Estella K! Congrats! You’ve won an Amazon Gift Card from Charlene Sands!
Please contact me with the email address you’d prefer your Amazon GC to be sent to at this addy:
Estella K! Congrats! You’ve won an Amazon Gift Card from Charlene Sands!
Please contact me with the email address you’d prefer your Amazon GC to be sent to at this addy:
Three days before Christmas, 2016
I love Christmas! The hymns we sing, the celebrations we attend, that extra bit of happy in the faces of people you see when you wish them a merry Christmas or happy holiday. No wonder you’re such a jolly old elf!
I’ve spent some time thinking about what to write in a letter to such a venerable gift-giver as yourself. What should I ask for? What could I ask for that wouldn’t seem self-centered and—well—petty, especially in light of all that’s going on in the world?
Since I’m writing to a deadline—Christmas is coming, after all–I’ll give it my best try. I hope you’ll forgive me if it isn’t entirely right.
I ask for peace, for everyone, everywhere!
I ask for love for those who don’t know its power.
I ask for joy for those who hurt during this beautiful season.
I ask for hope for all who labor day after day to make their life and the lives of their family better.
And I ask for a miracle for those who need it most!
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL THE PETTICOATS AND PISTOLS READERS OUT THERE. MAY 2017 BE THE BEST YEAR YOU CAN MAKE IT!
A big Texas thanks to everyone who stopped by to put in a good word for Ed with Santa. He scoffed when I told him he would be getting a lump of coal this year, but the cute factor evidently saved him.
As a small token of his appreciation, he plucked two names from my Stetson (before shredding the hat).
Susan P and Kathleen O,
Ed drew your names! He’s sending each of you a Wishing for a Cowboy ebook. The Christmas anthology from Prairie Rose Publications contains not only heartwarming tales from eight popular authors, but also recipes for all kinds of Christmas goodies. He’ll be in touch shortly, ladies.
Ed, Miss Li’l Ol’ Biddy, Dog, Underdog, and I wish everyone the merriest of Christmases and much health, love, and laughter in the new year.
You’ve probably heard by now that I’ve been bad this year. All those things? I didn’t do them.
For example, I did not snap at my brother, repeatedly. I was showing him what good dental hygiene looks like. And anyway, if he hadn’t tried to usurp my spot in Mom’s lap, somebody who wasn’t me never would’ve snapped.
I also didn’t hop onto the kitchen counter. I climbed up there using a stool. If Mom hadn’t left the stool in such a convenient spot, that wouldn’t have happened, either.
The trash bag incident was the fault of a marauding pack of wild Chihuahuas who broke into the house while I was occupied trying to remove a squirrel from the premises. Have you ever seen the mess marauding Chihuahuas make? It isn’t pretty.
As for the bathroom trashcan… That was my brother. He’s always committing crimes and then pointing the paw at me. Let me tell you, Santa, he’s no angel. I was just trying to clean up the disaster.
When I dragged the roast out of the shopping bag, I was trying to help Mom put away the groceries. Do you realize how flimsy the packaging is on meat? Someone at the grocery store needs to address that.
Likewise, I did not rip open the bag of dog food. “Ripping” is too strong a word. I carefully chewed off a corner—and I only did that so Mom wouldn’t have to wrestle the bag open on her own.
As for peeing in the house… That rule simply isn’t fair. Mom pees in the house. I’ve tried to teach her to go outside, but she’s stubborn. And besides, there’s no DNA evidence to support her claim that she caught me in the act.
I did not drag the clean sheets out of the laundry basket, scruff them into a pile, and lie on them. Everybody knows sheets are much more comfortable on the bed.
Neither did I hide Mom’s shoe. I was redecorating, and Mom left her shoes in a spot that completely destroyed the aesthetic. One shoe created a pleasing avant-garde effect. Two shoes was one too many.
Mom was also to blame when someone bit her nose. She shouldn’t have tried to trim my toenails. I go to great trouble to grow my nails to the precise length required for gardening (which, by the way, isn’t being bad, despite Mom’s insistence she hadn’t planned to put a plant in that spot). It was just a tiny little nip, anyway.
I did not leave teeth marks on the corner of a book. I was checking to make sure Mom’s editor hadn’t missed anything embarrassing. (Mom is notorious for mixing up words like “desert” and “dessert,” you know.) I had to turn the page somehow.
And speaking of her editor… I admit I typed a message into a chatroom where Mom was conversing with the Prairie Rose honchos. I can explain that, though: The minute Mom stepped away from her desk, I could tell gossip was about to erupt. Was I supposed to sit quietly and let them savage Mom while her back was turned?
I also did not find a chicken bone in the yard and attempt to run off and gnaw on it. That was another case of me trying to tidy up the place. Indoors isn’t the only part of the environment around here that could use a good cleaning.
In my defense, I should mention that I try to atone for all the bad things I don’t do by being a fierce watchdog. Nobody gets into my house—not burglars, rapists, ax-murderers, or Mom’s family. (You can’t be too careful, and some of Mom’s relatives look pretty sketchy.)
I hope you will keep all of this in mind when you decide who’s been naughty and nice this year. Just to be sure there’s no mistake, I belong on the “nice” list. If you have to put someone around here on the naughty list, I think it should be pretty clear by now that Mom’s the real troublemaker.
I hope you will bring me my own treats. Otherwise, my brothers and sister will just claim I stole theirs. I would never, ever, contemplate snatching a treat out of someone else’s mouth, no matter what the others say.
If the cookies and milk are gone when you get here, it’s because there’s a marauding cat in the neighborhood, too.
(Ed would like to convince someone to vouch for him to Santa, and he’s willing to stoop to bribery to do so. Leave a comment telling him what you want for Christmas. He’ll pick two commenters and send each an ebook version of the Christmas anthology Wishing for a Cowboy.)
This week is dedicated to fun facts about the members that make up the corral
here at Wildflower Junction (a.k.a. Petticoats and Pistols) and today is my day!
I’m supposed to come up with 10 facts ~ we’ll see if I can…
~ I wrote my first manuscript with the hope that I could make enough money to stay home with my children as they grew. Call me naive to the publishing world! It didn’t happen, but now on the flip side of life, I have been able to retire early and be with my grandchildren and parents more.
~ I prefer even numbers.
Not sure why…it just makes sense to me.
Maybe it was because I was born on an even day in an even month.
2014 was a good year. 2016 even more so.
(There might be a pill to correct this…or maybe therapy.)
~ Although my first wedding was more exciting than my second, my second marriage has been more exciting than my first–and it’s to the same man!
Allow me to explain: My first marriage at my grandparent’s farm lasted fifteen minutes ~ the duration of the drive from the farm to the church. I learned after the 1st ceremony, that the wedding wasn’t legal because the farm was just over the county line. The pastor had to take us back to his side of the line to say our “I Dos” all over again and sign the wedding certificate in the correct county. (It seems to have stuck — We’ve been married 38 years!)
~ I love witty puns and quotes.
I think this may be a hazard of being a writer and loving the written word.
“Borrow money from pessimists—they don’t expect it back.” (Steven Wright)
“If yourcar could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?” (Steven Wright)
“She’s descended from a long line her mother listened to. (Gypsy Rose Lee)
“Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.”
~ I wanted a horse when I was a child.
I still want a horse…
(Or a trip to a dude ranch might help :-))
I did enjoy riding lessons for two years as a youngster.
Even won a red ribbon (2nd place) in my one and only horse competition.
~ I grew up in the big city but always was a country gal at heart.
My favorite times were when my family left the city of San Diego and went hiking in the back country, to the beach, or on a summer vacation to a National Park. Give me the wide open spaces, an open road, and a starry sky and I am happiest.
~ I’m a dog person
—most particularly Golden Retrievers and Great Danes.
(I think this has something to do with never having my own horse.)
I’ve had three goldens that have come and gone in my life. The one pictured here was named Baron.
Every time I take a walk I think about and miss them.
~ I love everything SUPERMAN.
Mostly it has to do with his moral integrity, need to protect those weaker, and his strength.
It may have a small something to do with being able to fly. That is one cool super-power!
But then…he is easy on the eyes…
In my other life
I was a High Risk Obstetrical Nurse and a Sonographer.
That’s a lot of initials after my name…(I’m trying to beat my brothers…)
Now that I have left the medical field, I miss doing ultrasounds of babies in the womb.
I don’t miss having to get up everyday and leave for work.
I have my own “cheese cake” photo.
Ready? Here you go…
Comment to be entered into a drawing for one of my books!
Hi Everyone! I’m back again to share with you ten things about me. Writing ten things sounds easy until you start…then it gets hard. But here goes…
1. I love to sew. Just love it. My mother taught me to sew when I was nine during
my first year of 4-H. Being a kid with a short attention span, I hated sewing! A hem took an eternity, and I had better things to do! But all of my friends were in 4-H sewing, so I continued on. By the time I hit high school, I realized that I could make clothing that I couldn’t afford (this was pre-discount store time) and sewing became a passion. It was also easier after I’d attained some skills and my attention span was (slightly) longer.
