Are you old enough to remember

the old “Maverick” television series? Or, perhaps you saw the 1990’s movie based on the series? I loved the TV series (and James Garner!). Is it any wonder my books feature ranchers as heroes? ? To prove how much I love the West, I’m giving away an electronic copy of BRAZOS BRIDE to two people who comment today.

I have no idea where the surname Maverick came from, but have learned where the term “maverick” for cattle and wild humans originated. The term has come to mean independently minded or anyone who could not be trusted to remain one of his/her group.

Attorney Samuel A. Maverick helped lead Texas to independence and helped establish the Republic of Texas. In 1839, he was elected mayor of San Antonio. During the Mexican War, he had taken in four hundred cattle he didn’t want as settlement of a debt, and he had the cattle driven to a range in the Matagorda area. The cattle were marked with his MK brand, but Maverick did not brand the calves. Neighbors began referring to any unbranded calf as “one of Maverick’s” as early as 1857. Not until after the Civil War did the term spread into other parts of Texas and the rest of the West. Texas cowboys never called unbranded cattle by any other name.

When the Civil War broke out, Texans went off to fight (usually for the Confederacy) and their cattle ran wild. Men often returned to find their homes and ranches in shambles, their families near starvation, and their cattle living in brambles and canebrakes. While the humans hadn’t done too well, the cattle had thrived . . . and reproduced. According to my source, of the six million cattle roaming in post-Civil-War Texas, a million were unbranded. The cattle were wild, hardy, cantankerous, and able to survive on not much more than cholla, wild grass, damp air, and neglect.

Keep in mind, these are longhorns whose horns sometimes grew nine feet or more from tip to tip. Not an animal I’d ever want to have angry at me. Broke, hungry, desperate cowboys were willing to tackle these giant beasts that sometimes weighed from a thousand to fifteen hundred pounds. Ranches were founded on mavericks, and fortunes were established driving cattle to another market. Rounding up mavericks whose ownership may or may not have been uncertain was called “jacking mavericks,” and was accepted for a while. Later, the practice became illegal.

My current series, the Men of Stone Mountain, is a trilogy: BRAZOS BRIDE, HIGH STAKES BRIDE, and the upcoming BLUEBONNET BRIDE.

Hope Montoya knows someone is poisoning

her, but who? Rancher Micah Stone has been in love with Hope since the first time he saw her. When Hope proposes a paper marriage in exchange for land on the Brazos River and much needed cash, her offer rubs his pride raw.. He and Hope have to stay alive and discover the killer before they become victims in the deadly assaults.

To be entered into the drawing for a copy of BRAZOS BRIDE please remember to leave your email with your comment.
Thanks for stopping by!
Caroline Clemmons writes western historical and contemporary romances. Visit her personal blog here or her website here. Click here to order her book on Amazon.