Happy holidays, everyone. Cathy McDavid here. So glad you’re here to play along with our Cowboys and Mistletoe holiday game. I’m going to do my best to fool you, but I think some of you may have been paying attention to my posts and be able to figure it out! I’m excited to feature my holiday release from last year, Blizzard Refuge. Yes, the book is a romantic suspense, but there really is a strong Christmas theme. Here’s the back cover blurb:
“Caught in a snowstorm…and a killer’s crosshairs!
A blizzard traps federal witness Kiera Driscoll and her seven-month-old daughter in the mountains with little hope of survival. Until Nash Myers shows up. Nash insists on sheltering them and their US marshal escort at his family cabin. Trusting a stranger feels beyond risky, yet Kiera has no choice. She must protect her baby. But as the storm closes in, so do the threats to her life…”
My giveaway for Cowboys and Mistletoe is a copy of Blizzard Refuge and a Nativity
Below you will find three statements, two of them are true, one is not.
Guess which one is the lie in the comments to be entered in the drawings.
Winners and answers will be announced on Sunday 12/03.
Cathy McDavid’s Two Truths and a Lie:
We once owned an antique wooden horse-drawn sleigh and dragged it out of storage every year.
When my children were young, they played characters in the church Christmas pageant, along with our donkey.
My husband was recruited as a last-minute substitute Santa Claus at the senior living facility where my late mother resided.
Get ready for a fun time. This week, the Fillies are entertaining Kaitlene Dee aka Tina Dee and she’ll talk about covered wagons, the food they prepared on the trail, and some romance. She mentions a giveaway so don’t miss that.
In my new story, Grace, which is part of the Prairie Roses Collection, nineteen-year-old Grace loses her best friend and inherits her three-year-old daughter, Emma. It was her friend’s dying wish that Grace would raise Emma because the little girl is without any other family.
Adam begrudgingly comes to the rescue of Grace and Emma with a marriage of convenience proposal—and together, they set out to help an elderly couple of sisters move their tea shop business from one town to another in a covered wagon to carry the sisters’ precious bone china and heirloom cabinet. They head from northern California to southern California. What should only take two to three weeks travel time turns out to be a much longer trip, ripe with danger and disaster. In all this, Grace and Adam find out how much they must trust in God as He guides them into discovering that they truly need one another.
Personally, I love outdoor cooking, and writing this story was fun with all the cooking that goes on in it. I enjoyed researching foods pioneers packed and ate for their journeys. Guidebooks made suggestions to hopeful travelers on things to pack in their provisions.
But most interesting to me, was the spices. Some were used for medicinal purposes, as well as for flavoring. Some curatives that were packed were: Cinnamon bark for the relief of diarrhea and nausea and to aid against digestive issues, cloves for its antiseptic and anti-parasitic properties, and nutmeg or mace, which were used for tonics. (FoodTimeline.org –an awesome and fun resource! They refer to Randolph B. Marcy’s A Handbook for Overland Expeditions, a valuable resource manual for those traveling west).
Some folks also packed potable meat (cooked meat packed tightly into a jar, then covered with some sort of fat such as butter, lard, or maybe tallow and then sealed), and portable soups, desiccated dried or canned vegetables, powdered pumpkin, and dried fruits. These were a surprise to me since, prior to research, I pretty much thought their only options were beans, cornmeal mush, biscuits, bacon, flour, milk if they had a cow, and eggs.
On their journey, Adam used oxen to pull the covered wagon because they were strong, dependable, and able to do well on less abundant food sources. It was fun researching about wagons as well. I didn’t know the wagons carried a pail of pitch under the wagon bed. But discussing covered wagons is for a future post.
The story of Grace is a Christian marriage of convenience, pioneer romance set in the western frontier and is part of the multi-author Prairie Roses Collection. All books in the series are stand-alone stories and can be read in any order. Not all of the stories are set on the Oregon Trail, some travel across state or from one state to another, but all of the stories are romances that occur while on their covered wagon journeys. They are in Kindle Unlimited and are also available for ebook purchase on Amazon.
Next spring, I’ll be contributing two more stories to the Prairie Rose Collection. The stories will be ripe with adventure, romance, and food and I’ll make sure they satisfy your Old West reading cravings.
What kind of food would you pack to bring on a journey like this? Anything special?
Leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for an ebook copy of GRACE
Kaitlene Dee lives on the west coast, enjoys outings along the coast and in the nearby mountains, hiking, supporting dog rescues and outdoor cooking and camping. She also writes contemporary western Christian romances as Tina Dee. Kaitlene and Tina’s books can be found on Amazon.
Cathy McDavid here. I’m going to do something a little different this month. Since my day to post for November is Thanksgiving, I wanted to, of course, wish everyone here a happy holiday. My hope for you is that you’re spending time with loved ones and friends and, if you’re like me, eating too much delicious food.
It’s traditional for many people on this special holiday to express gratitude for the blessings in their lives. I’ll be doing that and including all of you wonderful readers here at Petticoats and Pistols.
I’m also going to make a suggestion and ask you to not just express gratitude for your blessings but to “give” on this day of National thanksgiving. And you don’t have to spend a dime.
Here’s my list. I doubt I’ll accomplish every item on it. But even if I accomplish only a few, my life will be a bit brighter and happier. And the best part? I don’t have to stop at just one day ?
So, what about you? What will you give on this Thanksgiving Day?
A warm smile
A kind word
A friendly wave
A show of appreciation
A visit or phone call to an old friend
A friendly chat with a neighbor
An available ear to bend when a loved one needs to talk
What does the poem Mary Had a Little Lamb and Thanksgiving becoming a national holiday have in common?
Sarah Joseph Hale, born in New Hampshire in 1788, is largely responsible for both.
After being widowed, and with five children to support, Sarah wrote poetry as a way to make a living, and one of her most enduring poems is Mary Had a Little Lamb. Sarah became the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, a family-oriented magazine in 1841. As editor, she began to crusade for a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to commemorate the pilgrims’ famous feast. Interestingly, the southern part of the United States was slow to get on board, as they considered the feast of 1610, when supply ships finally reached Virginia, to be a more important occasion.
Thanksgiving was unofficially celebrated in the Northeast and Midwest throughout the 1840s and 1850s, but it wasn’t until the contingency of southern states were absent from congress, due to the Civil War, that Abraham Lincoln was able to declare Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday in 1863. For some time after the way, the southern states considered Thanksgiving a Yankee Abolitionist Holiday, but eventually unity was reestablished and turkey and cranberries became part of a national tradition.
Now, about the turkey…
In Sarah’s day, people assumed that the pilgrims ate turkey as part of their feast due to the abundance of wild turkeys on the east coast, while in actuality, they probably ate venison. A turkey is a practical centerpiece for a celebratory dinner, being larger than a goose and able to feed more people. Godey’s Lady’s Book featured many recipes for Thanksgiving and many of them featured turkey. Other publications pushed the idea of turkey being the traditional protein for the Thanksgiving feast, including Georgia’s Augusta Chronicle, which in 1882 announced, “Every person who can afford a turkey or procure it will sacrifice the noble American fowl to-day.”
Do you celebrate with a traditional turkey dinner? Or do you create your own traditions?
I’ve always been drawn to the courting rituals of old for the structure they provided. The unspoken rules always had to be adhered to—or else.
Courting in your ancestors’ days was entirely different from now. Suitors first called on the girl’s father and got his permission and a time was set. There was no pulling up in front of the house and honking the horn. Nope. There were rules to be obeyed.
At the appointed time of the young man’s arrival, the father would get out a courting candle—a metal contraption that consisted of a heavy coil. He’d set a taper in it and adjust it by turning the candle to whatever height he saw fit. The time was purely at his discretion. He’d then place it where the couple were going to sit.
If he liked the suitor, he might set the candle high so it would burn for a while.
If he didn’t approve of the boy, he’d set the candle low.
But whether high or low, when the candle burned down to the top of the coil, time was up and the father would show the young man to the door. If the suitor argued about it, the dad might show him the toe of his boot! Or a rifle. I’m sure many a one left that way.
On rare occasions when the suitor met with joyous approval, the father might let a second candle burn after the first was all the way down.
These courting candles were used by rich and poor families alike and set boundaries that had to be adhered to. They provided a quiet yet firm reminder that the girl’s father was boss and his word was final.
I sort of like this old tradition where no words needed to be said. The candle spoke loud and clear.
I had no need for a courting candle in my new Courting Miss Emma because she was nearing thirty and her father was out of the picture. Having never been kissed or even knowing of a man’s embrace, she often dreams of being courted. And loved. But as the hangman’s daughter, the chances of any man seeing her as a prospective bride are zero
Yet, their new neighbor Stone Landry didn’t give two hoots about who Emma’s father was. He sees something rare in Emma and he wanted her. However, having spent his life as a soldier, he knows absolutely nothing about courting so his efforts do not go smoothly.
While Emma and Stone are trying to figure that out, they’re forced to unite in a fight against ruthless men determined to take their land and Emma is in a fight for her life. It’s in question if they’ll get that chance to perfect their courting ritual.
Throw in a family of camels, the group of orphans and their humorous escapades, and a crotchety friend who arrives with an old rusted cannon and you have plenty of action.
I hope you give Courting Miss Emma a try. It’s a sweet historical romance.
I’m giving an ebook of Courting Miss Emma to two people who leave a comment mentioning a courting incident either in real life or in a book you read.