Prostitution in the Old West with guest blogger, Joanne Sundell



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I invite readers, writers, and all interested romantics to come join in the discussion of prostitution in the Old West!

I want to thank Kim and Jenn at RomanceJunkies for allowing me this opportunity to guest blog today, helping me showcase my latest historical romance, THE PARLOR HOUSE DAUGHTER. I’ve taken my “book talk on Prostitution in the Old West” on the virtual road and am so very grateful to RomanceJunkies for this opportunity to chat with you today. Many of you already know a great deal about prostitution in the Old West, but you might discover a few things here you didn’t know. Tune in and let’s have fun, finding out!

<!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>If, in the mid-19th century, women traveling west didn’t happen to be married, they “happened” into the world of prostitution. How difficult it must have been for either path chosen, given the restrictions and dictates of the Victorian Era in America. It’s no wonder that moral women feared sex and intimacy and so-called “immoral women” benefited from such fears. Acceptable for men—the double standard being alive and well in the 19th century—it was common for men to frequent bordellos and parlor houses or to take on a mistress. Two of the most famous men in Colorado’s colorful, turbulent history, Horace Tabor and William Byers, were linked with rumors of having a mistress. More than rumor, Willam Byers’ mistress tried to shoot him on his front lawn in front of his wife, Elizabeth.  Horace Tabor fared better, marrying Baby Doe.

Prostitution in the Old West with guest blogger, Joanne Sundell

<!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>In Denver, the Queen City of the Plains, it was common for the legislature to let out early if a new parlor house was opening for business. Remnants of the old tunnel system leading from the state capital, used for such nefarious, pleasurable activities, are still in evidence today. This fact, however, is not what led me to write about the shadowy world of prostitution in historical Colorado in my latest Five Star-Gale release, THE PARLOR HOUSE DAUGHTER, but the fact that in 1880, along a six block stretch of what is today Market Street—over one thousand women “worked the line.”I had to find out about these women! I had to find out how they survived violence and drugs and disease and melancholy. I needed to know the “how” of their survival. Call it the nurse in me, but I wanted chapter and verse on how a prostitute made it through her day; whether in a crib at the “end of the line” in some rugged mining camp, or in a fancy parlor house at the “top of the line.”  Until I involved myself in research for this book I never realized where the saying came from, “the end of the line.”

<!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>Another term that popped out of my research is the term, “hippie.” I discovered that the term likely comes from the fact that customers frequenting Hop Alley in Denver were led to a cot with a little table on which drug necessities were placed. A basin was provided as well. The customer would be placed on their “hip” and left alone. Placed on their side, often getting sick from the toxicity of the opium pill, the customer would often throw up in the basin. Placed so, the customer wouldn’t suffocate. Thus the term, “hippie.” As many of you likely know, there was a symbiotic relationship between prostitutes and the Chinese, each watching out for the other, each having a shared interest in their livelihood.

Prostitution in the Old West with guest blogger, Joanne Sundell

As many of you also know, most men loved to love a prostitute, and treated them with respect, even in the most bawdy and rugged mining towns. I must say, I was surprised to learn, however, that in the mining towns, on a Friday—pay day—it wasn’t unusual for one prostitute to turn 50 to 80 tricks! The men lined up outside, never taking their boots off (those rascals) once inside. In the lesser bordellos, and certainly the one room cribs, sheets were rarely changed, certainly not in between tricks. Prostitutes would place a rubber sheet or oilcloth over the bottom of their cot to keep their customers’ muddy boots from doing even more damage. There was little to no washing done in between customers. Imagine the disease transmission of the day!  Imagine, too, the level of fear and violence many women faced on a daily basis. It wasn’t an easy environment on any account.

<!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>Streetwalkers and those women relegated to cribs represented the “end of the line” for prostitutes, earning twenty-five to fifty cents a trick. These women were either too old, too ugly, cut up, diseased, or hooked on opium to secure a place in any of the higher-end brothels. Hurdy-Gurdy gals did not turn tricks, but rather, did take a “turn” on the dance floor with customers. Hurdy-Gurdy gals and prostitutes, in fact, hated each other. No friendly camaraderie here! Bartenders and professors (piano players) were revered by all the women, hurdy-gurdies and prostitutes. To catch the eye of a bartender or professor was a lucky day, indeed. To marry a bartender or professor was “the mother lode!”

Prostitutes who worked in fine parlor houses represented the “top of the line,” earning fifty dollars a customer, and usually only entertaining one customer a night. Their madam—who never missed a trick or detail about her “girls” or their guests—and any bouncers hired, protected them. They made good money but usually didn’t see much of it. Most went for clothes and monthly doctor exams and expenditures related to the up-keep of the house and their rooms and entertainment costs. A good house usually had ten to fifteen rooms for the “girls” located upstairs. Downstairs was decorated like a palace, with parlors and dance floors and mirrors and a fine piano … serving the best food and champagne the city could offer.

Prostitution in the Old West with guest blogger, Joanne Sundell

To address my initial statement as to how prostitutes survived during such tough times and under such conditions … the true answer is that many did not. The average age to enter the profession was fifteen, as this was usually when a girl started her cycle. Today it’s much earlier, but in the mid-19th century it was fifteen.

<!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>Many prostitutes stayed in the business until the age of thirty, give or take. If the girls were lucky enough to reach thirty, that is. You can imagine that in some of the lesser houses, and certainly in cribs or on the street, many of the women took their own lives due to severe melancholia. Often without the support of family and friends, and often alone during holidays, many ended their lives, swallowing a vial of opium. Violence was common, too, and many were killed, either by accident or on purpose. Disease afflicted many prostitutes at the end of the line, due to unsanitary conditions; not to mention lack of nourishment.

Two things about prostitution in Colorado’s colorful history surprised me. I didn’t realize there were so many levels of prostitution, and I never before realized that we all owe them a debt of gratitude for truly softening the West and bringing some degree of civility to an uncivil territory. These wonderful women are our true heritage here in Colorado. I say “hazzah” to Mattie Silks and Jenny Rogers in Denver and “hurrah” to “the lady on the barroom floor” in Central City!

1890 Parlor

<!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>I would love to know if any of you—if you could—would step back in time now, right onto the pages of THE PARLOR HOUSE DAUGHTER, and trade places with vulnerable, determined Rebecca Rose … and put your life at great risk, daring to fall in love with unreachable, aggravatingly handsome Morgan Larkspur? What has your research led you to discover about prostitution in the Old West? Were any of you like me, and thought all Legends in Lace were like “Miss Kitty” on Gunsmoke? Can any of you imagine how tough it had to have been to “work the line?”  Do any of you have questions re other aspects of prostitution? Brass check, anyone? heh heh




ISBN: 978-1-59414-722-7

(available at Amazon or on-line at any bookstore or call 1-800-877-4253. ext 8119)

“This is historical romance of a satisfying order.” PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“A classic western story of the good, the bad, and the ugly.”  BOOKLIST

“I recommend it.” RRT,

48 Responses to Prostitution in the Old West with guest blogger, Joanne Sundell


    I have forgot much, Cynara! Gone with the wind.

    Grief knits two hearts in closer bonds than happiness ever can; and common sufferings are far stronger links than common joys.

  2. Margaret Tanner

    G’day mate,
    A bit behind with my e-mails, I’m afraid Joanne. I have been busy (flat out like a lizard drinking). Have you heard that one before? I don’t know what the slang term for prostitutes was, except maybe whore or harlot, but the “deed” was often referred to as “horizontal refreshment.” There again,
    in the crammed circumstances you describe, may be we should change it to “vertical refreshment???

    Margaret, who is a bonzer sheila.

  3. Carol M

    I didn’t realize how many woman were prostitutes! Your books sounds good! I’m looking forward to reading it!

  4. Linda Wommack

    Thanks so much for the kind words regarding my book, Our Ladies of the Tenderloin. I can’t wait to read your book and return the favor!
    Best, Linda Wommack

  5. Joanne Sundell

    And well you should, Margaret!

    I have a sister living in Hereford, England, who’s always teaching me British-isms, ie, brilliant, and knickers in a twist, and bits and pieces, and knackered … well, I can teach her a few Down Under-isms now, thanks to you — A BONZER SHELIA who happens to also be THE FINEST HISTORICAL AUTHOR IN THE LAND DOWN UNDER!

    It’s goin` all right, Mate, and thanks for asking.

    Back at ya,


  6. Margaret Tanner

    Hi Joanne,
    How ya goin, Mate?
    Thank you for the kind words.
    I love your description, about me being Australia’s finest historical author. A “bonzer sheila,” now that is high praise indeed. I will wear that like a badge of honour.

    Best wishes

  7. Joanne Sundell

    Bonzer Shelia … I love it! You shall henceforth be known throughout the land as Margaret Tanner, writer extraordinarre`and a bonzer shelia!

    I love the research, too! Hey, I’m copying you … hope it’s copy-all-right.

    I haven’t had enough caffeine this morning to set my thoughts in order, an oxymoron in my case.

    I have bragging rights now that I’ve been in e-contact with Australia’s finest historical romance writer, a bonzer shelia, MARGARET TANNER!!!

    Missing the Nalabar,


  8. Margaret Tanner

    Wow Joanne,
    I am impressed. Yes a sheila is a girl. A bonzer sheila is a nice looking girl. I should make you an honorary Aussie, you have got the speak down perfectly.
    Yes I guess our pubs are a little different to yours, particularly in the country towns. Men like to meet their mates in the pub for a beer and to disccus the football or cricket.
    OK I will hold off on visiting your website. Well, at least you are having a go at doing it yourself, I knew it was beyond my meagre computer knowledge, that’s why I had to get a professional in to do it for me.

    Yes, I agree the 1860’s – 1880’s would have been a fascinating era to have lived in, but only if I wasn’t poor.
    I will check out Women Writing the West, I love anything historical. I like researching my books almost as much as I like writing them.

  9. Joanne Sundell

    Hi, Debby!

    …Music to a writer’s ears…suggesting you might look for my book! If you do order THE PARLOR HOUSE DAUGHTER online with amazon or at any bookstore, get in touch and I’ll maybe do a switch and sign your copy. Also, many of my books are in local libraries. If you want your local library to order TPHD, just ask them and they probably will and you can “check it out,” tee hee.

    I’m so happy you stopped by to give me a shout-out. Do you enjoy historical romance in general, or historical romance set in the Old West? I’m ever a nosy girl.

    Have a great rest of your day!


  10. Joanne Sundell

    Margaret … we’re most definitely KINDRED SPIRITS! I’m “hooked” on the 1860-1880’s, too! I would love to have lived during that time period … brings out the romance in us, does it not?

    Have you ever crossed paths with Women Writing the West? Just curious. It’s a stateside organization but I’m betting you’d be welcomed from Down Under, with open arms!

    I love the pubs in Australia. Big difference between your pubs and ours, to my thinking. In Australia, “manly men among men” gather to have a chat and have a pint, enjoying conversation, et al … while in America, “manly men among men” gather to hit on women. I prefer your pubs and friendly, wonderful people!!!! Not trying to put down American men at all … just saying that I prefer the atmosphere in your pubs.

    G’day Margaret … you’re not half bad for a Shelia (a girl, right?) … especially a multi-published, bestselling Shelia!

    ps: Don’t visit my site for a while … it needs major changes!!! I’ve been stuck between my hard drive crashing and a hard place lately. “Do it yourself” isn’t working well for me.

  11. Debby

    What neat information! I am going to look for htis book Thanks so much

  12. Margaret Tanner

    G’day Joanne,
    You’re remembering your Aussie speak very well. Enjoy your “tucker.”

    “A pint at the pub” more English I think. “‘Meet you at the pub for a beer” though.
    Yes, all my books are published in both print and e-book format. I am a bit old fashioned, I like turning over the pages of my book. Sniffing the ink, caressing the paper. Australia in the 1860’s – 1880’s was very similar to the American frontier/wild west. I love writing about that era.
    Thanks for the kind words about my website, Rae Monet is very talented.

  13. Joanne Sundell

    My oh my, Margaret … I guess you definitely ARE a writer with two publishers! Very impressive. Do your books come out in E format and Print? I’ll say it again … very impressive. You are so productive. Reminds me of my friend C.H. Admirand. She’s talented and productive and has multiple publishers, too. You lucky girls.

    Love your website. It’s gorgeous and has lots of appeal!

    Absolute congratulations on all of your publishing success. Keep `em coming, we’re out here waiting to snap `em up!

    If you ever wish to, get in touch with the folks at It’s a fabulous western blog here in the States with some wonderful western romance writers, contemporary and historical. You’d probably have “too much fun” blogging with them!

    Time for some “tucker.” That’s right, isn’t it … for a bit of dinner. I’m trying to remember my Aussie-Speak, tee hee.

    Great e-meeting you and much continued success!


  14. Margaret Tanner

    G’day Joanne,
    Glad you liked Melbourne, our weather can be variable (4 seasons in one day is our boast), not at the moment though, we have been enduring drought conditions for the last three years or so. What I wouldn’t give for some rain.
    Yes, I am an author, I write historical romance, mainly set against an Australian background. I am published by Whiskey Creek Press and The Wild Rose Press.
    You might like to check out my website, which I think is quite beautiful, not that I can claim the credit for it. Rae Monet, one of the cover artists from TWRP designed it for me.
    My website is
    Love to hear what you think of it.


  15. Paisley Kirkpatrick

    Morning Joanne,

    I haven’t done too much research on the prostitution aspect yet. My latest work is bogged down a bit because I am shoring up my trilogy of three sisters, the first of which is based on a journal my great, great grandfather kept while coming across country in 1849 during the gold rush. This journal is awesome, considered five star and kept under glass at the Bancroft Library at University of California, Berkeley. But, when I do get into it, it involves, a Scottish hero, a land dispute, a hidden gold mine and an inheritance by a Texas gal who comes to gold country after the rush to face the problems. Cannot wait….

  16. Joanne Sundell


    You “have” to know how curious I am about your name!!!

    I’m still wincing, thinking about it all, too. Even if you were not “in the biz” but just one of the regular folks in mid to late 19th century America, imagine the dangers out there from typhus, cholera, small pox, et al … THEN layer on the danger of sexually transmitted disease! OMG is all I can say!

    So many things THEN could have been avoided with proper hand-washing. Interesting that that’s STILL the best we can do for ourselves today, to avoid infection.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting,


  17. Joanne Sundell

    G’day again, Margaret!

    Let’s meet at the corner pub for a pint!

    I’m envious of your home and your homeland. I was bitten with the “southern sky” bug when we were first in Melbourne and below … and then in Bluff, NZ … and so my husband and I again had the good fortune to trek to Antarctica this past Jan/Feb. I’d dearly LOVE to do the whole southern ocean voyage but … I can count the many ways why this is not an easy, do-able thing. Ah well, somthing to strive for.

    Speaking of douching … tee hee … when I was in nursing school years upon years ago, one of the first things I learned was how bad douching is for us all … destroying all the “good bugs” there, that protect us from infection and illness. I remember as a student, too, how sad it was for young teenagers (some 13) to come in because they’d done very scary things to themselves to abort … like sticking a coat hanger up “there!” So very, very sad.

    OK, I’m a nosy girl. Are you a writer, Margaret? The romance just keeps coming from Down Under, does it not?

    Loving Australia,


  18. Joanne Sundell

    Hi, Paisley!

    Uh oh … we’re covering the Big Bad Net, are we not?

    You’re in the thick of it, with the California Gold Rush only steps away! Did you ever see the Showtime film starring Robert Duvall? Darn it, I can’t remember the name but it was a recent western about Chinese women being sold into prostitution in the US. Fascinating, if not depressing stuff. Darn it, another name I can’t remember, but you probably know the name of the woman that saved about 300 of these young Chinese women from prostitution and/or got them out and found them homes. If I search my “notes” I’ll find the name.

    What is your latest work? Tell me. Tell me.

    Chat again soon, I hope,


  19. MaitheMaithe

    Hi Joanne,

    Oh wow, I had no idea it was so bad! I knew it was a very difficult life and the sanitary conditions were limited at best, but not to that point! Just thinking about it makes me wince. *L*

    Thanks for all the info!

    Best wishes,


  20. Margaret Tanner

    G’day Joanne,
    How lovely that you have visited Australia. I live in Victoria, the southern most state except for Tasmania, which is across the water from me. Thanks for the information. Some of those douches would certainly bring tears to your eyes, especially if you had to use them 50 – 80 times a day, but they must have worked. Interesting about not being many abortions among these prostitutes.
    Best wishes

  21. Paisley Kirkpatrick

    What an interest blog, Joanne. How wonderful that we met on MySpace yestereday and determined we were soulmates and then I stumble across your great history on protitutes. You know I also write west. We live in the 1849 gold rush area and while I did research I stumbled across a Chinese bordello that still stands today. The gentlement could enter a bar at one end of town, travel through an undermountain tunnel to reach the place. What amazed me was they had holes cut into the wall of the building that were about two feet in and five feet long. These alcoves is where they did their deed. I would have to say that has to be desperation and SO uncomfortable. Thanks for all the good info…

  22. Joanne Sundell

    G’day, Margaret!

    Couldn’t resist that. I’ve had the good fortune of spending about two months in Australia, all toll, on two separate visits. I love the outback and the Kimberly in particular but really love your whole country. I’ve not been to Tasmania but maybe someday. Living in the Colorado Rockies, when I’m in Perth, I’m at the far-most point from home, in the world. Kewl stuff!!!

    I’m not an expert on contraception and childbirth, but from my research I found that abortion was uncommon and that many women tried douching with all sorts of awful concoctions after sex, to avoid pregnancy. It must have worked in a number of cases. A prostitute couldn’t afford NOT to be on her back working. I never read where prostitutes had children on any kind of a regular basis, and certainly wanted to avoid contracting syphilis. Lysol was used to douche, too. Ouch! Think of the poor gal who turned 50 to 80 tricks a night … good grief … and she still didn’t get pregnant? I guess not …

    What I learned from writing this book, was how much I had to learn!

    I’m so happy you took the time to comment. I love All Things Australia and think you live in one of THE BEST PLACES ON EARTH!

    My very best,


  23. Margaret Tanner

    Hi Joanne.
    Very interesting article. I am from Australia, but like the American west, we had a large male population and few women, no wonder prostitution thrived. What I have always wondered, and I know some did have children, but how did they stop having a baby every 12 months or so like the married women? They would have had to use some form of contraception, and not abstinence, that’s for sure.

  24. Joanne Sundell

    Thank you so much, Romance Junkies, for this fun opportunity!

    All best to YOU ALL in the New Year!


  25. Joanne Sundell

    Hey there, Lynda!

    Hope you didn’t find my website too much of a mess, it needs work (like me)!
    The issue of children and prostitution is a heartbreaking one, from the information I found. Whether born in a “crib” near the end of the line or to a prostitute from a fancy parlor house, this was no environment for children. Sometimes mothers would leave their baby on the doorstep of the man they thought to be the father. Sometimes mothers tried to keep their baby but this was difficult, at best. Sometimes mothers had the funds to send their child east or to family where they’d be cared for. These children might very well shun their mothers and never want to see them again. Sometimes mothers raised their children in the business and these unfortunates would learn to curse and drink and take drugs by the time they were twelve. A prostitute was a “working girl,” and couldn’t afford to become pregnant and lose even one day, on her back.

    You bet, a stigma came with the trade. So many women in the Old West worked the line, but if given the opportunity, these women were generous to the townspeople when needed. There are many stories about madams who reached out and helped folks during times of illness and suffering.

    Fortunate for me, there are quite a few wonderful books that have been written about “the line,” two in particular being Soiled Doves by Anne Seagraves and Our Ladies of the Tenderloin by Linda Wommack. There is a lot of information out there on the Net, too. Colorado history sources were extremely helpful, as well.

    Thanks so much for commenting, Lynda. If you ever have occasion to read THE PARLOR HOUSE DAUGHTER, let me know what you think.

    All the best,


  26. Lynda

    Sounds like a great book! I was just at your website and your blurb talks about Rebecca Rose being bound by birth into a life of prostitution. Did many prostitutes have children and what kind of life did they typically have? Were they stigmatized?

    Also, was there any book that was your favorite resource. I could have sworn I had one but only found Sex with Kings which is about royal mistresses. Lots of fun reading.

  27. Joanne Sundell

    Hi, Robyn!

    If you flip the times, however, women actually were enjoying more independence out west than in the east, in spite of the tough times. Many of the married women coming west took over a lot of the work around the house, inside and out, because their husbands were away working and trying to earn money. Of course, the women in prostitution who realized independence were likely the madams of the day. They were businesswomen and in control, often no longer needing or wanting to turn tricks themselves. They had the financial responsibility, certainly, but it seems to me they led safer lives as madams.

    Life on the line, whether at the top or the bottom, couldn’t have been easy. I do have a grudging respect for the women who survived, much less the women who were able to end up with a family … we can only hope some lucky women actually did live Happily Ever After.

    Thanks so much for stopping by,


  28. RobynL

    what a load of info and quite interesting but I would not have liked to live during that time; no great opportunities for women and a mundane life for prostitutes. My goodness!!!

  29. Joanne Sundell

    The Wild West was certainly that! You probably would have done just fine, Pam K! I agree it would have been hard to look down the barrel of a gun as a matter of routine. Did you ever catch the HBO series, Deadwood. To me it was DeadOn in its depiction of the Real Old West. Violence and sex and drugs were the rule of the day. Maybe not rock and roll, though.

    The Chinese and the prostitutes looked out for each other so I’m thinking they’d shared some self-protection secrets. Not too many “had each other’s back in the old days,” so this relationship worked out all right, most likely.

    Thanks so much for your comments, Pam K.

    All best,


  30. Joanne Sundell

    Hi again, Rebecca!

    You’re hired as my publicist!!!
    Just flash me an e-mail at and we can talk about getting you those signed books, ok? Perhaps we could do a switch out. You can for sure sign up for my newsletter on my website at I run monthly contests and you could even win a signed copy or two of my books!
    On the Home Page of my website, I’ve inserted the jacket-flap blurb for Meggie’s Remains. This book is near and dear to my heart. Its my first completed manuscript (the one that takes years to write) and I’m thrilled it finally got picked up. This historical romance is set in 1867, Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado Territory. Think Jane Eyre and then ratchet up the conflicts and set the romance in the Old West. This is a departure for me, ie, this is more of a romantic suspense. MRs will be available online at Amazon or any bookstore or on shelves where I book signings.

    Thanks for your interest, Rebecca!!!



  31. Pamk

    wow i’d have hated to live during that time. I’d have needed to learn how to shoot and fight like a man. Cause I can believe that there were a few men that needed killing back then and with no protection it would have been a great idea. wonder if the chinese taught some of the women how to fight. lol

  32. Rebecca Fessler


    I would absolutly love a autographed copy of any of your books!!! Is there a way that I can join your mailing list as well? I am assuming I can do this via your website right?
    Meggie’s Reamains??? What is that one going to be about? Please let me know as I am sure it will be as good as your others. Will keep my eyes out for that one for sure.

    Thanks and Happy New Year!

  33. Cher Gorman

    Thank you, Joanne! Happy, Happy New Year to you too! I hope it’s your best ever!

    Glad tidings and best wishes to you and your family,


  34. Joanne Sundell

    Hi, Catslady!

    Would love to know the history behind your name! I’m such a nosy girl.

    I agree, it would have been a tough life in the best of parlor houses. Women didn’t have a lot of options in the 19th century in the West and have come a long way in some things. It would be interesting to find out the why’s and wherefore’s of women going into “the business” today. Things are not always what they appear to be. There’s a story behind every one of the Legends in Lace in Colorado history and a story behind every one of them today, too, I’m sure.

    Thanks so much for stopping in and commenting,


  35. Joanne Sundell

    Oh, Cher!

    I’m “dancing the happy dance” for you, starting NOW! This is great news! Absolute congratulations on being a finalist in the ST category for the Emily contest. So “kewl.” My goodness, if you get in with NAL that’s HUGE!

    Big hugs to your family and lots of continued good luck in the New Year!!!



  36. Cher Gorman

    Oh, you are too sweet, Joanne 🙂 Your next books sound wonderful. Series are always hot and readers, me included, love them! Especially when we get to see characters that we loved again in the following books. That’s always a treat. Good job! Can’t wait to read them.

    Since you asked, I’m finishing a single title called, Something Old, Something New, Something Dead about a wedding planner and a mortician. He He. As a matter of fact, I got a call on New Years Eve that it is a finalist in the Single Title Category of the Emily Contest sponsored by West Houston RWA :-)) So I’m thrilled. Great way to start off the new year. 🙂 An editor at NAL will be reading it. My goal is to have it finished by Feb 14, the day the winners are announced. 🙂


  37. catslady

    Wow – It’s sure interesting to read about but I wouldn’t have wanted to live during that time I don’t think! Women had such few choices and not much say!

  38. Joanne Sundell

    Are you kidding, Cher?

    The fact that you’re giving me a bit of your time today is a holiday gift that keeps on giving … so, THANK YOU! BTW, you’re never a bad penny, not with your HEART OF GOLD.

    I’d love to know what YOU’RE working on, now, too. This is a “tell-all” blog, isn’t it?

    Since you asked (heh heh) I just completed Book Two in my QUAKER AND CONFEDERATE SERIES, set in Civil War, Virginia. Book One is THE QUAKER AND THE CONFEDERATE~Hearts Divided, and Book Two is THE QUAKER AND THE CONFEDERATE~Hearts Persuaded. I’m submitting these as a series to Five Star-Gale. Fingers crossed here!!!!

    OK, your turn, Miss Cher …



  39. Cher Gorman

    Yes, it’s Cher again, turning up like the proverbial bad penny.

    I see on your web site that your next book, Meggie’s Remains, will be released in July of this year.

    Can you give us a little hint about what you’re working on at present?

    Congratulations on all the fabulous reviews for The Parlor House Daughter. 🙂


  40. Joanne Sundell

    My DEAR Rebecca!!!

    What are your marketing/publicist rates? I can’t thank you enough for mentioning my books, past and present. You can’t know how this old gal’s heart is warmed, indeed, by your posting here today.

    Hmmm, maybe there’s a signed copy in your future of my next release, MEGGIE’S REMAINS … tee hee.



  41. Rebecca Fessler

    I just finished reading the Parlor House Daughter and can say that I had a hard time putting it down. 🙂 It was an amazing read full of history, captivating characters, and a great story. It is another one of Joanne’s great books.
    The history of prostitution and all that these women had to endure is unbelievable. I was watching a documentary on prostitution the other day and was fascinated by the fact that it is one of the oldest known professions and that so many women still are involved with it today. Some of who are forced in to it and others who choose to do it for the money.
    If you haven’t read Joanne’s other two novels (Matchmaker, Matchmaker and A My Name is Amelia) I highly recommend that you do. Joanne is
    a wonderful writer who brings the pages to life in each of her stories. Can’t wait to see what is next.

  42. Joanne Sundell

    Hi, Joy!

    A native of Colorado, are you? VERY NICE E-MEETING YOU!

    I’ve lived in Colorado going on 40 years now (what???), with most of that time spent living over Berthoud Pass in Grand County. I agree with you that Colorado history is a draw and a heroic character in and of itself, in any romantic offering.

    Are you writing anything related to your wonderful family history in Colorado? Tell me, tell me …

    I’m so happy you stopped in and if you ever read any of my Colorado historical romances, you bet I’D LOVE YOUR OPINION!

    All the best,


  43. Joanne Sundell

    Hi, Cort!

    Phooey, proud of me? You’re too kind, Mr. Cort!
    That’s so “kewl” that you and Stanley rode Harley’s together in southern California. I still can’t believe he’s gone. Some … I don’t know … 10, maybe 15 years after high school, Stanley started getting in touch. Stupid me, I didn’t know he was world-famous … anyway … we kept up after that. The last time I talked to him on the phone was right after the last W-L reunion, bless his heart. It’s still a big hole, him being gone.

    I’m in California a lot, actually southern California! Heck, I’ll rent a Haryley (yeah right … and it better have a GPS) and go hang out on the 405 with ya, anytime!

    Love you for stopping in,


  44. Joanne Sundell

    Hi, Maryann!

    Too much fun, your stopping in for a visit. The Five Stars are gathering, tee hee. I appreciate your opinion of my blog offering this morning. I agree that it’s hard to imagine “life on the line” in 1880 Denver and the mining towns. Right now, much must still be kept undercover (excuse the poor pun) as prostitution is not legal in most states. There HAVE to be many of the same dangers “on the line” today, from the top to the bottom. I can’t imagine “surviving” anywhere along the spectrum!

    Thanks so much for commenting. I wish you GREAT SALES in ’09!

    ps: Hey everyone, go out and get Maryann’s latest release . . . NOW!!!

  45. JOY

    I was born in Colorado and really enjoyed readng your comments. Colorado has a colorful history of the west.
    My granfather’s ranch was a few miles from the old Bent’s Fort so I am very familiar with all of the happenings along the Santa Fe Trail.

  46. Cort

    We are all so proud of you and your literary accomplishments! In my book, you are up there with our classmate, Stan Winston! How sad that he passed away this year after his seven-year battle with cancer. We enjoyed riding Harleys together from time to time here in sunny Southern California! Take care, and stay warm!

  47. Maryann Miller

    Very informative blog, Joanne. Loved the old pictures. I can’t imagine a life like those women had, nor a life like the women of today have on the streets.

    Good luck with your book tour.

  48. Joanne Sundell

    … and for those of you who aren’t familiar with Cher’s work–she’s a multi-published, award-winning romance author and an all-around-wonderful person!

    Hey, Miss Cher!

    You’re as bad as me, up early, heh heh. The outside temp still registers -27 in beautiful downtown Tabernash. I hadn’t intended to join the Polar Bear Club when I let my huskies out this morning, but there’s a first time for everything!

    Thank you, girlfriend, for commenting this morning … another reason to Read and Buy all things Cher Gorman!!!



  49. Cher Gorman

    Hi Joanne!!

    Fascinating info about prostitution in the old West! 80 “tricks” a day! Holy Cow! Eeeeewwww!!! And they didn’t even take their boots off. I got this picture in my head of this woman who didn’t even get off the bed–just laid there waiting for the next john…I’m shuddering just thinking about it.

    For those of you who haven’t read Joanne’s work–you don’t know what you’re missing. She’s m’avelous, d’alings, simply m’avelous!

    Have a terrific day blogging!

    Love, Cher

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