I've invited Caroline here today to share with you a little about her latest release, Brazos Bride. If you like western romance, then check this out.:
Thank you, Ginger, for having me as your guest on Cowboy Kisses. Your readers love western novels or they wouldn’t check this blog, so I’m excited to be communicating with like-minded souls. Yeehaw!
Loving the West began as a child. My dad loved history and regaled us around the dinner table each night with stories of his family after they came to Texas from Georgia in 1876. Dad was a wonderful storyteller and those events sprang to life in my imagination. He only had so many stories, of course. Even though I memorized them early on, I begged him to tell them again. Not that I wish I’d lived then! Not even on that Lone Ranger set where he and Tonto camped by that same rock in every show, no matter where they were supposed to be. I like my life now, thank you very much. But I am always pleased to escape to the Old West in books or writing.
Another factor drawing me to the Old West were the movies featuring Hollywood’s version of cowboy life. Although I must have seen them earlier than age eight, that’s when I first remember sitting through Roy Rogers’ movies on Saturdays while my mom did laundry and bought our week’s groceries. He was my ideal man and I dreamed of riding the range with him, rounding up rustlers and bank robbers and saving the West from all outlaws. How sad I was to learn he’d actually been married to that hussy Dale Evans all the time I’d pined from him. Sigh!
Several excellent history teachers deepened my love for Texas history. Government classes sent me into a stupor, but I lived for the history portion of social studies. Now I use Fehrenbach’s LONE STAR: A HISTORY OF TEXAS AND TEXANS and too many other references to count or list here. These books surround my writing desk and make reference easier. Of course, the worldwide web includes an endless supply of other reference material. My husband introduced me to novels of Louis L’Amour and Tony Hillerman and those books deepened my love for the Southwest. We’ve read (and saved) each of them.
One part of research I love is taking historic tours. Fortunately, my family shares my passion. With one or more of them in tow, I’ve toured Texas’ vintage homes, ranches, government buildings, a dude ranch, state parks such as Lost Maples State Natural Area near Bandera, and Texas Tech University’s Ranching Heritage Center. Not only are these trips and tours pleasant, they enable me to steep myself in Texas history. Which is a great segue to tell you about my latest book, a western historical titled BRAZOS BRIDE.
BRAZOS BRIDE is set is in North Central Texas, August 1870, near what is now Possum Kingdom Lake. I love this area, and enjoy driving through it in winter, spring, or fall. In summer, I try not to leave the house. If you’ve been in Texas in the summer months, you understand why many locals head for Colorado. ;-) Here’s a blurb from BRAZOS BRIDE:
Hope Montoya knows someone is poisoning her, but who? She suspects her mother was also poisoned and knows her father was murdered. Who wants her family eliminated? She vows to fight! She realizes she won’t last the eight months until she turns twenty-five and her uncle no longer controls her or her estate. Never will she be dominated by a man as she was by her father, as she has seen her mother and grandmothers dominated. If she marries, she gains control now, but only if she weds a man she can trust. Only one man meets her requirements. Can she trust him to protect her and capture the killer...and then leave?
Micah Stone has been in love with Hope since the first time he saw her. But he was accused of her father’s murder and surely would have hung if not for aid from his two brothers. Most in the community still believe him guilty. But the drought has him too worried about water for his dying cattle to care about his neighbors’ opinions. When Hope proposes a paper marriage in exchange for land on the Brazos River and much needed cash, her offer rubs his pride raw. His name may be Stone, but he’s not made of it. Yet he can’t refuse her for long, and so their adventure begins.
Here’s a BRAZOS BRIDE excerpt:
She looked at her hands. Perhaps she was unreasonable. Or maybe insane for sympathizing with a man who'd had to work harder because of her family.
"I know it is an odd situation. If—if you wear your shirt and britches, I guess it would be all right if you slept on top of the cover here." She patted the bed beside her.
He froze. Not a muscle moved, and he only stared at her. Had she misunderstood? Did he think her offer too forward?
She babbled, "That is, if you want to. You said I should trust you. Well, maybe you would be more comfortable where you are." Why didn't he say something? Would he prefer sleeping in a chair to sharing the bed?
From the street below, she heard raucous laughter and someone called to a man named Ben. Music from a piano, she supposed in the saloon, drifted in through the open windows. A gust of breeze moved the curtains and slid across her skin. In this room, though, there was no sound.
Slowly, he rose and extinguished the lamp as he moved across the room. She slid one of the pillows beside hers then scooted down. What had possessed her to offer him half her bed? Would he think she invited more?
Too late to take it back now, for the mattress dipped as he stretched out. Quaking inside at the thought of him so near, she turned her back to him. She heard his weary sigh, as if he relaxed for the first time in a long while.
"Good night," she offered, and hoped he understood the finality of the phrase.
"Yep. Good night, Mrs. Stone." The mattress shook as he turned his back to her. She felt the soles of his feet press against her ankles. He must be several inches too long for the bed and she guessed he had to bend his legs to fit. She didn't dare turn to see firsthand.
She lay perfectly still, afraid to take a deep breath. Soon his breathing changed and she knew he slept. Outside the open window the town quieted and the distant tinkling of the piano was the only sound. Light from the full moon illuminated the room and slanted across the bed. A soft breeze drifted across her, lulling her in its caress.
With a sigh, she fought to relax, but abdominal pain kept her awake no matter how her body cried for rest. Perhaps if she planned, she’d forget the pain and chills that racked her frame.
Plan, yes. She needed a plan for food preparation when she returned to her home. No, Micah said he had a plan. Oh, dear, once more he took charge when it was her life, her home.
Maybe Aunt Sofia and Uncle Jorge would have left by then and things would be fine. Already she felt more secure. She sensed her eyelids drifting closed and the sleep’s blessed relief approaching.
A gunshot ripped apart the night.
The blast startled her and she screamed as something thudded near her head, showering her hair and face with splinters. Panic immobilized her. What had happened?
Micah dragged her onto the floor as a bullet ripped into the mattress.
Thank you again, Ginger, for letting me be your guest here at Cowboy Kisses. A great big kiss to you and each of your readers!
Caroline Clemmons writes mystery, romance, and adventures—although her earliest made up adventures featured her saving the West with Roy Rogers. Her career has included stay-at-home mom (her favorite job), newspaper reporter and featured columnist, assistant to the managing editor of a psychology journal, and bookkeeper. She and her husband live in rural North Central Texas with a menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family, reading, travel, browsing antique malls and estate sales, and genealogy/family history.
Excerpts from some of her exceptional reviews can be found on her website at www.carolineclemmons.com. View her blog posts Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com and find book reviews, giveaways, interview, and miscellany.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/carolinclemmons (No E in Caroline)
Caroline loves to hear from readers at firstname.lastname@example.org
The buy link for BRAZOS BRIDE at Amazon Kindle is: