Caroline Clemmons Indulges in Fantasy


One of the greatest things about writing is that authors are able to indulge themselves with their own fantasies. One of mine is that I would have loved living in the West during the last part of the 1800’s–or at least, until the weather was severe and I had no central heat/air, no clean bathroom with running water, no antibiotics, and on and on. It’s a romantic time, though, which is why I love writing western romances. Another of my fantasies is that I wanted to look like the young Maureen O’Hara. More’s the pity, for I look nothing like her. But we’re talking about fantasies, right? This is why, Cenora Rose O’Neill, the heroine of my latest western romance, THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE, strongly resembles Miss O’Hara in appearance. What authors can’t accomplish ourselves, we accomplish through our characters.

When the infamous 1845 Irish potato famine struck and millions in Ireland literally starved to death, there was a mass immigration of Irish into the United States. But the O’Neill family didn’t lose their land in the famine. They were turned off many years later by a vengeful landlord.

For a long time in Ireland, it had been against the law for Irish to learn to read and write. Only the English could attend Irish schools. The Irish’s only education came from “hedgerow” schools in which someone would teach a small group of children while hidden behind a hedgerow and using a stick to draw on the ground. Anyone caught teaching Irish children to read and write was prosecuted. Due to their poor education, immigrants were looked down on by many, hence the signs “No Irish Need Apply.”

Because of the lack of schooling, Cenora cannot read cursive and reads only a few words in print. Her father, Sean O’Neill, can read a newspaper (slowly), and has done all the reading for his family and their traveling companions. The McClintocks value education, and Dallas McClintock reads most evenings. This difference causes only one of the many conflicts that arise in the book.

When forced off their land with only what they could carry, Cenora and her family fell in with a group of Irish Travelers. The Travelers, or tinkers, are not gypsies but are descended from medieval minstrels and poets who traveled Ireland telling myths and stories. In medieval times, they were respected and learned. From the time of Cromwell’s English occupation, many Irish families were turned out of their homes and drifted in with the traveling minstrels, eventually becoming the Irish Travelers. Travelers have their own language (cant), Sheldroo, which is linked by scholars to medieval language. They camped in fields at first. Later they acquired tents, then the colorful wagons that resemble gypsy wagons, such as the ones used in my novel. Like people everywhere, some Irish Travelers are good, some are not. The same is true for those portrayed in THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE.

I was fortunate enough to see a couple of their wagons in museums when my husband and I were in Ireland and Scotland. The wagons are unbelievably compact, and brightly painted inside and out in red, blue and green with yellow pinstripes. That’s the type of the two wagons acquired by the O’Neills through their ability to play instruments while Cenora sings for crowds when they pass through towns. Unfortunately, Sean O’Neill’s only abilities are playing music and the gift of gab–not much to supply a family’s needs. His sons Finn and Mac trade ponies for a bit of extra coin and the family gets by. On the other hand, Dallas McClintock has a strong work ethic and sense of honor. You can see more trouble looming, can’t you?

In THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE, Cenora Rose O’Neill knows her father somehow arranged the trap for Dallas McClintock, but she agrees to wed the handsome stranger. She’d do anything to protect her family, and she wants to save herself from the bully Tom Williams. She believes a fine settled man like Dallas will rid himself of her soon enough, but at least she and her family will be safely away from Williams.

Texas rancher Dallas McClintock has no plans to wed for several years. Right now, he’s trying to establish himself as a successful horse breeder. Severely wounded rescuing Cenora from kidnappers, Dallas is taken to her family’s wagon to be tended.  He is trapped into marrying Cenora, but he is not a man who ever goes back on his word. His wife has a silly superstition for everything, but passion-filled nights with her make up for everything-even when her wild, eccentric family nearly drives him crazy.

Here’s an excerpt from the wedding in THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE:

Dallas raised his gaze where Aoife directed. Four girls danced, but only one drew his attention. Shoulders straight and feet flying, Cenora met his glance, then broke away from the other dancers to perform only a few yards from him.

