Friday, March 15, 2013

Great Caesar's Ghost - the Ides of March!


DOUBLE OR NOTHING, Book 2 of the Double Series,
is releasing today!

How wonderful that today, March 15th, also known as the Ides of March, and my usual day to post something on Cowboy Kisses, happens to be the day my sequel to Double Crossing is being released! It's also my husband's birthday. Watch out, Caesar -- there's a knife in my new book, too.

Here's some of the research details I discovered about the Bowie knife. My hero Ace Diamond uses one, since he's from Texas.

Rezin Bowie, Jim Bowie's brother, created a single edged knife after a bull attack, which he survived (obviously!), and fitted it with a wood handle. The  nine inch long blade resembled a butcher knife, and he gave it or a similar knife to his brother. In fact, the brothers gave many knives out to friends, which is why it's so difficult to pin down the exact one.

After getting shot by the local sheriff, Jim swore he'd always have a knife on hand. So he used the one his brother gave him in what was famously termed the 'sandbar fight' on the Mississippi at Vidalia, Louisana, in September of 1827. Despite being stabbed and shot, he disemboweled one attacker, wounded another and chased off a third. 

The local newspaper spread his fame. He was also renowned for surviving an Indian raiding party with a small band of colleagues -- they'd been outnumbered 15 to 1, but only lost one man compared to 40 Indian dead and 30 wounded. More fame to claim, yet he rarely spoke of his adventurous exploits.

Sometime around 1829 or 1830, Jim Bowie had  asked blacksmith James Black to improve on his brother's design. He modified it to include a clipped point which was double-edged and added to its lethal power.

And of course, Bowie ended up at the Alamo in 1836 -- which really pushed the legend. Despite being ill in bed, he managed to use his knife, a gun and his fists to escort many Mexican soldiers with him to the pearly gates. 

Here's what a present day Bowie knife looks like, to the right.

I'm not a weapons expert, and I've been known to cut myself with a cheap Dollar Store paring knife. Give me those safety blades to carve pumpkins. Now those are safe! Here's an example of the other weapon my hero Ace Diamond uses in both books -- a stiletto. Minus the hand guard, I'm sure.

Ace kept the stiletto in his boot. Whether or not that's actually possible--well, the reader has to give an author a little slack! It is fiction, after all.

And now I come to sharing about my new release! Today I'm hosting a FB event, so come join the fun! I'll share more details about how writing this book almost disemboweled me (just kidding, of course, but close to it!)

Here's the dynamic cover -- the pocket watch is Lily's father's, the photograph could be of her parents, and the cards are from Ace's poker hand. 

A mysterious explosion. A man framed for murder. A strong woman determined to prove his innocence.
October, 1869: Lily Granville, now heiress to a considerable fortune, rebels against her uncle’s strict rules in Sacramento, California. Ace Diamond, determined to win Lily, invests in a dynamite factory for a quick “killing,” but his status as a successful businessman fails to impress her guardian.

An explosion in San Francisco, mere hours before Lily elopes with Ace to avoid a forced marriage, sets off a chain of unforeseen consequences.
Despite Lily’s protests that her new husband has been framed, Ace is dragged off to jail as the culprit. 

Evidence mounts against him. Lily must learn who was actually behind the diabolical plan… and save Ace from the hangman’s noose.
Will she become a widow before a true wife?


BUY LINKS -- Amazon for Kindle, B&N for Nook, Smashwords for other ereader devices! Print edition coming coming later!


Ciara Gold said...

Great info about the knife. I just recently bought a bunch of old TV western DVDs and bored, I actually watched 3 episodes of one of the series. "The Adventures of Jim Bowie" ran in 1956 and of course the first episode was birth of the blade and of course, TV got it all wrong. LOL. Still, fun to watch and very corny.

Ginger Simpson said...

Fascinating research on knives. I've always known about Jim Bowie, but never understood the history of his weapon of choice. I appreciate the lesson given in such an interesting manner. Loved the excerpt and trailer, too.

Meg said...

HAHAHA!! of course they got it wrong! I never heard of that episode, but will look it up. I always watched Daniel Boone with Fess Parker, though. And Davy Crockett, same actor. I'm sure they got things wrong too, but they were fun shows on Disney!!

Meg said...

Thanks Ginger, but I confess I did a "hop/skip/jump" in research method for this article! so if anyone finds anything different, let me know! I was under a time crunch. And thanks about the trailer and excerpt! it's been a BUSY week!!

jeff7salter said...

Everything you posted hee about the Bowie knife checks out with what I've researched.
One add'l fact, Jim B. allegedly cracked the skull of one opponent with (some part of) his knife.
And, on another occasion, he hit somebody with such force that the blade supposedly sliced the man in half.
Unless I've remembered one episode as two.

jeff7salter said...

and, yes, boot knives were very common then (as know). With boots running some 14 -17 inches up toward the knee, there was plenty of room for a longish blade. Though, my understanding is that boot knives were more typically those with very little 'guard' and blades of 4-5 inches length.

jeff7salter said...

you didn't want a sizeable 'guard' on a boot knife because that could slow down your withdrawal ... or the knife could snag completely.
The one in your photo -- a stiletto -- would not have made a good boot knife.

Meg said...

WOW, Jeff! Thanks -- and I think the "disemboweled" reference is the "slice a man in half" bit. Pretty impressive. Er, as long as you're not on the wrong side of the blade. LOL

Meg said...

Yeah, I couldn't find a blade that looked right w/o the guard. Oh well! Thanks again for checking!

Meg said...

See reply above. LOL - no guard! Ace doesn't need one anyway. He's better on his own, or with Lily. ;-)

Caroline Clemmons said...

Sounds like another great book, Meg. I'd never seen a stiletto knife pictured before, and see why the women's shoe heels were named after the knife. Thanks for another interesting post.

Meg said...

Thanks, CC! I enjoyed *finishing* this book more than writing it. LOL! So glad I can start a new project!!

Jacquie Rogers said...

Congrats on your new release!

We must be of like mind because I just did research on Bowie knives about a month ago, when I started a short story for Western Fictioneers. You could have posted this earlier and saved me some work. :)

Meg said...

LOL, Jacquie! I need to get my short for WF going too. I'm so behind on everything.