Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Please Welcome Donna Schlachter

To celebrate the release of The Pony Express Romance Collection, we're highlighting the date the first Pony Express run began -- April 3rd -- and looking at other dates in history to see what happened.
On April 3rd, 1953, the "TV Guide" was first published. During the 1940s, TV Guide magazine was comprised of three magazines, Chicago’s Television Forecast, Philadelphia’s Local Telviser, and New York’s Television Guide. They eventually merged and on April 3, 1953, the first national edition of TV Guide was released. The photo on the first edition of the newly formed TV Guide featured Desi Arnaz Jr., the baby of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
By the 1960s, TV Guide became one of the most circulated and read magazine in the country and in 1974, TV Guide became the first magazine in history to sell a billion copies.[1]
While it may be difficult to imagine a world without television, the truth is that before the 1950's, televisions were a luxury, and in 1945, for example, there were probably less than 10,000 TV's in the entire country. But by 1960, 90 percent of households had at least 1 set. [2]
This meant television shows had to be produced to fill those broadcast hours. Westerns have always been popular with the reading public, and so it seemed common sense that television viewers would also like to watch their favorite stars riding and bucking and shooting.
It should come as no surprise that several series have aired, including "The Pony Express" in 1959[3] as well as "The Overland Mail" and others[4]. The topic was also popular in a number of movies.
For a company that delivered mail for just over eighteen months, the legacy of the Pony Express still lives on. Perhaps it's the lure of the unknown, the desire to make a difference, or simply the romantic notion that the Wild West was a better way of life. Whatever the reason, here's to the ongoing interest in this nugget of American history.
Giveaway: One lucky winner will be chosen from those who leave a comment, and you will receive a free print copy of The Pony Express Romance Collection (US address only, please)

Echoes of the Heart
Catherine Malloy, an orphan girl running from a compromising situation in Boston, answers a personal ad in a magazine, on behalf of her illiterate friend. Through his letters, she finds herself falling in love with this stranger. Benjamin Troudt is crippled and illiterate, and knows nothing of this ad. His route supervisor, Warton, who was helping Benjamin with the paperwork, has been given only a short time to live, and knows Benjamin needs help, so he places the ad. Can Catherine overcome her belief that the God of her parents has abandoned her? And can Benjamin allow God to open his eyes and his heart to love?

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. Donna is a ghostwriter, editor of fiction and non-fiction, judges in a number of writing contests, and teaches online courses.


  1. Hi Donna, thank you for all the wonderful info on TV Guide. I read the magazine for years and never knew the history behind it. Now I do.

  2. Hi Debby, thanks for letting me share with your readers.