Tag: Louise M. Gouge

Cowboy Homecoming with Louise M. Gouge

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


JULYCowgirl for Keeps CoverMy thanks to the lovely cowgirls of Petticoats and Pistols for inviting me to their blog. While I’m promoting my brand new release, Cowgirl for Keeps, I always love to chat about the American West. I lived in Colorado for twenty years, and even though I’ve lived in Florida for the past thirty-five years, my memories of Colorado are precious to me. Not only did I meet and marry my dear hubby David in Denver (we recently celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary!), but also our four children were born in the San Luis Valley, the setting for my Four Stones Ranch series. And that’s what I want to talk about today.

JulyRio Grande2

The San Luis Valley of Colorado is a vast, beautiful valley the size of Delaware set in the lower middle part of the state between the Sangre de Cristo and San Juan Mountain ranges. The headwaters of the mighty Rio Grande are in the San Juan Range in the west, and on the eastern side of the valley stand the amazing Great Sand Dunes National Monument. Breathtaking mountain views abound, no matter where you stand in the San Luis Valley.

JULYSLV Great Sand DunesOne especially historic place in the Valley is Monte Vista, the town upon which my fictional town of Esperanza is based for my Four Stones Ranch series. Much of Monte Vista’s history is incorporated into my stories, including the fact that the founders voted to forbid the sale of alcohol within the city limits. Think of that! A western town with no saloon…and all that went along with it. No gambling. No women of ill-repute urging foolish cowboys to spend their hard-earned wages wastefully. No drunks wandering the streets shooting up businesses. Although to tell the truth, one time several cowboys did shoot out the front windows of a business or two in their search for hard liquor. I plan to include that incident in one of my upcoming stories in this series. There are countless such gems of Colorado and especially Monte Vista history that I plan to include. If my series continues long enough, I’ll be writing about Monte Vista’s Ski-Hi Stampede, one of the oldest rodeos in the United States.


JULYWest MOUNTAINSFor now, let me tell you a little bit about Cowgirl for Keeps. I call this novel “Pride and Prejudice meets Louis L’Amour” because we have a stuffy English hero and a practical minded cowgirl who knows her own mind. Romantic Times give Cowgirl for Keeps a four-star rating, stating, “It is entertaining to see the fish-out-of-water English hero struggle with his new Western surroundings. With great characters from two different cultures, a beautiful Colorado settings, and a sweet epilogue, Gouge pens a well-rounded story.”


JulyOld Ranch HouseI’m so pleased that Cowgirl for Keeps is being released in July, the month that celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Even though I didn’t know the release date when I wrote the book, I did want my Englishman to understand the difference between his country and the heroine’s. Because the people of 1883 America were unabashedly patriotic, my townspeople throw a huge celebration for the Fourth of July. They have three-legged races, cake walks, contest for the best pickles, horse races, and a reading of the Declaration of Independence by a mixed group of citizens. I hope you feel like standing up and singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” when you finish reading that scene!


I would like to give away one print copy of Cowgirl for Keeps to a U. S. resident. Please tell me what it is you like about western stories to enter the drawing.


JULYCowgirl for Keeps CoverHere’s the blurb for the book: Lassoing the Cowgirl

Rosamond Northam’s plans of building a high school take an unexpected turn when her father informs her she’ll be overseeing construction of a new hotel instead—with Englishman Garrick Wakefield. The newly arrived aristocrat seems to turn his nose up at all she loves about her Colorado hometown. The man is entirely insufferable…yet undoubtedly handsome.


Garrick wants nothing more than to prove himself to his uncle, who has backed the building of this hotel. But he finds himself ever at odds with his pretty cowgirl partner over the plans. The American West is so different from his British home, but with Rosamond showing him the ropes, maybe he’ll commit to Western life…and a Western lass.



JULYLouise M. Gouge PortraitFlorida author Louise M. Gouge writes historical fiction for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historicals. She received the prestigious Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in 2005 and placed in 2011; and placed in the Laurel Wreath in 2012. Her indy novel Then Came Love is a finalist for the 2015 IRCA. When she isn’t writing or teaching her college classes, she and David, her husband of fifty years, enjoy visiting historical sites and museums. Please visit her Web site at http://blog.Louisemgouge.com

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