Bundle Up: it’s cold outside! ~Barbara White Daille


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!NOVEMBER 20 Barbara White Daille (2)

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!

November 20 Cover

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?

November 20 Cowboy's Surprise

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.

My bio:

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.













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38 thoughts on “Bundle Up: it’s cold outside! ~Barbara White Daille”

  1. It makes me giggle picturing it! I can only imagine snuggling with my guy in separate sacks. 🙂 I’m sure it was quite effective, though.

  2. I’ve never been to New Mexico. However, my oldest son worked at Bandelier National Monument for 6 months. He sent so many beautiful pictures from his many trips around the state. I do think scorpions in the bathroom would be hard for any one to get used to. Are they aggressive?

    Your Hitching Post Hotel sounds like a cute idea for a series. I’d never heard of people sharing beds with blankets or bundling boards in between. I wonder who’s job it was to supervise the situation. I wonder too if any marriages transpired after this intimate encounter.

  3. And I should mention…the cover is of The Cowboy’s Little Surprise, the giveaway book. The excerpt is from book 3 in the series, The Lawman’s Christmas Proposal.

    FYI, though there are connecting characters in all the books, they’re standalones in that each hero and heroine has a happy ending by the end of their book. Because, of course, these are romances. 😉

  4. Hi, Faith – you’re very welcome, and it’s great to meet you, too.

    My books are contemporary, but reading up on this topic made me want to write a book set in the Old West, just so I could incorporate a bundling board. lol

  5. Janine – after I did my research, I realized I’d watched an old Western movie with my dad when I was a little girl, and a bundling board was involved in one scene – though I was too young to understand why it was there!

  6. Susan – I’m with you! lol The bundling board is odd enough, but to be tied up in a sack…

    On the other hand, something that keeps the neck and shoulders warm at night – without slipping off like the covers do – is starting to sound like a good idea.

  7. Hi, Laurie – from what I read, the bundling was often done with courting couples who did go on to marry, and the bundling was supervised by parents or other family members.

    In my reading, I found bundling was popular long ago in Europe and then in the early days of the West. It was also a practice of the Amish community.

    Thanks for the compliment about the series. I’m having so much fun writing the books! You won’t find any bundling boards in them, though. lol And while some of the stories have love scenes, most of the books are what I call “on the sweet(er) side.”

    As for the scorpions, yes, it’s tough knowing they’re around. If you get in close enough contact, they will fight back. I’ve never been stung by one, but I know people who have been. Some folks are allergic to scorpion stings – but how does anyone know until they’ve gotten one, right?

  8. DK – thank you so much! I was thrilled when I first saw that book. 🙂

    The upcoming book in the series, The Lawman’s Christmas Proposal, is my first “baby” cover, and it is ADORABLE!

    I’ve been very, very lucky with my covers and say that every chance I get, so thanks for giving me the opportunity to do that again now.

  9. Barbara they featured a bundling board in The Patriot, the Mel Gibson movie about the American Revolution. Heath Ledger was ‘bundled’ and allowed to spend the night with his future wife. There was even the girl’s mother sewing him into the bundle talking about how tight her stitches were.

  10. First of all thanks so much for the books you write. Second, thanks for guiding me here so I can get the newsletter which I just subscribed to. Third, thank you for sharing so much of yourself. I love getting to know the authors who’s books I enjoy.

  11. Candy – thanks to *you* for the compliments and for following me over here to check out the post. Hope you enjoyed it.

    And as I may have said a time or two already today, I love chatting. 😉

    This is a great group blog, and I’m so glad you’ve found the ladies here and will be getting their newsletter.

    Happy reading, and thanks again!

  12. Welcome,,very interesting post some things I didn’t know,,i always assumed the bunting board was what they put papooses in,,never too old to learn something,thanks

  13. Hi, Barbara, welcome to Wildflower Junction, and happy Thanksgiving/almost. I love this idea of bundling. I knew about it and it’s stuck in a long ago wip that will NEVER see the light of day! Best wishes with Hitching Post Hotel, and all the folks there.

  14. Hi, Vickie – thanks for the welcome.

    My only knowledge fo babies and bunting is when they’re wrapped up for warmth. (And the Bye, Baby Bunting nursery rhyme.)

    I don’t know about using a board for babies – but I’ll bet someone here can clue us both in!

  15. Hi, Tanya – thanks for the warm welcome and almost-Thanksgiving wishes. I hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday, too.

    Thanks also for the kind words about the Hitching Post Hotel. It’s definitely a place I enjoy visiting, and I hope readers feel the same.

    As for the books that will never see the light of day, I have a few of those, too. They’re good learning experiences for writers, though, aren’t they?

  16. Welcome back to P&P Barbara! Loved the excerpt. I haven’t read any of your stories, so now I will have to add this one to my TBR pile. I really like the concept of the Hitching Post Hotel!That sounds like it will be a fun, fun series.

  17. Kathryn – it’s nice to be back for a visit!

    Readers seem to be getting a kick out of my matchmaking grandpa and the folks of Cowboy Creek. I thank you for adding the book to your pile, and if you do read the story, I hope you enjoy it.

  18. I actually came across a book about bundling while cleaning out my mother in law’s house. What I read of it was hilarious in today’s world.

  19. Thank you for your very interesting post. I have never heard of a bundling board and I can’t imagine someone coming up with it but I would think it would serve its purpose perfectly.

  20. You can learn something everyday and I have from you today. I have known about bundling and the bundling board for a long time. I didn’t know about the sacks. I was taught (or told) a long, long time ago that the bundling board custom was started or used when the
    Puritans came to America. People lived at such a distance they had to stay overnight. Couples courting were placed in the same (small) beds, wrapped in blankets as you said and talked, stayed warm and slept through the night (yeah, right) in order to get to know
    each other better. The sacks make sense because not everyone behaved (those who didn’t were wed the next morning. Whether or not the Puritans used those customs in their home countries was never mentioned. Thanks for filling some of those spaces and congratulations on your new release.

  21. Melanie – you’re very welcome. It is a pretty ingenious idea, isn’t it? I always think it’s interesting to find out how people come up with ideas or inventions for things no one’s ever thought of before.

  22. Whitney – it’s always good to keep learning, right? 😉

    Another thing I came across in my research was that bundling boards were used in the early days when travelers came to a town and needed a place to sleep. (Don’t recall if this was in the U.S. or just earlier in Europe.) The travelers would rent out half of a bed for the night. The bundling board would keep the two occupants of the bed separate, and the homeowner would earn some extra cash. Yet another ingenious idea – though not one most of us would probably want to practice today!

  23. Interesting article. I also live in the Southwest and am familiar with scorpions. When we first moved here, someone said to put a couple of ducks in your back yard and they would clean them out. It worked! Of corse, then you had to clean up after the ducks.
    I have learned that they come out at night to feed and they are attracted to moisture.

    Your books sounds really good.

  24. Hi, Joye – I haven’t done much looking into the habits of scorpions, so thanks for the info. I hope you’re not seeing too many of them lately.

    Thanks also for your comment on the book – I appreciate it very much.

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