Month – November 2010

Winners Of Winnie’s Book Give-Away

Thanks to all of you who stopped by to comment on my Wedding Customs blog.  I threw all the names in a hat and randomly selected three of you to receive one of my backlist books.  And the winners are:

JOYE
QUILTLADY
  and
JACKIE W

Congratulations ladies!   You all can find a complete list of my titles, along with short blurbs for each, on the Books Page of my website (www.winniegriggs.com).  Check them out, then email me with your pick and mailing adress and I’ll get them right out to you.

Wedding Customs

Today just happens to be my wedding anniversary.  And it’s not just any old anniversary – it’s my 35th.  So in honor of that auspicious occasion, I thought I’d deviate from my usual western themed posts and instead discuss some fun/interesting notes on a few wedding customs.   And yes, the pictures posted are from my own wedding (Oh, and check out the gown – I made the dress myself and my sister made the train).

Also, because I believe there should ALWAYS be gifts to mark special milestones, I’m going to give three of today’s commenters their choice of any one of my backlist books.  So, on to the main post!

PICKING THE WEDDING DATE.

The most popular month for a wedding is still June.  But did you know how the practice originated?  There are several schools of thought on this. 
One line of thought – It is said that during the fifteenth century, May was the month set aside by the general population for the ‘annual bath’, which meant as a whole folks were still smelling relatively ‘fresh’ during June so it was a good time to hold a communal event.
Another theory is that the month of June was named after the Roman goddess Juno, the goddess of hearth and home, so getting married then was considered to bring her blessings.

Of course not all couples chose June.  One of the things I discovered when I was doing my research for this post was a little poem that predicted how the marriage would go based on the month you marry.   It goes like this:

Married when the year is new, he’ll be loving, kind and true;
When February birds do mate, you wed nor dread your fate;
If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you’ll know;
Marry in April when you can, joy for Maiden and for Man;
Marry in the month of May, and you’ll surely rue the day;
Marry when June roses grow, over land and sea you will go;
Those who in July do wed, must labor for their daily bred;
Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see;
Marry in September’s shrine, your living will be rich and fine;
If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry;
If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember;
When December snows fall fast, marry and true love will last.

As a November bride, this was right on point for me. :)

THE WEDDING GOWN

The color of choice for the modern bride is, of course, white.  But this wasn’t always true.  In medieval times, wearing brightly colored wedding garments symbolized happiness.  Rich colors and expensive fabrics also said something about the brides status and finances.  White didn’t gain the prominence it holds today until 1840.  That’s the year when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert.  Deciding to ignore the royal tradition of wearing a silver gown, the young queen instead chose to wear white and thus set a precedent that stands to this day.

Interesting bit of trivia – white was not always considered the color of purity.  At one point in history, it was thought blue symbolized that virtue – possibly through association with the garments of the Virgin Mary.  White was thought instead to symbolize joy.

I stumbled across an old poem that predicts how a woman’s marriage will go based on the color of her wedding gown (there seems to be a rhyme for everything).  It goes like this:

Married in white, you will have chosen all right.
Married in grey , you will go far away.
Married in black, you will wish yourself back.
Married in red, you’ll wish yourself dead.
Married in blue, you will always be true.
Married in pearl, you’ll live in a whirl.
Married in green, ashamed to be seen,
Married in yellow, ashamed of the fellow.
Married in brown, you’ll live out of town.
Married in pink, your spirits will sink.

 

THE WEDDING CAKE

I was surprised to discover that the wedding cake has been around for centuries.  In ancient times, the Romans baked a cake of barley or wheat and broke it over the head of the bride as a symbol of her fertility.  During the middle ages there was a popular custom which involved the guests bringing sticky buns to the reception and stacking them in front of the bride and groom.  If the happy couple was able to kiss over the top of it without toppling it, it signified they would enjoy a long and happy marriage and be blessed with many children. Toward the end of the sixteenth century the bride’s cake or pie came into vogue.  These were mostly mince pies in which a glass ring had been inserted.  It was believed that the person who received the piece that contained the ring would enjoy a full year of uninterrupted happiness.  The origins of our current tiered wedding cake came in the seventeenth century when French bakers stacked buns and covered them with frosting.

The traditional cake cutting also has a bit of symbolism associated with it.  Symbolically it is the first task the bride and groom shares as a married couple.  Afterward, the bride and groom feed each other from that first slice as a symbol of their mutual commitment to provide for one another.

So, enough of the history and general traditions.  Do you have any special wedding traditions handed down in your own families?  Any special memories of your own weddings? 

And remember, three people who comment on this post will be selected to receive a copy of one of my backlist books.

Howdy, Harold Lowery/Leigh Greenwood!

So much as happened during the last few months I hardly know where to start so let me begin by backing up.

About two years ago I signed a contract to write a spinoff from the Seven Brides series. I decided to write about Salty from ROSE. I finished that book now titled NO ONE BUT YOU. The book was scheduled to come out this past September. I even have a cover which I hope you can see on this blog. In December of 2009, I signed a contract to write the last two books in the Night Rider series. Both were scheduled to come out in 2011. This past summer, my publisher came up with a new business plan and everything changed.

Dorchester decided that, beginning in September 2010, they would publish books only in ebook format. They said that a trade size would follow in about nine months. That meant No One But You, which had been advertised for sale as a paperback, would now be released only in ebook format. If you find the paperback version advertised for sale, it should be listed as out of stock because no books were ever printed.

I’ve just received a list of Dorchester’s publishing plans for the first nine months of 2011 and No One But You is not on the schedule. I don’t know if it will ever be released in trade format.

Now about the last two books in the Night Rider series. The first book, about Ivan Nikolai, was due to my editor in September. In August I learned that my publisher had decided not to pick up the contract we’d agreed on the previous December. So the last two books in the series will not be published by Dorchester. I’m presently talking to an editor at another company about picking up these two books, but it’s difficult to sell anyone on the idea of picking up the last of a series begun by another publisher unless you’re someone like Dan Brown or Nora Roberts.

There’s one additional complication for me that links to Dorchester’s financial difficulties. No books are being shipped from the warehouse. So once copies my books that are already on shelves in bookstores are sold, readers will be unable to buy any of my books without finding them in used bookstores, garage sales, or buying them in ebook form. This may change, but I don’t know if, when, or how.

Now that the depressing part is over, I’ll try to be more cheerful. I am finishing up NOBLE TEXAN, Ivan Nikolai’s book and will start on the last book in the Night Rider series in January. I can’t allow Laveau diViere to go unpunished. I have an idea for a short series after that, but writing it will depend on getting a new publisher who likes series. Not all do.

As some of you know, my marriage fell apart about four years ago. My life has been quite different since then but it is full and exciting. I hadn’t expected to have so many challenges at my age, but they say it keeps you young. I’m not so sure that it doesn’t wear you out so much you just think you’re young because muscles that haven’t been heard from in a long time are speaking up loud and clear. There’s also a lot to learn about starting over on relationships that’s even better the second time around.
I will keep writing, but at a slower pace.

I have to leave time for all the things I’m doing for the first time.

The Mother of Thanksgiving

 Happy Thanksgiving from

 

Margaret Brownley

 

This year during Thanksgiving dinner let us all give a toast to Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, who launched a seventeen-year crusade to make “Thanksgiving a national festival similar to the Fourth of July.” 

The original Thanksgiving took place in 1621 but it wasn’t until the Civil War in 1863 that Mrs. Hale efforts paid off.  A firm believer that sitting down to dinner as a nation would unify the north and the south, she wrote a letter to President Lincoln dated September 28, 1963 read in part:

“Permit me, as Editress of the “Lady’s Book”, to request a few minutes of your precious time, while laying before you a subject of deep interest to myself and — as I trust — even to the President of our Republic, of some importance. This subject is to have the day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival.”

 The letter must have hit a nerve because on October 3rd President Lincoln issued a national Thanksgiving proclamation, setting aside the last Thursday in November for the occasion.

Each year, following that first “official” Thanksgiving,  a presidential  proclamation was issued for the celebration of the holiday on the fourth Thursday of the month. President Franklin Roosevelt upset the apple cart when he declared that Thanksgiving would “hereafter be held on the third Thursday in November.”  This pleased merchants as it allowed more shopping days for Christmas, but riled Republicans and football coaches, who accused the president of messing with a sacred tradition and, heaven forbid, football schedules.  

For two years, Thanksgiving was celebrated on two different days, depending on political affiliations, or the state you lived in.  Despite the inconvenience, there was an upside. If you didn’t want to have dinner with, say, Uncle Herbert, a democrat, all you had to do was become a republican or move to a different state.    

Finally, in 1941 Congress officially declared that Thanksgiving would fall on the fourth Thursday of November.  This pleased football coaches, but didn’t do much for battling family members who now had to celebrate Thanksgiving  together. 

www.margaretbrownley.com

 

Speaking of Mrs. Hale, anyone brave enough to try out her recipe for Thanksgiving Turkey?

 

Prepare a stuffing of pork sausage meat, one beaten egg, and a few crumbs of bread; or, if sausages are to be served with the turkey, stuffing as for fillet of veal; in either, a little shred shalot is an improvement. Stuff the bird under the breast; dredge it with flour, and put it down to a clear brisk fire; at a moderate distance the first half-hour but afterwards nearer.

Baste with butter; and when the turkey is plumped up, and the steam draws towards the fire, it will be nearly done; then dredge it lightly with flour, and baste it with a little more butter, first melted in the basting-ladle. Serve with gravy in the dish, and bread sauce in a tureen. It may be garnished with sausages, or with fried forcemeat, if veal-stuffing be used. Sometimes the gizzard and liver are dipped into the yolk of an egg, sprinkled with salt and cayenne, and then put under the pinions, before the bird is put to the fire. Chestnuts, stewed in gravy, are likewise eaten with turkey. A very large turkey will require three hours’ roasting; one of eight or ten pounds, two hours; and a small one, an hour and a half.

A Suitor for Jenny (A Rocky Creek Romance) 

 

When looking for a husband it’s best to go where the odds are in your favor.

Jo Goodman’s Winner!

 

Hope Miss Jo’s blog today whetted your appetite.  It sure did mine.

Ah put all the names in my ten gallon hat and this dern wind came along and blew the whole shebang out of my hand.  The hat landed against a picket fence and ah grabbed it.

                                   The winner is …

                                                       Pageturner

We’re tickled pea green for you Pageturner!  Now all you need to do is send your mailing particulars to Miss Jo at JdoBrzan@gmail.com and she’ll get the book on the next stage out.

All you all don’t forget to come back Saturday for Mr. Leigh Greenwood.

Leigh Greenwood Sets His Sights on the Junction

 

Hello Darlings,

Woo-Hoo! The esteemed Leigh Greenwood has set his sights on the Junction and will arrive on Saturday.

The Fillies have been working up a storm, dusting and tidying up the place. Everyone except me that is. The ladies needed a boss and I appointed myself. Hee-hee! They fell for that story hook, line, and sinker.

Mr. Greenwood is the author of over 40 romance books, a big portion of which are western romance. We’re just so thrilled to have someone of his caliber come calling on us. Don’t rightly know what he’ll talk about, but ah can bet my bottom dollar it’ll be interesting.

When that rooster crows on Saturday morning, shake the wrinkles out of your bustle and sadde up!

If you’re late we’ll save you seat. Ah promise.

Jo Goodman New Release–Marry Me

Trying to decide what I want to write about here turned out to be harder than coming up with ideas for my annual Christmas letter.  I think that’s because once I’ve finished working on a book, it’s out of my head.  Really, there’s a finite amount of storage space in my brain, and since I like to keep the synapses firing to answer Final Jeopardy, something’s got to give.  However, as it’s quite lovely to be asked to contribute to Petticoats and Pistols, I’m sacrificing all the money I could earn by playing Jeopardy at home in favor of hanging out with the characters I created for Marry Me, and, I hope, some characters hanging out here.

