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