Hi, and thanks to the fillies for inviting me to drop by for another visit. I’ll be giving away an autographed copy of the first book in my Hitching Post Hotel series, The Cowboy’s Little Surprise, so leave a comment!
As we’re closing in on December and I’m gearing up for the release of a Christmas book, I’ve been thinking more and more about winter weather.
I live in the Southwest, and the December book is number four in a series set in a small town in New Mexico. As you may guess, I haven’t had to worry for quite a while now—either in real life or my fiction—about heavy jackets and scarves and mittens. On the other hand (no pun intended!), I tend to feel the cold as soon as the temperature drops below 70 degrees. This means that, in the wintertime, bundling up indoors under a cozy afghan never sounds like a bad thing to me!
Recently, I came across a reference to a “bundling board.” Many of you who read or write historical or Western stories may already have heard the term. It was new to me, and my chilly little fingers couldn’t type into the search bar quickly enough.
My research told me that bundling involves wrapping people in separate blankets in order to let them share a bed. In early European times, it was the practice to use sacks or bags that enclosed the body from feet to neck, finishing off with a drawstring to close the bag around the wearer’s neck and shoulders.
You might think these bags and blankets were meant to keep the occupants warm. And you’re be right. That was one of the purposes, but there were other reasons to bundle up.
The purpose I just had to share with Western romance readers and writers is this:
Bundling was used as a way to allow a young courting couple to snuggle up together for some private time. In their separate cocoons, they couldn’t do much but kiss and cuddle.
When the couple needed to be kept from even that level of intimacy, sometimes a bundling board was used. This was a board placed perpendicularly between them and running down the length of the bed.
The bundling board was meant to ensure the couple didn’t step over the line into doing anything they shouldn’t. And for those of us who read and write Western romance, don’t you think it adds the perfect touch for an old-West version of a “closed-door” love scene?
I won’t give away whether or not there’s a love scene in my December book, but I’ll share a clip from Mitch and Andi’s first kiss:
“Those tears for me?” he asked.
“Of course they’re not.” This time, she was determined not to look away, no matter how his cop’s training would interpret her stare. No matter how shaky her reaction to his blue eyes left her feeling. “I accidentally bit my lip and it hurts. Not as much as your knee must, though, I’m sure.”
“I don’t need your pity, Andi.”
“That wasn’t pity. It was a not-very-smooth attempt to find out what happened.”
“Why? So you can fix it?”
“I never said—”
“You didn’t have to. There’s nothing wrong with me a few weeks of rest won’t cure. And maybe this.”
Before she could blink, he had cupped the back of her head as gently as he had cupped her cheek, urging her toward him. Once his mouth met hers, she had nothing but the memories of another time and another place and all the feelings that came with them.
For this one long, heart-stopping, teenager-in-lust-again moment, she loved Mitch Weston as desperately as she had the last day they had been together.
I love to chat, so please leave a comment or question.
I’m also giving away an autographed print copy of book 1 in the Hitching Post Hotel series, The Cowboy’s Little Surprise. A winner’s name will be drawn from comments left here at the blog. (US & Canada addresses only, please.)
The Lawman’s Christmas Proposal can be found at all your favorite retailers, including Amazon.
Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom.
Barbara’s new series, The Hitching Post Hotel, features a matchmaking grandpa determined to see his three granddaughters wed. The series began with The Cowboy’s Little Surprise and A Rancher of Her Own. The Lawman’s Christmas Proposal debuts in December, and additional books in the series will be coming up next year.