Category: Personal Glimpses

Fun Facts about Filly Phyliss

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This is Filly Fun Fact week and it’s my turn to share with you all some of my life.  First off, I was born and raised in the Texas Panhandle on the caprock.  Lots of folks have the idea that the Panhandle is only sage brush and yucca, but it’s not.  It has some of the most beautiful wildflowers, yucca blossoms, and cattle in the United States.  Okay, here goes ten things that most of you don’t know about me.

palo-duro-canyon-for-trr1.  Probably the most interesting part of me is my heritage.  First of all, Daddy was a “Fly boy” as they called the soldiers stationed at the Amarillo Air Force Base at the end of WWII.  Daddy was walking down Polk Street and saw just the back of Mother sitting at the soda fountain.  He fell in love with her red hair peeping through a drug store window.  They married and about nine or ten months later, I came along and then three more sisters.  So I’m definitely an A personality with a tad of OCD dusted over me.  Need I say more!

My daddy’s family came to the United States following the overthrow of Kiser Wilhelm and changed their name.  We don’t know why they left Germany.  Were they a part of the overthrow and had to leave for protection?  Or, were they part of Daddy’s preferred story … royalty who  were brought to America and changed their name to Pannier for their own safety and to start a new life?  We’ll likely never know, except it’s obvious that we have a lot of German heritage in us.  So, then my mama, a pure southern lady born in Louisiana and Texan implant, married Daddy, a Yankee through and through.  Black-eyed peas were for the hogs, so they were never served in our house!

Now for mama’s side of the family.  Born in 1898, Grannie’s given name was Petrolea Pauline Womack and she wassouthern-belle raised on the Womack Plantation in Louisiana.  You talk about a pure southern belle and Baptist, who never drank but loved Juicy Fruit chewing gum. Until recently, the town of Womack was listed in all road maps and atlases.  She married my grandfather Alva Robert Johnson, a railroad worker who was the grandson of a true Blackfoot Indian princess. There were two things I knew I’d have when we went to their house…Hershey Chocolate Drops and the little 8 oz. bottles of Coke, like those recently released.  He thought the flavor of the larger bottle were diluted.  And, yes, you can see the Blackfoot heritage in our family.

bass-guitar2.  I cannot sing!  My girls even whispered to me in church to please stop singing; however, I can play the bass guitar. I never liked the guitar, although I own a red and white Fender Stratocaster, because the strings hurt my fingers.  In one of my business ventures, my business partner and I owned a true Texas Honky Tonk.  Although I was half owner of the band, they only let me play when it was closing time and most of our patrons had left or needed to leave.

3.  When I graduated from high school my typing teacher told me to go to collage and go into something that did nottypist require typing.  Funny thing, I followed her advice, and ended up in the legal field. For nearly fourteen years as Legal Coordinator for our local hospital district and later being a paralegal  with a big law firm doing  mainly medical defense litigation.  I wonder today if Miss Shows challenged me with her statement or she truly didn’t think I could type well enough to hold down a job that required typing!

4.  I have been a Toastmaster.  The hardest courses I’ve ever taken were the ones that led me to be a Dale Carnegie graduate.

8-kids5.  I have eight grandkids.  Right now half of them are in college, with the oldest graduating this coming May and going into medical school.  I have three more who are taking classes in preparation for medical school.  One, who will go into college in the spring, plans on being a school teacher, which is the career I wanted to go into, plus we come from a long line of school teachers.  I’m proud of all of them.

6.  I think writers should walk-the-walk, which of course something isn’t possible.  My favorite spot is CentralOut of the Texas Night California (Santa Barbara County) where my oldest daughter and her family live.  I’ve written one single title book set in California and ending in Texas while I visited there.  Some of the same characters are in the single title I’m working on right now.  Out of a Texas Night is the second of the Kasota Springs Romance series.

circus-clown7.  I’m married to a authentic Ringling Brothers Barnum Baily clown.  I didn’t have time to reproduce the picture we have of Frosty the Clown doing Bob’s face for his performance, but I do have a picture of Frosty on one of the posters for the circus.  My DH always had a desire to be a clown, although it is truly the farthest thing from his true personality.  One of our dear friends was with an advertising agency for the circus and made his dream come true.

8.  One of my favorite things to do beside writing and being a Granny is to hand quilt. Now I don’t care about piecing but I love to hand stitch.  My motherquilting was wonderful at the lost art of quilting and my baby sister, Mary, quilts on the sewing machine.

acs9.  My favorite charity is the American Cancer Society.  I love Relay for Life events and since my California daughter began with the ACS before she even had children, we’ve been involved in many, many events all over the country.

10.  Now for the thing most people don’t know about me.  I’m a woman with two first names.  Phyliss Miranda.  But here’s the catch Phyliss isn’t truly my first name.  I came from the era that I never had to have my birth certificate filed with the State of Texas.  We got into school, higher education, married and had our own babies using the certificate issued from the hospital.  Mother always told me that my name was misspelled, although I was named after two of my aunts, Phyllis and Bobbie Rae.  We thought it was Phyllis that was spelled wrong, so we used Phyliss.  That was until I applied for my Passport and had to get the original.  Oops, it read Phyllis Rae Pannier.  So I’d gone around with the wrong name but it was too late to change.  The house, our checking accounts and all business records show Phyliss, not to mention my two daughter’s birth certificates.   So, much for presuming.   I knew my Aunt Bobbie was named after her father Robert thus Bobbie and Grannie’s brother Ray.  Recently, while going through old records I found a number of my aunt’s business papers and guess what?  Her middle name fluctuates between Rae and Ray with Ray being in the family Bible written in my grandmother’s hand.  So in reality, both my first and middle names are wrong!

Just as long as you call me for supper, I’ll answer to any of the names! But my favorite name of all is Mrs. Robert Miranda.

DRAWING FOR TWO WINNERS!

Now, how about a prize or two?  I’ll give two readers who leave a comment a e-copy of any of my books that are on Amazon at the moment.  If you’d prefer to have a signed copy of any one of the six anthologies by Sister Filly, Linda Broday, Jodi Thomas, the late DeWanna Pace, and me, you can select that. Thanks for stopping by.

Updated: September 28, 2016 — 5:54 pm

Ten Fun Filly Facts about Kathryn!

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I feel like I need to have a name starting with F for this post!
Fun Filly Facts about Francine… hmm…

This week is dedicated to fun facts about the members that make up the corral
here at Wildflower Junction (a.k.a. Petticoats and Pistols) and today is my day!
I’m supposed to come up with 10 facts ~ we’ll see if I can…

FFF #1

~ I wrote my first manuscript with the hope that I could make enough money to stay home with my children as they grew. Call me naive to the publishing world! It didn’t happen, but now on the flip side of life, I have been able to retire early and be with my grandchildren and parents more.

FFF #2numbers

~ I prefer even numbers.
Not sure why…it just makes sense to me.
Maybe it was because I was born on an even day in an even month.
2014 was a good year. 2016 even more so.
(There might be a pill to correct this…or maybe therapy.)

FFF #3

Kathryn's Wedding Picture~ Although my first wedding was more exciting than my second, my second marriage has been more exciting than my first–and it’s to the same man!
Allow me to explain:  My first marriage at my grandparent’s farm lasted fifteen minutes ~ the duration of the drive from the farm to the church. I learned after the 1st ceremony, that the wedding wasn’t legal because the farm was just over the county line. The pastor had to take us back to his side of the line to say our “I Dos” all over again and sign the wedding certificate in the correct county. (It seems to have stuck — We’ve been married 38 years!) 

FFF #4

~ I love witty puns and quotes.
I think this may be a hazard of being a writer and loving the written word.

              “Borrow money from pessimists—they don’t expect it back.” (Steven Wright)
“If yourcar could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?” (Steven Wright)
“She’s descended from a long line her mother listened to. (Gypsy Rose Lee)
“Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.”

FFF #5horse-3

~ I wanted a horse when I was a child.
I still want a horse…
(Or a trip to a dude ranch might help :-))
I did enjoy riding lessons for two years as a youngster.
Even won a red ribbon (2nd place) in my one and only horse competition.

 FFF #6Cuyamaca Countryside

~ I grew up in the big city but always was a country gal at heart.
My favorite times were when my family left the city of San Diego and went hiking in the back country, to the beach, or on a summer vacation to a National Park. Give me the wide open spaces, an open road, and a starry sky and I am happiest.

FFF #720160927_140409_resized

~ I’m a dog person
—most particularly Golden Retrievers and Great Danes.
(I think this has something to do with never having my own horse.)
I’ve had three goldens that have come and gone in my life. The one pictured here was named Baron.
Every time I take a walk I think about and miss them.

FFF #8henry-cavill-superman-costume

~ I love everything SUPERMAN.
Mostly it has to do with his moral integrity, need to protect those weaker, and his strength.
It may have a small something to do with being able to fly. That is one cool super-power!
But then…he is easy on the eyes…

FFF #9

10914931_10153074190180135_517531118880944071_oIn my other life
I was a High Risk Obstetrical Nurse and a Sonographer.
That’s a lot of initials after my name…(I’m trying to beat my brothers…)
Now that I have left the medical field, I miss doing ultrasounds of babies in the womb.
I don’t miss having to get up everyday and leave for work.

FFF #10

I have my own “cheese cake” photo.  

Ready?  Here you go…

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Hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know a little bit about me.
I’d love to hear a few fun facts about you! How about sharing one or two?

Comment to be entered into a drawing for one of my books!

10 Things You May Not Know About Me…Winnie Griggs

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Hello all, Winnie Griggs here. It’s my turn to share little known facts about who the ‘true Winnie Griggs’ is. So here goes:

  1. This may sound like heresy to some of you, but as a kid I just did not care for Nancy Drew – I only read the series when I was hard up for reading material and there was nothing else available. But I was a BIG fan of Trixie Belden, The Hardy Boys and dozens of other teen adventure/mystery series. I still own many of those old books.
    trixie
  2. The first real story I ever wrote from start to finish was of the fan fiction variety. I was about ten years old and it featured Roy Rogers and the gang from the old Saturday morning TV show. I guess Westerns were in my blood even then.
    roy-rogerrs
  3. Among the other very special things about me is that I have two middle names. That’s right, I am officially Winnie Mae Marie.
    name
  4. I’m one of those odd ducks who really enjoys math and puzzles. In fact, that was my major in college. I got a BS in Mathematics, with minors in Computer Science and Accounting – how much geeekier can you get!
    math
  5. I am the oldest of five siblings- my sisters and brother hint (strongly) that this makes me bossy. I prefer to think of myself as confident.
    As a side note, my youngest sister is 20 years younger than me – I got the news my mother was pregnant at the end of my sophomore year of college – how’s that for a shocker! My boyfriend was with me when my dad told me. That boyfriend is now my husband so I guess it didn’t scare him off.
    wow
  6. One of my younger sisters got married before I did, so, true to tradition, I danced barefoot at her wedding.
    barefoot
  7. And speaking of dancing, I absolutely LOVE to dance, it’s hard for me to be still when there is music playing. Unfortunately I’m totally uncoordinated and I’m not a pretty sight on the dance floor.
    dancer
  8. I almost didn’t attend the college where I eventually ended up. I’ve always been a homebody so I had picked out two universities that were within a two hour drive of home. When I went in to take my ACT test, howeverr, there was a place on the test form that asks you to list 3 colleges you’re considering. I listed the two I wanted, but I’m a bit OCD about forms and couldn’t leave the last spot blank. So I remembered that just that morning, my best friend had casually mentioned a college she was looking into that was nearly 400 miles away, so I quickly added that one to the form and promptly forgot all about it. Until a month later when the admissions department contacted me and offered me a full ride scholarship based on my score. It’s kind of scary and awesome how my whole life changed direction based on that one off hand incident. Because that college is where I met the man who would eventually become my husband.
    college
  9. And speaking of meant-to-be, I’d always dreamed of having three kids – it just seemed the ideal family size to me. But apparently the Good Lord had other plans for me. My last pregnancy resulted in twins! Now I have four grown, remarkable, wonderful children whom I wouldn’t change for the world.
    kids
  10. Summer before last we took a family vacation to Hawaii, where I not only had a fabulous time but I got to check something off my bucket list. My husband and I took a ride around the island in a helicopter. I loved it – very exhilarating and the views were breathtaking!
    helicopter

So now you know more than you ever wanted to know about who I am. Is there anything on this list you can relate to? And how about you reciprocate by sharing one or two fun facts about yourself? Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for your choice of any book from my backlist. Drawing will take place sometime tomorrow.

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In Search of a Groom 

After a life of drudgery on her family’s farm, Cassie Lynn Vickers relishes her freedom working in town as a paid companion for feisty Mrs. Flanagan. When her father suddenly demands she come home, she has no choice. Unless she can find a husband. If only she could convince handsome town newcomer Riley Walker to marry her… 

Riley is on the run. He’s desperate to keep his niece and nephew safe from his crooked half brother. But a delay in Turnabout, Texas, shows him everything he didn’t know he was missing: home, family—and Cassie Lynn. Can he find a way to become her Prince Charming…and build a real family with the children and Cassie Lynn?

Updated: September 26, 2016 — 8:59 am

Susan Page Davis and the Oregon Trail!

susan-2Susan Page Davis here. History is all about people—individuals. I’ve encountered some intriguing people in my research and the Oregon pioneers are a good example.

Thousands of people went to Oregon in the 1850s, and those pioneers have always fascinated me. When I got married and moved to Oregon with my husband, who grew up there, I was very conscious of retracing the steps of those who blazed the western trails. When it came time to write my Prairie Dreams series, I needed to present Oregon’s history accurately, and I found I had a lot to learn!

In these books, starting with The Lady’s Maid, I sent two English ladies over the Oregon Trail on a wagon train. They don’t actually reach the territory until the end of the first book. In writing the section where the wagon train winds along the Snake River for a ways, I began my Oregon research in earnest.

For that first book in the series, I mainly studied the trail itself, and places along the way. It was in very rough shape when my ladies arrived in 1855. I’ve been to the End of the Trail Museum in Oregon City, and to the Oregon Trail Museum near Baker City, on the Idaho side of the state—both wonderful resources with very different collections. I’ve seen the ruts on the prairie and peered into Conestoga wagons. All of that was percolating in the back of my mind, and I was able to find the additional information I needed.
Copyright Historic Oregon City www.historicoregoncity.org

Copyright Historic Oregon City http://www.historicoregoncity.org[/caption%5D

Fort Dalles was one place I used in my books. My brother-in-law lives in The Dalles, and on one visit, he took us to see what is left of the fort. It isn’t much. The surgeon’s house is wonderful, but there is precious little left of the actual military installation. I had to rely on books and Internet sites to bring the fort to life for me. Oregon City was easier, because it’s still there, and many sources exist to tell me about what it was like in “the day.”

In the second book of my series, Lady Anne’s Quest, real historical figures began to show up. Some of them screamed to be included in my story. My two fictional ladies had separated. Elise had married a scout turned rancher, and Lady Anne went on to find her missing uncle. His last known address was near Eugene.

I had a lot of fun researching the Eugene area. It’s where my husband was born. He grew up in Junction City, just a few susan-5miles outside Eugene, and we lived within the city limits after we got married. But Junction City wasn’t there in 1855.

What I did find in my time travel was fascinating people. One was Eugene Skinner, larger than life. He was the founder of the city, and it is named after him. I was also familiar with Skinner’s Butte, which towers over the city and where Eugene Skinner lived for a while. In his active life, he was not only a founder, a farmer, and a ferry operator, but he helped lay out the town and served as a lawyer, postmaster, and county clerk.

One of the first settlers in Lane County, Skinner arrived in 1846. He built the first cabin in what is now the city of Eugene, on the side of the

hill at Skinner’s Butte. He used it as a trading post, and later as a post office. I put the post office and both Mr. and Mrs. Skinner in my story.susan-6

I also learned about Joseph Lafayette Meek, or “Joe Meek,” the famous mountain man. He lived his later years in Oregon and was appointed the first U.S. Marshal for the Oregon Territory.susan

I needed a marshal in my story, but by the time of the tale, Joe had given up the office. He served as Territorial Marshal from 1848 to 1853, and was succeeded by James Nesmith, so Marshal Nesmith is the one who made it into my book. Even so, I enjoyed a rabbit trail of reading about Joe Meek and his family. Maybe he will show up in another book someday.  susan-4

I am making a list of Oregon places I’d like to visit the next time we go there to see family. It’s amazing how many historical sites I managed NOT to visit during the time I lived in the beautiful state of Oregon! Usually those places are associated with people. While I do delve into the plants, animals, and terrain of the regions I write about, most of my research is still about people.

