Spring Filly Fun – And a Giveaway!!!

It’s springtime at the Junction, and it’s my favorite season of the year. The countryside is turning green, wildflowers are blooming, the Texas sun shines without the deadly summer heat, and blue skies lift my spirits. The signs of new life and fresh beginnings fill me with hope.

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By far, my favorite spring sightings in Texas are the bluebonnets. I start looking for them every year around this time. They don’t generally start blooming this far north until April, but sometimes I catch a glimpse of a few early ones peeking through the grass along the highway.

One of my other favorite things about spring is all the birthdays in my family. My husband’s birthday was March 9, my youngest son’s was March 22, and today is my mom’s birthday.

In honor of my mom, I’m going to give away a set of three books by the lovely Tracie Peterson. This is her Sapphire Brides series – and since sapphires are blue and bluebonnets are blue – it seemed fitting. (OK, that’s a bit of a stretch, but who cares? It’s free books!)

  • To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment describing your favorite element of spring.

 

Karen Witemeyer
Winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the HOLT Medallion, and two-time RITA finalist, CBA bestselling author, Karen Witemeyer, writes historical romance for Bethany House believing the world needs more happily ever afters ... and hunky cowboy heroes. She's an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. She makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children.

Spring Special Week Winners for Monday

 

Monday’s Winners

I’m thrilled to announce the winner’s of Monday’s

Fillies’ Four Seasons Blog.

Congratulations to

Renee Longo, Veda Funk, and Glenda Kinard

Ladies, I’ll send you an email later, so you can claim your

eBook copy of The Troubled Texan

Again, congratulations!

Phyliss
A native Texan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Phyliss Miranda still believes in the Code of the Old West and loves to share her love for antiques, the lost art of quilting, and the Wild West.

Visit her at phylissmiranda.com
Updated: March 27, 2017 — 9:22 pm

Spring — Texas Wildflowers

By Phyliss Miranda

I am thrilled to kick off the Spring Special Week for Petticoats and Pistols.  Being a born and raised Texan, I couldn’t resist doing a blog on the Spring wildflowers of Texas.

We have an abundance of variations of wildflowers in the state.  Being 1,244 miles wide and 801 miles from north to south, we equal some 268,601 square miles with topography from the Gulf of Mexico to the caprock  of the Panhandle then east to the thickness of East Texas and back west to the Llano Estacado.  The “Lone Star” state has 254 counties spread over this quarter of a million square miles.  Needless to say, we have a record number of wildflowers.

Our state flower is the beautiful bluebonnet; one of more than 5,000 species of flowering plants native to Texas.  Their abundance is the results of an exceptional multitude of plant habitats and weather conditions.  One of the old sayin’ around our parts is: “If you don’t like the weather, just stick around it’ll change by tomorrow.”  I don’t know who coined the phrase, but it’s so very true.

My darling husband retired from the Texas Highway Department (now the Department of Highways and Public Transportation).  Along the roads of the Texas highway system lie more than 700,000 acres of right of way. TexDot cares for every acre and their commitment led to making the landscape more beautiful by transplanting wild flowers.  I’m not going to go into where the 5,000 wildflower species are planted, I’m just going to hit some of my favorite types of wildflowers and a tad about them. One little personal note that might save you a ticket. It’s against the law to pull a wildflower along our highways.

In my town on the corner of two of our busiest streets is a huge Yucca plant that always blooms in the spring.  Native Texans held the Yucca in high regard for its practical uses.  The stalks were roasted or dried for eating. Prehistoric humans reportedly twisted the fibers into twine and rope to make belts and bow strings.  Yucca roots were pounded to a pulp and mixed with water to make shampoo.  It’s still a popular base of many shampoos and body bars today.

