Category: Giveaways

Go West, young man!

We’re thrilled to have Becca Whitham with us today. In Becca’s own words, she’s an author, paper crafter, and Army wife who resides in South Carolina with her husband of more than 30 years and a 12-foot-long craft cabinet she thinks should count as a dependent. So far, neither the army nor the IRS are convinced. In between moves from one part of the country to the other, she writes stories combining faith and fiction that touch the heart. You can find her online at http://www.beccawhitham.com or on her paper crafting blog at http://www.becca-expressions.blogspot.com.

“Go West, young man!”

This was the solution to every disappointed hope of the mid-late 1800s. Did your crops fail? Go West. Were you too poor to own your own land? Go West. Had your life taken you in a direction you didn’t like? Go West!

This solution appealed to women as well as men because there’s a universality about thinking the grass will be greener, the situation better, and life easier if we could start somewhere fresh and leave all our mistakes behind.

But what if you gave up everything to make the journey only to discover that your situation is now worse?

In The Promised Bride, Emilia Stanek leaves the stench of Chicago for the wide-open space of Montana as a mail-order bride because she’s sure being the wife of Finn Collins—a man she’s fallen in love with through letters—will solve everything from her father’s ailing health to her brother’s involvement with a gang of boys she doesn’t like. Except, when she arrives in Helena expecting to meet her new husband, she’s greeted by the county sheriff instead and told that Finn was murdered the day before. Not only that, he left behind considerable debts which she’ll be responsible to pay if she files the paperwork formalizing her proxy marriage.

“This mail-order bride novel as it all – likeable characters, intriguing suspense, a dash of wry humor, and a swoon-worthy romance!”– RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

With nothing left for her back home, Emilia stays. As you’ve probably guessed, she also falls in love with the gruff county sheriff, Mac McCall, over the course of the story. I know. Spoiler. But you don’t read a romance novel to find out how it ends, you read it to enjoy the journey.

When Gina Welborn and I first brainstormed this story, we wanted to use the past to speak into today. Mail-order brides of the 1800s were all too often greeted on the other end of their journey by pimps and madams who had tricked them into a life of sexual slavery—which is the same way predators use Facebook, Twitter, ShapChat, Craigslist, and other online sites to lure young girls, in particular, into sex trafficking. The problem is epidemic. According to wearethorn.org, 100,000 new ads for “escorts” are posted every day, and 63 percent of children rescued from sex trafficking report that they were approached via an online source.

As Mac says, anyone can be anything in a letter…or online.

Although there’s no mystery that Mac and Emilia end up together, there is one regarding Finn. Did he fool Emilia into a marriage that would have ended with her being sold into a brothel? Would she have been better off staying in Chicago and using her energy to find solutions there? We didn’t solve this mystery easily. We wanted readers to wrestle with Finn, his intentions, and Emilia’s decision to trust the written words of a man she’d never actually met.

Sometimes it is a good idea to go West—to start over and start fresh in a new place. But sometimes the best solution is to stay put and figure out how to make your life better where you are right now.

For a chance to win a copy of The Promise Bride, please leave a comment telling us a challenge you are currently facing or a way lessons from the past apply to today.

 

 

COWBOYS, HISTORY, AND ROOTS BY KAY P. DAWSON

 

Kay P. Dawson has tied up her pony in the corral and is here to sit a spell and tell us a bit about herself and her writing journey. She’s also offering a few of her books and items to one lucky individual who comments.
Please give her a warm filly welcome! 

Kay Dawson roots
I grew up on a farm, and spent a great deal of my early life hanging around my grandparent’s farms. (We come from a long line of farmers, and my younger brothers are carrying on the tradition).
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In the fall, we even used to have an old-fashioned “thrashing” day when my great-uncle would fire up the old steam engine and all of us kids would follow along in the fields throwing the hay up onto the horse-drawn wagon.
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So, hearing the stories of when my grandparents were young, and when their parents were young always fascinated me.  I used to imagine being back in the times they were talking about, scenes that I would play out in my mind as I pretended to be a pioneer.  Of course, right around this time, Little House on the Prairie was a massive hit on our one channel TV, and I was drawn to the stories playing on the screen.  (I always pretended to be Laura, and my sister was Mary.  Sometimes I’d drag my brothers and my cousin in to play too, although I don’t think they were as excited about it as me.)
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                                              Cowboys, History and Roots     Cowboys, History, and Roots
Writing historical western romance was natural for me.  I began reading the old western love stories when I was a teenager, at the same time everyone was reading the Sweet Valley High books.  Something about the past intrigued me, and when my grandparents would tell a story about how they’d lived, I couldn’t get enough.
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 The part I love the most about being able to write western romance is the time I get to spend researching.  Sometimes, I can lose a whole day of writing because I’ve found something else fascinating that takes me off the path I was originally looking up.
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I’ve recently started writing some contemporary stories too, but all of my books have a “western” or small-town, rural feel to them.  That’s all I really know, so that’s what I like to write about.
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Cowboys, History and Roots by Kay P. DawsonWhen I was a little girl, I had a great uncle Rob who was the truest cowboy you could ever meet.  He used to let me and my friend hang out in the stables with his horses for hours on end, and never once lost his patience with us.  He had a smile for every one he met, and he had a soft, quiet voice you’d have to strain to hear.  I always remember him with a cowboy hat on his head, and his dusty blue jeans.
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So much of what goes into my books is taken from the people I’ve known and where I’ve grown up. Even though I’ve had stories take place in Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Kansas, Texas…and now British Columbia and Yukon in the early 1900’s – I’ve never been to these places.  I’ve had to research and learn, and spend some time getting a “feel” for the places I’m writing about.
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But they all have a common element, and that’s family, small town, rural roots.  Those are the virtues that have defined me as I grew up, and that’s what I know best.  Something about the call of home and family, where neighbors look out for each other and life moves at a slower pace.

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 What about you?  Have you noticed how much of your own upbringing and the people and places you spent time around as you grew up has defined what you do today?

I’d love to hear your comments below!

For those who comment, Felicia Filly plans to draw one of your names
for this sweet giveaway offer from Kay P. Dawson!

Kay Dawson

Thank you to everyone – all of the authors of the Petticoats & Pistols blog and the readers – for letting me hang out with you all today!
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I have a variety of books out at the moment – Mail Order Brides, Oregon Trail, and even a cattle drive romance!  I also have some contemporary stories that take place in rural, small towns and a couple western time travel stories.  (These I really enjoyed because it was so fun to imagine being able to actually travel back to the times I write about!)
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Kay P. DawsonYou can find all of my books listed on my website or Amazon author page:
Kay P. Dawson Author Page:  amazon.com/author/kaypdawson
If you’d like to join my fan group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/kaypdawsonfans/
You can also sign up for my newsletter at http://kaypdawson.com/newsletter/
**I have a book releasing today in the popular Mail Order Mounties series…you can see all of the newest releases as soon as they are available by joining the readers group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/MailOrderMounties/

The Legend of Lost Blue Bucket Mine by Susan Page Davis

Legend of Lost Blue Bucket Mine

The legend of Lost Blue Bucket Mine has intrigued people for a hundred and seventy years. Is it still out there, waiting to be discovered, or was it real in the first place?

It all started in 1845, when a wagon train got off the beaten track in eastern Oregon. There are several versions of the story, and no one has proof of what actually happened, but it involved at least one kid, a blue bucket, and some strange pebbles.

A large wagon train had reached eastern Oregon and camped for a few days at a hot spring. The travelers were apprehensive about the coming ordeal of rafting down the Columbia River.

A man named Stephen Meek, who was the brother of mountain man Joe Meek, said he knew a shortcut and could lead them overland, via the “Meek Cut-off,” to the Willamette Valley, their final destination. Some of the families decided to go with Meek. Others kept to the trail heading for the Columbia.

As the story goes, the travelers realized after a while that Meek had no idea where he was going. He left them on their own in the wilderness. They had to get through the Cascade Mountains before winter or they might starve to death.

Most versions of the story say children went to the river to get water and returned with a blue bucket full of strange-looking pebbles. One version says three young men went in search of some straying cattle and wandered for hours before returning with the famous rocks.

Anyway, the grownups of the party puzzled over the kids’ find. The blacksmith put one pebble on a metal wagon rim and pounded it. It flattened easily. They decided it was copper.

Why copper? No one’s really sure. The standard excuse is that it was 1845, several years before the California Gold Rush, and most people had never seen raw gold. Supposedly most of the rocks were dumped, but one woman, Mrs. Fisher, kept one. A few years later, with the advent of the gold craze in California, she had it assayed. It was a gold nugget.

The people who had been on that wagon train started remembering, and prospectors from all over began trying to find the spot. Many people spent years looking for it. Gold was found in various places in Oregon, but no one was ever sure where the so-called Blue Bucket Mine was.

Grave

Sarah King Chambors Grave

One clue often cited was that the gold was found three days’ ox team journey from the grave of a Mrs. Chambers near the mouth of Crane Creek. You can imagine how many people were out there looking for that grave. Supposedly the grave has been found more than once. And another tale says two Frenchmen moved it to keep people from finding the mine. People living in the area at the time told of 5,000 miners on Canyon Creek in 1863.

The story of Mrs. Fisher, the woman who reportedly saved one nugget from the children’s bucket, was written down by her grandson, but even this version is riddled with errors. For instance, he said the man who led the pioneers astray was Joe Meek, not his brother Stephen.

The wagon train split at a hot spring about a mile below the present town of Vale, near the Malheur River. Dr. Fisher, who was traveling with the Meek contingent, died and was buried August 12, 1845. The man writing Mrs. Fisher’s story knew several survivors of the wagon train. They named other landmarks they had passed.

The wagon train wandered on. Its exact route is a mystery, though many have tried to trace it. Eventually, they rejoined one of the trains they split off earlier. Some settled near Eugene, and some went on to California.

Twenty-five years later, several veterans of that wagon train got together and discussed it. They made a map of the points they knew they had passed and where they thought it most likely the gold had been found. Mrs. Fisher insisted that Mrs. Chambers died three days before the gold was found. Samuel Parker, who was also on the train at the time, said she died three days after. So, within about 100 miles—probably more like 50—in either direction, if anyone knew for certain where that grave was.

The site now believed to be the famous grave of Mrs. Chambers is about six miles east of where Crane Creek flows into the Malheur. If Mrs. Fisher was correct about the timing, that would put the wagon train in the Willow Creek area. Gold has since been found in that area.

My best guess as to the whereabouts of the Blue Bucket Mine? I think it’s been found, in one of the areas where gold strikes were later made, but the people who found it were never sure that was the exact place.  In 1960 a group of people claimed to have found it and filed claims as the Blue Bucket Group. At least three other gold mines over the years have been named “Blue Bucket Mine,” but none of them had anything to do with the legendary east Oregon find.

One amusing point made by a woman who was part of the Blue Bucket Group: In 1845, about 3,000 traveled west over various routes in wagon trains. By 1950, she said, at least a third of them claimed to have been in the party that discovered the Blue Bucket Mine.

Seven Brides for Seven
Mail-Order Husbands

Meet seven of Turtle Springs, Kansas’, finest women who are determined to revive their small town after the War Between the States took most of its men. . .and didn’t return them. The ladies decide to advertise for husbands and devise a plan for weeding out the riff raff. But how can they make the best practical choices when their hearts cry out to be loved? This book includes novellas by seven authors.
In Susan’s novella, The Kidnapped Groom:
Riding through the Flint Hills on his way to Dodge City, cowboy Sam Cayford finds himself the kidnapping victim of two children. When he meets their lovely mother, Maggie Piner—whom the kids insist he should marry—Sam starts to question God’s plans versus his own.
Buy: http://amzn.to/2vcMAYh

 

GIVEAWAY:

To enter a drawing for a copy of one of Susan Page Davis’s western romances, leave a comment and your contact information. The winner can choose from several of her titles, either ebook or paperback: The Lady’s Maid, Lady Anne’s Quest, A Lady in the Making, Captive Trail, Cowgirl Trail, The Sheriff’s Surrender, The Gunsmith’s Gallantry, The Blacksmith’s Bravery, Echo Canyon, Desert Moon (paperback only), or The 12 Brides of Summer collection (paperback only).

                                                         

 

Susan Page Davis is the author of more than seventy published novels. She’s always interested in the unusual happenings of the past. She’s the winner of two Inspirational Readers’ Choice Awards and two Will Rogers Medallions, and also a winner of the Carol Award and a finalist in the WILLA Literary Awards. Visit her website at: http://www.susanpagedavis.com .

Find Susan at:

Website: http://www.susanpagedavis.com

Twitter: @SusanPageDavis

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susanpagedavisauthor

Sign up for Susan’s occasional newsletter at https://madmimi.com/signups/118177/join

 

Winner of Learnin’ The Ropes

Thank you all, so kindly, for the warm, wonderful welcome yesterday!

The winner of the autographed paperback copy of Learnin’ The Ropes (with some swag) is… Tonya Lucas!

Congrats, Tonya, and thank you all who entered and made me feel right at home here on P&P.

I look forward to many more fun posts and giveaways in the future!

 

Updated: August 17, 2017 — 11:47 am

Linda & Winnie’s Winners!!!

Hello everyone!  Thanks so much for turning out to help us celebrate the Fillies 10th anniversary. And it was so much fun to read about your own favorite Western Songs and Ballads – several of them are still playing in my head !! 🙂

We threw everyone’s name in a hat and here are the winners we selected:

The winner of an autographed copy of Linda’s Knight on the Texas Plains along with the a pair of cowboy boot earrings is

Karen Markuson

Congratulations, Karen. Please contact Linda at  broday.linda932@gmail.com to work out the logistics.

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And the winner of an autographed copy of Winnie’s A Tailor-Made Husband (or any other book from her backlist) and a Hunting Cowboys necklace is

Stephanie Jenkins Ortiz Cerrillo

Congratulations to you too, Stephanie. Please contact Winnie via her website to confirm your book choice and to provide your mailing info.

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Good luck wishes going out to everyone in the big anniversary giveaway that will be awarded at the end of the week!

 

Updated: August 10, 2017 — 1:47 am

10 Favorite TV Westerns

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Many of us fell in love with westerns from watching them on television. I know I did. So when Jeannie and I teamed up for this Birthday Bash post, it was easy to collect our favorite TV westerns. We tried to find series that covered a wide range of decades, and since it was difficult to rank them by preference (they’re ALL fabulous!), we decided to list them by premiere date. I hope this takes you down memory lane and maybe even inspires some binge watching.

And speaking of binge watching . . . read to the bottom to see the giveaway Jeannie and I are sponsoring. Super fun!

10 Favorite TV Westerns

1. Maverick (1957-1962)

2. Wagon Train (1957-1965)

3. Rawhide (1959-1965)

4. Bonanza (1959-1973)

5. The Big Valley (1965-1969)

6. The Young Riders (1989-1992)

7. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993-1998)

8. The Magnificent Seven (1998-2000)

9. Longmire (2012-2017)

10. The Pinkertons (2014-?)

 

Giveaway!!!

In honor of these wonderful westerns, Jeannie and I are giving away the first seasons of Rawhide and The Magnificent Seven on DVD as Birthday Bash party favors. WooHoo!!! Hunky cowboys coming your way.

Leave a comment about your favorite TV Western for a chance to win. We will draw two lucky winners, one for each DVD set.

May the commenting commence!

 

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giant birthday bash giveaway (separate from this daily giveaway). You can find all the details along with the entry form HERE.

10 Favorite Western Songs and Ballads

Hi!  Linda Broday and Winnie Griggs here. We’re very happy to kick off this 10 year Anniversary celebration for Petticoats and Pistols! It’s so exciting to reach this milestone.

Cowboys on the American Frontier loved to sing, no two ways about it. They sang to the cows, to the moon, to their fair ladies. Cowboys today still sing–probably more than they ever did. And others love to sing ABOUT cowboys. So, in honor of our tenth anniversary, we thought we’d share with you some of our favorites, both old and new.

So we put our heads together and came up with the list below. And if you have a yearning to listen to any of them, turn up your volume and click on the name.

Here are some old favorites that Winnie selected:

  1. High Noon
  2. The Streets Of Laredo
  3. Big Bad John
  4. Ringo
  5. Big Iron

And here a some newer favorites courtesy of Linda:

The Last Cowboy Song – Ed Bruce

Amarillo By Morning –  George Strait

This Cowboy’s Hat – Chris Ledoux

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys –  By Willie Nelson

Should’ve Been a Cowboy by Toby Keith

 

What songs do you sing to? Did we miss some of your favorites? Let us know.

Linda is giving away a pair of cowboy boot earrings to someone who comments.

And Winnie is giving away choice of any of her books plus a fun  ‘shhh…I’m hunting cowboys’ necklace

 

 

 

 

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giant birthday bash giveaway (separate from this daily giveaway). You can find all the details along with the entry form HERE.

Welcome to Our 10th Anniversary Celebration!

Howdy, Pardners! We here at Petticoats & Pistols are super excited about the upcoming week because we’re going to be in full-on party mode! That’s because we’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of the blog. That’s right, 10 years of posts about our love of all things western. A full decade. In honor of that milestone, we’re going to be having daily “10-themed” posts from lots of the Fillies. You won’t want to miss these posts for the sheer fun, for one, but also because commenting will earn you chances to win daily prizes as well as one of three awesome grand prizes we’ll be giving away at the end of the week of partying until we drop. And the more you participate, the more chances you get to win those grand prizes. So comment often and be sure to take part in our fun scavenger hunt that will take you on a journey for answers through our individual author websites. You’ll find the contest entry form at the bottom of this post. Please read all the rules before you begin. Following the listing of the prizes below, you’ll find all the clues for the scavenger hunt so you can get started.

Just check out all that’s part of the grand prizes. Honestly, I kind of want to win them!

Grand Prizes

First Grand Prize

From Kathryn Albright – a western adult coloring book and set of pencils, a print copy of her new release and one from her backlist

From Karen Witemeyer – Her Ladies of Harper’s Stations series, including two signed print books (No Other Will Do and Heart on the Line), one e-novella (Worth the Wait), and the movie that inspired Harper’s Station (Westward the Women DVD)

From Mary Connealy – A $10 Bath &  Body Works gift card and two books from her Cimarron Legacy series, No Way Up and Long Time Gone

From Cheryl Pierson – Silver bookmark, two of her signed books, and one mail-order bride anthology

From Pam Crooks — Autographed set of her Wells Cattle Company trilogy (Harlequin Historicals) and a $10 Bath and Body Works gift card

From Trish Milburn – four signed books from her Blue Falls, Texas series and a set of earrings

Second Grand Prize

From Winnie Griggs – A signed copy of her Knotty Pine series – 3 novels (The Christmas Journey, Second Chance Family, The Proper Wife) and a novella (Home For Thanksgiving), and a mish-mash of other items: a coffee mug with spoon, a “Ring for a Kiss” bell, Bookaholic necklace, burlap mini-tote, magnetic cowboy poet kit and a cowboy Christmas ornament

From Karen Kay – two signed books

From Phyliss Miranda – A $10 Bath and Body Works gift certificate, a set of six mass market historical western anthologies by Linda Broday, Jodi Thomas, the late DeWanna Pace and Phyliss (autographed), and a copy of her Kasota Springs contemporary romance

From Jeannie Watt – Montana coffee mug, cowgirl flour sack towels, four signed books

Third Grand Prize

From Marin Thomas – All three signed books in her Cowboys of the Rio Grande series, A Cowboy’s Redemption, The Surgeon’s Christmas Baby and A Cowboy’s Claim), a giant Texas cookie cutter, a cowboy Christmas ornament and the picture book Pixar Guide to Life featuring Woody the cowboy from Toy Story)

From Tanya Hanson – a horse-patterned scarf, horseshoe bracelet and three signed books

From Linda Broday – Autographed copy of her new August release Knight on the Texas Plains and a decorative western bowl

From Margaret Brownley – Autographed copy of her latest release and $15 Amazon gift card

Wow!

Scavenger Hunt Clues

Kathryn Albright — In Mail-Order Brides of Oak Grove, what is the name of the cowboy that first lays claim to Maggie McCary?

Linda Broday — In which book did the cowboy win a baby in a poker game?

Margaret Brownley — Margaret’s A Match Made in Texas series was inspired by what favorite childhood book?

Mary Connealy— What three awards are mentioned on Mary’s website?

Pam Crooks — What was the evil warden doing that forces Hannah, the heroine in Hannah’s Vow, to go to the penitentiary to help investigate?

Winnie Griggs —  Which of Winnie’s books feature a schoolteacher who tries to play matchmaker for a sawmill owner?

Tanya Hanson — What is Tanya very afraid of?

Karen Kay —  In which book is the heroine escorting several orphans out West when the hero, a Cheyenne Warrior, raids a train in search of his brother, who has been taken captive?

Trish Milburn — Which book has a heroine who has recently been rescued from human traffickers?

Phyliss Miranda — What is the name of my assistant and what is unusual about her talents?

Jeannie Watt — Which two of Jeannie’s books deal with bull riders and adorable twin girls?

Karen Witemeyer — What 19th century book inspired Karen’s telegraph romance, Heart on the Line (Ladies of Harper’s Station series)?

Marin Thomas — How many books does the moving banner display on the Home page of Marin Thomas’s website?

Schedule

And so you know what you have to look forward to reading and commenting on this week, here’s our schedule:

Monday – Winnie Griggs and Linda Broday will share their views on the 10 Best Western Songs/Ballads.

Tuesday – Karen Kay and Phyliss Miranda will be discussing 10 Western Heroes and Heroines.

Wednesday – Karen Witemeyer and Jeannie Watt will keep the conversation likely with their list of Top 10 Favorite TV Westerns.

Thursday – We welcome our newest Filly Marin Thomas, who will kick off her new Filly-dom by telling us a bit about herself and her recent trip to Globe, Arizona.

Friday – Guest blogger Pam Hillman will share the 10 Snags of Writing Colonials vs. Westerns.

Saturday – Kathryn Albright & Margaret Brownley will talk about their Top 10 Favorite Western Sayings.

Sunday – Pam Crooks, who has been here since the beginning of Petticoats & Pistols, will post about The 10 Fillies Who Started it All.

We sure hope you’ll join us throughout the week as we celebrate! And good luck in the giveaways!

Contest Entry Form

NOTE: If you want to enter the giant giveaway, you must use this form. Leaving a comment (which highly encouraged–this is a party, after all) will not enter you in the big giveaway.

Click here to view this promotion.
Updated: August 6, 2017 — 2:51 pm

Jodi Thomas Ransom Canyon Giveaway #6

Jodi’s back for another Ransom Canyon Giveaway. YeeHaw!!!

Indigo Lake

It was a dark and stormy night…

I’ve always wanted to write that line. I  think all writers do. So I decided to give it a try in Indigo Lake, a book about a hundred-year-old feud between two families. And, of course, my hero is from one and my heroine is from the other.

You will love reading this story which pulls out the richness of legends and superstitions among the early families who settled West Texas.

  • If you started a story with It was a dark and stormy night… what would your second sentence be?

To enter for a chance to win a copy of the sixth book in the Ransom Canyon series, leave a comment below. Winner will be selected on Monday, July 17.

BONUS: The novella, Winter’s Camp, is included in the back of Indigo Lake!

Hebby Roman’s Winner!

 

Didn’t you love learning about those gorgeous Charro horses? I sure did. But don’t tell Jasper. He’s bound to get jealous, and that’ll make him ornery as all get out.

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Big congrats go to

Britney Adams.

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Britney, you’ve won Hebby’s drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card.

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YeeHaw! I know you’re gonna have fun with that.

Petticoats & Pistols © 2015