Tag: Forever His Texas Bride

Just What Is an Indian Medicine Bag?

Linda pubpixI was so excited when Forever His Texas Bride, the last in my Bachelors of Battle Creek, came out in December. I’d waited a whole year for readers to get it. This story is about Brett Liberty who happens to be a half-breed. He knows nothing at all about his past. Someone left him on the orphanage steps with only item in the basket with him—an Indian medicine bag with an onyx stone inside. Growing up with whites, he doesn’t know what the bag stands for even which tribe he belongs to. Finally when a woman comes with proof that she’s his sister, he learns he’s Iroquois.  But the medicine bag remains in the bottom of a chest with his things until he discovers a very sick old Comanche on his land and sees that he wears the same sort of leather pouch around his neck. When Brett gets his, the man explains what it is and the purpose.

 

a medicine bagMedicine bags were widely used in the American Indian culture. It was a special sacred container usually made of leather, but sometimes were fashioned from a small animal pelt. They held any object that the wearer thought would give him great “medicine” or power.

 

Typically, they contained something from each the plant, mineral and animal kingdom in addition to anything else the wearer thought would bring good fortune, protection and strength. Almost all held sweet grass or sage. No one was allowed to open another’s and when a warrior died, the bag was buried with him. To lose a medicine pouch signified a man had lost his “medicine” and he faced great dishonor and was ridiculed in the tribe. It also meant a bad omen for the future. After learning about his, Brett never took it off.

 

simple medicine bagThe onyx that Brett found in his was put there by his mother to protect him. But he knew a copper strand of Rayna Harper’s hair would bring strength so he put that inside as he went about collecting items that would give him power to fight the men who wanted to kill him. He made a medicine bag for Rayna and she put a piece of fringe from Brett’s moccasin inside along with a green stone from their secret waterfall.

 

Cowboy Coffee mugI have a small leather one that has a beautiful green stone, a small turtle figure and sage inside. What would you put inside one if you had it? What things would you think important to carry?

 

I’m giving away this cowboy and horse mug to one person who leaves a comment.

 

Here’s a short excerpt from the book:

 

Rayna’s hand came in contact with a soft leather pouch she’d never seen him wear before. “What’s this?”

“A medicine bag. I’ve always had it, but until today I didn’t know what it was or why it was in the basket when I was left at the orphanage. Bob told me it holds my power, things that have meaning only to me.” He paused a moment, and when he spoke, his voice sounded rusty. “Rayna, I have a request that may sound odd. Would you mind if I cut a small piece of your hair to put inside?”

His request surprised her at first, then warmth rose at the thought that she meant this much to him. She raised her head. “I’d be honored to have a lock of my hair in your medicine bag.”

She moved from the circle of his arm. He pulled his knife from its sheath and, holding a curl between his thumb and forefinger, cut it. Then he opened his leather pouch and laid it inside. A pleasant glow spread through her chest. Part of her would always be with him. Her eyes misted.

Brett placed his lips to her ear. His soft breath ruffled her hair. “Thank you, Rayna.”

Flutters quivered in her stomach. When she leaned into him, he dropped a kiss on her cheek before moving away. Though she wished for more, she’d learned to be grateful for what she got. She had these peaceful moments and shared secrets with Brett to cherish forever. Maybe she was starting to heal. Maybe this land could heal her ragged spirit, too, and help her live with the things she couldn’t go back and fix. If she had a mind to.

But some things just needed doing even if they scarred your soul.

* * * * * *

You can find all three of my Bachelor series online and in bookstores. I’m currently working on a brand new series called Men of Legend. Book #1—TO LOVE A TEXAS RANGER releases in October.

Bachelors of Battle Creek BANNER

Vegans on the American Frontier?

LindaBroday2With times so hard and food as scarce as it was on the American frontier, being a vegan probably wasn’t heard of that often. But given people’s phobias I have a hard time believing they didn’t develop until the 1900s. People are people no matter what century you live in.

Carnophobia is the fear of meat.

And it’s not limited to vegans. It can apply to anyone who stopped eating meat because it wasn’t prepared well and made them sick.

Rayna Harper in my new book—FOREVER HIS TEXAS BRIDE—is a carnophobic.

ForeverTexasBridemedShe stopped eating meat for a very horrific reason and it makes perfect sense. The only thing is, Brett has a hard time understanding it at first. He’s definitely a meat eater. Game is plentiful and provides critical protein that gives a person energy so it seems odd to him that someone stops eating it.

I’m not going to say what Rayna’s reason is because it’ll give away too much of the story, but she finds a champion in Brett.

Once he learns of her phobia, he makes sure to have plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts and eggs available for every meal.

No one understands inner pain better than Brett. When he learns hers, he folds his arms around her, vowing to protect her to the last breath.

I’m giving away a copy (winner’s choice of title and format) of one of my Bachelors of Battle Creek series. All you have to do is leave a comment.

Here’s a short excerpt from the book:

Rayna moved to the fire. Cooper handed her a pointed stick that had a rabbit skewered onto it and asked her to hold it over the flames. She looked as though she might retch. Still, she kept her head averted from the dead animal and did as he requested.

Funny thing though, as soon as Cooper relieved her of the rabbit, she rushed behind a tree and emptied her stomach.

Rand strolled over to Brett. “What’s wrong with Rayna?”

“I’m not sure. Maybe she got something bad in the jail. The food they served was little better than slop for the most part.”

When Rayna returned, Brett took her aside to ask if she was all right.

“I’m fine,” she said, not meeting his eyes.

He knew a fib when he saw one, but he didn’t press. She’d talk when she wanted. Or not. Being one who had never felt the need to do much conversing, he understood her desire for quiet.

His gaze followed her as she walked down to the stream. Suddenly, he remembered her refusal to eat the fried chicken the kind jailor had brought them. He suspected it wasn’t just chicken she didn’t eat. Without a word to anyone, he moved into the woods and found some wild berries, roots, and nuts. Wasn’t much, but it would keep her from getting too weak to travel.

 

Romantic Times gave a 4 star review, saying this:

“Broday’s Westerns always captivate with realistic settings, rugged cowboys and feisty heroines. Broday ends her Bachelors of Battle Creek trilogy with a bone-chilling thrill. Two lonely hearts came together against vigilantes determined to destroy all they hold dear.”

 

The whole series is available online and in bookstores everywhere.

Bachelors of Battle Creek BANNER

 

 

Linda Broday’s Highlights of 2015

I always enjoy looking back at the end of the year and measuring my progress. Each year needs to show how far I’ve come. If it doesn’t then I slept through it. No sleeping for me this time. Man, I was busy! But 2015 was a stellar year. For the first time in my life I had three new releases–all in my Bachelors of Battle Creek series. January started off with a bang with TEXAS MAIL ORDER BRIDE. The month of May saw TWICE A TEXAS BRIDE and December wound up the series with FOREVER HIS TEXAS BRIDE.

Bachelors of Battle Creek BANNER

I also did quite a bit of traveling. Put a lot of miles on my car and on my body too!

My trip to New York City lingers in my mind as one of the best places I’ve ever gone. I’d always yearned to see it just once before I died. And I did. I toured the Sourcebooks Publishing NY office, did a walking tour of the financial district, saw the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Statue of Libertysm

George WashingtonsmTimes Square at Nightsm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not all was related to my career. Our family had a family reunion in East Texas and that was fun. I won the Hula-Hoop competition. I beat out my little sister. My oldest daughter got married and my oldest granddaughter graduated from Texas Tech University Suma Cum Laude.

M&R

Melinda and Katie

 

I wound up the year back in Dallas at Richardson when I attended the annual Buns and Roses Literacy Event. So much fun.

My Christmas celebration was low-key. I dragged out my Charlie Brown tree that I’ve had forever and hung little cowboy boots and hats on it. Then I sat a bunch of little doggies wearing six shooters and deputy badges on their vests around it with my cowboy statue guarding everything.

Boot Tree

In between all the travel and book releases I enjoyed being with my friends. I have some of the best friendships ever made.

But now I’m ready to get back to work. I need to finish up book #2 of my Men of Legend series and get the third one written. I’m really loving this series that has the big feel of Bonanza about it. A father and his three sons live on a huge ranch called The Lone Star. Their last name is Legend. I think readers will love it. And I have to turn in a proposal for another series that will come after Men of Legend. One thing about it, writers never have much time to sit around twiddling their thumbs. Maybe that’s a good thing.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

 

Left Foot, Right Foot by Linda Broday

LindaBroday2Do you remember what it was like to put your foot into the wrong shoe? Young children do this all the time. I still remember how uncomfortable it felt. But did you know that up until as late as 1850 shoemakers didn’t differentiate between the left and the right? They made both shoes straight with no curve to them. I can only imagine how awful they were to wear.

Change came with the invention of sewing machines and machinery for making shoes and finally they were able to produce left and right ones.

In FOREVER HIS TEXAS BRIDE that released yesterday, Rayna Harper has such an issue with her shoes. In the beginning chapters, she makes Brett Liberty promise to give her his moccasins when they hang him for being a half-breed. Then later in the story, he buys her first pair of women’s shoes and she treasures them so much she carries them back to the boardinghouse. She won’t wear them because she doesn’t want to get them dirty. Until then, all she has are a pair of too large men’s brogans with their cracked dry leather and a hole in the sole.

ForeverTexasBridemedEach of the two previous books were special and came from the deepest part of my heart, but I’ve saved the best for last with this third and final book of the series. Brett Liberty’s story goes to the very core of who I am and what I stand for. Being a half-breed was the worst thing for a man in the 1800s because he straddled two worlds with neither claiming him. In this story, Brett faces pure hatred to the point that others want him dead. He’s never been with a woman, never known the softness of a woman’s touch or the feel of her lips on his. But when he meets pickpocket Rayna Harper in the jail cell next to him, he finds a kindred spirit. The brush of her hand is almost unbearable in its tenderness and when she curls up beside him on the narrow bunk, she curls up inside his heart. This is a story of never giving up hope and reaching for a forbidden love that others are bent on denying. It’s about how through compassion you can change people’s belief’s. Brett’s and Rayna’s deep love binds them together like a strip of the toughest rawhide and won’t let them go.

In this excerpt, Rayna thinks Brett bought her the new shoes and some new dresses because he pities her. That he sees her as a shivering mutt left by the side of the road. That makes her so mad.

Here’s the excerpt:

Her chin rose. “I understand everything now. You said you took me from the jail because you saw someone worth saving. I can save myself. I don’t need you. You’re no better than those tambourine bangers always preaching that I’m bound for hell.”

Taking a deep, shuddering breath, she continued, her voice barely louder than a whisper. “You consider it your duty to care for the poor, pitiful bone-picker’s daughter.” Her lips trembled. “I can manage on my own. You can keep your pity and the fancy clothes and shoes.” She whirled and ran toward the house.

Rayna had gotten only a few steps when Brett caught her arm, halting her progress. His dark eyes glittered like stones. “Pity? Is that what you think? Lady, the last thing I feel is pity. Good God! I said what I did just now because I don’t want false pretenses between us. You deserve honesty.”

shoe3What she deserved…how about a handful of broken dreams and empty hopes? Nothing ever changed—hope and despair just repeated in one endless cycle. Over and over and over again.

She jerked free. Plopping down on the porch steps, she untied her kid leather boots and hurled one at him. He caught it with ease. Infuriated, she threw the second one. She muttered an oath when he made a left-handed catch, his dark brows knitted.

Shooting the buttery-soft footwear as well as the man holding them a glare, she raced into the house and up the stairs. By the time she made it to her room, the burning behind her eyes materialized. Silent tears trickled down her cheeks. She swept the purchases of that morning onto the floor and curled up on the bed.

She had to get out of Battle Creek. But how would she be able to leave when her heart desperately wanted to stay?

* * * *

I’m a big movie fan and, when I’m writing, I see everything unfolding in my mind like I’m watching a movie. What was the last movie you went to see and how did you like it? I’m giving a copy of FOREVER HIS TEXAS BRIDE to one person who leaves a comment.

 

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Are Writers Really Poets and Liars?

Linda2015Many of us in the writing profession take our imaginations for granted. I know I do. I’ve always had it and my thoughts are as much a part of me as the beat of my heart. Without imagination to dream up great scenarios, our stories would be as riveting as a plumber’s manual.

 

But what really is imagination? Where does it come from? Any thoughts?

 

Ambrose Bierce an editorialist/journalist and short story writer in the 1800s states, “Imagination, n. A warehouse of facts, with poet and liar in joint ownership.”

That certainly fits.  Writers take a kernel of thought and fabricate a story around it with engaging characters and make us believe it definitely could happen.

 

stack-of-booksDavid Hume, an 18th century Scottish philosopher, became enthralled with human mental activity. He concluded that impressions in our brains are copies of actual things we have seen, felt, heard or read about. According to him we have no original thoughts. For instance – a blind person may know the word blue but he cannot associate it with an image. Therefore, he has no thought of what the color looks like. Same with a deaf person in relation to sound. According to him our ideas are nothing more than copies of impressions.

 

What! I think that’s a bunch of malarkey. What about Jules Verne’s submarine in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea? Or his novel, Paris in the Twentieth Century where he describes subways, gas stations, a fax machine? What about any number of other authors who accurately portray things far before their time?

 

It makes me wonder about Divine inspiration. I think some ideas defy logic.

 

Dog ReadingHume did acknowledge that nothing is more free than the human imagination. “Our minds have the power to mix, compound, separate and divide all of our ideas into a variety of fiction and vision.” Now, there you go. I totally agree with that. We have untold avenues of creativity. I fear I’ve only tapped into a small portion of ideas that float around aimlessly in my gray matter, waiting for me to draft them into a story.

 

I don’t know about you, but all this thinking wears me out. I think I’ll relax and curl up with a generous portion of imagination in a good book.

 

On second thought, I think I’ll put some of those fat, juicy ideas to work. After all, they’re only soaking up gray matter.

 

I can lie with the best of them and make readers believe it can happen!

 

Do you have good imagination? What vivid worlds did you visit as a child? Ever have a make believe friend?

 

It’s only a short wait until FOREVER HIS TEXAS BRIDE (the third and final book of my Bachelors series) comes out on December 1st. If you haven’t read the first two of the series, you still have time. Start with book #1 TEXAS MAIL ORDER BRIDE. Click on the covers and they’ll take you to Amazon.

Mail Order Bride

Twice a Texas Bride

ForeverTexasBridemed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*Cover Reveal* FOREVER HIS TEXAS BRIDE!

sceneryThe Final Chapter!

This is the last book in my exciting Bachelors of Battle Creek series and I think I’ve saved the best for last. It will be out on December 1, 2015!

SHE WAS A PICKPOCKET AND HE A HALF-BREED.

Their love flamed to life in a dark jail cell after the sheriff shot Brett Liberty then arrested him.

Brett struggled to his feet and clung to the metal bars to keep from falling. “Once and for all, tell me…what did I do? What am I guilty of?”

“You were born,” the sheriff snapped. Without more, he turned and walked to the front of the jail.

His only crime was being Indian and the sheriff, driven by hate for Brett’s kind, ordered him to be hung. Brett’s only chance was his brothers- Cooper Thorne and Rand Sinclair. But they were 70 miles away.

ForeverTexasBridemedI love this cover. The amazing people in Sourcebooks’ art department just continually amaze me. Last month when I went to NYC, I met the lady who is so gifted. Dawn Adams told me a little about her process and how her main goal with each cover is capturing the emotion. She certainly does this on this cover. Notice how the man will not look directly into the eyes of the woman he’s holding? That was exactly Brett. He’s been reviled and hunted because he’s American Indian and he doesn’t want Rayna to suffer the same fate. So he can’t show her how he really feels and the love he carries deep in his heart.

Here’s the back blurb:

“There’s this thing between us that refuses to die. I’d like nothing better than to be able to…” His words faded. He’d give anything to change people’s views about his race…to be able to make her his wife.

But the world wasn’t that simple. Not for people like them.

All his life, Brett Liberty has straddled two worlds: white and Iroquois. The only place he’s truly at peace is with his wild mustangs. Arrested for the color of his skin, he discovers Rayna Harper in the cell next to him. Rough and tumble Rayna has known little kindness, but Brett sees the depth of her heart hidden beneath layers of hurt and fear, and he refuses to leave without her.

Something about the damaged, flame-haired beauty calls to him. Yet even as the two outcasts are drawn together, terrible danger at the hands men eaten with hate threatens to tear them apart. Brett knows he should let her go, but he’s taken with the woman who looks at him as if he were just any other man…and melts in his arms as if the brush of his lips is enough to chase all her demons away…

* * *

I’ll be telling more about this in the coming months. It releases on December 1, 2015.

Here are links where you can preorder:   AMAZON      BARNES AND NOBLE

In the meantime…..I’ve just completed Book one of a brand new series called MEN OF LEGEND. I’m looking forward to telling you more about this.

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