COWBOYS & MISTLETOE Starts Tomorrow!

 

It’s our 5th Annual Cowboys & Mistletoe!

 

And it’s that time of year when we celebrate our newest Christmas books, each sure to warm your heart with the joy of love and Christmas.

 Because we love spreading joy and love, we’ve prepared FOUR days of fun games and prizes.

Each day will feature a different filly and her books.

Each day will feature a different game, too.

Each game will be Short. Sweet. Simple.

Each winner will win a Christmas ornament as special as the stories we write.

 JOIN US every day from November 28 thru December 1st to play.

One game in the morning, another in the afternoon, except Tuesday.

 

Ho!  Ho!  Ho!

 

 

Winners announced on December 4th.  US Entries only.

 

Jo-Ann Roberts Has Winners!

Miss Jo-Ann, thank you so much for visiting. I think everyone loves quilts. They’re so pretty and warm!

Now for the drawing……

Two people will get an ebook copy of NOELLE!

And the lucky winners are …………

DEBBY236

MARY ELLEN 505

Congratulations, ladies! You’ll love this. Now, watch for Miss Jo-Ann’s email and check SPAM if you don’t find it soon.

Everyone come back tomorrow for the kickoff of our Cowboys and Mistletoe yearly event. It’ll be fun.

Guest Blogger Jo-Ann Roberts – Quilts and Christmas

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Earlier this year, the lovely Zina Abbott asked if I would be interested in being part of a historical MAPs that would feature quilts and Christmas. Gosh! As an avid quilter what could be better? Maybe a rugged cowboy? I answered with a very enthusiastic “Yes!”

While history books, almanacs, and memoirs chronicled the West as a man’s world full of adventure and clashes with nature and man, it should be noted women also played a vital role in the migration and taming of the frontier.

Prior to leaving for the journey, female friends in the East came together to stitch a quilt for the departing woman. These “quiltings” became farewell gatherings, united in purpose as well as in friendship. Thus the “friendship quilts”, squares inscribed with names, dates, and heartfelt sentiments became popular.

As preparations continued, the women gathered all the quilts, blankets and tied comforters they could make or acquire. While special quilts were packed in a trunk, or used to wrap fragile keepsakes, everyday quilts were left out for bedding or padding on the wagon seat. When the winds rose up and blew across the dusty plains, quilts were used to cover the cracks that let the dust inside the wagon.

Since most of the women walked alongside the wagon, little quilting was done on the trail. More often the women knitted or mended clothing during the short breaks or occasional layovers. Besides, the poor light of a campfire would not have been conducive to stitching blocks together.

Quilts often reflected the adventures the of the family. “Road to California”, “Crossing the Plains” and “Log Cabin” (my personal favorite!) often indicated memories of home and hearth, the trail looming up before them, or the movement of the wind across the plains.

As the journey continued, quilts were needed for far more serious purposes than simple comfort and dust control. They were hung on the exposed side of the wagons for protection against Indian attacks. Loss of life from sickness and injury was inevitable, and wood for building a coffin was scarce along the trail as well as time-consuming. Wrapping a beloved mother, child or husband in a quilt for burial gave the family comfort knowing that something symbolizing family love enfolded their dear one in that lonely grave along the trail.

Once a pioneer family reached their destination, quilts and blankets were needed to keep the elements out of their windows and doors of log cabins or dugouts. Quilts also gave emotional sustenance as well. Putting a favorite quilt on the bed gave a woman a sense of connection with her former way of life, and something of beauty in her desolate home.

A Swedish woman settled in Kansas in the early 1850s, and recalled an invitation to a sewing circle. Being new to the country and the territory, she took this as an offer of friendship. Pioneer quilting had become an opportunity to express creativity and cultivate friendships in the new land.

Here’s the buy link for Noelle:    Noelle – Christmas Quilt Brides

 

 

On to the fun stuff….

Today is release day for Noelle – Christmas Quilt Brides, Book 8. If you’d like to read an excerpt, PLEASE CLICK HERE

 ***** Giveaway *****

Jo-Ann will be giving away two ebook copies of Noelle. For a chance to win one, leave a comment about the type of crafting you enjoy most ( quilting, knitting, sewing, cake decorating, wreathing-making, etc.). If you’re not a crafter, what crafty skill to admire most in others?

Many thanks to the P&P authors for extending an invitation to their blog. I love sharing my love of the West and sweet historical romance!

 

A Thanksgiving Cornucopia of Holiday Wishes

Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone Here at Petticoats and Pistols!

While I have many fond memories of this holiday, one stands out in particular from when I was in first grade. For a class project, we made a cornucopia. Each of us brought in an item to be placed in the cornucopia. My contribution was a small, dried gourd. Growing up in Connecticut, our cornucopia was very traditional and looked a little like the one below.

The teacher also gave us a little lesson on the history or cornucopias, or, as it’s sometimes called, a horn of plenty. The name is Latin in its roots and the earliest references to cornucopias are found in Greek and Roman mythology. It’s become associated with the harvest (an often late summer and fall occurrence in the Northern hemisphere) and prosperity.

Original cornucopias were likely made of woven baskets or pottery. These days, people have become very creative, both with the material used to construct the cornucopias and what goes in them. Here’s some really clever ideas.

Lots of healthy fruits

 

Not so healthy candy, but yummy!

 

Pretty flowers

 

Pastry filled with Waldorf salad – my favorite

 

And if you have nothing on hand, use a paper bag 🙂

I hope whatever your plans are for the day and the long weekend, they’re filled with fun and joy and lots of good food. Whether you’re celebrating with family and friends over a big dinner on Thursday, watching football, Black Friday shopping, traveling, or simply enjoying a little R&R at home, we here at P&P wish you and yours all the best.

 

Jo-Ann Roberts Returns to Visit Friday!

Miss Jo-Ann Roberts is returning for a visit on Friday, November 25, 2022!

She’ll talk about quilting which I know is a favorite subject here on P&P. We’ll have lots of commenting to do.

She’s also toting two copies of her ebook NOELLE to give away!

All we need is for you to drop by and say howdy. That’ll get you in her drawing.

What’s better than sitting around a warm campfire with a big cup of something hot? Not much.

Don’t forget now.

Christmas with the Cowboy and a Give Away

I’m excited to have a new release this month. Christmas with the Cowboy is the first book of the Return to the Keller Ranch series. It’s a story of family bonds.

The patriarch of the Keller family, Daniel, was a wild cowboy before settling into family life after marrying his soul mate, Audrey. Their oldest son, Reed inherited the wild gene, and Daniel was very afraid that his son would make the same mistakes he did growing up, which led to a lot of headbutting between the two.

Trenna Hunt is daughter of the wealthy success-driven rancher next door. She and Reed fell in love during high school, but she allowed her image-conscious father to convince her that she and wild child Reed were traveling different life paths. She followed his advice and broke up Reed, believing it was best for both of them. Reed did not agree, but he did his best to move on, leaving the Keller Ranch to make a life of his own.

Fast forward to the present and Reed is back on the family ranch with his fourteen-year-old daughter, Lex; working shoulder to shoulder with his father and doing his best to create a stable life for his daughter, who is the center of his world. But Trenna is also back home and Reed finds himself dealing with the challenges of fatherhood along with the knowledge that he has never stopped loving her. He’s dead set against rekindling a relationship, but his daughter, who quickly gets the read on the situation, has other ideas.

Here’s an excerpt which takes place in the kitchen of the Keller Family Ranch house:

Audrey was about to reply when her attention jerked to the large window over the kitchen table. Her mouth opened, then closed again, and she shifted her attention back to her son.

“We need to talk.”

“What?” Reed caught sight of dust rising in the air at the far end of the driveway.

“Now.”

Lex was watching her grandmother with a look of open curiosity, the tea towel in one hand. Audrey gave her a quick smile, then took Reed by the elbow and steered him into the living room. He glanced back at the rooster tail, figuring it was still a mile away.

“What?” he asked as soon as Audrey had him at the far side of the living room, noting that she’d hauled him far enough from the kitchen to keep Lex from “accidentally” hearing what she had to say.

“This may be a false alarm, but…you know how I’ve always talked about arranging all the ranch records and photos and…general history…into some kind of order?”

“Yes…?”

“I started. And I hired help.” Her mouth flattened and she met his gaze. “I thought I’d have time to tell you. I mean, it shouldn’t matter, but it might and—”

His mom was never like this. Ever.

“What the—?”

“Trenna. I hired Trenna Hunt. She’s going to teach history at the community college starting in January, and I asked if she’d help me. She said, yes, then you told me you were coming home a few weeks early, and she’s not supposed to start until next week, and there was still time to tell her I didn’t need her if that turned out to be the case—”

“Mom. Chill. I’m good.” Stunned but good. “It’s been more than fifteen years.”

Audrey let out a breath. “Yes. But it seemed only fair to warn you ahead of time.”

“Fifteen years, Mom.”

“Right.” She gave him a cautious look, which clearly said that she didn’t know if fifteen years was enough time. It was. He’d built a new life and so had she.

“I’ll just head out and meet her then,” Audrey said, smoothing her hands down the sides of her jeans.

“Does she know about me and Lex being here?”

Audrey shook her head. “Not that you’re already here. You both moved up your timetables.”

“Go meet her, Mom. I’ll be right out.” Trenna Hunt. Fifteen years. As he’d said, a long time.

Why the hell was his stomach knotting?

“So,” Lex said lightly, staring into the bowl as she scooped out dollops of dough. “What’s up?”

“Old girlfriend.” Reed knew that unless it was absolutely necessary, it was best not to hide things from an inquisitive teen.

“One that required a red alert?”

“Bad breakup,” Reed said shortly.

Lex put a hand on her hip. “When did this happen?”

“Before you were born.” He’d done his share of dating after the sting of his failed marriage had worn off, but had yet to bring a woman home to meet the family so to speak, Lex being that family.

“Must have been some breakup.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Care to share?”

He shook his head. He’d told her enough, and although she pushed her tongue against the inside of her cheek in a thoughtful way, she accepted his decision.

“Suit yourself.” She turned back to the cookie dough. “But I want an introduction.” She met Reed’s gaze again. He frowned, and she said, “Sue me. I’m curious.”

“I’ll sue you, all right.” He gave her nose a tap, and she batted his hand away. But as he headed for the door, he caught her curious sidelong glance, which made him hope that she didn’t launch an investigation.

**

I’m giving away a digital copy of Christmas with the Cowboy. All you need to do to qualify is to tell me in the comments your favorite tv show, movie or book that features strong family bonds. Winner will be announced on Saturday.

A Hill through the Years and a Give Away!

Hi! Kit Morgan here, and today I wanted to share something I stumbled upon in Facebook regarding my little hometown. I won’t be there for the holidays. I’m still caregiving for someone in another state. That being said, you start thinking of home and family and for me, snow. I’m from Oregon but will be in California over the holidays, so no snow for me.

But while popping into a Facebook group to see how things in my little hometown are doing, I saw a picture taken back in the 70’s of what we simply refer to as “the hill”.

There’s more than one hill  in my hometown but the two main ones cut through the down town area. One is on Main Street, the other on Broadway. The one on Broadway back in the day was just a track and is much steeper than the one on Main Street. I was in Junior High marching band and you marched down the hill on Main Street but up the hill on Broadway. I got to thinking about that hill and all the times I’ve trekked up and down it through all four seasons and all kinds of weather year after year after year. Then I thought about the residents of my little hometown back in the day and tried to imagine them having to get up that hill to home. Yikes. These lovely ladies from 1901 in my hometown, haven’t had to go up the hill yet, that’s why they’re smiling!

It could be worse for them. It could be winter! Let’s see them get that wheel barrow up this! Or in this case, slide down it as this photo was taken from the top of the hill.

When you grow up in a small town, it’s always fun to watch the locals brave this hill in the winter when it’s nothing but a sheet of ice. There’s always someone who tries it and fails. At the bottom of the hill to the left, there’s now a parking lot and a grocery store.(To the right in the picture below). I remember being in that parking lot with my dad when the hill was covered with ice and had a good layer of snow on top. Made for some fast sledding, which no one was supposed to do but did it anyway. We can still name the culprits! I remember watching folks take pictures that day, this is one of them. It made me realize how much I miss that hill. A simple thing but there you have it. I think a lot of my books are inspired by my little home town, even though they’re in a historical setting. One of these days I’ll have to pattern a contemporary series after it. Other authors already have who grew up there, and our little town has had more than its share of movies shot in it. It even caught Oprah’s eye for a film she was producing and some of the scenes were shot at a house at the top of the hill.

I don’t have to march up the hill in the heat of summer anymore (good thing I played the piccolo in marching band). It’s more fun to watch and listen to a parade of log trucks make their way up it during the annual Fourth of July parade. And thank goodness. After climbing that blasted hill, it was a long way to the high school where the parade would start. But every year, kids, parents, livestock and of course lots and lots of log trucks come down Main Street then go back up Broadway. For those hearty individuals on foot and their first time in the parade, traversing the hill unscathed was like a right of passage. Trust me, when it’s 90 degrees out and you’ve already been marching for blocks, that hill is mighty intimidating when one gets to that point. Sissy that I am, I can’t remember when I walked it last. When my sister and I go walking in town, we take the hill on Main Street!

 

When it comes to the hill, it was here way before I was born and will be there long after my family and I are gone. Maybe that’s why it’s one of those simple things that’s endearing. I know it will be there a long, long, time. What sort of land mark do you have in your hometown that gives you that feeling of nostalgia? A statue, a bridge? Goodness, it could be anything! I’m giving away a free ebook copy of Charming the Widow, the third book in my Love in Apple Blossom series that released today!

A little more about the book: 

A Suspicious Widow
A Reluctant Englishman
And Two Mischievous Children …


When Six Englishmen come to Apple Blossom, they turn the town upside-down by not leaving. Instead, they take it upon themselves to help a few poor folks out by sprucing up their houses! Next on their list: The Widow Crawford. But Sarah Crawford didn’t trust the newcomers, and was it any wonder? The last strangers that came through town killed her husband. They appeared to be decent men, just like the Englishmen. So far they’d fixed things up for a rancher and Apple Blossom’s own lady sheriff. But just because they trusted them didn’t mean Sarah had to. After all, she had to protect herself and her children.

Irving Darlington (Darling to the folks in Apple Blossom) carried a heavy burden. If his older brother Sterling decides to stay in Apple Blossom for good, the title and estate would fall to him once their father passed on. But Irving wasn’t sure he could handle things properly. Sterling was the one prepared by their father to take things over, not him. The prospect looming, he does his best to avoid the Widow Crawford’s suspicious looks. How can he prove to her he’s trustworthy and has only her best interest in mind? How will he prove it to all those he’ll be responsible for back home in England? And how can he work on the Widow’s house without losing his heart completely?

Amazon

Winnie’s Winners

Winnie Griggs here. I’m so sorry to be soooooo late getting the winners selected – I had internet problems then went out of town for a few days.

Thanks to everyone who dropped in to help me figure out what to name the twins in my new book. Y’all gave me a lot of good suggestions and a lot of thing to think about. Stay tuned for what I end up naming them.

But I threw all the names in a cyber hat and selected the following names:

Diana Hardt
Elaine Kiefer
Kathy Bailey

Congratulations to all of you.  You’ve won your choice of any of my books along with your pick of the ornaments pictured below.  Note – the ornaments will be awarded on a first come, first served basis, so list them in your order of preference.

Once you’ve selected your book and ornament, send the info, along with your mailing address, to me via my website or PM me on facebook.