HOW DO YOU STOP CABIN FEVER? (AND A GIVEAWAY!) by Cheryl Pierson

When the cold weather starts up, I’m all too ready to just hunker down and get out of the Oklahoma wind—the older I get, the more I feel that way. But one thing I’ve discovered: If you have plenty of food (for both humans and the big dog), running water, and firewood, it’s not terrible. Well, until you have to go out for MORE food!

In Oklahoma, we don’t normally get a lot of snow, but we do get some. The worst problem is the ice. It seems, here in Oklahoma City, we sit on the very cusp of the jet stream—and I can’t say how many times we’re told, “It COULD be just rain, but if the temps drop even one degree, it’ll be FREEZING rain and ice.”

I can’t even imagine how the men and women we write about in our novels survived those long, cold winters. They must have been chopping firewood every day, year-round, except when the freezing rains hit in the winter. With books so scarce, I’m sure the ones that were available must have been memorized by those who read.

Thank goodness we live in a day and age when we are able to read as much as we want—online (if the electricity stays on!) or the old-fashioned way—a paperback book in hand. I do a lot of reading for my work at Prairie Rose Publications, but I have books I read “for pleasure” when I get a chance—and in the winter months it seems I get a lot more time for that than in the summer. This is how I keep cabin fever at bay when the weather is too awful to venture out.

One of the few stories I’ve written that takes place in winter!

Here are some of my picks I read while I was waiting for spring to roll around. How about you? What do you do to stave off cabin fever in those winter months? Read any wonderful books lately? Please share! I’m always looking for more reading material!

I just recently started reading the COLLECTED COMPLETE WORKS OF CHARLES ALEXANDER EASTMAN and THE ESSENTIAL CHARLES EASTMAN (OHIYESA): LIGHT ON THE INDIAN WORLD (SACRED WORLDS). Here’s the blurb from Amazon about the latter:

This revised and updated edition contains the most important writings of Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa), the first Native American author to live simultaneously in both the traditional world of the Santee Sioux and the modern civilization of the white man. Dr. Eastman also attended the injured at the Battle of Wounded Knee. Ohiyesa’s works represent a complete explanation of the philosophy and moral code of the Plains Indian. Ohiyesa’s message speaks to every person who seeks a spiritual way in the midst of a society increasingly dominated by materialism and industrial technology. Sun Dance chief, James Trosper writes, It is a small miracle that these important spiritual teachings have been preserved for us. This new edition contains 10 sepia photographs from Eastman’s life and a thought-provoking foreword by Raymond Wilson.

There are a LOT of books of writings by Charles Eastman—very interesting, poignant, and just downright wonderful, in my opinion.

Another excellent book—not really a romance, but a true western, is by my friend Robert Randisi—THE GHOST WITH BLUE EYES. It’s a story of how one mistake can make a person sink to the depths of a whiskey bottle, and what it takes to make him climb back out of it.

HERE’S THE AMAZON BLURB: Lancaster hangs up his six-shooter and grabs a bottle after accidentally killing a young girl in a gunfight, but when another girl needs his help, he will fight to regain his soul and his honor in order to save her.

 

 

 

 

Okay, not a western, but a ROMANCE– THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE is book 1 in the “Highland Pleasures” series, or what is known as The Mackenzies. This is an excellent tale by Jennifer Ashley, a shorter piece, and it has a hero you will not likely forget. Ian Mackenzie is afflicted by something—because of the time period this story takes place in, we don’t really know what it is, but it could be autism, could Asperger’s Syndrome—and he is very different. This is the first in a series and I would like to read the others!

 

 

 

I must confess, I did some re-reading of some old favorites, as well. GOLDEN NIGHTS by Christine Monson…speaking of “different” heroes—and heroines—Christine Monson’s characters are always intriguing and no matter how many times you read her stories, the next time you read it again you will find something you didn’t see before.

Here’s the Amazon blurb: Abandoned by her weakling husband on their wedding night, beautiful socialite Suzanne Maintree sets out to track him down in the wilds of Colorado, but is quite distracted by her guide, a handsome English adventurer.

By the way, this blurb doesn’t do this book justice at all. It’s like saying your grandma’s homemade chicken and dumplin’s and cornbread was “good”—there’s so much more to this story!

 

 

I could go on and on, but how about a MOVIE to break the cabin fever monotony? Have you ever seen this one? PURGATORY is one you will want to watch. Refuge is a small town in the west where no one carries weapons. There’s no jail, and neither the sheriff nor his deputy even carry a gun. It’s an odd assortment of citizens, who know the rules, and to kill someone else for whatever reason means their mortal soul. It’s not gory, but does have some supernatural elements that are very well done. Stars Sam Shepard, Eric Roberts, Donnie Wahlberg, Randy Quaid, and JD Souther, among others.

I will leave you with an excerpt from FIRE EYES that takes place in my heroine’s cabin. FIRE EYES is part of a 6-book boxed set, UNDER A WESTERN SKY! I’m so proud to have my story in this set with 6 different authors (Agnes Alexander, Celia Yeary, Kaye Spencer, Patti Sherry-Crews, Tracy Garrett and Cheryl Pierson). The best part is, it’s only .99 right now!

EXCERPT FROM FIRE EYES:

THE SET UP: Jessica Monroe is living alone with her adopted daughter in the eastern part of Indian Territory. Her husband has been murdered by Andrew Fallon’s border raiders. Now, the Choctaws have brought her a U.S. Deputy Marshal who has been badly wounded by the same band of outlaws, in the hope that she will be able to save his life. Here’s what happens:

“You waitin’ on a…invitation?” A faint smile touched his battered mouth. “I’m fresh out.”

Jessica reached for the tin star. Her fingers closed around the uneven edges of it. No. She couldn’t wait any longer. “What’s your name?” Her voice came out jagged, like the metal she touched.

His bruised eyes slitted as he studied her a moment. “Turner. Kaedon Turner.”

Jessica sighed. “Well, Kaedon Turner, you’ve probably been a lot better places in your life than this. Take a deep breath, and try not to move.”

He gave a wry chuckle, letting his eyes drift completely closed. “Do it fast. I’ll be okay.”

She nodded, even though she knew he couldn’t see her. “Ready?”

“Go ahead.”

Even knowing what was coming, his voice sounded smoother than hers, she thought. She wrapped her hand tightly around the metal and pulled up fast, as he’d asked.

As the metal slid through his flesh, Kaed’s left hand moved convulsively, his fingers gripping the quilt. He was unable to hold back the soft hint of an agonized groan as he turned away from her. He swore as the thick steel pin cleared his skin, freeing the chambray shirt and cotton undershirt beneath it, blood spraying as his teeth closed solidly over his bottom lip.

Jessica lifted the material away, biting back her own curse as she surveyed the damage they’d done to him. His chest was a mass of purple bruises, uneven gashes, and burns. Her stomach turned over. She was not squeamish. But this—

It was just like what they’d done to Billy, before they’d killed him. Billy, the last man the Choctaws had dumped on her porch. Billy Monroe, the man she’d come to loathe during their one brief year of marriage.

She took a washrag from the nightstand and wet it in the nearby basin. Wordlessly, she placed her cool palm against Kaedon Turner’s stubbled, bruised cheek, turning his head toward her so she could clean his face and neck.

She knew instinctively he was the kind of man who would never stand for this if it wasn’t necessary. The kind of man who was unaccustomed to a woman’s comforting caress. The kind of man who would never complain, no matter how badly wounded he was.

“Fallon.” His voice was rough.

Jessica stopped her movements and watched him. “What about him?”

His brows drew together, as if he were trying to formulate what he wanted to say. “Is he…dead?”

What should she tell him?

The truth.

“I—don’t know.”

“Damn it.”

“You were losing a lot of blood out there,” Jessica said, determined to turn his thoughts from Fallon to the present. She ran the wet cloth lightly across the long split in his right cheek.

His breathing was controlled, even. “I took a bullet.” He said it quietly, almost conversationally.

Jessica stopped moving. “Where?”

*****************************************************************************************************************

I’M GIVING AWAY ONE FREE DIGITAL COPY OF UNDER A WESTERN SKY TO A LUCKY COMMENTER TODAY! Just answer the question below in the comments section to be entered for a chance to win!

Spring is on the way and winter is on the run! What did you do this winter to keep sane and keep cabin fever at bay?

Can’t wait to see if you won? Here’s the BUY LINK for AMAZON: http://tinyurl.com/y7nz3whj

 

Cabin Fever – Time to Dream & Plan

by Kathryn Albright

Cabin Fever anyone?

We have it so much better than the pioneers did in the Old West!
Although they had their share of quilting bees and sleigh rides,
I’m sure that by the middle of March they were dog-gone tired of the snow and slush and cold.

I can’t imagine that anyone in the southern states has to deal with such a thing
(except in the form of putting up with snowbirds who fly down from the north!)
but here in northern Illinois, cabin fever is a very real feeling!

All I can say is thank goodness for books, movies, and the internet!
(And my husband, board games, puzzles…)

This is me with cabin fever…well, not really.
I just loved the dress (and I wish I had her waist!)

But truthfully, I love the change of seasons.
The rest of the year, I am outside with all sorts of busyness,
but when the months of January through March happen,
suddenly I am tucked inside, cozy and content.
For some reason, being closed in by the cold weather,
I feel safe and cocooned and that is when my imagination takes wing and…

Magic Happens!

