Gingham Mountain and Getting it Right

I’ve got a new book releasing February 1st.
Gingham Mountain.
It’s book three in my
Lassoed in Texas series.
The earlier books are:
Petticoat Ranch
And
Calico Canyon.
I’ll start this by saying
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Here’s part of the press release Barbour Publishing put out about
Gingham Mountain:

When Hannah Cartwright meets Grant, a disreputable-looking wrangler, she’s determined to keep him from committing two orphan train children to hard labor on his ranch. How long will she have to play the role of schoolmarm before she gets a chance to rescue the children?

Prudence, the town dressmaker, has designs on Grant. Will she succeed in securing his affections?

As Grant struggles to run the ranch and raise six orphans, he finds love making tracks to his heart. Will he be caught in a web of deceit or lassoed by the love of one good woman?

I’ve talked about this before on Petticoats and Pistols. Remember when I wrote that blog about oil wells and orphan trains? Trying to get all the historical facts to line up with my time in history?

Well, it’s finally done and heading for a book store near you and it may be my favorite squabbling couple yet. Ah, the course of true love never runs smooth…..

I’ve had people tell me historical readers are tough. You have to do your research or they’ll really call you on mistakes.

We’ve got a lot of historical readers here, is that true? Does it bug you when we get it wrong.

Honestly seeking truth is such a burden, if you’d just let me have a train go to a region it did NOT go to, it would be sooooooo much easier.

Has anyone ever been bugged by a mistake in a book, historical especially, but contemporary, too.

I do remember one time getting a short historical romance, one of those that they make so many of every year…and I love them and I loved this book, I still remember it. But the cover…well, the book was set on a dairy farm.

The cover was of the hero and heroine kneeling beside a new calf.

It was a Hereford. Not a Holstein. I live on a ranch and my husband used to milk cows before he switched over to beef cattle. I know the difference between a beef cow and a milk cow. This wasn’t even CLOSE.

I guess at least they weren’t kneeling beside a GOAT. I can take comfort in that.

So let’s hear it. Tell me about books that have gotten it wrong…unless it’s me…then just let it go, people.

And remember, you have to leave a comment to get your name in the drawing.

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48 thoughts on “Gingham Mountain and Getting it Right”

  1. Well, if there is a mistake and it’s about something you know about, it does bother you. One of my pet peeves is the incorrect usage of foreign words and phrases in books. I don’t mind if there are some, when the writer knows how to use them, but for instance in one book I read there was this Finnish character Jarl Hendrick -even the name was odd for a Finn- who among other thing called the heroine “nainen” and the writer claimed the word meant “my woman”. Riiight…

  2. I really just note when covers and descriptions of the characters are blatantly off. I can’t really remember any major historical gaff.

    Congrats on Gingham Mountain!!

  3. Mary, I’d give the Hereford/Holstein author the benefit of the doubt. It may have been the art staff that boo-booed. That sort of thing has happened to many of us, and by the time we see the cover, there’s nothing we can do. (For my new 1906 San Francisco book I wrote in caps on the art sheet “NO BRIDGES!!! THEY WEREN’T THERE! Readers will see my new cover tomorrow). Minna, I share your pet peeve with misused foreign words–but I probably make similar mistakes when I try to use Native American words.
    Congrats on your new release, Mary. It sounds delightful!

  4. Mary,

    I had a goof in one of my own books. I had the hero spinning the barrel of his gun. I know that’s not right, but nobody, including me caught that. So far, only 2 readers have commented.

    My favorite oops in a book was in a story set in the 1880s, and the hero was carving a toy truck for a kid. 🙂

  5. I wonder if I messed up foreign words, especially I used them in Golden Days, which is now released in the romance collection Alaska Brides.

    I did so much research for that book because it was set in Alaska and the heroine was a Tlingit Indian, one of many tribes of ‘Eskimoes’ better described as native or indigenous people in Alaska.

    I found a Tlingit/English dictionary and inserted some words, but we all know how tricky language it, the verb forms, past tense, some languages switch male to female a lot more within a word.

    Anyway. No one wrote to complain.

  6. I know in Petticoat Ranch, in one scene, I had Sophie get down off her horse twice. That’s in there and it’s just about two words that change the meaning and not all that noticable, but I noticed…after I had the book in my hands of course. A little late then. But that’s not the same as getting the historical details wrong.

  7. Actually, Elizabeth, the author had it all right. It was definitely the cover art, not the book. Like I said, I still remember that book, it was a good one and did a good job of capturing farm life.

  8. Vickie 🙂 I can see me doing that, forgetting where I am for a few minutes while my hero carves a space shuttle or airplane in the mid 1800s. That’d be about my speed.

    Spinning the barrel of his gun? Like a revolver? Okay, I’d miss that one too. I don’t know that much about guns.

    In my WIP I’ve got a woman sharpshooter and I’ve got her spinning her gun to cock it, like John Wayne did in True Grit, remember that scene when he’s charging the bad guys single-handedly?

    I guess if The Duke can do it, I can do it. RIGHT?

  9. Wrong details – historical or not – boy do I know about that as a reader and a writer!

    As a reader – I read a book set in the ‘little parish of Calcasieu’ – since I happen to be from Calcasieu Parish and KNOW it is the 3rd largest in the State of LA – that was strike one in a WHOLE book of grossly cliche’d misconceptions about Cajuns!

    As a writer I found a mistake in one of my published stories – the heroine has children from 3 – 11 but later the hero straps an 18month old toddler into his car seat – BLUSH – no one caught that! Not me, editors, proofreaders – and so far, no readers have commented either – thank goodness!

    Interesting to hear what we find after the fact LOL!

    If I’m the lucky winner my email is: pthib-7@centurytel.net 🙂

    PamT

  10. Oh, I’m sure I’ve made mistakes in my books, but can usually cover myself by saying I write fantasy and parallel worlds. Yeah, that works. 😉

    In books I’ve read–a couple of my favorites…
    in a historical–putting out poisoned wolf meat for the bison to eat. Think it was supposed to be the other way around. 😛

    In a contemp–a couple in a basement in Nebraska waiting out the five or so minutes of the ‘eye of the tornado’ before more wind hits. Hmmm. Maybe that was in a parallel universe.

    Unless it’s something really irritating like landmarks in the wrong order and I’m judging or editing, I can let most things pass. I’ll keep getting a laugh from them though–like the carniverous buffalo. 🙂

  11. I agree with Minna, if it’s something you know – you notice. It usually does bother me, when I notice. Otherwise I just take the author’s word for it.

  12. I just read a book heavily set in historical France and there are so many strange, really exotic details. I found it really charming and there was such a … for lack of a better word … familiar tone or maybe CASUAL is better, that I felt like the author really knew her stuff.

    Or else she really fooled me. Either is good.

    I do know what you mean though, when a book invades your world. Especially if it’s full of cliches that have an even slightly insulting ring to them.

  13. Yeah, languages are tricky -don’t I know it! But what made me peeved about that particular case I mentioned was the fact that the writer only needed to take a look at a dictionary to get it right.

    When I’ve had a language problem, I’ve always found help here (Speaking in Tongues):
    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forum.jspa?forumID=47

    Or if I’ve had questions about food (Get Stuffed), different countries etc. I have visited one of these Thorn Tree branches:
    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/index.jspa

  14. In MACKENNA’S PROMISE, a book set in 1900 Africa, I had the heroine threatened by a bull elephant protecting his herd of cows and calves. Actually the bulls go off by themselves and leave the cows to do the protecting. Nobody caught that one but I still regret the mistake.
    Fun blog today, Mary.

  15. Hi Mary!
    Congratulations on the new book. I don’t worry about every little historical detail in the historical romances that I read. The only thing that does bother me is when the characters strike me as behaving in a more modern way.

  16. I agree with Minna, it has to be something I’m really familiar with before I catch it. And I’m more of the be amused and go on variety than the write the author a letter about it type.

    Minna, what does nainen mean? (Curious, pure and simple now)

  17. Congrats on your soon to be released GINGHAM MOUNTAIN! It does bug me when the cover does not match the book’s description… I have seen pics of characters that do not match, etc. But the book itself… I do not mind exact detail in the story… If it holds my attention and allows me to step in to the character’s shoes and world… I am fine with detail being a bit off. 😀

  18. Yikes, even I know my cows!

    Congrats, Mary, on another wonderful book. I can’t wait to read it. I have a good friend Renee Ryan who will be blogging here soon who tells me to start writing inspirationals, so we’ll see. I know I enjoy reading them.

    Errors bug me, and sometimes they’re so glaringly grammatical even a nineth-grader should have caught it, much less an editor. Grrrrr. But my family still laughs at the contemp I was reading that had H and H DRIVING to Catalina. Hmmmm. Must have been a hovercraft as Catalina is an ISLAND 25 miles outside of L.A.

    And I laughed out loud when the sun ROSE over Monterey Bay. I try to be accurate but then again, we’re all human.

    Goodness, I’m babbling. Congrats again.

  19. Believable detail is most important although not I probably won’t notice one small inaccuracy. However, I do expect the author to do their historical research so the story transports me to that world. I hope that makes sense:)

  20. Hi, Mary. Congrats on the new release! It sounds wonderful. I love your sense of humor.

    As far as mistakes in historical details go, I have found that I can forgive a lot if I am enjoying the story. The characters and the plot are what make the story for me. Historical details just enrich the plot.

    castings[at]mindspring[dot]com

  21. I watched season one of The Tudors over the weekend and, besides being ashamed any any micro-ounce of English blood that may run through my veins, I kept hearing phrases that sounded so contemporary they made me cringe. Often, even if a word or phrase was in use during a historical period, if it SOUNDS modern, I leave it out. Sometimes it’s more the connotation than the definition.

  22. Congratulations on your new release. Your books look so appealing and lovely. I look forward to enjoying novels that depict the setting and characters well. Details are not that critical.

  23. Interesting subject, Mary. I’ve been deep in a story before when I ran across a totally inaccurate fact and it ruined the story for me. I hate when that happens. But, no matter how hard we try we can’t always get everything right.

    I made a boo-boo in a recent story where I inadvertently exchanged a horse “halter” and “reins.” I’ll probably get called on it and I’ll have a red face. It’s just hard to get every single detail right. And I don’t mind the small things. That doesn’t matter. It’s the ones that clearly show the author didn’t do her research.

    Good luck on Gingham Mountain!! I’m hooked already. I’ve already read the first two and an anxious for this one to complete my set. You’re so talented and I love your humor, especially with the kids.

  24. Hi Mary!

    Well-Ive ran into things in books that werent necessarily mistakes-but still didnt make much sense!

    One example is something Ive actually mentioned here before, but it really drives me wild-so it deserves to mentioned twice! LOL

    It drives crazy when men just pop their boots off with their toes in the throes of passion!! Any other time and they struggle with them or have to have someone help them (mostly in regency themed historicals)!

    Anyway-I just look over stuff in a really good book!

    Good luck on the release of Gingham Mountain!

  25. Congratulations on your new book, Mary! It sounds wonderful. I love the boots on the cover. All laced up like that, they’re gorgeous.

    LOL on the difference between cows. I’ve never really come across any mistakes, just the occasional job description that isn’t credible (in contemporaries, and not just romances but other genres). You know, a famous hardworking genius but they’re never at the office or doing any work, LOL.

  26. Mary,

    My favorite line is in a song and reads (or sings):

    “across the alley from the Alamo.”

    Now as a native Texan and an occasional visitor to
    the Alamo, this line tells me the songwriter did not do his research prior to writing the song. Isn’t that an author’s mantra: research, research and even more research? The last time I looked
    there were no alleys around the Alamo.

    Pat Cochran

  27. Forgot to mention that I was just over at Cheryl
    St. John’s blog where I was admiring Elle’s photo!
    Sweet baby! Congratulations again, Grandma!

    Pat Cochran

  28. I also know different sorts of cows: white cows, brown cows and black cows. :p
    I guess I wouldn’t have seen the difference.

    But there are a lot of covers with mistakes on them. Recently another author told about her hero being a pilot, but on the cover he wore a navy uniform (again, I can’t tell the difference, but some people can!)
    What bothers me more is the hair color being completely wrong. Or the man on the cover having a beard when the hero doesn’t have one. That’s irritating!

    I also think it’s strange that authirs have so little to say about the covers of their books! Wouldn’t it be logical since you KNOW what the hero and heroine look like????

  29. I have an old Jennifer Crusie book, love her, and on the cover, a very nice cover, is this pretty brunette with curls all over her long hair, sitting on her hero’s lap.

    Well, the heroine had hair issues through out the book. Her hair was blonde, black, green (you heard me)and red, but never ever brown.

    Still, Getting Rid of Bradley is a long time favorite book of mine, the cover is a good one, even if it is of someone other than the couple in the book. 🙂

  30. Hi Mary,
    I feel your pain. I live in WI and we are definitely a Holstein state, “Wisconsin America’s Dairyland” is on our license plates.

    I remember one of the prettiest covers I ever had was of northern WI with a lovely couple sitting on the shore of a forested lake WITH THE ROCKY MTS behind them!

    Evidently an artist in NYC thought that Wisconsin was in the Rockies.

    Oh, well, the couple was the really attractive. It was one of my few ‘people’ covers. I usually get flowers or something–but not Hereford cows!
    Lyn

  31. HI Mary,

    Love your new cover. The three book series is awesome. Congrats!!

    Oh and I had a real cowboy comment that my hero and heroine could never both fit onto a saddle together. They weren’t made for two. I took heed from then on, and never put two on a saddle again. Sorta takes the fun out of it, though. 🙂

  32. I am a typesetter by trade and I really notice spelling mistakes. I have read some books in the past where the writer has mixed up the names of there characters.

  33. I can’t really remember any big mistakes I’ve come across while reading. Most of the time I’m probably to engrossed in the story to take notice.

    Love the covers for your Lassoed in Texas series. They look really great together!

  34. You know, I’m so oblivious to the historical data of an area that I wouldn’t know. I read a lot of historical romances and I would never know if a train did or didn’t go into that area or if bridges existed yet and so forth.

    I did live in Colorado Springs for several years and I spent a lot of time in Cripple Creek (My best friend was born in Victor and I spent a LOT of time with her family), so I love to read novels that take place in and around that area and I crack up over some things that are obviously made up…but, you know, I honestly don’t mind. As long as it is logical (i.e. it “could” happen) and it keeps my interest, I just go along with it! Of course, it helps if it is horribly romantic!!

    fannyloo@msn.com

  35. You know, Charlene, I kind of agree on that saddle thing. She’s sitting on his lap and I’m very busy trying to ignore the saddle horn and is she sitting astride or sidesaddle and where are her skirts exactly.

    Like I said, I ignore it, but seriously there is no room for two people in a saddle, and yet they do it all the time.

    I had the heroine on the hero’s saddle for one short bit in Buffalo Gal and she was facing him and sitting on his lap, very much on his lap. So, in this instance, I decided they’d fit….still that saddle horn….one wrong move and OUCH.

  36. Sorry, but I want the truth, nothing but the truth lol. I think that’s one of the reasons I like historicals so much – I want to learn evn when doing recreational reading. I remember hearing about an author who said if she didn’t know something, she made it up (gasp). Needlesstosay I don’t read her anymore. Here is a stupid example – she made up a name of a plant – now really, how hard would it be to name a real plant. I also think historical authors are just the best because they put so much extra work into all that research!

  37. Hi Mary! Congratulations on your new book! I don’t recall any major mistakes in any of the books I’ve read. Little details that are wrong don’t really bother me.

  38. Your series looks wonderful! I love it when an author puts a lot of research into a book. It just seems more real and believable that way.

  39. So, seriously ladies, the consensus Im getting is no one really cares THAT MUCH.

    I’m totally slacking off after this.

    From now on, if I’ve got a train going to a state that’s flat, but pulling up next to a mountain….JUST WORK WITH ME.

    Thanks

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