A Cursed Goldmine and Greed

Alberta Wild Rose by Mary M. Forbes

Gold fever creates monsters but in the case of the Lost Lemon Mine a curse has been placed on it more dangerous. Alberta Rose O’Neil escapes her mother’s control to visit her father in the west. Not superstitious, she doesn’t believe in the curse. She joins a group to find the legendary mine and sees the evilness reigning at the site.

From a sheltered upbringing to confronting the dangers of life, she must learn how to survive in chaos as well as the realities that exist in her new life.

She discovers Dale, their guide, is not her Knight in Shining Armor as she believed. But can she find the strength to resist his potent charm?  Available on Amazon.

A Canadian Legend

Flat prairies give way to rolling foothills with mysterious mountains looming up.  White capped and covered in hazy blue, the mountains hide secrets that are tangible in the air.  Canada is considered to be a new, vibrant country, but there are many unexplained complexities in those shadowy mountains especially. Searching for gold has always created men and women who lose sight of right and wrong. The obsession of gold brings out the best and worst in many.

The Canadian Blue Rockies have gold, hidden and often difficult to find.  Much of the gold hasn’t been discovered even today. Somewhere in the Canadian Rockies, in or around Crowsnest Pass in Southern Alberta there is rumored to be more gold than was found in the Klondike of the Yukon.

Two men, Blackjack and Jack Lemon, found gold and decided to go register their claim before someone else found it.  Jack was struck with gold-fever and didn’t want to share.  In a fit of greed, Jack killed his partner, splitting him open with his ax.

Two Indian braves, from the Blackfoot tribe of Southern Alberta, witnessed the gruesome killing. They rushed back to tell their chief.  The Chief placed a curse on the gold. ‘Whoever touches the gold will suffer dire consequences’.

Jack Lemon became crazy, wandering around the foothills, searching for the mine. Others searched and fought to gain possession of Jack’s map. They too were found dead, burned to death or driven mad. To this day, no one has found that gold in the Lost Lemon Mine and lived to tell the story.

Alberta Wild Rose: first a romance, starts with a group trying to find this legendary mine.  Alberta Rose O’Neil escapes her mother’s control to visit her father in the west. Not superstitious, she doesn’t believe in the curse. She joins a group to find the legendary mine and sees the evilness reigning at the site.

From a sheltered upbringing to confronting the dangers of life, she must learn how to survive in chaos as well as the realities that exist. She discovers Dale, their guide, is not her Knight in Shining Armor as she believed. But can she find the strength to resist his potent charm?

Mary M. Forbes: – raised in the middle of nowhere, Saskatchewan, has traveled extensively all over North America.  She has chosen Calgary, the New West, in Alberta as her home.  She has written two contemporary and three Historical romances.  Working on two more contemporary romances that she plans to have out by June of 2015, she is also working on an inspirational suspense – Seraphim.

Country Charm Blog Hop – March 20 to March 25

SpringTime Country Blog Hop

“Thank you Sara Walter Ellwood for the opportunity to participate in this exciting Blog Hop on my most favorite of characters – the cowboy.”

The Grand Prize is a $100 Gift Card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice)

In the cold blustery weather of a 2013/2014 Canadian winter, my mind wanders to our spring.  Today thoughts of spring long ago brings the memory of my mother’s Mother’s Day flowers. My dad would go out to the pastures and bring back a bouquet of the loveliest of flowers.  Tiger-Lily grew wild in the northern prairies, looking delicate but so hardy.

But there is something else that dominates my scope as well. I watch cowboys, no longer bundled in their heavy coats as they appear.  Open shirts, brawny shoulders, lean hips and tight jeans flood my vision. My inspiration has arrived. What’s a girl supposed to do, except appreciate this change of events?  When a cowboy stops to talk or just smile my heart quickens. Anticipation, like  spring, is reborn, alive and vibrant.  I long for the mysteries spring promises and delivers.  Every spring it’s easy to create yet another of my own special cowboys to love and cherish.

I am giving away one e-book for One Dance with a Stranger. For a chance to win One Dance with a Stranger  please contact me at:


Subject: One Dance with a Stranger.

Giveaway ends March 25th.  

