Category: Christmas

A QUOTABLE CHRISTMAS by Cheryl Pierson

Hi everyone! Christmas always brings back wonderful memories of home and family, doesn’t it? One of the things I remember so well about my dad was how he could remember and call forth the perfect quote for just about anything and everything.   He always made Christmas a very special time of year around our house and was a true practical joker. He was a super-intelligent man with an IQ off the scale (I didn’t get that from him, sadly<G>) and as an adult, I understand why he was able to remember so many things and be able to say them at just the right time–as a child, it was a mystical thing. One of the things I’ve come to appreciate with adulthood is how hard my dad worked to provide for us. He loved to read and was an eloquent writer–I think if he could have made a living at it, he’d have given it a try himself. Thinking about him and his love for quotes prompted me to go in search of some heartwarming Christmas quotes.

I found some great quotes, published in ABOUT.COM, and wanted to share them with you.  Here’s a picture of my dear mom, El Wanda, and my dad, Fred,  when they were young newlyweds, back in 1944. Christmas is always an especially poignant time for me since my dad passed on December 23, 2007, and Mama followed him to heaven only 3 weeks later, on January 12, 2008.  I love Christmas because they both loved it so much. Raised during the Oklahoma Dust Bowl days, the Depression, and being so very poor, they made sure that Christmas was a “feeling” and a special time for family, friends, and abounding love at our house. 

There were so many of these–I just picked a few, but they are all great!

Edna Ferber, Roast Beef Medium Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.
Bess Streeter Aldrich, Song of Years Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart… filled it, too, with melody that would last forever.
Lenora Mattingly Weber, Extension Christmas is for children. But it is for grownups too. Even if it is a headache, a chore, and nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chill and hide-bound hearts.
Louisa May Alcott The rooms were very still while the pages were softly turned and the winter sunshine crept in to touch the bright heads and serious faces with a Christmas greeting.
Charles N. Barnard The perfect Christmas tree? All Christmas trees are perfect!
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol But I am sure that I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round… as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely.
W. J. Tucker, Pulpit Preaching For centuries men have kept an appointment with Christmas. Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home.
Mary Ellen Chase Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.
Dr. Seuss And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?
G. K. Chesterton When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time.  Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?
Dale Evans Christmas, my child, is love in action.


Andy Rooney One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.
Hugh Downs Something about an old-fashioned Christmas is hard to forget.
Freya Stark Christmas is not an eternal event at all, but a piece of one’s home that one carries in one’s heart.
Marjorie Holmes At Christmas, all roads lead home.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and that many of these quotes make your heart glad this Christmas season! Thanks so much for being a regular part of our lives here at Petticoats and Pistols! Do you have any special Christmas quotes or poems you love? PLEASE SHARE!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOODNIGHT!

COWBOYS & MISTLETOE – Day Four

 

Margaret Brownley

Longing for a Cowboy Christmas collection

Margaret’s story: A Love Letter to Santa

She turned his life upside-down.  Could she really be the right woman for him?

Holly Sanders plans to make this the best Christmas for a town hard hit by the drought.   Okay, maybe she’s overdone the bows, baubles and garlands.  But is that a reason for the new blacksmith Tom Chandler to declare war on tinsel?

Tom doesn’t mean to play scrooge. But when his dog’s objections to the endless caroling gets them tossed out of his boarding house, he decides enough is enough.

The escalating battle takes an unexpected turn when he spots Holly struggling against the wind with an armload of presents and rushes to help her. Before he knows what happened, the green-eyed beauty recruits him to play Santa’s helper. After helping make one small boy’s Christmas wish come true, he’s utterly hooked, and suddenly has a wish of his own!   But convincing Holly he’s the right man for her would require a miracle—and maybe even a little help from Santa.

Amazon

 

Margaret Brownley

Christmas at Star Inn Collection

Margaret’s story: Do You Hear What I Hear?

Can a tree-hugging activist and lumber mill owner find love?

Two bad things happened to Sally Cartwright that week. Three if she counted the pink slip received at the Home and Family magazine’s annual Christmas party. But nothing was worse than plowing into a snowbank and being stuck in a town she swore never to see again. A town she once called home. Now she must spend the long cold night in the car or follow the bright shining star through the woods to the old Star Inn. She chooses the inn and that’s where her troubles really begin…

Lumbermill owner, Rick Rennick is in no mood for Christmas cheer. Having recently buried his father, he’s still trying to sort out the financial mess left behind. Unless Rick comes up with a miracle, the mill run by the family for generations is about to shut down for good. That would put a lot of men out of work and impact the future of the town.

If things aren’t bad enough he’s now stuck at the old Star Inn waiting for the road back to his cabin to reopen. His luck takes another turn for the worse when he suddenly comes face to face with the past he’d sooner forget. For unless he’s seeing things the only woman he’s ever loved is standing in front of the inn’s blazing fire trying to get warm. How is it possible that one chance meeting could stir up so many old memories?

Both Rick and Sally regret what happened between them, but his family lumberyard clashes with her tree-hugging ways and neither are willing to try again. It will take the storm of the century, one stage-struck young boy, a certain meddling “angel”—and even a cranky cat—to convince them that in matters of the heart, the second time around is sometimes best.

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Jeannie Watt

A Marvell Country Christmas

This book is free for three days, beginning December 11! Mark your calendars!

Murphy Anderson is coming home for Christmas…

And as soon as she arrives, she’s putting the family ranch on the market. Her plan is to get in, get out, and head back to the city, where she belongs. Growing up on the hardscrabble property next door to the prosperous Marvell Ranch, and being constantly reminded of everything she didn’t have, left her with no love for ranching, or her handsome neighbors—especially Cody Marvell, who always rubbed her the wrong way. And maybe that’s why, when Cody shows an interest in the ranch, she hesitates to sell.

Cody Marvell has a way with people…unless that person is Murphy Anderson. Cody never understood what she was dealing with when they were younger. Murphy had a hard time while growing up, with no mom and a cold-hearted father. He made some mistakes, which he now regrets. He wants her ranch, and more than that, he wants her.

When a Christmas flood makes Murphy’s home uninhabitable, he invites her to stay at the Marvell Ranch. With the help of country Christmas magic, Cody hopes she’ll start to see him with new eyes.

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Phyliss Miranda

Although A Texas Christmas has been out since 2011, it is still one of our best selling anthologies. It hit New York Times and USA Today making is a popular holiday read.

On the eve before Christmas a blizzard arrives in Kasota Springs, Texas, transforming the small town into a night to remember.

Four ladies desperately in need of saving, four hard-ridin’ cowboys who aim to please. . .

Four stories of holiday fun, and lots of laughter and love.

Amazon

 

In A Christmas Miracle, Mattie Jo Ashley has lost too many people she loves. She is determined not to lose her baby sister to a mysterious disease. 

Dr. Grant Spencer has every confidence in his abilities as a third generation doctor, but is sorely in need of self worth in other areas of his life….

When Mattie Jo unleashes havoc in the community and takes Grant to the brink of testing his courage and fortitude as both a doctor and a man, all discover the true Christmas spirit and the power of genuine love and acceptance.  

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Prairie Rose Publications

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Updated: November 28, 2019 — 3:23 pm

COWBOYS & MISTLETOE – Day Three

 

Karen Witemeyer

An Old-Fashioned Texas Christmas

In this 2-in-1 novella collection, the Archer brothers return for An Archer Family Christmas. It’s Christmas Eve, 1893, and the entire family has gathered to celebrate the holiday. While the men are off chopping down the perfect Christmas tree, an unexpected request for help leaves Cassandra Archer directly in the path of a dangerous outlaw. Desperate to protect the woman he loves, Jim Archer races to the rescue, only to find that Cassie’s life is not the only one in peril. It will take a Christmas miracle—and the entire Archer clan—to keep a second Archer Christmas from ending in disaster.

Also included is Gift of the Heart. A widow and her young daughter move to Hope Springs for a fresh start, but with no money to secure a home, Ruth must convince a wealthy resort owner to accept her heirloom brooch as collateral. Will the pin that brought love to three generations soften the heart of a wounded recluse and give Ruth a second chance at love as the holidays draw near? 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook

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Ruth Logan Herne

When weary travelers stumble upon a quaint mountain town at the base of Mount Hood, a twinkling star beckons them to an iconic inn run by a possibly elf-affiliated woman named “Angel Rafferty”… and what Angel brings to this trio of beautiful holiday romances is the joy and wisdom of a self-assured and faithful woman. The kind that sticks to her guns and says what’s on her mind… or knows when to let silence do the talking. Join me, Margaret Brownley and Mary Connealy in this wonderful trio of Christmas romance, available in Kindle or paperback… and get lost in a snow-filled, faith-filled Christmas where love abides in the shadow of a magnificent mountain.

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Merry Christmas, lovelies! I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to celebrate the beauty of Christmas with the grace of great readers like you! Scroll down to the form below. Click the link to follow me on Amazon, and then let us know in the comments below. Keepin’ it easy-peasy… and fun!

Winnie Griggs

 

The Christmas Children

In this full length novel, ten homeless children play matchmaker in the hopes of finding their forever home…

Eileen Pierce doesn’t think she’s cut out to be a mother.  But when Simon Tucker is stranded in Turnabout with a group of ten orphans just before Thanksgiving, she finds herself offering to let them stay in her home – temporarily.

 

Simon’s take-each-day-as-it-comes outlook quickly clashes with the reserved widow’s need for order, but his openness slowly melts her stern façade. 

 

He and the kids have upended her orderly life.  Will they do the same to her guarded heart?

 

   Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

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Updated: November 27, 2019 — 9:04 am

COWBOYS & MISTLETOE – Day Two

 

Cheryl Pierson

 

Texas Ranger Shiloh Barrett loses his hotheaded older brother to a gunfight over a hand of cards. Now the “winner”—a wealthy landowner who’s coveted the Barrett homestead—finally has what he wants. But could there be something Seamus O’Connor desires more than the Barretts’ land?

O’Connor has not seen his beautiful daughter, Kalli, for thirteen years. He knows that she’s living with her mother’s Cherokee people in northeastern Indian Territory. Determined to have her kidnapped and brought to him, Seamus uses the deed he holds to the Barrett homestead to get what he wants. Even though it goes against everything Shiloh Barrett believes is right, O’Connor’s blackmail cannot be ignored.

But beautiful Kalliroe White Dove O’Connor has some tricks up her sleeve as the handsome ex-ranger spirits her away into the nearby San Bois Mountains. The tables turn when Shiloh is bitten by a rattlesnake their first day on the trail. Though Kalli tells herself she has no other choice but to stay with Shiloh—and she does want to reunite with her father—deep down, she knows there is another reason she can’t leave the handsome lawman. Could it be she’s falling in love with him?

In a final showdown with a cutthroat outlaw gang, Shiloh heads straight into the pit of vipers to buy some time for the man he despises—Kalli’s father. No matter how this all plays out, KIDNAPPING KALLI has been the best thing Shiloh Barrett’s ever done—if he only lives to see it through…