Marry Me gave me the opportunity to revisit Reidsville, the Colorado town at the center of my previous release, Never Love a Lawman.  Sheriff Wyatt Cooper and his wife Rachel, as well as that no-account Beatty boy and Rose LaRosa, have supporting roles in Marry Me, but the stars are most definitely folks new to the town.

The driving force for this story began when I stumbled across a name for the heroine:  Rhyne (pronounced Ryan).  Somewhere there is a young woman working as a problem solver for iTunes with that name, proof that inspiration can come from unexpected places.  As Rhyne’s story unfolded in my mind, the hero also began to take shape.  He required a more impressive pedigree than Rhyne, and so Coleridge Braxton Monroe, M.D. was born. 

Some of the fun for me in putting this story together was doing the research related to doctoring and germ theory.  Cole’s practicing medicine in the 1880’s when some of the ideas we accept today were only being advanced.  Proposing the idea that disease could be caused and spread by something that couldn’t be seen didn’t settle well with many physicians, let alone the general populace.  Having spent more time than I liked in microbiology lab, I can attest to the fact that sometimes there’s stuff on the Petri dishes that you just don’t want to know about.

So…how do the town outcast, the new doctor, and germ theory all come together in a Western?  That’s where you’ll have to read Marry Me and find out.  For a lucky poster, I have a copy of the book ready to be sent out.  To whet your appetite, here’s the 411 from the back cover:

HER HEART WAS LOCKED AWAY

Rhyne Abbott is fierce, brave, and used to a life of isolation on her father’s spread on the outskirts of Reidsville, Colorado. But when, overcome with sickness, she collapses, she knows she must return to town if she is to have any hope of recovery. Only there is no place for her but the new doctor’s home, and he wants more than just to heal Rhyne. He wants her hand in marriage.

