Except the well is dry…
For this spooky romance, I tied together some things I truly love–Colorado, cowboys, and weddings, and added some hints of mayhem and madness. Of course, our heroine, bridesmaid Lydia does find her True Love with handsome rancher Garner. If you wonder how a happy ending can emerge after serial murders, well, cuddle up with your Kindle and find out! The Bridesmaid is short, sweet, and scary, all three.
I will give away two Kindle copies, so don’t forget to comment. Check back late tonight or tomorrow, take a peek at our sweepstakes rules in the meantime.
Anyway, The Bridesmaid’s bride Milly plans some odd wedding decor using pumpkins, but for the rest of us, pumpkins are a most enduring and endearing symbol of autumn. Although I live on a cul de sac in a suburb, our town is surrounded by agriculture.
So I reckon it’s time to regale you with pumpkin facts.
- Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and yup, California grow 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins a year.
- 90 percent of pumpkins are grown within the 90 miles surrounding Peoria, Illinois.
- The average price of a pumpkin is fifty cents a pound. Five bucks will get you a pumpkin the size of a basketball.
- The pumpkin is related to cucumber, zucchini, cantaloupe and watermelon.
- Native to Central America and Mexico, the pumpkin has been cultivated for 5,000 years. Now it’s grown on six continents.
- In 1584, French explorer Jacques Cartier found a “gros melon”, which is translated as pompion. From the Greek pepon, meaning, duh, great melon. Pumpkin derives from all that.
- The pumpkin is a great source of Vitamins A and B, iron, potassium, and protein. High in fiber, it’s low in calories, fat and sodium. (I suppose this might not count if you’re ingesting a pumpkin pie or lattes…)
- The heaviest pumpkin recorded so far (2012) weighed more than a ton!
- In the early days, rather than the pies you see in Thanksgiving decor, Pilgrim women cut off the pumpkin’s top and replaced the innards with cream, honey, eggs and spices. Baked it in the ashes and had a wonderful custard.
- For the early settlers, dried pumpkin shells became bowls and storage containers.
- Pumpkin shells were supposedly used as templates for male haircuts. If you ever read the term “pumpkinhead” in that time period, that’s why.
- They also made pumpkin beer, fearful as they were of the New World’s water–due to pollution in the rivers back home. (ick, rivers flowing with raw sewage and animal carcasses…)
Anyway..early settlers also fed pumpkins to their livestock, and all may have died of starvation otherwise.
From a Pilgrim verse, circa 1633:
…we have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon.
If were not for pumpkins, we should be undone….
Of course, pumpkins wouldn’t be pumpkins without Jack O’Lanterns. Originally a tradition in Ireland, glowing faces were carved from turnips and potatoes. Irish immigrants in America found pumpkins easier to hollow out.
Here’s a hint to keep Mr. Jack O’Lantern fresher longer. Clean his entire carved face with a damp cloth to rid bacteria, then spray him with a solution of 1 tablespoon bleach per quart of water, and keep him out of sunlight.
Now, go enjoy pumpkin bread, scones, cheesecake bars, pumpkin latte, soup, and yes, ale! (I’d love ya to stop by my Punkin board on Pinterest.)
Now, the magic question: what pumpkin fact did you find most interesting?
About THE BRIDESMAID:
Four nights in her dreams, a handsome cowboy tries to kiss her…letting Lydia think she’s close to finding true love. Off to Colorado for her friend Milly’s wedding, she’s stunned to realize her cowboy is…Milly’s bridegroom.
She’s standing right in front of him, the beautiful woman Garner has ached to kiss in his dreams for four long nights. Milly’s bridesmaid. Can he betray his bride…even as his love for Milly turns to terror?
Since you’re probably hungry for more, this story is also part of a wonderful 2014 multi-author collection.