Cowboys & Mistletoe – Winnie Griggs

(POST  2 of 2  for Thursday)

Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here, and I get to wrap up our Cowboys & Mistletoe Two Truths and a Lie posts. I hope you all have been enjoying them as much as we Fillies have. It’s always so fun to share festive silliness with special friends, which how I feel about this wonderful community that’s developed and blossomed here over the years.

Christmas books are not only fun to read but to write as well. For the writer it allows us to tap into everything we love about the season and it can bring up memories, both happy and emotional, as well as bittersweet thoughts of what used to be.

I’ve written a number of books set around the holidays, but today I want to feature His Christmas Matchmaker. I love Janell and Hank, they are such engaging, honorable characters who are perfect for each other – they just take a while to figure that out. But it’s the two children in the story, Chloe and Alex, who really touched my heart. Recently orphaned with one of them rendered deaf by the same accident that took their parents, they are truly hurting. And gruff, confirmed bachelor Uncle Hank means well but he has no idea how to help or deal with them. The fact that it’s just a month until Christmas drives this home all the more.  Janell, a schoolteacher, recognizes that this newly-formed family is hurting and impulsively steps in to help.

Here’s a little more info:

A guilty secret…

Vowing to put her past behind her, schoolteacher Janell Whitman has resigned herself to spinsterhood and she’s erected walls to guard her heart from all but her students.

A solitary heart…

Hank Chandler is quite comfortable with his uncomplicated bachelor life. But when he suddenly finds himself the guardian of his orphaned niece and nephew he knows all that will have to change. Not only do the children need a mother’s love, but he’s not fit to be a single parent. So he’ll need to marry quickly, whether he wants to or not.

A Christmas bargain…

Seeing their need, Janell impulsively reaches out to help the hurting Chandler family. But when Hank proposes a businesslike marriage she draws the line at becoming his wife. She softens her refusal, however, with a counteroffer – she’ll take care of the children after school and help him find an appropriate wife in time for Christmas. After all, with a man as great as Hank, how hard can it be?

But as the holiday grows closer, it seems increasingly difficult to find a suitable candidate––not to mention even harder to deny their growing feelings for each other. It might take a miracle for these two hearts to become one, but Christmas is the season of miracles–and love.

Click here to BUY NOW!


And for my prize, I’ll be giving away a signed copy of one of my other Christmas titles, Her Holiday Family, along with a fun  reader ornament.


And now, on with the fun!!

Below you will find three statements, two are true, one is not. 

Guess which is the lie in the comments to be entered in the drawings.

Winners and answers will be announced on Sunday 12/03.


  1. I LOVE Christmas decorations and must have hundreds of tree ornaments alone. In fact I have a walk in closet dedicated just to the storage of my Christmas stuff. Because it became impossible to use all of my decorations on the tree at one time, several years back I began doing themed trees, which allows me to rotate them in and out. Some of the themes I’ve done over the years include angels, bells, stars, snowmen, and even a fairytale theme – but my favorite was the year I did a nativity themed tree.

  2. When my children were very young I started a tradition of buying them one ornament of their very own each year so that when they grew up and moved away they would have a ‘starter set’ of ornaments of their very own. My plans, however, met with mixed success. Two of my kids took theirs when they established their own homes, two of them still have their collections boxed up and stored in their former closets here at my house with the intention (or so they say) of taking them ‘someday’.
  3. My siblings and I are all big on Christmas candy and treats and when we have our extended family gathering, which usually includes over 45 people, we all try to outdo each other. In fact there are usually more sweets than ‘regular’ food. My personal specialties are peanut butter fudge and a rice krispie based candy – and I like to experiment with at least one new item each year. As for the scrumdiddlyumptious candy my mom used to make, while my other relatives vied for her pecan pralines, I’d pass those up and go straight for her coconut pralines!

Thanks again for stopping by to play 2 Truths And a Lie with us this week. Remember that the answers and winners will be announced on Sunday.