UNTIL ONE MAN FOUND THE KEY

Doctor Cole Monroe’s hands are already more than full with his orphaned little sister to look after, and yet somehow he can’t resist the magnetic pull of Rhyne’s bewitching eyes—or her tempting kiss. But convincing her to trust him won’t be easy. For Rhyne’s heart needs as much tender care as her ailing body. And the only cure is the thing she most fears: to let herself fall in love…

~~~

Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for a copy of Marry Me.

http://www.jogoodman.com/

Tanya Stowe Winners

 

Don’t know about you but ah sure enjoyed gettin’ to know Miss Tanya.

The wild Texas wind was blowing up a storm today and ah’m feelin’ very windblown but ah managed to draw two winners.

ESTELLA wins Miss Tanya’s TENDER TOUCH

MELISSA gets RODEO REDEMPTION by Teri Wilson

Congratulations, ladies!! Please send your mailing particulars to Miss Tanya at tanya@tanyastowe.com and she’ll fix you right up.

Don’t forget to drop by tomorrow for Jo Goodman’s blog. She’s also giving away a book.

A Warm Wildflower Welcome to Tanya Stowe

Howdy! It’s such a thrill to spend the day in Wildflower Junction to tell about my new release, Tender Touch. I’ll be drawing a name for a pdf. copy as well as for a copy of Rodeo Redemption, the latest release from my friend and colleague Teri Wilson at White Rose Publishing. Just leave a comment and you’ll be entered.

California Gold played an important part in the Civil War.  It was gold from California and the newly found Colorado mines that kept the Union army afloat when the Confederate army began to flounder in debt.  But California gold almost didn’t make it to the Union.

One of the pivotal scenes in my new novel, Tender Touch, occurs when word about hostilities at Fort Sumter reaches the small mining town of Harperville.  Emotions run high and a group of Union sympathizers turn into a mob that drives a small band of Southern men out of town.  One of the Southern men is Royce Darnell’s best friend and mine foremen, Alex Marsden.  Alex and his friends barely escape Harperville with their lives and head to Southern California where Confederate sympathizers had already issued a call for cession from the Union to form the Pacific Republic which would have included Oregon, Washington and possibly New Mexico.

In reality, it took almost10 days for news of war to reach California by telegraph and Pony Express.  When it did, outbreaks of violence like the scene in my book took place everywhere.  Pro-Union Democrats rallied in San Francisco and had to be controlled with Federal troops … commanded by a Southerner, Brigadier General Albert Sidney Johnston.  Rumors ran rampant that General Johnston was part of a Confederate conspiracy to take over California but he remained true to his Oath to the Federal government by reinforcing the garrison at San Francisco and quelling the riots.  His actions insured that California gold made it back to support the Union cause. 

Fortunately!

I hope you enjoy the excerpt of Tender Touch, my first Western-set work.  Right now, I’m working on Tender Trust, which picks up where Tender Touch ends.  Penny Layton is Lacy’s best friend and it’s her story.  My first novel, Time’s Embrace, a time-travel adventure, was released in the United States in 1993 and internationally released in 1995.  Most recently I have  contributed to a collection of women’s survival stories titled, Triumph! The Beautiful Face of Courage and collaborated on at full-length play, a Christmas musical titled The Night Before Christmas.

I have been a member of Romance Writers of America since 1992, and I have taught writing at conferences and workshops, and have held seminars throughout California.  Currently residents of central California, my high school sweetheart and I have been married for thirty-seven years, and we have four children and seventeen grandchildren.  Recently my hubby retired from government work to take a new position and we’ll be traveling to the Middle East to work and begin a new adventure!

I’d love for you to follow the workshops, classes and ups and downs of writing at     and visit me at my home page, www.tanyastowe.com

Excerpt from Tender Touch:

            “Lacy–look at me,” Royce commanded.  She looked up. “Feel the music, Lacy.  Just move with me.”

            Her muscles eased.  Her breathing slowed.  She seemed to sense the rhythm of his body and took her cues from the slight touch of his hand.  He dipped, she followed.  He swept, she flowed, her skirts swinging in a graceful arc behind them.  They sailed around the room in perfect motion.

            Royce smiled.  “I knew you could do it.”

            “Thank you for teaching me,” she murmured.

            Royce looked at the woman in his arms. He’d known the minute she’d entered the room.  He was shocked to see her, knowing instinctively that the crowd and the noise would not be to her liking.  But, when he’d seen the pink of her cheeks and the high color of her eyes, he knew she was enjoying herself … and that made him happy.  He liked the little giggle she tried to suppress and the way her eyes lit when the dancers came near her.  So he’d asked her to dance. 

            “Thank you,” Lacy repeated.

            “My pleasure, ma’am.  Is there anything else I can do for you?”

            Her features turned somber. “You can let me go, now, before it’s too late.”

            She was asking him to do what he’d vowed to do.  But looking at her lovely features, he knew he wouldn’t do it.

            “I can’t, Lacy.  I’ve tried and I can’t.”

            The truth of his words flowed over both of them.  They stood still in the middle of the dance floor.  He wondered where the words had come from, and how he could take care of this fragile, beautiful creature in his arms.

 Thanks to the fillies for inviting me here today! 

Jo Goodman Comes to the Junction

 

Hello Darlings,

Woo-Hoo! Thursday will be a red letter day. Miss Jo Goodman comes calling and will chat with us about her new western romance novel called MARRY ME.

Miss Jo gives the whys and wherefores that came up during the writing of this story. She’ll tell us about the medical community’s realization in regards to germs in the 1800’s. It’s hard to believe that it took so long for folks to see the importance of such a simple thing as washing your hands. Ah’m flabbergasted.

Miss Jo comes toting a book to give away to one lucky person.

If you want to get your name in the hat, saddle up and ride along with Miss Jo and all the gang.

That’s Thursday. Don’t forget now, you hear!

Petticoats & Pistols © 2015