10 Years of Chasing Dreams

I’ve been thinking a lot about dreams.

Some dreams are small. Some are huge. Some seem attainable. Some seem beyond our reach.

But the thing about dreams is that they don’t chase us. We have to go after them to make them come true.

I thought it might be fun to share some “dream” quotes today. I love this one because it is a call to action. To not just dream about how our life could be, but to live the life we dream.

I also love this reminder that it is NEVER too late to pursue a dream. Age is only a number, not a stumbling block.

This Walt Disney quote is one of my favorite “dream” quotes. It’s a reminder to me to have courage.

You see, ten years ago, I left my day job to pursue a full-time writing career (passion!). My husband nudged me to take a big leap of faith and I haven’t regretted for even one minute that I walked away from security and stability to chase my dream.


And this quote speaks to my heart. When I left my job, so many well-meaning people acted like I’d lost my mind and poured in advice. Suggested I beg for my job back. Asked if I wasn’t too young to retire. Let me assure you, I’ve worked harder and longer the past ten years than I ever did at any of the jobs I held over the years.

And that’s because of this quote. Dreams don’t just happen. You have to work for them. Work hard. Sacrifice. Put in the sweat and determination (tears and blood – paper cuts count, don’t they?).

I’ve been pursuing a dream for ten years not just for myself, but also for CC. He believes in me whole-heartedly and it would shred my heart to let him down. And then there are my faithful readers who have become friends and so very dear to me. I am so blessed by them, and their encouragement and kindness.

So I keep dreaming bigger dreams, and then working hard to make them come true. And I will tell you, there are a lot of times I have no idea what I’m doing. There are a lot of days I’m scared by the goals I’ve set. But I love what I do. And am so grateful and so incredibly blessed to be able to do something I love every day.

What’s one dream you would like to pursue,

or that you’ve already made come true?


Oh, and before I forget, be sure you pop over to enter my big 10-year anniversary giveaway!


Good morning, everyone! Thank you so much for inviting me back to visit with the fillies! I always love making a stop here and having a glass of sweet tea with all y’all.


I’ve got Alana Carey with me today and I’ve got some questions about this fake engagement that she’s roped Paxton Callahan into. She stands six feet tall in her cowboy boots. She has blonde hair and big blue eyes and she can out rope, out-ride, and out-do most cowboys in the state of Texas whether it’s on the dance floor, having shots of whiskey or riding broncs. Her two soft spots are her father, since he’s raised her alone when her mother died, and Paxton Callahan.


First question: What made you decide to ask Paxton to enter into this fake engagement with you?


Alana: My dad, Matt, told me that he’d been diagnosed with untreatable cancer and he only had six weeks to live. The only thing that he wished he had lived long enough to see was me married and settled. He had done so much for me that I had to give him his dying wish. I lied. I told him that Pax and I had been secretly dating for several months, that we hadn’t told anyone because we wanted to be sure that it was real, but that he had proposed to me. I thought that would make him happy, but oh, no, he wanted to walk me down the aisle. Since Pax was my best friend, he went along with the idea—thank goodness, since I didn’t ask him before I told Daddy.


Carolyn: What happened then?


Alana: Well, the whole town got behind the engagement, and suddenly we were all knee deep in wedding dress shopping, and wedding showers. One little lie to make him die a happy man turned into a huge thing, and there was no way I could back out of it since Daddy wanted me to have the biggest wedding ever seen in our part of Texas.


Carolyn (gasping): Keep going. We’re hanging on every word.


Alana: Then Daddy began to talk about the honeymoon and flying us anywhere in the world that I wanted to go. I didn’t want to waste weeks or even days off on a fake honeymoon. I wanted to spend every minute I could with him.

Carolyn: Even in the midst of the sadness, did you enjoy all the wedding plans?


Alana (with a smile): Of course. I had the wedding every woman dreams about, and Daddy was happy, but the crazy thing was that soon I didn’t know what was fake and what was real. I’d loved Pax in secret for years, and now I got to be engaged to him. But I have to admit, I wondered if he felt the same about me. That’s all for today or else I’ll be giving away spoilers.


Carolyn: Guess that’s all we can get her to talk about today, but I would like to add that Sunrise Ranch will be a bonus novella included in Cowboy Strong, and then will be available to order on July 7 in both ebook and paper book. Sunrise Ranch is the last story from Daisies in the Canyon.


And so, there you have it folks. Would you buy this book on the basis of that interview? I’ll be giving away a signed copy of Cowboy Strong, the last book in the Longhorn Canyon Series to one lucky person. A little note: There is one more little novella on the way tucked into the A Little Country Christmas anthology that will actually end the series. It’s titled The Perfect Christmas.

Buy Links:

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2AvsEFL

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3d3RZUl

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2Y3ikNQ

Google: https://bit.ly/3d06rwp

iBooks: https://apple.co/2Y4guN1


The 10 Fillies Who Started it All!

Long about May, 2007, or so, Cheryl St.John and I got together over lunch and brainstormed the possibility of launching a site dedicated to western romance.  Blogging was relatively new back then, and there wasn’t a site like we envisioned anywhere in the blogging world.   We came up with a ton of ideas, more than we could even implement.   We brainstormed names to call ourselves, discussed pages on the site, authors who might want to join us, possible guests to invite.  Later, after a gazillion emails back and forth with our fellow western romance authors, the idea not only took off, but endured.

We officially launched on August 13, 2007.  Little did we know Petticoats & Pistols would still be alive and well ten–count ’em, TEN–years later!

As part of our week-long celebration, and for those of you who might not have been around that far back, I’ve delved DEEP into our Media Gallery and pulled a few decade-old images used on the original site.

Ahem.  We were all much younger then, you know.

I just love this picture of our Linda.  I don’t know what we’d do without her, and I’m thrilled she’s still with us.  Her career has soared since she first galloped into our corral, and I’m pretty sure P & P had a part in that.  Oh, and she writes some durn good books, too!

“When I signed on back in 2007, I didn’t know all the ways my life would change. It’s been one heck of a ride and I wouldn’t take anything for this experience.”







Karen has her own niche at P & P and remains our Native American expert.  She provides a layer to P & P–and western romance–that we just couldn’t do without!   She’s still blogging twice a month, just like she did ten years ago.  She’s as beautiful on the inside as she is on the out!

“After ten years of being one of the founding fillies, I will freely admit that I love this blog and this “home,” and I love each and every “filly” (other authors) that have graced the Petticoats and Pistols stage.”







And then there’s me.  I’m proud as punch P & P was my brainchild, but I couldn’t have done it alone.  I’m not writing westerns anymore, though I sure as heck think about it.  I got the itch to dip my toes in the 1920s era and am several books into my historical romantic suspense series, the Secret Six.






Charlene left the corral only a few weeks ago.  Our lives change in ten years, and she wanted to spend more time with her hubby and those sweet little grandbabies of hers.   She has grown into a good friend, and I sure do miss her.

“Happy 10th Birthday Fillies! It’s a great accomplishment and I’m very proud to have been a part of it for most of Petticoats and Pistols’ glorious ten years!! Congratulations!”







Thanks goodness for Facebook!  Elizabeth is just the nicest lady you can meet, and it’s great to keep in touch with her.  She has quite a backlist of both historical and contemporary romances.  Take a peek at http://www.elizabethlaneauthor.com 

“Has it really been ten years? Congratulations to all the fillies for your dedication and hard work, and to the wonderful readers who give our work meaning. In my years as a filly, before my career took me in other directions, the support and friendship of my sister fillies meant the world to me. I met some of my dearest friends on this site, friends I still cherish. Again, congratulations and love to you all.”


Didn’t I tell you she was the nicest lady you could meet?

Goodness, I’ve known Cheryl since the 1980s, before either of us were published.  Her career has taken her into new directions, too.  She’s one busy lady.

“I’m proud to have been part of the original roundup of fillies who started P&P and delighted that after ten years readers are still enjoying a site dedicated to western romance. Happy anniversary and wishes for many more years in the saddle!”







Pat Potter brought a wealth of experience and talent to Petticoats & Pistols, and we were thrilled as could be to have an author of her caliber with us.  A USA Bestselling author, her career has spanned decades, giving her more than 50 books under her belt.  Sending you a big hug and a wave, Pat!

