WILDCATTERS! by Tessa Berkley

Tessa 2 LordHeartless

The Fillies are happy to have Tessa Berkley come and chat with us. She’s such a delightful guest.




As a writer, I love how inspiration sometimes pulls from the truth to find the perfect solution for a story. I’ve been doing some work on a modern historical. I suppose since we’ve turned the corner some 15 years on the new century it would still be considered a historical. My focus has been on the early history of oil in Texas and the wildcatters who made up the work force. Little did these men realize their efforts to bring black gold or Texas ‘T’ to the surface would bring a huge change and usher in the modern age with one determined individual, Captain Anthony Lucas.

TESSA BERKLEY Spindletop_gusher_smlLucas served in the Austrian Navy and was a trained engineer as well as a salt miner. He’d worked for the Gladys City Gas, Oil, and Manufacturing under Patillo Higgins who believed there was oil beneath the salt dome in an area near Beaumont, Texas. Drilling was hard in Texas. Sand made up most of the soil instead of the rock formations most drillers had experienced in the Pennsylvania oil fields. Anyone who has gone to the beach and dug deep into the sand understands the ease in which such loose grains can create cave ins. Ingenuity was the mother of invention, one of men under Lucas suggested pumping water into the hole thus stabilizing it. After two months of drilling and facing setbacks, on January 10th, 1901, the men found oil in a small place called Spindle Top, which will be the setting for my novella coming early next year.

My hero, Chase, is Clark Gable in disguise. No, not Rhett Butler, but the Gable seen in It Happened One Night. And yes, he is ruggedly handsome! Deep down, he believes there is oil beneath the salt lined sand on the St. James ranch.

TESSA 2 Clark-Gable-in-It-Happened-One-Night-clark-gable-15582513-1067-800

My heroine, Lucy St. James, is the cynic. She’s the one that doesn’t believe in the new-fangled automobile, that fouls the air and frightens cattle and horses. She fights him tooth and nail to get him to see the error of his ways.

Of course, there are scally wags, cheats, and unscrupulous men who will dare to try and take advantage of them, but we all know its romance and where would we be without that happily ever after. I guess you are wondering how and why I began this little piece with the idea of inspiration pulling from real life. Oddly, Lucy’s father who plays a part in pulling the two together is named Lucas. Did I know about his finding oil at Spindle Top? Nope, not until after the first forty pages were done. Muses, God bless em.

TESSA BERKLEYEBarry Fitzgerald my pic for Lucas St. James











Leave a comment and have a chance to win my latest ebook historical release, Lord Heartless.
Tessa Berkley

Tessa Berkley loves to hear from readers. You can find her on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/tessa.berkley.7

or at her web page http://tessaberkley.wix.com/tessaberkleyromance



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21 thoughts on “WILDCATTERS! by Tessa Berkley”

  1. Hi Tessa! Welcome back to P&P. We’re thrilled to have you visit with us. Love, Love the pictures of Clark Gable and John Wayne! A wonderful way to get my day started. Very interesting information about the history of early oil. Some men staked everything they had on a gut feeling they’d find oil. Some won and some lost. It was a huge gamble back then.

    Wishing you lots of luck with Lord Heartless! I love that cover. Very pretty.

  2. My husband grandfather lost everything when the oil boom ended in Wyoming. They never could get back on their feet. Your book sounds like a great read.

  3. congrats to Tessa on the new release!! This sounds awesome 🙂 I love reading about the turn of the century and the introduction of “new” technologies. And to add the oil boon would make this a great read! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Hi Linda,

    Back from work. It’s always a pleasure to be here on Petticoats and Pistols. Thanks again for having me. You have to admire those early oil guys. They were going on guts and intuition.


  5. Oh Rebekah, that must have really been a shock. I’m sorry that happened to them. It seems more did go bust than make millions. You had to be very lucky to hit things just right. Thanks for commenting.


  6. Hi Brittany,

    You are so welcome. It’s really facinating when you start looking at it.


  7. Hi Colleen,

    Thanks for joining in. I really do love the cover on Lord Heartless. I feel so lucky getting a lucious cover

  8. Hi Erin,

    You’re so welcome. I’m sort of a history geek so I love digging into things and finding twists. I’m exciting about finishing up this book. I can’t wait to see what cover come out of it.


  9. Hello Quilt Lady,

    I love making those too! Thank you so much for your good wishes. Great to see you here today.


  10. Once again I have learned something new here on Petticoats & Pistols! Love the cover of your book. Definitely makes me want to read it!

  11. That is a lovely cover, Tessa. And the Texas oil backdrop sounds so interesting. I love to read stories that have solid historical facts intertwined with the plot. I learn so much and it is fascinating. Best wishes for your new book!

  12. Hi Connie,

    Thanks for coming by. I have to admit, I’m learning alot through research myself. My son did some work in the local arena when the Professional Bull Riders came through and low and behold, what did he bring home???? Yep, a Lucas Oil sign. Yep, I’m destined to write this book. :o)


  13. Okay, Fan Girl Momment!!!

    I am the one who is so honored to have a comment from Kathryn Albright! Thank you so much for your words. I will cherish this.


    P.S. I have a wonderful tatterd copy of Texas Wedding for Their Baby’s Sake. Such a wonderful read. Thank you for writing it.

  14. Hello Tessa. Welcome to Petticoats and Pistols. I love to meet new(to me)authors. This is an interesting topic. My husband worked on in the oilfields for many years. He worked in the Derrick. He said they had a rope on them for safety but once he was somehow lost his footing and fell to the rope. I was so glad he was tied. Then later his hand caught between drilling pipe and another coming up and cut off a finger. Later one of his brothers was working up there and was starting down and something happened and he fell to the deck. Cut his face in several places but doctor said if had been the back of his head he would have died. Love the pictures. Hope you don’t have my John Wayne picture for a bad guy. He has always been my favorite Actor. I even got to meet him while filming a movie.Would love to win your book. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot) <

  15. Hi Maxie,

    Wow, what tales your family could tell. And you can give a sigh or relief. In no shape or form would John Wayne EVER and I do mean ever be a villian. To this day I still can’t watch the movies in which he dies. In my heart, JW is still riding the plains with both Gabby Hayes and Ward Bond. :o)

    Thanks for making my day.


  16. Hi Tessa,

    Definitely sounds like a great story. And I agree with you, Clark Gable was a stunningly handsome man. Congrats on the book – I’m looking forward to reading it.

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