Winnie’s Winners


Thanks to eveeryone who stopped by on Monday to discuss their love and hate for daylight saving time.  It was fun reading through all of your responses.  I threw all of your names in a cyber hat and randomly selected the following names:

Ami Jacobs

Dana Carrier

Sharon Jennings

Congratulations to each of you. Pleaase select any book from my backlist (you can find a list HERE) and send the title along with your mailing info to me via my website and I’ll get the book on out to you.

Daylight Saving Time Trivia

Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here. This past weekend most of us here in the United States experienced the ‘spring forward’ that hails the beginning of daylight saving time. In honor of that event I thought I’d share a little bit of trivia associated with the event.


  • Though often credited as the inventor of DST, Benjamin did not seriously propose its implementation. It was actually a tongue-in-cheek proposal as part of a satirical essay he wrote that was published in Paris where he was living at the time. The true person behind the drive to implement DST was George Hudson a British-born New Zealand entomologist who did shift work and wanted more after hours daylight time to collect insects. He first made a formal proposal on the subject in 1893 to the Wellington Philosophical Society.
  • Many people believe DST was implemented primarily to benefit agricultural interests. This is not only untrue, but the agricultural industry actively opposed DST when it was implemented in the US. They’re thinking is that livestock and crops don’t care what manmade clocks say, they pay attention to their own internal clocks and implementing time changes can actually be disruptive. For instance cows expect to be milked at the same time every day regardless of what time the clock displays.
  • The first country to adopt DST was Germany. They officially adopted it in 1916 as a way to conserve coal during WWI.
  • In the US individual states have the power to decide whether or not to observe DST. Hawaii and the majority of Arizona do not. Prior to 2006 Indiana also did not.
  • DST has been shown to have both negative and positive effects.


    • According to some studies DST can lead to an increase in traffic accidents due to people’s systems not adjusting quickly to the new time.
    • Other studies have found an increase in heart attacks and strokes following the time change which can tie to increased stress levels and a heightened risk of depression because of the disruption of circadian rhythms.


    • The extra hour of daylight during prime evening time is credited with a decrease in energy usage. HOWEVER, recent studies have shown that these benefits may not be as great as previously thought and may in fact have an actual negative impact. That extra hour will only lead to a decrease in energy usage if we go outside to take advantage of the extra hour of premium time sunlight.
    • DST is also credited with increased economic productivity during the later daylight hour.
    • Some studies show DST has a positive effect on health due to increased activity levels in the later daylight hour.
  • While most people say ‘daylight savings time’ the correct term is ‘daylight saving time’ (singular, not plural). And yes, it’s not capitalized. But the plural version has become so common in everyday usage that is has become acceptable as a conversational variant.

So what do you think? Did any of these bits of trivia surprise you? How do you feel about daylight saving time – a fan or not so much?
Leave a comment to be entered in a giveaway for one of my books.


Linda Shenton Matchett has a winner!

Howdy, folks!

We’re mighty happy that Miss Linda Shenton Matchett could stop by this week with her fun blog about strong women and our country’s Centennial.

Linda is handing out a copy of her book, Maeve’s Pledge, to one happy winner, and that winner is:


Janice Cole Hopkins

Congratulations, Janice! What a lovely surprise for you! Enjoy! Watch for Miss Linda’s email and check your spam if you don’t see it.


Women and the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition

Today we welcome Linda Shenton Matchett to the Petticoats and Pistols Corral.

In December 1866, the American Civil War had been only been over for a little more than eighteen months. Tensions still ran high in many areas of the country. But one man was already looking toward the future. In ten years, the country would celebrate its centennial, and he had visions of a grand event, one that included nations from around the globe.

John L. Campbell, a professor at Wabash College in Indiana contacted Philadelphia Mayor Morton McMichael and suggested that his town would be the perfect place to hold the centennial. It would take four years of discussions, studies, and committee meetings, but the Philadelphia City Council finally agreed in January 1870. Another year was needed for the federal government to pass a bill to create a Centennial Commission. Oh, and by the way, the US government would not be liable for any expenses.

