Strong women, brave stories
In June the final book of my “Texas Star of Destiny” series, Her Abundant Joy, for Avon Inspire will be released. I so enjoyed doing the historical research because I discovered so many things I never knew. Have you ever heard of Mustang grapes?
I hadn’t but I was looking for something for my heroine and the hero’s sister to pick along the trail south toward the American Army camped in Mexico for the Mexican American War. My hero Carson Quinn is a Texas Ranger who is scouting for General Zachary Taylor in 1846 (who liked to wear green carpet slippers instead of boots). Mariel, my heroine, is a German immigrant who must deal with this new world. Here’s an excerpt which will tell you all about Mustang grapes.
“Mariel left the men who were fixing harnesses and checking the horses and wagons for any weakening from rolling and jolting over the rocky, uneven, vast landscape. Answering Sugar’s call for bucket. Mariel picked her way through the wild shrubbery that lined both sides of the creek
Mustang? Horse grapes? Mariel approached Sugar and offered her one of the buckets.
“Be careful. Snakes will be lying beneath the shade of the brush out of the sun,” Sugar cautioned.
Snakes. Mariel halted in her tracks. Carson had described to her all the deadly snakes in Texas.
Mariel looked around at the mass of twisted vines. She had never picked any grapes, much less wild ones.
Sugar opened her hand revealing large round grapes with nearly black glossy purple skin. Sugar squeezed one of the grapes and exposed what looked like a white eyeball inside. Pressing her thumbnail into the flesh, Sugar exposed a double seed core.
“You eat them like this. You put a grape in your mouth and press it with your tongue and out comes the fruit.” A little purple juice leaked out at the corner of her mouth. She sucked it in and giggled.
I was right. Something is tormenting Sugar.
Mariel began picking grapes, trying to come up with a way to ease Sugar into sharing a confidence. The fresh sweet scent of the ripe fruit tempted her. She couldn’t resist slipping a grape into her dry mouth, squeezing it with her tongue and letting the sweet tangy juice flow. How she had longed for fresh fruit on the voyage to Texas.
Mariel said in a low yet firm voice, “Sugar, I will listen. And not talk about what you say.”
Lyn again-I live in the northwoods of Wisconsin (though I was born in Texas). Here I have picked wild plums, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, dewberries. What do you pick by you? And have you ever tasted a mustang grape?
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