Victoria Bylin Has Winners!

SomeoneLikeYouCoverYeeHaw! What a fun visit. Miss Vickie shouldn’t wait so long to come back, darn it!

And what a passel of books to give away! Lordy, Lordy!

From a random drawing……………….

DEBRA G

JOYE

JOAN ARNING

Wow, ladies! Congratulations! Miss Victoria will contact you for your selections and arrange delivery of the prize.

 

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.

Victoria Bylin: Who Says You Can’t Go Home Again?

Give a big howdy to former Filly, Vickie Bylin! We’re so happy she came to visit. AND she brought books to give away. Three in fact, so leave a comment!

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Home   . . .  That word is one of the most evocative in the English language. It’s also a fitting theme for today’s blog, because Petticoats & Pistols was my home for over three years. Hello, Fillies!  I miss hanging out with you and the P&P readers. I thoroughly enjoyed being a Filly during my time with Harlequin Historical and Love Inspired Historical.

 

Westerns will always be close to my heart. So will California with its beaches, mountains, valleys, and deserts. The state may not be the first one to pop in your mind when you think “traditional western,” not like Texas or Wyoming, but the history and culture have a western flavor.

 

SomeoneLikeYouCoverI live in Lexington, Kentucky now, but I miss the Golden State. That’s why I started writing about it. If we took a road trip with the characters in my contemporary romances, we’d walk barefoot on Pismo Beach, see endangered California condors in the wild, and camp out on Anacapa Island.

 

The Pismo Beach scene is in my latest release, Someone Like You (Bethany House, May 2016). The story is set at a historic resort in central California and is about what happens when college sweethearts meet after six years. Back at UC Berkeley, Zeke Monroe was a strong Christian, and Julia Dare believed in living for the moment. Fast forward six years . . . Now Zeke is struggling with his faith and Julia is a new believer and a single mom with a four-year-old son.

 


Until I Found YouTo add some western flavor (and because I like country music), I made the owners of the resort a retired country music duo called the Travers Twins. Ginger Travers no longer performs, but George Travers (who looks and sounds a lot like Sam Elliot) is going strong and still a heartthrob for Julia’s widowed mother.

 

California condors played a big role in Until I Found You. Those birds are amazing!  During the 1990s, when my family and I lived in the Los Padres National Forest a.k.a. “Condor Country,” we had the pleasure of seeing condors soar over our home. With their nine-foot wingspans, the birds look like glider planes. Writing about them brought back some great memories.  

 

Together With YouGoing camping again on Anacapa Island is another secret dream.  Anacapa (pronounced ANN-a-cap-a) is one of the Channel Islands off the Southern California coast. In Together With You. Kentucky girl Carly Jo Mason and Los Angeles ophthalmologist Dr. Ryan Tremaine make a trip to the island with his kids.

 

 Ryan and Carly have quite the romance, but a little girl named Penny stole even more hearts—including mine. Penny has special needs and remains one of my favorite characters.

 

Thank you for taking a mini-trip home with me!  When it comes to romance, California is the perfect setting for strong characters, dramatic plots, and stories that touch the heart.

To celebrate my home state, I’d like to give away three books—reader choice from the titles above. Leave a comment and you’ll be entered in the drawing!

 

A big thank you to the Fillies for inviting me to visit.  As the saying goes, “East or West, Home is Best.”

You can contact Vickie at:

WEBSITE   |    FACEBOOK    |     TWITTER   |   BLOGPOST

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Guest Blogger

We Have a Winner!

12 brides of summerIt was fun reading about your furry friends. Thank you for sharing. 

The 12 Brides of Summer and Dog Toy goes to:

Ellie

Send me an email with your mailing address:  margaretbrownley1@gmail.com

If Bogie has a favorite color, send that, too.

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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! Calico Spy, the exciting conclusion to her Undercover Ladies series can be preordered now. Margaret's stories also appear in the 12 Brides of Christmas and Pioneer Christmas collections, available now. Not bad for someone who flunked 8th grade English. Just don't ask her to diagram a sentence.

It’s a Dog’s World–Book and Dog Toy Giveaway

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When two people share the same dog, there’s bound to be trouble

The Twelve Brides of Summer collection has just been released. My story The Dog Days of Summer Bride features a cow dog, which is just another name for a herding dog. I’ve always loved border collies so that was my breed of choice. Since the dog in my story has the annoying habit of disappearing every week for a couple of days, the independent nature of these dogs was a trait that served me well. His herding instincts also made him the perfect matchmaker. I mean, if a dog can herd sheep and cattle, he can bring people together, right?  Here’s a short blurb:

Music teacher Marilee Davis and blacksmith Jed Colbert don’t realize they’ve been sharing the same dog until…it digs up a stash of stolen loot.  The reward will go to the dog’s owner—if only that can be determined.

Border collies have an interesting history. In the 19th century a Northumberland man created the ideal herding dog by combining several breeds.  TMozarthis particular dog was especially  suited to herding sheep along the border dividing Scotland and England, which is how it got its name.  Collie is a Scottish dialect word to describe herding dogs.

Scottish sheepherders immigrating to America brought their border collies with them.  Some of these same sheepherders were lured west during the California gold rush, dogs by their side.  It didn’t take long for cattlemen to note the value of these black and white dogs and this led to a whole new way of herding.

A good cow dog can do the work of seven cowboys. (Today workers are replaced by machines and robots; back then it was dogs.) By the end of the nineteenth century, border collies and Australian cattle dogs were a familiar sight on every working ranch and cattle drive.

The dog in my story has the annoying habit of disappearing each week.  Tell us about a habit (annoying or endearing) that your dog or a dog you know has, and you could win a copy of The Twelve Brides of Summer and a dog toy made by yours truly.  (Note Giveaway Guidelines apply.)

 

12 brides of summerAmazon

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! Calico Spy, the exciting conclusion to her Undercover Ladies series can be preordered now. Margaret's stories also appear in the 12 Brides of Christmas and Pioneer Christmas collections, available now. Not bad for someone who flunked 8th grade English. Just don't ask her to diagram a sentence.

We Have a Winner for Karen Kay’s Mass Market book, WAR CLOUD’S PASSION

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Many thanks to all those who came to the blog yesterday and who left their thoughts about the Mandan Indians.  So many points were made that I’d never even considered.  Many thanks to Eliza who did some awesome research with links for all of us who wanted to know more.

So…names were drawn and the winner of the free book is:  Elaine Breault

Elaine, please contact me at karenkay.author@earthlink.net — since this is a physical book, I will need an address.  Again, many thanks to all of you!  I enjoy every comment.

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.

Victoria Bylin Coming to Visit Friday!

SomeoneLikeYouCoverWe’re so excited! Miss Victoria Bylin is coming to visit on Friday, May 27, 2016!

This former Filly is going to talk about a subject near to her heart–Home. Sometimes you can go home again. Miss Vickie oughta know.

AND…she’s toting three books to give away!

Come by and sit a spell. Talk about old times.

Win a book!

 

 

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.

1870’s with a 30’s Twist

I love early western movies—those made in the late 1920’s or early 1930’s. These movies were made close enough to the times they portrayed—the 1860s-1890’s—that the sets, the clothing, the horse gear, have a fighting chance of being fairly accurate. And if they’re not accurate, at least they’re interesting.

This weekend I watched Zane Grey’s To the Last Man, which was filmed in 1933. It wasn’t the most accurate western I’ve ever seen clothing-wise…but it was interesting.

The story was one of young love redeeming feuding families. The Colby and Hayden families have feuded in Kentucky for generations. After the Civil War, Jed Colby (Noah Beery Sr.) goes to prison for murdering a Hayden, and the Hayden family heads to Nevada, leaving Lynn Hayden (Randolph Scott) behind to take care of the homestead. When Jed gets out of prison, he goes to Nevada, to seek revenge against the Haydens. Lynn is hot on his heels, hoping to stop the violence. Matters are further complicated by the fact that Lynn’s in love with Ellen Colby (Esther Ralston) and the two hope to marry.  I loved the final shootout, where people were actually reloading weapons, and the reloading took some time, just like it does in real life. The women are shooting as much as the men.

So, back to the clothing… no matter how bad an old movie might be, I can entertain myself looking at the fashions. Men’s. Women’s. Horse’s.

In this movie Randolph Scott wore buckskin. So did the heroine—and she
showed a fair amount of leg, even though the movie took place after the Civil War, probably in the very late 1860’s or early 1870’s. Was this accurate? Probably not–the leg part anyway. Nor were her 1930’s pencil thin eyebrows and semi-marceled hairdo accurate. But, since I love the 1930s, it was fun to see the 30’s influence on the 1870s fashions.

As you can see in the photo, Shirley Temple is in the film, as is a very young John Carradine.

If you want to catch To the Last Man, it’s available on YouTube.

 

Jeannie Watt
Jeannie Watt lives off the grid in an historic cattle ranching area and loves all things western. When she's not writing, Jeannie enjoys sewing, making mosaic mirrors, riding her horses and buying hay. Lots and lots of hay.

White Indians? Who were the Mandan Indians? Free Mass Market give-away of WAR CLOUD’S PASSION

bannerHowdy!

Welcome to another day at Petticoats and Pistols blog. Today I’ll be giving away a mass market copy of WAR CLOUD’S PASSION.  All the rules that we have here at Petticoats and Pistols applies.  But please do check back tomorrow — or Thursday — to see if you were the winner and to claim your prize.  Now, on with the blog.

Did you know that there were White Indians, living on the upper Missouri River?  Did you know that when George Catlin (Catlin visited the Western tribes around 1832 — he was a painter and had gone amongst the Indians to put their image to paper) — made his way to the Mandan village on the upper reaches of the Missouri (in 1834), he found what he called strange Indians…Indians who were white.images3[1]

Catlin found this particular Indian Tribe fascinating and devoted much of the first volume of his work to documenting these people.  To the left here is Sha-ko-ka, Mint.  This young girl was in her teens when Catlin painted her picture, yet if you look closely at the picture, you’ll see that she has white hair — I believe she also had hazel or blue eyes.

I’m going to quote Catlin here, because I think he describes this phenomenon quite well — and makes you feel as if you are there.thCAYR08K5  Forgive me, but I think you’ll enjoy these passages from his book, Letters and Notes on the Manners, customs, and Conditions of the North American Indians.  The painting to the left by the way is supposed to be about Mandan warrior and their women.    Here’s Catlin:

“A stranger in the Mandan village is first struck with the different shades of complexion, and various colours of hair which he sees in a crowd about thim; and is at once almost disposed to exclaim that ‘these are not Indians.’

“There are a great many of these people whose complixions appear as light as half breeds; and amongst the women particularily, there are many whose skins are almost white, with the most pleasing symmetry and proportions of features; with hazel, with grey, and with blue eyes, — with mildness and sweetness of expression, and excessive modesty of demeanour, which render them exceedingly pleasing and beautiful.”

thCARW3WLOInterestingly, Catlin notes that there were Indians who had gray, almost completely white hair — and had had such color from infancy.  He notes that the only color of hair not seen by him was that of red or auburn.  He notes that the men who had the bright, silvery gray hair, often hid it and “dyed” it using means available to them at the time.  But the women were often proud of their hair and displayed it openly.  Catlin, of course, goes into their daily lives in great detail, even to their foods and how they take their meals.

Another aspect that is interesting is that Catlin noted that none of the people had any knowledge of how their heritage came to look so different from other American Indian tribes.th[10]  The Mandans were traders and they were also an agricultural tribe of Indians — often trading the corn that they raised for buffalo meat or other items of exchange.  Off to the right here is a painting by Catlin of their village on the Missouri River.

Today, the Mandan tribe lives mostly in North Dakota.  They were almost wiped out by the diseases that were carried to them by the white man when he came in contact with them.  It’s a glorious history and somewhat of a mystery, since even in Catlin’s day, no one of the tribe could offer an explanation for their looks, that were so unusual for the Western Tribes.

Catlin ventured that a Celtic Prince, lost to his country, might have found these people — I now forget the name of that Prince.  It’s possible.  What about you?  Do you have any conjectures about these people?  How they might have come to be there — half-white?

If you’re more than a little curious, I would offer you to get this book, THE PRINCESS AND THE WOLF, where I go into more detail about the strange customs of this people.

So tell me, what do you think?  Come on in and let’s talk a little about it.

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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.

Kathryn’s Winner!

Thank you to everyone who visited and left a comment
on my Simpler Times post yesterday!

I drew a name from my Stetson (www.randomnumbergenerator.com) for the winner of the drawing.

And the Winner is ~

Connie R!

An autographed copy of Western Spring Weddings will be in the mail
to you this week!
Thanks for stopping by and for your comment!

Kathryn Albright logo

Kathryn Albright
Golden Heart finalist and recipient of the HOLT Medallion Award of Merit, author Kathryn Albright writes American-set historical romance that celebrates courage and hope and love against all odds.

Simpler Times

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“Be careful what you own.

Your possessions just might own you.”

This is a quote from my father that I’ve remembered throughout my life. In this spring season of garage sales and Craig’s listings, I look around my house and see that the blessing of living into today’s consumer world is also a responsibility. It is time that I ‘lighten’ my life. Can you relate?

A scribe using quill and Black Oak ink.

A scribe using quill and Black Oak ink.

In this process of trying to simplify and organize my life, sometimes it seems overwhelming and I begin to wonder if it is really possible. There are books on this topic—even a best-selling one. (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by  Marie Kondo.  Hint: I really need this book!)

This is probably why I enjoy reading and writing stories. First off, stories are a neat little package with a beginning, a middle and an end. Stories are ORGANIZED. Also, things get ACCOMPLISHED in a story. The hero gets the girl, the villain gets his or her just desserts, the underdog saves the day. (This sense of accomplishment does not happen when I clean!)

Macktown Rendezvous

A man much like Stephen Mack

Second, since I read and write historicals, besides learning history along the way, it fascinates me to see how people lived in a “simpler” time. Even before the cowboys and cattle drives of the “west”, there were fur traders and mountain men and native Americans. These men and women knew how to get along with very little of the ‘extras’ in life that I would be lost without. Flint and a striking stone for fire. A horse. A basket to carry water. (No computer? No electricity? Are you serious?)

I recently attended a re-enactment of this ‘simpler’ life held right here in my hometown. Rockton has a history that dates back to the early 1800s when the French traders would come to trade with the native Americans that lived here. The re-enactment happens annually at the end of April and is called the “Rendezvous.”

Whitman Trading Post

Whitman Trading Post – 1846

Stephen Mack, Jr. is the first known white settler here in the Rock River valley. He came west in the early 1820’s as a fur trader for the American Fur Company of Detroit. In 1835, after the Black Hawk War, he settled down here with his Potowatami wife, Hononegah, and established a settlement which eventually came to be known as Macktown. In 1839 he built a ferry across the Rock River and later built a bridge. His home, a large frame house that he built in 1839, still stands, along with the Whitman Trading Post which he built from the local limestone in 1846. After Stephen Mack’s death in 1850, Macktown slowly faded away while at the same time across the river, Rockton grew.

I took Western Spring Weddingsthese pictures at the Rendezvous. I hope you enjoy them.

 

Do you have any tips for simplifying life?

Pass one along in the comment section for a chance to win a copy of my newest release ~ Western Spring Weddings!

 

Kathryn Albright
Golden Heart finalist and recipient of the HOLT Medallion Award of Merit, author Kathryn Albright writes American-set historical romance that celebrates courage and hope and love against all odds.
Petticoats & Pistols © 2015