Today I’m giving away a copy of A Lady in the Making from the Prairie Dreams series.susan-3

 

 

A Lady in the Making: Millie Evans boards a stagecoach and finds that one of the passengers is David Stone—a man she and her brother once tried to swindle. As she tries to convince David she’s different now, her brother’s gang holds up the stagecoach. Millie must trust God to show David the truth that she has changed, but will he see before it’s too late?

Susan Page Davis is the author of more than 60 novels, including the Ladies’ Shooting Club series, Texas Trails series, and Frasier Island Series. Her newest books include the historical romances River Rest, Mountain Christmas Brides, The 12 Brides of Summer, and Heart of a Cowboy. She now lives in western Kentucky. Visit her website at: http://www.susanpagedavis.com

 

Ortega Adobe

Phyliss Miranda sig line for P&P BluebonnetIn my last blog I wrote about the Mission La Purisima on the Camino Real in California.  I promised to write more about it and some personal things that have happened in the ol’ haunted mission.  Before I publish, what I think is an intriguing finish to my personal story about the La Purisima, I wanted to explore some more places along the King’s Highway that I’ve visited or became intrigued with.Ortega Taco Pix

I’m gonna bet if you make any Tex-Mex or even Mexican dishes you’ve used Ortega brand products.  Here’s my story about Ortega Adobe, Ortega Chili Company, and a mysterious little girl.

Ortega Old Pix use

The picture to the left is one of the middle class adobe homes and also one of the last houses of its type still standing in California.  Built in 1857 by local rancher Emedigio Ortega, he raised nine of his children.

In 1897, one of his sons began the Ortega Chili Company that exists today.  Obviously, the international company has outgrown the small three room house.

The building has been used as a Mexican restaurant, a Chinese laundry, a pottery shop, an employment agency, a VFW hall, a speakeasy, the Ventura police state, and lastly, a boy’s and girl’s club.  In the 1960’s it became an historic museum.  The tiles on the roof were purchasedOrtega Old Pix from the Old Mission San Buenaventura after the earthquake of 1857.

Now for the more interesting part of this mission, as I promised.

Supernatural events have become a part of the adobe museum’s crew’s jobs. Staff have caught a glimpse of a man with a derby hat standing on the porch. A visitor who believes she has a psychic gift saw a ghostly little girl in the house standing in the doorway. She had a dark shawl over her head. The house also has a very cold spot in the largest of the rooms where some have heard voices! The story of soft music emanating from a phantom guitar remind us of the history and many different lives that have passed through this house and of some spirits that may have chosen to stick around.

The Ortega Adobe isn’t a mission but I found its story very interesting.  I love going to California and this year, as many of you all know, I spent over two months in central California in order to celebrate graduation and birthdays for my grandchildren.  I’m eager to write more about my adventures.

Earlier this month when I wrote about the Mission La Pursima, which you haven’t heard the last of, I received a lot of wonderful comments on missions, so I’ll ask you the same question … please share with us any of your experiences on missions, the Camino Real, and ghosts.

The Troubled Texan GoodTo one lucky reader who comments, I’ll give you a choice of one of my eBook’s, including any anthology I’m in or one of my short stories. I’m looking forward to reading all of your comments.

Updated: August 29, 2016 — 6:53 pm

Mission La Purisima Concepcion

Phyliss sig horse and sunsetI spent two months in one of my favorite places in the United States … Central California where the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) runs right through town. Of course, it happens to be my oldest daughter’s, son-in-law’s and grandkid’s home and I went out for graduation and birthdays. It‘s not only a beautiful part of the world, but it is also the home of one of my favorite missions on the El Camino Real (King’s Highway) … Mission La Purisima Concepcion.
Although it was founded in December of 1787 and is located a little distance from the El Camino Real, it’s in my kid’s back yard, literally. As a matter of fact, all of my grandchildren who went to school there actually could walk to the Mission from their school yards. It’s a wonderful and exciting place in history. I hope when you are finished reading my blog you’ll see why I’d love to write an historical romance on the twenty-one Spanish missions running along the King’s Highway.

I’m going to give you a thirty-second overview of the missions as a whole, and particularly La Purisima.Mission 1 mission soldiers quarters mission 2
The Spanish missions comprise of a series of religious outposts established by Spanish Franciscans between 1769 and 1823. The missions gave Spain a valuable toehold in the new frontier along the West Coast and also represented the first major effort by Europeans to colonize the area. I found this of interest, King Charles of Spain issued laws pertaining to the expansion.

The American Indian would be permitted to live in communities of their own.
Indians should be able to choose their own leaders.
No Indian was to be held slave.
No Indian was to live outside his own village.
No Spaniard was to stay in the Indian village for more than three days.
Indians were to be instructed in the Catholic faith.

Each mission was under the direction of two resident Padres, assisted by a small contingent of soldiers. In La Purisima’s case, the Chumash Indians, Padres, and soldiers occupied the Mission concurrently and each respected one another’s position. The Chumash were taught many skills from construction of adobe buildings to herding livestock, growing crops and weaving. Other missions provided much of the seeds and stock; therefore, the mission flourished.

The first Mission La Purisima was destroyed in 1812 by an earthquake, and the mission was moved to its present location. Then the mission period ended, the building were abandoned and fell in disrepair. The buildings and the land left behind were sold at public auction in 1845 for $1,110. In 1874, the United States returned the land to the Catholic Church but the buildings were in such bad condition that the church sold the land, and it was obtained by the State of California.

Restoration began in 1935 and today La Purisima is a State Historic Park where volunteers demonstrate what mission life was like in the early 1800’s.
Now you all, especially the writers, should see the elements of an historical romance developing in my mind. But something else developed during my trip that gives me more reason to continue to research this particular mission. I‘ll tell you about it on my next blog later this month on August 30th.

Have any of you visited a mission and what did you come away with in the way of feelings and thoughts?

Updated: August 1, 2016 — 8:51 pm

Good To Be Home, Even If I Can’t Charge My Phone

Our houseHey everyone and happy Wednesday! When I got back from the Romance Writers of America National conference one week ago today, I was greeted by a house with no electricity or water, and a slightly stressed out husband. He also had to replace the refrigerator while I was gone. I was kind of getting afraid to answer the phone while I was in San Diego.

I had a book due shortly after returning home, but with no electricity, finishing it proved to be a problem. Fortunately, I had a neighbor whose power sources were still running, so I’d meet him at the end of my driveway on his way home from work, hand off my laptop, he would take it home and charge it and then we’d meet at the end of the driveway when he headed back to work the next morning. I was so glad to have a fifteen hour battery.

Life off the grid can be a challenge, but my power source is up and running again, and I’m writing away. To celebrate, I’m posting an excerpt from my September Harlequin Western Romance (formerly Harlequin American Romance), The Bull Rider’s Homecoming.

My bull rider hero is babysitting the heroine’s twin daughters during an emergency. He’s never been around kids and is learning the ropes as he goes. I hope you enjoy.

“Now what?”

Well, he certainly couldn’t leave the macaroni cooking and go home. “What do you guys…girls…usually do while waiting for supper to cook?”

“We do our schoolwork.”

“Or watch TV.”

“Or play on the computer.”

Or play dolls.”

Katie’s face brightened. “Yeah. You can be the boy dolls!”

“I…”

But Kristen was already on her way out of the room, Katie close behind her. A moment later they came back carrying a box of dolls and small clothing.

Trace pushed the hair back from his forehead. This was foreign territory.

Katie set three fashion dolls in various states of dress on the table then looked up at Trace. “Who do you want to be?”

“Uh…where’s that guy doll you were talking about?”

Kristen dug into the bin and pulled out two identical boy dolls—one wearing striped pajamas and the other wearing jeans and a white shirt with an aluminum foil buckle on his small belt. “This is Tyler and this is Jess. They’re twins. Like us.”

Trace knew Tyler and Jess Hayward, the bull-riding twins. He wondered if they knew they had tiny doppelgangers.

“We don’t have many boy clothes,” Katie said.

“And they don’t fit in the girl jeans, so Tyler has to wear his pajamas.”

“Or his beach shorts.” Katie pulled out a pair of flowered swim trunks.

Trace picked up Tyler. “So, what’s my job?”

“We have to get the horses and then we play rodeo.”

Not what he’d been expecting.

“Uncle Grady got us a bull, too, so Tyler and Jess can ride the bull.”

“In his pajamas?” Trace asked.

“Well, he has to wear something,” Katie remarked in a grown-up tone as she headed out of the room. She reappeared a few minutes later with a crate of horses and sure enough, there was a Brahma bull in with the plastic model horses.

“I’ll get the cans,” Kristen said.

“Cans?”

“For barrel racing,” Katie said as if he was slow on the uptake.

And so Trace got down on the floor and played rodeo with the girls. Tyler did very well riding the bull, but Jess got tossed off and landed in the sink of soapy water with a big splash, much to the girls’ delight.

“Mom never lets us do that.”

“Mom…” He almost said “doesn’t need to know” before he realized that was not a very wise thing to say to two impressionable seven-year-olds. “Mom knows best,” he amended.

He got to his feet and fished Jess out of the sink and left him to dry on the drain rack before sitting back down again. Out of curiosity, he asked, “Do you guys ever play anything but rodeo?”

“Sometimes we play school and sometimes we play going-on-a-date, but mostly we play rodeo.”

“You can go on a date to a rodeo,” Kristen announced. “That’s where Uncle Grady and Lex went on their first date.”

“We went, too!” Katie added.

“That must have been some first date.”

“It was,” Kristen said, suddenly solemn. “Lex got scared and sad because her dad died at a rodeo, but Uncle Grady helped her get not afraid.”

“And now they’re getting married,” Katie interjected.

“We’re flower girls!”

The Bull Rider’s Homecoming is available for pre-order from Amazon. Thanks for stopping by!

Fun In The Sun!!

WG Logo 2015-04

Hi! Winnie Griggs here, and I’m just back from the Fabulous RWA (Romance Writers of America) conference in San Diego. It was my first time there and I took advantage of the event to go in a few days early and play tourist. My son came with me which made it doubly fun. So I thought I’d share a little of what my week was like with you.

Sunday afternoon and evening we explored downtown, checking out both the Gaslamp District and Seaport Village. Bot were teeming with baseball fans as the All Star game was scheduled to be played there on Tuesday.

On Monday we headed out to the Zoo, taking advantage of the efficient and low-cost public transportation to get there. And what a fabulous zoo it was! We spent most of the day there, walking the grounds and I’m still not certain we saw it all. My favorite exhibits – Pandas, Polar Bears and giraffes.

Zoo

 

On Tuesday we headed out to LaJolla. We had the driver let us off at the beach near the Scripps Research Institute, and after spending time there we walked a little over a mile to a spot where we could see the seals and sea lions that come right up on the beach. We were able to get quite close to them, though we were careful to respect their space.

LaJolla

 

On Wednesday we took the ferry over to Coronado.  Another day with lots of walking (My fitbit recorded numbers last week it had never reached before 🙂 )  The beaches were lovely, the historic hotel was fabulous, there were lots of fun little shops to check out and the seafood we had for lunch was some of the best I’ve had in quite a while. On the return trip we took the ferry that drops off near the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier that was decommissioned in 1992 and is now a museum.

Cornado

On Thursday it was time for me to turn to conference business – me and three author friends presented a workshop. Son went out on his own exploring the city and we met back up for supper together and a walk through Seaharbor Village.

WorkshopThurs

 

The next morning my son headed for the airport and I turned my full attention to the conference.

And for those of you who have stayed with me his far, if you’ll leave a comment telling me about your favorite place to visit, I’ll put your name in the hat for a drawing to select any one book from my backlist you’d like to have.

 

Updated: July 21, 2016 — 1:01 am

Iroquois Legend Of the Faceless Doll

Phyliss Miranda sig line for P&P Bluebonnet

IROQUOIS LEGEND OF THE FACELESS DOLL

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July.  I certainly did.

A few years ago, Bob and I visited the Oneida Nation Headquarters, in Oneida, New York (central New York). I must say it was one of the most enjoyable trips I’ve ever made.  I ended up fascinated with Indian legends.

I’ve been in California and Kansas for the last six weeks for graduations and birthdays, so I decided to rerun one of my oldest blogs due to computer problems and traveling.  I hope you enjoy the one I selected — Iroquois no-face doll that I extrapolated from a handout I received at the Oneida Nation Headquarters.

As the legend goes, the Corn Spirit was so thrilled at being one of the sustainers of life that she asked the Great Spirit if doll for granny's blogthere was anything ‘veore she could do for her people. The Great Spirit told her that a doll could be formed from her husk. So, she made the doll and gave it a beautiful face. Then, the doll went from Indian village to Indian village and played with the children.  Everywhere she went she was told how beautiful she was. So, it wasn’t long before she became conceited.

