Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Romantic Lumberjack? -- and a Book Giveaway!

By Tiffany Amber Stockton

Yesterday, we launched our brand new web site with a new design and a new name! Doesn't it look amazing? Again, thanks to Matt Jones with Jones House Creative for our fantastic banner.

To go along with this launch, we are having a series of giveaways hosted by various authors over the course of the next few weeks. All you need to do is follow the instructions in each post to be entered for your chance to win.

Since I just had my newest book release in August, I'm giving away a FREE autographed copy of A Grand Design to one lucky winner. Just answer one of the questions at the bottom of this post and place your answer in the comments, and you're entered to win. That's it!

** Oh, and my book isn't the only one being given away this week. So, leave comments every day on every post this week. The more posts on which you leave a comment, the more chances you'll have to win.

Here's a blurb about the book for those who don't like being surprised. :)

A fun getaway on a charming island may be just what Alyssa needs…if only she can let go of her past.

Fifteen years ago, Alyssa Denham stopped taking her annual summer trip to Mackinac Island, refusing to tell anyone the reason she avoided the island she loved as a child. Now here she is, unexpectedly on the island for two weeks with her best friend, Libby, trying to keep her secret buried. Alyssa’s grandmother, who lives on the island, has asked Alyssa and Libby to help piece together a friendship quilt she had started years earlier. Their quest takes them to the homes of some of her grandmother’s long-lost friends, giving Alyssa amazing insight into her grandmother’s life…and attracting the attention of the handsome Scott Whitman. Will memories of her past keep Alyssa from letting go? Or will she finally learn to trust and let God heal her fractured heart?

And now back to your regularly scheduled blog post:

* * * * * * * * * *

When we think of the old west, the cowboy immediately comes to mind, but he wasn’t the only type of man to swarm across the plains and into the mountains in search of steady work.

The hearty loggers came in droves and lived a lifestyle uniquely their own. I have pages and pages of details about these men from the research I’ve done for some ideas on books set in the 1880’s about lumberjacks. There is no way I could share all of this with you in one blog, so I’ll just hit the highlights.

Man is either dominated *by* the forest or he *dominates* the forest. The lumberjack knew this very well and quickly gained a respect for the woods or else he died. He faced danger from sunup to sundown six days a week, and his instinct for survival never slept. Even at rest, every muscle and nerve remained alert.

At the end of each day, two dozen “shanty boys” lived in a single log cabin, and fights broke out nightly over something as insignificant as someone else’s socks laying on the floor in front of a man’s bunk. The fights were squelched as quickly as they started by the other men because fighting was outlawed by the Timber Boss. A man might not only lose his pay, but his job as well, for fighting, drinking, or reveling with women of the sordid type. These weren’t allowed in camp—ever.

So, on Saturday night after supper, the lumber camp quickly emptied as the men made their way to the nearest town to let off the “charge of gunpowder” they’d held inside for six days.

Whenever a lumber camp was situated near a town, the houses of ill repute relocated to the end of the skid road, the trail built by the lumberjacks that contained logs at ten-foot intervals down the road for the ease of being able to skid their logs down to the mill yard.

It didn’t take long for these saloons and soiled doves, women of bad reputation, to become known as "skid row." The name has stuck to this day as a description of a bawdy place in any town, but it originated with the loggers.

The lumberjacks too lived by an unwritten “code” that said no man could offend, insult, or molest a woman or speak lightly of a woman of good reputation. By the code, women and children were helpless and always safe when woodsmen were around.

It didn’t take long for gamblers to infiltrate the camps, taking jobs for a time to size up the crew and find out how much money they had. Lumber camps were ripe with men unable to spend their money throughout the week and they easily fell victim to the gamblers’ games.

The camps were one of the least discriminating places in the west. Without blinking an eye, they hired men from all backgrounds and nationalities. These men worked hard from the moment the whistle belted out “Daylight in the Swamp” at dawn’s first light to “Gabriel Time” calling them in to supper. They gulped their meals in less than ten minutes, because there wasn’t much time left before their nine o’clock bedtime.

You may think the life of the early lumberjack to have been very harsh and restrictive, and they were, but the Timber Bosses paid them a dollar a day and higher, and competed with other logging camps by offering better and more food, better bunks, thicker blankets, and other perks in order to attract hard-working men to their camp.

The lumberjacks quickly found this out and soon got the reputation of being persnickety over something like rancid butter or over-cooked flapjacks. They nailed the offending victuals to the cookhouse door and walked off the job in search of a camp with better food, leaving the Timber Bosses scrambling to move men into different teams in order to keep up with their eight to ten-thousand board feet per day goals and deadlines.

Now it's YOUR turn:

  • Have you read any books or seen any movies where the lumberjack is a prominent character? What is the title of the book or name of the movie?
  • Would you read a series or even a single book if a lumberjack was the hero? Why or why not?
  • Did any of the above change your view or knowledge of the lumberjack? What was it?

** I'll announce the winner from the drawing in the comments once the winner has been selected. And the name will also go in the right sidebar of our blog.

Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood. Today, she is an award-winning author and speaker who has partnered with Nerium International in the anti-aging skin care industry, helping others look younger and live better. She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have one girl and one boy, an Aussie/retriever mix named Roxie and and Australian cattle dog/Corgi mix named Timber. She has sold fourteen books so far and is represented by agent Sandra Bishop. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hi Tiffany! I love anything Mackinac Island related so I've been eagerly awaiting your book for months now! The only movie I can think of about lumberjacks is The Journey of Natty Gann (from the 80's) where a young girl searches for her father, who's one of the men who helps saw off the very tops of the trees that are being cut down. Does that count?
    kam110476 at gmail dot com

  2. Can't wait to read your book! I live in MI and we love to visit Mackinac Island. I remember Jody Hedlund's Unending Devotion for logging camps and such. I really liked reading about it, it gives you a respect for the hard conditions and life of a lumberjack. Thanks for sharing!
    lattebooks at hotmail dot com

  3. I would definitely read a book with a lumberjack as the hero. Thank you for this great giveaway...I love the new look!!!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  4. I would read a book with the main character as a lumberjack.
    grammador at gmail dot com

  5. The only lumberjack I remember reading about as a child was Paul Bunyon but I'm not so sure the word romance was in his vocabulary - LOL

  6. Jeanne Leach wrote a Christian romance book set at a lumber camp. It's titled Trouble in the Cookhouse. (I think it's just an eBook on Amazon.) Lumberjacks are a very interesting breed!

    derobin7 (at) gmail (dot) com

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I've read Lori Wick's The Long Road Home, in which the hero's legs are crushed by a falling tree. The medical care reminds me of Civil War care.
    tlw131 [at] gmail [dot] com

  9. One of the books I remember reading about a lumberjack is June by Lori Copeland. She heads out west to be a mail order bride for a pastor, but he ends up passing away before they marry. She ends up falling in love with the local timber camp boss. Lumberjacks are definitely interesting! jumpforjoy at gmail dot com

  10. Thanks for all the neat tidbits of history surrounding lumberjacks. The only book I remember reading that had lumberjacks in it was one I read as a child called Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter.

  11. My great grandfather, Pridge Farmer, worked as a timber squarer in Squaretown, Arkansas. We have a pic of him with a felled tree holding his ax. We also have a pic of my dad holding that huge broadax. Until your article, I hadn't thought about that lifestyle or the dangers he faced. Great article. Thanks.

  12. I think I read a book by Jody Hedlund set in a logging town. Unending Devotion was the title I think. Hard life for those men working in the camps. I'm sure some of them left families behind in search of a good paycheck.

  13. Forgot to leave my e-mail address...


  14. Tiffany, I would absolutely read a book about a lumberjack. Love the new look and name here. Exquisite!

  15. I can imagine how hard a life that would have been. Just cutting wood for the fireplace is work enough. I do not remember reading any story about lumberjacks...
    DK Stevens dkstevensne @ outlook.com

  16. I love reading stories about lumberjacks; my favorite is The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena Miller. Looks like I have some more books to add to my TBR list! Thanks for sharing this post!

  17. No I have not read any books with a lumberjack but sounds interesting.

  18. Looks really good
    Dawn @ pttravelingspirit@hotmail.com

  19. Looks good -thanks for the chance! truckredford(at)Gmail(Dot)com

  20. I really can't recall a specific book featuring a lumberjack hero but I wouldn't be surprised if I have read one since I've read so many books. It would be interesting (and rather a change) to read a book with a hero who is a lumberjack.
    Your new website looks great.. I like the new name as well.


  21. Love the new look!! I have read a book where the hero was a lumberjack, but I can't recall the name (it's been a LONG while!!). And yes, I would watch a movie or read a book/series based on lumberjacks.


  22. I can't remember reading a book or seeing a movie about lumberjacks but would read a book with one as the hero. I had no idea about skid row or that there was such competition between the lumber camps. Thank you!


  23. Hi, Amber. I didn't realize lumberjacks were so rowdy. You would think with all the hard work they did, they'd be too tired to bicker over a pair of socks. But then, maybe that's why they fought.

  24. I am writing a book right now on this very topic. Tough trees and tall men is a great book!

  25. Thanks for this post Amber. I hadn't heard this much about the lumberjacks. Glad to hear about this camp that such good rules for the men. Sure didn't know that. Yes, I definitely read a book with the hero being a lumberjack. I'm sure I read a book about one a long time ago. Don't remember the name. I've also saw westerns that there were lumberjacks in it along with others. Thanks for the give-away. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

  26. It's amazing what they accomplished with their hands! truckredford(at gmail dot com

  27. My book "The Fruitcake Challenge" is about lumber camps and the romance between a camp cook and a lumberjack. My grandfather was a camp boss and my grandmother camp cook. I'm from Michigan and grew up with all these tales of the lumbering history. Serena Miller's book is lovely and I'm so delighted that she has endorsed my novella and reviewed it! Looking forward to reading your book, and I had no idea that your hero was a lumberjack in this story, is he? Blessings!