Bachelors and Babies by Hebby Roman

Please join us in welcoming Hebby Roman as our guest author today! Welcome, Hebby! It’s great to have you join us!

 

 

Zach is the eleventh book in the Bachelors & Babies series. As with three of my other sweet western historical romances, I chose to set this book at a Texas fort, Fort McKavett.

I’ve been researching Texas forts for over two years, and I’m amazed by how many different kinds of forts there have been in Texas. In the early days, regions of Texas were claimed by both France and Spain. Each of them built forts to protect their claims. The Alamo is an example of a Spanish presidio, built to bring Christianity to the natives.

Along with the Spanish presidios and the log forts of the French in East Texas, there were many families who moved to the wild lands of Texas and built their own personal forts. The John Parker family established Parker’s Fort in 1833 on the banks of the Navasota River. This fort was the site of a well-known Comanche Indian raid in May 1836, where the Comanche captured 12-year old Cynthia Ann Parker. She was the mother of the last great Comanche chief, Quanah Parker.

The famous Texas Rangers built base camps to use for their raids on hostile natives and various outlaw bands. Before Texas became a part of the United States, it was an independent nation, known as the Republic of Texas, and the Republic built forts as well. Most of the Texas Republic forts were “rough” affairs of mud brick and timber. Prior to the Civil War, the United States built two lines of forts to protect settlers from hostile natives. Some of these forts were taken over by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, others were decommissioned and abandoned, a few were used as outposts for state militia or even as stagecoach stops. Many of these forts were taken back by the U.S. cavalry and protected the Texas frontier for years.

Fort McKavett, where my book Zach is set, was one of those frontier forts that changed hands during the Civil War and was reclaimed as part of the U.S fort system. Originally, it was known as the Camp on the San Saba River, and it was established in March, 1852 to protect settlers from Comanche and Kiowa raids in Menard County, Texas. Later that year, in October, the fort was renamed Fort McKavett, in honor of Captain Henry McKavett, who had served meritoriously in the Mexican-American War.

With the outbreak of the American Civil War, the post was occupied by members of McCulloch’s Company E, 1st Texas Mounted Rifles, and the camp served as a prisoner-of-war camp for Union soldiers who had survived the Battle of Adams Hill, which took place north of San Antonio, Texas.

The fort was reactivated by the United States Army in April, 1868, as part of “the redeployment of a frontier military force,” by Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Eugene Beaumont’s 4th Cavalry Company.

From 1868 to 1883, Fort McKavett served as a major supply depot providing food and provisions for most of the Texas military campaigns, along with scientific and mapping explorations for other forts in West Texas. The spring of 1869 brought dramatic historic developments to the post with the arrival of the 41st Infantry, and its commanding officer, Colonel Ranald Mackenzie. The 41st was one of the army’s six regiments, and Mackenzie would become one of the foremost Native American fighters of the post-Civil War army.

Nestled in the picturesque Hill Country of Texas, Fort McKavett was characterized by General William T. Sherman as “the prettiest post in Texas” on his inspection tour of Texas forts in 1871.

My giveaway includes a $10 Amazon gift card, along with a digital copy of my boxed set, “A West Texas Frontier Trilogy.” “Zach,” which is set in Fort McKavett, as discussed above is the fourth book of my Texas fort series and it is currently in pre-orders. When it is released on April 1st, I will also send the winner a digital copy of “Zach.” One lucky winner will receive all three prizes! All you have to do to enter the drawing, is to comment on this blog and P&P will randomly select a winner.

Please,  leave a comment so we can chat and good luck!

Hebby Roman is a New York traditionally published, small-press published, and Indie published #1 Amazon best-selling author of both historical and contemporary romances. Her WEST TEXAS CHRISTMAS TRILOGY is an Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning series. SUMMER DREAMS, was #1 in Amazon fiction and romance. Her medieval historical romance, THE PRINCESS AND THE TEMPLAR, was selected for the Amazon Encore program and was #1 in medieval fiction. She won a national Harlequin contest. Her book, BORDER HEAT, was a Los Angeles Times Book Festival selection. She has been a RONE Finalist three times and in three different categories.

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The More Things Change, the More They Remain the Same

My favorite time period to write about is between 1880 and 1890. In many ways, the cowboys of yesteryear struggled with some of the same issues we currently face and that’s what makes the time period so fascinating to me.

They aren’t paying attention to each other. They’re too intent on the wireless.

For example, technology in the way of telephones and electricity changed the way people lived in the 19th century, just as new technology does today.  The Victorians even had their own Internet.  It was called the telegraph, and this opened-up a whole new world to them.

What, for that matter, is a text message but a telegram, the high cost of which forced people in the past to be brief and to the point?

In the past, our ancestors worried about losing their jobs to machinery.  Today, there’s a real possibility that robots will make us obsolete.

Sears and Roebuck was the Amazon of the Gilded Age. The catalogue featured a wide selection of products at clearly marked prices. No more haggling.  Customers were drawn to the easy-to-read, warm, friendly language used to describe goods, and the catalogue proved an instant success. Our ancestors could even order a house through the catalog and that’s something we can’t do on Amazon.

The Victorians worried about books like we worry about iPhones. We worry about screen time damaging the eyes.  Victorians were certain that the mass rise of books due to printing presses would make everyone blind. 

Then as now, women fought for equal rights.  Our early sisters fought for property ownership, employment opportunities and the right to vote. Women have come a long way since those early days, but challenges still exist, especially in matters of economics and power.

Nothing has changed much in the area of courting

Almost every single I know subscribes to at least one dating site.  These are very similar to the Mail-Order Bride catalogs of yesteryear.

Did our Victorian ancestors worry about climate change?  You bet they did! The Florida Agriculturist published an article addressing the problem in 1890. The article stated: “Most all the states of the union in succession of their settlement have experienced a falling off in their average temperatures of several degrees.  A change from an evenly tempered climate has resulted in long droughts, sudden floods, heavy frost and suffocating heat.”

Nothing much has changed in the world of politics. Today, the Republicans and Democrats are still battling it out, just as they did in the nineteenth century. We still haven’t elected a female president, though Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood tried to change that when she ran in 1884 and again, in 1888.

What about environmental concerns? Today we’re concerned that plastic bags and straws are harming our oceans.  Our Victorian ancestors worried about tomato cans. That’s because a German scientist told the New York Times in 1881 that the careless deposit of tin cans was “bringing the earth closer to the sun and hastening the day of the final and fatal collision.”

During the 1800s, horses were taken to task for messing up the streets.  (Oddly, enough, it was once thought that automobiles were good for the environment.)  Today, cattle are under fire for the methane in their you-know-whats. Oh, boy, I can only imagine how that would have gone over with those old-time ranch owners.

We have Coronavirus, but that’s nothing compared to what our ancestors battled.  The 1894 Hong Kong plague was a major outbreak and became the third pandemic in the world. The rapid outbreak and spread of the plague was caused by infected fleas. Repressive government actions to control the plague led the Pune nationalists to criticize the Chinese publicly. Sound familiar?  The plague killed more than 10 million people in India, alone. 

As the old saying goes, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

Reading how people in the past survived and, yes, even prospered during tough times inspires me and gives me hope for the future.  I hope it does the same to my readers.

This list is nowhere near complete, but what did you find the most surprising?

Attorney Ben Heywood didn’t expect to get shot on his wedding day–and certainly not by his mail order bride.—Pistol-Packin’ Bride/Mail Order Standoff collection.

Amazon

B&N

 

Hebby Roman Returns to the Junction!

Dear friend Miss Hebby Roman is on the road and will arrive on Friday, February 28, 2020!

She’s done a lot of research on Texas forts and wants to share some of her findings. It’ll be interesting.

She’s also toting a gift card plus books to give away!

You don’t want to miss this.

Come Friday hightail it over and show Miss Hebby a big welcome!

We’ll save you a seat!

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Movin’ Cattle

How do you move a herd of cattle from one place to another?

This is a cattle drive near our house that we passed on the way to work one morning. This drive lasted several days.

When I lived in Nevada, most of my neighbors did it the old fashioned way–they had a cattle drive. Sometimes the cows were driven many miles. It wasn’t unusual for it to take two or three days to move the cattle from the home ranch to their summer pasture. At the the end of the grazing season, the cattle would then be driven back to the home ranch.

Cattle tend to stick together, which is a blessing, but it seems there’s always a few who want to go somewhere other than where they’re supposed to. This is why there are riding positions during a cattle drive. The point rider rides near the front, choosing the

direction the head will go. Swing or flank riders ride beside the cattle on both sides, the swing rider toward the front of the herd and the flank riders toward the read. The very worst position to ride is drag–at the the rear of the herd. The drag riders are often choked  with dust, and may wear bandannas over their nose and mouths.

Dogs are often essential partners during a drive, keeping cows together and making sure that there are no laggers.

There are other ways to move cattle. On our ranch, where we never move the cattle off the property, we open gates and chase them where they need to go. There’s always a lead cow. In our case it’s an older cow named 5X. She’s the one who charges to the front and tells the rest of the girls where to go. If we can get 5X pointed in the direction we want her to take everyone, all is well.

Another way to move cattle is to lure them along. We got stopped on our way to town the other day by a neighbor driving a tractor with a round hay bale on the back, and around 400 cows following him. The front cows were nibbling on the bale and the ones in the rear were following along because 

that’s what herds do–they stick together. There were a couple of guys on 4-wheelers riding drag. It was fun to watch.

Of course there’s always the option of loading the cattle into a truck and driving them to their pasture. That’s the fastest way to go a distance, but it’s also expensive, which is why so many people stick with the tried and true and drive their cattle the old fashioned way.

 

1800s Medicine and a Give Away!

 If only we knew then what we know now. Yes, I’m talking about the medical profession. Doctors in the old West weren’t all they were cracked up to be. Many had no formal education at all. And the ones that did often practiced medicine in the bigger cities.
But thankfully, there were those that went west. And just as unfortunate, so did a good share of quacks, home bugs, charlatans, swindlers, and tricksters. each of these unscrupulous chaps (not to mention a few women) hawked tonics, potions, and pills aplenty. And, believe it or not, they were quite successful at it too. So long as they were plying their wares to an unsuspecting public.

So how did they do it? Unsuspecting or no, one would think the people would figure it out. Easy. They played on people’s fear of death and sickness. Problem was, all those tonics potions and pills didn’t work. Half the time they did more damage than good and even killed the poor patient. Granted, there are those that have scams in the ensuing decades since the old West existed and thankfully we’re not as unsuspecting as we used to be. But back in the good old days, things were done differently and often painfully. For instance, have a baby that won’t stop crying? Why not reach for Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup? If that wasn’t handy you could try Godfrey’s Cordial, Jayne’s Carminative Balsam, or Daffy’s Elixir. Hmm, I wonder how daffy, Daffy’s Elixir made you? Considering all of this contained morphine or opium (no wonder babies went right to sleep) it was a safe bet one might get a little loopy. Problem was, some people took them and never woke up.

But opium did get an upgrade. And when it did, it got a new name too. Laudanum. For those of us who write historicals, this is something we’ve used in our stories on occasion, having our characters down in a spoonful or two mixed with water. believe me, if there was anything else we could give our characters to get the better we would. But there’s only so many things available in the time. You were writing in.

Opium might’ve started wars in the East, but its upgraded version, laudanum, took its toll on the west. Sure, it wasn’t as potent as straight opium, but laudanum packed its own particular punch and tasted better. Added alcohol only intensified the euphoric and mind-altering effects. Laudanum was touted by most physicians of the time and you could get it without a prescription. You could take it home, (no opium den required) and, if you were really good at taking it as the doctor ordered, form an addiction. This dark side of early medicine was all too real. Druggists of the times sold gallons of laudanum, opium elixirs, and narcotic nostrums. And then morphine showed up …

Back in the 19th century, bleeding, purging, leaching, and enemas were still the rage. Yes, I know, ew! But when morphine came along, doctors discovered a much gentler treatment. Coupled with opium, it went on to occupy materia medica tests forever after and was recommended for obvious ailments like pain and diarrhea. By the way, Cholera and dysentery killed far fewer people, thanks to opium, so there is that. However, the medicines were also thrown at people for anything that ailed them. And I do mean anything. They used it for rabies, tetanus, ulcers, snakebites, diabetes, poisoning, depression, and other mental illnesses. All of which was said to be cured by these incredible wonderment’s. Are you shaking in your boots yet? Yikes!!

Since I researched these things, (I’ve had characters with bad coughs and other ailments)  I’ve grown a new appreciation for modern medicine and sometimes think about the quacks of the 1800s when I’m in line at the pharmacy.  We’ve come a long way since then, thank Heaven. And though there were a lot of tricksters back in the day there were also some good home remedies that actually worked. Did your grandparents or parents use home remedies? If so, what were they? I’ll pick a random winner from the comments below to receive my Brides of Noelle Book Collection, which does include the story with the character with the bad cough. Oh horrors, he had to take some laudanum! He survived, by the way …

Mary Connealy’s Winner

The winner of a signed copy of

Woman of Sunlight 

is

Sally Schmidt

AND

Because everyone seemed to have such a great time with my Bucket List Post

AND 

Because I’m super excited for the release of this book (It’s set largely in CHICAGO, people! I haven’t done such a thing ever. Historical Chicago. It’s a fun book)

I’m picking a second winner.

Alicia Haney

I will email you ladies to find out where to send your books.

IF YOU DO NOT HEAR FROM ME… contact me at mary@maryconnealy.com and harass my disorganized self until I get it sent!! I give you complete permission to do that.

IT’S GAME DAY WITH LINDA BRODAY!

 

I hope everyone is warm and cozy on this winter day. Winter is good for playing games. I can’t tell you how often my younger sister and I whiled away the hours playing paper dolls, Scrabble, board games and anything that let us use our imaginations.

The game today is easy. All you have to do is unscramble a few selected titles of my books.

I’m giving away two $10 Amazon gift cards!

So let’s get started.

1.   OT ELVO A XEAST ARRNGE

2.   THNKGI NO HTE AXTSE ASPILN

3.   ETH MALI REDOR SRBEID TSRECE

4.    EEROFVR SHI AXSET RDBIE

 

If you’d like to see my book list for clues, click HERE. Also, you can print it off.

GOOD LUCK!

Eve Gaddy Has Winners!

Huge thanks to Eve Gaddy for coming to visit! Loved having her!

Now for the drawing for these two great ebooks……………

And the winners are……………..

LAURIE GOMMERMANN – The Heart of a Texas Warrior

KATHLEEN O’DONNELL – No Ordinary Texas Billionaire

I’m doing the happy dance for you ladies. Watch for Miss Eve’s email!