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Always Love a Cowboy! Welcome, LORRAINE HEATH

It’s such a pleasure to be back here visiting with the fillies. This year has been filled with nostalNOVEMBER 29 HEATHgia as three of my previous westerns received  new packaging and were made available to readers again. In June, it was A ROGUE IN TEXAS. In July, the novella THE LAST GUNSLINGER was re-released. It was originally entitled “A Long Stretch of Lonesome” and appeared in the TO TAME A TEXAN ANTHOLOGY. I was given the opportunity to expand the novella for AvonBooks when they re-issued it.

And now NEVER LOVE A COWBOY is back in print and in bookstores November 24.

It was fun working with cowboys again. It was nice to have the opportunity to dip back into my research books on cowboys and the old west. I’d forgotten just how much I love cowboys. They are just so danged sexy. Rangy, muscled from hard labor, tough, and strong. They have slow, easy grins, tip their hats to the ladies, and say, “Yes, ma’am.”



While it might date me, the very first cowboy I ever fell in love with was Roy Rogers. He rode his horse so well, and he shot straight. He always got the bad guy. I used to tell people at school that he was my uncle. I think I truly believed it, because I remember my mother sitting me down one day and explaining to me that he wasn’t related to me.

Then there was the Lone Ranger. The one on TV. “Hi-ho, Silver.” He fought for justice, and was so mysterious behind his mask. Who was he really?

Gene Barry as Bat Masterson was quite sophisticated. He showed us a different kind of cowboy. Polished, refined, but still deadly with a gun—or a cane.

Steve McQueen as Josh Randall in WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE was more traditional. A loner, who always got his man.

Chuck Connors as the Rifleman. He was always about doing what was right, even when the choice was difficult, especially when he needed to teach his son a lesson.

I never watched Gunsmoke or Bonanza, which is probably sacrilegious for true western fans, but oh, how I loved James Drury as the Virginian. My favorite episode was one that featured a very young Robert Redford as a man just released from prison who was trying to go straight. Then there was Rowdy Yates…

My favorite of all the cowboys, though, was Heath Barkley of THE BIG VALLEY. Never missed an episode. He was the ostracized and misunderstood bastard, the one who didn’t really belong but wanted to so badly. He worked and fought the hardest to maintain the ranch for the family.

Of course, if you’re considerably younger than I am, you may not be familiar with any of these cowboy heroes. I’m not sure why westerns aren’t as popular on television or movies anymore. Maybe there was an innocence or a goodness to them that doesn’t translate well with modern TV. But I think it’s a shame that the western historical cowboy isn’t appreciated as much as he once was. That we have to search so hard to find him on TV or at the movies—or even on the bookstore shelves.

I really appreciate that the fillies here at Petticoats and Pistols are keeping the home fires burning, that they continue to write about and celebrate cowboys. These champions of the trail are a special breed of men.

  • Who is your favorite cowboy hero?


Three lucky commenters will receive an autographed copy of NEVER LOVE A COWBOY.

Excerpt Friday – Cowboys, Creatures, And Calico VOL. 1: The Bridesmaid

Excerpt Friday Logo

Welcome to Excerpt Friday!  Each Friday we’ll be featuring excerpts from recent releases by our very own Fillies.  So grab a cup of coffee and read on.  And if you find you’re hooked by what you read (and we know you will be!) just click on the book cover to purchase the entire book.




The Bridesmaid

The darkness lifted. Lydia’s eyes opened to see his face, his glorious face, bending near. Worry tightened his eyes, and Milly sniffed behind her, indignant.

Lydia soon realized why. She was lying on the horsehair settee, propped against Garner Reed’s broad chest. Milly’s betrothed. His arms tightened around her. He whispered, so soft so close she wondered if she’d really heard. I like your hair unbound.

Milly seethed. “You can get up now, Garner. She’s fine. Let her go. Let her be.”

Mrs. Brocklebank hedged in her frail tone. “Milly dear, it was expeditious, Garner catching Lyddie like he did. And getting her safely to the settee.”

Hands on hips, Milly glared at her mother. “She’s fine, Mama.”

“Wha-what happened?” Lydia’s voice shook. Her heart still hammered in the horror of discovering her dream man was her best friend’s intended. She fidgeted to sit up, and he let her. There was no place she’d rather be than lying in his arms in a dream, but this was real life.

Yet…I like your hair unbound. She trembled against him before breaking free.

Unbound like she wore it in the dreams.

“You fainted, dear. I sent Clara Belle for smelling salts, but she’s a slow thing.” Mrs. Brocklebank hobbled to the settee, then bent down to unbutton Lydia’s outer jacket and fan her face. “Let’s get you some air.”

