Category: Winnie Griggs

Winnie’s Winner

 

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to discuss amusement parks with me. I had a lot of fun finding out about all of your likes and dislikes.

I’ve tossed everyone’s name in the hat and the name I pulled out was

C O L L E E N !

Congratulations Colleen. Just drop by my website to decide which of my books you want then email me with the title and your mailing address and I’ll get it right on out to you. 

 

 

Updated: January 15, 2020 — 3:03 am

Amusement Park Fun Facts

Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here. I spent most of last week with one of my daughters at Disney World in Orlando. She had plans to run in the Disney marathon and I went along to cheer her on and to do some playing.

Spending time at the park got me to thinking about theme parks in general and I decided to look up some info on the history and trivia related to them. And while this is technically not Western Romance related, I thought I’d share a little of what I found with you.

Roller Coasters – my daughter is a big fan and rode quite a few of them – I chose to watch <g>. But here are some fun facts associated with these thrill rides

  • The earliest record of something approaching a modern day roller coaster can be traced back to 18th century Russia. It is said that Catherine the Great while in residence at the Imperial Summer Palace, devised a pastime where people boarded a vehicle which was then rolled down hillsides. She apparently got the idea from the ice slides that were popular in the region during the 16th century.
  • Another early precursor of the modern roller coaster were mine tracks. A coal mine in Pennsylvania created a gravity railroad for moving its product. On days when the facility was not needed to move coal, locals would asks for rides in the carts. Before long, folks were willing to pay for the chance to ride.
  • The world’s longest roller coaster is the Steel Dragon 2000 found at Nagashima Spa Land just outside of Nagoya Japan. It is 8,133 feet long. The ride lasts 4 minutes and reaches speeds of 95 mph
  • The prize for the world’s fastest roller coaster goes to Formula Rossa in Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. It can reach top speeds of 149 mph Its acceleration rate is even more impressive – it can go from 0 to 149 in just 5 seconds. It’s so fast that riders have to wear the same type of protective glasses that skydivers use.
  • The tallest roller coaster is Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. It stands an impressive 456 feet in height it shoots you 90 degrees straight up and then plummets back down in a 270 degree spiral!
  • Some roller coasters get recycled. This is not done out of an effort to save the environment as to save money. It can cost as 80 percent less to dismantle and reuse an old roller coaster than to build a new one.  There is one roller coaster, The Tsunami has been used by four different amusement parks since 1986.
  • Cedar Point Amusement Park in Ohio bills itself as the Roller Coaster Capital of the World. It is home to a number of roller coasters that are among some of the world’s longest, tallest and fastest coasters.
  • The Smiler, a roller coaster located in the United Kingdom, holds the record for having the most loops – an impressive 14! The next closest count is 10.
  • There are currently approximately 5000 roller coasters in existence worldwide.

Ferris Wheels

  • Early precursors to the modern Ferris Wheel were around as early as the 17th century. During that period in Bulgaria there was a contraption known as the pleasure wheel which had chairs hung from rings and it was powered by strongmen.
  • The modern day Ferris Wheel made it’s debut at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
  • The oldest Ferris Wheel still in use can be found in Austria. It was built in 1897 and was scheduled to be torn down in 1916, but a lack of funds to carry out the demolition saved it and it is still in operation today.
  • The High Roller Ferris Wheel in Las Vegas is the world’s tallest – it stands 550 feet high

Random Facts about the Disney theme parks

  • The Pirates of the Caribbean Ride originally used real skeletons. The original ride’s creators were dissatisfied with the quality of the fake skeletons that were available at the time. So they contacted the UCLA Medical Center who were willing to provide some actual human skeletons.  Eventually the real skeletons were replaced with fakes and the real ones were “returned to their countries of origin and given a proper burial,” according to former Disney producer Jason Surrell.
  • Since fireworks are classified as explosives, Disney is the second biggest purchaser of explosives in the US, second only to the US government. Estimates are that they spend upwards of $45,000 per show.
  • A restaurant at a Disneyland park is credited with the creation of Doritos. The story is that rather than wastefully throwing out unused tortillas, they created the crispy treat.
  • Disney makes two times as much money from their amusement parks than they make from their movies.
  • You may already know that there are a series of tunnels that run under the parks. These are used to help the cast members get from place to place without setting foot in the ‘wrong’ place – so a character from Toy Storyland will never show up in Star Wars land. But did you know that those tunnels in Disneyworld were actually built at ground level? Because it was built over a swamp, it was set on the surface and then excavated dirt from projects like the Lagoon was spread on top.  Most of the attractions are actually on the second or even third story of the park.
  • The world’s most expensive roller coaster can be found at Disney World in Florida. Everest Expedition, because of the attention to detail used in fashioning a replica of Mt. Everest, cost $100 million to construct.

And just for fun – here is a picture of me and my daughter at Hollywood Studios

So what about you? Do you have a favorite amusement park or park ride? Do you have any fun bits of trivia that I missed here? Did any of these tidbits surprise you

Join the discussion to be entered in a drawing for your choice of any book from my backlist

 

New Release – Sawyer

Hello Everyone, Winnie Griggs here. 

I’m taking a break from my series on female law enforcement trail blazers this month to post on something a little more personal.  I’m excited to announce that, as of Nov 1, I have a new release out.

This one, SAWYER,  is part of the Bachelors and Babies series, Book 6 to be exact.  I was really excited to be invited to take part in this series – the authors are all great and it was the first time I’ve had the chance to be involved in a project like this. It also gave me the opportunity to try my hand at an indy work. I did one last spring, The Unexpected Bride, but it was a little different since that was an old backlist work I was tweaking, repackaging and reissuing. Sawyer is an entirely shiny new work and one I had a lot of fun writing. And I must say this has been a great, and sometimes scary, learning experience.

There will be 14 books in this series, coming out one a month, and while they are all standalone, they share a common theme – what happens when a bachelor in the old west suddenly finds himself unexpectedly saddled with a baby. And this series is certainly a showcase for the saying that if you give a dozen people a story idea you’ll end up with a dozen different stories. I’ve read the first five books of the series and they are all very different, coming at the theme from a number of different angles.

As you can see from this graphic, there are some familiar names among the participating authors, including my Filly-sister Pam Crooks who kicked off the series with TRACE, former Filly Cheryl St.John who’ll wrap us up with TANNER, and several authors who have popped up here in the past as guests.

 

Here’s a little more info about Sawyer:

Sawyer Flynn vows to see that the man who murdered his brother pays for his crimes, but becoming the sole caretaker of an orphaned infant sidetracks him from the mission. Sawyer can’t do it all—run his mercantile, care for the baby, and find justice for his brother. He needs help. But not from Emma Jean Gilley.

When her father flees town after killing a man, Emma Jean is left alone to care for her kid brother, but her father’s crime has made her a pariah and no one will give her a job. Learning of Sawyer’s need, Emma Jean makes her case to step in as nanny.

Sawyer is outraged by Emma Jean’s offer, but he’s also desperate and he reluctantly agrees to a temporary trial. Working together brings understanding, and maybe something more. But just when things heat up between Sawyer and Emma Jean, the specter of her father’s crimes threatens to drive them apart forever.

 

You can get your copy at this link on AMAZON  

When I was writing this book I set up a Pinterest board to save images of how I imagined my characters would look, as well as their homes and the mercantile where the hero works. You can view it HERE if you’re interested.

If you’re interested in reading an excerpt, you can find one on my website HERE

And you can join the Bachelors & Babies Readers Group on Facebook to meet all the authors and learn about upcoming releases!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/2143576775865837/

So let’s chat

How do you feel about series like this one that are connected by theme rather than more tightly connected by location or family or some such?
When there is a long running one like this, do you normally stick with it all the way through or at some point do you feel like you’ve had enough, and if so what is that tipping point for you?
Is there some theme you haven’t seen recently that you’d like to see a series built around?

Comment here and you just might find yourself on the winning end of a signed copy of Sawyer!

(FYI – I’ll be traveling until early afternoon, so my responses may be sparse until I get home but I promise to answer every comment  whenever I have access to the internet)

 

 

Updated: November 1, 2019 — 12:34 am

Constance Kopp – Determined Heroine Turned Law Enforcement Officer

Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here.

Back in January I started a series of articles about several amazing women who paved the way for females in various branches of law enforcement. If you missed the prior posts you can find them here:

 

Today I want to discuss Constance Kopp, who is the very definition of a feisty woman. Even within this series of trailblazing women, Constance’s story is a remarkable one.

Constance’s father wasn’t in the picture much and was an alcoholic) Early in her life Constance was determined to have a career outside the home and attempted to study both law and medicine. Her mother, however, wouldn’t allow her to complete her studies, leaving Constance frustrated and rebellious. It is rumored that the youngest sister, Fleurette (love that name!) was actually her daughter, the result of a youthful indiscretion.

Constance, however, was no shrinking violet. Standing a good 6ft tall and weighing in at 180lbs, she was a formidable presence, one who loomed over most men of that time. That, coupled with her forceful personality and her father’s frequent absences, was likely why she became the de facto head of household, the person the rest of the family turned to for guidance when things turned bleak – which they did soon enough.

The extraordinary trouble entered the Kopp women’s lives in July of 1914, when Constance was 35, with what should have been a simply resolved traffic accident. Henry Kaufman, the wealthy owner of a silk factory, crashed his car into the Kopp family carriage that Constance and her two sisters were riding in. The accident resulted in damage to the carriage, including breaking the shaft.

Constance made several attempts to get Mr. Kaufman to pay for the damages. When he refused, Constance, not one to back down when she was in the right, decided to file a lawsuit. The courts awarded her $50. Kaufman was outraged to be held accountable and at one point accosted Constance on the streets. Undeterred, Constance promptly had him arrested.

But that was only the beginning of the man’s unreasonable reaction. Prowlers began roaming around the Kopp home, where the three sisters lived with their widowed mother. Vandals broke in and damaged furnishings. The Kopps received threatening letters. One threatened to burn down their home, another demanded $1000 with the threat of dire consequences if they refused, and still another threatened to kidnap Fleurette, still a teen, and sell her into white slavery. And while all this was happening they also had to deal with random shots being fired into their home.

Constance turned to Sheriff Robert Heath for help. Luckily Heath was a progressive minded man. He not only took the situation very seriously – the only person on the police force who did so – but he immediately armed the three sisters with revolvers.

Constance agreed to go ‘undercover’, agreeing to meet the writer of the threatening letters on not one but two separate occasions. They ultimately found enough evidence to convict Kaufman and he was forced  to pay a $1000 fine ad was warned he would serve jail time if the harassment of the Kopps didn’t cease immediately.

Sheriff Heath was very impressed with Constance’s bravery and determination, so much so  that he offered her the position of Under Sheriff, making her the first woman ever to hold that position. And this was no sham title. One of Constance’s early cases was to track down an escaped prisoner, something she handled with unexpected ease. She held the job for two years, losing it only after Sheriff Heath was replaced by someone less progressively-minded.

Her story was virtually forgotten until an author, researching some information for a book she was writing, stumbled across an article in some old newspaper archives, that led her down an unexpected trail. Amy Stewart eventually wrote several books that were fictionalized accounts of the Kopp sisters’ experiences, starting with Girl Waits With Gun.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

There you have it, another very brief sketch of the trailblazing life of a brave and ahead-of-her-times woman. What struck you most about her? If you’d already heard of her, did you learn anything new, or do you have more to add to her story?

 

 

I’m very excited to announce the upcoming release of my latest western romance, Sawyer. Sawyer is the 6th book in the Bachelors & Babies series – another Filly, Pam Crooks, had the lead off book, Trace. These books are all stand alone but have been proving to be popular with readers – fingers crossed that my book will continue that trend! Sawyer will officially release on Nov 1 and is now available for preorder.

 

Sawyer Flynn vows to see that the man who murdered his brother pays for his crimes, but becoming the sole caretaker of an orphaned infant sidetracks him from the mission. Sawyer can’t do it all—run his mercantile, care for the baby, and find justice for his brother. He needs help. But not from Emma Jean Gilley.

When her father flees town after killing a man, Emma Jean is left alone to care for her kid brother, but her father’s crime has made her a pariah and no one will give her a job. Learning of Sawyer’s need, Emma Jean makes her case to step in as nanny.

Sawyer is outraged by Emma Jean’s offer, but he’s also desperate and he reluctantly agrees to a temporary trial. Working together brings understanding, and maybe something more. But just when things heat up between Sawyer and Emma Jean, the specter of her father’s crimes threatens to drive them apart forever.

To learn more or pre-order, click HERE

Updated: October 6, 2019 — 1:08 pm