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Would You Have Dared This Adventure?

A terrible result of the Civil War was that fighting took the lives of so many young men. Numbers given are that between 620,000 and 750,000 men died in the Civil War, by far the greatest toll of any war in American history. When most of the surviving single men moved west, this left no one for Eastern women to marry. If a woman wanted a husband and children, what was she to do? If a man wanted a wife and family, what was he to do?black-woman-and-child-png-8

This is why there are so many mail-order bride and proxy bride romances. Although mail-order and proxy brides existed before and after this era, they flourished in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

Here is where your challenge comes in: If you were single during this time, what would you have done?

In my ancestry and that of my husband, several women became little more than a live-in, unpaid maid. Would you have wanted to spend the rest of your life as “Aunt” whoever to someone else’s family? Or, would you have dared become a mail-order bride?

In the west the ratio was sometimes 1 woman (who might be married) to 14 men and more men to women near mines. If you wanted a wife and children, what would you do? Would you send for a bride sight-unseen?

Chris Enss’ book Hearts West discusses actual mail-order brides. Some are happy stories, some are frightening. Each is interesting.

Matrimonial agencies supposedly verified the character and intentions of the man and woman before the marriage was arranged. Also available were newspaper-like periodicals filled with ads placed by men who wanted a wife (no verification). If you’ve read some of these, you know they varied from so egotistical they’re comical to so brief no information is supplied.

Imagine yourself a woman traveling by train or—more likely—by stagecoach to meet a prospective groom. You could be single or widowed. More than likely you’d be nearly destitute. If the man you’re going to meet doesn’t suit, you have no funds to repay him for your travel fare and return home. Perhaps you have no home to which you can return. What if he’s a drunk or beats women or is a crook?

Imagine being a single man who longs for a wife and family and sends for a bride. What if she’s a shrew or slovenly and can’t cook or keep house? What if she’s a con artist who plans to remain only long enough to gain access to your savings?

Would you have dared enter a mail-order marriage?

 

Widows Brides and Secret Babies VictoriaAbout The Book

She has to protect her baby . . .

He is desperate for help . . .

Trouble preys on their livelihood . . .

Widow Victoria Bailey is desperate to prevent her in-laws from gaining custody of her eighteen-month-old daughter. If becoming a mail-order bride is her only option, she’ll take the risk. At least on a Texas ranch she’ll have quiet and peace. She doesn’t have time to let the groom know she’s bringing her daughter. Surely no man can object to one perfect little girl.

Widower Greg Hardy is desperate to get help with his home and his children. He needs to be pursuing whoever is rustling his cattle. A mail-order bride seems to be exactly what he needs but should he keep his children a secret? To insure he doesn’t scare off a prospective wife, he omits the fact that he has five children aged from eight months to twelve years old.

Their marriage starts with misunderstanding. They decide to work together to fight against a common foe. Will the fight take a toll on their fragile happiness?

Enjoy An Excerpt

Her head pounded as if a blacksmith hammered his anvil inside. She couldn’t continue in this state of fear. Instead, she had to do something without delay.

“Tell me the matchmaker’s address. I’m too desperate to turn down any chance to leave Atlanta with Regina safely in my care.”

“Fortunately, she lives only about a mile from us.” Diana rose and went to her writing desk. She opened a drawer and took out a sheet of paper.

Referring to a letter she’d removed from an envelope, Diana wrote on the paper then handed it to her. “Here’s the address. You won’t have any trouble finding her house.”

Victoria studied the writing. “I think I know where this is and I’ll go there now. There’s no time to waste. I expect my in-laws back to steal Regina no later than noon tomorrow.”

Diana hugged her briefly. “Godspeed, my friend. If you do leave, promise you’ll let me know your new address.”

“I will because I am leaving for somewhere, Diana. Thank you for your friendship.”

The soft breeze failed to soothe Victoria. She recognized the part of town in which the matchmaker lived. The homes were nicer than hers—though she thought of the house as hers, her in-laws actually owned her home. She found the correct house and was surprised a matchmaker lived there.

The red brick home was built in the Federal style with white columns in front. A small brass plate was attached to the fence pillar. The first line said Mercedes McCormick and the second line read Matches Made In Heaven.

That described what she needed. Her first marriage wasn’t made in heaven but perhaps the next one would be better. She pushed the perambulator up the walk and maneuvered it up the steps to the porch.

“Regina, here we go. I hope we’re not sorry.” She rang the bell.

About The Author

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 two rescued indoor cats and dog as well as providing nourishment outdoors for other critters.

The books she creates in her pink cave have made her a bestselling author and won awards. She writes sweet to sensual romances about the West, both historical and contemporary as well as time travel and mystery. Her series include the Kincaids, McClintocks, Stone Mountain Texas, Bride Brigade, Texas Time Travel, Texas Caprock Tales, Pearson Grove, and Loving A Rancher as well as numerous single titles and contributions to multi-author sets. 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 blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

Join her and other readers at Caroline’s Cuties, a Facebook readers group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/277082053015947/ for special excerpts, exchanging ideas, contests, giveaways, recipes, and talking to like-minded people about books and other fun things.

Click on her Amazon Author Page for a complete list of her books and follow her there.

Follow her on BookBub.

To stay up-to-date with her releases and contests, subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter here and receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a humorous historical wedding disaster that ends happily—but you knew it would, didn’t you?

 

Title: MAIL-ORDER VICTORIA, Widows, Brides and Secret Babies book 7

Author: Caroline Clemmons

Genre: Historical western romance

Heat level: PG

Amazon Universal link: https://mybook.to/Victoria

Amazon US link: https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Widows-Brides-Secret-Babies-ebook/dp/B086DFCDRB

Available in e-book, print, and enrolled in KU

Charity Sunday blog–Furever Friends!

NewCharitySundayBannerSmallSo this week, I’m trying something new, after being invited by author Lisabet Sarai to join in a bit of good work! Each participating author will identify a charity they wish to benefit, and then pledges to donate a certain amount of money to their charity for each comment made by a reader.

Furever Friends is a cat rescue organization in Asheville, NC. I have fostered–and foster

reba and Daisy

Me with Reba and Daisy Mae–tortitude!

failed!– for them, and in fact, have my dear Daisy Mae, Reba and Clarice all thanks to them.

Mission
FurEver Friends Animal Rescue Network has been in operation since 2002 serving the Buncombe County area and surrounding counties. We work closely with individuals and families in our communities to provide a NO-KILL alternative to government shelters. We rely on the kindness and generosity of animal lovers who open their hearts to help us take care of the orphans that desperately need our help.

Fortunately, I’ve passed on more kittens than I’ve kept to great furever homes, and I am so pleased to be able to work with Pam and Glynn Lookabill and the other volunteers.

Kitten season is coming up, however, and they will need a new influx of cash for the rounds and rounds of bottle babes, kittens and mommas that will come through their doors.

So as a result, I will donate $5 for each comment made as part of this blog hop to Pam and her group.

If you, too, love kitties and want to help out, contact Pam at fureverfriends at bellsouth dot net, and she can give you all the particulars!

thelostchord400x600 (1)Now for the entertainment part of the post, here is a blurb and excerpt from THE LOST CHORD, a YA fantasy from Dragonfly Publishing with Bee Warrick, a girl on the autism spectrum, as a heroine!

A poisonous wave is spreading disease and discord across the eleven known universes. Seven special people, known as Keys, must strike the Lost Chord in order to restore the balance. Among those Keys is Bee Warrick, an autistic teenager from Earth who has traveled between the realms for years without realizing it. Can Bee help the Conductor find the other Keys before a bitter enemy strikes the wrong chord and shatters the universes?

EXCERPT

Halfway through, her brother Reese barged in. The tall, broad-built boy plopped down on her bright pink bedspread and dropped his football helmet on the floor, where it rolled in a circle before coming to a stop.

Bee jumped and covered her ears to protect herself from the sound.

“Hey there little SPED girl. I see Mom isn’t riding you about your homework.” He glared at her. “Must be nice to be autistic.”

“I’m not stupid like you.” Bee knew Reese wasn’t supposed to call her names. Mom had told him often enough, ever since she was little. But he never stopped, so now she called them back.

She wasn’t sure exactly what ‘autistic’ was supposed to be; she’d read about it in books. She was just what she was, not some word that started with A. Her favorite book was Songs of the Gorilla Nation, about a woman with autism who’d learned to communicate with gorillas.

At least gorillas didn’t make fun of you, she thought.

“Stupid is as stupid does.”

Reese twisted up his face at her. He had the same auburn hair as Bee, a color received from their father’s genes. She hardly remembered their father. He came and took Reese away every other weekend. He never took her. She didn’t even bother to go to the window and look at him any more.

“Bzzzzzzz,” she said, annoyed and wishing he’d go away.

“You know that’s so damn lame. Knock it off. People talk about you at school. SPED.”