“I tell you all, she’s fine. She’s exhausted from rigorous travel. Good heavens,” Milly laughed out loud. Very loud. “Riding trains and stagecoaches from Nebraska ruins anybody’s fortitude. I speak from experience. Besides, when Lyddie tried on her bridesmaid’s dress, I had to tighten her lacings.”

That snapped Lydia back to full attention, discussing unmentionables in front of…in front of him. She swallowed hard at the death of her dream. But…what if it happened again tonight? How could she face either Milly or Garner in the morning?

More than that, how could she have dreamed of a real, living man she’d never met?

Lorraine Heath Sashay’s Into The Junction!

NOVEMBER 29 COVERMiz Lorraine Heath will sashay into the Junction come Saturday, November 29.

Yippee! I will be very happy to see my former Filly Sister again! I miss her. She’s asking the question…Who was the first cowboy you ever fell in love with? She will love hearing your answers.

Miz Lorraine is giving away three print copies of NEVER LOVE A COWBOY!

So, put the leftovers in the refrigerator and stop shopping.

Join us for the party! You’ll be glad you did.

The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving


You might think that we owe the celebration of Thanksgiving solely to the pilgrims, but in reality we have Sarah Josepha Hale to thank for it.
Sarah was a prolific author, editor, poet and mother of five.  Her second book of poetry Poems for Our ChilHaledren, published in 1830, included Mary Had a Little Lamb. Controversy still exists as to whether she actually wrote the well-known ditty, but she claimed that she did and it was based on her experiences as a teacher.
In 1837 she became the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book and remained so for forty years until she was ninety. Through her magazine, she set the tone for fashion, reading and cooking. She supported many women’s endeavors including Elizabeth Blackwell’s bid to become a doctor. She also helped raise funds to preserve Mount Vernon.
After reading about the pilgrim’s feast she became captivated by the idea of creating a national Thanksgiving holiday. Two hundred years after the pilgrim’s arrival Thanksgiving had been mostly forgotten. Sarah decided to change that.
So began what would turn out to be a thirty-eight year letter writing campaign. Four U.S. Presidents from Zachary Taylor to James Buchanan turned her idea down.
But Sarah never gave up, not even when the country was at war. At the age of seventy-four she wrote to President Lincoln urging him to make Thanksgiving an annual national holiday. She told him in her letter that a holiday wouldn’t stop the war but it would bring the country together. Abraham Lincoln agreed and in 1863 declared Thanksgiving a national holiday.
So as we enjoy our turkey and pumpkin pie, let’s make a toast to Sarah Josepha Hale, the woman who saved Thanksgiving.


 Coming December 1st

Many things are worth dying for but modesty isn’t one of them-Petticoat Detective

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A Filly Friend

Black Friday All Week Long

Do you remember when you’d never hear Christmas music in stores until the day after Thanksgiving? Now you can’t even shop for Halloween decorations without tripping over Christmas trees and tinsel. I guess I shouldn’t be shocked that in a country so invested in the capitalist dream, we find ways to extend the spirit of shopping as far as possible. Why, take Black Friday for instance. It use to be actually on – shocker – Friday. Now it starts Thanksgiving night. Or worse, it goes all week. Especially for online retailers. Where is the tradition of getting up before the crack of dawn on Friday morning and standing in line in the freezing cold waiting for a store to open? Come on, people. This is tradition! Well . . . okay . . . not for me. Never has been.

My idea of a good Black Friday, is keeping my eyes shut and sleeping in with my husband. Then lazing around the house all day, eating leftover turkey, playing games with the kids, and yes, probably watching some football. The important thing for me is avoiding the retail craziness at all cost.

For a day that has become famous for spurring the economy, I found it rather ironic that the first Black Friday became famous for crashing it.

During reconstruction, following the Civil War, the nation’s economy was at a devastating low point. In order to stimulate economic growth, President Grant made an effort to reduce the supply of paper money or greenbacks by offering to buy them from citizens at a discount and replacing them with currency backed by gold.

However, in 1869 a pair of shady financiers, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, came up with a scheme to profit from the government’s plan by cornering the gold market. If they could convince Grant not to sell gold to the public, they themselves could buy it up in large quantities and watch the price soar. Then, when it peaked, they would sell out and make a fortune. But how were they to influence President Grant?

Gould and Fisk recruited Abel Corbin, a financier who just happened to be married to Grant’s sister, Virginia. Corbin arranged invitations to social engagements for Gould and Fisk where the two used their charm and persuasion to argue against the government sale of gold, bending Grant’s ear. Grant wasn’t swayed, but he did allow Corbin to convince him to appoint General Daniel Butterfield assistant treasurer of the United States. Part of Butterfield’s job was to handle government gold sales on Wall Street. In return for a piece of the action, Butterfield agreed to inform Gould and Fisk when the government was ready to sell gold.

Pandemonium in the New York Gold Room

Grant eventually became suspicious of his brother-in-law’s sudden interest in the gold market, and when he found a letter between his wife and sister regarding the same matter, he recognized the scheme for what it was. Sensing the danger, Gould, Fisk, and Corbin began buying up as much gold as they could on September 20. The price rose to as high as $162 per ounce, a price that would not be reached again for 100 years. However, on September 24, Grant ordered the immediate sale of $4,000,000 worth of government gold. Within minutes, prices plummeted. Investors scrambled. Panic set in. Many investors had taken out loans to buy their gold and when the price dropped, they were ruined, Abel Corbin among them.

Gould escaped relatively unscathed, by selling his gold before the market began to fall. Daniel Butterfield was removed from his post after a congressional hearing. Bad luck and continued scheming caught up to Fisk a few years later. In 1872, fellow financier, Edward Stokes, shot him dead after arguments over money and the affections of a show girl named Josie Mansfield. Has all the makings of a western showdown, doesn’t it?

  • So, are you a Black Friday shopper, or do you prefer to hide away at home and avoid the crowds?


A Filly Friend

Oh, and don’t forget about the contest we’re running. Become a Filly Friend by subscribing to the Petticoats & Pistols newsletter (see sidebar at the top right), and you are eligible for some wonderful prize packages. Autographed books, western jewelry and frames, Amazon gift cards ($100 and $30). All kinds of fun stuff.

We Have Two Winners for Karen Kay’s Free E-Book


We have two winner for a free e-book, and those winners are:  Cindi Streicher and Corri Stanley.  Congratulations go out to Cindi and Corri.  If you could each one email me privately at karenkay(dot)author(at)earthlink(dot)net — we can go over which ebook you might like.

Many, many thanks to each person who participated in today’s blog — I loved reading each and every one of your comments.  And so for tonight, I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.  May it be filled with joy!


bannerGood Morning and Happy Tuesday!

In keeping with the spirit of Thanksgiving, it seems to me it would be a good idea to give away a free e-book to some lucky blogger.  All that needs to be done to enter into the drawing is to leave a comment here.  So do come on in and leave a comment.

Well, today I thought we might talk about love — what’s it all about?  At this time of year, with the holidays and all the out-of-mind busy-ness that we seem to get in to — I thought it might be good to take time out and have a look at  a subject that we all…well, that we all love.  Love.

14-smooch1.jpgIt seems to me that there’s all sorts of different kinds of love.  There’s the obvious kind — the kind that we all write about.  The love of a man and a woman, the love of family, the love of children.  May this love always flourish and prosper in our society — I only say that because, it’s become my opinion that the family is really under attack.  But I digress.  Oh, by the way the picture to the left is of myself and my husband and the background is the Grand Canyon.

Okay, so are there other kinds of love?  I think so.



1-LORA-1[1]There’s of course the love between friends?  That’s love, too, isn’t it?  I know you’ll all agree that we would, indeed, be strange beings if we didn’t have a close circle of friends that we love with all our hearts.  But it’s different kind of love, I think.  However, just because it’s the love between friends doesn’t  make it any less a deep and abiding love.10-greiman[1]

There’s also the love for mankind in general — the love of those in other parts of the world that might be having a difficult time.11-thousandoaks[1]  For instance,Untitled-16[1] many of our American Indian people on the reservations.

And how about the love we have for other life forms?  Our pets, for instance.  That’s most definitely love, too.         dogs space 1

 Love.  If I were to define love, I’d take a page from friend and author, L. Ron Hubbard, and say that it seems to me that it is an intense feeling of admiration directed toward someone or something.  It doesn’t ask for anything, it is either freely given or it’s not really love.  It’s not a dominating or controlling force.  Not love.  Not by definition.

It’s more about giving than receiving, sharing instead of using another.

But so far I’m leaving out one of the greatest love stories of all time.  Can you guess what story that is?

Our joy at this time of year is because of this love story.  Even our calendars are a celebration of this love story and of this one man’s life.  It has been said and shown through historical writings that because of this man and because of his teachings of love, that he freed a whole people from bondage, a people who had been utterly enslaved.  It’s said and it’s written that he brought a true civilizing force to the world, and that this force was to love and to treat ones fellow man, even ones own enemies, as one might like to be treated oneself.   It’s said also that he saved mankind itself from doom because of this love story.  One of my prayers at this time of year will be that the world at large learn again this lesson, a lesson given so freely so long ago …

Love…  I’d really like to hear your own love stories, so please do leave a message.  By the way, the picture below is of myself and the one man in my life whom I love with all my heart.  May you all have a very, happy Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas!







A Filly Friend