Visit all Blog Hop Authors and their Cowboy Stories

Sara Walter Ellwood                   Tera Shanley                                     Krista Ames                Aileen Fish                                   D’Ann Lindun                                    Liberty Ann’s                                                                                                                             SnifferWalk books

Harlie Williams                           Lorraine Paton                                   Sarah Kades               Musings from the Keyboard      Kristina Knight                                   Savannah Young         Andrea Downing                        Kathleen Ball                                     Randi Alexander         Romancing the West                 Jeanine McAdam                               Lily Graison                 Words, Words, Words              Christi Williams                                 Shanna Hatfield           Charlene Raddon                       Alethea Williams                               Kara O’Neal (Bucket                                                                                                                  List)                            Gem Sivad                                  Rawhide and Sundown                     Abigail Sharpe

My Cowboys

One Dance with a Stranger by Mary M. Forbes
Wade Hart: – a superstar country singer, a man filled with charm and the ability to take whatever he wants.  Emily Van Sheldon, a girl who grew up on the streets and is determined enough to never allow physical attraction interfere with her new life, free of chaos and poverty.  

Hawk's Gift by Mary M. Forbes

Damien Larocque: –  a dangerous but irresistible drifter and maybe just too good-looking for his own good.   Roberta Taylor, a wealthy, stubborn woman is determined to change this cowboy she is so attracted to.  

Alberta Wild Rose by Mary M. Forbes

 Dale: –  with a bitterness that  makes him callous at times,  he has a chip on his shoulder. But sheltered Alberta Rose O’Neill sneaks beneath his skin and he can’t believe he is attracted to and wants to protect this lady.

Finding Fridays – The legend of the Lost Lemon Mine

A little History of the Canadian West 

Somewhere in the Canadian Rockies, probably in or around Crowsnest Pass there is rumored to be more gold than was found in the Klondike of the Yukon.

Two men, Blackjack and Jack Lemon, found it and decided to go register their claim.  That was before Jack was struck with gold-fever.  In a fit of greed, Jack killed his partner, splitting him open with his ax.

Lost Lemon Mine

Two Indian braves, from the Blackfoot tribe of Southern Alberta, witnessed the gruesome killing.  They rushed back to tell their chief.  The Chief placed a curse on the gold. ‘Whoever touches (some say finds it as well) the gold will suffer dire consequences’.

Sure enough, the curse was real.  Many men, including Jack Lemon, who became a maniac wandering around the prairies, searched for the mine and those men were found dead, burned to death or were driven mad. To this day, no one has found that gold of the Lost Lemon Mine and lived to tell the story.

Alberta Wild Rose, first a romance, takes place with a group trying to find this legendary mine including my sheltered heroine – Alberta Rose.

Alberta Wild Rose by Mary M. Forbes

Alberta Wild Rose: Excerpt 2

“This gold is cursed.  Yu touch it, yu die or maybe even worse.   The spirits torture and cripple yu.  Don’ ever go touching the gold or you’re gonna die or go crazy.”

“If Dale, Mandala believes that, why did he bring her?”

“Our Great Spirits work in strange ways,” Whispering Waters smiled, taking Rose’s agitated fingers in her own and smoothing them calmly.  “Yu don’ believe this do you?”

“I don’t know.” Rose shivered as the sun, giving one last shuddering heave, dropped like a pebble, behind the spiraling bluff above her.

For one exaggerated moment there was infinite darkness.  She blinked, trying to adjust her eyes to the blackness.  She wasn’t sure what to believe.  As the drafts echoed through the branches overhead, she heard an owl wail out.  She could only conclude they were in a mystical place, alien and terribly intimidating.  Foreboding, like needles pricking her flesh, caused goose bumps to erupt.

“Can we eat owls?”  She whispered.  She’d heard Dale say there was no food here.

“No.” But Whispering Waters was smiling now, as though amused.  “They are evil spirits, for sure.  I can see now why.   I hope for Mandala’s sake yu aren’t like her.”

“Like Elizabeth?  Rose shook her head vehemently.  “I will never be like her.”

Then she saw Leon approaching.  He sat down gingerly beside her.

“Miss O’Neill  we must stop this madness.  It’s ludicrous that civilized people are acting in such a manner.”

“How do you propose we do that?”  Rose whispered back.  Now she could feel Dale’s mystic eyes move in her direction.  He was seated on a log, by the fire. Stiffening, she turned to Leon.

“Do you know what is going on?”  His pale blue eyes were round with fear.

“They are after the cursed gold.  Surely, since you live here, you must have heard of the cursed gold.” She whispered.

“Of course I have heard of the gold. Miss O’Neill  it is a proven, documented fact that Lemon found some gold.  I’ve seen the men who have dared touch it including Lemon.  I’ve heard they either burned to a crisp in mysterious fires or were seen wandering around, eyes vacant and mad. What I don’t understand is why a heathen would bring them here.  He seems very enamored with you and I thought perhaps you would know.”

“He doesn’t talk to me.” She flushed, lowering her eyes as Leon looked disbelieving. “You believe there is actually gold here?  I’ve read extensively on the subject and other than the legends, I can see no reason why there would be.”

Alberta Wild Rose by Mary M. Forbes

Alberta Wild Rose: Excerpt 1

Hazy blue air hovers over the ‘Blue’ Canadian Rockies – increasing the feeling of a mystery surrounding the awesome sight.  From Calgary those white-capped, etched mountains give the impression they are painted on the sky.

Growing up on the prairies (which really aren’t flat until you see the mountains) the first time I saw the mountains I felt awe and intimidation.  Their mystery is very palpable. When I read the little known Legend of the cursed Lost Lemon Mine, I was further enthralled and often felt a strong desire to explore and find the mine.  Driving through Crowsnest Pass, southwest of Calgary, always turns my thoughts to this fascinating legend.  Alberta Wild Rose was born from those feelings – an imaginary search for the treasure.

Historical RomanceAlberta Wild RoseExcerpt #1:

Fighting dizziness as well as his nearness, she tried biting down on her assailant’s palm, only to find she was further abused as his hand moved into her parted lips.  Like a steel horse bit, one finger strained her lips tightly back until she felt as though they were tearing apart.  She tasted the salty tang of her own blood.

“Please, you can’t,” through the thundering roar in her ears, Rose recognized the voice of the hotel clerk, Mr. Johnson.  “This is Miss O’Neill’s room.  I assure you, she would not harbor an Indian in there.”

“Then why the hell ain’t she answering?”  A voice snarled.

“I believe she went out to watch the parade.  I didn’t see her come back,” Mr. Johnson continued.  “Please stop.  You have no right disrupting my guests in this manner.  The window at the end of the hall is open.  Your man is mostly likely long gone by now.”

Tears flooded Rose’s eyes.  What had possessed her to come up the back stairs?  Why hadn’t she gone through the lobby where Mr. Johnson would have seen her?

The heavy sound of many booted feet receded, quickly.  The men scurried down the back stairs.

The hand on her mouth eased back slightly.  Rose’s smarting eyes cleared.  A hazy vision emerged.  Long, inky black hair brushed against wide shoulders.  Her gaze slowly moved up to his square jaw and wide, sensual lips.  His eyes were gleaming coals, startlingly beautiful as they shone from beneath heavy brows and thick lashes, absurdly long for a man.  His aquiline nose and high, angular cheekbones dispelled any notion of femininity.  She was aware that his chest and arms were naked and pressing into her bosom.

Revulsion battled with hypnotic wonder.  No man had ever dared touch her in such a familiar manner.  Even as she realized a barbaric heathen was holding her captive, she was conscious he was the most intriguing male she had ever encountered.  Moaning her growing confusion, she felt herself sink into a welcome darkness.

Alberta Wild Rose by Mary M. Forbes

Resources – Conflict

Boy meets girl.  Boy and girl discover they have everything in common and want the same out of life.  They live happily ever after.  Boring – a story that can be summed up in one paragraph.

Conflict is not necessarily hard to find or think of – but often there is a problem with a plausible easy solution.  Your hero or heroine might be angry or sullen throughout the story when a simple conversation might clear up the whole conflict.  The reader becomes irritated and even dislikes your character.

On the other hand some make their main character perfect.  That type of character can fast become disliked as well as boring.  We are all human.  We all make mistakes, some more than others.  Mistakes and opposing beliefs are the easiest way to create conflict, especially in romance. Being attracted to someone then seeing they are not who thought they were is another.  Now your heroine is fighting not only her attraction, but your hero’s behavior as well.

I used this in Alberta Wild Rose.  My heroine starts out as a naive, sheltered girl falling in love with a completely inappropriate man.  As she sees his flaws and grows she also must fight her attraction, she can’t change.

There are many outside factors to create conflict as well. Some story lines have been over used as far as I can see.  Watch carefully to make sure you don’t make your heroine silly or even stupid when created hacked conflicts. If she likes dogs and he likes cats – that can be easily resolved I think.  It is a very weak conflict.  If an outside event like war is written into a story – that might be easier – but  again make sure you aren’t stretching too far.  An American spy falling in love with a German girl in WWII could happen.  But to keep a regular army soldier in Germany long enough to create a romance before the war ended might be stretching reality?

So goes the challenges of a writer.  If you can – without stretching the imagination too far and making it somewhat believable – you might be successful.

Today, I find there is an unbelievable amount of hostility in different beliefs creating unnecessary problems. I also believe some are coming across as silly and not believable. Their beliefs are so ridiculous and make me laugh not sympathize. Laughter/humor is a very good tool for writer’s – but laughing at someone or with someone are two different types.  I don’t find unwarranted, weak hostility that appealing.  I want my characters to at least show some respect/not abuse towards each other regardless of their beliefs.

Reality is money being a very large reason for fighting.  Yet it is not commonly used.

Resources – Researching

I love researching.  When I was younger – I researched, just for the sake of researching.  I would hear something and it stemmed copious amounts of searching what topics fascinated me.

Mount Rushmore – my question – at the time this was being created – what was the Native reaction? That one question could stem a whole story.

Now, as I write, some research is not so fascinating.  Right now my latest work involves doing research on a coroners office and their duties.  I thought perhaps it was just in my mind – I enjoyed Crossing Jordan and Quincy  television dramas.  Unfortunately – although there is a lot of information I have – I need more.  It is a quirk – I must be accurate.  It may only be one paragraph – but regardless, it must be accurate.

Some people say they don’t like history.  I think that is too broad and general.  There has to be parts of the past that are interesting to everyone.

I started out Alberta Wild Rose by talking to another guy about all those abandoned gold mines (and there are many – British Columbia put out a map of real, true abandoned mines and ghost-towns).  Some you can reach by car and some you can’t.  That fascinated me as well. I wanted to reach the ones that couldn’t be seen by a vehicle.  The Lost Lemon mine started my story.  No one knows if it’s true or not.  There is the legend of the curse which seemed to play out – people who went insane or were killed in horrible ways – after claiming to touch the gold.  As a fiction, not a ‘theory’ article I was given free license to pursue beliefs combining real historical figures and as much fiction/ideas as I wanted.

There are just too many facets of history to be ignored.  Even when one considers modern illness and writes a piece it’s interesting to know where we came from and where we are now.  At one time it was believed that an epileptic attack was an indication a person was either ‘possessed’ or was insane.  What I find interesting about that historical fact – one would be religion – but one wasn’t.  So when I hear someone talk about the horrors religion did – I say – get your facts straight.  How we treat insanity – or in a epilepsy case,whether it is insanity or not, has nothing to do with religion.

When you do your research (necessary for even modern stories) examine all sides and form your own opinion – not someone else’s.  Enjoy – research is really one of the pleasant parts of writing.

Calgary, Alberta

I always loved Calgary, even as a child.  Calgary meant an exciting, vibrant city. When I finally went there, it was all I thought and better. The first time I saw the city at night, the lights were awesome.

Now, although I don’t live there I long to return.  I have a son who lives there with my new grand-daughter and the friends I made are fantastic.  They still live in Calgary.  Most of my close relatives live there or near there.  Sometimes I feel so isolated.

Two of my stories are set in or around Calgary.   Alberta Wild Rose, a historical romance is set in the surrounding area of Calgary.  And One Dance with a Stranger, a contemporary romance is set in Calgary.

The story I’m working on, Seraphim, also takes place mainly in Calgary.

 This is a picture my son took just recently – Calgary, Alberta 2012


This is a picture my friend took a few years ago when leaving Calgary.

Thank you Carol of Malibu Dreams Photography. 

As there is no Tim Horton’s where I live now, using Adobe Photoshop, I inserted a cup of my favorite brew into another picture Carol (Malibu Dreams Photography) took at Lake Louise, near Calgary.

Setting for Alberta Wild Rose

As I often helped my husband pack household goods when he was moving furniture companies often recruited my services during their busy June month end season.  My co-worker was the closest person I’ve ever met to be a genuine ‘mountain man‘.  His stories were fascinating and helped relief the strenuous, physical work of packing.

One day he told me the story of the Lost Lemon Mine – a cursed mine somewhere in the Crowsnest Pass in Alberta.  The ideas flowed non-stop.  We would discuss renting horses, taking a few months off and riding into the back country of the mountains and trying to find that gold.  It is reputed to have more gold than the Klondike of the Yukon held. The one drawback was anyone touching the gold was doomed to a bad end.  It spoke to me of danger and intrigue.

I searched bookstores and the library for all books pertaining to this legendary mine.  Back in the 1800’s Jack Lemon and his partner found the mine.  Unaware he was being watched by two natives, Jack proceeded to kill his partner and keep the gold for himself.  When the natives reported the incident to their chief, the chief believing the gold was evil placed a curse on anyone who found it.

Jack went back to Calgary to stake his claim.  Later his body was found, burned and charred.  As he had a map others came to find the gold.  Anyone who claimed to have found the gold either went mad or met with untimely deaths.

Is the mine real?  Is the gold cursed?  The questions poured inside until my romance – Alberta Wild Rose – was created.  To this day the mine intrigues me.