Thursday, August 1, 2019

Guest Author Karen Michelle Nutt

Whiskey and Pie to Go, Please
by Karen Michelle Nutt

With any western town, there was always a saloon or perhaps even two or three present. In the 1800s, there were different types of saloons from gambling saloons to dancehall saloons or 'just grab a drink' saloons. Saloons were a place for men to gather for a drink or play a game of cards. Respectable women were not allowed, or they stayed clear of such 'sinful' places. The women who did work there were deemed 'bad girls' or soiled doves, daughters of sin, fallen frails, or nymphs du prairie—just a few of the names they were called.

However, many don't realize there was a big difference between a saloon girl and a prostitute. Brothels, cribs, and parlor houses were places where the women offered sex for money. 'Saloon girls' offered dances, songs, and conversation with the intent to lead the men to the bar to buy drinks and try their hand at the games offered. It's not to say that the women didn't sometimes take their attention upstairs, but it wasn't part of the job. Most saloon girls were treated like ladies, but you should keep in mind it was still a dangerous job.

Whiskey was a popular drink at the saloons, but some of the establishments also offered beer, fine wine, and even a meals with their drink.

Saloons weren't the only place a traveler sought to quench their thirst or hope for a bite to eat. In the East, by the late 1800s, there were upscale restaurants that offered dainty luncheons and sweets where women were welcome to enjoy a meal. Women could stop in after a day of shopping and eat lunch, order bon bons, or consult with a clairvoyant. (I found the latter an interesting prospect.) The confectionaries— as they were often called because they served sweets—also sold perfumes and lotions, and other things for the home.

In my story, Fake Marriage with a Dash of Desire, Sunset, Arizona is a fictional cattle ranch town set in the late 1800s. Sunset has seen many changes since the Phoenix Railroad linked the town to the rest of the nation.

Maribel owns Somebody's Darlin' Saloon and hires 'saloon girls' to entertain the men. Though she prefers they don't do more than dance with the patrons, she turns the other way if the gal is discreet when she entertains. She pays them to sing, dance or talk to the men, not for any other extracurricular activities.

Patsy's Pies is another business in my fictional town of Sunset that offers home-style cooking and pastries. In the late 1800s, quite a few of the restaurants weren't places a woman would frequent either, but I liked the idea of Patsy's Pies being more of a family restaurant since the railroad brought travelers from across country. A traveler would surely be famished after a long train ride, and not everyone would want to head over to the saloon.

Sunset is a bit rough around the edges with whiskey-drinking ranch hands, but the cakes and pies make the town a sweet place to visit.

Indulge in your own sweet delight as you read a snippet from Fake Marriage with a Dash of Desire. I hope you will enjoy Nash and Jewel's unusual first encounter. Though Nash won't find out the mahogany-haired beauty's name is Jewel until they meet again.

Nash removed his shirt and tossed it to the floor before reaching to lower Lulu's straps and give those breasts of hers a proper hello, but his hand froze as the door to the room swung open, banging against the wall with a thud. Nash had his gun drawn just as fast.

A pint-size woman came flying inside, her mahogany hair a blur of color. She didn't seem to notice he almost blew her head clean off. Her hand reached for the door and closed it enough so she could peek out into the hall. Her round behind pointed in his direction like an invitation, but Nash was downright irked with the interruption, and felt like shooting her just for the heck of it.

The woman finally turned, and he caught sight of her beautiful, sea-green eyes all fringed with the darkest, longest lashes he'd ever seen. His angry words lodged in the back of his throat, and threatened to choke him.

Her hand flipped her thick tresses over her shoulder as though she was annoyed about her hair being in the way. Her gaze met his, and she gave him a curt nod. "Sorry, mister, for the intrusion. I'll be on my way in just a moment." She all but dismissed him as she turned her attention toward the gal sprawled on his lap. "Oh, hello, Lulu," she said to her as if they were long lost friends.

"How's it going?" Lulu smiled as if this situation was all part of the evening's festivities.

"Oh, it's going." She gave Lulu a big grin and winked.

Lulu shook her head and removed herself from his lap. "Little Miss, you are going to be in a fix of trouble if Maribel finds you up here!"

"Hell-nation, I'm more worried about Mr. Stanfield."

"You gone and done it again, haven't you?" Lulu shook her head. "He's going to kill you good this time."

"Yeah? Well, he has to find me first." Little Miss turned her attention to the door she had kept slightly ajar and peeked out when she heard a man bellowing at the top of his lungs.

"Where is that cheating little snipe? I'll throttle her with my bare hands." The doors down the hall were being opened and slammed shut again as the man did his search.

Nash's brow lifted. He could only assume that the pretty pixie that flew into his room was the cheating little snipe the man wanted to throttle.

Nash kept his gun close.

Get to know Karen:

Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California with her husband. Though her three children are grown and starting their own adventures, she still has a houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chorkie, is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer.

When she's not time traveling, fighting outlaws, or otherworldly creatures, she creates book covers at Gillian's Book Covers, "Judge Your Book By Its Cover".

Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, time travel or contemporary romances, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love.

Visit the author at her website:
Gillian’s Book Covers, “Judge Your Book By Its Cover”
Amazon Author Page:


Renaissance Women said...

I really enjoyed the characters in this story. How fun and so exciting to get to know you. Here's to continued success with all your creative endeavors and give the Chorkie a hug for me. Doris

Alicia Haney said...

These books sound like they are just full of action!! They sound like must reads, I would love to read them so I will be adding them to my TBR list! I enjoyed reading this blog and what the books are about. God Bless you.

Elizabeth Clements said...

What a deliciously fun excerpt, Karen. A reader can't stop reading.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the characters. :) An my sweet Chorkie always enjoys a hug. :)

Karen Michelle Nutt said...


I'm glad you're intrigued enough to add the book to your TBR list. So sweet of you to stop by. Happy Reading!

Karen Michelle Nutt said...


Always give in to the temptation- in regards to reading that is. :)