Location, location, location. When I write novels set in Texas, whether they are Western Historical or Contemporary, I use a mix of real locations with a few I created. Even with the invented places, I set them in areas that are quite real.
TEXAS TRUE allows the youngest Cameron sister, True Lee, to tell her story. She had graduated from an Eastern boarding school and moved in with her older sister, Jo King. Jo had her turn in a story (Texas Promise), so she had ridden off into the sunset with her man and left True alone in Austin.
EARLY 20TH CENTURY
Austin, Texas, 1900, the state capital, located on the Colorado River and Interstate Highway 35 in Central Texas, situated on the eastern edge of the Hill Country and the Edwards Plateau. The photo is actually a few years later than the time of this story, but you can get an idea of how Congress Avenue looked, with the state capitol on a rise at the end of the long street. The dress shop which Jo owns—and True now runs alone—is on this street in the novel.
TURN OF THE CENTURY
The Driskill Hotel, a posh establishment then and even today, is used in the story. When True meets Sam Deleon, he wants to impress her, so he takes her to dinner in the dining room there—a very expensive affair. The hotel's 60 rooms included 12 corner rooms with attached baths, an almost unheard-of feature in any hotel of the region at that time.
|EARLY OIL DERRICK
After True marries Sam, she finds herself alone once again when he returns to the oilfield.
|OIL CAMP FAMILY TENT
(The old ones weren't quite this nice!)
She asks her friend, Adam Carter, to help her move out of Austin to the oilfield camp where wives and children live—a couple of miles from the oil wells. The camp consists of two facing rows of platform tents. This photo gives us a vague idea of such a tent. True learns the word "hardship" for the first time in her life. But during the hot summer she lives there, she grows up, into a determined young wife.
Later in the story, Sam finally takes over the family ranch in South Texas. The ranch home is a huge hacienda (estate) and casa (home.)
|A SOUTH TEXAS/SPANISH HACIENDA
There, the story plays out. What happens at the ranch? Why does Sam need to reclaim his inheritance from his younger brother? What part does True play in the process? How and why did Sam deceive her in the beginning? Does Sam make atonement for his sins? Is True generous and loving enough to give their marriage a chance?
Read: TEXAS TRUE
At a Governor's Ball in Austin, Texas, True Lee Cameron meets suave Sam Deleon. Before the night is out, she transforms from the coddled and protected younger sister to a woman in love. Reality crashes down when she accidentally learns he has deceived her. Daring to disobey him, she follows Sam to the oilfields and determines to live wherever he does. Has she made a mistake? Will she give up and return home where she can make her own rules?
When Sam Deleon meets the gorgeous young woman his mother has chosen for him, he fears falling in love, because he knows nothing about love. In order to carry out his mother’s plan, he marries True and moves her to his mother's home, intending to visit enough to set the plan in motion. When True fails to obey him, he faces the possibility of losing her, thereby losing his inheritance and the family property.
Sam and True attempt a reconciliation and compromise. Together, they now face a nemesis, someone who determines to thwart every action they take, endangering not only their lives, but also those whom they love.
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Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas