Today Louise M. Gouge joins us at the Junction and she’ll be giving away a copy of her new book, Cowboy Homecoming! Let’s give her a warm welcome!
I’m so happy to be a returning guest here on Petticoats and Pistols. Thank you all for inviting me back! Let me tell you what I’ve been up to in the realm of historical western romance.
When writing a series of novels, we romance authors face a challenge. To keep the series exciting to our readers from one book to the next, we must create a unique romantic conflict between the hero and heroine of each story. For my editor, I also must have an interesting, overarching conflict the couple needs to solve together. It can be anything from unravelling a mystery to reaching a destination on the other side of a deep, dark valley or building a new hotel in a small town.
My brand-new April release, Cowboy Homecoming, the fifth book in my Four Stones Ranch series, is no different. Cowgirl Laurie Eberly already cares for cowboy and newly minted lawyer Tolley Northam. They grew up together on neighboring ranches, and their fathers often spoke of wanting a marriage between the two families. (They have plenty of sons and daughters, so it’s possible for that to happen!) Only problem is, Laurie can’t trust former bad boy Tolley. Does he truly love her, or is he showing interest in her because he desperately wants to please his father?
In the meantime, Laurie and Tolley end up living in the same boarding house so they can help dear old widow Foster, who’s fallen down the stairs while carrying a bucket of water upstairs to clean her boarders’ rooms. Laid up with a sprained leg and broken arm, Mrs. Foster can’t take care of her house or boarders. Tolley comes up with the idea of installing a bathroom on the second floor of the house so the lady will never have to carry water upstairs again. Laurie loves the idea, but she and Tolley have different ideas about how to get the job done, so that adds to the fun of the story.
But were there bathrooms in 1885 homes in small town Colorado? And if so, how would such a room be built in an already completed house? Believe me, I had to check several sources to bring it all together. My best go-to book for the series is A Bridge to Yesterday by Emma M. Riggenbach, which tells the history of Monte Vista, Colorado, the town on which I based my fictional town of Esperanza. Set in the San Luis Valley, this cozy town holds many surprises for people who think all historical western stories are the same.
For instance, in 1889, a grand, three-story hotel was built in Monte Vista. It was constructed of pink stone quarried seven miles from town. In the hotel, artesian water was pumped to all three floors. Taking literary license with that information, I reasoned that because Boston’s Tremont Hotel had full bathrooms since 1830
, and many Boston homes had them by the 1880s, bathrooms were no doubt popping up all over the West. Since my hero has just spent two years in Bean Town, he rather likes the modern convenience and wants to bring it to his hometown. Laurie has spent some time in Denver, and she’s enjoyed bathrooms in finer hotels.
To find out how Laurie and Tolley accomplish their goal of helping dear Mrs. Foster by installing a bathroom in her house AND finding the way to their very own happily-ever-after, you may want to pick up a copy of Cowboy Homecoming. Or you can enter our drawing for a free copy by leaving a comment or question about the history of bathrooms (U. S. residents only).
COWBOY HOMECOMING — After two years, Tolley Northam returns home, transformed from a mischievous youth into an ambitious lawyer confident of winning his father’s approval at last. But he soon begins to wonder if the only way to do so is to marry family friend Laurie Eberly—a woman his father has always liked. If only she weren’t so adamant about refusing Tolley’s proposal…
Laurie’s childhood friend is now a handsome, accomplished lawyer with undeniable charm. But she can’t accept Tolley’s proposal; she believes it’s just to earn his father’s praise. First he’ll have to prove to her that he wants her for a wife not because his father thinks she’s the perfect match, but because he does.
Florida author Louise M. Gouge writes historical fiction for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historical Romances. She received the prestigious Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in 2005 and placed in 2011, 2015, and 2016; and placed in the Laurel Wreath in 2012. When she isn’t writing, she and David, her husband of fifty-plus years, enjoy visiting historical sites and museums. Please visit her Web site at http://blog.Louisemgouge.com, https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLouiseMGouge/, Twitter: @Louisemgouge