Left Foot, Right Foot


Do you remember what it was like to put your foot into the wrong shoe? Young children do this all the time. I still remember how uncomfortable it felt when I got in a hurry and wasn’t paying attention. Shoot, sometimes I still do this! It feels horrible.

But did you know that up until as late as 1850 shoemakers didn’t differentiate between the left and the right? They made both shoes straight with no curve in them. I can only imagine how awful they were to wear.

Change came with the invention of machinery for making shoes and they were finally able to produce left and right shoes.

I had so much fun writing SAVING THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE that releases in two weeks. Nora and Jack are so funny. Nora has a real problem with her shoes and the pair she wears coming West to marry are very worn. The heels are shaky and the shoes are too narrow.

The book opens with a stagecoach carrying her and an outlaw who’d just been arrested. Everything is so new to her.

Complication #1. He’s attached to a marshal by manacles (which are two handcuffs separated by a six-inch chain.) When the stagecoach wrecks and kills the marshal, Jack Bowdre asks Nora to get the key from the dead lawman’s pocket.

Complication #2. The second Nora unlocks the cuffs she slaps them around her own wrist and tosses the key away because she’s terrified Jack’ll leave her at the mercy of the man who’s following her.

To put it mildly, Jack is furious. Now he’s handcuffed to a woman he’s never seen and he’s about to lose his one chance of escape.

Before leaving the wreck, he removes the marshal’s boots, thinking they might come in handy. He and Nora spend a little time searching for the key but can’t find it and he hears riders up above the ravine, so he rushes her away.

Complication #3. Nora can’t keep up because of her shoes. He stops and yanks them off, wraps her feet in one of her petticoats, and puts the dead marshal’s boots on her. They can move much faster. Then later on, she switches those boots for a smaller pair that belong to the man chasing her.

They’re afoot with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a posse close behind. It’s five days to reach the safety of the outlaw town and the rugged terrain is unforgiving. The odds are stacked against them.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Jack didn’t tell her he’s an outlaw—one of several things he left out of his letters. Nora has her trials.

I think you’ll love this fast-paced fun story, the second in my Outlaw Mail Order Brides.

Click HERE for a link to an excerpt.

I also have a Spring Sweepstakes going on. Enter to win an e-reader plus 25 historical western romances. Margaret Brownley has hers in this too. Click on the image to enter.


I have a huge problem with shoes myself because my feet and ankles swell. Dressy shoes are the hardest to find. I just can’t find any that fit well, look decent, and are comfortable. Boots really are the best but not with a dress. I’ve finally gone to the Clark’s brand and they work pretty well. Do any of you have a similar problem? What do you wear for everyday and dressy?

I’m giving away an autographed copy of the book to three people who comment.


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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!

52 thoughts on “Left Foot, Right Foot”

    • Good morning, Miss Jerri……..I’m going to have to go shopping. I love the look of boots with some of the longer dresses. I’m too old for the shorter ones. Thanks for coming to start my day off right. Love you, lady!

    • For everyday, barefoot is best. ( Never trip or anything in bare feet)
      For going out, a black pair of Ariat dress boots or tennis shoes.

  1. I’m in the stage of life where everything has to be comfortable so I most often wear shoes made by DrScholl which are very comfortable. I just got a new pair for summer with a T-strap and cutouts that are cute but still comfortable. Oh, and flat. My high heel days are o-v-e-r. 🙂

    P.S. They run wide adding to the comfort and they’re good for balance and non-slipping. Can you tell I’m getting old? 🙁

    • Good morning, Eliza……..I’m so glad to see you! And I love to hear that you’re able to get out now. That’s wonderful news. I’m going to have to look for those Dr. Scholl shoes. Yes, flat, flat. My high heels days were over when I was diagnosed with MS and began falling all the time. Dearest, I think we are both getting old and I can sure feel it. I hope you have a wonderful day full of love and joy to be alive. Love you dearly.

      • JFYI—I don’t shop out much any more so I more often shop online. Walmart often has DrScholl’s if you’re truly interested. 🙂

  2. I had foot problems that made it painful to walk and the doctor to me to wear Nike air sneakers. The problem cleared up in no time and hasn’t come back. So all I have worn for years are NikeAir shoes. I am trying to find some nice dress shoes but have had no real luck. I have some flats I wear, but they aren’t dressy enough. I have an antique iron cobbler’s stand and shoe forms. There is a form for women, two for children, and one for a man. All are straight and narrow. None look like the shoes formed on them would be very comfortable.
    I will have to check out Clark’s brand shoes.
    Have a wonderful Easter.

    • Good morning, Pat…….I see you have a similar problem. Nike Air shoes sound very comfortable for casual but not good for dresses. Yes, those early shoes must’ve been horrible to wear. My article said they eventually conformed to a person’s feet but in the meantime they must’ve hurt. I really love the Clark’s brand but be sure to get the Cloudsteppers. They’re very cushiony. Sending love and hugs your way!

  3. Good morning Linda.. Well the countdown is here, only a few more days until release day. I love my boots, I wear them all the time especially on my inspections. I love Clark’s too, they are comfortable and also dressy enough for my meetings & church. I do have a very nice pair of Justin dress shoes that are so dreamy, plus they look like boots, but are actually just slip on shoes. When I went to work at the pig farms in 1994, I had to start wearing black rubber boots everyday and those things were NOT comfortable. Well long story short, I guess we all get used to our environment, because after 20 years of wearing them, plus good insoles in them, they became comfortable to me. Lol!!!
    But I’m glad I don’t have to clomp around in them anymore.
    Everyone is going to love love Jack and Nora’s adventures, I laughed so hard at the antics you put these 2 through. You have a great day and look at all of Gid’s Beautiful blessings he gives us. Love you my sweet sweet sister friend.

    • Oh I need a pair of Justin dress shoes. Ive been looking for a pair of western booties/shoes that look like boots but I haven’t found any I like. I’ll have to check out Clark shoes.

    • Good morning, Miss Tonya…….I really think boots are the most comfortable of all shoes. They just conform to your feet and make a perfect fit. The year I went to New York, I wore my boots with my long dresses and I think they looked all right. Oh my Lord, I would not want to have to wear black rubber boots! How uncomfortable, but I know they were necessary for your job. I pray you’re right about Jack and Nora and readers’ loving them. I had so much fun writing their adventures. Blessings and God’s love to you! You’re the best sister friend I have.

      Enjoy your day!

  4. I love Clarks. They’re so comfortable. The Sketchers Walk Abouts for casual wear are the most wonderful sneakers (slip ons) I’ve ever worn.. Especially if you’re going to be in your feet long.

    • Good morning, Carol…….Thanks for the tip. I’ve looked at Sketchers and they are really cute. Glad to know they’re comfortable. I’ve wasted so much money on shoes it’s unbelievable. Sending blessings and love your way!

  5. Oh yes I definitely have trouble now finding shoes that fit my right foot since my wreck messed it all up. I have one pair of cowboy boots by Old Gringo that are still comfortable to wear but you can’t wear a pair of red cowboy boots with everything Lol . Maybe I try a pair of Clark’s to see if they will be comfortable on my right foot. I loved Jack and Nora my favorite since Brett but he will always be my favorite

    • Good morning, Miss Glenda……Oh, I can imagine your foot pain and how difficult to find shoes. No, red boots do not go with everything. LOL If you try the Clark’s brand be sure to get the Cloudsteppers. Very light and cushiony. I’m glad I found them and I’ve worn out two pair already.

      I’m happy that Jack ALMOST knocked Brett off the pedestal. Maybe there will be one in the future that will. But Brett was such a strong character and I see why you love him. I love you dearly, my sweet friend.

  6. Ugh. I hate buying shoes. I have wide feet and wear a size 9. Normal shoe stores don’t stock wide widths, especially in anything stylish. So jealous of those who can just pickup a pair of shoes at at brick and mortar store.

    • Good morning, Alisa……Buying shoes is the most stressful thing I’ve ever done. Used to I bought the dress first and then the shoes. But now, it’s the shoes first and if I don’t find any for the dress I have in mind, I don’t buy the dress. I’m envious too of people who can wear any and all shoes. And forget about ordering. Trying them on is a must. Have a wonderful sunshiny day there in Florida. Love and Texas hugs!

  7. I never knew this about shoes , I couldn’t imagine wearing shoes made for either foot that’s awful!! I’ve always hated shoe shopping as my right foot is flatter and wider than my left . I to have switch to Clark’s for work as they’re one of the few brands I can wear . You would think Summer would be easier but sandles rub and make sores also if I don’t find a comfortable pair. Who would of thought shoes would be such a pain literally!! Thank you Linda for this blog , I can’t wait to read Jack and Nora’s story , it sounds fun 🙂

    • Good morning, Rose Ann……..Can you imagine wearing shoes with no shape? OMG! Yes, sandals should be easier to find but they’re not. Those straps rub and with my unsightly swollen ankles…..Nope. I do envy women who can wear them. Sandals are so cute and stylish. I hope you enjoy Saving the Mail Order Bride. Although it’s a toss up as to who saves whom. HaHa! Nora is not a biddable woman as Jack finds out. 🙂 Sending love and Easter hugs!

  8. I just adore shoes! I cannot imagine them not being shaped for left and right, though. I adore heels and have a fetish for boots. Haha!

    • Good morning, Susan P……..Oh how I envy you!! I used to love wearing heels. Nothing made me feel so confident and maybe a little sexy. That was the one thing that killed me to give up when I was diagnosed with MS. Yes, yes, boots are so stylish and cute. A lot are very comfortable AND they hide my swollen ankles that are so unsightly. Happy Easter!

  9. I wear mostly flats these days. I used to wear tall heels all the time and ended up with problems with my feet. So, these days I go for comfort. Even with dresses, I will wear flat sandals or ballet flats. My husband let me buy a pair of Teiks not too long ago and they sure are comfortable.

  10. Good morning my dear friend! I loved this blog! I never knew that shoes were able to go on either foot in the beginning. It does make sense though.

    I just loved this book and the antics between Jack and Nora! I often pictured it being difficult for her not to trip trying to move quickly in too big of boots but they were definitely much better than her own shoes!

    Yes I have problems with my feet and legs swelling too! I guess it may be an MS thing. With dresses I wear dressy flip flops like those from Montana West or a dressing loafer style shoe. Regular flats, high heels and such just aren’t possible between by feet swelling and having bad MS balance. I also can’t do boots because my overactive MS nerves can’t handle a boot being over my ankle that has hardware in it. Needless to say for all these reasons I avoid dresses as much as possible because its just hard to pull a decent look together.

    • Good morning, Steph……..I’m glad you enjoyed my post. Great to see you! We have a similar problem and I avoid dresses as much as I can. But I cannot wear flip-flops. I once fell in a pair and broke my nose. I threw those away and haven’t bought any since. However I miss the freedom my feet used to feel in them. We have a bad problem with shoes. I keep looking for a solution but haven’t found one.

      Thank you for liking Jack and Nora. Yes, it’s a wonder she didn’t fall in those too-big boots. But she was a trooper and she didn’t let Jack get by with anything. Those two were so funny. Love you dearly! Happy Easter!

  11. wow, i must be cheap, lol i wear gym shoes, everyday, and if i need dress shoes, its a simple pair of flats. or sandles. i had boots when i was a kid, but don’t really like them, I got chubby legs. I prefer barefoot. and heels. don’t get me started, I like heels, they are pretty, but just looking at them my feet hurt.

    • Good morning, Elaine…….I tell you, us women have such a problem with shoes. Men can buy anything and they get a good fit. It looks like someone would design a good dress shoe that looks good with dresses and doesn’t hurt our feet. Love and hugs! Happy Easter!

  12. Good morning every one. I like tennis shoes for every day. Dress shoes its heels. In the winter its BOOTS all different kinds.

    • Hi Yvonne………Great to see you! Nothing is more comfortable than tennis shoes. No heels for me. You seem satisfied with all your choices. Lucky girl! Love and Texas hugs! Happy Easter!

  13. Oh Linda I do have that problem. My feet are really bad have hammer toes and very wide flat feet and you can’t find wide shoes for women anywhere in the stores. I have to order on line and then hope they fit when they get here. I try to keep a good pair of Brooks walking shoes here maybe some sketchers and then I have my flip flops for around the house which I shouldn’t be wearing but I do go for comfort.

    • Hi Quilt Lady…….Thank you for coming. I understand about ordering online. Trying on shoes is a must so I can imagine your anxiety and it’s hard sometimes to return shoes that don’t fit. Comfort is truly the bottom line. Love you lady! Happy Easter!

  14. I can’t find comforters shoes. Sneakers and flip flops are my thing. Of course, I prefer bare feet.

    • Hi Cathy……..My mother had a worse foot problem than I do and she went barefoot a lot. You gotta be comfortable. I hate going barefoot though. Just not my thing. Love and hugs!

  15. Hi Linda! Well, your characters are in a find fix! LOL I can’t wait to read this story and see how they resolve it–and I know they will! LOL

    I remember how, growing up, shoes were a big deal in our house. We all had really narrow feet and finding those double A widths was not always easy! To make matters worse, I had to have corrective shoes because of being flat-footed. Those things were always so ugly and clunky. Now I wear whatever is comfortable. With nerve damage in my right leg, I can’t wear anything “heavy”–so no boots, etc. Clarks are a LIFESAVER for me. I wear nothing but their sandals in the summer and I have a pair of lightweight boots–very lightweight–that I wear in the fall and winter.

    Interesting post, Linda. I did not know that about the shoes being interchangeable!

    • Hi Cheryl……..Yes, Jack and Nora have their work cut out for them. They get in some tight situations. I hope you enjoy their adventures.

      I can imagine your problem finding narrow shoes. That’s horrible. Glad you found Clark’s. They are truly the best shoes I’ve ever had. I’m just thankful we don’t have to wear shapeless shoes like those early ones. OMG! I would’ve died.

      Love and Happy Easter!

    • Hi Tonya Cherry……..Sound like you’ve found your comfort. Very good. We do whatever we have to. Thanks for coming. I hope you like this story. I had a great time writing it. Happy Easter!

  16. Great post! No body knows how awful foot problems are until they have them. I ended up having to have orthotics made that fit inside my shoes…lifesavers!

    • Hi Melanie……..Hey, maybe I need to look into having orthotics made for my shoes! That might be the answer for the dressy ones I have to wear on occasion. Thanks! Have a bless day and a Happy Easter!

  17. The book sounds great! Can’t wait to add it to my collection.

    I used to wear anything I wanted, but now my feet hurt if I walk or stand a lot. I have to line my shoes with inner soles. I wear tennis shoes for errands and around the house I wear socks and Isotoner slippers. I miss my cowboy boots and going barefoot.

    • Hi Linda Orr………I think you’ll enjoy Jack and Nora’s adventures. They do get into some messes. It’s odd how our feet change as we age. I don’t know they don’t stay the same but they sure don’t. It sounds like you do the best you can. Have a blessed day and very Happy Easter.

  18. Welcome Linda. Such a pretty cover. This sounds like a wonderful book. Thank you for sharing this with us. My daughter in law did a lot of research into shoes. This is one of the things she found. Very interesting. Shoes have been a problem for me for the last 10 years. Finding one that is not super expensive and that fits nicely is difficult. I like moccasins. They mold to my foot. At home I go barefoot or socks only.

    • Hi Lori……..Thanks for the compliment on the cover. I do happen to agree. I’ve been so fortunate to have gotten outstanding covers for all my books. We seem to be in good company on this foot issue. Almost everyone has some foot problem. I love wearing moccasins and I used to always keep a pair. They’re the next thing to being barefoot and I love the freedom of movement in them. Have a blessed day. Sending hugs and Happy Easter wishes!

  19. I mostly wear sandals or sneakers… my mom has issues sometimes… she hates when shoes hurt by hitting certain pressure points… Happy Spring! 🙂

  20. I usually wear boots, and the ones I have are very comfortable, I use my boots for everyday and I will wear different shoes for dressy, but usually i wear my sneakers when i go walking or working out in the yard, but you will find me just wearing socks or booties when i am home, inside or outside the house. 🙂

  21. I have the hardest time with shoes. I have wide feet, but they’re not fat. Most shoe makers seem to think those with wide feet have fat feet and need them wide at the ankles. I tend to buy mules because they don’t have backs so I don’t have to worry about the ankles. I’ve also gone to wedges because they are easier on the knees over traditional heels.

    I need to stop buying shoes online. I’ve returned the last three pairs because they didn’t fit.

  22. Hello Linda, I have narrow heels which poses a problem when purchasing sneakers. I rarely wear heels due to knee pain. I do like to wear boots with leggings in the Winter.

    Thanks for the great post!

  23. I broke my foot over 4 years ago. I had just started at the gym with a personal trainer, thinking since I was of a certain age it would be good to have guidance and not overdo it. So much for that idea. I now have what the doctor calls a “non-union” meaning it has never completely healed and likely never will. It has healed enough that there is pain only sporadically, and I am grateful for that. But wearing that boot, using a bone stimulator twice and wearing plain old walking shoes with inserts most of the time is a bit frustrating. But better than not even having separate right and left shoes, right? Congrats on the latest book!

  24. I finally caved in for a pair of Birkenstock’s. One of my favorite pair of shoes ever! They’re sandals with a lifetime warranty, so when they wear down, you just hop on back into the store & get yourself a new pair. Great for a casual look and look great with a sundress for Church or a family picnic/get-together. Plus they mold specifically to your feet. It’s either my Birk’s or my boots, which I wear out when I work. There’s really no inbetween.

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