The Indian Blanket of bright red-and-yellow-flowers in the height of spring, hold many legends. One came to light around 1928 and really stands out for me.  A young Native American girl was lost in the woods, and as the cold night fell, she asked “The Great Spirit” to cover her with the beautiful blanket she had seen her mother weaving for her warrior father.  When she woke the next morning, she found the fields covered in gaillardia, which her people called the Indian blanket from that day forth.  The original Indian Blanket flower were entirely yellow, per folklore.

Another flower native to Texas is Indian Paintbrush.  They are known as the co-star to the Bluebonnet and are seen together in many fields. There are approximately 200 different species of the flower, and nine are Texas natives.  While Indian Paintbrush is by far the flower’s most common name, it is occasionally called butterfly weed, prairie fire, painted lady, and grandmother’s hair.  The last nickname can be attributed to the Chippewa tribe, who used the flower to make a hair wash and treat women’s ailments including rheumatism.

I want to leave you with one of the least favorite wildflowers of Texas, but one that really sticks in my mind.  The Jimsonweed, also known as the Thorn Apple and Angel Trumpet, is a large, white, trumpet-shaped flower that can be found from one end of the state to the other.  It holds a refreshing surprise.  My first encounter with the Jimsonweed was in San Antonio where my oldest daughter and family once lived.  They built their house in an area where they had land behind the house and in the spring a number of vegetables and flowers would come up, corn for one.  Along the sidewalk there was natural Jimsonweed; therefore, the walk was built to follow the plant  up to the house.  During the day there was nothing but a vine, no flower, really nothing by big green leaves.  This went on for months until I went outside in the middle of the night and there were beautiful trumpet  flowers on the branches.  This wildflower stays dormant until sundown and blooms at night! One of the amazing things is that the plant is poisonous by nature and has a bad odor and taste; therefore, livestock and wild animals stay away from it.  It has to be one of the most interesting wildflowers of Texas.

What is your favorite wildflower?  I know I focused on Texas, but every state has their favorite. If you don’t have a favorite then please share with us your state’s flower.

For three lucky winners, I am giving away an eBook of my latest Kasota Springs Romance “The Troubled Texan”.

I just received word that “The Troubled Texan” eBooks is still on sale at all major retailers and they’ve extended both the special pricing of 99 cents to April 12th, as well as additional outlets.

 

 

 

Phyliss
A native Texan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Phyliss Miranda still believes in the Code of the Old West and loves to share her love for antiques, the lost art of quilting, and the Wild West.

Visit her at phylissmiranda.com
Updated: March 26, 2017 — 6:42 pm

Diane Kalas Has a Winner!

Bless your soul, Miss Diane! Thank you for sharing Custer and Libbie with us.

And now for the random drawing…………

Winner of either the print or ebook copy of Honor Bright is……

MELISSA C.

Woo-Hoo! I’m so happy for you, Melissa. Miss Diane will be in touch so be watching for her email.

 

Felicia Filly
When I'm not keepin' all these Fillies in line, I'm practicing my roping so I can catch me a cowboy. Me and Jasper (my mule) are two peas in a pod. Both of us are as crotchety as all get-out.
Updated: March 26, 2017 — 10:36 am

It’s Time for Spring Break!

Howdy to all our friends and family! This year, the fillies are taking turns celebrating each beautiful season.  Join us all next week for a spring fling of blooms and beauty, fresh starts and fun as we take a Spring Break!

 

You never know what you’re gonna find so come and join the fun!

Yee-Haw! You might win something!

Special thanks to Kelli McCaslin of South Lake Tahoe, California, for the beautiful photographs. We so appreciate you sharing your talent with us!

Felicia Filly
When I'm not keepin' all these Fillies in line, I'm practicing my roping so I can catch me a cowboy. Me and Jasper (my mule) are two peas in a pod. Both of us are as crotchety as all get-out.
Updated: March 26, 2017 — 10:38 am

My Fascination with George and Libbie Custer ~ by Diane Kalas

My current release is HONOR BRIGHT, An Inspirational Historical Romance Set in the West, Officers of the 7th Cavalry Series 1.

George and Libby CusterGeorge and Libbie Custer are secondary characters and hometown neighbors of my heroine in book 1. The story takes place two years before Custer’s last campaign, a time when tensions were escalating on both sides of the issues. Each book in Officers of the 7th Cavalry Series, takes the reader closer to the final event in the Little Bighorn Valley.

How did I become interested in the Custer story? I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and knew that Custer spent some of his childhood in my home state. A job transfer moved us to Ohio for several years where we traveled the I-75 north through Monroe, Michigan to visit family. Alongside the highway in Monroe is a huge billboard with Custer in uniform stating: Monroe, Michigan – boyhood home of the boy-general. A few years later, a temporary job transfer brought us back to Michigan for a year. My husband rented a house on Lake Erie in Monroe County.

At that time, I had no plans about Custer being in one of my future books. Out of curiosity, however, I visited the small Custer museum in Monroe, and a neighborhood bookstore where I purchased several books about George and Libbie Custer written by a local Custer historian. Next, I stopped by the Monroe County Library that has a fantastic Custer Collection.

The librarian informed me that next to Presidents Washington and Lincoln, no other historical figure in our country has as many books written about him as George A. Custer. She also mentioned that people living in Japan and Italy have made inquiries about Custer’s career. After all this time, people want to learn more details about the controversial boy-general!

At a county flea market, I found an original edition of Libbie Custer’s BOOTS AND SADDLES or Life in Dakota with General Custer, Harper & Brothers, New York, 1885. That was the first book Libbie wrote, years after George died. Cost: $6.00. I do not really believe in coincidences. I finished four other stories, before starting my current release: HONOR BRIGHT, An Inspirational Historical Romance Set in the West, Officers of the 7th Cavalry Series 1.

George Armstrong Custer’s prankish career at the United States Military Academy put him last in his 1861 graduating class. Afterward, his flamboyant cavalry escapes during the Civil War brought a continual interest from the press of the day. Old men admired his courage and women saw him as a dashing figure. Today, however, mention Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer and his 7th Regiment of Cavalry, given to Custer as a reward for his Civil War record, and images of war against the Plains Indians come to mind. Current authors and historians write more books about Custer as villain, because of the post-Civil War years, than as hero.

When people react negatively to Custer’s name, it is because as a military officer he represented our government and its policies at that time. Our point of view today, concerning the western expansion after the Civil War, is sympathetic toward the Indians and highly critical of our actions against Native Americans.

The list of officers mentioned here guided and/or ordered Custer’s military career. General Alfred Terry, Custer’s immediate superior; Major-General Phil Sheridan, his close friend and mentor; Major-General William Tecumseh Sherman; President Ulysses S. Grant, commander in chief (all Civil War generals). In other words, Custer did not act alone.

My bibliography for Officers of the 7th Cavalry Series has exceeded my budget. Last month, I purchased two additional books on Custer. I’m hooked on research.

Some called the Little Bighorn Battle “a clash of cultures and Custer, a man of his time.” My hope is that the reader will enjoy the fictional story with interesting characters, set against the backdrop of an isolated fort in the Dakota Territory in 1874.

About the house on the cover of Honor Bright

The cover of HONOR BRIGHT, Officers of the 7th Cavalry Series 1, features the 1989, rebuilt home and command headquarters for the famous 7th Cavalry. This was George and Libbie Custer’s first home built for them by the U. S. government, and the reassembled 7th Cavalry Regiment since it was formed after the Civil War. Location is Fort Abraham Lincoln, across the Missouri River from Bismarck, Dakota Territory (ND today).

The Fort Abraham Lincoln Foundation raised funds and constructed the home after years of research and planning. The estimated total cost to develop Cavalry Square was $6 million, with $2 million appropriated by the U. S. Congress. The Custer House cost almost $400,000. The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department now operates the Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park.

As the centerpiece of Fort Abraham Lincoln, the Custer house is the third built on the exact same lot as the original Custer residence. The first was built in 1873, one of seven buildings that formed Officers’ Row on the fort’s western perimeter. In the center of three duplexes for bachelor or married officers, is the Custer home.

Fire destroyed the original house in the middle of the night in February 1874. George and Libbie barely escaped with their lives. Donations quickly replaced just about everything they lost. Libbie called their frontier home elegant, especially after she requested the installation of the bay window in her parlor, and George provided funds for the railing to the second story (balustrade) made of butternut, a difficult wood that required 80 hours of labor to construct.

 

Honor Bright by Diane KalasHONOR BRIGHT, Officers of the 7th Cavalry Series 1

Spring 1874. Rebecca Brewster arrives at Fort Abraham Lincoln to preview life on the far western frontier, before her marriage to an officer in Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer’s famous 7th Cavalry Regiment. Becca is soon disillusioned with her childhood love who is critical of her tomboyish ways. He insists she behave as a lady in the footsteps of Libbie Custer.

Major Randall Steelman, second in command under Custer, finds Becca’s fun-loving spirit and open affectionate ways charming. As an officer, however, Rand’s strict code of conduct forbids him to act on his interest in a woman when it involves a brother officer. How can he stand by and watch Becca marry an arrogant hothead with unbridled ambition, when he finds Becca more irresistible each day?

Amid increasing tension between the hostile Sioux Indians and the government that Custer represents, Rand walks a tightrope balancing professional duties and a friendship with his commander. Custer’s reputation is two-fold: Capable cavalry officer and fearless leader; arrogant and petty tyrant.

With one-year left to serve his country, Rand is determined to retire with a blemish-free record and with his rank intact. Becca must make a life-changing decision, before it’s too late and she marries the wrong man.

The book is available on Amazon.

 

About the author

Diane KalasDiane Kalas collects antique books written by men and women who lived through the American Civil War, and/or who pioneered out West. With a degree in interior design, she enjoys touring historical sites, especially Federal era homes with period furniture. Published writers Pamela Griffin, Gina Welborn, and Kathleen Maher have been critique partners and mentors. Diane’s biggest challenge is writing Inspirational Historical Romance. Her biggest distraction is her fascination with historical research. Diane is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Find Diane online at:
Facebook
Forget Me Not Romances
Blog: Transporting you back in time
Pinterest: 19th Century history, architecture, and fashion
Twitter

Other books by Diane Kalas:
PATRIOT HEART, Journey Home Series 1
FAITHFUL HEART, Journey Home Series 2
HOPEFUL HEART, Journey Home Series 3

Diane will give either an e-book or paperback copy of HONOR BRIGHT, Officers of the 7th Cavalry Series 1, to someone who leaves a comment, so y’all head on down yonder and say howdy!

Save

Guest Blogger

They Said What?

There’s nothing like looking back at the Old West through the words of those who lived it. There were some real characters back them, and here are a few actual quotes to prove it.

Words to Live By

  • “Never run a bluff with a six-gun.”– Bat Masterson
  • “As a good horse is not very apt to jump over a bank, if left to guide himself, I let mine pick his own way.”-Buffalo Bill
  • “Why should I obtain by force that which I can obtain by cheating?”-Doc Holliday
  • “Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.” –Wyatt Earp
  • “Shoot first and never miss.” – Bat Masterson

Setting the Record Straight

  • “They say I killed six or seven men for snoring. It ain’t true. I only killed one man for snoring.” – John Wesley Hardin

Famous Last Words

  • “If a man knows anything, he ought to die with it in him.” -Sam Bass
  • “Can’t you hurry this up a bit? I hear they eat dinner in Hades at twelve sharp and I don’t aim to be late.” – Black Jack Ketchum
  • “Let the record show I’ve killed 51 men. Let ’er rip.” Deacon Jim Miller, professional killer
  • “Suppose, suppose …” Wyatt Earp
  • “I see a good many enemies around, and mighty few friends.”-Bill Longley

Calamity Jane

 Girls with Guns

  • “I figure, if a girl wants to be a legend, she should just go ahead and be one.” -Calamity Jane
  • “A pair of six-shooters beats a pair of sixes.” -Belle Starr
  • “I never killed unless I was compelled to.” -Belle Starr
  • “I ain’t afraid to love a man. I ain’t afraid to shoot him either.”-Annie Oakley

Now That’s Mighty Thoughtful

  • “I didn’t want to send him to hell on an empty stomach.”- Clay Allison after killing a man at dinner

The Hangman Speaketh

  • “I never hanged a man that didn’t deserve it.” Judge Parker’s hangman George Maledon
  • “We never did hang the wrong one but once or twice, and them fellers needed to be hung anyhow jes’ on general principles.”- nameless judge

 That Fighting Spirit

  • “Well, if there ain’t going to be any rules, let’s get the fight started.” -Butch Cassidy
  • “I want results when I fight.”- Frank James

  Reaching for the Stars

  • “All my life I wanted to be a bank robber. Carry a gun and wear a mask. Now that it’s happened I guess I’m just about the best bank robber they ever had. And I sure am happy.” -John Dillinger

 Okay now it’s your turn. 

What saying or words of wisdom would you like to be remembered for?

 

There’s a new sheriff in town and she almost always gets her man!

A Match Made in Texas

Available for pre-order

B&N

iTunes

 

 

 

Margaret Brownley
Margaret has published more than 40 books and is a N.Y. Times Bestselling author and past Romance Writers of America Rita Finalist. She writes historical novels set--where else?--in the Old West! A Match Made in Texas is available for pre-order now. Margaret's stories also appear in the 12 Brides of Christmas, Pioneer Christmas and Second Chance at Star Inn collections. Not bad for someone who flunked 8th grade English. Just don't ask her to diagram a sentence.
Updated: March 19, 2017 — 7:43 am

We Have a Winner — Two of them

Howdy!

Yes, indeed, we have 2 winners — sometimes happens when I draw two names at the same time…  Those winners are:

Deanne Patterson and Nancy Farrier

Congratulations to you both.  As you know we here on Petticoats and Pistols rely on you to contact us, so please email me privately at karenkay(dot)author(at)earthlink(dot)net and we’ll figure out how to get these e-books to you.

Many thanks to all of you who came to the blog today and who left a message.  It means so much to me to hear from you and to read your thoughts on these sometimes important issues.  Please keep coming back here — you are important to me and to all of us here at the Junction.

Karen Kay
KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the author of 17 American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
Please refer to http://petticoatsandpistols.com/sweepstakesrules for all contest rules.
Updated: March 22, 2017 — 10:00 am

Diane Kalas Returns to the Junction!

Miss Diane has started out and will arrive here on Friday, March 24, 2017!

This dear lady loves everything historical and will have something something fun to share. You can bet on that.

And she’s toting a book to give to someone.

Join the party! Come and be counted.

Shake the wrinkles out of your bustle and saddle up. 

 

Felicia Filly
When I'm not keepin' all these Fillies in line, I'm practicing my roping so I can catch me a cowboy. Me and Jasper (my mule) are two peas in a pod. Both of us are as crotchety as all get-out.
Updated: March 21, 2017 — 12:50 pm

RITA Finalists!

Buy LEFT AT THE ALTAR on Amazon

Buy WITH THIS RING on Amazon

Pam Crooks
Pam has written 14 western romances, most with Harlequin Historicals. She has recently re-released four titles by ebook, individually and in a boxed set titled IN THE ARMS OF A COWBOY. More releases are HER MOTHER'S KILLER, a romantic suspense, and THE SPYGLASS PROJECT, Book One of her new Secret Six series, historical suspense set in the 1920s! THE BREWER'S DAUGHTER, Book Two. Next up - KISSES LIKE WINE, Book Three!
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