Are you old enough to remember

the old “Maverick” television series? Or, perhaps you saw the 1990’s movie based on the series? I loved the TV series (and James Garner!). Is it any wonder my books feature ranchers as heroes? ? To prove how much I love the West, I’m giving away an electronic copy of BRAZOS BRIDE to two people who comment today.

I have no idea where the surname Maverick came from, but have learned where the term “maverick” for cattle and wild humans originated. The term has come to mean independently minded or anyone who could not be trusted to remain one of his/her group.

Attorney Samuel A. Maverick helped lead Texas to independence and helped establish the Republic of Texas. In 1839, he was elected mayor of San Antonio. During the Mexican War, he had taken in four hundred cattle he didn’t want as settlement of a debt, and he had the cattle driven to a range in the Matagorda area. The cattle were marked with his MK brand, but Maverick did not brand the calves. Neighbors began referring to any unbranded calf as “one of Maverick’s” as early as 1857. Not until after the Civil War did the term spread into other parts of Texas and the rest of the West. Texas cowboys never called unbranded cattle by any other name.

When the Civil War broke out, Texans went off to fight (usually for the Confederacy) and their cattle ran wild. Men often returned to find their homes and ranches in shambles, their families near starvation, and their cattle living in brambles and canebrakes. While the humans hadn’t done too well, the cattle had thrived . . . and reproduced. According to my source, of the six million cattle roaming in post-Civil-War Texas, a million were unbranded. The cattle were wild, hardy, cantankerous, and able to survive on not much more than cholla, wild grass, damp air, and neglect.

Keep in mind, these are longhorns whose horns sometimes grew nine feet or more from tip to tip. Not an animal I’d ever want to have angry at me. Broke, hungry, desperate cowboys were willing to tackle these giant beasts that sometimes weighed from a thousand to fifteen hundred pounds. Ranches were founded on mavericks, and fortunes were established driving cattle to another market. Rounding up mavericks whose ownership may or may not have been uncertain was called “jacking mavericks,” and was accepted for a while. Later, the practice became illegal.

My current series, the Men of Stone Mountain, is a trilogy: BRAZOS BRIDE, HIGH STAKES BRIDE, and the upcoming BLUEBONNET BRIDE.

Hope Montoya knows someone is poisoning

her, but who? Rancher Micah Stone has been in love with Hope since the first time he saw her. When Hope proposes a paper marriage in exchange for land on the Brazos River and much needed cash, her offer rubs his pride raw.. He and Hope have to stay alive and discover the killer before they become victims in the deadly assaults.

To be entered into the drawing for a copy of BRAZOS BRIDE please remember to leave your email with your comment.
Thanks for stopping by!
Caroline Clemmons writes western historical and contemporary romances. Visit her personal blog here or her website here. Click here to order her book on Amazon.

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  1. Thanks so much for giving the history of the term maverick. You are so right about long horn cattle. They are sturdy creatures and quite adept at taking are of themselves. Their horns are intimidating up close. I have watched cowboys roping, but no way can I picture them doing it with a long horn. They would have to lasso a foot or just one horn.
    With all those cattle roaming loose, you would think the hard-up families would have taken advantage of them to put food on the table. Good luck for the returning soldiers that needed a fresh start.

    I visited your website and there are several books that I am interested in. Good luck with this trilogy.

  2. Loved the information on the term maverick. I watched the old TV show Maverick as well. Recently visited friends in western Nebraska who have a couple of longhorns. I found the length of their horn amazing. While I had handfed them a couple of years ago, I could not get near them this year although my friend continues to handfeed them treats.

  3. I enjoyed reading this article caroline, and yes I use to watch maverick every week. Loved it. I watch lots of old ones now on several channels with most of the ones I used to watch, so am enjoying them again. But, haven’t see Maverick yet. I would love to read your book but don’t do the electronic thing. So, will have to pass. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  4. I went to visit your website. Excellent review of Micah and Hope’s story from Night Owl Reviews! Interesting twist with her Dad’s murder mystery too.

    I didn’t know that Dolly Parton has a literacy program for children. I’m definitely going to look into that.

    I also love to look at recipes. Thanks for sharing!

    Now I’m going back to read your short stories.

    Best wishes!

    johns lake at usa dot com

  5. Interesting information. Your book sounds really good and I have added it to my TBR list. I am always looking for new authors to read.

  6. Welcome to the Junction, Caroline! We’re thrilled to have you. Interesting blog. Seems like everything stopped when the Civil War started. How sad. It must’ve been quite a sight seeing so many cattle just running wild. I loved the TV western Maverick. James Garner made an excellent character. He was so funny but he could be tough also.

    Congratulations on the new release! 🙂 It looks wonderful. Wishing you tons of success.

  7. Welcome, Caroline! Maverick was a favorite of mine. I like the movie, too. Loved how James Garner returned as Maverick’s father!!! What a great wink to the television show.

    Oooooo, your book sounds amazing. Cowboys, poison, a little romantic suspense…sounds like a recipe for a fabulous read!!!

  8. Good Morning, Caroline,
    Thank you for the interesting post. I’m a Californian and don’t know too much about Texas. Only what I read. The more facts I read, the more I learn. Thank you for that.
    I am more familiar with the Santa Gertrudis cattle.

  9. welcome,an a very intesting post,I wasnt aware of where the term Maverick came from either,thanks for sharing with us

  10. Thank you for sharing this tidbit of history with us about Mavericks. I have to make note of this series! Sounds wonderful! 🙂

  11. I loved the Maverick series (loved James Garner, another Okie like me). My favorite show was Rawhide where they took the longhorns on a cattle drive after the War to sell. Clint Eastwood was in this series.

  12. Awesome information, Caroline! Other than the TV series and Tom Cruise in Top Gun, I never imagined Maverick as a “real” name.

    I “met” some gorgeous longhorns on the Bandera ranch we went to for The Wild Rose Press’s retreat. They were actually pets, though LOL. We drove on a high ride and they charged right up. Picasso was the stud bull’s name, and his latest baby was there, too, brindled markings.

    It’s so wonderful to welcome you to Wildflower Junction, today. Don’t be a stranger, y’hear? xo

  13. James Garner…swoon worthy… It was a treat to learn more about the word and that there were so many cattle after the Civil War.. My ignorance makes me ask.. do both male & females have the horns??

  14. I do remember the show. Love James Garner! I can’t wait to read your book.

    ghurt110 AT bellsouth DOT net

  15. I loved the tv show and also the movie! Great casting with James Garner (such a good looking man) and Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster. Very informative post – I really enjoyed it.

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