Saturday, November 28, 2015

COULD YOU BE A MAIL ORDER BRIDE? by CHERYL PIERSON



I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been enthralled by mail-order brides. No, I’ve not been “studying” them, or “researching” them—yet. I’ve just been wondering why this became such a practice—and a successful one—among women of all walks of life, or so it seems.

What would make a woman leave everything familiar to her and travel to “parts unknown” to marry a man she knew nothing about? What’s scarier than online dating? Being a mail-order bride! Once they’d made the commitment to leave their homes behind—much to the consternation of many family members and friends, in some cases, I would imagine—the die was cast.

A woman would have to be certain in her own mind that what she was going to was better than what she was leaving behind. She would have to be resourceful enough to plan some kind of “exit strategy” if things didn’t work out. And I suppose, many times, women resigned themselves to the fact that they would become a soiled dove—the lowest of the low—in order to survive.

In spite of all the scenarios we might come up with for a mail-order bride to leave the life she has known behind her for something completely foreign to her, there are, I’m sure, many that we never could have even contemplated. For each story is personal, intimate, and heart-rending in its own right.

http://www.amazon.com/One-Thousand-White-Women-Journals-ebook/dp/B0042XA3OE/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1448737720&sr=1-1&keywords=one+thousand+white+women
One of the most unusual books about mail-order brides is Jim Fergus’s story, ONE THOUSAND WHITE WOMEN—which is not about “mail-order brides” as we think of them, but in a totally different way—a trade by the U.S. Government of 1000 white women to the Indians in order to achieve assimilation into white culture. Interestingly enough, this premise WAS discussed in reality, but not carried through. In the book, however, Fergus shows how the government emptied insane asylums of women and sent them to the Indians…only most of the women were not insane, but had been “put away” by their families for one thing or another.

Would you have what it takes to be a mail-order bride in the old west? I’m not sure I would, but it’s fun to think about.

This is a collection of Christmas mail-order bride stories that Prairie Rose Publications just released with some wonderful tales of how some women with pasts they needed to leave behind find new beginnings at the most joyous time of the year. These eight stories by Livia J. Washburn, Kathleen Rice Adams, Cheryl Pierson, Patti Sherry-Crews, Jesse J Elliot, Meg Mims, Tanya Hanson, and Jacquie Rogers will provide you many hours of reading pleasure during this holiday season!

I’m giving away a copy of A MAIL-ORDER CHRISTMAS BRIDE to one commenter! The question is, would you leave your familiar surroundings and go west to be a mail-order bride? Be sure to leave your contact information in your comment!

Thanks for stopping by today! Drawing will be held on November 29 after 9:00 p.m. Central.

If you just can't wait to see if you won, A MAIL-ORDER CHRISTMAS BRIDE IS AVAILABLE AT B&N AND AT AMAZON. HERE'S THE AMAZON LINK:
http://www.amazon.com/Mail-Order-Christmas-Bride-Livia-Washburn-ebook/dp/B0182FEYU6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1448737639&sr=1-1&keywords=a+mail-order+christmas+bride

14 comments:

  1. Howdy. So looking forward to reading the MOB anthology.

    Sitting on my comfy couch, I'm not sure that I'd have the courage to be a MOB. However, if my circumstances were different and this was a different era, who knows....

    Meanwhile, I did meet my husband through a personal ad 29 years ago. I sometimes tease that he's my mail order groom. (mango8@msn.com)

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    1. Alisa, I don't know if I could be a MOB or not, either. I think it would take a MIGHTY amount of desperation to do that. But I'm sure there were plenty of women back then who felt exactly that desperate! That's cute about you and your hubby!

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  2. I have such a fascination with Mail-Order Bride stories, it is actually my favorite genre to read. I have often pondered on what these brave women did, leaving what little they had and known and traveled westward into the unknown, to marry a stranger. I admire their courage. I would love to say that I would have that much courage, but until one is placed in their dire circumstances, I'm not actually sure what we would do.

    In May 1932, my paternal grandparents met by accident, when my grandfather came to the town my grandmother lived in (Westernport, MD) and saw her and invited her to attend a fair that was being held in her town. She didn't tell her grandparents the truth about where she was going (her Mom died in 1918 Spanish Influenza and Father in 1921 Railroad accident) She went to the fair on Saturday and on Sunday her maternal grandparents kicked her out of their home with a few clothing items. My grandfather was back in her town and saw her walking on the side of the road with a knapsack and stopped. She told him what happened and he said to her, "Well, I guess we will get married." She said to him, "But I don't love you." and he told her, "I don't love you either but maybe we will learn to." He took her home to his parents (Romney, WV) and the next day, on Monday, they drove 30 miles to Cumberland, MD and married. WV had a 3 day waiting period, and MD had none. They were married for over 50 years when he died in 1985 and she died in 2001. They had 2 sons. Ray was 21 and Mildred was 17. She grieved for him when he died until she joined him. They knew each other 3 days when they married.
    Kathy Heare Watts (Redrabbitt (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Kathy, I agree, and I think that there are so MANY different things that could bring on that desperation that that must be the reason we are so intrigued by mail-order bride stories, don't you? There is nothing beyond the scope of what MIGHT be the case.

      West Virginia! My husband is from there! That's where I met him--my dad got transferred there my senior year in high school and I met my hubby in college there. We lived in Charleston, Sissonville, Nitro, and Winfield during the time I lived out there. That is one beautiful state! Though, very different from my native Oklahoma. I do believe that love can happen in 3 days. I actually believe in love at first sight.

      Thanks so much for your grandparents' story--that is a wonderful tale! Fact is stranger than fiction--for sure!
      Cheryl

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  3. Whatever the situation that may have compelled a woman to go to a place she didn't know to marry a man she'd never met, I'm sure it must have been desperate. Of course, that's part of why we're all so intrigued by Mail Order Bride stories--and then there's the promise of a blossoming romance, too. I have to get my hands on the Mail Order Christmas Bride.

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    1. I believe it had to be desperation, too, Sarah. I can't imagine very many "wild souls" just deciding "Hey, I think I'll do this and see what happens," though I'm sure there WERE some of them, too! LOL I think you will love every one of these stories--they're all very different.

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  4. One Thousand White Women is an intriguing novel, and while ...not true, but pure fiction...the idea was true. A Native chief approached the US Government and propose, to helped along the idea of "assimilation", the Indians would trade 1000 horses for 1000 while women to marry their young men. The wife of one of the US politicians fainted from such a wild idea. But while this part is true, no white women were ever traded. But it gave Jim Fergus a great idea for an intriguing novel! My book club read this several years ago, and most of the members believed it to be a true story, about Jim Fergus' Grandmother.
    Nope. All Fiction. But it was so very interesting.
    I yearned to write a Mail Order Brides series, but thought they were passé or out of fashion. But go to Amazon, type in Mail Order Brides, and you will see the field is wide open and very, very popular!
    I enjoyed this post, Cheryl. And never fear...I will order A MO Christmas Bride right now!

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    1. One Thousand White Women is on my keeper shelf. One of the best books I have ever read. I don't believe any part of it was true, either, but it certainly was an interesting premise, especially since we know that it WAS actually talked about!

      Celia, always remember that old saying, "Everything old is new again." It's true of fashion and plot lines and music and just about anything you can imagine. LOL I hope you enjoy this anthology!

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  5. I'm not sure I could ever have been a mail order bride. It seems like such a risk & I am not terribly brave.

    The book looks wonderful.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Mary, I used to be a lot "braver" than I am now, the older I get. LOL I have you down for the drawing! Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. AND MY WINNER IS.....KATHY HEARE WATTS!

    Kathy, I will e-mail you with your prize code soon! Thanks so much to everyone for stopping by to read and comment, and wonder along with me about these mail-order brides!

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    1. Thank you very much! I had this book on my "wish" list at Amazon. Wishes do come true!

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