Douglas Shenton

A force to be reckoned with Elizabeth Duane Gillespie, great-great-granddaughter of founding father Benjamin Franklin, chaired the Women’s Centennial Exposition Committee. Tasked with selling subscriptions to raise $1 million, she “led an army of women through the neighborhoods.” They secured the pledges in a mere two days. In addition, she collected 82,000 signatures and obtained letters from all over the country that convinced Congress to lend $1.5 million to the exposition.

Building commenced, and eventually there would be 200 hundred buildings spread over the 450 acres of Fairmont Park. However, eleven months prior to the exhibition, Elizabeth was informed that the Main Hall no longer had room for women. Incensed, she once again turned to her committee who raised more $31,000 in four months to build a one-acre women’s pavilion that would eventually house seventy-four inventions patented by women, including a steam engine.

Douglas Shenton

Another woman saw the country’s one-hundred anniversary as the perfect place to present her “Declaration of the Rights of Women.” Wyoming had granted women the right to vote and hold office in 1869, followed by many other states and territories, but those rights did not carry to the federal level, and Susan B. Anthony had been criss-crossing the country for more than twenty-five years campaigning for a constitutional amendment.

Pixabay/David Mark

Prohibited from speaking at the July 4th celebration, she simply walked down the aisle of Independence Hall in the middle of Richard Henry Lee’s speech. Grandson and namesake of one of the Declaration of Independence signers, he watched as she handed the scroll tied in a navy-blue ribbon to the host, then turned and made her way out of the building, distributing copies to the clamoring crowd as she went. Outside in front of hundreds of people, she read the document in its entirety as the remaining copies were handed out. Newspapers covered the event and printed portions of the document. Word spread, and newspapers outside of Philadelphia picked up the story. Miss Anthony’s plan worked. She’d escalated visibility to the cause.

Unfortunately, she would not live to see the ratification of the 19th amendment forty-four years later.

Maeve’s Pledge

Pledges can’t be broken, can they?

Finally out from under her father’s tyrannical thumb, Maeve Wycliffe can live life on her terms. So what if everyone sees her as a spinster to be pitied. She’ll funnel her energies into what matters most: helping the less fortunate and getting women the right to vote. When she’s forced to team up with the local newspaper editor to further the cause, will her pledge to remain single get cropped?

Widower Gus Deighton sees no reason to tempt fate that he can find happiness a second time around. Well past his prime, who would want him anyway? He’ll continue to run his newspaper and cover Philadelphia’s upcoming centennial celebration. But when the local women’s suffrage group agrees that the wealthy, attractive, and very single Maeve Wycliffe act as their liaison, he finds it difficult to remain objective.

Maeve’s Pledge is part of the multi-author series Suffrage Spinsters but can be read as a standalone story. Grab your copy today and curl up with some history, hope, and happily ever after.

GIVEAWAY:  Linda attended the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee and was astonished at the displays, including technology that at the time seemed only possible in science fiction, but is now part of our everyday lives. To be entered in the random drawing fore-book copy of Maeve’s Pledge, leave a comment about a time when you attended an event (large or small) that impacted you in some way.

Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry (of Star-Spangled Banner fame) and has lived in historical places all her life. She is a volunteer docent and archivist at the Wright Museum of WWII and a former trustee for her local public library. She now lives in central New Hampshire where she explores the history of this great state and immerses herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

To sign up for Linda’s Website/Blog/Newsletter  click here

To follow her on:

Facebook click here

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Goodreads click here


Five FOUR ACES Winners!

Thanks to all of you for giving Miss April a right proper Petticoats & Pistols welcome. We loved how many Facebook shares went out to promote her new western.  Yee-Haw!

And now, here are her winners:


Tracy Delegan


Teresa F

Quilt Lady


Ladies, please contact Miss April at and she’ll make sure you get your ebook copy of FOUR ACES.

(Winners chosen by

FOUR ACES by A. K. Holthaus

My latest work, FOUR ACES, is my first ever American Western Romance featuring my newest hero, U.S. Marshal Jameson “Jake” Reid in my new series, The 1880 Deadwood Diaries. From the dusty trails of the West Wild to a timeless tale of redemption and hope, this captivating story will leave you wanting more.

What I love about this story is the passion that develops between the two main characters and the surprising twists and turns that catches the readers off guard. I was inspired to write this story after I moved to the historic town of St. Peter and learned about a bank robbery in Northfield, MN, in 1876 by Jesse James and the Younger Brothers.

During their escape, they had traveled through St. Peter down to New Ulm, which is also the setting of the Dakota Indian War fourteen years prior in 1862. Southern Minnesota has a rich history which was been depicted in such books and tv show like Little House on the Prairie. As I am a lover of history, I enjoy visiting these places, walking the ground the settlers would have walked, and seeing the buildings that would have existed during their time. I feel a sense of appreciation for the history, the hardships, and the lives they lived.

With this inspiration, Jake Reid and Emily Taylor emerged. FOUR ACES is a historic tale about second chances in life and love.  Jake is a man with a haunted past trying to learn what it means to live again, and Emily is a recent widow trying to learn what it means to love again.

When I’m not absorbed in researching my next story, I love spending time outdoors with my family. Born and raised in Minnesota, you will always find me outside pitching baseballs, tossing the football around, or skating on the ice playing hockey with my boys. When I do find free time, I am plotting several more stories, starting with a continuation of the 1880 Deadwood Diaries Series called the LUCK OF THE DRAW, as well as a new Regency Era romance.


April Holthaus (aka A. K. Holthaus) is a certified genealogist, a visual communications account manager, an all-season sports mom, and a self-published, award-winning author of Historical Romances.  From the Scottish Highlands to the dirt roads of the Old West, April’s stories are noted to be well written, rich in historical details, and full of tension, suspense, and slow-burning romance.

You can find April on Facebook here:

Or on her Amazon page:



About Four Aces: The 1880 Deadwood Diaries

U.S. Marshal Jameson “Jake” Reid has been searching for the notorious outlaw, Harmon Elwood for nearly a year after he robbed the Midtown Lincoln Stage. From horse raids to train rides, every clue to finding Elwood has led Jake to the small mining town of Deadwood. Upon his arrival, he is immediately met with resistance and suspicion and no further at catching the elusive Elwood.

Newly widowed Emily Taylor is doing everything she can to save her farm. Deep in debt, and unable to tend the farm on her own, she is forced to hire a farmhand. Little does she know that the man who answered her ad is really an undercover marshal. When he begins to stir up trouble and the truth comes out, her way of life is threatened as well as her heart. Emily struggles to choose between living the life she had fought for or losing everything she has.

As Jake and Emily become close, Jake finds himself surrounded by conspiracy, blackmail, and a town full of secrets. Can he solve the mystery looming over this town and finally bring Harmon Elwood to justice or will his heart and senses get tangled in a web of lies?



I’m giving away FIVE e-book copies of FOUR ACES!

I would love for readers to tell me in the comments, a fun/unique little family history story or perhaps a fun historic fact about where they live.

Linda Shenton Matchett is rolling into our corral this Friday!

Howdy Folks!

Felicia Filly here wanting to put a bug in your ear about our next guest – Linda Shenton Matchett.

Linda’s coming on Friday, March 10th and will be chatting up a storm about a brave woman and the Centennial celebration of our great country! Let’s be sure to give her a cowgirl welcome!

She’ll be roping one of you fine readers in and handing out a copy of her book, Maeve’s Pledge.

Be sure to come on over and sit a spell. You’ll be glad you did!

Bringing Annie Oakley to Texas

When we were first brainstorming ideas for what would become the Pink Pistol Sisterhood series, it seemed only natural to look to a 19th century woman famous for both her marksmanship and her femininity as inspiration. When we learned of Annie Oakley’s passion for teaching other ladies how to defend themselves, we knew we had a foundation upon which to build.