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A woman with no home… Beautiful Southern belle Julia Jackson has just been informed she and her niece must find a new home immediately—or else. With no family to turn to in Georgia, Julia takes a mighty gamble and answers an advertisement for a nursemaid in wild Indian Territory—for the child of a man she knows nothing about. Together, she and five-year-old Lauralee waste no time as they flee to the safety of the new position Julia has accepted. She can only hope this move will be the start of a bright future for them away from Lauralee’s dangerous much older half-brother.
A rancher with no heart… The death of Devlin Campbell’s young daughter has ripped the light from his life. Though the birth of his son, little Jamie, should have been a source of happiness, the subsequent loss of his wife forces Dev to ignore his emotions and trudge through life’s joyless responsibilities. But all that changes with the arrival of Miss Julia Jackson from Atlanta! Not at all what Dev is expecting in response to his ad, his resentment boils over at her failure to mention her tag-along niece—a painful reminder of the loss of his own little girl just two years earlier. Yet, how can he deny the sunshine Julie brings into his drab existence with her very presence?
Can love find a way? In the depths of Dev’s boundless sorrow and his accompanying anger, is there room in his life for anyone else as Christmas approaches? Can Julie convince him that love is the cure for a broken heart, and hope is the only recipe for a new beginning between THE DEVIL AND MISS JULIA JACKSON…

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Linda Broday

 

Find your very own cowboy to keep warm these long, wintry nights as you cozy up with six sweeping, epic tales of heroism, passion, family and celebration from bestselling authors Leigh Greenwood, Rosanne Bittner, Linda Broday, Margaret Brownley, Anna Schmidt, and Amy Sandas.

Fall in Love with Christmas

Whether it’s a widower finding an unexpected new start, a former outlaw and his new wife welcoming their very own Christmas miracle, a long-lost lover returning just in time for a special holiday celebration, a second chance at love between two warring hearts given peace at last, an unlikely pair working together to bring joy to a small Texas town, or a cowboy and his dark-eyed beauty snowed in one unforgettable wintry eve…every Christmas with a cowboy is filled with light, laughter, and a forever kind of love.

A Fairy Tale Christmas – Leigh Greenwood

Christmas in Paradise – Rosanne Bittner

A Christmas Wedding – Linda Broday

A Love Letter To Santa – Margaret Brownley

One Snowy Christmas Eve – Anna Schmidt

Through the Storm – Amy Sandas

 

AMAZON  |  B&N APPLE  |  KOBO  |  INDIEBOUND

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Kit Morgan

 

There’s nothing quite like spending Christmas with the Weavers!

 

They’re boisterous, they’re loud, and most of all, they’re full of surprises! But this time the Weavers are the ones surprised by what happens when Clear Creek residents Harrison Cooke and his family along with Irene and Wilfred Dunnigan come for a visit. Cinnamon rolls, budding romance and of course one cantankerous Mrs. Dunnigan make for a hilarious holiday romp in this sweet, clean and wholesome historical western! Enjoy the coming together of two of Kit Morgan’s most iconic families!

Buy Here: Amazon

 

And while Harrison Cooke and his family are visiting the Weavers, his brother Colin and his family back home get a visitor of his own…

Jefferson Cooke, the eldest son of one of the famous Cooke brothers of the Triple-C Ranch wasn’t looking for love. Why bother when there were no young women around to marry? If he wanted a wife, he’d have to send for a mail-order bride and the thought didn’t appeal to him. In his mind, it was far too risky. His situation, therefore, was hopeless. So he’d forced himself to forget about finding a bride and falling in love. What else could he do? Little did he know one was about to show up, and wearing a funny pair of shoes to boot! Enjoy this sweet, clean and wholesome time-travel romance set against the backdrop of the old west!

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COWBOYS & MISTLETOE – Day One

 

Pam Crooks

ONE MAGIC EVE

Lonely Sonja Kaplan doesn’t want to spend another Christmas alone. While she has her secret government work to fill her days, she longs for a husband to fill her nights.

Chet Lattimer doesn’t know the first thing about being a father when the six-year-old son he didn’t realize he had bursts into his life. Worse, it’s Christmas, and there’s no one to help him celebrate except the mysterious woman the gossips call the Bird Lady.

But a little boy hungry for love helps them all find truth and peace, and together they revel in the magic of Christmas.

 

#kindleunlimited

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THE CATTLEMAN’S CHRISTMAS BRIDE

After Allethaire Gibson was kidnapped several years earlier in the wilds of Montana Territory, she tries hard to put her life back together in civilized Minnesota. She almost succeeds—until she’s framed for a crime she didn’t commit. With her reputation in shreds, she flees back to Montana to seek her father’s help in proving her innocence.

