Category: Giveaways

Women’s Hat Fashions in the 1800s

 

Much has been written here on Petticoats and Pistols about the advent of the Stetson, cowboy hats, and bowlers. I wanted to balance that with a look at

Women’s Hat Fashions.

It seems there weren’t many professions for women in the 1800s where they could make a respectable living on their own. School teachers abound in many western historicals. The other occupation I’ve noticed is that of a milliner.

I’ve always had a thing for hats. I’m sorry that they aren’t worn more in today’s world. I love seeing the hats worn by Princess Kate and Queen Elizabeth. I have never see the Queen without a hat. Such elegance!

It seems in the past everyone wore hats. Why? What made them start wearing hats in the first place? Was it due to necessity? Or is a hat simply a frivolous accessory like a tie or jewelry? And other than for certain events like the Kentucky Derby, why don’t people wear hats today?

The first known example of a hat is from a tomb painting in Egypt – ca. 3200 BC. In the Middle Ages, the church decreed that all women must cover their hair. In 1529, the term “millaner” was first recorded. It referred to the haberdashers—men who traveled to Milan, Italy to obtain the best and most popular straw products for hats.

Hatmaking and millinery is the designing and manufacture of hats, with the term “milliner” more closely associated with the making of women hats. In the past, a millinery (owned by men and women) sold all types of clothing to men, women and children, including undergarments, neckerchiefs, handkerchiefs, ties, coats, and hats. It is only more recently that the term has become specialized for women’s hats more than anything else.

Source

Throughout the years, hats have served several functions for women:

  • A declaration of lifestyle. (Ex: Catholic nuns and their habit)
  • Protection from the elements. (Ex: Sunbonnets)
  • Protection from unwanted male attention. (Ex: Bonnets)
  • A declaration of social status. (The rich often wore larger, more expensive hats.)
  • For vanity.

It can also reveal personality and etiquette. (Don’t you love it when a gentleman tips his hat to a lady?)

1860 Straw Taffeta Bonnet

In early 1800’s America, bonnets were popular. Their brims increased in size until the late 1830s and some also sported netting or veils. In the 1840s, brim size began to decrease to reveal more of a woman’s face and hair. A ribbon frill or bow was often placed at the back of the bonnet to cover any exposed skin at the neck as this was considered an erogenous area. (Hence the high collars on dresses too!)

 

 

 

The tradition of wearing hats to horse racing events began with the Royal Ascot in Britain. They enforced a strict dress code for those attending the races. This tradition was adopted at other horse racing events. In 1875, the first Kentucky Derby initiated the largest hat fashion event in America. To this day, to attend without a hat is considered a social faux pas.

In the late 1890s, hat brims once again increased in size, some becoming so large that a woman would lose her balance.

 

Source

Hats were decorated with feathers, stuffed birds, silk flowers, lace, bows and ribbons. In Florida, 95% of the egret population was killed off for their beautiful white plumes to decorate hats for women. In 1901, early environmentalists pushed for President Theodore Roosevelt’s help to pass a law making it illegal to shoot the birds.

A bit of trivia:  January 15th marks the unofficial National Hat Day. This was started by hat enthusiasts for no other reason than to celebrate their favorite hats.

What about you? Do you like hats? What type? Would you like to see a comeback or do you think their time has passed?

Comment for a chance to win a copy of my story ~ His Springtime Bride which is part of the Anthology. (I’m ready for spring!)

Western Spring Weddings

How a Cowboy Talks ~ by Amy Lillard

I grew up in Mississippi and moved to Oklahoma when I was in my late teens. One thing you can say about the deep South and Southern-minded places like the Sooner State is the language can be quite colorful.  I never paid much attention to some of the idioms I would spout on a daily basis. Even after all this time.  That was, until I got a Yankee friend!  Yep, now I’ve done it.  But my crazy sayings afford her laughs on a daily basis, and I suppose that’s more than most can ask for.

For me, they are second nature.  I don’t give them a second thought.  They are just there, jumping from my mouth like everyone says them.

Okay, so maybe my Baltimore friends have no idea what I mean, but I know a few cowboys who would.  More than a few actually.  See, cowboys have a language all their own.  I’m not talking about bull fighters (previously known as rodeo clowns) and latigo (a leather strap on a Western saddle).  It’s more of an everyday vernacular as colorful as a West Texas sunset.

Here are a few for you to enjoy–

Cowboy vocabulary:

A lick and a promise = to do haphazardly. “She gave it a lick and a promise.”
Back down = yield, withdraw.
Bang-up = first rate. “They did a bang-up job.”
Bend an elbow = have a drink. “He’s been known to bend an elbow from time to time.”
Bender = drunk. “He’s off on bender again.”
Blow-up = fight/argument. “He and the missus had a blow-up, but it’s over, now.”
Buckle bunny = rodeo groupie
by hook or crook = any way possible
Cantina = bar/restaurant
Cowboy up = cowboy equivalent of chin up buttercup
Goner = Dead or past the point of no return—as in love. “He’s a goner.”
Heap = a great deal. “He went through a heap of trouble to get her that piano.”
Hoosegow = jail
In cahoots = secretly partnering together
Namby-pamby = not brave
Skedaddle = leave quickly
Tenderfoot or greenhorn = a new person

Y’all = all of you (always plural)
Yokel = a person from the country (not the city)
Yonder = over there
And my favorite: In apple pie order = in top shape. Because, well, I write “Romances as Sweet as Apple Pie!”

I’d love to hear from you. What cowboy idioms are you familiar with? Do you have one to add to the list? Or maybe just a great saying from your neck of the woods? Whatever it is, leave me a comment below.

Everyone who comments will be entered into a drawing to win a signed copy of Healing a Heart, my newest western romance.

Buy Amy’s book on Amazon!

Here’s a little more about Healing a Heart:


Amy Lillard, the author of Loving a Lawman invites you back to the ranch…

As cowboys, the Langston brothers of Cattle Creek, Texas, know it’s easy to mend a fence. Mending a broken heart, however, takes time…

Rancher Jake Langston prides himself on being the sensible type. But five years after the loss of his wife left him to raise their daughter alone, he indulges in a one-night stand with a sexy stranger. He thought he’d never see the woman again. Four months later, though, she’s standing in his drive with a big surprise.

Bryn Talbot wants nothing from the hunky cowboy who got her pregnant, but her Southern nature demands she at least tell him about it. When Jake’s family persuades her to stay for a while, she’s soon won over by their charms—and by Jake. But with the losses the two of them have suffered in the past, neither is sure if they’re ready to take the leap to forever…

And as always, thanks for reading!

Amy

Last Chance to Enter Giant Western Giveaway!

Don’t forget to enter the giant western romance giveaway. The contest ends tomorrow.

Get free books from 4 fillies plus a wagon load of other fabulous western romance authors.

Grand Prize is a Kindle fire and 54 western historical romance novels.

First Prize is all 54 books.

All of the prize books will be in digital format.

To enter, click on either graphic and you will be taken to the BookSweeps page.

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The books included in this giveaway run the gamut from sweet to spicy, but they all feature swoon-worthy cowboys and western adventure that will put the giddy in your giddy-up.

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The graphic to the right shows all the titles being given away, many by authors who have been featured guests here at P&P.

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Be sure to click on one of the graphics to be taken to the contest page. Leaving a comment here will not enter you in the contest.

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Good luck!

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The History of Paint – by Faith Blum

 

 

The first book in my new series releases in 16 days! I’m excited to share a little tidbit of research I had to do during the proofreader stage of my writing. Here are a few things I found interesting about paint from various time periods:

Ancient Egypt

In Dendera, there is a house that has paint that looks as if it were painted just yesterday, but it was painted thousands of years ago! Can you imagine having paint like that today? No more repainting due to the sun fading or chipping.

1200-1400 A.D.

There were quite a few artisans and craftsmen who were hired to paint houses. My guess is that these would be the houses of the rich, not the paupers.

14th Century England

Housepainters created a guild of their own and divided into two groups: The Painter’s Company and The Stainer’s Company. A few hundred years later they merged to become the “Worshipful Company of Painters and Stainers.”

1600s America

House paint was a thing to be avoided as the Puritans and Pilgrims thought that a colorful home expressed vanity and excess of happiness.

1700

Thomas Child starts the first recorded paint mill in Boston.

 

1718

Marshall Smith invented a “Machine for the Grinding of Colours” which caused a race to find the best way to produce color for paints. By the 1800s, linseed oil began to be used as a less expensive binding agent that also protected the wood.

1833

Benjamin Moore began operations in making paint and when Sherwin-Williams opened for business, they became a rivalry that continues to this day.

1866

Henry Sherwin, Alanson Osborn, and Edward Williams formed Sherwin, Williams, & Co. in Cleveland, Ohio.  They later developed a tin can that was able to reseal.

1982

Benjamin Moore’s company designed the computer based color-matching system that helps to pick the perfect color for your home.

 

To conclude, I’ll leave you with a short excerpt from my book mentioning paint. Be sure to comment with the facts you found most interesting. Three lucky commenters will receive a free eBook of Savior, Like a Shepherd. I’d also love it if you could come to my Facebook Party celebrating the release of two of my books! Here is the link.

 

“Why is this not a place for children? Didn’t you grow up here?”

“Yes. Trust me, I hated it.”

“So sell it or buy and build someplace you would love.”

He shook his head, a faint smile on his face. “You are so much like Louisa. She would have said exactly the same thing. Unfortunately, Father made it so I can’t sell the house.”

I looked around and stood up. After making a full, slow circuit of the room, I stopped in front of him. “So transform this house into something you would like to live in.”

He stared at me. “How?”

“For starters, take down all the dark and dreary drapes, paint the walls bright and cheery colors, and open up the windows on nice days.”

Mr. Meyer raised his eyebrows. “We’ll see.”

About the Book

When an illegitimate young man is orphaned, he must take care of his sister and brother as winter approaches, all while not being allowed to work anywhere.

Now available for a special preorder price, just $0.99! Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and more: http://books2read.com/SaviorLikeAShepherd.

About the Author

Faith Blum is a 20-something author of multiple books in various genres. She loves to write, read, play piano, knit, crochet, sew, watch movies, and play games with her family.  She lives in Wisconsin with her family on a small family farm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.protectpainters.com/our-blog/2016/april/a-brief-history-of-house-paint-color/

https://www.franklinpainting.com/blog/home/a-brief-history-of-house-painting/

 

VALENTINE’S DAY IN THE 1880’s and 5 Sweetheart Ebook Giveaways!

 

Next Tuesday is Valentine’s Day, a day of love and romance.  Can you guess what the gift of choice will be this Valentine’s Day?  If you guessed flowers, you’d be right, coming in first place at 1.9 billion. In second place, for a measly 1.7 billion is candy! That’s right and I’d bet most of those edible delights would be chocolate.  While 38 % of us will go out to dinner, 20% will receive jewelry and 1.1 billion will be spent on greeting cards.

Amazing.

The Valentine Card first came about in the 1500’s and by the 1700’s people began sending lace and paper flowered cards to each other on printed cards.

But the first American Valentine’s card didn’t hit our shores until 1849 when Ester Howland of Massachusetts designed 12 beautiful cards made by hand and gave them to her brother who was a salesman. She was hoping to make a small profit of $200.OO by selling her cards and to her great surprise, her brother came back to her with orders for $5,000 worth of cards.

 

And Ester found herself in business.  Her valentines made her famous throughout the United States and she became known as the “The Mother of the American Valentine.”  She is also credited with developing the first “lift up” valentine and another design of layering lace and a three dimensional accordion effect where a bouquet of flowers can be moved by a pull down string to reveal a verse.  That concept is still used today.

Ester continued making her valentine cards for the next thirty years.  She sold her business in 1880 to George Whitney in order to care for her ill father.

 

 

Valentine cards have surely gone through a progression of change.  Friends, family, lovers, husbands, wives and even children indulge.  It’s a fun heart-filled day to enjoy and appreciate the ones we love.  These days hubby and I go out to dinner to celebrate the day. Do you have a favorite way to celebrate?  Candy?  Cards?  Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions?   Today I’m giving away 5 sweet reading treats– my back list EBOOK of The Billionaire’s Daddy Test to 5 lucky bloggers!.  (check later tonight for a list of giveaway winners)  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wishing you a very happy sweethearts day and please keep reading as I have two new events to share with you!

Yay!  Taming the Texas Cowboy is available for pre-order:

 

 

After a disaster destroyed nearly everything Maddie Brooks owned, Trey Walker offered the petite redhead shelter at 2 Hope Ranch. A veterinarian, Maddie was smart, sexy, and good with animals… Impossible to resist, yet Trey is convinced he is cursed when it comes to women.
The temporary arrangement Maddie made with Trey was supposed to be strictly business. Easy, since Maddie had tried and failed to catch the handsome cowboy’s eye for a year. She thought she was so over him…until he kissed her. 

AMAZON    https://www.amazon.com/Taming-Texas-Cowboy-Forever-Book-ebook/dp/B01N7RZPSA/?tag=pettpist-20

Barnes and Noble Nook –

 

Friends, if you’re in the southern California area, SAVE THE DATE, for this fun Reader Appreciation Day.  Come sit at the table I’ll be sharing with the awesome Christy Jeffries and join the conversation, play Book Bingo where you can win GREAT prizes, enjoy sweet treats and simply have a wonderful afternoon.  This is how it works: You buy a $5 ticket ahead of time to reserve your spot and pick the author you want to sit with for the event. It’s like an exclusive, backstage pass to Romancelandia. Then, you will get a $5 voucher for the onsite bookstore (so really, your ticket is FREE), fun tote bags with FREE swag (Christy and I are giving away a   GIRLS NIGHT IN gift bag to our readers) and books, plus a FREE raffle ticket for some amazing gift baskets. Did you catch the “free” part? It’s a Win Win for readers!  To purchase your ticket go to: TICKETLEAP

 

Updated: February 8, 2017 — 11:52 pm

New Release and Giant Western Romance Giveaway!!!

Worth the Wait is here!!!

YeeHaw! It’s always fun to see hard work come to fruition, and this last week my latest addition to the Ladies of Harper’s Station series was released into the world. Worth the Wait is a sequel to No Other Will Do, but it can be read on its own if you haven’t read the first one.

This e-novella pairs shopkeeper Victoria Adams with freighter  Benjamin Porter. Tori is a single mom with a four-year-old son and has been hurt in the past by men. She tries to keep Ben at a distance despite his honorable ways and kindness toward her and her son, but when an opportunity to expand both their businesses by forging a partnership in a delivery service presents itself, she can’t say no. Ben woos her with patience and practicality, and Tori slowly begins to warm to the idea of letting a man inside her heart. But when an accident strikes, and the ugly truth about her past is exposed, their chance at love may be lost forever.

This is a quick read and priced at only $1.99. I hope you’ll give it a try. You can click the cover to order.

Giant Western Giveaway!!!

And just in case my new release isn’t enough to get you excited, there is a huge western romance giveaway going on this week that I can’t wait to tell you about. Four of the Fillies from right here at Petticoats & Pistols are participating, but so are 50 other authors. That’s right. You can win up to 54 western romance novels. How awesome is that?

Grand Prize is a Kindle fire and the 54 books.

First Prize is all 54 books.

All of the prize books will be in digital format.

To enter, click on the graphic above and you will be taken to the BookSweeps page.

The books included in this giveaway run the gamut from sweet to spicy, but they all feature swoon-worthy cowboys and western adventure that will put the giddy in your giddy-up.

The graphic to the right shows all the titles being given away, many by authors who have been featured guests here at P&P.

Be sure to click on one of the graphics to be taken to the contest page. Leaving a comment here will not enter you in the contest.

However, I would still like to hear from you.

  • What do you love best about western romance?

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The Iroquois and the Sugar Maple Festival

Howdy!

And welcome to another Tuesday and the Petticoats and Pistols blog.

February, chocolate and romance —  seem to just go together, don’t they?  And how better to enjoy the sweets than with a give-away of the Tradepaper copy of SENECA SURRENDER.  Just click on the Giveaway Guidelines button on the right here and leave a comment.  That’s all you have to do to be entered into the drawing.

By the way, there is an interview up regarding SENECA SURRENDER at https://gottawritenetwork.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/blog-tour-spot-an-interview-with-romance-author-karen-kay/ — if you get a chance, go on over and take a peek.

Okay, onward…  I thought for a long time about what I might post this close to Valentine’s Day and decided I might talk about something sugary…something yummy…that’s also directly traceable to the American Indian.  What could be better than to tell you a little about the Iroquois Maple Sugar Festival.  The Iroquois had 8 different festivals throughout the year.  It was in spring, when the nights were cold and the days were warm that the sap from the maple trees began to flow.   This particular celebration was only a one day festival, but it was perhaps one of the sweetest (gee, I wonder why).  Marking this festival there were dances, singing and the making of sweet soups and other sweets as well as a tribute given to the maple tree.

It was much prized by the children…hmmm…  I’m reminded how much my grandchildren love sugary treats (their grandmother, too).

Maple syrup, maple sugar, by the way is a completely American Indian product.  Interestingly, as I have become more and more educated on nutrition, I have learned that maple sugar, although definitely a sugar, reacts differently in the body than regular sugar — or any other kind of sweetener.  It has even been found of late to aid in the recovery of Diabetics (I’m no doctor so please don’t take this as medical advice — I’m just passing along information that I’ve read recently from the farm where I buy my maple sugar, and also this particular YouTube video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oH2v7MgWbkk

Unlike the Harvest Festival (our Thanksgiving Festival in the Autumn), it’s the Maple Festival  that pays tribute to the maple tree and it’s sap.  But this festival wasn’t given the same sort of publicity like the Harvest Festival, and so it has tended to fade into history, except in the Northeast where the tradition of gathering the sap from the maple trees still exits (thank goodness because I love real maple syrup).

Now here’s a little something that I didn’t know about maple sugar and maple sugaring.

Conditions have to be just right for that maple sap to flow.  Apparently, maple trees or seeds were brought overseas and into the West, hoping to “tap” into this delicious treat.

But it didn’t work.  One feature of maple sugaring is that the nights must be cold and the days warm, otherwise the sap does not run.  It’s only in this part of the world, in the Northeastern region of the Americas that the conditions are exactly right so that one can take advantage of this wonderful gift.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the blog today, and if so, please come on in and leave a comment.  By the way, what are your plans for Valentine’s Day this year?  Whatever they are, I hope they will be sweet.

SENECA SURRENDER:  https://www.amazon.com/Seneca-Surrender-Warriors-Karen-Kay-ebook/dp/B01M3QAE67/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486440286&sr=8-1&keywords=Karen+Kay+SENECA+SURRENDER&tag=pettpist-20

Pick up your copy today.

Updated: February 7, 2017 — 10:10 am

Why My Friend Sends Me Pictures of Cows – by Jodi Thomas

I’ve been working on my series, RANSOM CANYON, for two years now.  I’ve completed 6 books and two short stories and have just contracted to write 4 more books.

Though my family has been in Texas for seven generations, and I was raised in a ranching and farming community, I have never made my living at either.

So, when I started the series I spent six months researching, studying, and driving around the Panhandle.  A dear friend of mine and author, Natalie Bright (http://www.nataliebright.com) offered to let me come out to her ranch and watch how a big operation works.

The first day I climbed into a pickup with her husband Chris Bright, we crossed back and forth over the land often without a road to follow.  At the end of the day every muscle in my body hurt from hanging on, but I not only had a better understanding of the land and the jobs, but I had an idea for my first character, Staten Kirkland.

Chris said that he didn’t really think about owning the land.  He saw himself as the caretaker.  The pride, the responsibility he felt, the worry and the long hours of work was exactly what I wanted to show in my character.

From Natalie I learned not only terms, and how the work changes as the seasons pass, but she taught me about the etiquette of daily life.  I even learned a little about cooking for 45; of course I don’t cook very well for 2, so I had a long way to go.

I spent time on other ranches and talking to brand inspectors and cattle men in different areas of ranching as well as reading about ranch life.  I met a woman named Bunny who had her grandparents’ original homestead all fixed up.  She even offered to let me stay there.  No indoor bathroom and all.

Some friends share pictures of grandkids, but Natalie Bright makes me smile every time she sends me pictures of cows.  She’s a writer.  She knows what another writer needs to see.

I may have had the imagination and the characters dancing around in my head, but I needed the ‘real life’ as well. As a dear lady Bunny Leathers told me once, “bury me in my Levis, because if I’m fortunate enough to make it to Heaven, I want to go in two-stepping one more time.”  Somehow, for her, I think there was a country song playing when she passed the Pearly Gate.

 

 

 

 

Buy Jodi’s newest book, Wild Horse Springs, on Amazon

I look forward to chatting with you today. Please let me know what you’re passionate about, and I will enter you in a drawing to win an autographed copy of my latest book WILD HORSE SPRINGS, the fifth in my Ransom Canyon series.

Remember: In the heart of Ransom Canyon, sometimes the right match for a lonely soul is the one you least expect… 

Jodi Thomas

http://www.jodithomas.com

http://www.facebook.com/jodithomasauthor

http://www.twitter.com/jodithomas/

Special Guest – Sondra Kraak

Some places sow themselves into your memory. They must be cherished. Revisited, even if only in the imagination. And if those places have been sown into the fertile loam of a writer’s imagination, they must be written about. Plain, Washington, is such a place for me.

Originally known as Beaver Valley to the pioneers who settled it, Plain packs a fierce visual punch with its medley of grassy meadows and pine forests. Rocky peaks play sentinel over the winding Wenatchee River, formerly a favorite site of native tribes for salmon fishing. Anything but plain, as its name might suggest, this pastoral valley has the power to send you back to frontier time with the soundtrack from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers rolling through your head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looks like the perfect setting for a historical romance, right? Which is why I based my first two novels on beautiful, Plain, Washington, renamed Pine Creek in my stories. And though I’d promised myself I wouldn’t write about a school teacher—it’s been done and overdone—my debut, One Plus One Equals Trouble, turned out to feature not one teacher, but two. Hence, the math equation and the trouble that ensues when two teachers are accidentally hired for the same position.

The red one room schoolhouse I pictured as I wrote about Barrett and Claire battling for the teaching position, was this historic gem below.

 

The old Winton schoolhouse used to sit several miles from Plain before being moved into Plain to be preserved. As a child, I visited it numerous times during camping trips to nearby Lake Wenatchee. The bright red building sat by the tracks, a delight for my dad, an avid railroad photographer. While he waited to photograph a freight train, my sister and I would wonder what it would be like to attend a one room schoolhouse. We thought of Christy and Anne of Green Gables. Ideas spun my thoughts as robustly as the steel wheels clickety-clacking over our pennies on the tracks. I suppose it was inevitable that when I began to write, a red schoolhouse with a pair of teachers pushed its way into my novel.

What is it about schoolhouses, horse-drawn wagons, and rugged valleys with refreshing streams that so intoxicates our senses and paints a whimsical idealism over our impression of frontier times? Because really, it was hard living without plumbing, electricity, or Nutella. I think it’s the simplicity that lures us into a love of the past. When I think of Plain—Pine Creek—I feel that quirky, old-fashioned charm that acts like a balm against today’s busyness and our media-crazed society. And I hope readers feel it, too. I hope they can hunker down in that Cascade Mountain valley beside San Franciscan native Claire as she adjusts to frontier life in a landlocked town. Or keep in stride with easygoing Barrett as he sets out to woo his unexpected and stubborn competition.

To show my gratitude for being able to visit the Petticoats and Pistols blog today, I’d love to giveaway print copies of the first two books in my “Love that Counts” series: One Plus One Equals Trouble and Two Ways Home.

Would you leave a comment telling me about a special setting in your life that carries you back to the past? Maybe a small mountain town like Plain, or a rustic desert valley? And after you comment, I’d be delighted if you’d hop over and visit my One Plus One Equals Trouble page on my website. You’ll get a little taste (four excerpts) of Barrett’s and Claire’s struggle to win the position without losing their hearts.

 

This is how the story starts: Killing Edward Stevens was beyond her proper ways. So instead, Claire Montgomery made tea. Even if she wanted to kill him, which she didn’t—not entirely—he was two states away, and she was here, stuck in a sparsely furnished cabin with a drafty window and a roof that moaned with the slightest wind.

And for those of you who like to read the last page first, who can’t stand a little mystery, I’ll share the last line—and only the last line—with you: “Ever.”

Bio:

A native of Washington State, Sondra Kraak grew up playing in the rain, hammering out Chopin at the piano, and running up and down the basketball court. Now settled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children, blogging about spiritual truths, and writing historical romance set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She delights in sharing stories that not only entertain, but nourish the soul.

Author Links

Buy links

 

THE AMERICAN INDIAN SCOUT

Howdy!  And welcome to another Tuesday blog.  Before I go into the most interesting part of the blog and tell you about the awesome abilities of the American Indian scouts of old, I wanted to mention that I’ll be giving away an ebook copy of THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF and also my most recent release, SENECA SURRENDER to two lucky bloggers.  Just leave a comment and you are automatically entered into the drawing for the book — remember to look over the Giveaway Guidelines at the right side of this page.

One other important point:  we all rely on you to come to the blog tomorrow (Wednesday — usually at night) or Thursday to see if you have won.  Unlike some other sites, we don’t contact you if you are the winner.  So please do check back.

apachescout4The reason why I’m giving away the ebook, THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF is because it is a book about a hero who is, among other things, a scout.  In researching this profession, I ran across some extremely interesting abilities that these men of old had.  Now, I find it interesting, indeed, that these men could tell from a mere trail the thoughts, health, etc. of the man/woman/animal who had left that trail.  This information, some of which I’ll quote, comes from the book, THE WAY OF THE SCOUT, by Tom Brown, Jr., a man, who as a young boy was taken under the wing of an old Apache scout, and who was trained by that man as a scout.  Grandfather is what Mr. Brown called this old Apache scout.  So this passage is from this book.

“(Grandfather) defined the tracking that we had done as typical or novice tracking, but the tracking of the scout was defined as master tracking.  Even at the onset, the difference became obvious.  Grandfather told us that the earth was like an open book, filled with stories.  These stories were written not only in the softest ground but also on every other type of soil even on rock…”

arikarascoutMr. Brown goes on to say, “To this day, the greatest tracking thrill of my life was when Grandfather first showed me how to read track “compressions” in impossible soils and on solid rock…”

And here is where one really begins to learn about the old American Indian Scouts (those scouts who worked for the United States army were not the scouts of old).  Anyway, again, another quote from THE WAY OF THE SCOUT, “You must stop looking at the tracks as lifeless depressions in the ground. Instead, and you have noticed inside of the track is a tiny landscape.  There are hills, valleys, peaks, ridges, domes, pocks, and countless other little features.  These features the scouts developed into a science, that which they call the ‘pressure releases.’  It is through these pressure releases that the scout can know everything about the animal or man that he is tracking.  The scouts of my clan could identify and define over four thousand of these pressure releases, and I know of no peoples of the earth that have been able to do the same.”

curlycrowscoutMr. Brown goes on to explain in his book how these pressure releases can be read and identified, and he goes on to say that because man or animals are stabilized by their feet on the ground, they are always in motion and always having to keep balance — even to the tiniest of moves.  It’s because of this constant need to keep balance and shift that produces the “pressure releases.”

IndianScouts2Mr. Brown goes on to say that he and his friend, Rick, who was learning about tracking also, would start to identify their own moods and look at the pressure releases and note the difference between that mood and some other emotion — and study their own tracks — he says that everyone became a source of study.

He even goes on to say that “Grandfather taught us to expand our awareness and tracking beyond even that level.  He would stand beside a tree, point to a missing limb and ask, “How long ago was this done?  What did it and how?  What direction did the cutter come from?  Was his axe or saw dull or sharp, was he right- or left-handed, what degree of strength did he have?  Grandfather told us that we should always hold one question in our minds at all times:  What is this telling me?”

Charles EastmanIndian&boyscoutsBy the way, the picture to the left is a picture of a young Charles Eastman, a Sioux Indian, who became a lawyer for his people.  I believe (please correct me if I am wrong) that it was Charles Eastman who established the Boy Scouts long, long ago.  If he didn’t establish it, he certainly helped to create it.  Charles Eastman also wrote several books with the help of his wife, whom he met in collage.  She was white.  I believe some time ago, there was a television story concerning Charles Eastman and his wife, and I believe that Adam Beach played the part of Charles Eastman.  This was an interesting fact to learn for me, because I have never really known that the Boy Scouts came to us from the American Indian — I had never stopped to consider it until I read about it from either one of Charles Eastman’s books or another book.

adambeachascharleseastmanAt the left here is a picture of Adam Beach playing Charles Eastman.  : )

Well, that’s all for today.  Next blog I’d like to tell you a little about the water dance of the scout.  Did you know there was such a thing?  I can’t help but think sometimes that it is a shame that one culture coming in will often destroy the culture that is there already.  There is so much we could have learned from the American Indian of old.  I always look forward to these blogs so that I can tell you a little about what I’ve learned because I think it so vital to keep these things alive.

SpiritoftheWolf-The-R -- first draftAnd so today, I’m giving away a free e-book of THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF, one of my stories that delves deeply into the scout and how this influences the heroine of the story.

I’m also giving away another book, SENECA SURRENDER, in e-book format because this is my latest book to be released.

So come on in, leave a comment, and let me know what you think of this very vital role of the American Indian culture, the Scout.

 

Updated: January 23, 2017 — 10:39 pm
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