History of Bicycles with Charlene Raddon

Everyone grew up riding bicycles, right? Wrong. At least not successfully. I was a terrible rider, so nervous I kept falling into parked cars. At least, that was better than falling into the street and being run over by a car.

In my latest book, Gage (Ridge), Cupids & Cowboys Book 7, my heroine rides a bicycle in 1900 Montana. As it turned out, she didn’t do so well either. My hero, Marshal Ridge Givens (one of the triplets born in Barclay, Bachelors & Babies Book 1) went to the train station to pick her up. Instead of stepping down from a rail car as would be expected, she drove an automobile off a flatcar with a bicycle strapped to the back and wearing bloomers. No one in Cutthroat, Montana, had seen a motor car until then. She became the talk of the town.

Honora Keane came to Montana to fetch her orphaned niece, but being a dime novelist, she also hoped to get some first-hand experience in the ways of the quickly disappearing west. Of particular interest was the elder Gage Givens, Ridge’s uncle, though she soon decided Ridge would make a good hero too.

When the bank was robbed, and Ridge and Uncle Gage went after the gang, Honora begged to go along. Ridge said no. Well, being a modern woman and a suffragist, Honora ignored his decree. Not having a horse or knowing how to ride one, she did the perfectly logical thing—she rode her bicycle to follow the men into the mountains. Her experiences on that trip proved pretty hilarious.

Naturally, all this required research. I learned that several men claimed to have invented bicycles (called running machines or Draisines) as early as 1500, but Baron Karl von Drais, a German civil servant, created the first verifiable model in 1817. Being constructed almost entirely of wood, the draisine had no foot pedals, which required the rider to push it along with his feet (hence running machine).

New names came into use with later models, such as “pedestrian curricle” and “velocipede.” However, the public preferred “hobby-horse,” after the children’s toy or, worse still, “dandyhorse,” after the foppish men who often rode them. In the summer of 1819, the hobby horse became the craze in London. John Keats referred to it as “the nothing” of the day. A French metalworker, around 1863, added rotary cranks and pedals to the front-wheel hub to create the first pedal-operated “bicycle.”

From 1820 to 1850, tricycles and quadricycles appeared on the streets in a variety of designs, using pedals, treadles, and hand-cranks. Most suffered from high weight and high rolling resistance until Willard Sawyer of Dover built a range of treadle-operated 4-wheel vehicles and exported them worldwide in the 1850s.

The first mechanically propelled two-wheel vehicle is believed to have been built by Kirkpatrick Macmillan, a Scottish blacksmith, in 1839. A nephew later claimed that his uncle developed a rear-wheel-drive design using mid-mounted treadles connected by rods to a rear crank, similar to the transmission of a steam locomotive. The first bicycle with pedals was invented in 1853.

 

Developed around 1863, a French design sparked a brief fashionable craze during 1868–70. It used rotary cranks and pedals mounted to the front wheel hub. Pedaling made it easier for riders to propel the machine at speed, but this design’s rotational speed limitation made it unstable and uncomfortable, leading to the large front wheel of the “penny-farthing.” It wasn’t easy to pedal the wheel used for steering. The use of metal frames reduced the weight and provided sleeker, more elegant designs and mass-production. Different braking mechanisms were used depending on the manufacturer. In England, the velocipede earned the name of “bone-shaker” because of its rigid frame and iron-banded wheels that resulted in a “bone-shaking experience.” Later improvements included solid rubber tires and ball bearings.

The bicycle’s popularity grew on both sides of the Atlantic, and by 1868–69, the craze was going strong in rural areas. Velocipede rinks became popular, and riding schools opened in many cities. Essentially, the velocipede proved a stepping stone, creating a market for bicycles that led to the development of more advanced and efficient machines. By 1870, the bicycle remained in favor only in the UK.

The high-bicycle was the logical extension of the boneshaker, the front wheel enlarging to enable higher speeds (limited by the inside leg measurement of the rider), the rear wheel shrinking, and the frame being made lighter. Frenchman Eugène Meyer is now regarded as the father of the high bicycle. Meyer invented the wire-spoke tension wheel in 1869 and produced a classic high bicycle design until the 1880s.

