Off Your Rocker

You may think this an odd title for a post (Linda has finally lost it) but you’ll soon see how it fits. In exactly two weeks from today THE OUTLAW’S MAIL ORDER BRIDE will launch. This starts a new four-book series called Outlaw Mail Order Brides and I’m so excited about this project.

This series is a bleed-over from Men of Legend. Luke Legend and his wife Josie have started a private bride service for men and women living in the shadows. Clay Colby and Tally Shannon are characters that first appeared in Men of Legend. Clay was a trail boss for Houston in The Heart of a Texas Cowboy and Tally first appeared at the end of To Love a Texas Ranger and played a bigger part in To Marry a Texas Outlaw.

Tally and a group of women had escaped the Creedmore Lunatic Asylum and were hiding out in Deliverance Canyon. Readers wrote me, wanting their story so they’re getting it.

After two years living in fear of discovery, Tally decides it’s time for change. With Luke and Josie hand-carrying letters back and forth, Tally agrees to marry Clay. Only a wanted man will know how to protect her. Finally, she’ll be able to lift the burden from her shoulders and let someone care for her.

And Clay does from the start. She’s the wife he’s longed for and the little blind girl she brings with her becomes his daughter.

But I want to talk about the horrors of early mental institutions. Number one is that they had zero oversight. People who ran them could do whatever they wanted with these people. Nor did they require any proof of insanity. Often families wanted to get rid of certain ones and these institutions provided a way. Give them some money and they’d relieve you of your problem. In some cases it became big business.

That’s what Tally’s stepmother did. She wanted to wrench the family estate from Tally and have it all so she incapacitated her, drove her to the asylum and handed her over along with a bag of money along with instructions to make Tally’s life a living hell.

Here are some actual reasons on one mental institution’s books for taking a person:

  • Imaginary Female Trouble
  • Deranged Masturbation
  • Political Excitement
  • Asthma
  • Seduction and Disappointment
  • Fever and Jealousy
  • Domestic Trouble
  • Religious Enthusiasm
  • Blindness
  • Novel Reading (WHAT!!)

These are just ridiculous and there are lots more I didn’t list. Anything could be an excuse up until 1955 when some oversight finally came along. That it took so long is crazy!

Since we all read romance, we could’ve been institutionalized back then if our family didn’t want us!!

So, are you off your rocker or missing some marbles? Maybe you’re an overzealous cook or like to sit around daydreaming. You could be certifiable. What reason could your family have given? Have fun with this. I’m giving away THREE copies of THE OUTLAW’S MAIL ORDER BRIDE!! Plus, each will also get one of my calendars.

I’m also announcing a SALE! All of my Texas Heroes is marked down. If you haven’t read them and want to, now is the time to get them cheap. Or maybe you’re only missing one from the set. Now’s your chance.



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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!

74 thoughts on “Off Your Rocker”

  1. I have so been looking forward to these women’s stories. It may take a bit longer than usual to read them, but I am sure they will be well worth the effort.
    I am certain I would have been institutionalized had I been born earlier. As it is, it is a good thing I was so young in 1955. I have always read “too much.” I was stubborn and never missed an opportunity to give my opinion or argue a point. had aspirations to advance in careers that were not for females.
    Best wishes for a super successful release for THE OUTLAW’S MAIL ORDER BRIDE. I can’t wait to read Tally and Clay’s story.

    • Good morning, Pat……Great to see you. Yes, I think we would’ve been roommates. Ha! Too many opinions would’ve gotten us locked up. I do hope you’ll enjoy Clay and Tally’s story. It’s pretty powerful and not for the feint of heart. 🙂

      Love you, lady!

  2. Thank goodness was born when I was because surely I’d have been committed for my reading and the fact that I have a strong personality as well. I also just saw promos for The Belly Bly story. The journalist who had voluntarily had herself committed to see the horrors first hand. Also I had read where husbands had the wives committed because they could. Scary times.Thanks for this post.

    • Good morning, Carol……Absolutely. Husbands found a quick way to get rid of a wife. Nelly Bly was a courageous woman. I’m so thankful I didn’t live back then. Very scary.

      Have a blessed day!

  3. Well I’m sure my family could have a number of reasons to institionalized me. I was a daydreamer for sure and would get lost in my minds wandering. They would ask “are you okay?”
    I loved this book and I know everyone will. Congrats on another new series Linda, this one is going to “rock” their world. No pun intended. Love you my sweet sister friend.

    • Good morning, Tonya……Daydreaming was often considered a form of insanity. Yes, ma’am you could’ve been thrown into a mental institution! You could’ve roomed with me. Ha! Thank you for the kind words about this book. I, too, think readers will like it. Tally had a lot to overcome but Clay provided so much emotional support. He made a great husband and father.

      Love you back, sister friend!

  4. Im sure i would have been in ome. Congratulations on your new series of books. I need some good books to read.

    • Good morning, Yvonne……Thank you for coming. And for joining us in the insanity ward! I’m really excited about this series and Clay and Tally’s book. I hope you like it.

      Love and hugs, dear friend!

  5. Oh my, my family would have had many many reasons to lock me up and throw away the key. Two failed marriages, heavy reader, I’m sure MS would qualify me too (I don’t think we would have had it back then though), inability to do what my man says… I’d be doomed. I absolutely loved this book and I’m dying to get to the get my hands (well eyes and heart) on the rest of this series! Happy New Year and best of luck with your new release! Love you dear lady!!

    • Good morning, dear Stephanie……..You would’ve been doomed for sure. You would’ve given them many reasons for locking you up. I think they probably had MS back then but called it something else. I’m very happy to walk this journey with you. I know firsthand what you deal with on a daily basis. I’m so happy you loved the book. You won’t have long to wait for the second one. April will be here soon.

      Much love and hugs!

  6. I could meet several of the ones listed. I really enjoy geology. They could commit me for enjoying erosion.

  7. Let the adventure begin! So happy to know this is a four-book series! Yeah…more Linda Broday books coming our way!

    • Good morning, Kathy R……..I’m happy you’re happy. There is more adventure in this series than I think any other I’ve written. And each story is markedly different. Outlaws sure make good heroes!

      Blessings, dear friend!

  8. I love the books you have wrote that I have read. Just know I that my life would qualify me to be put away. Lol not really but it so feels like it. I know that everyone has there ups and downs but good grief give a person a break. I’m trying here. Looking forward to escape in some simple life styles. This fast pass life is getting to me quickly.
    Good luck on this release Linda. Congratulations again. Much love.

    • Good morning, Christi…….Sometimes life does try to get us down. It’s hard to stay positive when you can’t see the sunlight. But that’s what is so amazing about books. They let us escape into other worlds and we can forget our problems for a little while. 🙂 I hope my stories help bring cheer.

      Love and hugs!

  9. Oh wow a lot of thing could have put me in the nut house. Right now I am itching all over I guess that would count. Life itself could put you there. I can’t wait to read your new series Linda because your books are awesome.

    • Hi Quilt Lady…….Great to see you. I’m sure itching would lead you right to their door! You’re a bad girl. But like you said, life in general could’ve put you there. Thank you for liking my books. I’m so grateful.

      Blessings and love!

  10. What a fabulous idea, Linda! As a psychology major back in the day, I know a little of the horrible history of mental asylums. Scary stuff. Is it bad that while I read your post, all I could think of was Beauty & the Beast when Gaston pays to have Maurice institutionalized so that he could have Belle all to himself? It’s even in Disney movies!

    • Hi Karen…..I’m glad you enjoyed my post. It was a bad situation back then and if you got crossways with your family it was sure a possibility. I agree about Disney cashing in with Beauty and the Beast.

      Hugs, Filly sister!

  11. Congratulations on your new series. Oh my! I would have been institutionalized for sure if my family thought I was weird. I have always, been an avid reader, talked to myself, I talk to strangers and try to get them to smile. I love being creative such as making greeting cards. I have always been more comfortable with men (probably because I grew up on a farm with 3 brothers) This is a very interesting article and I look forward to the series.

    • Hi Lori……Talking to yourself is a sure sign that you need to be institutionalized! 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed my post and hopefully the book.

      Have a blessed day!

  12. Good morning Linda. I am so looking forward to this book! There was probably several things that my family could have put me away for but thank goodness they didn’t! But seriously I did most of my nursing years in the mental health field. When I first went to work in 1966 there were many patients in our facility that were there because the family “couldn’t care for them.” One family 5 siblings the dad placed there after the mom died. It was sad. And there were many others like that.
    Can’t wait for this new book and the ones to follow!! Hope I win one and the calendar. So enjoyed my calendar last year! Love and hugs your way!

    • Hi Ruth…….Thanks for coming. Yes, you probably saw it all first hand. How sad about the dad putting his five kids in there. What a disgrace. But with no oversight they could do it.

      Blessings and love, sweet lady!

  13. Oh boy, I’ve really been hoping you would do stories about the women in the canyon!!
    I would have been put away for a number of reasons: political excitement, novel reading and of course expressing my opinion instead of sitting meekly by.
    Although I was young, I remember an asylum near here where the patients were neglected terribly–and who knows what else–and eventually closed down.

    • Hi Eliza……..How wonderful to see you! Then you know what I’m talking about. Those asylums were fallow ground for horrible abuse and neglect. After all, who could the inmates complain to? And who would’ve believed them? Yes, my dear, you would’ve committed all kinds of sins and been immediately locked up! I’m glad I didn’t live back then.

      Much love and big hugs!

  14. Novel reading?! Oh for pete’s sake! I’d be locked up for sure then. I have heard how horrible it was back then with no rules to regulate it all. So sad!

  15. I had heard before that family could place another family member away for crazy reasons in the past… unbelievable!

    • Hi Colleen……..It was pretty unbelievable what people could get away with back then. Women especially had no rights at all and were at everyone’s mercy.

      Have a blessed afternoon!

  16. What a great post! I have already won your marvelous calendar and have pre-ordered The Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride, so you don’t need to enter me in the drawing, but I couldn’t resist commenting. A family story has always been that my great-grandmother Maudie had two of her three husbands committed. I have always warned my husband to be careful, it may be in my genes. I wonder, if true, which of those reasons she may have used!

    • Hi Sally……I’m glad you’re enjoying the calendar and thank you for preordering the book. I’m glad you came to leave a comment. Your great grandmother sure had it in for her husbands. Wow! Yes, your husband better watch his Ps and Qs! There’s no telling where he might wind up. I wonder too, what Maude’s reason was. There were lots on the list I found and one was Passing Gas. Maybe she’d have used that one. LOL! There was also Gathering in the Head, Spinal Irritation, and Snuff Eating. Take your pick.

      Have a great evening!

  17. Novel reading would have been my biggest problem since I have been one since I was very young and need this escape.

    • Hi Elaina……..Lord, I’ve devoured books since I was old enough to read. It’s my escape and my passion. We’d have been roomies! Ha! 🙂

      Have a great afternoon!

    • Hi Pearl……..I’m so happy that you enjoyed my post. I found it quiet interesting myself. I couldn’t help but put this into a story. I think you’ll like the book.

      Have a blessed afternoon!

  18. Your fascinating post indicates that I would be committed for Novel Reading. Still do and would never give it up.

    • Hi Sharon……..Reading novels would’ve gotten us all into trouble I’m afraid. I also hate to cook and they might’ve used that against me as well. Thanks for coming.

      Have a great afternoon!

    • Hi Denise…….Thank you about my covers. I just love them but I think one really surpasses all. The colors are so vivid and I love that that couple is dancing by firelight. That really goes with my story. Clay is an expert dancer and he always keeps a fiddle player nearby.

      Enjoy your evening!

  19. Linda, I would definitely have been locked up in those days if someone had a mind to do it to me. LOL I always love your stories, and this is a great premise! Gorgeous, gorgeous covers, too–congratulations on your MANY successes, my friend. Very well deserved! XOXO

    • Hi Cheryl…….You and me both. I’m far too outspoken and have irritated family members far too often. They would’ve looked for any excuse to put me away. Thanks for the compliments. I appreciate your love and friendship.

      Have a great evening!

  20. I’m right there with the rest of you for getting locked up for reading novels and the Bible. I’m disabled and half blind so I guess I would have been a liability to my family. Dealing with family issues right now, I feel like I’m losing my mind, so that probably qualifies me too. It’s a good thing times have changed!

    I always love your covers. They are so colorful and pretty.

    • Hi Linda Orr……..Wow, you have plenty of qualifying reasons! They could’ve just taken their pick. 🙂 It’s definitely good that times have changed!

      Thank you for the compliment about my covers. I think I’ve been very fortunate. Have a great evening!

  21. Congratulations on your great releases. This was a thought provoking post which I enjoyed. I could have been locked up for sure.

    • Hi Anne……..Thank you for the best wishes! I’m glad you stopped by to read my post. It is pretty eye-opening. And how scary for people living back then. You had to make sure your family liked you. Ha!

      Have a blessed evening!

  22. Great blog, Linda; and no, you haven’t lost your marbles, although I thought you might during copy edits. We all do. Really fantastic information and research. Looking forward to your new series.

  23. I would probably be locked up for reading, for having a disease that makes me tired all the time, and probably bc I talk a lot. Lol.

  24. I am very much looking forward to your new series! I absolutely love western historical romances! I would probably be institutionalized for loving to read and spending too much time scrapbooking 😛 🙂

  25. Hi Linda
    Some people say I have a few screws loose. Lol. My dad actually checked himself into a loony bin aka facility to be with his girlfriend, soon to be wife. So he could be closer to her.

  26. Ohhh!! This could be fun. Let’s see….

    1 knowing how to fold a fitted sheet (total witchcraft there, lol)
    2 experiencing weird dreams (and the telling of them)
    3 wanting to pet a cow.

    I’m so very excited about your new story (and fell in love with them, and am excited for where you’re gonna take us). Can’t wait for everyone to be able to experience Clay and Tally’s story!!

    • Hi Michelle……Yes, you are awfully close to being put away!! 🙂 To be able to fold fitted sheets is definitely black magic! And I know your fascination with cows and how they come running when they see you. So does their owner, the farmer! HaHaHa! Especially when you’re trying to pet his cows.

      Big hugs!

  27. There is no doubt that I probably would have been in one of these since birth. I had a temper that my Dad found out about at 6 months old. It only went downhill from there. If they would have left me alone and gave me all the romance novels I could read it would not have been so bad but they treated these people so horribly. What Tally Shannon survived in your book was unspeakable but she also proved that adversity didn’t destroy everyone but made them even stronger. I love her character. Thank you Linda for placing the light on this subject. Unfortunately, we still have a way to go. Too many people still think mental illness is a character flaw. Too bad they don’t learn the truth. I can’t wait to read your next book. Love you Lady.

    • Hi Miss Cricket……A lot of us could’ve been put away for our tempers. Thank God for romance books today that help us maintain our sanity. I’m so happy that you liked Clay and Tally’s book. She did have to endure a lot but they never broke her even though they tried and tried. She was one strong woman and she got her stepmother put in prison. I think you’ll like the rest of this series too. Each one is very different.

      Love you much!

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