Jodi Thomas Has a WINNER!

Lone Heart PassHuge thanks for stopping to visit, Miss Jodi. The welcome mat is always out.

Folks are chomping at the bit to read this new book! Yes, ma’am.

Here’s the lucky person who won a copy………

GLENDA KINARD

Yippee! I’m doing the happy dance for you, Glenda! Someone will contact you for your mailing address.

 

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.

Welcome ~ Jodi Thomas!

 

Look who has come for a visit to Wildflower Junction!  

Please  welcome New York Times Best Selling Author ~

Miss Jodi Thomas! 

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Jodi Tomas head shot

Living in the Panhandle of Texas I often feel very close to the past and to the land. There are places I can see wagon trails and on a ranch I often visit, an arrowhead isn’t impossible to fine.

When I begin writing a new story, I always do something I call “walking the land.” I take a few weeks, or sometimes a few months and wander through museums, bookstores, old houses, cemeteries and the stories begin. Since I’m doing books set on modern day ranches, I visit several ranches. My favorite is the Sanford ranch near Fritch, Texas. I also like to go to rodeosJodi Thomas horse and sale barns, etc.

And now and then when I’m listening to a windmill or trying not to smell the cows, a character walks by and my story begins.

Last month I went to the Dove Creek Ranch and Equine Rescue. I was tagging along with a friend doing an interview but within minutes of driving down into the small canyon, stories were popping in my mind. The lady who owned and ran the place had a true love for horses and spent a great deal of time helping horses that had been abused and abandoned.

She told me the first thing she does when she gets an animal who has been left alone in a small corral or barn for sometimes months is she lets them roam the land with the herd. She says they’ve forgotten how to be a horse.

I waJodi Thomas walks the lands around horses growing up and I’ve spent my time riding and brushing them down, but I’ve never seen them until I saw horses through her eyes. She said, “After my husband died and I was raising kids and trying to run the ranch, I would sometimes go out at night and just walk among the herd.”

Then, she made my day. She asked me if I wanted to go with her. We slipped through the fence and walked onto ranchland that used the walls of the canyon as its boundaries. We moved slow, not directing the herd, not invading, just joining. We moved closer. Just letting the horses slowly surround us.

I think it was one of the most peaceful, alive feelings I’ve ever had. She probably thought I was an idiot because I couldn’t stop smiling.

As a writer of over 40 books I sometimes feel I don’t live, I just do research. Like a person who doesn’t see Paris because he’s too busy taking selfies, I’m too consumed with stories dancing in my head to sometimes stop and enjoy the grand, wonderful things in life.

Like walking with a herd of horses on a cloudy day when the wind still whispers winter and the grass crunches beneath your boots.

I may never make it back to Dove Creek Ranch, but you can bet I’ll go there many more times in my mind.

So, walk the land of RANSOM CANYON in my new book, LONE HEART PASS. You’ll fall in love with the Texas plains and the people who live and love there.

Please leave a comment to enter a drawing for a copy of LONE HEART PASS.

 

flower bar 1Lone Heart PassWith a career and a relationship in ruins, Jubalee Hamilton is left reeling from a fast fall to the bottom. The run-down Texas farm she inherited is a far cry from the second chance she hoped for, but it and its abrasive foreman are all she’s got.

Every time Charley Collins has let a woman get close, he’s been burned. So Lone Heart ranch and the contrary woman who owns it are merely a means to an end, until Jubalee tempts him to take another risk—to stop resisting the attraction drawing them together despite all his hard-learned logic.

Desperation is all young Thatcher Jones knows. When he leads an injured Steeldust horse to a ramshackle ranch, he needs help. A horse-stealing ring is on his trail and the sheriff suspects him…and his only protection is the shelter of a man and woman who—just like him—need someone to trust.

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A fifth-generation Texan, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jodi Thomas chooses to set the majority of her novels in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. A former teacher, Thomas traces the beginning of her storytelling career to the days when her twin sisters were young and impressionable

Guest Blogger

WE HAVE A WINNER!

Calico SpyThank you so much for your kind thoughts,

prayers and hugs. 

In honor of my husband George’s birthday,

a copy of Calico Spy goes to:

Cindy Woolard

Please send an email with mailing address to me at margaretbrownley1@gmail.com

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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.

Karen Kay’s Winners

bannerHowdy!

We have a couple of winners — and they are:

Tonya Lucas & Judy Schexnayder

Tonya and Judy, please email me privately to claim your prize.  My email address is karenkay(dot)author(at)earthlink(dot)net.

Congratulations to you both — and a hearty thanks to all those who came to the blog and left a comment.  Have a wonderful evening.

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.

The Wind Beneath My Wings & Book Giveaway

MargaretBrownley-header

george

This is the last photo of the two of us together. It was taken at Christmas.

I’m dedicating today’s blog to my husband, George, who passed away on April 3rd.   He was the hero I so often write about in my books and I miss him more than words can say.

Some of you may have noticed that many of the couples in my stories are complete opposites. That’s how it was with George and me.   He met at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Hollywood and even though we had nothing in common, he proposed on the first date. I thought he was crazy. Never one to give up, he persisted until I finally said yes.  Our pastor made us take a premarital compatibility test, which we failed miserably.  Based on the low scores, he tried talking us out of marriage.  Three kids and six grandchildren George said, “I wonder what would have happened had we passed that test.”

When Bette Midler came out with the song The Wind Beneath My Wings from Beaches in 1988 our daughter Robyn was convinced that her father was the inspiration behind it. There’s no better way to describe him.

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Photo of George and me taken at Melody Ranch during a cowboy festival.

He spent his entire life helping and supporting others. He was my right hand man and encouraged me to keep writing during all the years of rejection.  A film editor by trade, he never really understood the craziness of the publishing business, but he supported me in every way he could. If any of you reading this won one of my books, you can be sure he wrapped and mailed it.  With each new release, he did the Walmart flybys to make sure my books were displayed properly.

Every conference, convention and book signing found him standing in the shadows, directing any glory my way.   Every day at four p.m. he banged on a pot. That was his signal for me to quit work and join him.  Some days he’d have a cup of tea waiting.  He always seemed to sense when I had a bad day of writing. Those were the days a glass of wine greeted me.  

My dear sweet husband will be remembered for his kind loving heart, gentle warm spirit, abiding faith and ability to make others laugh. He was truly my hero and the wind beneath my wings.

 

Calico Spy V3

To order click on cover.

Tomorrow, April 29th is George’s birthday.  In his honor I’m giving away a copy of Calico Spy, a story about a Pinkerton detective working undercover as a Harvey girl. The last trip my husband and I took together was to Vegas. We stopped in Barstow, California so I could check out the old Harvey restaurant which turned out to be the model for the book.  While I took notes, he took photos for me.  That was the last research trip we took together.

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.

Jodi Thomas Comes to Visit!

Lone Heart PassMiss Jodi Thomas will step from the running board of her pickup on Friday, April 29th!

The Fillies are so excited. We love it when she comes to visit because she always brings stories with her. Do you know what it means to “walk the land?” Miss Jodi is going to tell about a recent experience.

AND….she’s giving away a print copy of her new book!

Get the lead out and join us for the fun!

 

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.

Lucille Mulhall – The First Cowgirl

Lucille Mulhall was an anomaly—a small, feminine, soft-spoken girl who beat cowboys at their own game. After gaining acclaim as a Wild West performer, Lucille became the first woman commonly known as a cowgirl.

Lucille was born in Missouri in 1885. Her family relocated to Oklahoma to homestead during the land rush of 1889. The family started with 160 acres, which they eventually parlayed into the close to 80,000 acres.

As a young girl, Lucille rode the range with the cowhands, learning to rope, ride, and shoot. According to a New York Times article, “By the age of fourteen, she could break a bronco and shoot a coyote at five-hundred yards.”

Lucille’s father started a Wild West show, Mulhall’s Congress of Rough Riders and Ropers, in the early 1900s. Lucille starred in the show while still in her teens and became one of the first women to compete against men in roping and riding events and earned many championships, including three solid gold medals for steer roping in Texas, a cutting horse title and the title of World’s Champion Lady Roper.

When she performed in Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1905, she took the city by storm. A report in a New York newspaper said, “Against these bronzed and war-scarred veterans of the plains, a delicately featured blonde girl appeared. Slight of figure, refined and neat in appearance, attired in a becoming riding habit for hard riding, wearing a picturesque Mexican sombrero and holding in one hand a lariat of the finest cowhide, Lucille Mulhall comes forward to show what an eighteen-year-old girl can do in roping steers. In three minutes and thirty-six seconds, she lassoed and tied three steers. The veteran cowboys did their best to beat it, but their best was several seconds slower than the girl’s record breaking time. The cowboys and plainsmen who were gathered in large numbers to witness the contest broke into tremendous applause when the championship gold medal was awarded to the slight, pale-faced girl.”

As she gained fame, newspapers gave Lucille many names: Ranch Queen, Cowboy Girl, Female Conqueror or Beef and Horn, Lassoer in Lingerie, Dead Shot Girl, Daring Beauty of
the Plains, Queen of the Range. The name that stuck was Cowgirl.

Will Rogers was a member of Mulhall’s Wild West Show and helped Lucille hone her roping skills.  He wrote, “Lucille’s achievement in competition with cowboys was the direct start of what has since come to be known as The Cowgirl. Lucille was the first cowgirl.” Teddy Roosevelt also admired Lucille’s skills. He visited the Mulhall ranch and invited the Mulhall family to his inauguration. Geronimo gave her a beaded vest and Indian bow, which she treasured.

Lucille was a natural horse woman and known for her training abilities.She said, “My system of training consists of three things: patience, perseverance, and gentleness. Gentleness I consider one of the greatest factors in successful training.” Her horse, Governor, knew over forty tricks.

Lucille performed in other Wild West shows and toured Europe, performing for the crowned heads there.  She retired from world travel in 1917, but continued performing into the 1930s.

She was married twice, both marriages lasting only a few years.  Her first marriage produced a son. She died at the age of 55 in a car crash close to her home and was posthumously inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame and the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in the 1970s.

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.

A Good Mystery — And a Chance to Win a Free E-book

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Hi!  Han!  or Oki!  (Depending on the tribe.)  The second is Lakota and the third “hello” is Blackfeet.

I love a good mystery. Do you?  I hope so because I’m about to tell you a story that is true, but it’s also a mystery — it’s about a people that the tribe of Salish people call “the mystery people.”

I thought it might be fun to try to guess who these people were — remember that the Salish people are in the northern part of this country and farther west than even the Blackfeet.  So they are not too far away from the Pacific.  Here we go:  This is the story of the mystery people.

In the days of long ago — what would be our grandfather’s grandfathers, a mystery people came to Flathead lake.  They were a small, fine featured people, and they brought with them their wives and children who had flattened their heads, which was the style of the coastal Indians at this time.  These strange people came in strong canoes and they came from the direction of what the Salish people called the Great Salt Water (most likely the Pacific Ocean).

They were very few people and they troubled no one.  The Grandfathers say that they were neither white nor Indian.  Their skin color was as dark as an Indian’s, but their features were not those of the American Indian — and they were much smaller in size and structure from the American Indian.

These mystery people — the men — didn’t flatten their heads — only their wives and children did, again, which was the style of different Pacific Coast Indians.  When these people went west, they were gone a very long time, usually, and when they returned, they brought with them dried salmon, which was much prized amongst the Salish.

These people were skilled in the healing arts and knew how to use roots and different barks and teas to cure many illnesses.  They once helped the natives along the coast when illness struck them by telling them not to use the sweat baths and then plunge into cold water — they said that this would kill them.  They saved a great many people by their wise words.

Who were these people?  The only clues given were that these people came from a land beyond the Great Salt Water and that strong winds had blown them so far off course that they were lost.  Finally they saw the lake and land and came toward it, but another storm broke their great canoe.  The Indians along the shore treated them kindly and they lived with them.  Who were these people?

