Sunday, June 10, 2012

Please welcome our guest Delores Goodrick Beggs.

Girlhood With a Horse Named Snowball
Delores Goodrick Beggs
I was one of the first girls in our rolling Kansas farm area to wear blue jeans, and I took up wearing them all the time. My city woman mother despaired of me to the extent she purchased for me a pair of green jodhpurs, and informed me jodhpurs were considered acceptable wear for girls who rode horses. Sad to say I never liked jodhpurs and only wore them a few times. I can't count the number of pairs of blue jeans I wore out growing up.

Bicycles were big in those girlhood times and my siblings and I enjoyed the steep hills of the rural Wyandotte County our acreage was on. I never did get the hang of riding a bicycle down our country hills, but our horses were a different matter.  We often cantered up and down over the hilly road to our friends' houses two steep hills away.
Snowball was the horse I rode growing up, a snow white mare except for a brown-eared "cap" on the top of her head. I won my first horse show blue ribbon riding Snowball western.

Whatever I asked of her she would do, even pace smooth as a cushioned chair, although she was strictly a Western riding horse.

Snowball had a tendency to get herself into situations. One day I came home from school to find she'd fallen down our steep hillside and lay flat on the ground with her head in the edge of the culvert creek that ran through our acres. I ran down and sat in the creek, cradling her head out of the water a while before she could be coaxed back onto her feet and walked up the path to our barn, cleaned her up and stayed with her until my father could take over when he got home from his day job.

Another time Snowball somehow got through three barbed wire strands of fence and onto the neighbor's land - we figured it was a case of the grass looking greener over there. She fell through a narrow crevasse in their hillside down to the ground level, and was stuck. The local volunteer fire department spent a long time digging to widen the tight confines and tried without success to pull her out, three men manning the rope. When they gave up, Dad (we'd called him home from work) went up and stroked her head, spoke to her. Then he backed away, pulled the rope around his wrists and shoulders, hollered to her and then leaned into the rope and pulled her out of the crevasse by himself while the rescue team and I watched. My father grew up a farm boy, plowing gardens with a hand plow, and was a very strong man

I rode Snowball growing up, and in spite of her tendency to escapades, she lived to be a very old and pampered horse. She and the other horses we had fueled my mind for my books, of which the first, Breaking Point, Book One of my Place in the Heart series, came out May 11, 2012 from Desert Breeze Publishing,

 Besides riding Snowball in parades and horse shows in my teen years I had a job driving a buggy pulled by a matched team of four black ponies in parades for a local eatery. The buggy carried a sign promoting the business. I was amazed to learn later the sum paid for driving in the parades was the amount a woman could rent a monthly apartment for back then; it wouldn't begin to go so far nowadays, but it sure helped our family out at the time.
Also during my teen years we kids, with help also from a neighbor boy, ran the first Pony Ring in the Kansas City, Kansas area on weekends and holidays except in bad weather. Those were busy times. With no local competition our Pony Ring Ranch was a big family attraction. My father set us kids a great example when he made the effort to include every child that wanted to ride a pony. He walked the ring himself many times, holding in place a disabled child who beamed with a bright smile at his or her new accomplishment. Some of those special children returned regularly to ride and their families became friends of ours.

Of an early Sunday morning when my father was home from work, and if the Kansas weather was decent, then we would saddle up and ride, Dad on Snowball and me on Satin, a large donkey we had, and my brother and younger sister on other mounts.  We would sedately climb to the high pasture hill following Dad on a prancing Snowball. 

There's something tall about being atop your mount and your world, something free about charging your steed through the wind; we kids would race back down the hill, and wait. When Dad caught up with us on Snowball he would caution us not to tell our mother those consarned horses got away from us. Those delightful family Sunday rides were the glory days of my girlhood.

Mauranie Wells and her sister Tennyson are at odds. Mauranie is content with their Wells Double Bar ranch home and working on the progress of her fledgling horse business. Tennyson wants the town life social scene and pretty new gowns, not a dusty horse ranch. She spends as much time as possible in nearby Mescal Flats, and when she is home at the ranch, cowboys come to call on her.
Cowboy banker Stemson Arroyo Smith needs help. He rides into the Bar W on a day when the sisters are not speaking. He unknowingly escalates the tension by ignoring Tennyson to pull his horse up beside the corral where Mauranie is exercising a black colt.


   "Good colt. I'm Stemson Arroyo Smith, by the way."
   Each crisp word shot a thrill of pleasure through her. Her eyes widened, and she smiled. He didn't drawl the way Tennyson's cowboy friends did. Cultured, she thought, and with a deep voice she could hear well.
   "He needs work, a lot of work."
    "A little at a time will do it. He's young yet."
   "The house is over there." She nodded in Tennyson’s direction, drinking in the wonderful experience of not having to tilt her head in order to hear him.
   Stemson made no move to leave.
   Mauranie ground her teeth and clenched her fists, staring at him. She glanced past him to where Tennyson stood pressed against the veranda rail, her body rigid again, a grimace on her face.
   "My sister sometimes keeps her suitors cooling their heels. I warn you, yours will be a long wait if you remain here. Tennyson’s hand-made boots have never seen the inside of a corral." Mauranie turned her back to   Stemson and clicked the colt into motion.
   "My business is with Mauranie Wells." His deep voice caused her to pause and turn back to better catch his words. "I daresay it’s you? Scott Ringer at the feed store in Mescal Flats told me your sister is a blonde. So you see, I am, after all, where I should be."
   Warmth started in the core of her being and spread to engulf her. At the same time, uncertainty struck her. Had she heard him right? This nice man had come to see her? She well knew how her poor hearing sometimes tripped her up. She tensed. She had to check if she'd heard him right. She drew Showman to a stop and led him to the pole fence where the stranger stood.
   "Me? What can I do to help you?" She scanned the crinkled corners of his silvered eyes, letting her gaze drop down smooth cheeks darkening with new afternoon shadow. Her tight muscles relaxed. She lifted her gaze and stared into the smile of those silvery-blue eyes.

Place in the Heart: Book One, Breaking Point, was released May 11, 2012
Place in the Heart: Book Two, Substitute Lover, will release in December, 2012

Thank you, Delores, for being such an excellent guest! I know readers will want to read this book--I know I do.
Celia Yeary
You can find Delores here:

Show Mo


  1. Welcome, Delores! I loved reading about your childhood and horses. You truly show a real love for them.
    I wish you well with your release, Breaking Point. I've added it to my next To Buy list for my Kindle. Your characters are too intriguing to pass this one up.
    Thanks for being out guest today on Sweethearts.

  2. Waving Delores. So nice to have you visit our blog and post such interesting memories. Sounds like you really lucked out in the father department. How wonderful you could spend such quality time with him.

    I was lucky to have a girlfriend who had two horses. We spent many hours riding together and I have used some of those memories in my stories as well.

    Best of luck with lots of sales.

  3. Good morning, Delores and Celia. I enjoyed learning about you today and the excerpt made me want to read more. I wish you great success with this book.

  4. Hi Delores, how lovely to meet you and learn more about you! You are SO lucky to have grown up with a horse. The excerpt is terrific and I can't wait to read the book. Best wishes for tons of success with this book and the whole series!

  5. Delores, yours sounds a wonderful childhood. Nice to "meet" you and welciome to the Sweethearts of the West blog. Your excerpt intrigued me, so there goes another book onto my kindle.

  6. Hi Delores,
    I love your name--my husband has a sister named Delores--it's so unusual and pretty! Your book looks just wonderful--I really enjoyed your excerpt. I always wanted a horse sooooo badly, and of course, we had no place for one. Every time I'd ask for a horse, my dad would say, "Well, Cheryl, where would we keep him?" (Our backyard was the size of a postage stamp!) But that didn't keep me from wanting one! What wonderful memories you have of riding with your father and siblings--I'm sure you will put a lot of that into your books! Thanks for being our guest here today at Sweethearts of the West.

  7. Delores, we had a horse when I was growing up that was always in trouble. He had a powerful curiosity that caused him more cuts and scrapes than any horse I've ever seen.

    Thank you for questing at Sweethearts!

  8. Hi, Delores. I loved your blog. When I was 4, we moved to a farm and of course I begged for a horse. My dad brought home a half-broke pony we named Star. I never could ride that pony but loved her anyway.

    Good luck with your book. I love the excerpt!

    Keena Kincaid

  9. Hi Delores,

    My daughter's horse always had escapades too. His favorite trick was rubbing his rear back and forth on the power pole until it shorted out the neighborhood. Best of luck with your story.


  10. The horses are beautiful, Delores! What wonderful childhood memories you have. Being a city of Chicago girl, I only rode tricycles and bicycles!

    Morgan Mandel

  11. Hi Delores, I grew up in farm country and enjoyed seeing the horses, but I've never been on one. I did ride my bicycle all over town. You might look up author Francesca Prescott since she's a huge horse lover, also, and writes for a horse blog.

    Nice to meet you!

  12. Delores,
    How interesting! I love horses, but have so little experience with them. Did work on a dude ranch one summer though!

  13. How fun to learn more about your horses!

  14. That cover is one of my favorites. I rode lots growing up, but have missed it as an adult. Your farm sounds delightful.
    Janis Lane

  15. Hi Delores, I enjoyed your stories with Snowball. It looks like you had a lot of fun with your horse, and nicely brings your feelings in your excerpt. Best of luck with the sales.


Thank you for visiting Sweethearts of the West! We are very sad to require comment moderation now due to the actions of a few spam comments. Thank you for your patience.