Tuesday, January 6, 2015

MAIL ORDER BRIDES AND SARSAPARILLA by LINDA BRODAY, GUEST AUTHOR



It's finally here! Seems like I've waited forever for Texas Mail Order Bride to come out and I'm so excited. Thank you so much for having me, Sweethearts of the West! This is a great place to talk about books and cowboys and love.

It's kinda like an old West saloon in that it's a place to gather for a good time--minus the whiskey of course. *very big grin*

It would have been rare for a town not to have a saloon. They were an important part of the community, a place for men to hear the latest news and happenings, socialize, unwind and escape their wives. A lawman knew to go there first if he was looking for someone.



In my story, Cooper Thorne frequents a watering hole called The Lily of the West because his blood brother, Rand Sinclair, owns it. But Cooper doesn't drink liquor because of what it can make men do. His favorite refreshment is sarsaparilla and one of the hand pies (as fried pies were called back then) that Rand keeps on hand.

While Vernors Ginger Ale was first produced in 1866 and root beer 1876, I believe sarsaparilla was the first soft drink to make it to the Old West and it was served in saloons because of the scarcity of pharmacies (or apothecaries) at the time. Sarsaparilla was used during the Civil War as a treatment for syphilis and it was touted as a blood purifier.

But other soft drink makers had early starts as well:

·         In 1885 Charles Alderton, a pharmacist in Waco, Texas, patented Dr. Pepper.
·         In 1886 Dr. John Pemberton discovered Coca Cola in Atlanta, Georgia.
·         In 1898 Caleb Bradham added Pepsi Cola to the list of soft drinks.

Texas Mail Order Bride is set in 1878 in Battle Creek, Texas. It is a real place, but never a town. There is a large granite marker there in remembrance of a group of government surveyors who were massacred in 1839. It's southeast of Fort Worth, twenty miles east of Corsicana.

Rancher and dyed-in-the-wool bachelor Cooper Thorne sees red when Delta Dandridge steps off the stagecoach claiming to be the bride he sent for. When he finds out who’s playing the joke, he’ll wring their neck.

After he sets her straight, he expects she’ll leave, but instead she digs in her heels and takes a job in the mercantile. Every blasted time he turns around he runs into her. She is a constant reminder of everything he wants to forget. Yet, no matter how much he wishes he could, he can’t get her out of his mind. Delta tempts him like no other woman and her kisses awaken desires he’d long buried.

When a demon from his past appears to threaten everyone and everything he holds dear, Cooper knows he’s in for the fight of his life. He’s terrified that he’ll lose the woman who finally brings meaning and light to his dark days. And when the villain takes her, he tears up the countryside searching for her, aware of the loud ticking clock in his head that seems to measure the seconds until he loses her forever. Getting her back and into his arms are all that matter. He’ll do anything, risk death to save her.

This story touched my heart because it showed that as long as there's breath, there's hope and that when you can learn to trust again, anything is possible...even love that you had given up on finding.

TEXAS MAIL ORDER BRIDE is available online and in bookstores everywhere in your favorite format.

If you like this first one of my Bachelors of Battle Creek series, look for the second, Twice a Texas Bride, in May. It's already up for preorders. And the third will be out in December.

What is your favorite soft drink? Mine is Diet Dr. Pepper and I have to have one every day. But I wonder if you would've been a sarsaparilla drinker.

I'm giving away a copy (winner's choice of print or e-book) of Texas Mail Order Bride to one lucky person who comments!




I'm a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and make my living writing western historical romance. I am so fortunate to live in the Texas Panhandle on the Llano Estacado where the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed. I published my first book in 2002 and haven't looked back. I've won many awards, the most prestigious being The National Readers' Choice Award for THE COWBOY WHO CAME CALLING. I've always been fascinated with cowboys and the American West way of life because to me these men and women embody the spirit and strength I want in my characters. My desire to keep history alive is what drives me. Also, these pesky characters in my head! They refuse to go away. I can't imagine writing anything else. My wish is to touch a reader's heart in some way and have them coming back for more. If I can do that, I'll have succeeded

15 comments:

  1. From one West Texas girl to another--hi, there, Linda! I grew up in Levelland and went to school at TT. You say Panhandle which to me means Amarillo, Borger, etc. Actually I lived on the South Plains--not quite in the Panhandle--, but unless you live on the South Plains, you probably think the South Plains of Texas is around the coast...very confusing, so I just say West Texas.
    I do love your cover and blurb about your book. It looks like an exciting ride with such vivid characters. I, too, am writing a Texas Bride series and the first is doing very well. I didn't realize they were still so popular, but glad they are!
    We're so pleased to have you visit today---welcome!

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  2. Hi Celia! Yeah, it's a real problem trying to tell people where in Texas we live. When I was in Lubbock I said West Texas. But now that I'm up in Amarillo it is definitely the Panhandle. :-)

    I really didn't set out to write a mail order bride story. It just happened. I wanted to write a story about two rival stagecoach owners but my characters took the reins and that was that. My characters tend to be a lot smarter than I am.

    Readers do seem to embrace these which is great for us. I hope you'll give Cooper and Delta a try. And good luck with your series!

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  3. Linda, welcome to Sweethearts. I look forward to reading this new series. You know I love your writing. Best wishes for continued success.

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  4. Hi Caroline! Thanks so much for inviting me to come over. I love the great blogs on Sweethearts of the West. I always learn something new. It's a wonderful place to hang out and soak up the feel of the old West.

    Thank you for the best wishes. I hope you enjoy the story and hopefully the series.

    Wishing you much success with your own amazing books!

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  5. Interesting post, Linda! I didn't know Dr. Pepper has been around that long.

    When I started working at the museum there was a box of medicine bottles and boxes with the old "medicine" still inside the containers, which is a huge no-no in the museum world. So, I had to go through the process of getting rid of the contents. One was a bottle of Sarsparilla. Whew that stuff was so rancid, even through the mask I wore. After that, I wasn't too keen on trying the stuff.

    All the best to you with the new release, Linda!! Can't wait to read it!

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  6. Hi Kirsten! Thank you so much for having me. I'm just thrilled to be here for the release of my book. I turned it so long ago that I had to refresh myself on the story before.

    I'm glad you found my post interesting. Some of these soft drinks are really old. How neat that a bottle of sarsaparilla came to the museum! I'd loved to have seen that. But not taste it. That sounds putrid if the smell alone got to you. But maybe it was the age that made it so repugnant. I certainly hope so. Surely those people didn't drink anything so bad.

    Wishing you much success with your stories also! Have a beautiful day.

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  7. Sounds like a wonderful story Linda! I love mail order bride stories.
    I'm a dedicated TAB drinker. I used to drink way too many of them so I now limit myself to one per day.

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  8. Hello, sister. I just know everyone who picked up Texas Mail Order Bride is going to immediately fall in love with all three brothers and get lost in the adventures that weave a web around them and the women they try to resist. I am so proud of you and happy that you are back in the saddle with a brand new series!!

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  9. Linda. What a coincidence...Diet Dr. pepper is my fave drink too...summer or winter! Most all of the other diey drinks leave a bad aftertaste on my mouth... but not Diet Dr. Pepper. And I think mail order bride stories are popular for the same reasons I like them. My Dad was a rancher and he'd get so wrapped up in his work... 24/7...that he didn't know how to have fun and relax unless my mother planned things like weekly card game nights or potluck meals with the neighbors or square dancing. I think mail order brides brought something soft, pretty and entertaining to the hard lives of the men who worked to make a living in harsh conditions. And the brides came, wanting adventure and strong men and not much competition with the surplus of women in the eastern U.S. after the various wars... especially the Civil War. Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading your stories! Thanks for the post. jdh2690@gmail.com

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  10. Hi Janie! Thank you so much for coming by to chat. I'm glad you enjoyed my blog. And I'm overjoyed that you like mail order bride stories. Maybe I can tempt you with mine.

    I haven't heard of TAB in years. I thought they quit making it. Is it difficult to find places that sell it? I had a friend once who drank it and wouldn't touch anything else.

    Wishing you a wonderful day!

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  11. Hi Jan! Thank you for coming by. I always love it when my sister shows up. It's been a crazy day trying to handle so many blogs at once. Thank you for the glowing recommendation for this book and the rest of my bachelor series! I appreciate it. Praise is something I never tire of hearing. I'm very proud of you too.

    Love you and sending big hugs!

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  12. Hi Janice! I'm so glad you decided to drop by. I enjoyed your comment so much, fellow Diet Dr Pepper drinker. I love the stuff. Occasionally, I have to drink something else but I always come back to my Dr Pepper.

    I agree about the reasons women went West in search of love and a family. Like you said, the wars left a glut of women who had no prospects. In addition, they wanted to avoid the stigma of spinsterhood however they had to do it. Spinsters were looked down on and treated as second class citizens and if they stayed in the East that's the only thing left for them.

    I'm glad Texas Mail Order Bride has caught your fancy. I do hope you like the story. Maybe you'll win the book giveaway!

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  13. Hello from cold and snowy Kansas! It's five below this morning. Glad I'm in a warm house and not a homestead shanty...
    Great info on the history of our soft drinks and great book intro too. Congrats on the new series!

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  14. Hi Linda H! Thank you for coming by and commenting. I appreciate it.Sounds our weather here in Amarillo kinda matches yours. The windchill has been below zero all day. And I had to get out, darn it! I thought I'd freeze. Very frigid. Like you, I'm sure glad I don't live in a dugout or a drafty cabin out on the Plains! I don't know how those people survived.

    I found the history of soft drinks very interesting. I didn't know some went back so far.

    Thanks for your congrats on the new book and new series. Wishing you the same on yours.

    Stay warm!

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  15. The Winner of TEXAS MAIL ORDER BRIDE is JANICE HOUGLAND! YAY! Janice, I'll contact you about the book.

    Deepest thanks to the all the ladies at Sweethearts of the West for the warm welcome and a place at the hitching rail for me to tie my horse. I've had a great time. Wishing each one much success.

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