Here’s a little more about them — they were the same color as the Indians but not Indian.  They were a kind people — kind to women and children and they loved to laugh and to play.  They knew many things that they taught the people — one was about fire — they taught the people the exact right stones to use to get dry kindle to light.  What happened to them?

There weren’t many of them and their sons and daughters eventually married Salish people and over time the mystery people vanished.  Who were they?

I honestly don’t know, but I’m willing to make a guess.  The legend says that they were smaller and fine-feathered — but it says nothing about their eye-shape nor their difference in color of skin — so I would rule out the orient.  This was long before the white man ever came to Flathead country.  (The picture to the right, by the way is of Flathead Lake — where the mystery people came to live.)

My guess would be Malaysian or perhaps even India Indians.  Because the Malaysians were close to the water, it’s possible that they might have been blown off course.  But I could be very far off.

Do you have a guess?

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So come on in an let’s make a guess about this together.  By the way all those who guess will be eligible to win a free copy of the ebook, THE LAST WARRIOR — all rules for give-aways here at Petticoats and Pistols applies.  Oh, please do come back tomorrow — Wednesday — evening — that’s when I usually post the winners.

Do come on in — leave a comment and let’s chat!

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!

Winner 2Thank you all for joining in and sharing your thoughts on my blog yesterday!

I’ve “drawn a name from my Stetson.”

 Deanna Patterson

wins a copy of my newest release ~ Western Spring Weddings!

Congratulations Deanna! You may contact me at kathryn at kathrynalbright dot com with your address and I will send out the book!

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.

Filling the Creative Well

Kathryn Albright

Enjoying a day on a sheep ranch.

I need to take time to “refill the creative well” every once in a while. Constantly pouring out words on paper can slowly drain my creativity. Every writer is different in how they go about this, but for me, a get-away trip always turns my thoughts to new story-lines and ideas.

When I learned last week, that one of the sheep and carding farms nearby in southern Wisconsin was having an open house and spring shearing event, I seized the chance to see firsthand how those fluffy coats became skeins of yarn. It was the first warm, dry weekend of the spring and I was itching for a road trip. (My husband likes to drive. I like to ride. It’s a win-win!)

Merino_sheep

Merino Sheep

We traveled the hills and hollers of southern Wisconsin and finally came to Rainbow Fleece Farm and Carding Company. It is a small operation near Madison, Wisconsin. The owners sell their yarn and wool throughout the United States.

The steps from the wool on the sheep to a skein of yarn at this particular farm are ~

  • When the wool is about four inches long or more, the sheep is sheared. A years growth equals about 8 pounds of wool.
  • Wool straight off a sheep is known as “greasy wool” or “wool in the grease.” It contains a high level of valuable lanolin (used in hand creams and cosmetics.)

    Shearing Sheep

    B. Jones shearing a Merino ram.

  • The wool weighed and then picked clean by hand as best as possible.
  • The wool is washed until the rinse water runs clean—usually about three washings. This is called scouring and on this “green” farm it is done with a mild soap.
  • It is spread out to dry in a warm area out of direct sunlight.
  • At this point or any hereafter, the wool can be dyed.
  • A blending or carding board is a board with small metal pins sticking up over its surface. Globs of wool are spread on the board. This is where a person can get creative with colors and textures—adding the colors wanted. (this is the part I had never heard of & found fascinating.)

    Creative Well

    Blending or Carding Board

  • The wool is then pulled off the board in a clump. It can then be stretched out into a thread, twisted together and spun onto a spindle.
  • Wa-la! Yarn!

    CSIRO_ScienceImage_11160_Siroscour

    Unwashed and washed wool.

 

At Rainbow Fleece Farm it was fun to watch a true working dog (Border Collie here) do his job.

I am already envisioning a story that takes place on a sheep ranch in the old West…

How about you? What do you do when you need a change or a little boost of inspiration?

A walk? A change of scenery? Baking? I’d love to hear!

Western Spring Weddings

 

 

Comment for a chance to win a copy of my newest release,

Western Spring Weddings.

(Guidelines link at top of page.)

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.
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