Marital Abuse in the 1800s & Big Cover Reveal

LindaI can think of nothing more shameful or heartbreaking than violence against women. Until the late 1800s a wife had few rights, especially in Texas. The law didn’t see wife-beating as a crime. Husbands could pretty well do as they wanted without fear of arrest. My source said that Maryland was the first state to pass a law making this an actual crime. That was in 1882.

In my book that is coming out in January, the first of my Bachelors of Battle Creek series entitled TEXAS MAIL ORDER BRIDE, a secondary character, Jenny Barclay, suffers a horrendous beating  by her husband and she subsequently loses the baby she was carrying. Although it’s not viewed as a crime in Texas, the sheriff arrests him and puts him in jail even though he knows he can hold him longer for being drunk than he can for beating his wife.  

Mail Order BrideMy hero, Cooper Thorne, isn’t about to the man get away with it. When Cooper catches the sheriff out, he goes in and drags Jenny’s husband kicking and screaming from his cell. I won’t go into what Cooper does when he gets him outside of town, but he does get justice for Jenny.

The book will release on January 6, 2015. It’s available for preorder now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million plus a few other places. Reserve your copy today.


“So beautiful. You make it impossible to think.” He pulled her against him and found her mouth. “You don’t know how long I’ve wanted to do this.”

When he let her up for air, she whispered as though she couldn’t trust her voice, “Is this another Texas custom?”

“Absolutely,” he growled. “Welcome to Texas.”

Rancher Cooper Thorne thinks his life is finally on an even keel—until Delta Dandridge steps off the stagecoach claiming to be his mail order bride. Brash and quick-witted, the meddling Southern Belle is everything Cooper thought he never wanted…and everything his heart is telling him he needs.

But Cooper swore long ago that he’d never marry, and he aims to keep his word…especially now that the demons from his past have returned to threaten everything—and everyone—he holds dear.

* * *

I’m so excited that the release date is getting closer. I’ll talk more about this book in the coming months. I think the cover is simply gorgeous. What about you?  
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Here in the Texas Panhandle, we do love our cowboys. There's just something about a man in a Stetson and jeans that makes my heart beat faster. I'm not much of a cook but I love to do genealogy and I'm a bit of a rock hound. I'm also a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of historical western romance. You can contact me through my website and I'd love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. HAPPY READING!

28 thoughts on “Marital Abuse in the 1800s & Big Cover Reveal”

  1. I had a battered wife as the heroine in Fired Up, a secondary character whose plight came to life in Swept Away, book one of that series. Fortunately her husband was a vile and evil man in many ways and ended up getting shot. Freeing her for romance, which is what our goal is, right?

    • Hi Mary……Yes, they deserve to be shot. I love it when I get to do that in my stories. Our characters NEED more romance. So that’s what we do. I take my job very seriously as do you. Spreading happiness and joy is our goal. We’re the Magic Dust Fairies. Keep writing your wonderful books that bring joy to so many readers. No rest for you, my dear Filly sister.

    • Good Morning, Laurie G…….Great to see you. I always love your comments. Thank you for the compliments about my cover. Glad you agreed that it’s pretty special. I’m so impatient. I want it out now. Hope January comes really fast.

      Have a great day and remember to laugh every chance you get.

  2. Gorgeous cover indeed, Linda, and a dreadful subject. I can’t imagine any man so cowardly, yet I have been reading a lot this summer about the Plantagenet period in England…the history of wife abuse is long and terrible. I’m glad we can give our fictional females happier endings.

    I am so thrilled about your new book, series actually. I cannot wait for January either when I hope we FINALLY get some rain around here and I can cuddle up in front of the fire with your great book! Best of luck, my friend. xo

    • Hi Tanya……Yes you’re right. Women have been treated badly since Bible days. At least now, we have laws to sort of protect us. And yes, we can give these women a happy ending in our stories. Thank goodness for that! We can right a great many wrongs and exact justice for our people.

      I’m so glad you like my cover. Hopefully, it’ll sell well. Sourcebooks sure did a great job. Rain? What’s that? Hope we both get some. I’ll be overjoyed to have you cuddle up with my book in January. Providing a little entertainment while rain pounds on the roof is the least I can do. LOL

    • Hi Colleen…….How nice of you to drop by. Always a pleasure to see you. I’m glad you like my cover. Yes, the sunset is just gorgeous. It truly speaks of Texas. We have some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen. I’m sure they’re equally gorgeous there where you live in Arizona.

      Have a wonderful, blessed day!

  3. I think the cover is beautiful. I don’t want to read about characters that are perfect or have perfect lives – it’s what makes them more real to have problems and flaws. I enjoyed the excerpt!

    • Hi Catslady…..Thank you for coming by. I’m glad you like my new cover and the excerpt. I’ll have more about the book in the coming months. I mainly wanted to let everyone see the cover. Yes, I love to write flawed characters. They’re much more interesting than those who live perfect lives. Besides, I couldn’t write that because I don’t anyone who is perfect.

    • Hi Sherri….I’m glad you stopped by. Yes, the treatment of women back through the ages has been really sad. I’m so grateful we have some laws now against some of these crimes.

  4. Oh, I just love that cover! You know, I had a heroine in Fire Eyes that was emotionally abused, though not physically. Men who do such things are shameful cowards. Seems like it’s something that people have really never been shocked by–and they should be!

    • Hi Cheryl, I’m glad you like my cover. I was overjoyed with it. The people, the colors, the background really set the book I think. I agree about the men who abuse women. They are cowards and they pick on women because they know most women don’t fight back.

  5. Domestic abuse is such a serious problem. In the 1960’s our neighbor’s daughter, smart and lovely, met and married a teacher. He never really got to the physical part of abuse, but he isolated her, didn’t allow her to go out by herself, and she couldn’t have friends. She and her parents were smart enough to get her out of that situation when the realized what was happening. I had several friends that taught with this man and never believed he was abusive. “He is such a nice guy.” was the consensus.
    We have since moved to the South and I am shocked at how prevalent and almost accepted it is in our area. Girls in high school get pushed around and seem to expect it. We counseled one young lady to not marry an older man (his son was her age), but she wanted out of her home situation and just knew this was a good move. Within weeks she was back, commenting on his controlling behavior and abuse. She stayed with her mom and step-father several times, but was never allowed to stay long and kept going back. I lost touch with her and really don’t know what eventually happened, even though she said she was going to leave him.
    My son has had several friends that have had physically abusive boyfriends. He has helped them moved out and talked to them about staying out. The most recent one left her husband and filed for divorce two years ago. He refused to sign the papers and has been harassing her. She finally managed to get the divorce finalized. My son helped her move her stuff out this past weekend. The police were late showing up and he threatened both his ex-wife and my son. He even pulled a gun on them. He showed up at her new apartment the next day threatening her. She has an order of protection, but they are not very effective. Our son will not tolerate a woman being beaten and I worry for him whenever these events happen.
    It will be a wonderful day when abuse of spouses, male and female, as well as the children can expect and receive protection from authorities and the abusers are punished the way they should be.

    • Hi Patricia……Sounds like your neighbor’s daughter is learning the hard way. I applaud your son for his sense of right and wrong. He has a big heart. I know it worries you though that he gets into some dangerous situations. He’s a true hero in my book. We need lots more like him.

  6. I remember visiting Colonial Williamsburg and learning that our term “the rule of thumb” comes from the law that allows a man to beat his wife with a stick that is no thicker than his thumb. As an attorney, I questioned whether or not there was a “standard-sized” thumb, as each man’s thumb could be a different size. Now, of course, no one agrees with this sentiment and the laws have changed to protect the women.

    We have definitely come a long way.

    • Hi Dora, yes the rule of thumb was the standard during those times and even into the early 1900s. I can’t imagine anyone thinking it was okay if the stick was within the guidelines. It appalls me. Those people were sick. Luckily, when women got the right to vote things changed. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Have a great day.

  7. Yes–your new cover is lovely, Linda. And I like the story line. I always worried about those mail-order brides–back then and even those of today that come from afar. Such a scary situation to be in–to completely have to trust in the goodness of a stranger.

    One of my first, favorite stories of a mail order bride was Sarah, Plain and Tall. Still love the old movie with Glenn Close.

    • Hi Kathryn…..Wow, it’s an honor to have you comment. I love your books. I agree about Sarah, Plain and Tall. That story and movie touched something deep inside my heart. Sarah was such an amazing woman who only wanted a place where she could share the love she wanted to give. That author was truly very gifted. We need more stories like this.

      Thank you for the compliment for my cover. I’m glad you like it. Wishing you much success with your books!

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