 

 

I dream up new stories…

I dream up the next big road trip I hope to take with my husband…

 

Last year’s epic trip to the Northwest!

We are thinking about Branson, Missouri for a new destination.
Have any of you been there? Any suggestions or advice?

 

 

I dream up the next landscaping renovation for my aging house…

We are putting in a patio that I designed after scouring Pinterest!
Thank goodness my sons live close enough to help with some of the heavy lifting!

 

This winter, I also started cooking lighter. I’ve had a few fails — such as making cauliflower buns for turkey burgers. Those simply fell apart 🙂 But I did come across one recipe my family loved and I thought I would share it here…

 

Chicken Taco Soup (for the crock pot)

Ingredients:
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 teaspoon taco seasoning mix
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
13-14 oz raw chicken breasts – should yield 9 oz cooked
2 cups cabbage, chopped (May need more because of shrinkage)
2 oz shredded Mexican Cheese to garnish

Directions:
Combine chicken broth, water, diced tomatoes, taco seasoning, cumin, chili powder, garlic, cabbage and chicken in a crock pot. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours. Shred chicken breasts in crock pot before serving. Pour soup into bowls and top with cheese.

Servings: 2

(I doubled this recipe for my family. It is just as tasty as leftovers.)

* * * * * * * *

What about you? Do you deal with cabin fever or are you snug and content where you live?

Here’s wishing everyone at Petticoats and Pistols

— readers and fillies alike —

a Warm, Happy Spring!

 

 

 

The Good Kind of Cabin Fever + A Giveaway

If you were to ask me to describe my ideal getaway, I would describe a picturesque log cabin in a mountain forest. Beautiful walking paths through the woods. A babbling stream nearby. Perhaps even a waterfall within hiking distance. The cabin itself would be cozy. Lots of wood features and fuzzy blankets with western/antique decor. But my practical side insists on having the Internet (pretty essential for a writer). And since I’ve never really been much of a “roughing it” type camper, I would prefer it have all the modern amenities. Let’s give it a hot tub, too, while we’re at it.

You see, if I’m going to have cabin fever, I want it in the best possible way. I want to create a place so cozy and comfortable that I won’t want to leave. So, I decided to go online and do some research, and I think I found the log cabin that I would be glad to be stranded in.

The home is called Pine Haven, and it was designed by Teton Heritage Builders. If you feel the urge to drool, you should definitely check out their website. There’s plenty of room in this cabin if anyone would like to join me for a feverish getaway.

(All photos credited to Roger Wade Photography)

Love those wood beams and chinking.
Main living area – gorgeous windows to let in natural light and an astounding view.
Master bedroom with fireplace and balcony – so romantic!
Upstairs hall with so much light and fun look-overs.
Bedroom for my guest – that’s you!
Gorgeous kitchen with all the amenities. Might as well have good food while we’re stuck here.

And since everyone knows that the best way to deal with cabin fever is to get lost in a great book, I’m handing out a dose of cure today. Leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win an autographed copy of Short-Straw Bride, a book featuring a secluded cabin in the Piney Woods of Texas housing four brothers who never leave their land. Until the right woman comes their way.

  • So what do you think? Want to share some cabin fever with me at Pine Haven?
  • How would you describe your ideal place to get cabin fever? (An actual cabin is not required.)

Cabin Fever… a Season Of Its Own up North!

 

Guys and gals, I am NOT WHINING.

I am not whining because landsakes, I do not whine about things I can’t control. Silly, mundane, everyday things like stinkin’ weather that goes on forever because I live 4 miles from one of the biggest fresh water lakes in the world.

Hi, I’m Ruthy and I have Cabin Fever… but here in Western New York, far away from the crazy of New York City and the glamour of coastal living, in the bucolic and pastoral Eastern woodland forested neighborhoods and farms, winter does not give up easily! The temps of the Great Lakes keep anyone within five or six miles of the lake distinctly cool in spring…

By cool, I mean cold.

By spring, I mean snow.

WE KNOW HOW TO HAVE A GOOD TIME!!!!

 

So as we’re entering Holy Week, and preparing for an early Easter, do not be surprised if I camouflage my eggs by hiding them as is. White. PERFECT CAMO!!! 🙂

It’s no surprise we get spring fever here… we love winter (or at least shrug it off) but we WELCOME SPRING!!!! When it comes (early June) we laugh and cheer and clap each other on the back and dance our happy dances!

And then we welcome summer the next day.

This is only PARTIALLY EXAGGERATED. And I mean that part.

So what do you do when you have the winter that keeps on giving? (Anyone in the upper U.S. understands this…)

I write. I burrow down for one last solid month or six weeks of writing before farm season hits the ground running, and I PRETEND I’m okay with it. Clearly I’m a big, fat liar.

Because I want to grab Missy Tippens’ Georgia spring with both hands and haul it north. I want to visit Arizona for a week… and then leave before it gets hot. 🙂

I want to fly to Florida for spring training… or just to walk in the sand!

I never get sick of reading… or writing. I love it, It’s like my favorite other than grandbabies…. but part of embracing writing is staying involved with the real world. You know the kind. The people who go out in the snow!!! The people who go sledding! And build snowmen! The people who hop in a car and drive in semi-blizzard conditions and think nothing of it… the folks who bundle up like you should if you live up here and DON’T WHO SEES THEM.

Yeah. Them.

Cabin fever…. Here’s how I’m tackling it. I celebrate every new latitudinal degree of increase the sun makes.

I read great romance that makes me smile.

I write great romance that makes me smile more!!!

I try not to think about winter weight.

STUPID SCALE.

I brush the mini donkeys and they really, really need a bath.

I plan gardens.

I order seeds!

I read more books and smile…

I eat. (I know, I know, we shouldn’t do that, but I can’t help it!)

And I make sure the windows are clean because when that sun breaks through, with no leaves on the trees to filter it, the sins of a long winter are quite apparent… and me and the windows then pause… and wait for spring.

Hey, hey, I’ve got a copy of “Back in the Saddle” the first book of the Double S Ranch trilogy… Leave a comment and I’ll tuck your name into the drawing because one of the best ways of fighting cabin fever is… With That Great Book!

You don’t have to have a smokin’ hot hero in a Western… but it don’t hurt, neither! 🙂

A Bad Case of Spring Fever

Without fail, it happens every year.

I can’t predict when it will strike. I can’t pinpoint any one single cause.

But I always come down with a bad case of spring fever.

Although it isn’t contagious, it seems like many people suffer from the malady this time of year.

It generally hits our house about the time the crocuses bloom and lasts until the tulips start to bud.

What is spring fever, exactly?

The best way I can describe it is a wishing and wanting and yearning for…. something. Something that exists just beyond your ability to grasp it, even if you can’t define it.  There is a wildness, a willingness, to recapture something you are unable to even recognize let alone verbalize.

I think Mark Twain wrote a perfect summation of Spring Fever:

 

Based on personal experiences of suffering from spring fever, I thought it would be fun (and funny) to include spring fever striking the hero in one of my books.

The Cowboy’s Spring Romance (Grass Valley Cowboys, Book 2)

One lonesome cowboy needs a few lessons in romance…

Trent Thompson doesn’t have many secrets, except for the torch he’s carried for the new schoolteacher since she moved to Grass Valley more than three years ago. Instead of asking her out, he’s dated every single female in a thirty-mile radius, giving her the impression he holds no interest in knowing her.

Lindsay Pierce moved to Grass Valley to teach and quickly fell in love with the small community as well as the delightful people who live there. Everyone welcomes her warmly except for one obnoxious cowboy who goes out of his way to ignore her.

Will Trent be able to maintain the pretense when he has to babysit his niece, who happens to be in Lindsay’s class?

Romance is in the air as spring fever hits the Triple T Ranch!

Here’s a little excerpt:

“Mr. Thompson, I’m sure you are aware of the fact, but let me reiterate it for you – school starts at 8:15 a.m. Not 8:20 and not 8:25, but 8:15 a.m. sharp. Can you and your brother please make it a priority to get Cass here on time until Trey and Cady return?”

Lindsay hoped that by taking him to task and keeping herself in a professional frame of mind, she could ignore the tempting way his lips curled up at the corners when he smiled.

“Certainly, Miss Pierce,” Trent said, appearing thoroughly chastised. “Travis and I will make sure she isn’t late again. We had a little accident this morning. She had to change her clothes and that’s why her outfit is a little… um… creative today.”

Lindsay couldn’t keep herself from smiling. She didn’t know why, but watching Trent try his best at caring for Cass made her heart soften toward the tall rancher. While Trey and Travis were shorter and stockier, Trent was one long, tall handsome cowboy. Even she had to look up to see his face when she talked to him.

Drawn into the warmth of his blue eyes, she took a step back and noticed his coat looked like a blindfolded drunk had snapped it.

“You must have been in a hurry this morning. You don’t even have your coat fastened properly,” she said with a shake of her head. Before Lindsay thought about what she was doing, she took a step forward and unsnapped his coat, just like she would for one of her students. Only the warm, virile male in front of her was no five-year-old in need of her assistance. She couldn’t keep from sucking in her breath as she stared at Trent’s very bare, very muscled chest.

“Oh,” she whispered, blushing from the top of her head to where her neck disappeared into the collar of her blouse. “I’m sorry… I  didn’t…”

What about you?

Do you suffer from the malady of spring fever? 

Post your response for a chance to win a digital copy of The Cowboy’s Spring Romance!