Thursday, July 26, 2012

WOULD YOU BE A MAIL-ORDER BRIDE?



By Callie Hutton

In AN ANGEL IN THE MAIL, my heroine, Angelina Hardwick, is surprised to discover her deceased father’s estate is penniless, and her step-mother has arranged for Angel to be a mail order bride. To a man with five children! Having spent her entire life being catered to by servants, to say her new life was a shock, is an understatement.



During my research for this story, I found a book called HEARTS WEST by Chris Enss. The book relates true stories of mail order brides on the frontier. These women were brave, or in some cases, desperate. The lure of the gold fields depleted the number of marriageable males in so many cities in the east.

These men missed female companionship. Most of the camps and quickly-sprung-up towns had their share of brothels, but many men longed for more than a quick tumble. They missed the idea of the comforts of home that only a wife could provide. And children to pass on the land they worked so hard to cultivate after they gave up on striking gold.

So began the practice of advertising for women to travel west to marry a stranger. I often think of how it would feel to leave everything you’ve known your entire life, and travel to a strange part of the country to meet a stranger that would be your husband. I’m sure that time period had its share of unsavory men, just as today. Although in romance, we make the hero strong and handsome, the heroine pretty and loveable, I imagine in real life that didn’t necessarily work out that way.

One of the stories in HEARTS WEST tells is of a woman whose stagecoach was held up on the way to her new home. One of the bandits had an unusual tattoo on his hand. She was dismayed to find out at her wedding that her new husband had the same tattoo on his hand. She backed out. Smart girl.

What about you? We put so much stock today in being ‘in love’ before we would consider marriage, how would you feel about marrying a stranger?



My first love is being a mom. Second, reading, which naturally segued into writing–for me, anyway.
I’ve been making up stories since elementary school, and writing gave me a way to turn off the voices in my head.  I’ve had a number of articles and interviews published over the years, and about two years ago, decided to put it to the test and write a book.
Three of my Historicals have been published by Soul Mate Publishing. A RUN FOR LOVE (Oklahoma Lovers #1), and it’s first sequel, A WIFE BY CHRISTMAS (Oklahoma Lovers #2), and AN ANGEL IN THE MAIL.  In October, book number three of my Oklahoma Lovers Series will be released from Soul Mate Publishing, A PRESCRIPTION FOR LOVE.
Although I’ve lived in several states, Oklahoma is where I’ve hung my hat for the last several years, but I hail from New Jersey. I’m an Okie-Jersey girl. And proud of it.
I love my animals, two rescue dogs and a rescue cat, as well as my son’s dog who is temporarily living with us—along with my son. My daughter, Anna, still lives at home while she works on her Law Enforcement degree at Oklahoma State University. Add to our group my hubby of thirty-five years, and things are always hopping.
You can catch me hanging out at Facebook, Twitter- @CallieHutton, and my home base, www.calliehutton.com. Stop by sometime and say hello.



10 comments:

  1. None of us knows what we would do in another's shoes, but I like to think I'd at least have the gumption to travel West. At a time of arranged marriages, being a mail-order bride probably held less worry. And if you have no where else to turn, it makes sense. Good post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mail-order brides stories are the best! I cannot resist one, from the first I read--O Pioneers--and later saw a made for tv movie--to many down the line. Some day, I'll write one, too. For now, I'll enjoy those by other authors. This one sounds especially good. Thanks so much for being our guest today--

    ReplyDelete
  3. I suppose it was the last resort for many of the brides, but in this day and age, I'd rather be the crazy, old lady with 100 dogs (or cats)who never married.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Going west for a husband would be scarey but earlier women left England to go to India or America to find a husband. The idea of having to marry a stranger makes me downright ill. I imagine that many of them felt ill as well, but prefered marrying a stranger to being a prostitute forced to take a different stranger into one's bed and body every night

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for stopping by, ladies. You've all made good points. I think given the time in history, when there were so few opportunities for women, being a mail order bride was better than some of the alternatives.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Callie,
    I'm an Oklahoma girl, too, but a native Okie. I detoured a few years into West Virginia, but I'm back now and never want to leave. LOL Your story looks great, and I'm glad to see another "Okie" writer around! Maybe one of these days we can meet.
    Cheryl

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey Chery, Nice to 'meet' you. You might want to check out my historical romance A Run For Love. It starts off at the Oklahoma Land Run. Three of the four books I have out now take place in Oklahoma.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Fantastic premise for your story, Callie. You did an excellent job with it-as always.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I wonder. Great post, Callie. Can you imagine though? Going from riches, like Angel, to being a mother of so many children? I admire those women, including Angel!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting Sweethearts of the West!