Mick Vasco never expects to see Allethaire again, but when he finds her in the middle of a train-robbery-in-progress, he has no choice but to kidnap her—again.

Together they race against time to find crucial answers. But during the blessed season of Christmas, they find wondrous gifts of forgiveness and love instead.

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Shanna Hatfield

KEEPING CHRISTMAS

   Professional bareback rider Gage Taggart can almost taste the world championship title he’s spent all year pursuing. When an unexpected injury sidelines him, he heads to his best friend Trevor’s home to recuperate. Little by little, he finds himself completely smitten with Trevor’s beautiful sister. But he’s up against a formidable opponent: brotherly concern. Reluctantly, Gage vows to leave Tally alone to keep from breaking her heart when he heads back out on the road.

   Tally King thrives on her work as a nurse, until she ends up caring for her injured brother and his best friend on the family ranch. Between the two stubborn men determined to prove how tough they and the unpredictable antics of her loony aunt Marvella, Tally feels like her life is spiraling out of control. Or maybe it’s due to falling head over heels in love with Gage despite concerns he’ll leave her heart in broken pieces.

#KeepingChristmas, #kindleunlimited

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THE CHRISTMAS MELODY

   Claire Baker does nothing halfway. She makes it a point to follow her heart, even when it leads her to a small Eastern Oregon town to stay with relatives. In truth, she loves Hardman and the people there. Which is why she wants a recluse she met in the woods and his adorable daughter to join in the community holiday celebrations. The more time they spend together, the more she realizes she’s fallen hopelessly in love with both of them.

   All Grayson Carter wants is to be left alone. That’s why he built his cabin in the middle of more than a thousand acres of woods, seeking to disappear from the world and keep his daughter, Maddie, safe.  Then a beautiful interloper appears and becomes quite determined in her efforts of drawing him back into the land of the living. As she brings him and Maddie Christmas cheer, he realizes falling in love with her could be the best and worst thing he’s ever done.
#kindleunlimited

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GIFT OF GRACE

Ready to begin a new life far away from the sad memories of the Civil War, J.B. and Nora Nash head west on the Oregon Trail. They settle into the small community of Pendleton, Oregon, on a piece of land where they’re excited to build a future and their dreams together.

A devastating tragedy leaves them both reeling as they draw further and further apart. Nora blames J.B. for her unhappiness while he struggles through his own challenges. Only a miracle can bring them through their trials and reunite them for Christmas.

Together, will they discover the gift of grace in this sweet holiday romance brimming with hope, history, and abiding love?

#kindleunlimited, #giftsofChristmas

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Mary Connealy

Click to Buy……. Christmas at Star Inn

Christmas at Star Inn 

Margaret Brownley, Ruth Logan Herne and Mary Connealy.

“Do You Hear What I Hear?” by Margaret Brownley
Can a tree-hugging activist and lumbermill owner find love?
“Silent Night, Star-lit Night” by Ruth Logan Herne
Jed Taylor hears that Mia O’Loughlin is heading north the week before Christmas, pregnant and alone, he can’t let her make the long trek on her own. 
“Room at the Inn for Christmas” by Mary Connealy:
A lonely woman struggles against the lure of home. She is reunited with an old classmate: Anthony Carter, a handyman with a guarded heart. Can he help Amanda realize the Star Inn is worth saving…and can he do it in time for Christmas?

 

Don’t miss out on the chance to win a $10 GIFT CARD TO AMAZON! 

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Winners will be announced on Sunday, December 8th.

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Updated: November 27, 2019 — 8:56 am

COWBOYS & MISTLETOE is Back!

Christmas is coming!

And it’s that special time of year for holiday stories that warm your heart with romance and happy endings.

Which is why we’re presenting to you our collection of

Christmas Romances!

Be sure to stop by every day from

December 2 – 5

We’ll make you fall in love with falling in love during Christmas.

We’re giving away lots of $10 Amazon gift cards, too.

Even better, we’re going to make it easy to WIN!

Ho-Ho-Ho!

Updated: November 14, 2019 — 8:37 am

Mary Connealy Writes CONTEMPORARY!

He’s still a cowboy, okay?

My heroes have always been cowboys. (hey, that’s catchy!)

But the book is contemporary and he doesn’t spend any time on his ranch. But it’s there. And he has boots and a Stetson.

 

Christmas at Star Inn—my CHRISTMAS release.

My hero is a cowboy, and he’s also a lifelong friend of a very nice innkeeper. So he’s become a handyman at the Star Inn, at first to make ends meet when his ranch father was dying and money was tight. 

Then later, when he’d turned a corner of his ranch into a Christmas Tree Farm, and was making big bucks, he kept helping because the innkeeper was aging and his wife had passed away, and his only daughter had abandoned her father for the big city.

And then the innkeeper died and the daughter comes home…at Christmastime.

And our hero has to teach her why the beautiful old Victorian Inn, called The Star Inn, is important.

I’m feeling a little weepy from the sentiment of it all.

Today we’re talking Christmas. It’s early, but I’m looking outside my window at SNOW. And unlike every charming character in every Christmas novella ever, who are charmed by the wonder and magic of snow, I’m telling you it’s COLD!!!!

sigh.

Mary needs to get into the holiday spirit and FAST. And how better than to talk about romance at Christmas. With an old high school boyfriend who was betrayed. And a beautiful woman who’s heart was broken when her father told her there wasn’t enough money to make a place for her in the inn she’d grown up in.

Christmas at Star Inn, is a three novella collection. Included with my book are novellas from fellow Fillies, Margaret Brownley and Ruth Logan Herne.

Leave a comment that will get ME in the mood for Christmas, to get your name in the drawing for an ebook copy of Christmas at Star Inn. One lucky commenter will win an ebook copy of

A little bit about Christmas at Star Inn

In classic “Hallmark” style, these great authors give readers a real holiday treat with three novellas set at the beautiful Star Inn, an iconic B&B tucked at the base of Mount Hood in Oregon. 

“Do You Hear What I Hear?” by Margaret Brownley


 

Can a tree-hugging activist and lumbermill owner find love?



Two bad things happened to Sally Cartwright that week. Three if she counted the pink slip received at the Home and Family magazine’s annual Christmas party. But nothing was worse than plowing into a snowbank and being stuck in a town she swore never to see again. A town she once called home. Now she must spend the long cold night in the car or follow the bright shining star through the woods to the old Star Inn. She chooses the inn and that’s where her troubles really begin…

Lumbermill owner, Rick Rennick is in no mood for Christmas cheer. Having recently buried his father, he’s still trying to sort out the financial mess left behind. Unless Rick comes up with a miracle, the mill run by the family for generations is about to shut down for good. That would put a lot of men out of work and impact the future of the town.

If things aren’t bad enough he’s now stuck at the old Star Inn waiting for the road back to his cabin to reopen. His luck takes another turn for the worse when he suddenly comes face to face with the past he’d sooner forget. For unless he’s seeing things the only woman he’s ever loved is standing in front of the inn’s blazing fire trying to get warm. How is it possible that one chance meeting could stir up so many old memories?

Both Rick and Sally regret what happened between them, but his family lumberyard clashes with her tree-hugging ways and neither are willing to try again. It will take the storm of the century, one stage-struck young boy, a certain meddling “angel”—and even a cranky cat—to convince them that in matters of the heart, the second time around is sometimes best.

“Silent Night, Star-lit Night” by Ruth Logan Herne

 

 



Jed Taylor knows how to cowboy up on horseback and in their busy farm & feed store, but when he heard Mia O’Loughlin was planning a trip north the week before Christmas, pregnant and alone, he can’t let her make the long trek alone. More Grinch than grace, he flies to the coast, determined to help.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this…

E.R. nurse and Red Cross emergency responder Mia O’Loughlin was strong, but losing her deployed husband the week before she realized they were expecting their first child knocked her off-kilter. With Christmas and her due date approaching, all she can see is getting back home to Kittitas County for the birth of her child… their child… and seeing her failing Grandpa Joe one last time. Determined to do it on her own, she reluctantly allows Jed to accompany her, mostly because the gruff cowboy showed up and won’t take no for an answer.

But when a blizzard grinds their progress to a stop in Northern Oregon, the light from an old inn beckons them into the sweet town of Heywood where old truths open the way to new beginnings for both of them.



And in “Room at the Inn for Christmas” by Mary Connealy


 

Welcome to Heywood, Oregon where a lonely woman comes home to find healing, hope and love under the bright light of the town’s old Star Inn this Christmas season.



Amanda Star is a high-powered executive in the multi-national Halston hotel chain…then she inherits the Star Inn, her childhood home, from her father. With no time to be away from her job, she impatiently rushes home to list the beautiful old bed and breakfast for sale. Now that she’s here she’s swamped with sweet memories and keen regret.



As Amanda struggles against the lure of home, she also is reunited with an old classmate: Anthony Carter, a handyman with a guarded heart. Can he help Amanda realize the Star Inn is worth saving…and can he do it in time for Christmas?

Updated: November 13, 2019 — 1:32 am

Cowboys and Christmas Party


You are invited!

 

I hope you’ll join me this coming Thursday, November 7, for the sixth annual Cowboys and Christmas Facebook Party!

The purpose of the party (other than to have fun with all those who attend) is to raise awareness of the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund and celebrate the upcoming holiday season. 

For those who aren’t familiar with it, the JCCF offers a hand up to rodeo athletes who have sustained catastrophic injuries and will be unable to compete for an extended period of time. 

This is my sixth year to hold the party and my sixth year for the Read a Book, Help a Cowboy campaign that raises funds and awareness for JCCF. You can find out more about the campaign on my website.

The party gets underway Thursday at 10 a.m. Pacific Time (so that’s 11 Mountain, Noon Central, and 1 Eastern). Entries for giveaways will remain open until the following morning, so even if you can’t participate in the party during all the action, you can still check in after the fact and get in on the goodies! 

Among the participating guest authors are a few names you’ll recognize from Petticoats and Pistols!

10:15 – Pam Crooks

10:30 – Julie Lence

10:45 – Kit Morgan

11: – Heidi VanLandingham

11:15 – Melanie D. Snitker

11:30 – Kay P. Dawson

11:45 – Kristy McCaffrey

Noon – Josie Riviera

12:15 – Cyndi Raye

12:30 – Jacqui Nelson

12:45 – Laura Beers

1 – Ciara Knight

1:15 – Stephanie Berget

1:30 – Zina Abbott

1:45 – Magdalena Scott

Invite your friends and come join in a few hours of shenanigans and fun!

 

Pickup Riders

Our local rodeo season is about to head into full swing next week. We are fortunate enough to live in an area where we can attend four big rodeos, one every week, for a month.

Since Captain Cavedweller and I both enjoy rodeos, this is a grand thing. 

Thoughts of rodeos and the athletes that compete in them, both human and animal, made me think about a group of folks who largely go unnoticed at rodeo events — pickup men. 

(If you’re thinking about the drunk guys who hang around after the rodeo ends, wrong kind of pickup men!)

The pickup men I’m referring to today have one of the most important jobs at a rodeo because they are there to keep the athletes safe. In the arena, they look after the cowboy at the end of his ride as well as the horses and bulls used in rough stock events and they help with the overall production. They might work for the stock contractor or be employed directly by the rodeo association.

Regardless of how they come to be there, pickup men are often referred to as the ghosts of an arena. They ride in, sometimes seemingly out of nowhere, help a cowboy off a ton of twisting, bucking beast, then guide the animal from the arena before vanishing again. 

Depending on the size of the rodeo, you might see two of them working together while bigger rodeos have as many as six working at a time. 

Pickup men are in the arena from start to finish, but if all goes smoothly, rodeo fans might not notice them at all. Riding horses is second nature to many of the men who work as pickup men. They have to be able to rope a bucking bronc or a rank bull. They also have to be ale to think on the fly and make quick decisions. Out in the arena there isn’t time for talking and deciding what to do. They have to act intuitively. 

Once a cowboy and horse bust out of the chute, the pickup men are watching every move, ready to ride to the rescue or offer a hand when the eight-second buzzer sounds. 

During a ride, most anything can happen and does. 

Competitors can get hung up in rigging or stirrups and find themselves being dragged around the arena or getting an eyeball of dirt while dodging flying hooves. 

While their actions aren’t choreographed, the way pick up men work together can appear so flawless and performed with such ease, it looks like they’ve practiced the intricate dance that is based on their quick reactions and know-how.

Pickup men have cowboys crawling all over them and their horses which makes it essential they can handle a cowboy hanging off his shoulder.

 

Or his neck, or whatever else the athlete happens to get a hold of in his scramble to get off a wildly bucking bronc. 

The equipment a pickup man uses is vitally important to a smooth, successful rodeo, too. His saddle has to fit just right, many use specialized bits, and they all have a favorite brand of rope they use. Many use breast collars on their horses to keep their saddle from sliding back if they have to rope a bull. And it gives a little added advertising space to their stock contractor or sponsor.

The pickup man might wear shin guards, or kickpads, around their lower legs to protect from flying hooves, scrambling boots from the rodeo athlete as he tries to get off a bucking animal, or even just a saddle bronc saddle rubbing against it when he has the horse snubbed to get it out of the arena. 

Another piece of equipment no pickup man would work without is his chaps. They provide another layer of protection against the bucking horses and their saddles. 

It’s also important for their horses to be well-trained and able to keep up with a reaction that happens in a split-second. Many pickup men have a string of horses they use, rotating them out between each event.  One horse might do better picking up bareback riders while one might do better when it’s time to chase bulls out of the arena. Most pickup men will use splint boots for their horses for protection against injury. 

Some pickup men work smaller rodeos they can catch on a weekend and still keep their regular job (like ranching). 

Others travel non-stop on the rodeo circuit right along with the rodeo athletes, gone from home for weeks, sometimes months, at a time. 

At the end of the day, the pickup men are the unsung heroes who might have prevented a cowboy from receiving a serious injury, or kept a bull from charging into a crowd.

So, the next time you are at a rodeo, take a moment to watch these men at work and think about all they do to make the rodeo a safe place for everyone to enjoy. 

If you enjoy reading about rodeos, check out my Rodeo Romance series. Each book can be read as a stand alone and features a different rodeo event or personality. Right now, Racing Christmas is on sale for just 99 cents! The hero in the story just happens to be a pickup man.

“From the realistic rodeo scenes to the tender love scenes Shanna Hatfield keeps you reading.”

Jodi Thomas, New York Times Bestselling Author

She’s racing to save the ranch

He’s struggling to win her heart. . . again

Brylee Barton has just one goal in mind: win the barrel racing world championship. Not for the glory, but for the attached cash prize that could save her family’s ranch. When an injury leaves her at the mercy of the very same copper-headed, silver-tongued cowboy she once vowed to loathe forever, she has no choice but to swallow her pride and accept his help.

Fun-loving, easy-going Shaun Price has a million dollar smile, more charm than he can channel, and a string of ex-girlfriends rumored to have started their own support group. When the one woman he’s never quite managed to get out of his head or heart needs his assistance, he jumps at the chance to help. Little does he realize how challenging it will be to keep from falling for her all over again.

Will Shaun and Brylee discover the gift of forgiveness, and experience their own happily-ever-after?

Available on Amazon

Answer this question for a chance to win an autographed copy of The Christmas Cowboy, book 1 in the Rodeo Romance series! 

What is your favorite rodeo event?