Tag: Prairie Brides

Bustles & Prairie Fires & Why We Wear Pants

Is this really only a hundred and twenty-five years???? We’ve come a long way, baby! 

 

The whole idea of puffy dresses and prairie life became a GREAT part of my intro to “Second Chance Christmas“, the second novella of “The Sewing Sisters’ Society” collection, and part of the overall Prairie Brides series…

Because claim shacks were small.

Folks didn’t always allow enough safe room around wood stoves and/or fireplaces.

Bustles made skirts wider.

In a world governed by mathematics and physics, A + B = C.

And C = skirts catching fire!

For practicality’s sake women in the west had to adjust their longing for European and Eastern fashion and slim down their skirts.

Tapered, not bustled….

Slim, not voluminous….

And then… shortened….

And then shortened some more….

And then…

Wait for it:

Skirts and pants…..

By the mid 20th Century a World War changed so much… Men went off to war.

So did women.

Women couldn’t wear skirts in all areas…. so they were issued trousers….

Women at home went to work manning the manufacturing processes…. and wore pants.

 

Today’s school teachers don’t look like this, do they? And yet… there’s something absolutely fetching about this look!

And a new shape was born from necessity, from self-reliance, from role reversal. And it’s never gone back, has it?

Here’s a great article about women and pants and how Calamity Jane set the Western tone for horse-ridin’ women:

“Women in Pants…”

When we look back and see how for millennia women wore dresses… That it would have been considered out-of-this-world in-your-face to dress down… 

Even into the 20th century…

Suffragists didn’t just fight for our long-awaited right to vote. They set a bar for an equality that we can never take lightly… but not at the expense of our respect, right?

I love getting dressed up. I love pretty dresses. But the other side of me is so totally down with blue-jean-casual… when I’m writing a story or running a power saw or cleaning a donkey pen or painting a house or room… or making jam to sell at our roadside stand.

So tell me, what’s your fashion fave and why? Is it how it makes you feel? Or how you like to be seen by others?  Or would you just love to go back, back, back and dress in those ladylike fashions once more?

No right or wrong answers here, and there’s a Kindle copy of my new full-length historical

“A Most Inconvenient Love for one lucky person today. Leave a comment below… 

 

New Historical Novella Collection!

By Filly Ruth Logan Herne!

First, this is so much fun…. because every now and again I have to do the “To thine own self be true” thing and write a historical something…. Because I am in such admiration and awe of the courage and tenacity these women showed as they moved west and helped settle a rugged, wide open country.

It amazes me. What kind of courage did it take to pack a wagon with whatever it would hold (and still have room for children as needed) and WALK to the west.

Yep, that’s the ticket.

They WALKED to the west.

Imagine that. Imagine that in a time when folks fight in parking lots for the closest spot to park their cars!!!

Or people wheedle into handicapped parking spots, or the wheelchair accessible spots marked by bold yellow stripes…. because they’re only going to be a “minute”…

Soddies and dugouts made the log cabins of the first settlers look LUSH! 🙂 Trees for walls instead of thatch and dirt??? Yes, please!

And think of the people smart enough to cross the Atlantic with a skill… the first millers and grinders and lumberers…. the first people to settle on rivers and creeks strong enough to power equipment with paddle wheels long before we could power it with hyrdroelectric power….

OH MY STARS!!!!!

So this novella trilogy kicks off a three-book series set in the little town of “Second Chance”, South Dakota in the late 1880’s, just as President Harrison grants statehood to North and South Dakota in no particular order because they were constantly bickering…. (that sounds oddly familiar, doesn’t it?)

Now there’s some shenanigans going on here… Hattie McGillicuddy, the middle-aged seamstress who came west because staying in Boston offended her sensibilities after losing her family to illness and her temper to narrow-minded men… So Hattie moved west with a sewing machine, some cold, hard cash and a great work ethic but when Second Chance falls on hard times (like many start up towns and companies!) a lot of people go back east. Plagues of bugs and locusts, drought and blizzards took their toll… and Hattie realizes that Second Chance needs more folks, plain and simple, and specifically more women. And thus it begins as Hattie and her old friend Jean Ellen pick likely women to come west for a new job with Hattie… and a new life in Second Chance. Cover design and content edit by Beth Jamison, Jamison Editing.

Macy arrives with a secret, a baby boy whose future would be bleak with a single mother. So like Moses’ mother, Macy leaves little Will on the pastor’s porch and pretends to arrive the following day with her secret– and her beloved son– safe and secure. But she never counted on falling in love with the pastor, a man with a secret past of his own. Can they move beyond the pains of the past and trust the good Lord for their future?

Now Nellie comes to town with more than a little flourish! Hounded by the elitists of Pittsburgh and accused of a crime she didn’t commit, Nellie brings an amazing skill with her. She’s got a way with tucks and gathers, and what town doesn’t need more tucks and gathers? And she sees the world through shining eyes and a suffragist’s mindset, a woman who believes that all are created equal so why should men be more equal than women? When she meets up with staid and somewhat stern Levi Eichas, he’s not at all sure what to do… well, except when her pretty gown catches fire in his workshop, and then the only thing to do is to throw dirty foundry water on her fancy layered dress. An ignominious beginning for what could never be a long and abiding love… or does our Nellie turn out to be exactly what Levi needs to shake him out of his dull existence?

And when Ann comes to town, it’s with a broken heart firmly entrenched. She’s angry and grief-stricken and mightily depressed for having lost her husband and two children in a boating accident back in Pennsylvania. She scarcely knows how to breathe, much less do anything else, but when Jean Ellen’s friend needs someone who can turn a nice hem… and Ann does turn very nice hems!… she agrees to take the train west to help an ailing Hattie. And when she realizes the job means turning hems while keeping Sol Eichas’s two small children hale and hearty on the prairie, she’s ready to take the first train back east. But she gave her word, and who but a clueless man would bring two small children west, and think he can work the smithy adjacent to the wagon shop and work a claim and watch two kids? As the children and Sol claim her heart, Ann needs to decide if she’s strong enough to try again, here in Second Chance.

Paperback edition coming soon!!!!!

So these three novellas (which I had originally written a few years ago for anthologies with writer friends like Mary Connealy and Pam Hillman and Julie Lessman) are all in one book now…. and in March they will be joined by my first full-length historical novel “A Most Inconvenient Love”…

Because it seems Levi Eichas has three sisters, all of whom we meet in these novellas… and with their stern and unyielding father now deceased, the three Eichas women will get a chance to shrug off the gray shapeless dresses he had them wear and embrace life as others do, with calicos and prints and maybe even a touch of satin and lace! Once Nellie enters the family, well… all bets are off and color invades the Eichas claims outside of town… color…. and a chance for each woman to shine in her own way.

Cover design: Beth Jamison, Jamison Editing

Rachel’s story releases in March… and then the other sisters over the following year… and to thank you for joining me in this release party, I want to offer two Kindle copies of “The Sewing Sisters’ Society” to two lucky folks. And for extra chances thrown into the water bucket (with no water at the moment!) you can do these two wonderful things:

Let me know that I can include you on my newsletter list (I’d love to, if you’re not already there!) by either emailing me at loganherne@gmail.com or telling me in the comments below. I send them out about every six weeks or so…

And for another chance, hop on over and follow me on Bookbub… Bookbub Link Here!

I’ll gladly throw an extra chance into the water bucket!

Bookbub is lovely. They’ll simply pop you an e-mail anytime I release something new OR when one of my publishers runs a sale… Bookbub lets all of my followers know so no one misses out. It’s a great place to indicate the authors you LOVE so you never miss out on great deals.

And speaking of sales, Book one of my Double S Ranch series is ON SALE RIGHT NOW for $1.99 on Amazon for Kindle! Great book, great reviews, a wonderful beginning to a bestselling cowboy series!

Link to “Back in the Saddle”!

www.ruthloganherne.comIt’s been a long time since Colt Stafford shrugged off his cowboy legacy for shiny Manhattan loafers and a promising career on Wall Street. But when stock market manipulations leave him financially strapped, the oldest son of legendary rancher Sam Stafford decides to return to the sprawling Double S ranch in Gray’s Glen, Washington. He’s broke, but not broken, and it’s time to check in with his ailing father, and get his legs back under him by climbing into the saddle again.
 
He doesn’t expect to come home to a stranger pointing a loaded gun at his chest— a tough yet beautiful woman that Sam hired as the house manager. Colt senses there’s more to Angelina Morales than meets the eye and he’s determined to find out what she’s hiding…and why.