Jacqui’s Friday Flowers in August

Victoria's flower season starts early compared to other parts of the world, so sometimes it feels like the explosion of flowers is over by August. But August is still a great time for a lot of wonderful flowers like Sweet Peas, Sunflowers, and pink or yellow Echinacea/Coneflowers. 

Sweat Peas are hard to find in Victoria, so I was very lucky and very glad to find a patch on a trellis in Government House Gardens in 2020 and on a chain-link fence behind Christ Church Cathedral way back in 2017. 

Jacqui ❤️ 💐

Sweat Peas in Government House Gardens
Sweat Peas in Government House Gardens

Sweat Peas in Government House Gardens
Sweat Peas in Government House Gardens

Sweat Peas behind Christ Church Cathedral
Sweat Peas behind Christ Church Cathedral






Click here to see my July blog post with Red Hot Pokers, Daisies, and Victoria's iconic hanging flower baskets 💐🌈

To see more of my flower pictures (during the February to October flower season in Victoria, Canada), visit my Facebook and Instagram pages. 

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Jacqui Nelson - Author Picture
Fall in love with a new Old West where the men are steadfast & the women are adventurous. I love writing stories about women who are Wild West scouts, spies, cardsharps, wilderness guides, trick-riding superstars, and more. 

Read an excerpt from all of my books at JacquiNelson.com/my-books

Join my newsletter & read Rescuing Raven (my Deadwood 1876 gold-rush story) for FREE at JacquiNelson.com/download-my-free-read  


E.E. Burke's Featured Deal

Featured Deal for 99 cents

The most dangerous man may be the one she just hired.

In 1870, a land war between a railroad and Kansas settlers explodes into violence. Amy Langford, a strong woman who steps into her father's shoes to promote the railroad, becomes the target of attacks. When a ruggedly handsome drifter comes to her rescue, she trusts her instincts and hires him as her bodyguard. Her life is protected, but her heart is not.

Buck O’Connor is a wanted man with a dark past, which he hides from Amy, as well as his purpose for returning to Kansas. A purpose that puts him at odds with his new employer’s ambitions and makes the life she begins to imagine between them impossible. When his deceptions unravel, it threatens to destroy not only Amy’s future, but also her love—the only power on earth that could redeem him.

It's not easy being a strong woman in a man's world...

In Her Bodyguard, the heroine, Amy Langford, steps into her late father's role with a railroad that's racing to construct track to the Kansas border ahead of its rival. 
If mysterious threats on her life and rioting settlers aren't bad enough, she has to go toe-to-toe with powerful men who stand in her way. Three of these men also left their mark on history. Read on to find out who they were and what they did.

The Railroad Magnate

James Frederick Joy was the president of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroads (which included the MFS&G line through Kansas that Amy is promoting). 

Earlier in his legal career, Joy hired and worked alongside a young Illinois attorney by the name of Abraham Lincoln. They became lifelong friends.

Mr. Joy developed a talent for financial and executive enterprises and became one of the great railroad builders of his century. In Kansas, however, he met his Waterloo in the form of a settlers' revolt against the railroad's purchase of land they were currently homesteading.

In my novel, the fictionalized Mr. Joy hires Amy, but he becomes skeptical of her unconventional approach to the problems they face. However, his solutions only served to further anger the settlers.

The brilliant engineer

In 1869, the first bridge across the Missouri River opened a flood of westward expansion by rail. Octave Chanute, a self-taught engineer with no formal training, supervised construction on a task that daunted the greatest minds of the time. He forged his own tools, brought in pile drivers, built dredges and derricks in a makeshift machine shop. No wonder Joy put him in charge of the MFS&G.

It was hard enough to construct a line being vandalized regularly, but Chanute insisted on building a track that would last, even if it took longer and cost more. It's a decision Amy questions and warns him about in my novel. Ironically, Chanute’s commitment to quality contributed to the railroad's ultimate defeat. 

Later in life, Chanute became obsessed with flight. In the 1890s he gathered and published research, designed gliders and gave valuable advice to the Wright brothers. Octave Chanute became an engineering icon and left an indelible mark on history with his achievements. Unfortunately, the success of the MFS&G railroad was not one of them. 

The fiery newspaper editor

Amos Sanford, a Kansas politician and newspaper editor, becomes a huge thorn in Amy’s side. In real life, he was a fiery figure on the Kansas prairie who published a newspaper that railed against the railroad’s land policies. 

Sanford and his followers were so successful at stirring up unrest that the federal government had to send in troops to keep the peace. Shown here is a letter from the Kansas governor denying a Cherokee Country sheriff's request to have federal soldiers removed.

In Her Bodyguard, Amy runs into problems when a rally she plans creates an opportunity for her enemies to make trouble. One of those opposing her is the rabble-rousing newspaper editor.

BookBub Featured Deal for 99 cents

Passion and intrigue fuel this Western romance as it races through historic events with twists and turns that raise the stakes all the way to the end. Grab this first book in the Steam! series while it's on sale for 99 cents.



How long ago were the Good Old Days anyway? My days  meant I could walk home from school. or to a friend's house without an adult. All my mom had to do was call my name from the kitchen door and I knew I needed to get home. Yes, it was before cell phones and  social media, but a man had walked on the moon. Gasoline costs around .30 cents per gallon (yeah...not a type-o). I watched Lee Harvey Oswald get assassinated on live black & white television. The first time I heard the Jackson 5 the Osmonds or the Archies it was on a cereal box record. I didn't have my toys other than Barbies, a sand box, a doll with a giant teardrop on her face (Lil' Miss No Name--had to look that one up). But I had my bike, the library and a huge imagination. Who needed more? When were the 'good old days' for you? Let us know in the comments to be eligible for the drawing.


One thing I did was ride my bicycle EVERYwhere. As long as I was home for lunch and dinner...I was golden. I lived in the middle of the block and our yard literally had a white fence in front. My mom and dad worked hard to keep the St. Augustine grass very lush under a huge huge shade tree. And that's why when we played space ship we played it at my house. We'd turn our bicycles upside down and set them end-to-end in a circle. Then we'd spin the peddles for energy and take off. Someone would always use their front tire like a steering wheel. Man...those were fun days.


My grandmother’s house was a wonderland of treasures. When I was young, its old three-story splendor, its lush green yard surrounded entirely by a five-foot hedge seemed like a fortress to my young imagination. Its Victorian beauty sprawled from front to back, top to bottom with many rooms, closets, as well as THE special drawer in the kitchen that housed the devil’s food cookies grandma stocked when we came to visit. It is here, on the grand woven tapestry rug in the living room that I first was introduced to the game of Chinese Checkers by my aunt. The board itself was handmade my grandfather and the marbles had been collected over time. While I love the game of checkers (yes, I’ll challenge any old man sitting in front of a checkerboard—that’s another story all together!) But something about the strategy of Chinese Checkers resonated—perhaps a cherished memory of my grandmother’s home-and ever since, it has been a focal point in our home. I have been known to buy Chinese Checker Boards as wedding gifts. (I’ve read a friendly board or card game with your spouse can be healthy!)

It’s one of the first games I taught each of my children and I’ve made sure that each of their homes also has a Chinese Checker board and there is never a family gathering that goes by without the gauntlet being dropped to play a round or two. Most recently, my oldest grandson (3.5 years) sat astutely watching his mother and I play the game with its shiny marbles I keep in a blue mason jar. I got him a checkerboard this year for Christmas, which means that not too far down the road, I’ll have another generation to teach and perhaps beat this savvy Gigi!

E.E. Burke

Dominoes. I love to play a very simple game of Mexican Train Dominoes. We didn't start out doing this when I was a child, although I wish we had. I LOVE playing this game because anyone can play--even when you're tired, have to do wash in between, want to drink some wine without bombing the game, etc. It's a blast. We play it with the grandkids and the grandparents. Anyone up for a game?


Memories of childhood puppets have a special place in my heart. I can remember being very young and very brave and putting on a puppet play for a Christmas community event. I'm not one who even slightly enjoys being on stage, so this memory is quite remarkable for me!

These days I have one Little Red Riding Hood puppet that I like to put on the bookshelf that holds my how-to-write books or sometimes (as in the picture below) I arrange her with my other treasures for a photoshoot. I bought Little Red during a trip to the Czech Republic over 15 years ago. I'm continually happy that I chose to bring her home because she's a classic who never fails to make me smile. 

WHEN WERE THE 'GOOD OLD DAYS' FOR YOU? Leave a comment to be eligible for (it's a secret!)