Category: Giveaways

Winnie’s Winner!!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to talk roses with me.  Looks like yellow roses were the most popular by far, which would make my Mom very happy since those are her favorites as well 🙂

I tossed everyone’s name in a virtual hat and the one I drew out was

Caryl Kane

Congratulations Caryl!  Contact me via either my website or facebook with your mailing info and I’ll get your book off to you ASAP.

CHRISTMAS ROSES

Come visit a place where love blooms and holiday magic fills the air…

Set against the background of the Gardens of the American Rose Center, these stories of hope and holiday cheer are sure to warm your heart and put you in a festive mood.

There’s no better gift than finding love among the roses. In this collection, you’ll find second chances at love, couples who find more than friendship under the mistletoe, and holiday reunions that bring the joy of the season. So grab a cup of hot cocoa and curl up with Christmas Roses.

 

 

 

Updated: December 6, 2017 — 12:54 am

Merry Christmas! Happy Holiday! Free Give-away, Of Course, But My Gift to you this season is An Old, Old Legend

It’s Christmas Time!  It’s a season for giving.  And today I will be giving away not only a free e-book of my latest release, THE LAST WARRIOR, but I’ll also be giving away another free e-book or mass market book (those that I have on hand). So come on in, leave a comment, and also please sure to check back here for the winners on either Wednesday or Thursday evening.

One of my most favorite Christmas memories is being told a story the night before Christmas in an attempt to get me to go to sleep.  It didn’t work very well (getting me to go to sleep).  But it is a wonderful memory.

And so I thought I’d regale you with this beautiful story, an ancient, timeless, American Indian Legend.  I’ve told you this story before, once last year, but I hope you’ll enjoy it all the more, the second time.

This is the tale of a girl who married a star.  It’s origin is Sioux — I don’t know if that’s Lakota or Dakota or Nakota.  All three are Sioux, just different dialects.  By the way this story comes to us from the book, Favorite North American Indian Legends, printed by Dover.  Before I start, I wanted to say that this story reminds me of a legend from one of my books, Soaring Eagle’s Embrace, which is now in e-books.  Although the story of Soaring Eagle’s Embrace is based on a similar legend as the one I’m telling you today, it is a little different.  Mainly in Soaring Eagle’s Embrace, it was the young man who fell in love with a star.  Okay, that said, let’s pretend we are sitting around a fire in a warm, warm teepee.  The scent of smoke is strong in the air, and loved ones surround us as we wrap ourselves in warm blankets.  And so the storyteller begins:

Long ago, there were two sisters, one whose name was Earth and the other’s name was Water.  This was at a time when all people and animals were in close communication with each other and so the animals supplied the sisters with all their needs.

 One night the sky was clear and beautiful and both sisters looked up to the sky through their wigwam — comment, now we know that this was most likely the Dakota since they were living in Wigwams — anyway, they looked up through the hole in their wigwam and admired the beautiful stars.

Earth said to her sister that she’d had a dream about a handsome young man and that she thought he might be a star.  Water responded saying that she, too, had seen a man in her dreams who was a brave man.

The sisters chose stars that they thought might be these men that they had dreamed of.  Water chose the brightest star for her husband.  Earth chose a little star that twinkled.

Then they slept.  When they awoke, they were in the land of the Sky.  The stars were, indeed, people.  Now it happened that the man that water chose was an older warrior and that the man that Earth chose was a young, handsome man.  Both sisters married these men and they were very happy.

One day the sisters went out onto the plains to dig turnips (a much favored food at this time in history).  Both of their husbands warned them not to strike the ground too hard.  But Earth, in her haste to dig the turnips, struck the ground so hard that she fell through the sky to the ground.

Earth was found and cared for by two older people who tried to help her.  But she was so upset about losing her husband that all she did is cry.  She could not even see her husband in the sky because he had blackened his face because he was now a widower.  Earth waited and waited for him to come to her, but he could not.  However, he did give her a most precious gift.

That night when she went to sleep, she dreamed of a beautiful red star.  It had never been in the sky before.  She knew at once that it was her son.

When she awoke, she found a handsome boy by her side — her son.  Although Earth’s husband could not come to rescue her, and though he loved his son deeply, he gave to his wife the only gift that he could — their son, Star Boy.  It was a gift from his heart..

‘Tis the season of giving.  I hope you have enjoyed this story, short and simple though it is.  I thought it was quite beautiful.

Now one more message to say before I end.

THE LAST WARRIOR was just recently released into e-books on Amazon and AmazonUnlimited.  This is one of the e-books I’ll be giving away today.

THE LAST WARRIOR is one of my favorite stories, if only because it is a song that is the key to unlocking the mystery that enslaves the last band of a clan of people.

Off to the right here is the cover for the e-book SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE.

PHOT0043The picture below is of myself and my husband with Chief Mountain in the background, the setting in the book, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE — on the Blackfeet reservation.

And so from my heart to yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas!  And, or, Happy Holidays!

 

Updated: December 5, 2017 — 10:47 am

Christmas Roses

Hi everyone, Winnie Griggs here.  I hope all of you had a nice Thanksgiving. Mine was lovely – I feel truly blessed.
As for today’s post, I’m going to break from my usual western-themed subject matter to tell you about another project I’m part of.

Shreveport, Louisiana is home to the national headquarters of the American Rose Society.  The Gardens of the American Rose Center are located on a 118-acre tract of wooded land and is the nation’s largest park dedicated to roses. The park features in excess of 65 individual rose gardens and somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000 rosebushes. In addition the park is also filled with other plants, fountains and sculptures. And every year during the month of December, they transform the place into a winter wonderland known as Christmas in Roseland. It’s a magical place filled with lights, festive displays, entertainment, photos with Santa Claus and lots more.

As it happens, the Shreveport area is also where my local chapter of Romance Writers of America©, the NOLA STARs, is based. Last spring we decided to undertake a project where a number of our members would pen original short stories for an anthology and we wanted to feature the American Rose Society as part of the project. So nine of our members set out to write these stories with the only restrictions given is that each story be set during the Christmas Season and that there be some mention of the Rose Center as part of it. The result is a collection titled American Roses. Though the stories all contain those same two elements we started with, they are all as different as the authors who penned them. And I deviated from my normal setting to create a contemporary story. My contribution is titled A Crossword Puzzle Christmas and is a play on the ‘friends to lovers’ trope.  I had such fun writing it!

One of the neat things about this collection is that all of the authors have donated their stories – none will be collecting royalties. Instead, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the American Rose Society and the remainder will go back to our chapter.

And now, as a reward to you for reading through all of this, I’m going to give away a copy of the collection to one of the visitors who leaves a comment on this post between now and Tuesday afternoon. Just tell me your favorite rose-related memory or what variety/color of rose is your favorite and why.

CHRISTMAS ROSES

Come visit a place where love blooms and holiday magic fills the air…

Set against the background of the Gardens of the American Rose Center, these stories of hope and holiday cheer are sure to warm your heart and put you in a festive mood.

There’s no better gift than finding love among the roses. In this collection, you’ll find second chances at love, couples who find more than friendship under the mistletoe, and holiday reunions that bring the joy of the season. So grab a cup of hot cocoa and curl up with Christmas Roses.

Amazon Button

 

Updated: December 1, 2017 — 1:27 am

The Soul of the Indian

Howdy, and welcome to another terrific Tuesday.

This Thursday, 23 November — Thanksgiving Day, all of my books, with only a few exceptions, go on sale for the period of the holiday season.  They are:  LAKOTA SURRENDER; LAKOTA PRINCESS; PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN; GRAY HAWK’S LADY; WHITE EAGLE’S TOUCH; NIGHT THUNDER’S BRIDE; WAR CLOUD’S PASSION; LONE ARROW’S PRIDE; SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE; WOLF SHADOW’S PROMISE; THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR; THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF; RED HAWK’S WOMAN; THE LAST WARRIOR; BLACK EAGLE.

THE LAST WARRIOR is currently up on Amazon as a pre-sale, due to be released in early December.  And I will be giving away a free e-book to some lucky blogger today.

Since this is the start of the Holiday Season, I thought I’d post some snippets of the book, THE SOUL OF THE INDIAN by Charles A. Eastman, original copyright 1911.  The very first chapter, entitled “The Great Mystery,” has some beautiful concepts pertaining to the American Indian, and I thought that I would share some of these with you today.

The picture off to the right here is a Thanksgiving picture which I thought might go well this close to Thanksgiving.

Here is a quote from the book, THE SOUL OF THE INDIAN:

“The native American has been generally despised by his white conquerors for his poverty and simplicity.  They forget, perhaps, that his religion forbade the accumulation of wealth and the enjoyment of luxury.  To him, as to other single-minded men in every age and race, from Diogenes to the brothers of Saint Francis, from the Montanists to the Shakers, the love of possessions has appeared a snare, and the burdens of a complex society a source of needless peril and temptation.  Furthermore, it was the rule of his life to share the fruits of his skill and success with his less fortunate brothers.  Thus he kept his spirit free from the clog of pride, cupidity, or envy, and carried out, as he believed, the divine decree — a matter profoundly important to him.”

Charles A. Eastman, THE SOUL OF THE INDIAN

To the left here is a picture of Charles A. Eastman as a young man.

This next quote from his book really speaks to me and so I thought I’d post it here today.  It is from the same chapter, “The Great Mystery.”

“It was not, then, wholly from ignorance or improvidence that he (the Indian) failed to establish permanent towns and to develop a material civilization.  To the untutored sage, the concentration of population was the prolific mother of all evils, moral no less than physical.  He argued that food is good, while surfeit kills; that love is good, but lust destroys; and not less dreaded than the pestilence following upon crowded and unsanitary dwellings was the loss of spiritual power inseparable from too close contact with one’s fellow-men.  All who have lived much out of doors know that there is a magnetic and nervous force that accumulates in solitude and that is quickly dissipated by life in a crowd; and even his enemies have recognized that fact that for certain innate power and self-poise, wholly independent of circumstances, the American Indian is unsurpassed among men.”

THE SOUL OF THE INDIAN by Charles A. Eastman

Well, that’s all for today.  I believe these passages were very beautiful and thoughtful and perhaps a good way to start out the holiday season.  And so I wanted to share them with you.

RED HAWK’S WOMAN is on sale now at Amazon, and is the book that I’ll be giving away today to a lucky blogger, so do leave a message.  Also, please do read the Giveaway Guidelines to the right of our posts — these guideline govern our give-aways.

https://www.amazon.com/HAWKS-WOMAN-Lost-Clan-Book-ebook/dp/B076V3ZMV6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511238398&sr=8-1&keywords=red+hawks+woman+by+karen+a&tag=pettpist-20

 

 

Off to the left here are further pictures of Charles A. Eastman, and in closing for today, here is another passage from his book, THE SOUL OF THE INDIAN.

“We believed that the spirit pervades all creation and that every creature possesses a soul in some degree, though not necessarily a soul conscious of itself.  The tree, the waterfall, the grizzly bear, each is an embodied Force, and as such an object of reverence.”

I think that is uncommonly pretty language and a beautiful concept.  So come on in.  And please do leave a comment.

 

 

 

Updated: November 20, 2017 — 11:49 pm

CATTLE DRIVES — On the Trail


Cattle Drives – On the Trail

(Research for The Oak Grove Series)

By Kathryn Albright

Oak Grove, Kansas, the fictional town and setting of the Oak Grove Series that I am writing with Laurie Robinson, is the end of the trail for the Texas cattle drives. The town grows and prospers with the cattle industry in the 1880s much like Dodge City, Ellsworth, and Abilene. With its stockyards and a train depot, I knew some of the inhabitants would have to have jobs that involved the cattle business.

 

Cattle Drives

The era of cattle drives in American history began at the end of the Civil War and lasted into the 1890s. Demand for beef in the big cities in the east as well as an abundance of cattle in Texas (five million!) created an opportunity for hard-working men. In Texas, a steer was worth about $3, whereas in Chicago, that same steer would fetch an average of $20, although demand would sometimes push its value to $40. Other reasons for moving the cattle north were to feed the miners in Colorado and California, or to stock ranches as far as Montana, the Dakotas and Wyoming.

Some herds were as large as 3,000 cattle. Along with the cattle, extra horses were also included on the drive so that when one horse tired and needed to rest, another could be saddled and used. Cattle could stretch out for a mile on the trail and to manage the herd, cowboys had certain positions.

Cattle Drives

 

Duties of each Cowboy —

  • Point – Rode out in front and helped guide the herd.
  • Swing – Rode along the flanks of the herd to keep them gathered in.
  • Flank – Rode behind the Swing and performed the same job.
  • Drag – Rode behind the herd and kept stragglers from being lost or falling behind. A dusty job.
  • Wrangler – Took care of the remuda of extra horses. Lowest paid position.
  • Cook – Drove the chuck-wagon, cooked the meals. Next to the boss, he was the highest paid man on the drive.

These were not gentle milking cows! Longhorns were cantankerous and bad-tempered. The horns on a steer spread an average of five feet from tip to tip. Rounding up cattle, branding them to establish ownership, and getting them to head in one direction as a group was not without mishaps and sometimes dire consequences. Then there were the dangers along the trail.

Cattle Drives - Longhorn Steer

Range cattle were not smart. They got lost in gullies. They headed out into snowstorms rather than seeking shelter. They were easily spooked and alarmed. A flash of lightning, the boom of thunder, or even an odd odor could initiate a stampede where the herd would run for miles. The only way to stop a stampede was for the cowboys to get out in front of the herd and fire their pistols, wave their hats and yell in a effort to confuse and frighten the cattle into slowing and circling until they calmed down.  One wrong decision and in an instant a rider could be impaled on a horn or trampled to death under hooves. Stampedes were the chief threat and worry for a cowboy on a trail drive.

Another danger could occur at river crossings. Should a cow or steer panic, they could drown and take a cowboy down with them.

Then there were the predators. Rustlers—men who would steal the cattle and, although much less common, Indians on the reservations who attacked the drive. Animals such as the American Timber wolf, cougars, brown bears, and farther north…grizzly bears where also a threat. Rattlers and scorpions bothered the men. Although their bite or sting was not usually fatal to a healthy young man, it could still cause horrible pain. A smart cowboy checked their bedroll before bedding down at night, and in the morning, checked their shoes or boots before putting them on.

Cattle Drives Weather was also a danger. Freezing temperatures and blazing heat were both enemies to the herd and to the cowboys. Finding water along the trail was a matter of life and death. Traveling this way, a drive from San Antonio to Kansas would take about two months. No matter how careful the cowboys were, there was always a percentage of cattle that did not make it to the stockyards.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

In spite of the danger and the dust, I believe many cowboys enjoyed the camaraderie of driving cattle to the stockyards. Sleeping on the hard earth after a long day’ work, however, is not so appealing. I am thankful for my comfy bed!

What, in this season of Thanksgiving, are you thankful for?

Comment for a chance to win a copy of  Mail-Order Brides of Oak Grove!

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

In the book that will be released in December — The Prairie Doctor’s Bride — a character has an accident along the trail, leaving behind unfinished business in Oak Grove. More on this in a future post…For now, Mail-Order Brides of Oak Grove, the first book in the Oak Grove Series, is available.

Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove

Kathryn Albright writes sweet historical Americana Romance.
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SWEET TEXAS CHRISTMAS–AND A GIVEAWAY! BY CHERYL PIERSON

Cheryl PiersonHi everyone!  Here come the holidays! The impending season and all the preparation for the meals has got me thinking, as it does each year–and I know I’m not alone.

Our generation has lost so many important talents and skills. Technology makes it easier for us, but in some ways, it takes away our independence. Maybe that’s one reason we love to read (and write!) historical romance. We can go back in time vicariously without having to live through all the hardships and trials of everyday life, experiencing only the top layer of what must have been difficult, by our standards, every moment.

Does anyone know how to cut up a chicken anymore? My mother did. I remember her getting out the wickedest looking knife I’d ever seen every Sunday and cutting up a chicken to fry. They had started to sell cut-up chickens in the store, but they were more expensive. Mom wouldn’t have dreamed of paying extra for that. By the time I began to cook for my family, I didn’t mind paying that extra money—I couldn’t bear to think of cutting a chicken up and then frying it.

It’s all relative. My mom, born in 1922, grew up in a time when the chickens had to be beheaded, then plucked, then cut up—so skipping those first two steps seemed like a luxury, I’m sure. I wouldn’t know how to begin to cut up a chicken. I never learned how.

Hog killing day was another festive occasion. Because my husband was raised on a farm, he and my mother had a lot of similar experiences to compare (this endeared him to her in later years.) Neighbors and family would gather early in the day. The hog would be butchered, and the rest of the day would be spent cutting and packing the meat. When my husband used to talk about the “wonderful sausage” his mother made, I was quite content to say, “Good for her. I’m glad you got to eat that when you were young.” (There’s no way I would ever make sausage.)

Medical issues? I was the world’s most nervous mother when I had my daughter. But being the youngest in the family, I had a world of experience to draw on. I also had a telephone and I knew how to use it! I called my mom or one of my sisters about the smallest thing. I can’t imagine living in one of the historical scenarios that, as writers, we create with those issues. The uncertainty of having a sick child and being unable to do anything to help cure him/her would have made me lose it. I know this happened so often and was just accepted as part of life, but to me, that would have been the very worst part of living in a historical time. I had a great aunt who lost all three of her children within one week to the flu. She lost her mind and had to be institutionalized off and on the rest of her life.

Sweet Texas ChristmasMy mother was the eldest of eleven children. She often said with great pride that her mother had had eleven children and none of them had died in childhood. I didn’t realize, when I was younger, how important and odd that really was for those times. My father’s mother had five children, two of whom died as children, and two more that almost died, my father being one of them.

It was a case of my grandmother thinking he was with my granddad, and him thinking three-year-old Freddie was with her. By the time they realized he was missing, the worst had happened. He had wandered to the pond and fallen in. It was a cold early spring day. Granddad had planted the fields already, between the pond and the house. A little knit cap that belonged to little Freddie was the only evidence of where he’d gone. It was floating on top of the water. By some miracle, my granddad found him and pulled him up out of the water. He was not breathing. Granddad ran with him back to the house, jumping the rows of vegetables he’d planted. The doctor later told him that was probably what saved Dad’s life—a very crude form of CPR.

Could you have survived in the old west? What do you think would have been your greatest worry? What would you hate to give up the most from our modern way of life? I’m curious to know, what skills or talents to you think we have lost generationally over the last 100 years? Be sure to leave a comment along with your contact information for a chance to WIN A DIGITAL COPY OF SWEET TEXAS CHRISTMAS!

I’m not sure I would have lived very long, or very pleasantly. I know one thing—my family would never have eaten sausage, unless they had breakfast at the neighbor’s house.

• ? •

My latest WHR novella, KIDNAPPING KALLI, appears in the PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS Christmas anthology, SWEET TEXAS CHRISTMAS. This anthology contains four SWEET Christmas tales that mention a sweet Christmas treat somewhere in the story–and the recipes for those wonderful goodies are also included. My heroine, Kalli, is half-Cherokee, half-Irish. She makes Cherokee fry bread–and if you’ve never had good, hot fry bread you don’t know what you’re missing! Other authors in this anthology are Stacey Coverstone, Sarah J. McNeal, and Marie Piper.

What happens when a former Texas Ranger is hired to kidnap the daughter of a wealthy landowner–or else? He does it–but then finds himself in quite a predicament. Here’s what happens when he goes for water in the darkness:

EXCERPT:

As Shiloh neared the creek, he stepped on something in the darkness. He heard the rattles just as the surprised snake sank its fangs into the side of his leg, two inches above the top of his right boot.

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!” He stepped back quickly, his mind only just now absorbing the fact he’d been struck—and there was no doubt, it was a rattler. No point in trying to shoot it—he couldn’t see in the darkness. He pulled the matches out and struck one, but the snake had slithered away.

Numbly, he knelt and filled the coffee pot. Probably the last brew he’d have in this world.

Stuck in the mountains with a girl he’d kidnapped who spoke no English. Damn it. He’d not figured on living to a ripe old age, but sure as hell hadn’t thought to cash it all in at twenty-eight, either.

As he hurriedly stumbled back into the firelight, he saw Kalliroe had spread his bedroll on the ground near the fire and was adding more wood.

She glanced up, and instantly was on her feet, running to him, taking the coffee pot from his nerveless fingers. So much for keeping calm—she’d read something on his face—and he hoped to hell it wasn’t the harsh terror he felt. He tried to calm himself.

“Kalli…listen…I got snakebit—a rattler—” He pointed to the place in his denims where the fangs had penetrated. Would she light a shuck out of here? Leave him to die alone? He couldn’t blame her if she did, could he?

Maybe…dammit. If he could only make her understand why he’d taken her…for a father that loved her…

“There’s…a cave a couple more miles from here, but I’m not sure if it’s clear—safe—got animals in it—” He was talking fast, trying to get it all said—and for what? She didn’t understand. And she wouldn’t be needing shelter—she’d be heading back to Talihina…

Was she even listening? Of course not. Time was running out. Snow was on the way, now—he could smell it.

“Show me,” she said.

He cocked his head, wondering if the venom was working on him already. But she’d rolled up his bedroll and had begun to put the fire out. She gathered the wood they’d not used yet, and located a rope on his saddle, lashing it together quickly and tying it to her horse.

Pouring the water into their canteens to fill them, she looked at him again. “We need to go,” she said softly.

“Shiloh. Shiloh Barrett.” He moistened dry lips. “Just in case.”

Impatiently, she shook her head, understanding he thought she might need to know his name for the undertaker. “Let’s go, Shiloh Barrett. I will help you. And you will tell me what this is all about. 

• ? •

I’m giving away two digital copies of SWEET TEXAS CHRISTMAS, but just in case you can’t wait to see if you won, here’s the link!   http://amzn.to/2hrasn5

 

 

Winnie’s Winner!!

Thanks everyone for your enthusiastic responses to the story of the only female recipient of the Medal of Honor.  I took the names of everyone who joined in the conversation and tossed them in a cyber-hat and randomly selected a winner, namely

COLLEEN

Congratulations Colleen. Contact me via my website or facebook with your mailing info and I’ll get the book right on out to you. (and if you’d rather have a different book of mine, let me know that too)

ONCE UPON A TEXAS CHRISTMAS

Partners for the Holidays 

Abigail Fulton is determined to find independence in Turnabout, Texas—and becoming manager of the local hotel could be the solution. But first, she must work with Seth Reynolds to renovate the property by Christmas—and convince him she’s perfect for the job. If only he hadn’t already promised the position to someone else… 

Ever since his troubled childhood, Seth yearns to prove himself. And this hotel is his best chance. But what does someone like Abigail know about decor and furnishings? Yet the closer the holiday deadline gets, the more he appreciates her abilities and her kindness. His business ambitions require denying Abigail’s dearest wish, but can they put old dreams aside for a greater gift—love and family?

 

 

 

 

 

Updated: November 8, 2017 — 12:06 am

Stalked…

Howdy!  And welcome to another terrific Tuesday!  Since RED HAWK’S WOMAN has just been published on Amazon, I’ll be giving away a free e-book of RED HAWK’S WOMAN, complete with a previously deleted scene.

Stalked…

Have any of you ever been stalked?  Well, today I’m going to depart from my more usual Native American blogs to tell you a true story.  If you guessed it’s about being stalked, you’re right.

It’s my own story…

Don’t think I blogged about this last year.  I think I said something about it, but not the entire episode, so I thought I’d go back to about this time last year, and a story that continues to send chills up and down my spine.

I love this time of year.  Something about the scent of the leaves in the air and the leaves falling that is so beautiful.  And so this story rather flies in the face of that love — if only because it had happened last year, about mid-October, and now again this year in November.

Last year it centered around our dog, who is part collie and part…well, we don’t know — something big, though.  But our dog is beautiful and a good friend, but he’s a bit of a woose — if you know what I mean.  It happened in the evening when it was very dark out, and my husband was out of town.  I had come home to walk the dog and I couldn’t find his leash.  I finally found it wrapped extraordinarily neatly around a tie in the ground.  And when I say neatly, I mean extra neatly.  Even I, later during the day, couldn’t wrap it so neatly around that tie.

Not thinking too much about it, I took the dog for a walk and came back and began to feel chills up and down my spine.  Then I remembered that the previous day, his leash (which we had kept outside then) had been very, very neatly tied in a gorgeous knot.  At the time, I hadn’t thought much about it, but then it occurred to me that only a human hand could have tied that knot, or wound that leash around a tie in the ground as neat as a pin.

Not wishing to be at a disadvantage, I ran into the house, got out my gun and  took out a magazine as fast as I could.  Then it occurred to me that perhaps I should call the police.

I think it’s a tribute to the police that someone did come to the house and have a look at what was going on.  But there wasn’t much to go on, except that during all of this, our dog didn’t let out so much as a peep.  And he’s a big dog.

This was on a Friday.  On Saturday, I went and bought a surveillance system and put it up myself.  I put signs up on our property saying that the system was up and running.

The next morning I awoke to the vision of our huge pots that had tomatoes and peppers in them, being turned over and dragged over the ground.  Someone had been angry.  I also found that the surveillance system’s wires had been disconnected.

Another call to the police and this time a report filed since damage had now been done to the property.  Still, I thought that I was fairly safe.  I am trained on how to shoot and hit a target, so I wasn’t too worried.  Except the next day, I found our dog’s leash tied again very, very neatly — only this time in a noose.

That did it.  I figured that was a real threat.  I got myself to a safe place, and waited for my husband to return.  Upon his return he put up a huge, complex surveillance system and he put up bright lights all around our house that still, to this day, shine 24/7.

It all stopped.  Yea.  I thought it had come to an end.

And then today happened.  My husband is again out of town.  We have a white fence in front of our home.  I’d put a little fall display out there — just for the beauty of it.  You know, the flowers or shrubs, the corn cobs, and I’d put 5 pumpkins all in a nice row, next to the shrubs and flowers.  About 3 days ago I noticed that one of the pumpkins was gone and I thought I was going to buy another one soon — just to put the beauty back in place.  Last night I had come home late, due to birthday parties and such, and noticed the pumpkin gone again, and thought that tomorrow, I really had to go and buy another pumpkin.

So this morning as I was pulling out of my drive, on my way to work, I noticed that the pumpkin was back — neatly, extremely neatly put back exactly in the place where it had once been.  But it looked different.

The stem had been pulled off complete — not cut off — pulled off and the pumpkin was skinned…skinned.  Now that’s hard to do.   But it had been done, and then placed exactly where it had once been.

The stalker is back.

So I’m again in a safe place, and awaiting my husband to come home soon.  But it is freaky.  Really freaky.

I guess my question to you is — have you ever been stalked?  I must admit that I don’t like this at all.  In fact, I think the whole thing is rather sick, and the person doing it is quite insane, which is also scary.

So…what do you think?  What would you do?  Let me know.  Leave a comment.

 

 

 

Updated: November 6, 2017 — 9:51 pm

Fall In Texas

I’m from Iowa, and there it’s easy to tell fall has arrived. The trees change to lovely shades of yellow, orange and crimson. A crispness lingers in the air all day. It feels like fall. I love that time of year. Wearing jackets, snuggling under a blanket with a good romance on Saturday. Walking on crunching leaves.

Now I live in Texas, and fall is different from what I knew growing up. In Texas, it’s hard to tell autumn has arrived. Halloween has come and gone, and Thanksgiving is around the corner. Despite what the calendar says, this week’s forecast is for record high temperatures. We’re talking hitting ninety degrees. When the leaves change, they turn a shade of brown and fall off the tress. Not exactly the ooh-ahh fall colors I spotted in the Midwest.

Saying It’s been an adjustment for me is like saying Texas and Texas A&M have a little rivalry. Over the years I’ve learned fall is heralded in different ways in Texas. First and foremost, we know it’s fall because of the arrival of football season. Yes, it’s true. Football is almost a religion here in Texas. From high schools on Friday night to TCU, Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas and Texas A&M on Saturday. There’s even have a “Red River Showdown” between Texas and OU at the Texas State Fair.

Which brings me to another huge sign of fall in Texas, the state fair. When people start talking about corny dogs, turkey legs, and fried any and everything, I know autumn has arrived. I hear Big Tex’s voice and see pictures of him everywhere. In 2012 when Big Tex caught on fire, it was huge news. We got updates on the progress to rebuild him, including details on changes in his iconic outfit.

But I’ve learned to adjust. I decorate the yard and house for fall, Halloween, and then Thanksgiving. I admit a couple times I had a fire and then turned on the air conditioner because the house got so warm. I bake items that remind me of fall. One of my family’s favorite is pumpkin bread.

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/3 C flour
3 C sugar
4 eggs
1C oil
2/3 C water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 can pumpkin
½ black walnut flavoring
Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Make a “well” in the center. Add eggs, water, oil and black walnut flavoring in well. Mix. Add canned pumpkin. Mix. Place in greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Now tell me about your favorite fall tradition and be entered in the drawing to win the pumpkin and Home On The Ranch: Colorado.

Updated: November 1, 2017 — 6:28 pm

Kathryn’s Winner

 

Thank you to all who stopped by and joined in the conversation yesterday on my post of making lists!
The winner of the giveaway for an autographed copy of Mail-Order Brides of Oak Grove is

DENISE!

 Congratulations!  

Please add a comment to this post
and let me know if you would prefer an ebook or a print copy!

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