I was dumbfounded that the judges’ chief complaint was that it wasn’t believable that a young woman could pass as a young man. Now that Under A Texas Star is published, I feel I can indulge in a little rant on the topic.
The dramatic device of a woman masquerading as a man has been around forever. It’s as accepted in historical romance as fast-than-light travel is in science fiction. Let’s set that aside, however. The fact is, women have been successfully posing as men throughout history.
I’ve picked Sarah Emma Edmonds, aka Frank Thompson, as an example because, like me, she’s Canadian. Edmonds escaped an abusive father in Nova Scotia to live in the United States. When her adopted country went to war, she was determined to serve.
Sarah could have been the heroine of her own romance. She served as a “male” nurse in an army hospital, then as a Union spy - disguising herself as a black man, an Irish peddler, and black mammy. In a ploy straight out of Victor-Victoria, she masqueraded as a man masquerading as a woman. Her story includes horse chases, gun play and near escapes - not unlike the adventures of Marly Landers in Under A Texas Star.
Unfortunately Sarah contracted malaria and had to desert or be found out. She returned to Canada, fell in love and returned to the States with her husband. They had three sons who, like their mama, served in the US Army.
To find out more about Sarah, check out her biography or read the Civil War Women Blog.
To find out more about Marly Landers, read Under A Texas Star, available in Kindle, Nook, Kobo, other formats on Smashwords and in paperback on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Disguised as a boy, Marly joins a handsome Texas Ranger in the hunt for a con man and they must bring the fugitive to justice before giving up the masquerade and giving in to their passion.
When Marly Landers is fooled by con man Charlie Meese, she's determined to bring him to justice--even if it means dressing up as a boy and setting off across the plains to find him.
“This is a rollicking adventure and Marly Landers is a girl with True Grit.”
Phyllis Smallman, Arthur Ellis Award winning author of Champagne for Buzzards
Alison Bruce has an honours degree in history and philosophy, which has nothing to do with any regular job she’s held since. A liberal arts education did prepare her to be a writer, however. She penned her first novel during lectures while pretending to take notes.
Alison grew up surrounded by the great dames of golden age mysteries - Christie, Sayer, Marsh - Georgette Heyer’s historical romances and the classic westerns of Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey. Naturally enough her debut novel, Under A Texas Star, is a mystery-romance set in the old west.
www.alisonbruce.ca, alisonebruce.blogspot.com, twitter.com/alisonebruce, www.facebook.com/alisonbruce.books