Pam Crooks Pub PhotoIn the early years of 2000, this new thing called blogging was the rage.  All the big-name authors were doing it, and lots of lesser-known ones were, too.  I, for one, was more than a bit intimidated by the idea of having to come up with something interesting to say every day, and besides, who had the time?  Certainly not me.  I was writing and raising four daughters and taking care of a husband and juggling a parttime job, and well, darn it, I could just about care less.

Until it occurred to me there were no bloggers dedicated solely to western romance.

That was in the winter of 2007.  The more I thought about it, the more I loved the idea.  I discussed it with Cheryl St.John, who happens to live within walking distance of me.  We met for lunch, discussed lots of fun ideas, tossed around names of western authors we could invite, hammered out a schedule, and by the time I paid the bill, the whole thing had turned absolutely brilliant.

A few short months later, we had a corral full of talented authors, whom I lovingly dubbed the fillies.  They were:

Linda Broday

Elizabeth Lane

Lorraine Heath

Patricia Potter

Geralyn Dawson

Stacey Kayne

Karen Kay

Cheryl St.John

Charlene Sands

and me – Pam Crooks

Four of the original Fillies remain — Charlene, Linda, Karen Kay, and me.

A gazillion emails later, we decided to call ourselves Petticoats and Pistols.  I bought the domain, hired a webmistress, and on August 13, 2007, I wrote the very first post announcing our arrival upon the blogosphere.

I was so proud.

Until Cheryl St.John emailed me in a panic.  “YOU NEED IMAGES!” she practically shouted through her keyboard.

Clearly, I had no idea what I was doing.

You can bet I found some images in a hurry, and evidently, any and all who noticed how green I was forgave me.

Eight years and 4,341 blogs later, we’re still here, and Petticoats and Pistols will forever have a special place in my heart.

Happy Birthday

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LindaI remember how terrified I was, but I knew when Pam and company invited me to join them that it was too big a thing to pass up. I didn’t know a blessed thing about blogging, had never even heard of it, but I wanted to do it. What would I talk about? And who would read them? But those questions were a little premature. First I had to learn the program we use and still use today. For two weeks, we practiced writing blogs, inserting images and scheduling them to post. I just couldn’t get the scheduling part through my brain so Pam called and we talked. Things were a little clearer by the time we hung up. Cheryl St. John emailed all of us a list of topics and gave tips in case we needed them. Then we went live. I was terror-stricken.

I remember my hands shaking so badly I could barely type when I tried to write a comment on someone’s blog. I was so afraid I’d say something wrong and they’d kick me off. Then came the time for my first post. Lord, was I scared! The title of my very first blog was Sagebrush, Songbirds and Socializin’. It was about a bunch of us Amarillo writers spending the night in nearby Palo Duro Canyon with New York editor Hilary Sares. I was so afraid it wouldn’t post at midnight so I sat up to make sure. And it did. To date, I’ve written approx 175 blogs and made thousands of comments.

Wildflower Junction is my home. I love this place and am so very proud of what we’ve done in eight years. Big thanks to all our loyal followers many of whom have been with us since the first year. You have made us what we are. Thank you!


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bannerHappy Birthday to us!  I remember well the day I was invited to be a part of the blog.  How honored I was.  Actually, (knock on wood) I didn’t worry about having material to blog about – mostly because my research into the American Indian culture has so much to say — so much we didn’t know about the people who gave this country so much.  But I remember struggling with a new program and then the pictures — it took me probably 3-4 months before I stopped using others’ pictures for my blogs.  I believe it was Charlene who taught me how to download my own pictures — and that opened up a whole new aspect to my blogs.  Even today, I often post pictures of long-ago paintings, century old photos and do my best to try to present the often incredible and deeply educational history that I run across so often in my research.

Over time, we have all had to decide whether or not we wanted to continue on with blogging.  I still haven’t said all there is to be said about the first people who were here, and so I continue on.

No blog about our beginnings would be complete without a deep, heart-felt thank you to all those who have helped over the years.  Although I haven’t ever met each filly in person (some I have met, glad to say), I feel as though each and every one of us are fast friends.  And that’s really saying something.  May it always be so.


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charlenebioIt’s hard to believe that Petticoats and Pistols has been going strong for eight years.  I remember back in the day not even knowing what a blog was and I had an author try to explain it to me. Even after her attempts to clarify, I still didn’t get it until I actually saw one in action.  Back then, authors ran blogs on their own sites and some still do, but for me, there just wasn’t enough time in the day to do it all.  When fabulous Pam Crooks, Cheryl St. John and Linda Broday herded me into this group, it was the best of both worlds and has continued to be. I’m honored to be a Founding Filly.  So with that in mind, here are 8 reasons why we should celebrate the 8th birthday of Petticoats and Pistols!!

  1. Daily thoughtful posts that never fail to entertain
  2. Captivating reminders of yesteryear- How The West Was Written!
  3. Photos and personal shared life experiences from the authors
  4. Glimpses into what the writing world is all about
  5. Keeping up to date on new releases, new covers and freebies
  6. Generosity of spirit and prizes galore
  7. A wide array of author’s styles and writing genres
  8. And best of all –the friendship and camaraderie we’ve garnered with our bloggers! We couldn’t do it without you

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Website | + posts

Pam has written 30 romances, most of them historical westerns, but her newest releases are contemporary sweet romances featuring the Blackstone Ranch series published by Tule Publishing. Stay up on the latest at www.pamcrooks.com

83 thoughts on “HAPPY 8TH BIRTHDAY TO US!”

  1. Happy Birthday P & P! I follow you daily and I am so excited when I learn something new (which is pretty much every day). Thank you for starting and maintaining this wonderful blog and for your generosity today, on your 8th Birthday!!!!!!!! Happy Happy Birthday to you all!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  2. Happy Birthday P&P. I follow you every day. Thanks for so many interesting posts from my favorite authors.

  3. Happy Birthday P&P! As many of you talked about being new to blogging when this site kicked off, I am new to following a few blogs as of this year. I faithfully follow a few that showcase some of my favorite writers. Thank you for all of the effort you put in to creating this blog. It is truly a blessing to have a site to go to and know that I will find familiar and unfamiliar books that, regardless, I will enjoy.

  4. Happy Birthday, P&P! I can’t believe how fast the time flies–I joined this fabulous group in April, 2009. I was so intimidated! But now we’re the best of friends, writers and readers together. Happy 8th Birthday, P&P!

  5. Happy Birthday! I love reading this blog everyday! I also LOVE westerns! Keep up the great work Fillies.

  6. Happy birthday P&P. Congratulations on eight fantastic years. What fun to read about how you all got started.

    I’ve been a filly for only five of those years and have loved every minute of it. Okay, maybe not EVERY minute. In the beginning I was scared to death. I’d never written a blog and had no idea what I was doing. The first time I tried to program my blog it showed up live on the wrong day. After a few heart-stopping moments I got the hang of it and have been enjoying warm friendships with fillies and readers ever since. Thank you for letting me be a part of this great group!

  7. I started following Petticoats and Pistols back in the first year of its existence which happened to be the first year that I was published. An original filly, Stacey Kayne and I signed on with Harlequin at the same time. Initially I checked out the site to support her, but then as I read the articles, I came back to discover new books and see posts and get to know the rest of the fillies. That first year’s Halloween bash had so many fun ghoulish recipes that I still pull out and use! Being asked to actually be a filly (just this year) has been a highlight for me.


  8. I like to visit Petticoats and Pistols most mornings. Congrats on 8 years! I’m not sure how or when I originally came to visit your website. Thank you for sharing not only facts about the West, but your lives, thoughts and dreams too!

    Keep on writing!

    johns lake at usa dot com

  9. Happy birthday, P&P! Like Kathryn, I stumbled across the blog during its first year. I seldom commented because…well, many of the authors were among my favorites, and I felt just a little intimidated. I learned things from every single post, though.

    I got over the intimidation last November when I was asked to join the fillies. Y’all are a lovely, talented herd of women whom I’m proud to know. I still learn things from every single post.

    Here’s to many, many more years of success for Wildflower Junction and the fillies!

  10. I was one of the first fillies to join AFTER the charter members. I was so honored to be asked BUT I also knew I wanted in BAD!
    So I came everyday BEFORE I was invited and did my best to be lively and fun in the comments to get their attention. AND THEY FELL FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!
    It’s been a fun ride and I’m glad I was asked to come along for it!

  11. Woohoo! Happy 8th birthday!! Wow, that is an awesome milestone. I loved reading a few of the thoughts of you ladies here. This is a fun and always interesting blog to read. Keep up the good work, ladies!!

  12. Congrats! This a fun blog. If you ever want a another fillie, I’ve been practicing kicking up my heels!

  13. Felicitations! Wow, I had no idea you’ve been around so long! I look forward to many more years of mummified outlaws, torture-chamber-like fort hospitals, cowboy romances, and other old news from the West.

  14. Happy birthday to P&P!! I have followed for quite some time and always enjoy hearing from some of my favorite authors. Congrats on the 8 great years!!

  15. Happy Birthday!!! I have been stopping by here for a long time. I like the uniqueness of this blog. There are few sites devoted exclusively to western romance. I even enjoy our regular history lessons! So fascinating to learn more about the Old West.

  16. Happy Birthday, Petticoats and Pistols! Eight years is a long time! Good for you! I’m honored to be part of this blog both in an occasional post as well as reading the posts.

  17. Happy, Happy Birthday!!!! My mornings would not be complete without my visit with my author friends. I hope you continue for a long time!

  18. Happy Birthday!!!!!!! I believe it was Mary Connealy whose post first brought me here. Thank you for sharing!! I love your blog! – Blessings, Julianna emeraldelena[at]hotmail[dot]com

  19. Happy Birthday! I love following this blog. I like getting to know my favorite authors, you are all so wonderful.

  20. Happy 8th Birthday. I remember when I use to go to a ton of blogs every day but alas they are dwindling and I am happy that you guys are still here. Besides being fun, I learn so much. Thanks for a change at some fantastic prizes (although I’m still not an ebook reader – just love having a print book). Thanks for 8 wonderful year.

  21. Love Petticoats and Pistols! As I read through the list of authors, I realized I’ve only read books by 2 of them. Now, that’s a low-down, dirty, rotten shame, don’t ya think! We gotta do something about that. Happy 8th Birthday to y’all.

  22. Wow, has it been eight years already?! Congratulations! I remember when I first found Petticoats and Pistols, I was so excited to read every post and you all inspired me so much. Here’s to another 50 years!

    Kirsten Lynn

  23. What a joy to see the Fillies still going strong! That has happened because of all the hard work that goes into the site, both visibly and behind the scenes–and because of this community of western lovers who are not shy about their passion for cowboys and all things related. P&P has changed with the times as well, and in this day and age when it’s tough to keep a following, the longevity is a testament to the faithful readers.

    I’ll be here on Friday to say HOWDY and talk about my August release. Smooches!

    • Miss Cheryl, I’m really looking forward to your blog tomorrow! In my heart, you’re still a Filly sister. I haven’t let you go. I can’t. My heart and yours is one now and forever. We owe you a huge vote of thanks for helping Pam get this site off the ground!

      Love you!

  24. It’s so great to hear how P&P came to be through the eyes of 4 of the “originals”! I have always enjoyed this blog so much, and learned so much about so many things–and when I was asked to become a part of it, I jumped at the chance. I don’t think there is a better group of ladies out there–and I’m not talking about just our blog members, but our readers, as well.

    Loyalty and true friendship is just as important, if not more so, than a talented author writing a good read. I’ve enjoyed getting to know not only my “filly sisters” over the years, but also so many of the readers who faithfully stop by and take time from their busy days to share with us here at P&P.

    I’m so glad to be a part of P&P and to have gotten to know everyone. This is a great place to be! Thanks to Pam, Linda, Cheryl St. John and everyone else who put this all together from the very beginning. You must be so proud to see what you started and how it’s blossomed!


  25. It’s such a fun fandango here in Wildflower Junction today! I remember falling in love with this blog from the first, and meeting Pam at RWA in San Francisco in 2008 was a cherry on top. I remember how I trembled with both honor and trepidation when asked to be a guest. And how I swooned when asked to join the corral as a regular contributor. Be still my heart. In addition to learning a ton every time I read a filly’s post, I have made some tremendous friends. Over the years at various RWA events, I’ve met TWELVE of them in person! Thanks to all our friends who visit and comment and our guest-bloggers, too, for without you, we wouldn’t be! Hugs and love to all out there.

  26. Happy Birthday! I am relatively new to this blog site, but I must say it is one of the most fun, informative, and interactive I have had the privilege of reading! I have recommended this site to my friends who are also avid readers and are always looking for new authors to explore. In fact, Karen Kay has converted my husband! He has always assumed that any Romance book, be it historical or current, had no basis in fact or truth. He admits the error of his ways and is more open and less condescending about the books I read; going so far as to read a few himself! He enjoys reading the blog entries here with me several times a week! Keep up the great work and thank you to all of the people who contribute to this site! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

  27. Congrats ladies! I’ve followed periodically, usually when I saw a link on FB. Guess I need to get my e-mail signed up for your newsletter!

  28. Happy 8th birthday! I love this blogs because I got to know several favorite authors and was introduced new favorite authors. Ya’ll have a real talent and I’m glad I have the opportunity to read your work. God bless all of ya’ll in your endeavors!

  29. Happy Birthday P&P and may you have many more years ahead. I don’t remember how long I have been coming here but I know its been many years. A lot of blogs have come and gone so I am so glad you ladies are hanging with us. Love this place.

  30. Happy 8th Birthday !!!

    Not sure when I first found your blog but its been awhile. And I’m sure glad I did, I love it. Posts are always fun, interesting and educational. I pop in daily for a visit.
    Enjoy it very much. Hope you may have many more years ahead.

  31. Happy Birthday!! I always enjoy reading the different post. I learn a great deal as well as get enjoyment from them:). Thank you all who contribute!!

  32. I am so glad you all decided to put this blog together. It is a wonderful collection of authors – past fillies, current fillies, and guests. I have enjoyed reading the research posts, the places to visit, your hobbies, about your families, and about all the great books you have written. Yes the giveaways are great, but “meeting” all of you has been the best part. I look forward to many more years of visiting Petticoat Junction and the Fillies who reside there.
    Happy Birthday!

  33. With so many blogs not having lasting power I am so glad to see P&P does. Great things are what stick around and we all know your great. I love reading books by the fillies. Happy Birthday 8 years P&P , congratulations !

  34. Happy Birthday to P & P!!!! You don’t look a day over 7 🙂 I sure do enjoy your posts! I love history so your posts are right up my alley! I hope you keep posting for many years to come!!!!

  35. 8888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888

    Happy 8th Birthday




  36. Happy Birthday! I enjoy reading the books y’all write. I am lucky to have found this group. I wish you many more years of writing books and blogs.

  37. Happy Birthday P & P! This is the place to go for all my western-slash-cowboy cravings. Love all your posts. Going for your 2nd eight. . .

  38. Happy Birthday! Those 8 reasons are exactly why I love to follow you all. Always something to learn, always a great excerpt, I just love this blog.

  39. Happy birthday, ladies! Thank you for all you do to make this such a wonderful blog. I love P&P and wish you many more years of writing success!!

  40. Happy 8th birthday to you!!!!! I have only been following your blog for just a little while, but I sure do enjoy your posts!

  41. Hello sweet ladies. I am so glad I found this Petticoats and Pistols blog. Probably from another blog. I’m thankful for the ones who thought up this idea and kept with it. I LOVE it. I ‘ m proud to be a friend to all of you fillies. I have been reading westerns for many, many years. Love them. And, love the historical posts too. Have learned a lot from this blog. And, Mary, I don’t think you could not be lively and fun. LOL HAPPY 8th BIRTHDAY to Petticoats & Pistols. May you have many more years here. I never found the list of prizes, but hoping to get lucky. If not still wouldn’t have wanted to miss it. GOD bless each of you.
    Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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