Oh, I miss Stacey, too.   I first got to know her when we were both writing for Harlequin Historicals.  She has a wonderful western voice and she always had the BEST western covers!  Check them out at http://www.staceykayne.com

“A full decade of Petticoats and Pistols! Good gracious, where has the time gone? I’m so thankful to have been a part of Pam’s brainchild; fun and exciting times. Collaborating on a western blog with this lovely group of ladies was a true joy. Sending cheers and birthday hugs to all the fillies.”


Oh, my.  You have no idea how absolutely humbled and thrilled and excited we were to have THE Lorraine Heath join us as a filly.  Another New York Times Bestselling author, she cut her eye-teeth on westerns but eventually fell in love with England–‘ rebels, scoundrels, and rogues’.   Her popularity doesn’t wane, no matter what she writes!

Geralyn was yet another western author who added sparkle to our line-up!  A USA Bestselling author, too, she helped validate what we were doing and assured us we were on the right track–promoting western romance.

“Happy Birthday to Petticoats & Pistols! Historical westerns are my first love and while I no longer write them, when I pick up a book to read, I still love to escape into the American West. My thanks and congratulations to the fillies of P&P for a decade of support for readers like me!”

Geralyn Dawson aka Emily March, A STARDANCE SUMMER, July 2017.






So, there you go.  The ten original fillies–some of the nicest, most talented bunch of authors I’ve ever known.

Were you there, ten years ago when we launched?  How long have you been visiting Petticoats & Pistols?  What do you love most about our site?  The history?  The research?  The glimpses into authors’ lives?   And hey, if you have ideas on how we can be even more fun and interesting, tell me that, too.


Your thoughts and ideas will get you entered into a drawing for a Target gift card!





Think Like a Horse: 10 Favorite Cowboy Sayings


Kathryn Albright Kathryn Albright &Margaret Brownley

Margaret Brownley

wish Petticoats and Pistols

a Rip-Roarin’,

Yippee Ki-Yay

Son-of-a-Gun Birthday


To help celebrate, we decided to share some of our favorite words

to live by–cowboy style!

So pull up a log to sit on, prop yer feet by the fire,

and consider the wisdom of the West ~

Kathryn’s Favorites:
(It’s so hard to choose only five! There are so many good ones.)


1.  Before you go into a canyon, know how you’ll get out.     
2.  Never straddle a fence. Build one, or tear it down.
3.  You can’t tell how good a man or a watermelon is till you thump’em.
4.  If you want to stay single, look for the perfect woman.
5.  A mail-order marriage is trickier’n braidin’ a mule’s tail.

Margaret’s Favorites:

1.  You don’t have to attend every argument to which you are invited.
2.  Too little temptation can lead to virtue.
3.  If you come home with a hair on your vest, you better have a horse to match.
4.  Love your enemies, but keep your gun oiled.
5.  Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction.

Now it’s your turn.  What are your favorite words to live by?

Leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card

(in celebration of our 10 years here!)


P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giant birthday bash giveaway. You can find all the details along with the entry form HERE.


Running from trouble, Maggie McCary signs up to be a mail-order bride.

She doesn’t intend to actually marry…but one sensational kiss changes her mind!

Mail-Order Brides of Oak GroveAmazon



There’s a new sheriff in town and she almost always catches her man!

A Match Made in Texas






10 Snags of Writing Colonials vs. Westerns by Guest Author Pam Hillman


Please welcome guest author Pam Hillman! It’s always a pleasure to have her here at Wildflower Junction! Today she has a great giveaway planned and, with a nod to our 10-year celebration, has had the daunting task of coming up with 10 differences she’s had to deal with as an author between westerns and colonials. 

Pam Hillman Author

Happy 10th Anniversary Petticoats and Pistols!

Thank you for allowing me to be part of this celebration.

I proposed a 1790s colonial series set in the Natchez Mississippi District and, to my delight, my publisher bought it. Sure, I knew there would be a bit of a change in my writing style from westerns to the 18th century. But it’s only about 80 years difference. How hard could it be? How much could change in 80 years? Well…

Anachronistic Words

 On the off-chance that I’m not the only one who had to look up the meaning of anachronistic, it means “something or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time.”
Okay. Got it.
With a few exceptions of course, if I had been switching from writing colonials to westerns, my toolbox full of words would have carried over as they were already in use 70-80 years earlier. But since I was going backwards in time, I had a lot of favorite words that had to be cut because they weren’t in use in the 1790s. Words like smidgen (1845), howdy (1840), smokestack (1860), boilerplate (1860). The list goes on and on.

