. Now, for those vegans who might be reading this–don’t get excited!  I have my veggies every day! I consume huge salads, also on a daily basis, and am a fan of pasta and rice dishes also. (See—Even cowboys can be partially trained—kinda!) But I gravitate towards stick to your ribs type stuff.

Z:   This had me chuckling; I think the vegans would still object even with you   eating your veggies. So you’ve said I can stop by next time I’m out west, does   mean I’ll be served Elk??? I’ve eaten a lot of venison and a little buffalo   but not elk. I love to eat more fruits and veggies than meat. I love Butternut   Squash soup.
Reid : Count on that elk. Would you prefer  a  picata sauce or wine demi-glaze?
Z: The Demi-Glaze please, just don’t get offended if I call it gravy, LOL. A friend/chef made demi -laze for his rack of lamb and I called it gravy and he about blew a gasket, and I was a friend. He ranted about how it took him 3 days of boiling the bones…yada yada yada. Actually can I try both???
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Z : Do you attend conferences? If so, where can we “stalk,” I mean go to find you, and which is your favorite to attend?

Reid: I do indeed attend conferences. I went to a number before I started the first novel in 2010. I learned that I knew next to nothing! But the tidbits I picked up in conversations with far more experienced and proficient authors, publishers, agents, and a host of others associated with this great industry, were invaluable. I can truly say that every day spent writing and marketing a book, dealing with publishers, distributors and others, is a learning experience – fascinating, fun, and fulfilling.

The conferences range from small intimate gatherings of fifty to one hundred folks in remote places like Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Gunnison Colorado, and Casper, Wyoming, to the big national conventions such as Western Writers of America, or the Romance Writers of America. If I absolutely had to pick a favorite I would probably choose the smaller, more intimate conferences, but in many ways it’s a toss-up. The large conferences offer an overwhelming smorgasbord of interesting topics, lectures, brilliant and experienced minds. They generally attract the giants of the industry. The drawback is there are thousands of people, time is limited, everyone is frantic, and the one-on-one a more abbreviated then with the equally talented faculty and attendees at the smaller get-together.

Z:   I didn’t know there was a WWA, and I’ve been to two RWA’s to the literacy   signings, do you take part in the signing?? I’ll so look for you if I go again when it’s close to me again in 2013 and 2015. Don’t know if my hubby would  like to go back to Calif. So I can get books  signed.
Reid : The WWA is great. The annual get-together  this year will be in Albuquerque. I will be presenting, so stop by and say  hello! My first RWA was last year in NYC. It coincided with many of the awards  banquets so it was doubly fun–and busy. I did not participate in the Literacy  signing at RWA, though I did do a great similar gig at the BEA. My first  RWA was mostly getting acclimated to being the one male romance writer attending  a conference with three thousand female authors. Quite the  experience!
Z : OMG I was in NYC but like I have said I never made it out of the B’s, you would have been the second male author I’ve seen there.
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Z : If you could go on the Ultimate Vacation where would you go and who or what would go with you?

Reid : I am not partial to rooftops or crowds of people. I try and get some saltwater fishing in southern climates once a year, but always gravitate towards the wild and remote. My greatest vacations have been in the wilds of Alaska on two, three, or four week float trips. Just me, a buddy, the rafts, the fly fishing rods, and the rifles. We are usually dropped off by float plane in the middle of nowhere, a midpoint supply rendezvous arranged but almost always missed due to weather, and an extract at the end of the journey, the last being in the crashing surf the Bering Sea. It is timeless, primal, and reinforces the lesson of our insignificance in the general scheme of things. It is an experience which tends to re-ground the mind and spirit.

Z:   It actually sounds like fun…if for me there was a hotel with and inside   toilet. I don’t like outhouses and I’m always afraid my tush will get bitten.   I know I’m a sissy.
Reid : You left out the grizzlies–but normally they  don’t go for tushes.
Z : No it’s the California Black Bear that likes to eat the tushes first. Yes I forgot the Grizzlies, but it’s spiders, snakes and bees that I want to protect my tush from.
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 Z : Do you have kids?  If so, are they toddlers, school age, teens, college bound or “Hey Dad, I’m home againer’s?

Reid : Two! And I love ‘em to pieces. A son, 22, and a daughter 25.  And, a grandson, 3!  Can’t even believe I just wrote that.  Me? A grandpa? Phew! They are tough, strong, smart, love the land as I do, and are patriots.

Z:   That reminds me aren’t you supposed to send me a pic of   someone????
Reid :  My son is going to seek revenge, but  consider it done!  I am laughing.
Z: UMMM, I’m still waiting for that pic. And Steph would kick my butt to know I sent hers. lol The girls wants to meet a great guy to love.
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Z : If you could have one of your books or series to be made into a movie, which would it be and who do you see staring in it?

Reid : We have received overtures from higher-ups in both a major network as to a potential miniseries, and from Hollywood as to a movie. But none of that is cast in stone, and won’t be until at least the third book. I have given no thought to actors/actresses! In the meantime, I’m delighted to be writing, astounded at the success of the series, excited about the second book because I think, hope, that I’ve met my goal of surpassing the high bar set by the first one.

The cast would of necessity be enormous. Maps of Fate examines slavery, and a race yearning to be fully American, totally free and self-determining. It delves into, (as will Book Three, North to Wyoming) the sad, dark blotch on American history in the treatment of the Indians (portions of the book are written from the Native American perspective). The rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say, follows the evolving life threads, passions, loves, disappointments, tragedies, romances, and in some cases, sadly mortal experiences of the characters that the readers of Book One have enjoyed, and bonded with. A new generation takes root in Maps of Fate. Their lives hurtle through American History toward their destinies, and in subsequent generations of the saga.

I hope Maps of Fate, and the overall series, makes readers laugh, smile, cry, and think. I hope it stirs their love of country, and sense of self, stimulates romance and passion, and makes their hearts beat faster with adventure, action and intrigue.

Z:   Gosh this has me so excited to get my hands on Maps of Fate. I also hope   someone is smart in Hollywood and snaps this up for a Mini-Series. I loved the   How the West Was Won, North and South and Lonesome Dove. Oh no! I see someone  from Book One may die based on your teaser up there that I really like…please   not Johannes or Reuben. Goodness now I have to read it to see what   happens.

ReidThe author grins. Yep–that is exactly  what you need to do!
     You can click this link to watch the trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiM-hL_H_LI
   
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So lets take a moment to read an excerpt from the Maps of Fate :
The way west from St. Louis was arduous, the country vast and unforgiving, the weather violent and sudden. The greatest perils, though, were the other few, but determined—sometimes desperate—inhabitants of the great expanse of the lawless West. Sometimes a clash of culture, in some instances a grappling between good and evil, and in many cases a race of people simply tragically struggling to defend their lands and hunting territories. The only thing certain at the conclusion of these bloody struggles was that there was never a perfect outcome. Please enjoy this third excerpt from Book Two, of the six novel Threads West, An American Saga series, Maps of Fate, coming soon!

From a Chapter of Maps of Fate—Book Two of Threads West, An American Saga From Chapter “Surprised”

    Sarah stood stupefied. She felt the tremor in her knees and the sweat of fear and heat dribble down from her temples in grimy streaks on her face. Dust, smoke from burning canvas, and gray puffs of gunpowder residue rendered everything ghostlike and surreal and softened the apparitional shapes of bodies and wounded, who were strewn in haphazard positions. The guttural whoops of the attackers, screams of petrified and dying horses, shouts in English, moans of pain, and the sounds of gunshots echoed among the wagons.     Sarah held the Sharps in one hand, breech open, ready for loading, and stared in shocked disbelief. The scene was incomprehensible. Through the haze that enveloped the wagons, she saw the shadowy figures of Mac, Reuben and Johannes sprinting to the breach where the wagons of the train had not quite completed their defensive circle. In that gap, Zeb, a knife in each hand, and two other men from the train, struggled in mortal combat with an increasing number of lance- and tomahawk-wielding invaders. Reuben and Mac each carried two rifles. Johannes had his carbine in one grip and a pistol in the other. His saber scabbard slapped against his leg as he ran.     Sarah saw him look over his shoulder, and could barely make out his shout, “Behind us!”     Johannes wheeled ghostlike in the brownish-gray cloud that enveloped the conflict, took calm steady aim, and fired once from the Colt. The rider of the horse bearing down on the three jerked violently from the impact of the .44 caliber slug and somersaulted backward over the rear of his steed. He lay unmoving, barely discernible in the ground-swell of dust.     Sarah’s eyes quickly searched the nearby wagons. Jacob had disappeared. Her mouth fell open when five rigs away she saw Harris upright and wrestling with a much smaller Indian who was obviously after the heirloom American flag that hung ripped, tattered and limp in the semi-opaque heat on the family’s wagon. Below him, his wife Margaret expertly wielded her Enfield musket like a club, keeping yet another attacker at bay. Two men from another wagon were running to assist them. Disbelief knifed through her numb detachment, “What type of people are these who risk their life for a piece of old cloth?”     “Sarah, load the damn rifle!” Rebecca’s frantic voice shouted above the din.     Jolted back to reality, Sarah, trying to control the trembling that had overtaken her body, jammed the cartridge into the Sharps with shaking fingers, then handed the long gun to Rebecca who, in turn, gave her the rifle she had just discharged. Rebecca turned, rested the receiver and forestock over the lip of the wagon front as a rest, and began to swing the bead of the muzzle of the re-armed weapon as she found a target.     Without looking back, Rebecca commanded in a loud voice, “Inga, reload! Be quick about it!”     Pressed against the side of the wagon box, Sarah fumbled in the saddlebag, draped over the wagon wheel, for the next round. She heard a whisper in the air, almost the sound a small bird makes on a calm, peaceful evening in the stillness just before dark, and then a sudden, hollow resounding thud. A woman’s voice screamed in pain and terror.

Well shoot, why not , we have time for another excerpt.:

The journeys of the Threads West characters evolve on many levels. The physical – Westward; the spiritual — hearing the land, feeling its energy; the American — beginning to understand, assimilate and be assimilated by that unique spirit which is ours alone as country and a nation, and romantic — the reality of personal interaction and realization being inescapable in the context of a small band of people surrounded by inhospitable and dangerous wilderness.

Prophecy From a Chapter of Maps of Fate—Book Two of Threads West, An American Saga

She felt the fire in the smooth caress of his fingertips as they traced across her breast, lingered on her erect and pulsing nipple, then continued down her hips and came to rest lightly, longingly, on the concave valley of smooth belly between her hips. The smell of him, and of them, mingled with the fragrance of sun-baked sage.

   Her heart pounded, a strange tingling heat permeated her loins, and she could feel the blush in her face. This was a feeling she’d never known, could never imagine, could barely absorb on so many levels. She swept a soft palm over the cords of muscle in his arm. She was consumed by a desperate wanting, a deep primal need that overrode her butterfly fear of the unknown. She gasped, her hips writhing involuntarily as he lowered himself gently onto her. A momentary stab of pain was followed by overwhelming pleasure cum laude which enveloped her being as he slowly, carefully, began to sink into her.

   She groaned, a muffled cry equally grounded in passion, trepidation, and longing. He stopped, tenderly brushed a calloused thumb slowly across her forehead and down her cheek and looked deep into her eyes, “Am I hurting you?”

   She felt tears well in the corners of her eyes, bit her lip and shook her head, her full answer to him in the ever-tighter wrap of her arms around his shoulders, the increasing bend of her knees, and the firm plant of her heels against the muscular flesh of his buttocks, drawing him in.

   “Don’t stop,” she moaned, “Oh God, please don’t stop.”

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 Now to get back to our Q & A…….
Z : So Reid, I know you are a rancher out in Wyoming, tell us when do you do most of your witting during the winter when you’re  snowed in?
Reid : Actually, Zina, the East slope of the Rockies, whether Wyoming or other states, is amazingly temperate. Sure, we have our bitterly cold       winter, usually late December and January. Surprisingly, snow falls in the lower elevations – below 6000 feet – are typically gone in a matter       of a few days, or a week. Even the dump of one to two feet, which is not atypical in the lower mountains, dissipates quickly. The Front Range of the Rockies enjoys three hundred plus days of sun a year, though Wyoming may have a bit more wind than other areas (said the rancher with understatement). However, there’s no doubt that outdoor activities are more limited.
You don’t want to bring horses out on slick slopes, or in icy conditions. That’s a sure – fire way to a wreck. We generally run yearlings, so they have been shipped in the fall, and the next batch of steer calves are not our guests til spring. So, I suppose you could say that winter certainly is the “off” time. But, there’s never  a shortage of things to do on a ranch. I would estimate I get perhaps fifty per-cent of my writing for the year done between December 1 and April 1. But, I’ve skied since I was two, I’m what is known in ski  parlance as a powder hound, and when the big snows come I generally take a break and wiggle the sticks in the steep, the deep, and the trees. There’s some hunting to be had in the winter months too–mainly coyote and varmints. I get the least accomplished on any type of non-ranch endeavor, including writing, from the first part of October  until the first part of December. That is elk season–you know, that meat you like!  I once told my ex-wife that if she ever asked me       to choose between her and the big six-point bull elk she would be sadly disappointed!
Juggling descriptive prose and ranch life becomes more problematic in the spring, summer, and fall months. Autumn, because it’s my       favorite, and the best fishing and riding of the year. I hate being inside when there’s visibility outside. Matter of fact, I rarely eat until midnight in the summer.
During those seasons I write when I can, when the urge strikes  me. midnight til four AM in the mornings, or sometimes four  in the morning until eight or so. As all authors know, when the characters are whispering to you, you become engrossed, a part of the tale you pen. I would hate to tell you how many dinners I have burned late at night.
I find that the time I spend outdoors engaged in resource or ranch work, or pursuing other activities in the non-winter months, is not really time lost writing. I have conjured this tale in my head for thirty years. Of course, when you start putting it all down on paper, then come the details – integrating plot, with story, with characters, with message. Outdoors time in the wild and remote seem to sort those thoughts out. It is rare,  when on occasion I hit a snag in the storyline, that after a day outside or in the saddle, the answer – without effort – is on the tip of my pen, or should I say digital recorder, when I begin to write again.
Z: I don’t even get that many days of sun in RI. I lived in So. Lake Tahoe and we always had snow and I learned how to snowshoe and cross-country ski. I don’t like downhill, to fast for me. I’ve always said I’d rather look at the squirrels then run into them( or a tree).
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Z : Tell us about your typical day as a cowboy and a rancher.
 Reid : There is no such thing as a typical day in the life of a rancher. Emergencies arise, people miss schedules, weather can surprise, opportunities become apparent, and plans go astray. The daily chores change mightily between the seasons. The constants that wind       throughout, however, is the feeling of a alone, but not lonely, the satisfaction of sore muscles and callused hands, the smell of horses and       damp leaves, the sun warm on your face, and the winds stiff at your back.
Z  : I love the smell of horses. I miss my horse Sir Rio.
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Z : Does your wife and kids support your writing and have they read your work.
 Reid : My ex-wife, a great friend of more than 30 years, is highly supportive. You could term my kids rabidly supportive. My daughter is       instrumental in getting many tasks accomplished that the publishers won’t touch–all of them critical. Of course, the buckaroos get to paw       through the scribbles and scrambles of pages and ideas long before they begin to resemble a manuscript. I find their opinions invaluable.       They are also, I might add, merciless in their hounding of me to write, to get the book done, to get the next book done, and to stop “farting around,” in the vernacular of my son. It’s a strange mixture of smiling at their complements, and feeling terribly guilty during their finger waggings!
Z: That’s so great that they all support you in your endeavors and try to keep you on pace…I would have said “Get the lead out.”
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Z:  Tell us when Maps of Fate will be available.  Where can readers go to get a copy of purchase it digitally?

Reid : Threads West-Book One is available now at bookstores and all the dot coms.

In a very unique offering, Advance Reader Copies (ARC) of Maps of Fate will be available February 28. These are limited, and each will come with a $2 gift certificate good at Barnes and Noble towards the purchase on, or after, the. April /Print/e-book release date on the dot coms, and at Barnes & Noble, Hastings, and many fine independent bookstores around the country, and certain international locations. It will also be available as of the release date on Nook, Kindle and iTunes and (with luck) in audio.

The Advance Reader Copies—digital/printable, may be purchased on our websites beginning February 28 for a limited ten-day period. A separate cover will be signed by me and sent to each and every purchaser. This is a very unique opportunity (that we don’t think any other publisher or author has ever offered). The ARC copies may be reserved during our Valentines celebration happening right now at http://threadswestseries.com/landing/68/#1. Fun Valentine’s Day Contest, Survey and great prizes, too! There will only be 1500 copies available over and above those being sent to reviewers and others. Also, Book Two may be reserved for the release date on the Maps of Fate site, no cost for the reservation!

The April release will continue our tradition, (which folks really seem to love and which was hugely successful), of our Branding Day Release Party on our, and many other, web sites, with special contests and giveaways for folks who purchased the book in print or digitally on the Release Dates. The URLs listed below offer an overview of the series and specifics on the books.

www.threadswestamericansaga.com

www.threadswestanamericansagaseries.com

www.mapsoffate.com

Z:   How will the Arc differ from what is released in April? Is that what you call  a release party – a branding party?
Reid : You could call this unusual, limited ARC  release a pre-release. It will have it’s own, much more limited fan-fare. The  big shindig will be in April. Some great contests and prizes, reserved copies  going out first (The Threads West release was so tumultuous that Amazon, BN, and  even Ingram ran out of books, the first three printings were sold out by nine AM  on the release dates, and some folks, and most book-stores waited two to three  months for copies). We think we have that handled for Maps of Fate,  even though the Branding Day Release goings-on are exponentially what they were  for Threads West. Folks can register (free-easy) now at the  web-sites, get a leg up on others, and be the first to get information on the  happenings in advance. And, though this is not yet common knowledge, everyone  who has reserved a copy of Maps of Fate by  March 1,  will get a free MP3 download of three chapters, read by yours truly. I promise  to have fresh batteries in the voice synthesizer!
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 Z : To finish off, describe yourself in 12 words.

 Reid : Wide streak of romantic under the broad brim of a cowboy hat!

Z:   HHHMMM I thought that was originally 5 words…well living in Big Sky territory   I guess you need a bit more room and I can’t say that I disagree with your description, it fits you to a T.

Reid : My special thanks to Zina from Sea Witch Reviews for the invitation and opportunity to blog. It is my pleasure to be a participant.

Zina:  No   thank you Reid, I’m so glad I met you on Facebook and had the honor of reading Thread’s West, if it becomes a movie or a miniseries I can say hey I know the man who wrote that, he’s such a Sweetheart.

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I hope everyone has enjoyed meeting Reid today and has enjoyed the whole of my Almost Heaven West Virginia Blog Bash. If you’d like to go see more of Reid and his wonderful books you can go here http://reidlrosenthal.com/content/reidlrosenthal/ or any of the links Reid provided.

Today Reid is giving away a copy of Maps of Fate to be released in April and I am giving away a copy of Thread’s West to the lucky winner along with an $25,00 GC and Angel Bear and a Devil Bear Valentine duo and a Big  Box of Whitman’s  Chocolate. Oh and to another 10  winners I am  giving away a  box of chocolate and a book of your choice from my book stash.

Bonus  Bonus  Bonus:……… Also every meaningful comment that has been made during my blog bash will go into a drawing for 3 – $50.00 GC and 3  – $25.00 GC to the bookseller of your choice from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ARE or Samhain. There will be 6 winners drawn for this last one. So comments where you forgot to give me your email won’t count, nor will comments left after the third day a post was posted  as per the rules below. Comments left for winning posts will count, you deserve an extra chance for congratulating the winners(niceness pays off).

Also look for a bonus post late today from Mary Wine for an extra bonus to our Blog Bash,  those comments will count too for the Bonus Drawings plus there are books to be given away for her post.

 Winners will be drawn for this days spoils on Feb. 18th, so comment away as per the rules below.  Winners will be announced Feb 20th for the Bonus Drawings.

I hope you all have thought of your questions for Reid, he is one sweet cowboy! Ah and Reid I plan on heading your way in about 2 years…just givin you an early heads up so you have time to make the gravy…oh I mean the demi glaze…incase you have to cook the bones for 3 days…LOL..sorry I just couldn’t help myself.

Z Seawitch

Rules:

1. You must leave a meaningful comment, something more than Hi, Hello, or Great Post.   Ask a question, squee like a fan girl or whatever you want as long as it’s appropriate.

2. Every comment counts so chat away. Please include your email in your comment.

3. Winners will be drawn 3 days after each post and a master list will be posted on Feb 17th. You will have until Feb 29th to email me at SeawitchReviews @ yahoo (dot) com. I will also send an email to each winner but if I don’t hear from you by the 29th a new winner will be drawn.

Z Seawitch

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