I’m thrilled to be a guest here on Petticoats and Pistols today. Thank you all for having me!
My new book, My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca’s Plight, is a mail-order mix-up story. The heroine, Rebecca, arrives in Ruby City on the stagecoach and is met by her betrothed, Mr. Fordham. Sparks fly, and they hurry and wed before the Justice of the Peace has to leave town, but once Mr. Fordham has kissed the bride and is congratulated as “Deputy,” Rebecca realizes she’s married the wrong man! Turns out she married Tad Fordham, when she was supposed to marry his cousin, Theodore, and Tad was supposed to marry a woman named Rebekah.
Rebecca needs a place to stay until a judge can sort out the mess of her marriage, but Ruby City was short on lodging in 1866. It was one of a handful of towns created in rapid succession after silver and gold were discovered in 1863 in Idaho’s Owyhee Mountains. While Ruby City wasn’t the first town founded in Owyhee County, it became the first county seat. As such, it boasted a sheriff, lawyers, a post office, a newspaper (the Avalanche), mercantiles, smiths, and miners—thousands of them, working in the lodes on War Eagle Mountain (at one point, there were 250 mines in operation).
All those folks needed places to stay, and while some lived in temporary tents, others built permanent structures—including two hotels. One, the War Eagle, started as a humble cabin, but rooms were added. It fell out of favor, however, when the rumor started that it was haunted by a young girl who died there.
Folks preferred the Idaho Hotel, built in 1863. In 1866, a third story wing was added to accommodate more guests.
In 1864, however, a new town was laid out a mile away: Silver City. It was closer to the mines and out of the wind that sometimes swept through Ruby City. By the end of 1866, the decision was made to transfer the county seat from Ruby City to Silver City in the New Year.
Folks started to move from Ruby City, bringing their homes and businesses with them, including the Idaho Hotel. It was dismantled in December of 1866, and its pieces were loaded onto sleds, pulled by oxen through the snow to its new home in Silver City, where it still stands today. Nothing is left of Ruby City but the cemetery.
While Silver City is now a ghost town, visitors can still stay at the Idaho Hotel during warmer months—but Rebecca, heroine of my story, never did. The Idaho Hotel was full up when she needed a place to lay her head, and she and both of her Mr. Fordhams had to do some quick thinking to find a suitable place for her to stay.
Journey now to Ruby City, Idaho of 1866 where…
A Marriage Mishap Creates an Awkward Love Triangle in this Silver Mining Town
Looking forward to a quiet life and a full stomach, mail-order bride Rebecca Rice is pleased to marry her shopkeeper intended, Mr. Fordham, until the justice of the peace calls him Thaddeus, not Theodore—proceeded by the title Deputy.
Is it possible to marry the wrong man?
When the newlyweds realize they’ve married the wrong partners with similar names, an annulment seems in order—and fast, since Rebecca’s true intended is impatient to claim her as his own, not to mention Rebecca would never marry a lawman like her father. But when the legalities take longer than expected, Rebecca wonders if Tad wasn’t the right husband for her all along. . . .
All this talk of Ruby City has me thinking of rubies. Let me know your favorite gemstone, and you’ll be in the drawing for a copy of My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho!
Buy on Amazon
Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she’s the award-winning author of over a dozen historical romances who’s seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and enjoys fancy-schmancy tea parties, genealogy, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos.