I appreciate the opportunity to share some background about my historical romance novella, Dreams of Gold, a release from The Wild Rose Press.
One of the reasons I chose Wyoming for the setting of Dreams of Gold is because it became known as the equality state. Even before the territory became a state, legislation was passed in 1869 that granted women the right to vote, serve on juries, and hold elected office. This was the first time a government had granted “female suffrage” and became law upon Governor A.J. Campbell’s signature on December 10, 1869. Within three months, Ester Hobart Morris had been appointed justice of the peace in South Pass City (a site of gold strikes). In September 1870 in Laramie, Mrs. Louisa Swain was the first woman to cast a vote for equal suffrage.
These facts were important because my heroine, Ciara Morrissey, was raised in the east, Massachusetts in particular. Living in an area of higher population gave her access to a wider number of opportunities—ways to support herself, as well as gatherings and meetings that educated and informed. Raised by a liberal-minded mother, Ciara had attended both anti-slavery and suffrage meetings since she was a child. Therefore, she arrived in Wyoming Territory in 1871 with expectations on how to conduct her business that were a bit more open-minded than the hometown sheriff, Quinn Riley, was used to. And the sparks flew…
In 1871, Easterner Ciara Morrissey travels west to honor a sacred promise to her mother and locate her fortune-seeking father. Caretaker to her grandparents and mother until their deaths has created a thirst in Ciara to see the wider world.Sheriff Quinn Riley hunts the Irish charlatan who swindled half of Bull City, Wyoming’s residents. He’ll stick close to the newly arrived opinionated woman. Within only hours, easterner Ciara Morrissey upsets the townspeople by making inquires about his prime suspect. He’s duty-bound to keep her safe but being near the green-eyed beauty sets off a stampede in his heart.
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EXCERPT:More evidence she was a stranger to the wild circumstances of the western frontier. Anticipation of organizing the chase flitted through him. “Did they use names? Or speak to their horses?” At her head shake, he fought back the urgency rising in his chest. “Anything that might provide a clue?”
“We heard shots, Sheriff, and Mr. McGinnis shouted for us to do what we were told. A man rode up to the window on each side, demanding our money and jewels.” A dainty shoulder lifted in a shrug. “That’s when Miss Fairchild screamed her virtue was about to be stolen and swooned, landing in my lap.” Green eyes danced, and a high-pitched giggle escaped. “Frankly, I doubt the robbers planned on lifting anyone’s skirts.” Eyes widening, she clapped a hand over her mouth and shook her head.
Damn. Quinn had seen witnesses suddenly realize the danger they’d been in and that’s when hysterics set in. Lord, he could not abide a crying woman. “Did you notice any detail about their saddles or markings on their faces that stood out?”
Her brows scrunched low, and she squared her shoulders, pulling her jacket snug across her breasts. “I feared for my very life, sir, and you think I should have noticed their saddles?” She inhaled deeply, and then her whole body stilled. “Yes, I do remember something about the saddles.”
He watched the movement of her chest—in particular, how the buttons strained their closures. The rhythm of his heartbeat kicked up and a bead of sweat trickled on his forehead. Lifting his gaze to her face, he leaned forward, forcing himself to concentrate on what she might share. “What’s that?”
“Each man sat in one.” Her body rigid, she raised the mug to her lips and waited, an eyebrow arched high.
As a young girl, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about fascinating characters having exciting adventures in places far away and in other time periods. In later years, she read and then started writing romances and achieved her first publication--a confession story. Married with 4 adult children and 2 granddaughters, Linda now writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor from her home in the southern California mountains.
Places to find Linda on the web:www.lindacarroll-bradd.com
Those who leave a comment here or on my blog (http://blog.lindacarroll-bradd.com) by May 24th will be eligible for a drawing of a title from my backlist. Be sure to include your email address so I have a way to contact you.