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?
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.