And if you missed any of the 11 posts this week there’s still time to go back and get all caught up. Winners won’t be drawn until Saturday 

Winnie’s Winners

Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by to discuss pecans with me this week.  It was fun to virtually chat about all of these fun tidbits around the tasty nut and to hear of your own likes and dislikes.  I gathered up the names of all of you who commented and randomly select the following:

Patricia Barraclough
Maria Leeper
Debbie J Pruss
Congratulations to each of you. You’ve won your choice of a signed copy of any of my books. You can find a complete list HERE. Just send me the title you selected along with your mailing info and I’ll get your prize right on out to you.

Pecans – Fun Facts & Trivia

Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here. November is pecan season here in NW Louisiana. There are quite a few pecan trees in hubby’s pastures and even one in my own backyard and they’ve all been carpeting the ground with their fruit the past few weeks. And since I’ve got pecans on my mind lately I thought I’d share some facts and trivia I discovered


  • Pecans are the only nut tree species that originated in America.
  • Native American tribes have relied on pecans as a valuable food source for thousands of years. They harvested pecans from the wild and incorporated them into their diets, using the nuts fresh from the tree and also storing them for later use. Pecans served as a crucial source of nutrition, especially during the lean winter months. The name “pecan” is actually a Native American word that comes from the Algonquin word “paccan” that was used to describe “all nuts requiring a stone to crack.”
  • The introduction of pecans to European settlers was a significant milestone in pecan history. Early European explorers and colonists encountered pecans in the New World, and they were quick to recognize their value. Pecans were collected, cultivated, and integrated into European cuisine. This marked the beginning of the pecan’s journey from a regional Native American staple to a broader American and international audience.
  • During the American Civil War, pecans played a vital role in providing sustenance to both soldiers and civilians on both sides. Pecans were a readily available food source in the South, and their nutritional value made them a valuable addition to rations. Pecan trees dotted the landscape, providing a reliable and accessible food source when other supplies were scarce.


  • Pecan trees come in a wide range of varieties, In fact there are over 1,000 varieties but just a few of them make up the majority of the production in the US and each has its own unique characteristics. Here are three of the more popular varieties
      • The Stuart pecan is one of the most common varieties. It’s known for its robust flavor and large-sized nuts. These pecans are popular for their rich, buttery taste and versatility in various recipes. They also do well farther north than most other pecan varieties.
      • The Desirable pecan lives up to its name, offering a desirable taste. Another thing that sets it apart is its relatively easy-to-crack shells, which can be a time-saver for home bakers and commercial producers alike.
      • The Elliot pecan is appreciated for its consistent quality and reliable production, making it a favorite choice among pecan growers. Its moderate size and thin shell also make it a popular pick.
  • Pecans thrive in primarily the Southeast and South Central states. Georgia is often called the “Pecan State” and leads the nation in pecan production, contributing approximately 100 million pounds to the annual harvest. Texas is another major pecan producer as are New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arizona (I was surprised that I didn’t see Louisiana and Mississippi in that list).
  • In Native American culture, pecan trees are seen as symbols of strength, endurance, and wisdom, representing the connection between humans and nature.
  • The pecan pie is a quintessential American dessert and is believed to have originated in the southern United States. One theory is that it was created by the French people who had settled in New Orleans. The classic pecan pie consists of a sweet, gooey filling made from pecans, sugar, butter, and often corn syrup, all nestled in a flaky pie crust.
  • Pecan pralines are another true Southern delight. Pecan pralines are a confectionery masterpiece that combine the richness of pecans with a sweet, buttery, and creamy caramelized sugar mixture. The result is a texture that’s simultaneously smooth and crunchy, with the unmistakable taste of pecans running through every bite.
  • Thomas Jefferson had pecan trees imported from Louisiana for his Monticello orchards.
  • During World War II, pecans played a surprising role in the war effort. Pecan oil, extracted from pecans, was used in the production of explosives and lubricants. The nut’s high oil content made it a valuable resource for the military.
  • Pecan shells have also been utilized in unusual ways. During WW II roasted pecan shells were often used as a substitute for coffee. And they have more recently been utilized as a base material for mulch and even as a natural abrasive in industrial cleaning products.
  • Georgia pecan wood was selected by the Atlanta Committee to make the handles of the torches for the 1996 Olympic Games. The torches were carried in the 15,000-mile U.S.A. relay and in the lighting of the Olympic flame in Atlanta on July 19, 1996.


