Category: Giveaways

Jodi Thomas Is Back in the Saddle Again

In this time of ‘house arrest’ we are all staying home most of the time.  Now I don’t know about other writers (haven’t seen any) but I started out the first two weeks thinking I’d write like crazy. 

Didn’t work.  I cleaned closets, cooked, watched TV, read books.

When the two weeks continued on and on, I made a list every morning of what I would do. Pretty soon I learned I could keep my Monday to-do-list all week and just change it to Tuesday, then Wednesday, then Thursday.

THEN I discovered a box of old music, country of course.  I bounced out of bed, put on my sweat pants, didn’t bother with shower or makeup half the time, and flipped on Only the Lonely by Roy Orbison. We danced around the house.

I know it sounds strange but it cheered me up. By the time I played it three times, I was ready to write.

Then I found a CD of Riders in the Sky with a song Gene Autry wrote.  Back in the Saddle Again. I learned to sing Whoopi-ty-aye-oh. Dancing again. To hear the song click here.

I played it as I saddled up for work.  When I was a kid I loved nothing more than riding across open country and today (as I have for thirty years) I love writing.

I’ve stepped into fiction in good times and bad.  When my heart’s been broken, I fall in love with my characters. When reality gets too much, I make my own world. When I simply want to have an adventure, I travel in my mind.

During this time of isolation, I still feel connected to my readers and all the writers I know. We may be home dancing to Only the Lonely but we’re together. 

After I took a bad tumble riding in my teens, the hardest thing I ever did was climb back on a horse, but the strange thing was, once in the saddle, I wondered why it had taken me so long.

 

My advice for this time: 

  1. Be good to yourself.  Get lost in a good book whether you’re reading it or writing it. Have a party every night.  Popcorn and a movie or cookies and milk on the porch watching the rain.
  1. Be happy.  Sure you don’t get to see the people you love, but the upside is you don’t have to be around all those folks who bother you.
  1. Dance.  Personally, I never learned to dance, but I do it anyway.  I told Tom once that I may look like I’m standing still, but I’m dancing inside.  He smiled and said, “I know.”

I’m in the middle of a series and I’m loving it. Book One, BREAKFAST AT THE HONEY CREEK CAFÉ came out last week. It’s packed with action and love stories that will keep you reading through the night.

Please add it to your reading list and ‘if you have time’ leave a comment and tell me what you’re dancing to during this isolation. One reader’s comment will be selected to receive my first book out of the box. 

Joke of the day from Riders in the Sky.  “If the world was logical, men would ride sidesaddle.”

 

 

Nature’s Meteorologists

My grandparents’ farm in Decorah, Iowa

As I’ve said a time or six dozen, my maternal grandparents were Iowa dairy farmers. My grandfather was a short, stoic German man who possessed a loud voice and strong opinions. Getting to know him and earn his respect wasn’t always easy, as my husband, Kevin discovered.

My Grandpa Walter saw my husband as a city kid who knew nothing of farm life. (Which was true.) As a child someone shared an animal proverb with Kevin. When a cat washes behind its ear rain is on the way. On one visit, Kevin noted one of my grandmother’s barn cats washing behind its ear, and shared the weather prediction with my grandfather. My grandfather naturally thought this city kid couldn’t know what he was talking about. A while later, Kevin set off to pick up my mother a hour or so away and asked my grandfather to ride shotgun. On their way back to the farm, the skies opened up. Not only did it rain, it poured. One of those driving rains that makes it difficult to see when driving.

That day proved to be a turning point for my husband and grandfather. Kevin showed my grandfather he knew something about his world, and my grandfather developed a new respect for my husband. From that day on until the day my grandfather died, cats washing behind the ears predicting rain became a running joke between them.

Farmers and ranchers often looked to animals for indications of the weather, and reliance on these methods isn’t as silly as it sounds. While people might not have known when creating the proverbs, now science often explains the animals’ behaviors. For example, cats ears may be sensitive to changes in barometric pressure causing them to wash behind them when rain is coming.

Just for fun and to hopefully make your smile, here are some other animal proverbs from the Farmer’s Almanac.

  • If a cat sits with its back to a fire or sleeps with all four paws tucked under, bad weather is coming.
  • When a cat licks its fur against the grain, prepare for a hailstorm.
  • When a cat sneezes, rains is on the way.

 

But cats aren’t the only animal meteorologists…

  • If a cow stands with its tail to the west, the weather should be fair. If it stands with its tail to the east, the weather will turn bad.
  • When a dog eats grass or sheep turn into the wind, expect rain. (Based on how often my dogs eat grass, I should be building an ark, so I’m not a big believer in this one! ?)
  • If a bull leads the cows to pasture, bet on rain. But if the ladies lead the bull, the weather is uncertain.
  • The more brown a wooly bear caterpillar, the milder the winter.
  • (This one isn’t super practical since it requires a
  •  tape measure. I can’t see many farmers measuring mole holes! ?) If the mole hole is 2 ½ feet deep, expect severe weather. If it’s 2 feet deep, it won’t be as severe, and 1 foot deep indicates a mild winter.
  • When pigs gather leaves and straw in the fall, prepare for a cold winter.
  • Fat rabbits in October and November indicate a long, cold winter.
  • Bats flying late at night mean fair weather.
  • Wolves howl more before a storm.
  • Predict the temperature by counting a cricket’s chirps.
  • Hornets building their nests high in a tree means a snowy winter.
  • Cows laying under a tree in the morning means rain is on the way.

And from the plants:

  • When leaves “turn their back to you” and curl somewhat, watch out for rain.

To be entered in today’s giveaway for the Live Happy sink soap mate, a llama car air freshener and a copy of A Cure for the Vet, leave a comment on your weather proverb.

 

Updated: June 3, 2020 — 6:36 am

Mother’s Day History and Trivia

Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here. It’s Mother’s Day as I write this and even though Mother’s Day will be over by the time you see it, I thought it would be fun to share some history and fun facts that surround this special occasion. And yes, I know that for many of us, this Mother’s Day was celebrated differently than what we might have liked

HISTORY:

Mothers have been celebrated throughout history.

  • In one of the earliest celebrations was in ancient Greece. In the spring they would honor Rhea, mother of the gods and the goddess of fertility, motherhood and generation.
  • In ancient Roman there was also a spring festival celebrating a mother goddess named Cybele. It was held on the Ides of March, lasted three days and was called Hilaria. It involved having her followers make offerings at the temple, hold parades and masquerades and play games.
  • In England the day coincides with an observance called Mothering Sunday. Originating in the 17th century, it takes place on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Traditionally, families who had moved away would return home to the original church they attended. A prayer service honoring the Virgin Mary was held and then afterwards children would present flowers to their own mothers.
  • In America, the celebration had a different origin.
    In an effort to honor her own mother Anna Jarvis, who was not a mother herself,  wanted to establish a day to celebrate mothers in an intimate manner. She tirelessly campaigned to that end and in May of 1913 President Woodrow Wilson signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May to be Mother’s Day, thus making it a national day of celebration.
    Unfortunately Anna’s story does not have a happy ending. She quickly became disillusioned with the holiday, declaring it had become overly commercialized and that this detracted from the personal aspects she had envisioned. She began staging boycotts and walkouts. Anna eventually spent all her money fighting her cause and died, destitute, at the age of 84 in a sanitorium.

GIFT GIVING

  • In 2017 approximately $23.5 billion was spent on Mother’s Day gifts and the average consumer in the US spent a little over $185 on their moms.
  • Mother’s Day holds the record as the third highest day for flower and plant purchases Only Christmas and Hanukkah rank higher. In fact, approximately one fourth of all flowers purchased annually are bought for Mother’s Day. Something that may account for why Mothers love getting flowers is that a study conducted by Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D of Harvard Medical School, found that that when fresh-cut flowers are around it generally makes people more compassionate and happier in general.
  • It will probably also come as no surprise that Mother’s Day is the most popular day of the year for folks to eat out, beating out even Valentine’s Day for that honor. In 2018 approximately 87 million adults visited restaurants on Mother’s Day.
  • And for those who can’t be there in person to take their mom to a restaurant, Mother’s Day is also the day that ranks as the highest for number of phone calls made. That number  reaches something around 122 million.
  • In 2018 Approximately $4.6 billion was spent on jewelry during the Mother’s Day buying period.
  • And of course the most popular item to give Mother on her special day is a card. Every Mother’s Day about 152 million cards are sent.

TRIVIA

  • During the 1920s France handed out medals to mothers who had large families. This was done to signify gratitude for helping to rebuild the population of the country that was devastated by the loss of so many lives during WWI. The practice was eventually discontinued and today the more common gift for a mother in France is a cake shaped like a flower.
  • The record for the oldest woman to give birth is held by a retired schoolteacher in India. Satyabhama Mahapatra gave birth to a boy at age 65.
  • The record for the shortest length of time between births is held by Jayne Bleackley whose two babies were born only 208 days apart.
  • On the flip side, the woman who holds the record for the longest interval between births is Elizabeth Buttle. Her first child was born in May of 1956 and her second in November of 1997 when Elizabeth was 60. The infants were born 41 years and 185 days apart.
  • The record for the highest number of babies born to a single woman is a whopping 69! The woman was a Russian peasant living in the 18th century. She gave birth to 16 sets of twins, seven sets of triplets and 4 set of quadruplets.
  • And did you ever wonder why the word for Mom in nearly every language starts with an “M” sound? It is likely because the first sound an infant learns to verbalize is the ma sound. Since babies only need to open and close their lips to make these sounds – no teeth or tongue are needed – it comes more easily to them than other sounds.

There you have it. Did any of these facts surprise you? Also, how do you normally celebrate Mother’s Day and how was it different this year?  Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for winner’s choice of any book from my backlist.

 

 

Updated: May 11, 2020 — 4:09 am

Most of my books are now on SALE! AND Free e-book Give-away

Howdy!

Hope y’all are doing well in this weird world.  Who would’ve ever thought the entire world would shut down?  All I can say is that I hope y’all are surviving well in this time period and that when it’s over, you’ll go on to do even better than before.

Almost from the start of this, I started putting a few of my books on sale.  Many have gone from $5,99 to .99 cents.  ALL of my paperback books have gone from (we started this about 2 months ago) $14.99 to $9.99.  My newest book, THE EAGLE AND THE FLAME, will be put on sale soon — we just uploaded it to Amazon and it’s going to their editing at the moment.  But, when it comes on, it will NOT be put on sale at $14,99, but rather at $9.99.

In truth, the reason I started doing this right from the beginning is that often when one is frightened or bored or uncertain, a romance book can raise them up a little and often put a smile on their face.  So, here we go.  This is a list of the books that are on sale for .99 cents right now or read for free on KindleUnlimited:

So the books on sale for .99 cents are:  Gray Hawk’s Lady; White Eagle’s Touch; Night Thunder’s Bride; War Cloud’s Passion; Lone Arrow’s Pride; Soaring Eagle’s Embrace; Wolf Shadow’s Promise; The Angel and the Warrior; The Spirit of the Wolf; Red Hawk’s Woman and The Last Warrior; Black Eagle; Seneca Surrender

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of these books (except for Lakota Surrender) are priced at .99 cents or can be read for free on Kindle Unlimited.  The book, LAKOTA SURRENDER is on sale for $3.99.  This is a special edition, newly edited book that is the 25th Anniversary Edition of that book.

As I said all of my books that are in paperback are also on sale for $9.99.  They used to sell at $14.99, but we’re trying to reduce those prices as much as we can so that if you read only paperback books, you’ll also have a sale.  These paperback books on sale for $9.99 are:  Lakota Surrender; The Angel and the Warrior; The Spirit of the Wolf; Red Hawk’s Woman; The Last Warrior; Seneca Surrender; The Princess and the Wolf; and Brave Wolf and the Lady.  Lakota Surrender is also on sale in e-book for $3.99.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So if there are any of these books that you haven’t read, now might be the time to pick one up.

But my blogs wouldn’t really be a blog if I didn’t give away at least one book for free.  And so, today, I’m giving away an e-book of my latest release, THE EAGLE AND THE FLAME, to one of today’s bloggers.

On another note, I’m wondering how y’all are doing during this time period.  Are you reading a lot?  Doing gardening?  Cleaning the house?  Doing all those little things in the yard or around the house that we seldom have time to do?

Would love to hear how you’re doing during this time period and any suggestions you might pass along to the rest of us as to how to keep in touch with others in this time of enforced social distancing.  We, as people, i think thrive on our associations with others, our conversations, talking back and forth, sharing jokes and sharing even our heartbreaks.  If you’d like to share things you’re doing, how you’re doing, I’d love to hear it.

May we all come out of this time period a little wiser, a little more aware and a little bit better off for the experience.  Remember that this, too, will pass.

The Eagle and the Flame: https://tinyurl.com/w49evpb

 

Updated: April 14, 2020 — 9:13 am

Winnie’s Winner!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to check out my new look and leave me comments.  I threw all the names in a hat and pulled out…

Stephanie Jenkins Ortiz Cerrillo

Congratulations Stephanie!! Check out my list of books HERE then contact me through my website with the title of the book you want and your mailing info and I’ll get the book right on out to you.

Updated: April 14, 2020 — 10:37 pm

Fall off that horse and come on in!

In 2018, I wrote on western, and particularly Texas, sayings. Then all of you commented with others I hadn’t heard. You had me laughing pretty much all day. My favorite came from fellow filly, Pam Crooks. “He’s foolish enough not to realize he shouldn’t jump a barbed wire fence naked.”

Pam’s saying reminded me of my four Wishing Texas Series heroes, because that’s the kind of friends they are. When one is being a jerk, the others call him on it. As my heroes aren’t traditional cowboys riding on the ranch, I often add western or Texas sayings to add to their western character. I had to find a way to use Pam’s saying. I’m writing Book 4 now, To Marry A Texas Cowboy, and Zane’s best friend says to him, “I suppose you think jumping a barbed wire fence naked is a good idea too.”

As I sat to write today’s post, I realized I needed a laugh. With everything going on in the world, I figured you could too. So, here are some sayings I found but didn’t have space for last time. I hope they make you smile and maybe even chuckle.

Might was well. Can’t dance, never could sing, and it’s too wet to plow.

So crooked you can’t tell from his tracks if he’s coming or going.

If I say a hen dips snuff, you can look under her wing for the can.

He’d argue with a wooden Indian.

He’s the only hell his mama ever raised.

He may not be a chicken, but he has his henhouse ways.

So dry the trees are bribing the dogs.

Better to keep your mouth shut and seem a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

He’s got a big hole in his screen door.

She’s two sandwiches short of a picnic.

He always draws the best bull.

He could sit on the fence and the birds would feed him.

My newest foster Bella, to make you smile!

If a trip around the world cost a dollar, I couldn’t get to the Oklahoma line.

He’d steal his mama’s egg money.

He could talk the gate off its hinges.

She speaks ten words a second, with gusts to fifty.

You were too hard to raise to take chances.

Anytime you happen to pass my house, I’d sure appreciate it.

You smell like you want to be left alone.

If brains were leather, he couldn’t saddle a flea.

He couldn’t hit the floor if he fell out of bed.

Looks like he was pulled through a knothole backwards.

There’s two theories to arguin’ with a woman. Neither one works.

To be entered in today’s random drawing for the scarf, car air freshener and a copy of Home On the Ranch: Colorado Rescue, leave a comment about your favorite western saying. If you don’t have a favorite, tell me which saying above spoke to you the most. Thanks for sliding off and letting your saddle cool while you spent some time with me today. Stay safe until the next time we meet around the corral. 

 

 

Updated: April 8, 2020 — 9:26 am

A Century of Cosmetics


Elizabeth Arden changed the face of cosmetics in 1915, making makeup respectable in an age when it was considered tawdry. Arden and her company produced the red lipstick worn by suffragists on their 1912 march down Fifth Avenue, in New York City, and was heralded as one of the overall best-known American brands in the world by the 1930’s.

Although Arden cosmetics are still very popular today, one of my go to brands is Mary Kay. Mary Kay Ash of Hot Wells, Texas, was an executive in an era unfriendly to women in business, something I can attest, too! By the late 50’s, after being passed over for promotion yet again, she decided to create a paradigm shift for herself, and others like her, by creating a direct marketing company designed to resonate with the women that would become its sales force.

Today, Mary Kay Cosmetics is a global success by any measure…not just by the iconic pink Cadillacs awarded to top saleswomen.

Of interest, a museum is located in the company’s world headquarters in Dallas, Texas; thus, securing its place in history. Visitors can hear Mary Kay’s motivational speeches and enter the Keepers of the Dream Independent National Sales Director Hall of Fame. I, for one, had no idea she has a Hall of Fame for her sales ladies.

To be honest with you, although I love my Mary Kay cosmetics, for my foundation I still use Cover Girl and my hairspray is still AquaNet.

Covergirl is certainly a cosmetics leader, celebrates authenticity, diversity and self-expression through their makeup. Developed six decades ago, they opened up their flag-ship store in Times Square in New York City. They offer affordable and easily accessible makeup for all generations.

One of the interesting facts I found about them is that Covergirl, in 2018, became the largest makeup brand to be Leaping Bunny Certified by Cruelty-Free International, which means all of their products are certified cruelty free, regardless of where they are sold.

                           What cosmetic could you not do without?

 

To a lucky winner who leaves a comment, I will give you a choice between receiving a Bath and Body Works gift certificate or an eBook of my latest Kasota Springs Romance “Out of a Texas Night”.

Updated: April 6, 2020 — 3:09 pm