Catcalls sounded nearby. She ignored them but gave a toss of her head. Her hair had come unbound, and her act sent her fiery hair awhirl. Light from the blazing campfire cast an aura-like radiance around her. Lantern glow overhead reflected her eyes sparked with merriment, challenge, and something mysterious he couldn’t name.

No longer the delicate china doll, her wild beauty called to him, mesmerized him. He visualized her brilliant tresses spread across a pillow, her milky skin bared only for him. His body responded, and savage desire shot through him. Surprised at the depth of his reaction, he wondered if her performance in bed would parallel the unbridled nature of her dance.

Good Lord, could this glorious woman truly be his wife? And if so, heaven help him, what on earth was he to do with her?

I hope you’ll read and enjoy THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE. I’ll donate a free PDF download to someone who comments here and tells me they’ve gone to my blog at to sign up for my Mostly Monthly Newsletter.

The buy link for THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE is

My website is

Thanks very much for letting me be a guest on Petticoats and Pistols.

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30 thoughts on “Caroline Clemmons Indulges in Fantasy”

  1. Just stopped by to say, hi, Caroline! I’ve already purchased an e-copy of The Texan’s Irish Bride and downloaded from my Adobe Reader onto my Nook. It’s next in line on my TBR list. Can’t really say pile anymore with the e-books. LOL. Great excerpt!

  2. Good morning Caroline! Welcome to the Junction. We’re so glad you’re here.

    The Texan’s Irish Bride sounds so interesting. How did you come up with the concept to put a Texas rancher in the middle of a big Irish family?

  3. Caroline,
    I love The Texan’s Irish Bride. The characters are wonderful. It’s great to see it in print, and what a beautiful cover! Keep ’em coming! You’re a natural born story teller. I’ve enjoyed all your books. Can’t wait for the next one!


  4. Susan, thanks for buying my book! Right, now our TBR is a list, isn’t it?

    Tracy, I had the idea from a trip my husband and I took to Ireland years ago. Then, when I learned there was a huge colony of Irish Travelers in Fort Worth, I came up with the plot. If you’re an only child, I would think you long for a large family, yet would bee overwhelmed at the noise and lack of privacy.

  5. Hi Caroline, nice to see you here at the junction. Your book The Texan’t Irish Bride sounds like a wonderful read and i will have to watch for it. I did go to your blog and signed up for your newsletter. Thanks for the chance to win this wonderful book.

  6. Caroline,
    Thank you for sharing the amazing segment about Irish history. How fascinating that you traveled to Ireland and Scotland and were able to view the wagons. Storytelling is an art that transcends time. I love that you entwined that as an essential part of your story. Happy New Year and may this be your best yet! *Hugs*
    Love you!

  7. Carloine, I loved the little bit of Irish history you gave us. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy reading historical romances. You’re one of the few authors who manages to pepper her romances with fascinating tidbits of history without overwhelming the reader or interferring with the story.

  8. Dropping by to say hi, Caroline! I, also, have The Texan’s Irish Bride, haven’t got to it yet but plan on it and soon! I love your writing.

    Best of luch with this story.

  9. Oh, I truly love the sound of this book… I want to see where their journey takes them! Adding this to my list!!! 😀
    Signed up for your newsletter! Thanks for sharing tidbits of your book with us!

  10. Caroline–I’m impressed by the research you did about the Irish. You know I love that cover, and how interesting that you envisioned Cenora as Maureen O’Hara. A perfect fit. A note: my husband’s family–he’s one of 12 children–somehow believed they were Irish, and that Yeary used to be O’Yeary. Recently, My husband, the second to the youngest, did a lot of geneology on the family name–result? They’re most likely German or “Low Dutch.” He made all his living siblings mad at him–none wanted to be German or Low Dutch! I have laughed and laughed about this. Thanks for a great post with intriguing information. Celia

  11. Enjoyed your post. I did go to your website and sign up for your Mostly Monthly Newsletter. The period of English occupation of Ireland is so full of cruelty and injustice. From selling over 300,000 into slavery (children as well as adults) to having storehouses of food and exporting food from Ireland during the “Potato Famine.” As they did nearly everywhere they went, they used cruel and uncivilized methods to eliminate the local population so they could take their property. Sadly, when they came here their lack of education put them at a disadvantage and put them on a second class footing. Unfortunately, the Irish Traveler society today has morphed into something less than honest in many cases.
    Love the cover of THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE. I am sure I will enjoy reading it.

  12. you are a new-to-me author and I love the excerpt of your book and the cover looks great! Have to add it to my list! Just signed up for your newsletter.

  13. This sounds wonderful and very different. The potato famine effected the U.S. so much, and there just isn’t enough written about it. And what better way to present history like this than in a romance, where relationships are key?

  14. Caroline, you books sounds wonderful and love the cover! I too adore Maureen O’Hara. Good luck with your book!

  15. Your hero shares the same last name as Ms. O’Hara’s love interest (John Wayne) in the movie McClintock. I also found her to be a beautiful lady, and an excellent choice for a heroine. Your book sounds GREAT.

  16. Love the cover and The name McClintock makes me want to read it even more! My favorite John Wayne/Maureen O’Hara movie is ‘McClintock’! Ienjoyed looking at your websight and blog and will be looking forward to the newsletter. Thank you for the opportunity.

  17. I just signed up for your newsletter 🙂

    What a fascinating blog, Caroline!!! I always learn so much here. Your book sounds wonderful.

  18. Every time I see this bookcover I smile because it has to be my most favorite with all the bright colors. You were blessed by the cover Gods for certain.

    Best of luck with lots and lots of sales because this is a great story.

  19. Hi Caroline, and welcome to the Junction! So glad to have you here, and I love the idea of the story! The cover is great too–so bright and colorful. You have done a ton of research, which is one of my most favorite parts of writing. My family is Irish and Native American for the most part. My great grandfather on my mom’s side was named Euin Tolliver McLain, and my great great great grandfather on my dad’s side was named James Casey. I can’t wait to be able to have some time to do some genealogical research! You always spark my interest with your blogs, Caroline. I think Maureen O’Hara is one of the most beautiful women who ever lived.
    Cheryl P.

  20. Thanks to all of you who commented, and especially those who signed up for my newsletter. Linda Broday will let me know who gets the free book, but I appreciate each of you who commented today. I love writing western historicals and love the research preparing to write.

    Ladies, thansk for having me here today!

  21. Great article and excerpt, Caroline. I love Maureen O’Hara. She had it all! Your research and passion are phenomenal, too. And that cover is more than phenomenal. It’s a work of art!

  22. Hi Caroline,
    Great blog, I love Maureen O’Hara, she was not only beautiful but very talented. The Texan’s irish Bride is a fabulous story, I can’t recommend it highly enough.



  23. Caroline,
    This is a wonderful blog post! Full of informative information–a real history lesson and a great book to boot. Hey, I would have loved to look like Maureen O’Hara, too. All I got was the red hair.

  24. Caroline, it’s great to have here on P&P. Sorry I’m a little late getting over here but I’m kinda under the weather today.

    Love the cover of your book. It’s gorgeous with the bright reds. The vivid colors really set it off. And what an excerpt! Oh man, it sure does make me want to the story.

    Enjoy your day.

  25. Hi Caroline, Great to see you again. You know I LOVE your work! I’ve always admired Maureen O’Hara’s acting, especially when she appears with John Wayne. They really struck sparks off each other–Maureen’s ability more than John’s.

    Thank you for providing the picture of the Travelers’ wagons. I’m sure the bright colors helped mediate the tight quarters. How can one wake up grumpy when brilliant yellow, or blue, or red is the first thing you see? lol The picture made me think of the friendly Basque (sp?–my apologies) sheepherders I knew in Oregon as a child. They spent their summers in the high alpine meadows in wagons, although the similarities begin and end with the wheels and beds of those in your picture.

    My best regards to the members of Pistols and Petticoats–awesome site!

  26. Caroline,
    I loved reading your post. You never fail to contribute to my knowledge of American history – always in subtle ways. You are a born writer and always give your readers wonderful insights into your characters.
    I look forward to reading The Texan’s Irish Bride.

  27. Caroline, I have loved your cover from the first time I saw it. Now that I read your post, it reminds me of the colorful wagons in the picture. I’m Irish and I did not know the story of the Travelers. Cool!!

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