A later invention called the “ordinary bicycle” replaced this type of bicycle, eventually being nicknamed “penny-farthing” in England (a penny representing the front wheel, and a coin smaller in size and value, the farthing, meaning the rear). They were fast but unsafe. The rider sat high up in the air and traveled at great speed. If he hit a bad bit of road, he could be thrown over the front wheel and seriously injured (two broken wrists were common, in attempts to break a fall) or even killed. “Taking a header” (also known as “coming a cropper”) was not at all uncommon.

The rider’s legs could be caught under the handlebars, making it impossible to fall free of the machine. The danger limited cycling to adventurous young men. Older men preferred the more stable tricycles or quadracycles. Women’s fashion of the day made the “ordinary” bicycle inaccessible.

My neighbor owns a high bicycle, and it’s interesting to watch him climb onto it and ride off down the street. I wonder how many of you ride bikes today? They don’t seem to be as popular as when I was a kid (back in the stone age).

And to read more about Ridge and Honora, order their book today!

For a chance to win an e-book copy of Vella

or an e-book copy of Gage,

post your answer to these questions :

Did you ride a bike as a child? Do you still ride one?
Did you have any wild adventures while riding your bicycle?

 

Bestselling author Charlene Raddon began writing in 1980 after waking up from a dream she knew had to appear in a book. She dragged out a portable typewriter and began writing. That book took nine years to write, as she learned her craft at the same time. A time travel, it has not yet been published. Next, she wrote Tender Touch (Brianna), entered it into the Colorado Gold contest, historical division, and won. That victory prompted her to enter the RWA Golden Heart Contest and Tender Touch became a finalist. She acquired an agent and a year and a half later, signed a three-book contract with Zebra Books, an imprint of Kensington Books.

In 1999, when the historical market plummeted and western romance became almost impossible to sell, she took a hiatus from writing, but her imagination wouldn’t leave her alone. Eventually, she got back into the game. In 2011, she won back her rights to her books and had them released as eBooks by Tirgearr Publishing. In 2012 Tirgearr released two of her books in print, Taming Jenna and Tender Touch.

In 2011, Charlene’s artistic nature prompted her to try a different path and she began designing book covers. Today, she has a long list of clients and her own cover site, silversagebookcovers.com where she specializes in historical romance covers, primarily western.

Her writing and graphic arts business keeps her mightily busy and happy. But she always has time for family, travel, and helping other authors. Connect with Charlene on her website: https://charleneraddon.com/

Gunslinging, Mary Connealy, and The Red Ribbon

Please give a warm welcome to Pepper Basham, our guest today!

~*~

I think it was Mary Connealy who once said, “If things in a story start getting slow, bring out a man with a gun.”

Well, I haven’t written a whole lot of ‘gunslinging’ stories. Sinking ocean liners, trench mustard gas, or the Spanish Flu, maybe, but not a whole lot of gunslinging. Until now.

And I’m kind of surprised it’s taken me so long, because, evidently, I come from a long line (and a community) where there was gun slinging aplenty. Appalachia. Known for its horse thievery, moonshinin’, and Revolutionary War snipers. Oh, and it’s awesome accent and Andy Griffith 😉

So, when I had the opportunity to write a book about a courthouse shootout in my hometown, I thought I’d give it a try…after all, I could just channel my inner Mary Connealy, right?

Not as easy as it may seem, though Mary is incredibly inspirational, because the “shootout” wasn’t fictional, and a century later people still had strong feelings about which side of the Hillsville Courthouse Massacre was right and which was wrong (and those sides didn’t always agree).

The opportunity to write about my own hometown’s shootout came in The Red Ribbon, a historical suspense novel based on the Virginia Hillsville Courthouse Massacre of 1912. This tragedy made national headlines—including a nationwide manhunt—from March 14th to April 12th, when it was overshadowed by the sinking of the Titanic.