It is estimated that Annie Oakley taught more that 15,000 women how to shoot over the course of her lifetime!

My heroine, Tessa James, seeks lessons from the great Annie Oakley, and I have to tell you that writing such a legend into my story was both daunting and incredibly fun.
Since my heroine lives in Caldwell, Texas, I needed to find a way to bring Annie to the Lone Star State. The 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago had just concluded. Annie had performed alongside the World’s Fair with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. This had been a long engagement, so I thought it possible that Annie and her husband Frank Butler might be in the mood for a change of scenery. Why not bring them to the south, and to Texas in particular? I found documentation that Buffalo Bill brought his western extravaganza to Texas in 1900, so perhaps this could have been an early scouting trip by one of his headliners.
Annie and Frank made their living through their own shooting exhibitions when they weren’t traveling with Buffalo Bill. So as all fiction authors do, I began asking What if? What if Annie and Frank decided to visit the Texas state capital and put on an exhibition while there? What if Annie agreed to give shooting lessons to any females who stayed after the performance?
Now that I had Annie coming to Texas, I needed to find a place for her to perform. My research led me to the perfect place–Hyde Park Pavilion.
Hyde Park was the first suburban development in Austin. Streetcar service made it possible for people to settle in this quiet, rural area. Before the area was developed with Craftsman houses and shady lanes, though, it was an area famous for recreation. The Texas State Fair used the area as its fairgrounds from 1875-1884. The flat terrain made it ideal for racing, so the Capital Jockey Association set up a racecourse there that became known as “the finest in the South.” The state militia used the area for training and drills during its summer encampments and drew crowds numbering in the thousands.
The State Lunatic Asylum had been built on these grounds in 1861, and during the 1870’s, they embarked on a beautification project that created 600 yards of scenic drives and a chain of lakes and lily ponds. Following this beautification, the asylum grounds became a favorite place for courting couples. Buggy drives and picturesque strolls became the norm. And when a large pavilion was constructed by Gem Lake in 1892, this became one of the most popular resorts in Austin.
The pavilion played host to concerts, plays, dances, and hosts of other entertainment. It seemed the perfect location for Annie Oakley to perform. I found a great photograph to help me picture what a turn-of-the-century crowd might have looked like at the Hyde Park Pavilion.
I had Annie perform inside the pavilion, where a crowd could watch in comfort, but the lessons she gave to Tessa and the other ladies happened on the lawn area that stretched wide on the side opposite the lake.
Who knew that the grounds of a lunatic asylum would provide the perfect setting for Annie Oakley to meet my heroine?

Click on cover to preorder.

In Her Sights is now available for preorder and early reviews are coming in. Here is what some readers are saying on Goodreads:

This book hits all of the right notes. It was sweet, it was funny, it had likeable characters who were easy to root for, and I was grinning like an idiot almost the whole time I was reading it.
Tessa and Jackson are delightfully perfect for one another . . . Tessa’s plan to catch Jackson’s attention is priceless and I laughed at the whole scene behind the old school.
I loved Every. Single. Thing. about this novella! As usual, Karen Witemeyer hooks you from the beginning with memorable characters and a enduring storyline.
Hilarious! What a delightful, comic, and inspirational love story! Ms. Witemeyer has delivered a great story with characters I would like to know. . . Can’t wait for the next book!
If you lived in Austin, Texas at the turn-of-the-century,
would you have wanted to go courting on the grounds of a lunatic asylum?

Let’s Welcome A. K. Holthaus!

It’s April Holthaus’ first visit to Petticoats & Pistols, and we’re mighty honored to have her!

She’s written her first western, too, as A. K. Holthaus. The title is FOUR ACES, and it’s the first book in her new American Western Historical Romance series, 1880 Deadwood Diaries.

It’s mighty generous of her to give away FIVE ebook copies of FOUR ACES, but you can’t win if you don’t come over and say ‘Howdy’.

She’s coming Thursday. See you there!