  • In 2022 there were approximately 407,000 acres of bearing pecan trees.
  • The U.S. produces about 80 percent of the world’s pecan crop.
  • It takes around 12 years for pecan trees to mature enough to begin producing pecans.
  • Pecan trees can live for several centuries, and some of the oldest known pecan trees in the U.S. are estimated to be well over 200 years old.
  • Pecans are one of the largest fruit-bearing trees. The largest pecan tree on record had a canopy that spanned over 200 feet.
  • Pecans are not only tasty but also incredibly nutritious. A one-ounce serving provides around 196 calories, 2.6 grams of protein, 20.3 grams of healthy fats, and a good dose of dietary fiber. They are also an excellent source of vitamin E, manganese, and other essential nutrients. These nutrients make pecans a nutritious snack or ingredient for various dishes.
  • And average Pecan pie uses about 78 pecans.
  • The “Oldest Continuous Pecan Festival” in the U.S. is the Sorghum Festival and Pecan Festival in the small town of Blairsville, Georgia, which has been celebrating pecans for over 50 years.


So there you have it, my curated list of everything you always wanted to know about pecans. Did any of this surprise you? Do you have a favorite recipe that includes pecans? Do you even like pecans?  Leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for one of my books.

Winnie’s Winners!!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to discuss Sewing Patterns and needlecraft in general with me this week. It was really fun to see just how many of us learned to sew from our wonderful mothers.

I tossed the names in a cyber hat and selected my three winners. They are

Jackie Wiisherd

Nanci Katz

Connie Lee

Congratulations! You have each won your choice of any book from my Texas Grooms or Knotty Pines series – You can find the complete lists HERE. Once you’ve made your selection, send me the title and your mailing info via the contact forrm on my website and I’ll get your signed book on its way to you!

Sewing Patterns

Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here. In one of my books I needed to research what would have been available to my heroine in 1888 in the way of dress patterns. So I dived in and did a bit of research. Below are some notes and a timeline based on what I found out.

Tailoring as a profession emerged around the 12th century in Europe, leading to the creation of more structured and fitted garments. Tailors used measurements and cutting techniques passed down through apprenticeships to create clothing tailored to the individual. However, these techniques were closely guarded secrets, making it difficult for the average person to produce their own custom-fitted garments.

But the 19th century brought about significant changes to the world of sewing and fashion. The Industrial Revolution, which began in the late 18th century, brought about the mechanization of textile production, making fabric more affordable and accessible. This, in turn, led to an increased demand for ready-made clothing.

Amid these developments, the concept of sewing patterns as we know them today began to take shape. In the early 19th century, sewing pattern companies such as Butterick and McCall’s emerged. These companies started by offering patterns for women’s clothing, which were often published in women’s magazines. These early patterns were often simple, one-size-fits-all templates that required significant skill to adapt to individual measurements.

The 1860s saw a significant breakthrough in sewing patterns with the invention of the perforated pattern. Ebenezer Butterick, the founder of Butterick patterns, is credited with this innovation. His perforated patterns allowed for a more precise and consistent method of transferring pattern markings onto fabric. This made it easier for home sewers to create garments that closely resembled the latest fashion trends.

The Victorian era (1837-1901) saw a surge in home sewing. Sewing machines, which had been invented in the mid-19th century, began to find their way into regular households. These machines made sewing faster and more accessible, further fueling the desire for creating one’s own clothing.

Sewing patterns of this era reflected the fashionable styles of the time. Women’s clothing featured intricate designs with multiple layers, bustles, and tightly fitted bodices. Sewing patterns for these garments often included elaborate instructions, and women would spend hours perfecting their creations. The ability to sew one’s clothing became a valuable skill for women, not only for practical reasons but also as a sign of social status and accomplishment.

The 20th century saw a dramatic shift in fashion, with styles evolving rapidly. Sewing patterns played a crucial role in keeping up with these changes. The early 1900s witnessed the emergence of new pattern companies like Vogue and Simplicity, each offering a unique style and approach to pattern design.

World War I and World War II brought about rationing and a focus on practicality in fashion. Sewing patterns of this time reflected the need for simplicity and efficiency. Women sewed clothing for themselves and their families, making the most of limited resources.

In the post-war era, fashion underwent a radical transformation. The 1950s brought with it the hourglass silhouette, characterized by cinched waists and full skirts, and sewing patterns embraced this trend. Sewing became a popular hobby for women, and pattern catalogs featured a wide range of designs, from everyday dresses to elaborate evening gowns.

The 1960s marked a departure from the conservative styles of the previous decade. Youth culture and the influence of designers like Mary Quant gave rise to the mod style, characterized by bold colors, geometric shapes, and short hemlines. Sewing patterns followed suit, offering designs that captured the spirit of the era.

The 1970s brought a return to a more relaxed, bohemian style. Sewing patterns included flowy dresses, bell-bottom pants, and other free-spirited designs. Sewing became a means of self-expression, with individuals customizing patterns to create unique garments.

The late 20th century and early 21st century witnessed the digital revolution. Sewing patterns transitioned from paper to digital formats. Today, sewing enthusiasts can access and purchase patterns online, allowing for instant downloads and printing at home. Digital patterns offer greater flexibility and customization, as sewers can easily adjust sizing and fit to their preferences.

The history of sewing patterns is a testament to the evolution of fashion, technology, and society. From the early days of hand-tailored garments to the digital age of instant pattern downloads, sewing patterns have adapted to meet the changing needs of home sewers.

Today, sewing patterns continue to empower individuals to create their clothing, allowing for self-expression and customization. They bridge the gap between fashion and personal style, offering a means for anyone to participate in the creative process of clothing design


As for myself, I didn’t learn to sew until the summer after my freshman year of college. That summer I had my mom teach me. I also had a job that summer and by the time I was ready to head back to school in the fall i not only had learned the basics but had purchased a portable sewing machine to take with me. I still have that same machine, though now it is mostly used for repairs and hems. In the 70s I made a large percentage of my clothing myself. That image above is a photo of  some of those patterns that are still stuck in the back of my sewing cabinet.

After that I had four children and had no time for sewing. When the kids were older I’d lost the inclination to get back to it. Below are pictures of two garments that I made and still own. The first is a colorful (garish?) smock which was the very first garment I made. It no longer fits but I’m sentimental enough to not be able to discard it.


This next is of course my wedding dress. (my sister made the veil). I was quite proud of the fact that I was able to make such a complicated dress and it actually fit perfectly <g>

So what about you – do you sew? Or do you perform other needlecraft – weaving, crocheting, knitting, embroidery, etc. Tell me about your experiences (or lack thereof) in the comments to be entered in the drawing for one of my backlist books.


Winnie’s Winners!


Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by to discuss farriers with me. I enjoyed reading through all of your posts and anecdotes.

And the winners of my giveaway are:


Kate Sparks

Lois Imel


Ami Jacobs

Congratulations! You’ve won your choice of any of my books. You can find a list of them on my website ( ). When you find the one you want just send the title, along with your mailing info to me via the contact form on my website or as a Facebook PM.


Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here. This year National Farriers Week runs from July 4th up through today July 10th. So in honor of that I thought I’d focus this post on farriers.

At first glance, the job of a farrier may appear as a straightforward task of trimming hooves and fitting horseshoes. However, beneath the surface lies an interesting blend of science and skill. Farriers possess a deep understanding of equine anatomy, biomechanics, as well as the importance of proper hoof care. Through their precise craftsmanship, they create custom-made horseshoes tailored to each horse’s unique needs. Their artistry not only ensures the horse’s comfort but also enhances their overall performance and soundness.

One of the most intriguing aspects of farriery is the bond farriers develop with horses. Spending countless hours working with these gentle giants, farriers establish a connection built on trust and mutual respect. By providing regular hoof care, farriers contribute to a horse’s well-being and become instrumental in maintaining their health. Through their patient and understanding approach, farriers become an integral part of a horse’s support system, forging a special human-equine connection.

While hoof care remains the core focus of the farrier, their responsibilities extend beyond shoeing. Farriers often collaborate closely with veterinarians and other equine professionals, working as a team to identify and address various equine issues. With their sharp eye for detail, farriers can spot signs of lameness or hoof-related problems, offering valuable insights and recommendations for optimal care. Their expertise and knowledge make them an invaluable resource in maintaining a horse’s overall health and soundness.

Here are a few bits of trivia relating to farriers

  1. The term “farrier” is derived from the Latin word “ferrarius,” meaning “blacksmith.”
  2. Farriery is considered one of the oldest professions, dating back thousands of years.
  3. In ancient times, farriers were often considered to possess mystical powers due to their ability to heal horses.
  4. The skill of farriery was traditionally passed down through apprenticeships, with knowledge being shared within families or between master and apprentice.
  5. Horseshoes were originally made from rawhide, leather, or plant fibers before the introduction of metal shoes.
  6. The majority of modern-day farriers use steel as the primary material for horseshoes due to its durability and strength.
  7. Horseshoes are usually changed every four to six weeks to accommodate hoof growth and wear patterns.
  8. Farriers often work in physically demanding conditions, requiring strength, agility, and the ability to handle unpredictable horses.
  9. There are various specialized shoeing techniques, including hot shoeing (heating the shoe to shape it), cold shoeing (shaping the shoe without heat), and corrective shoeing (addressing specific hoof or leg abnormalities).
  10. The International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame in Kentucky, United States, honors outstanding farriers who have made significant contributions to the field.
  11. Farriers may choose to specialize in specific disciplines, such as racehorses, show horses, or sport horses, depending on their interests and expertise.

Do you have any experience with encountering or working with a farrier? Is there anything you’d like to add to or comment on this post?

Leave a comment for a chance to win your choice of a signed copy of any of my books.






Blowing Bubbles

Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here. The other day my grandson – the cutest toddler in the world (or at least in MY world) was over visiting and I took him outside for one of his favorite activities, blowing soap bubbles. I remember my kids playing with these when they were little and even playing with these myself when I was a kid. And it got me to wondering – just how long have these been around and could some of the kids in my historical novels have played with them.

So of course I decided to do a little research and wanted to share some of it with you.

I was surprised to learn bubble blowing goes back a LOT further than I’d realized. In fact it’s been around for centuries. Here’s a quick overview of the history.

  • The earliest evidence of bubble toys dates back to the ancient Egyptians, who enjoyed blowing bubbles using hollow reeds and soap made from animal fats. The ancient Greeks and Romans also entertained themselves with the art of bubble making, using clay pipes or glass tubes to blow bubbles. These early versions were often reserved for special celebrations and rituals, emphasizing the novelty and magic associated with bubbles.
  • During medieval times, bubble blowing fell into obscurity. But with the onset of the Renaissance period, interest in science and entertainment resurfaced. Artists and inventors began to experiment with new materials and designs, leading to the development of glass bubble pipes. These pipes were crafted with intricate shapes and designs, and bubble solutions were refined by adding substances such as water, soap, and glycerin, to enhance the quality and longevity of the bubbles.
  • The 18th and 19th centuries brought about a number of advancements in manufacturing techniques. As a result, bubble blowers became easier to come by and to use. In the late 18th century, the first mass-produced bubble solutions appeared on the market, allowing people to create bubbles effortlessly. In addition, the advent of mechanization allowed simple bubble-blowing devices to be produced. These devices often featured a looped wire or a hollow tube attached to a handle, providing a convenient way to blow bubbles with very little effort.
  • In the 20th century, bubble blowers transitioned from homemade toys to mass-produced commercial products. Manufacturers introduced a wide range of bubble blowers in various shapes and sizes, capturing the attention of children worldwide. The popularity of bubble blowing surged during this period, and bubble solution formulations were refined further to create larger, longer-lasting bubbles. And advancements in plastic manufacturing led to the creation of plastic bubble wands and machines, providing hours of endless fun for kids and adults alike

And here are a few fun facts:

  • Soap bubbles are made up of a thin layer of soapy water surrounding a pocket of air.
  • The round shape of bubbles is due to the natural tendency of liquids to minimize surface area, making a sphere the most efficient shape. This is why it’s impossible to blow a square bubble.
  • The world record for the largest free-floating soap bubble was set in 2019, measuring a mind-boggling 167+ feet long!
  • Bubbles can come in different colors when light reflects off their surfaces. This effect, known as iridescence, is caused by the interference of light waves.
  • The lifespan of a bubble depends on various factors, including humidity, temperature, and the quality of the bubble solution. On average, bubbles last for a few seconds to a few minutes.
  • Did you know that bubbles can freeze? In extremely cold temperatures, bubbles can turn into delicate, frozen orbs before eventually bursting.
  • Bubbles can be found in nature too! For example, some insects, like the froghopper, create bubbles as a form of protection or to help them float on water.
  • The first soap bubble toy patent was granted to John Roberton in 1886. This invention paved the way for the mass production and commercialization of bubble toys.
  • Bubble solution recipes can be made at home using ingredients such as dish soap, water, and glycerin. Experimenting with different recipes can result in varying bubble sizes and durability.
  • You can create bubble sculptures by using a straw or a bubble wand to blow bubbles onto a surface. With practice, you can make towers, walls, or even intricate bubble structures.
  • So called “everlasting bubbles” have been created by French physicists. They used plastic particles, glycerol and water and the longest one of these survived for is an astounding 465 days!

So what about you? Do you have any memories tied to blowing bubbles? Did any of the above surprise you? Leave a comment to be entered in a giveaway for a book from my backlist.

Winnie’s Winners!!

Hello! Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by Monday to share their thoughts about art education in the schools. I really enjoyed reading the responses. I threw all the names in a hat and pulled out the following:

Kathleen O
Judy Sexton
Ann Stewart

Congratulations all! Just select which book you’d like to have from my backlist – you can find a list here (Disarming His Heart is not backlist since it hasn’t released yet)  then contact me via my website with the title and your mailing info and I’ll get your book on out to you.


A sharpshooter hiding her identity.
A preacher with a guilty past.
Will secrets ruin their shot at love?

Violet Taylor leads a double life. She performs in a traveling show as the mysterious Masked Marvel, a daring and commanding sharpshooter . But in real life she holds back and allows others to lead the way. When an accident puts her arm in a sling she has to scramble to protect the secret of her identity as the Masked Marvel. So she enlists the help of her identical twin sister, a “townie” dressmaker, to secretly swap places until her arm heals. But that means she must also take on her sister’s role as director of a children’s church program. Before leaving, her sister informs Violet that she’s sweet on Pastor Carson, the program’s co-director, so she’d appreciate it if Violet doesn’t mess anything up with him.

Pastor Carson Davis became guardian to an orphaned nine-year-old six months ago and has been struggling to build a relationship with the boy ever since. It’s to the point where he’s begun to wonder if he’s even fit to be a pastor. Could finding himself a wife who’d be a proper mother figure for his foster son be the solution?

As Violet and Carson work together on the children’s program the attraction between them grows. But mindful of her sister’s feelings and guilt over her deception hold Violet back.
Little does she know that Carson is harboring secrets of his own…

Available May 20th

Preorder HERE


Winnie’s Winner

Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by to comment on my post about the art of pierced tin.  I threw all the names in a cyber hat and the winner of a signed copy of HER AMISH PATCHWORK FAMILY is


Congratulations Cathy!! Send me your mailing info via my website and I’ll get your book on out to you.


A former schoolteacher and a single father discover a second chance at friendship, family, and love.

Former Hope’s Haven schoolteacher, Martha Eicher, has always been the responsible one, putting her family first and caring for her widowed father and two younger sisters. But now they’re all happily married, and Martha isn’t sure where she fits in anymore . . . until she hears that Asher Lantz needs a nanny. Even though her childhood friendship with Asher ended abruptly years ago, when a misunderstanding drove a wedge between them, Martha offers her assistance.

Asher is also feeling adrift. As a single father to his niece and nephews, he struggles to balance his new family responsibilities with those on the farm and in his workshop. He’s grateful for Martha’s help, but worries things will always feel awkward with her. Yet before long, Asher realizes Martha is exactly what his family needs, and he can’t imagine his home without her.

Martha and Asher thought they were lost, but could they be right where they belong . . . together?