About Our Mysteries and contemporary Jeff McQuede High Country Mystery Series set in Wyoming

Loretta and I are the authors of over 40 novels in the genres of mystery, suspense and western. Visit our main blog Vickie Britton and Loretta Jackson's Writing Tips and Fiction to find out about our current projects and excerpts of our new books and short stories. Check the sidebar for this month's FREE, 99c books, bargain books and giveaways.Click this link for information on our Jeff McQuede High Country Mystery Series, set in contemporary Wyoming,

Monday, June 15, 2015

Women Gamblers in the Old West

Gambling wasn't just a man's game.  Woman also played, dealt, and ran businesses centered around fast-paced games of chance.  Woman like Eleanor Dumont, referred to "Madam Mustache," started establishments in several states including Montana and South Dakota.

These women were as tough as any man.  One of them stands out, Kitty LeRoy, who opened the Mint Gambling Saloon in Deadwood, South Dakota.  Her entire life was marked by gunfire and danger.  She was shot in by her fifth husband, Samuel Curley, who then killed himself.

 The black-and-white photo is courtesy of the South Dakota Historical Society (http://www.sangres.com/history/pokeralice.htm) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Among the most well-known woman gamblers was Colorado's Poker Alice, who after the death of her husband began playing poker to support herself.  Alice discovered she had a certain skill at cards; she was a good player and a lucky one.  Alice began to expand her operation, traveling and gambling all over the West.  She ended up in Deadwood, South Dakota, where she became a local legend.  Her "poker face" or deadpan expression gave her great advantage.

In Deadwood Alice met her second husband, Warren Tubbs, and for a while she gave up gambling to help him with the ranch.  In 1910 Tubbs died of pneumonia--she had to hock her wedding ring to pay the burial expenses.  Again penniless, she returned to the poker table.

Read about the women who made up the Old West in Tainted Ladies: Female Outlaws, Renegade Women and Soiled Doves of the Wild West  Only $1.99

Click here to download a Kindle copy

Click to order other formats


Sunday, June 14, 2015


Many of our mysteries and westerns are published by Amazon Encore.  They have a big sale going on and if you are an AARP member you can go to the link below and type in your AARP verification to get a big discount on our titles and many others.

Our Western titles that are part of this promotion are The Devil's Game, The Fifth Ace, The Wild Card, and Death Comes in Pairs.  

Also included in the promo are the first three books in our Jeff McQuede mystery series: Murder in Black and White, Whispers of the Stones and Stealer of Horses.

To view details of the promotion go to:


This special promotion will run from today until October 31!

Friday, June 5, 2015

About the Drew Woodson The Luck of the Draw Series

In the 1850 into the 1900s gambling was prevalent in the Old West.  Almost all cowboys, miners, and settlers played games of chance.  Gambling was an integral part of their risk-taking nature.  This environment, one of quick profit (or loss), of mystery, excitement, and vengeance, seemed a perfect setting for our gambling series, The Luck of the Draw.
In this three-book series, Drew Woodson, along with his young, devil-may care partner Tommy Garth, experience danger and adventure as they try their luck at mining and at the poker table.  The series consists of three standalone novels.  An over-arching theme concerning Tommy’s past spans all three books.

The Devil's Game

The first book of the series finds Drew Woodson winning a mining claim from Blackjack Logan in a poker game.  But the minute he yields a lucky strike, Blackjack and his gang kidnap Tommy and steal the gold.  Drew must tell Tommy’s fiancĂ©, Celene, who he Drew secretly has deep feelings for himself, that Tommy has been kidnapped and most likely has been murdered by the bandits.  When Drew finds one of the bandits hanged, he must face the possibility that his own partner has betrayed him.  Determined to discover the truth or die, Drew is forced to become a player in The Devil's Game.

The Fifth Ace

A friendly poker game at the Red Elk Saloon ends with gubernatorial candidate Oren Perley dead at the table. The other three players claim a disguised stranger shot Perley from the doorway and fled. The only clue is a fifth ace found near the dead man's feet. Drew Woodson's mining partner, Tommy Garth, is wrongfully blamed, but the remaining poker players, afraid to tell the truth, are sticking to their fabricated story.  Vigilantes soon swarm into Leland intent on avenging Perley's death.  Woodson must save Tommy and find the real killer before the witnesses are eliminated one by one or an innocent man is hanged.  The sheriff soon find that Woodson, too, has his reasons for wanting Perley dead.  Now that he's saved Tommy, will he be able to save himself from the hangman's noose?

 The Wild Card

Drew Woodson's arch-enemy, Matt Ferris, becomes his new mining partner when Tommy Garth gambles away his share of the Lyra Shay mine in a fateful game of poker. Ferris, wasting no time trying to gain full control of the mine, attempts to sink Drew so deeply in debt that he will be forced to sell out.  When Tommy's step-daughter, Marlene, is kidnapped, Drew is forced to borrow heavily against his share to pay the ransom. Tommy, distraught over his step-daughter's kidnapping and insistent that Ferris cheated him, is vowing revenge.  Soon, the situation erupts in violence.  Just when Drew thought poker was the worst of his troubles, Tommy turns out to be the wild card in an even more dangerous game. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How Two Sisters Started Writing Westerns

Vickie Britton and Loretta Jackson  photo by (c) Cupham

A deck of cards—many were found in the home where we were raised.  Our five uncles played small-ante poker, always laughing and having a good time.  As kids, we learned the rules and, emulating them, willingly traded our pennies for a share in the fun. 

Both of us became intrigued by the history of the Old West, fascinated, in particular, by the gambling that reigned for years unchecked.  We have spent much time visiting historic mining and cow-towns and in studying the men and woman who populated them.  We've never believed that most of these stories were simply myths, but found them very well-documented.  It is hard not to admire the strong and determined, not to mention risk-taking, people of our nation's past.

This interest, blended with our love of writing, caused us to create plots and characters, male and female, on a fast track to trouble.  The Luck of the Draw Series starts with Drew Woodson and his young partner, Tommy, in danger because of a poker game.  This theme carries through three books and planted the seed for the modern-day Sheriff Jeff McQuede.  He appears in the High Country Mystery Series, his relative and namesake, a frontier sheriff from the Luck of the Draw series.

Our stand-alone, Death Comes in Pairs, was inspired by our travels through grasslands and rugged mountains, the site of bloody cattle and sheep wars.  Our latest western, Rails and Aces, opens with a poker game on a train through Wyoming

Most of our writing is in the mystery genre, and this love for a puzzle carries over into our westerns. 

For a limited time, from May 20 through June 21 Amazon Encore is offering The Devil's Game, first in the Luck of the Draw Series and our standalone Death Comes in Pairs for only $1.99 per Kindle copy. 

Click on link to order The Devil's Game for $1.99

Click on link to order Death Comes in Pairs for $1.99