Maureen McKade – a reason to read westerns!

With my latest book, A Reason to Sin, I bring the Forrester brothers trilogy to an end, which was both exhilarating and incredibly sad.  After spending two years with the Forresters, it was difficult to let them go but also wonderfully gratifying to give them each a woman who could love them and bring them happiness.

When I began bringing to life the Forrester brothers, I really wanted to make one of the brothers be a gambler.  I’ve had different story ideas with a Bret Maverick type hero but for one reason or another, the plot wouldn’t come together.  But with “A Reason to Sin” the bare bones background of Slater Forrester was already set up–orphaned at a young age and placed in a children’s home with his younger brother.  This gave the foundation for our wounded hero Slater.   Since it was only a couple years after the War Between the States ended, maybe Slater had been involved in the War, and maybe because of the role he played, he was damaged even further.  What if he’d been a Yankee spy and was captured and thrown in the infamous Andersonville prison?  Now I was really excited to write Slater’s story.  How can a man who’d faced so much adversity and donned a bitter façade, find a happily ever after?

In steps Miss Glory, a saloon singer and dancer who never in her sheltered life imagined she would enter a saloon, much less sing and dance with the rowdy men who frequented such establishments.

However, it’s love for her infant son that brings her to such sinful ways in the Scarlet Garter.  Back in the 1800’s widows with children had few options.  If they remained single, how could they support their families?  The wide diversity of jobs open to women nowadays was not the case then.  With little education, maybe they might find a job as a laundress or a seamstress, but those were few and far between.  They could marry again…and often did quickly because there were few “good” women to be had in the western frontier.  However, often the new husband didn’t want a readymade family and the woman had to give her children to a relative to raise, or leave them in a children’s home.  It might seem like those mothers who did that were heartless creatures, but the fact was in most cases their only other choice was to work in a saloon or parlor house, which meant condemnation of their souls.   

Consider a woman like Rebecca Glory Bowen Colfax, who was raised wanting nothing, who then lost her parents, married the first slick talker who came around, then found out he’d gambled everything away and left her, alone, penniless, and expecting a child.  Without family, Rebecca had to give up her child and she becomes obsessed with finding her husband and getting her infant son back.  She will do anything to regain her son, including work in the Scarlet Garter.  The problem is, she never expected to meet a man like Slater Forrester, a gambler like her husband.  However, despite the similar professions, Rebecca senses there’s more to Slater than his gambling persona.  Much much more…

I’m equally attracted and repulsed by the conditions in which women had to live in the 19th century.  While I admire strong, independent women, I realize that in that day and age, strong and independent were characterized by taking care of family and home.  However, when they lost those things, where did they turn?  What did they do?  It’s those women I prefer to write about.  Those women who because of one reason or another have found themselves in dire circumstances and must search deep within their souls to find the strength to do what they must in order to survive, and just as importantly, to find love and thrive in these new conditions.  I believe that tragic conditions often times act as a crucible, exposing the true person beneath the masks we each wear day after day.   And isn’t love all about truth and baring one’s heart and soul to another human being? 

Currently I’m working on another western romance proposal, although my next book out is a romantic suspense titled Where There’s Fire.  Although I truly enjoy writing the romantic suspense, I have to admit I’m never as comfortable in that world as I am with the American West. 

 

 

 

But then, where I live, how could it be any different.  As you can see with this last picture, taken from our front door, the West is a part of my life each and every day.

Maureen is giving away autographed copies of the trilogy–the three Forrester brothers books–to one lucky winner!  A Reason to Live, A Reason to Believe and A Reason to Sin will being to one reader who comments this weekend.  Gee, that was a great reason to drop by today, wasn’t it?

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73 thoughts on “Maureen McKade – a reason to read westerns!”

  1. Good morning, Maureen. Isn’t Wildflower Junction a great place to be? How I envy you that glorious view from your front door!

    I too find the 19th Century both a gateway and prison for women. In those days, women completely lost their identities upon marriage, and wife-beating was still legal until the early 1900’s. Writer Margaret Fuller scandalized the nation stating that women were equal to men, and two of my “heroes”, Susan B. Anthony and Louisa May Alcott were considered odd-balls for eschewing marriage.

    Although I definitely consider myself a wife/mother/homemaker first and foremost, I am grateful for the suffragettes and pioneers of women’s liberation that came before and allow women today, like my young-adult daughter, so many choices.

    Thanks for the very thought-provoking post. And your trilogy sounds amazing. Slater and Glory definitely deserve a happily-ever-after.

  2. Hi Maureen,
    It is amazing to me that it wasn’t long ago that women had so few rights and options. I like the sound of your characters because they definitely had to be strong to deal with what life handed them.

  3. Hello Maureen! Good to see you back here.

    Wonderful post. I love the premise of A Reason To Sin and can’t wait to read it. Please don’t enter me in the giveaway- I have all three books, one of which I won the first time you were here at P&P. ;o)

    I love the view from your front porch…absolutely gorgeous!

  4. Good Morning Maureen

    Love your westerns they are great! Hey what a view, I would never leave home.

    The cover for “A Reason To Sin” is really great.

    A Woman’s lot in life has always be rough, but we have come a long way. My grandmother was a strong woman who survived a drunken father, a mother who died giving birth (child died too) at a young age and the Depression. She was 13 years old when her mother died and her father left, but she managed to raise herself, a sister and bother.

  5. Welcome Maureen,I really enjoy your books,I am one of those women who are raising a child of someone elses,I have adopted my foster daughter that we have had since the age of 12,she has been in the”system” since the age of 8,even in this day there are women who either give their children up or have them taken away for one reason or another,how terribly sad,but we just completed her adoption at the age of 16!We have 5 grown children,she makes number 6,people think we are nuts,but we are in our early 50s,we had room in our hearts for another,an she needed us an we found out we needed her too,so yeah we probably are nuts,but shes safe an loved an has a forever family that she can alwasy come home too,an someday if she wants to hunt her mother I will help her do that when she is a adult an thats what she wants to do ,an understands that she might not like what she finds,thats why im making her wait until shes 21,she loves having a family an is great with the grandkids,its always a circus around here,thanks for being here today,Vickie

  6. Your books sound like they are really good. I love reading westerns. Life back then seems to be extremely hard, but at the same time it seemed to make a person stronger. I often think what it would be like to not have the things we have today.

  7. I love reading western romances, and one of the reasons is that I admire the women of that time. The women had to be so strong, courageous, resourceful, and hard-working. If I were transported back to that time, I’m not sure I would last a week! 😉 A Reason to Sin sounds like a wonderful story!

  8. Hello Maureen, I have not had the pleasure of reading your novels, but I have heard great things about them!!! I enjoy reading western romances… I love how the heroes are able to get through any problems that comes there way, even if sometimes he needs the help of a woman! Thanks for sharing today… 😀 Have a great weekend!

  9. Welcome back, Maureen!

    We’re always thrilled when you hitch up your buggy and ride over here to chat with us. Love the view from your front door! Wow! So peaceful and serene. Great visual to aid your writing.

    I just finished “A Reason to Sin” and I give a glowing endorsement! Slater Forrester was the perfect hero for Rebecca Colfax. Slater was really jaded by life and I don’t think I’ve seen many heroes that untrusting of everyone. I sympathized with Rebecca’s situation, having to do the thing she most despised. But at least she drew the line when it came to taking men up to her room. No compromise there. Great story that I hope everyone will read!

    Hope you have an enjoyable time with us. 🙂

  10. Tanya,

    Yes, I sure ‘nough enjoy Wildflower Junction but I don’t mosey on down often enough!

    In addition to the highly visible (and memorable) suffragettes, I think those women who worked quietly in the background, pioneering roads into a man’s world, were just as important in the gaining of equal rights. I’ve long been fascinated by women doctors–my first book Winter Hearts was about one such heroine. Those women who braved the contempt of their male classmates then went on to practice medicine in cities and frontier towns were following their heart, and in doing so did much to further women’s rights without marching down the street or waving a banner. The same holds true for so many women in all different fields of endeavor. We owe them so much for what we take for granted today.

    Thanks for stopping by, Tanya!

    Maureen

  11. Maureen,

    Women back then had a quiet strength and the ability to roll up their sleeves and do what needed to be done. I love writing the journeys of women like that!

    Thanks!

    Maureen

  12. Taryn,

    Nice to “see” you again. 🙂

    I love the view, too. When I took the picture, there were three men on horseback working the cattle. It was so cool to watch.

    Thanks for posting!

    Maureen

  13. We’ve come a long way baby but unfortunately we’re not quite there yet! How generous to offer all 3 books. I never know what to do when I win or find myself buying the last book of a series – do I read it out of order (arghh) or take a chance and buy all the previous copies before knowing if I’m going to like it. Your books sound wonderful though. I really enjoy reading about different times in the past and strong women is a good subject.

  14. Sherry,

    Isn’t the cover beautiful? When my mother first saw it, she asked, “where are the heads?” LOL!

    Your grandmother sounds like an incredible woman! Yet I’ll bet she said she just did what needed to be done. There’s definitely inspiration for a story there.

    Thanks for commenting!

    Maureen

  15. Rebekah, Cheryl C. and Colleen,

    There’s nothing like a western romance, is there? I love to be carried back in time, but am grateful to return to my present day conveniences! Last week our fridge stopped working and it brought home the fact that I take so many things for granted, and how easy my life is compared to those pioneer women.

    Happy trails!

    Maureen

  16. Hey Maureen, now that sounds like an interesting trilogy. My fingers are itching to get at your books. 🙂

    And Linda, your take on the story just enhances it.

  17. So glad to be back, Linda!

    Wow, thanks so much for the glowing endorsement! This was a difficult book to write because of the moral dilemma I put Rebecca in. I had to closely examine my own beliefs to give Rebecca her motivations and conflicts. But I’m proud of how it turned out and I’m thrilled to hear you enjoyed it.

    Maureen

  18. Jeanne,

    Unfortunately you’re right. Women have come a long way, but there’s still some distance to go yet. I have faith we’ll get there sooner rather than later.

    Thanks for dropping by!

    Maureen

  19. Forgot to say that the view from my front steps is very similar to yours except the rolling hills are much closer and I can’t see as far over them as in your photo. Plus, we have copses of trees dotting the landscape – at least on our land. If you go 15 mins south, it’s flatter than a stove plate. 🙂

    Where do you live? I live in Sask. Your pic looks like Prairie Provinces/Westerns states area. Probably due to the wide open space and lack of fences. 🙂

    I suppose I could google the answer, but since we have you corralled anyhow…

  20. Hey, Maureen! Thank you so much for coming back to Wildflower Junction to see us. We’ve been looking forward to your visit!

    Are you going to SF?

  21. Hi Maureen! Welcome to the blog! I have really enjoyed reading your stories about the Forrester brothers and can’t wait to read your new one…but am also sad to see the series come to an end! Thanks for your great blog!

  22. Maureen, I know what you mean about being equally attracted and repulsed by the conditions in which women had to live in the 19th century.

    I feel the same way. The Old West was such a romantic era of strong men protecting their women against…well, everything. Right and wrong. Good and evil. White hats and black. 🙂

    But the condions were horrible and a woman was basically defenseless. I think that’s why I love reading about women of the Old West more than any other time in history. I like knowing that they could stand up for themselves and what they believed in. That no matter what life threw at them, they could take it still go on loving.

    Well…not all of them, of course…but I like to think more often than not.

    Those are the types of women I try to portray in my books.

  23. Hi, Maureen, I like how you’ve described the both the downsides and upsides of women’s lives in the old West–I do love reading how strong women prevailed in those times and circumstances, and it’s true that a candle will shine more brightly in dimmer light. Thanks for writing stories about such admirable women!

  24. Maureen, I enjoy reading about the women of the west and especially love strong heroes rescuing them. Their trialand tribulations make mine seem like nothing!

  25. I am entharalled with your wonderful trilogy. I enjoyed your informative and lovely post today. Westerns interest me greatly. I was always enamoured of this genre. They provide me with such pleasure. When I read about the life, even though there were hardships, the people were strong minded, determined and courageous to carve out a new future for themselves no matter what trials and tribulations they had to endure.

  26. Thanks for this interesting and thought provoking blog today. Westerns are my favorite books since they have everything that is meaningful and important. Your books certainly would be unforgettable reading. Men and women whose lives are tested and have integrity and the strength to go forth are a worthwhile read. Thanks for your great novels.

  27. Kathleen,

    Yes, it was so hard when I finished the last Forrester brothers book. After spending a few years with them, they’d become part of the family and it was difficult to move on and leave them behind.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Maureen

  28. Fedora,

    I loved your comment about a candle shining brighter in a dim light. So very true.

    I try to portray my heroines as strong women, but with very human weaknesses, which was especially prevalent in A Reason to Believe. There were a few readers who didn’t like Dulcie, but then she wasn’t exactly an easy character to like in the beginning. But she grew and found a strength within her that helped her overcome. It’s the character’s journey that I like to portray.

    Thanks!

    Maureen

  29. Connie,

    I know exactly what you mean. I have to remind myself that I have it so easy compared to what the pioneers overcame and endured.

    Happy trails,

    Maureen

  30. Love the view from your porch!
    I have read A Reason To Sin, but not the first two in the series. I really enjoyed a Reason To Sin.

  31. Welcome Maureen. I loved your description of how women had to live, and how adversity was something that they had to deal with on a daily basis, making them stronger and better individuals. Your Westerns are a great contribution to understanding and enjoying the difficulties that people faced.

  32. Anne,

    I find myself delving into more gritty subjects within my westerns. I’ve been doing more research in the lives the prostitutes led and what kind of woman became an “upstairs girl”. Often times it was circumstances that forced them into that role, yet there were women who chose that kind of life, too. Why would a woman choose it? It makes for some interesting ponderings.

    Thanks for your comments!

    Maureen

  33. Estella,

    Isn’t that a gorgeous view? I can’t get out there today, however. Hubby is painting the porch and steps. 🙂

    Thank you for your kind words. I think you’ll enjoy both Creede and Rye’s books, too.

    Maureen

  34. Ellie,

    When I’m writing, I try to imagine what the day to day living was like. In reality, I’m sure it wasn’t all that exciting, but it was important, as was the significant role women played in settling the West.

    Thanks so much for your comments.

    Maureen

  35. Hi Maureen. A Reason To Sin sounds great. Georgeous cover. I think it took courage for widows to do what they did to survive back then.

  36. Hi Maureen. I absolutely love that there are still a group of wonderful women writing the western historical, as it is one of my all-time favorite genres.

    I’ve only read Creed’s book in this series, but positively adored it.

  37. Maureen,
    Gee, the view from my front door is of another townhouse that looks just like mine. 🙁 But I do remember such rolling views from my childhood. A peaceful visualization…especially with the cowboys!

    I empathise with your broken fridge…my big freezer didn’t die, but the door didn’t close properly. Bye bye ice cream–and a lot of other things. Guess that’s one way to clean it out. 🙂

    A reason to sin…hmm, looks like a reason to read to me!

  38. I love Westerns and this is a great reason to come here and blog. More books to read.
    I come from a province where rodeos, cowboys, hilly country/flat lands exist. There are ranches, farms and cowboy things all around us.

    *I wish I could contact Anita mae*

  39. Maureen, I located my contemporary series, Prairie Junction in a fictional town in Divide County in the northwest corner of your state. I put it at a T-junction between Crosby and Noonan where I pick up my mail. I love sitting at that corner. In my mind, I can see it plain as anything. I’m almost a regular at the Crosby library – a wealth of info there.

  40. Thanks much, Maureen–I even more intrigued by your description of Dulcie and her character’s growth. I do love reading stories where the author turns our first impressions around! Can’t wait to read these!

  41. Maureen nice to see you here. What a fantastic prize. I do love a good historical western. Your books sound so good.

  42. What a gorgeous front yard view! It would be a great place to sit on a rocking chair, have a tall glass of iced tea and read one of your books! It looks so nice and peaceful.

    And thanks for the update about your next romantic suspense book! I’ll be on the look out for it in stores! 🙂

  43. Hi Maureen! Thank you for the wonderful blog! I have always found the Old West to be a fascinating time period. I would love to travel back in time to the 19th century but fear I would miss the modern coveniences too much! Thank you for letting me “time travel” through your books. Your trilogy sounds absolutely awesome!

  44. Maureen sorry this is so late had a super busy day with all the little extra kids I have on Saturdays. Mine are grown now but I seem to take everyone else’s kids.
    I am sorry to see this story line end but can’t wait to read this last one. Can’t wait to see what you write next. Hope you had a great day here.
    I love the view front your front door very beautiful I can now see why you moved from here.

  45. Crystal B.–Yes, the colors in the cover are so eye-catching! And I grinned when I saw where Slater’s hat was…

    Lori–I’m thrilled that the western romances have such a loyal group of readers (and writers)! If I had to pick a fave of the trilogy, I’d have to say Creede’s A Reason to Live would probably be it.

    Quilt Lady–thanks for the welcome! It’s so much fun to visit with readers who understand my love for the westerns.

    Pat–It’s truly been my pleasure to be here! Glad you could drop by.

    Laura–I know exactly what you mean. But unless I can come up with a fourth surprise brother… 😉

    Lori Barnes–So glad you enjoyed my post and pics! If you like the westerns, I think you’ll enjoy the Forrester brothers trilogy.

    Nathalle–I’m so grateful the ladies of Wildflower Junction invited me to visit. And that i was able to introduce my trilogy to those who haven’t read it.

    Maureen

  46. Lizzie,

    Ah, I’ve lived in a few of those, too, where the view is the wall of the neighbor’s house. When hubby retired from the military, we wanted to be able to stretch out a bit.

    Same thing happened to my mom and her freezer. The ice cream leaking across the floor was a dead giveaway. 🙂

    Thanks for droppin’ on by.

    Maureen

  47. Debbie,

    I’m with ya–as long as I can come back to the present whenever I wanted to. I wrote one time travel book called At Midnight–I had a blast putting a contemporary woman back in time to work with a Pinkerton detective!

    Maureen

  48. Hi Brenda,

    Nice to “see” you. Sounds like you had quite the busy day. 🙂

    Even though I grew up in Minnesota, I much prefer the wide open plains in North Dakota. When I go back to MN, I tend to get claustrophobic with all the trees closing in… 😉

    So glad you found some time to drop by!

    Maureen

  49. Howdy Maureen… I am also comfortable with a good western romance. My sissy and I have been reading romance for years and years and are both big silly fans. One of the things that makes us best friends. We like to share books, or at least she like to share mine…LOL She doesn’t seem to get into the western side as much as I do. I might have to try and introduce her to your books and see if we can’t change her mind!!!
    Amy

  50. Thank you, everyone, for making me feel right at home and for your enthusiastic and kind comments!

    May your trails be smooth and the wind always at your back!

    Maureen

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