Patterns of Speech

A man of the colonial period had a different pattern of speech than the 1880s cowboy did. Their language was a bit more formal, more stilted, but it’s a little more subtle than that. It’s the cowboy lingo, the drawl, that sets the two periods apart. The words they used were important though, because that’s the only way we can really show that slow, sexy drawl of a cowboy. I’ll be honest, I missed that aspect of writing my cowboys.
But I still managed to make Connor O’Shea a swoon-worthy colonial-type cowboy, I think. 🙂
Pam Hillman

Good Day, Mistress Bartholomew

While Mister (Mr.), Missis/Missus (Mrs.), and Miss could be used in the 18th century, Mistress and Master are words we tend to associate for those in authority or as terms of respect during the colonial period. So, I used all of the above in my 1790s series, simply to provide variety. A little about ma’am, specifically. It’s associated closely with the cowboy vernacular as a term of respect to women, but it was in use by 1670. I used ma’am, but a lot less liberally than I would in a western, sprinkling in the more proper Mistress to help set the tone apart from a western.

Housekeeping and Tools

It’s the little things that jump out and bite you. Wood-burning cast iron stoves were invented in the mid-1500s, but it wasn’t until the industrial revolution that they were even remotely affordable for the general public. So I had to be careful not to use the word “stove” in my 1790s stories in that context. After writing several westerns where my heroines cook on a wood burning stove, pulled bread out of the oven, or the hero reached for the coffee pot in the cookhouse, that turned out to be quite a challenge. Unfortunately, I’m afraid one or two references might have slipped through.
Mostly pots and pans, tools, and things of that sort didn’t change much between the two periods. But when in doubt, I always check sources.
Pam Hillman Promise Kept

Let’s Eat

 Cobbler (1860) and sowbelly (1870) were two of a slew (1840 btw) of words I couldn’t have used in my 1790s series, but when I looked at a list of foods from 1790s, the only one that I would hesitate to use in the late 1800s was matelote (1730), which is a type of stew.

Let There be Light

I also had to be careful of the type lighting my characters used. In my westerns, the hero might just light the lantern, and readers immediately know what type of lantern I meant. While the word lantern goes back to 1300, during 18th century America, they mostly used candles with tin reflectors to reflect the light. Widespread use of kerosene lamps and lanterns came at a bit of a later time.

Catch Phrases

Probably the biggest hurdle for me was the catch phrases peppered throughout westerns. Phrases like “poker face” (1885, but my editor found evidence that the first poker game was played in 1829), “pipe dream” (1900), and the one that gave me the most sorrow to cut was “hook, line, and sinker” (1838).

Social Mores

The class structure of the haves and the have nots was still in place in the late 18th century in the Americas, but it was slipping. As hordes of immigrants, both bond and free, flooded into the colonies in the 18th and 19th centuries, they held the promise of freedom close. The cowboy, the gold miner, the railroad worker, the pioneers all had freedom of choice that their ancestors only dreamed of.
So, there was a bit of a shift in the way I portrayed my characters to the way I’d show a foot-loose and fancy-free cowboy.

The Cowboy Swagger and His Clothes

There’s just something about describing a cowboy, the way he talks, the way he walks, his clothes, his boots. Maybe it’s just ingrained in me after reading and writing westerns my whole life. They say clothes don’t make the man, but a Stetson and a pair of cowboy boots goes a long way. But, still it is possible to give that swagger to a man who’s been plunked down in a different time period.
Pam Hillman 3

The Word Cowboy

For the record, the word cowboy was in use by 1725, a noun to refer to a cow herder or a“young cowhand”. I just can’t really see Mel Gibson or Captain Jack uttering the word cowboy in The Patriot or any of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, but stranger things than that have happened.
Now that I know the word was in existence, I’ll try to slip it in my next 1790s historical. 🙂
Pam Hillman The Promise

The Promise of Breeze Hill

 Natchez, MS; 1791
Anxious for his brothers to join him on the rugged frontier along the Mississippi River, Connor O’Shea has no choice but to indenture himself as a carpenter in exchange for their passage from Ireland. But when he’s sold to Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill Plantation, Connor fears he’ll repeat past mistakes and vows not to be tempted by the lovely lady. The responsibilities of running Breeze Hill have fallen on Isabella’s shoulders after her brother was found dead in the swamps along the Natchez Trace and a suspicious fire devastated their crops, almost destroyed their home, and left her father seriously injured. Even with Connor’s help, Isabella fears she’ll lose her family’s plantation. Despite her growing feelings for the handsome Irish carpenter, she seriously considers accepting her wealthy and influential neighbor’s proposal of marriage.
Soon, though, Connor realizes someone is out to eliminate the Bartholomew family. Can he set aside his own feelings to keep Isabella safe?
Pam Hillman
It’s time for prizes, yes? It may be Petticoats & Pistols’ birthday, but you get the gifts! I’m giving away a bag of books today. Signed copies of Claiming Mariah, Stealing Jake, and The Promise of Breeze Hill.
In addition, my publisher is sponsoring a Mississippi Gift Basket Giveaway to celebrate the release of The Promise of Breeze Hill. Click the graphic to the right to enter that separate contest.
Leave a comment to enter the book giveaway mentioned above.
Pam Hillman Author 2
CBA Bestselling author PAM HILLMAN was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn’t afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove an Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn’t mind raking. Raking hay doesn’t take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that’s the kind of life every girl should dream of.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giant birthday bash giveaway (separate from this daily giveaway). You can find all the details along with the entry form HERE.

Karen & Jeannie’s Winners!








We had so much fun walking down memory lane with all of you this week. I think we all agreed that we need more quality TV westerns these days.

Jeannie and I used our random winner generator and pulled two names out of the Petticoats & Pistols Stetson (once we wrangled it away from Felicia’s mule, Jasper). The results are in!


Cindy Woolard


Emilee Hill

Yeehaw!!! Cindy will be receiving the first season of Rawhide featuring a young, hunky Clint Eastwood and Emilee will receive the first season of The Magnificent Seven featuring seven hunky western heroes.

Enjoy your binge watching, ladies!

Linda & Winnie’s Winners!!!

Hello everyone!  Thanks so much for turning out to help us celebrate the Fillies 10th anniversary. And it was so much fun to read about your own favorite Western Songs and Ballads – several of them are still playing in my head !! 🙂

We threw everyone’s name in a hat and here are the winners we selected:

The winner of an autographed copy of Linda’s Knight on the Texas Plains along with the a pair of cowboy boot earrings is

Karen Markuson

Congratulations, Karen. Please contact Linda at  broday.linda932@gmail.com to work out the logistics.


And the winner of an autographed copy of Winnie’s A Tailor-Made Husband (or any other book from her backlist) and a Hunting Cowboys necklace is

Stephanie Jenkins Ortiz Cerrillo

Congratulations to you too, Stephanie. Please contact Winnie via her website to confirm your book choice and to provide your mailing info.


Good luck wishes going out to everyone in the big anniversary giveaway that will be awarded at the end of the week!


10 Favorite TV Westerns








Many of us fell in love with westerns from watching them on television. I know I did. So when Jeannie and I teamed up for this Birthday Bash post, it was easy to collect our favorite TV westerns. We tried to find series that covered a wide range of decades, and since it was difficult to rank them by preference (they’re ALL fabulous!), we decided to list them by premiere date. I hope this takes you down memory lane and maybe even inspires some binge watching.

And speaking of binge watching . . . read to the bottom to see the giveaway Jeannie and I are sponsoring. Super fun!

10 Favorite TV Westerns

1. Maverick (1957-1962)

2. Wagon Train (1957-1965)

3. Rawhide (1959-1965)

4. Bonanza (1959-1973)

5. The Big Valley (1965-1969)

6. The Young Riders (1989-1992)

7. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993-1998)

8. The Magnificent Seven (1998-2000)

9. Longmire (2012-2017)

10. The Pinkertons (2014-?)



In honor of these wonderful westerns, Jeannie and I are giving away the first seasons of Rawhide and The Magnificent Seven on DVD as Birthday Bash party favors. WooHoo!!! Hunky cowboys coming your way.

Leave a comment about your favorite TV Western for a chance to win. We will draw two lucky winners, one for each DVD set.

May the commenting commence!


P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giant birthday bash giveaway (separate from this daily giveaway). You can find all the details along with the entry form HERE.