Writing about a hot topic that still resonates with the community you grew up in is a tricky business. People still take sides, and many folks don’t want to talk about what happened (even a century later). What’s even more difficult is taking a story that has VERY little hope in it and turning it into a book that brings hope.

I don’t know about you, but maybe those stories with gunslingers and outlaws and suffering and tragedy…are the ones that need hope the most. This one sure felt like it.  And it was a great reminder of how God uses difficulties and situations that leave us asking “why”, to draw us closer to Him and create in us character (Romans 5).

Visiting the historic courthouse that still stands in my hometown and running my fingers over the bullet holes still carved in the walls brought this history to life and (I hope) infused this story with setting. (You can see some of the videos from the courthouse here http://www.truecolorscrime.com/red-ribbon.html)

By the way, the coolest part of this REAL story was that the shootout all started over a KISS!!! (I really don’t know a better way to start a gunslinging, family feud-like story, do you?) So thanks, Mary. I brought in a few guys with guns, some dirty cops, a really smart granny, and an awesome dog. Some of the characters were real folks and some emerged from my imagination, but all contributed to making of The Red Ribbon.

Does your hometown have any significant, interesting,

odd, or exciting history?

Post your answer below for a chance to win a digital or paperback copy of

The Red Ribbon.

~*~

I wrote my first story when I was a nine-year-old, freckled-faced tomboy in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains (my earlier writings wouldn’t have been considered “books”, more like short stories). Coming from a long line of oral storytellers, weaving a good yarn seemed a typical part of my life.  It wasn’t until I finished college, had two children, and a full-time job before I began to study the ‘craft’ of writing (you know when I had plenty of time).

My music-director turned pastor husband took his first senior pastor position eight years ago, moved the 6 of us to Tennessee, where we added our fifth and final kid to the Basham crew. And now hubby is a music minister in Asheville, NC. Yep, we love the Blue Ridge Mountains.

So…now I’m an older, freckled-faced mommy enjoying life, learning to write, and laughing often.  My mom says that I must have a small bit of insanity because I don’t realize how stressed I ought to be.

I’m also a speech-language pathologist who spends her time hanging out with kids who have social communication and language difficulties! It’s a challenge and a blessing – and constantly teaches me about the importance of thinking outside the box!

You can get to know me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, or Twitter.

Megan Ryder and The Restless Cowboy

Thank you so much for hosting me this week and letting me talk about me latest book coming out in April, The Restless Cowboy. I’m so excited to share about the series and the characters and hope you like it too!

I plan my books pretty far in advance, mostly thinking about characters, who they are, and what their book might be. Cam Miller, my hero in The Restless Cowboy, has actually been a character on the page in all of my western romances since the first book in the Redemption Ranch series, A Cowboy’s Salvation. To me, he was the quintessential cowboy. Strong, silent, but still waters run deep and I knew there was a wealth of pain under his calm demeanor. But what was his pain?

His backstory came pretty quickly to me. I like tortured heroes and then finding the right woman to heal him and help him find love again. But heroes also need to find their own way to love and no one needed that more than Cam Miller. So I turned to a wonderful friend, who I only got to know in the last year or so of her life.

Kari Lynn Dell. She was an amazing author, a good friend, and an amazing resource for ranch and cowboy life. Very late one night, I reached out with a question. Very simple. How do you fight a fire on a ranch in Montana when you don’t have a fire hydrant?

Simple right? Not for Kari. She delved into how the fire could start, how people would fight it, and how to make it add complications to the story. Then she asked me about my book and I told her about Cam and how I was struggling. I said, I wanted a rancher, a cowboy, who felt trapped by being just that. How could he break free when that was all he knew?

Several hours later, The Restless Cowboy was born and the fire was completely deleted from the book. Cam became a leather worker, a skill necessary to ranch life, but the quiet artist was a perfect balance for the man who had been forced into a life he had never wanted by a father who was an alcoholic who died, leaving him with a debt-ridden ranch and a much younger sister to raise. Cam was forced to give up any chance of a dream to be a rancher until one day, he was finally free. Only, what did freedom look like?

And that was when he met Molly Brennan, a fiery single mom with whom he had a brief affair before leaving the town of Granite Junction for good, in pursuit of his future. But fate had something else in store for him, and Cam was brought back to Granite Junction to deal with his demons and his past, and to find the family he never thought he wanted or deserved.

Leather working, as Kari Lynn Dell, told me, is a critical skill on a ranch. Who else would mend the tack, the saddles, and other items? As I delved into the world of leather work, it amazed me the beauty created from leather including leather roses and a bouquet of leather! I wasn’t quite sure I could see Cam making these items but the hand tooled saddles for the ring? Sure, he could do that.

Researching leather working was so much fun. I only wish Kari Lynn Dell had lived to see the book finished. She passed away last summer from cancer and I never got to tell her how much she helped me with the book. But she was with me in the writing of this book.

The Restless Cowboy is the second book in my small town western romance series and comes out April 27, 2021. Check out the first book if you haven’t, The Wrong Cowboy, available now and you’ll be introduced to Cam Miller, and his cousin Gabe Buchanan and the feisty Emma Holt.

 

Free—from family, duty, and responsibility. 

Cam Miller has spent most of his life bound by choices others made for him. He did what had to be done to provide for his little sister, and he doesn’t regret that. But now, with her off to college, he can finally put ranching behind him and pursue the life he’s always dreamed of… far from Granite Junction. But after one night of passion comes back to haunt him, he fears his hard-won freedom is only temporary . . .

 Independent—from family, relationships, and matters of the heart.

Molly Brennan was living her best life as a rodeo trick rider until a failed marriage forced her from the arena. Now she’s perfectly fine running her own hair salon and raising her daughter solo. She doesn’t need a man, but what could it hurt to indulge in a little no-strings fun with a sexy cowboy?

When Molly realizes she’s pregnant, she pulls herself up by her bootstraps. She’s handled things this far on her own and she can do it again, although she’s finding it isn’t so easy to let Cam go. But Cam’s not the kind of man who shirks responsibility. Finding himself torn between a woman who feels like home and his need to break free, where will Cam’s heart lead him?

Order your copy today!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | GooglePlay

 

 

Giveaway!

Tell me your favorite western romance and what you love about it.

Two winners will receive eBooks of The Wrong Cowboy.

Ever since Megan Ryder discovered Jude Deveraux and Judith McNaught while sneaking around the “forbidden” romance section of the library one day after school, she has been voraciously devouring romance novels of all types. Now a romance author in her own right, Megan pens sexy contemporary novels all about family and hot lovin’ with the boy next door. She lives in Connecticut, spending her days as a technical writer and her spare time divided between her addiction to knitting and reading.

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.

* * * * * *

Welcome Guest Eve Gaddy!

Howdy! Let’s welcome our guest author, Eve Gaddy, to the blog today! 

Hi, I’m Eve Gaddy and I’m so excited to be here at the Petticoats and Pistols blog. I’m going to talk a little about my newest book, which just released yesterday. I write a lot of books set in Texas and Montana. Heart of the Texas Warrior is the fourth and final book in the Heart of Texas series, set in Last Stand, Texas.

Here’s a peek:

Setting: after they meet at the prosthetist’s office, as they’re leaving.

Asher asked Jessie, “You want to get a cup of coffee? Or coffee and pie?”

She finally made it through the door and he followed. Yes, she wanted to. But she wasn’t going out with a man who was at the least involved with another woman, at worst married. “Something tells me Maggie might not like that.”

For a moment he looked confused but then his expression cleared and he smiled. “Maggie’s very understanding. Sometimes she gets a little jealous but she usually gets over it pretty quickly.”

Jessie stared at him. “Your wife doesn’t mind you asking out other women?”

“First of all, it’s coffee. Not a big deal. Second, Maggie’s not my wife.”

“Girlfriend, then.”

“Nope, not my girlfriend either. Though I do call her my girl a lot. She especially likes for me to sweet-talk her when I brush her.”

“When you—Oh, you bum! Maggie is your dog?”

“She is. So at the risk of making my dog jealous, how about we get some coffee and pie?”

“What can I say after all that except yes? Let me call my friend and tell her to pick me up at Char-Pie instead of here.” She pulled her phone out of her pocket. “In about thirty minutes?”

“Sure. Or I can take you home.”

She paused before scrolling up to open her phone. “What if we discover while we’re having pie that we have nothing in common and don’t even like each other?”

He grinned. “I think I can still manage to give you a ride home. Besides, that’s not going to happen.”

“I guess we’ll have to wait and see.”

“I’ll go get my truck. Unless you’d rather walk?”

Char-Pie wasn’t very far away but the thought of managing the rough sidewalks was not appealing, especially when she was already tired. But she didn’t want him to think she was a wimp. “I can walk,” she said, lifting her chin. “Or rather, I can get there with crutches.”

“I have no doubt.” He grinned at that. “But I’ll get my truck anyway.”

Heart of the Texas Warrior was a special book for me for a number of reasons. Asher Chapman, the hero of the book, is from Whiskey River, Texas, another fictional Texas town just down the road from Last Stand. He’s the brother of the hero in No Ordinary Texas Billionaire. I didn’t plan on him, but the moment Asher walked onto the page, heck, the moment he was mentioned in No Ordinary Texas Billionaire, I knew I wanted to write his story.

But of course he needed a special heroine. Jessie McBride is the only girl of the McBride siblings. She’s a cowgirl through and through and she is strong, extremely independent, and rescues wild mustangs. When she breaks her leg she discovers she has to depend on others whether she wants to or not. Asher has had to learn that lesson the hard way, and he feels a lot of sympathy for her. And soon a lot more than sympathy!

I’m giving away an ebook of No Ordinary Texas Billionaire to one winner and an ebook of Heart of the Texas Warrior to another.

I’m a big fan of animals in stories and almost always have at least one. Do you like stories with animals? If so, which animals are your favorite to read about? I’ll pick the winners from the posts.

Eve Gaddy is the award winning, national bestselling author of more than thirty-five novels and novellas. She has written contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and romantic mystery. Eve loves her family, spring and fall in east Texas, the Colorado mountains, dogs, chocolate, books, and electronics. She enjoys cooking except when she is writing, and has been known to tell her husband that is what takeout was created for.

Eve also loves a happy ending. That’s why she writes romance.

http://www.evegaddy.net

http://www.facebook.com/evegaddyauthor

https://twitter.com/EveGaddy

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/eve-gaddy

https://www.pinterest.com/evegaddy/

Heart of the Texas Warrior on BookBub: https://smarturl.it/HOTWB

VALENTINE’S DAY: A DAY FOR ROMANCE

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

We have a special guest today, so please give Caroline Clemmons a big, warm Petticoats and Pistols welcome! 

Happy Valentine’s Day! Thanks to the fillies for sharing the blog with me today.

What better time for us romance readers and authors than a day to celebrate romance? In addition to Valentine cards, common expressions from a man to a woman include chocolates and red roses. I hope I get chocolate! I wouldn’t mind both, of course.

Do you remember how exciting the day was in elementary school when you exchanged Valentines with other children? The smell of library paste and red paper stuck to your fingers? Did you experience the desperation of Charlie Brown for the Little Red-Haired Girl if you were hoping a special classmate gave you a Valentine? Later, when did you get your first heart-shaped box of chocolates or bouquet of flowers? I was in the eighth grade and caught by surprise.

I’d always thought the custom of sending Valentines originated in the nineteenth century. I was wrong. Valentine greetings were exchanged as early as the 15th century and printed cards appeared in the seventeenth century. Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s.

In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” (Hmm, reminds me of the word “scrapbooking”.) Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year (more cards are sent at Christmas). No surprise—women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.

If you remember studying his works, I don’t want to give you a headache. However, the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to record St. Valentine’s Day as a day of romantic celebration in his 1375 poem “Parliament of Foules,” writing,

“For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day

Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.”

The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

<Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentine%27s_Day https://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day-2&gt;

We’re more concerned with our Valentine’s Day, aren’t we? What I recommend for the day is a book, a romance of course. Kick off your shoes and curl up in a cozy spot to read. So many great writers have romances available to fit every taste.

I’m offering a free e-book of the winner’s choice to three people who leave a comment today. You can find my books listed on my Amazon Author page at: https://amazon.com/Caroline-Clemmons/e/B001K8CXZ6/

While you’re there, why not Follow me?

By the way, I have an upcoming release on February 19 for A BRIDE FOR LUKE (The Proxy Brides Book 10). Although it was considerable work, this was fun to write and I’m hoping readers will enjoy the book. Beta reader results have been very positive! It’s available for preorder now at the Universal Amazon link: http://mybook.to/Maeve. It will be in e-book and print and free in Kindle Unlimited.

Here’s a synopsis blurb:

Each is struggling to build a better life . . .

Two strong-willed people are bound to clash . . .

Danger forces them to focus on what is at stake . . .

Maeve Kelly came to America for a better life but found only signs that said No Irish Need Apply. When the cousin with whom she is staying leaves Boston, Maeve is left desperate. Her job at the laundry doesn’t pay enough for her to survive alone. Her friend suggests a way out, Maeve resists but finally accepts. What else can she do?

Sheriff Luke Sullivan is proud of his accomplishments. Known for his strong principles, he is admired and well-respected in the community. When he learns his mother and aunt have schemed to get him a proxy bride he’s furious. If he’d wanted a wife he would have found one. He respects and loves his mother and aunt and finally agrees to the marriage. Before he and his bride can adjust to one another, Luke is caught in the middle of an explosive situation between striking miners and the railroad.

Threats against Luke by each side have him fearing for the safety of his wife, mother, and aunt. He must resolve the strike to protect his family and many others. Will he succeed in time to save lives?

Enjoy an excerpt:

He pushed back from the table. “How can I keep you safe if you don’t follow orders? Do you understand?”

She put her hands on her hips. “Oh, so it’s orders you’re giving me, is it? Weel, Lucas Brady Sullivan, I take orders from no man. Do you understand?”

“Mae, you’re making something from nothing.” He tapped his chest. “I’m your husband. You promised to obey me when we wed.”

That brought her temper down a notch. She had promised and Father Patrick had lectured her on the husband being the head of the household. “Mayhap I did, but not high handed orders.”

“And what would you consider obeying? You want a written invitation to remain home? Shall I show you the other wanted poster and suggest you avoid that man? You’ve no idea what these other men look like so how would you know if they were walking down the street or shopping in the Mercantile? How can you know who’s an upstanding citizen and who’s a stranger in town? You were in front of the Mercantile when Higgins accosted you.”

She turned toward the sink, hands on her face to hide her shame. “Aye, ‘tis sorry I am. The worry of what’s going to happen has me in bits. I can’t get out of my mind the fact someone may shoot at you from an ambush.”

He wrapped his arms around her. “Don’t fret, honey. I’m doing my best to keep this situation from becoming violent. I can’t focus on my job if I’m worried about where you are and what you’re doing and who’s around you.”

She leaned her head against his broad chest. His strong heartbeat reassured her. “I see the way I was wrong. ‘Twas my mistake and I said ‘tis sorry I am.”

She looked up at him. “But, for us to have a peaceful marriage you’d best consider making requests instead of giving orders.”

ABOUT CAROLINE

Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To compensate for this illogical error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a tiny office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their three rescued indoor cats and one dog.

The books she creates in her pink cave have made her a bestselling author and won awards. She writes historical and contemporary as well as time travel and mystery. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, reading her friends’ books, lunching with friends, browsing antique malls, checking Facebook, and taking the occasional nap. Find her on her WebsiteBlogFacebookTwitterNewsletter.  She loves to hear from readers at caroline@carolineclemmons.com