Bee knew that term was derogatory by the tone of Reese’s voice, though she couldn’t understand why it was bad. ‘Special’ was something that was extra good. So special education should be something really great, like a Christmas present.

Besides she wasn’t in specials any more. Just speech. Her classes were regular, just like everyone else, and she finally didn’t have a TSS following her everywhere.

Ever since she could remember, she’d been in therapy—occupational therapy, where she’d swung in a net and glued letters on paper; hippotherapy, where she rode and cared for horses at a local farm (she’d liked that); and de-sensitizing therapy, when her mother had scrubbed her body with a surgical sponge for 15 minutes at a time several times a day (she’d hated that).

The longest had been speech therapy, where she’d struggled to learn language, a process that was short-circuited somewhere in her brain. So much didn’t make sense.

Like special education.

Book trailer for THE LOST CHORD

Find out more and see reviews here.     Buy here!

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The Lost Chord’s five stars!

I’m finally back from gallivanting ’round the country… it’s not my fault all my family spread out to the corners of the world! Coming home refreshed, I found three more 5-star reviews for THE LOST CHORD! Like Christmas in July! 🙂

thelostchord400x600 (1)THE LOST CHORD is a multi-dimensional story that pulled me in and kept me enticed. I am not a sci-fi fan normally. However, I decided to pick up this novel because the heroine was a teenage girl with autism. I have been an autistic support teacher for thirteen years and this is book has had one of most realistic, believable portrayal of a person living with autism! I will be recommending this book to my colleagues because it gives an insight to the feelings and mind of people on the spectrum. It allows people to see the main character, Bee, as different, not less.

 I give this book five stars because it contained all my likes, different universes, chakras, stones, believable characters and magic talismans. Once you read this, it will strike a chord within you that will resonate all the way to your soul.

One of the biggest things I appreciated from this book was the diversity. Alexander has always had a knack for showing diversity in her novels, and she didn’t falter here. There were interesting role reversals and certain dilemmas the characters had to overcome that really showed a message of acceptance and unity. There were many possible themes in this story. Understanding, leadership, teamwork, and perseverance were prevalent throughout

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Artist Luc Grigg’s rendition of Bee–based on real-life model Tasha

the whole story, and all important messages such as not fearing the unknown and accepting people for who they are were very present and unambiguous. I always enjoy Alexander’s work, and this is no exception. The clear diversity and character arc in this novel puts it at the top of my list of recommendations.

The combination of sibling rivalry, teen angst, runes, magic, time travel, and saving the world from the plight of the Scourge — ticks all the boxes for me.

So many people love it–and they’re signing up to be Chordians–our fan club!!  What are you waiting for? Get your copy now!

PAPERBACK [EAN 978-1-941278-81-9 | ISBN 1-941278-81-7] 6×9 library trim (200 pages) | Average Price: $11.99 or less || Paperback at Amazon | Paperback at Amazon UK | Paperback at Barnes & Noble | Discount Paperback at Lulu |

HARDBACK [EAN 978-1-941278-80-2 | ISBN 1-941278-80-9] 6×9 library casebound (200 pages) | Average Price: $19.99 or less || Discount Hardback at Lulu |

EBOOK [EAN 978-1-941278-82-6 | ISBN 1-941278-82-5] Available in EPUB and Kindle MOBI (70,000 words) | Average Price: $4.99 or less || Kindle at Amazon | Kindle at Amazon UK | EPUB at Apple iBooks | EPUB at Barnes & Noble | EPUB at Kobo Books | EPUB & MOBI at Smashwords |

It’s hard to be the queen’s mate… SFFS for June 9

This is a snippet from THE ELF CHILD, where the elf Astan struggles with his family obligations as well as his new relationship with the elf queen, Jelani. He’s at odds with his father, abandoned by his mother, and he’s got issues, like we all have. 

Alone now on the mountain top, Astan felt the cold wind sting his eyes. Was his mother out there somewhere? He’d heard stories of her at the knees of the wise females of the Circle, a neris said to be of strong magic and dark promise. If they found her, would it change their lives? Would Daven find a new reason to live?

Might he leave Jelani to Astan to teach, then, as any nian would his partner?

His eyes scouted the horizon in all directions, slowly, as he wondered what eyes he would need to see far enough to find Veraena. Then he started back down the mountain, hoping Jelani’s sadness had passed.

Find out more about THE ELF CHILD at the tab above, or at http://clanelvesofthebitterroot.com –buy links at Dragonfly Publishing, Inc. 

Find more great science fiction and fantasy snippets at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday’s main page.

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