2.I also love ponies. I learned to ride on a pony, but wanted a big horse. My younger brother had a big old gentle work horse that I coveted. However, after I finally got a big horse, I discovered that not only did I love ponies, but they loved me. I’m a pony person. I had a herd of thirteen when my husband finally put his foot down and said I had to pare down the herd. So now I have three. They’re pets.
3.I live off the grid in rural Nevada and have for the past twenty-two years. When we first moved to our house, which is good sized and has all the amenities of any home anywhere, we would turn the power off at night and read by kerosene lantern. Now we read on our cell phones and tablets. How times h
ave changed. It was a great way to raise kids.
4. That said, I’m about to move onto my parents’ farm and cattle ranch in Montana. It’s a very small cattle operation, but enough to keep us busy. We’ll be raising heritage beef, which has a lean-tender gene. Low marbling, yet lots of flavor. My dad has quite a breeding program going on.
5. In addition to loving to sew, I collect vintage patterns on ebay, then sew them into clothes that I may or may not be able to wear. Sometimes they look a lot different on the pattern than they do on a real body. I’ve discovered that I have 1930s shape. Those patterns fit me well.
6. I worked in an underground mine when I was in my twenties, back when there weren’t many women underground. I worked for a year, then returned to college to get a degree in geology. I also got a degree in education.
7. I started running when I was in my forties because my kids were in cross country. I hated it, but like sewing, eventually came to embrace it. I’m slow and steady.
8. I taught junior high science for 29 years. I miss my kids, but I love being retired!
9. I hate heights—my husband and I once re-roofed a garage working on our bellies for the most part, because he’s afraid of heights, too—but I don’t mind spiders.
10. My family and I attend the Great Dickens Fair in San Francisco every year. I made all the clothing for the family. I found that I really enjoy tailoring. I think we look very dapper.
And there you go–ten things about me. I’m a sewing, pony-loving, off-the-grid, ranching, mining, running, height-fearing, spider-tolerating, Victorian costumer!
Hello all, Winnie Griggs here. It’s my turn to share little known facts about who the ‘true Winnie Griggs’ is. So here goes:
So now you know more than you ever wanted to know about who I am. Is there anything on this list you can relate to? And how about you reciprocate by sharing one or two fun facts about yourself? Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for your choice of any book from my backlist. Drawing will take place sometime tomorrow.
In Search of a Groom
After a life of drudgery on her family’s farm, Cassie Lynn Vickers relishes her freedom working in town as a paid companion for feisty Mrs. Flanagan. When her father suddenly demands she come home, she has no choice. Unless she can find a husband. If only she could convince handsome town newcomer Riley Walker to marry her…
Riley is on the run. He’s desperate to keep his niece and nephew safe from his crooked half brother. But a delay in Turnabout, Texas, shows him everything he didn’t know he was missing: home, family—and Cassie Lynn. Can he find a way to become her Prince Charming…and build a real family with the children and Cassie Lynn?
Hello, Jolene Navarro coming to you from the Hill Country of Texas and I’m so excited to be here. When I say I’m from Texas, I’m talking seven generations of ranchers, horsemen and framers. I’m a Texas girl through and through. So I think it is safe to say that Texas is one of my strongest characters throughout all my stories. This land shaped who I am and it shapes the people in my books.
I took this picture of the stock tank and windmill on my way home the other day. I have driven past it for nineteen years, and thought I needed to take the time to enjoy the view and share it.
Growing up, my dad was a commercial pilot, but he couldn’t help himself when it came to his roots of ranching. We had a small twenty-three-acre place in Bergheim Texas, population 12 if you counted the horses. Many days we would ride our horses to the general store to get an ice cold bottle of Dr. Pepper or Big Red. We couldn’t buy a chocolate bar because they melted too fast in the heat.
Many times we’d ride bareback. Tourists driving through Hwy 46 would stop and take pictures of us, which we thought was funny, because riding was just what we did. Now I wish I had at least one of us with the horses at the old limestone store. The precious moments in life you take for granted because it’s so ordinary to you, that is until you get to look back and realize how blessed you were.
We always had animals. Sometimes rescued baby squirrels or bottle feed angora goats. We had horses, sheep, pigs, dogs and cats along with rabbits, chickens, a few deer and one duck. That duck sat on turkey eggs once. That was great fun.
The one thing my father loved more than anything was his angora goat. Here’s one of my favorites with some kids and my little sister, Amanda Warren (who now lives on an exotic game ranch).
Even though we live out in the country we don’t have goats or horses now – I leave that to my little sister, who still carries on the family tradition. Her family is on an exotic game ranch on the border and spends as much time at stock shows as anywhere else. But I do find many of my stories not only reflect the Texas I know and love, but they are also full of animals. I didn’t set out to do that, but it comes naturally to each story.
The book that was released September 1, The Soldier’s Surprise Family, has a menagerie of misfit farm animals and two dogs that are strong secondary characters. Dogs that are based on some real life companions I happen to know. Just like the people in my book, the dogs have full personalities all their own. Unlike the fictional people, the dogs are based on my family’s Catahoula Cattle dog and my other sister’s Yorkie. They took on starring roles.
Former solider and lone wolf, Garrett Kincaid, had no plans for a family not even a dog, until he discovers he has a son he never knew existed. And his son has a baby sister with nowhere to go and a dog that he’s holding out judgment on until he proves himself. Now his child and his lively nanny he’s hired are quickly capturing his heart. Falling for Anjelica isn’t part of the plan. Yet even Garrett can’t deny that love has begun building a family of four right around him.
Did you have unusual pets growing up? Maybe as an adult you finally got the pet you always wanted. I would love to hear about your furry (or not so furry) family members.
Since I’m so excited being here and want to hear from you – I will give one printed book copy of The Soldier’s Surprise Family – One ebook copy of The Soldiers’ Surprise Family and one ebook copy of A Texas Christmas Wish – that features my favorite horse.
Just leave a comment to have your name thrown in the Stetson.
Thanks so much for dropping by.
Bio: A seventh generation Texan and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author, Jolene knows that, as much as the world changes, people stay the same. Good and evil. Vow-keepers and heart breakers. Jolene married a vow-keeper who showed her that dancing in the rain never gets old.
She uses her art degree to teach inner city kids about the world and they teach her about life.
She loves creating worlds of strong heroes and powerful heroines who find love in spite of the obstacles they face. She is currently working on her first Historical romance that will be out in June along with her fifth Clear Water Book for Harlequin’s Love Inspired that will arrive in bookstores in July.
As I watched CMA’s Music Festival from the comfort of my own home the other evening, I was smiling and singing along with the artists as they sashayed across a stage that reached thousands in the audience and millions through their television screens.
Gosh, I love country music so much that it never occurred to me that there were so many different variations of what was once known as hillbilly music. As I delved into country music’s bright history, I learned that this new form of music derived in the southern United States was brought forth in the 1920’s and originated in Atlanta, Georgia, not Nashville, Tennessee. It has been argued that Atlanta be known for the birth of Country Music. Country music was delivered by way of working class Americans bringing their own backgrounds and culture to the city by blending popular songs, Irish and Celtic fiddle tunes, blues, cowboy songs and traditional ballads. And nearly a century later country music has climbed the ranks to become the most listened to rush hour music during the evening commute, coming a close second to the most listened to morning rush hour commute.
Some of the most renowned artists of the 1920’s were “Fiddlin’ John Carson in 1923 (Okey Records) and Samantha Bumgarner in 1924 (Columbia Records) and then in 1927 RCA Victor Records (remember them?) recorded the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers. During the Great Depression radio sales were down, but country music became a very popular form of entertainment with “barn dance” shows that transmitted all over the South and from Chicago to California. In 1925 the Grand Ole Opry made its debut from Nashville and it continues on in glorious fashion today.
The first commercial recordings of what was considered country music were “Arkansas Traveler” and “Turkey in the Straw” on June 30, 1922, for Victor Records and released in April 1923. Columbia began issuing records with “hillbilly” music (series 15000D “Old Familiar Tunes”) as early as 1924.
And later, the popularity of movie westerns only seemed to spur on (pardon the pun) the country music industry. But like everything else in the world, country music evolved and branched off into different genres from bluegrass to gospel, from hillbilly to country boogie, from honkytonk to rockabilly and country rock. In 1956 the number two, three and four songs on Billboard’s charts for that year were Elvis Presley, “Heartbreak Hotel“; Johnny Cash, “I Walk the Line“; and Carl Perkins, “Blue Suede Shoes“.
Willie Nelson helped coin the genre “country outlaw” and megastars like Taylor Swift have delivered us “pop country.” While Carrie Underwood (my favorite female vocalist) has been branded a “country rock” musician. I might also mention icons such as Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Kenny Rogers and Barbara Mandrell, who all made an indelible mark on country music.
Do you remember Barbara Mandrell sayin’ “I was country when country wasn’t cool.”
So much music, so little time!
Do you like country music? What type of country appeals to you most? And if you could meet one of the legends of country either living or dead, who would you choose? Can you guess who I’d choose? Play along for a chance to win a copy of one of my available backlist books of your choice! Winner chosen at random on Saturday so be sure to check back!
(PS, not Carrie, although I would love to meet her!)
Grand Ole Opry pic by Deirdre 11:55, 27 February 2007 (UTC) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,