One day, the Great Spirit called to her. But, before she went into the Great Spirit’s lodge, she looked into a pool of water and admired herself, thinking how beautiful she was. The Great Spirit told her that if she kept thinking that she was better than everyone else a terrible punishment would come upon her, but he wouldn’t tell her what it was.

So, again the doll went from village to village playing with the Indian children and still everyone kept telling her how beautiful she was. It wasn’t long before she became conceited again. The Great Spirit called to her again and like the first time, she looked into the pool of water before the Great Spirit’s lodge to admire herself.

Upon entering the lodge the Great Spirit said to her, “I have given you one warning now a great punishment will come upon you.” But, he still wouldn’t tell her what it was. When she left the lodge she again looked into the pool of water to admire herself but this time she didn’t have a face. The Great Spirit had taken it away.

Since that time the Iroquois people do not put a face on the corn husk dolls. This is to remind children, never to think they are better than anyone or a punishment as great could fall upon them.

Isn’t this a great legend?  Do you have one you’d like to share?

Updated: July 5, 2016 — 11:42 am

10 Things You May Not Know About Me…Charlene Sands

Charlene-with-Books1.  I officially met my Now and Forever husband when I was sixteen.  He was the cliché high school sweetheart and the boy that lived around the corner. In fact, his number address was the same as ours.  But I really knew of him much earlier on as he and his brothers would often steal into our backyard to retrieve baseballs that went over the fence into our yard.  My dad caught him red-handed one day, “taking” an orange from our tree, age 10.

Charlene and Don

Charlene and Don

2.    Cats and kittens have always been a part of my life.  As a young girl, before it was politically correct to spay and neuter, two of our cats gave birth at the same time.  I was in kitten heaven having nine little fur balls to love!  And we were lucky enough to give all of them good homes.

Skittles 2

Skittles was my computer mascot.

 

3.    To me “math” is a four letter word.  Ugh, I’ll be eternally grateful to my sister Carol for getting me through torturous Algebra and Geometry…  Lucky for me history and English have more letters!

4.    I have read every book LaVyrle Spencer and Susan Elizabeth Phillips have written.  (I’m sure I’m not alone on this).

Susan Elizabeth Phillips

5.     My favorite motto:  Carpe Diem.   Seize the day, the moment, the opportunity and you’ll never look back with regret.

6.    I am addicted, I mean ADDICTED to Dancing With The Stars.  The show makes me absolutely happy.

DWTS Champion

7.     There is nothing I enjoy more than the value of a comfortable pair of shoes!  I am not a shopper and my feet don’t always cooperate in most shoes, so it’s like winning the lottery when I find a pair of shoes that are stylish AND comfortable!  I’m on the lookout now, as I’ll be attending the Romance Writers Convention soon and need comfy shoes for work and play!

8.    I’m a: The Glass is Half Full kind of girl.

9.   I own a Disney Musical Globe collection and wish they’d make more quality globes like they had in the past.  My favorite is Cinderella.

They dance, there's music and a clock that strikes 12 midnight!

They dance, there’s music and a clock that strikes 12 midnight!

Disney globes

Some of the collection:   Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tarzan and Beauty and the Beast

10.  I take after my father in that I love surprising people, giving goodies away and holding contests!    Post a comment here and I’ll be giving away 2 ebook copies to 2 bloggers today of Bachelor For Hire for your Kindle or Nook!   Simply share with me if we have any of the above in common?

 

Sands-Bachelor-300dpi       AMAZON

Ex-Army sergeant and security expert, Cody Matthews recently walked away from his company to work The Lucky B Ranch just outside of Marietta, Montana. The ranch is his refuge, but his hiding out is short-lived when he’s recruited into the Marietta Bachelor Auction and his high school ex-crush bids a small fortune to spend one weekend with him.

Hollywood starlet, Hayley Dawn O’Malley has had decent, honest, sexy Code Matthews on the brain ever since she left Marietta after high school to pursue her dreams. But now she’s back in town and someone is threatening her. Cody, a natural-born protector, is the only man she trusts to keep her safe.

Spending their weekend date in a remote cabin, Cody plays the role of reluctant bodyguard, yet Hayley isn’t going to let the tormented man deny his feelings for her, no matter the threat to her body or her heart.

The Bachelor Auction Returns
Book 1: Bachelor for Hire by Charlene Sands

 

 

Updated: June 28, 2016 — 4:24 pm
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