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INSPIRATION

Inspiration for GABE KINCAID

By Caroline Clemmons

Like most authors, I love my job and can’t wait to get started each day. Writing is hard work, but our characters won’t let us stop.  Ooh, sounds like we’re nuts, doesn’t it? Well, in a way we are. But we use our crazy powers for good—mostly.

My characters—as is true with many authors—appear to me in the inciting incident as if I were watching a scene on television. That’s the good part. The hard part comes in fleshing out the characters with backgrounds, goals, motivation, and throwing up obstacles that hinder their achieving the happily-ever-after we expect from a romance.

How many variations to a hunky western hero are there? How many incarnations of a feisty, strong heroine can you imagine? And how many ways can one insert Tab A into Slot B? As you can imagine, the more books an author has written, the greater the challenge of creating a fresh twist on basic story plots.

For my sensual western historical release, GABE KINCAID, I believe I achieved an enticing mix of characters and situations that readers will enjoy. This hunky hero, Gabe Kincaid, has reason to despise lies and those who tell them. Instead of the usual cowboy or rancher in a western historical, Gabe is a lawyer in the small town of Kincaid Springs, Texas. The year is 1887.

CarolineClemmons_GabeKincaid_1400px

Heroine Kathryn Elizabeth “Katie” Worthington walked in on a murder and is on the run from the two powerful killers who want her dead. Where can she go? Katie doesn’t want to endanger her friends so she sets off on her own to find a hiding place. At the edge of town, a circus presents the perfect solution. As Dorothy Duncan, she washes dishes and mends costumes for two years safe from prying eyes. Later, as Maharani Shimza the fortuneteller, Katie’s outlandish costume keeps her anonymity. But her plans go awry in a big way. You knew that was coming, didn’t you?

Writing about a circus that’s come to a small town kept me smiling. I loved researching circuses of the time (1887) and changing an uptight young lawyer’s outlook. Gabe really needed to lighten up. Katie tried to fit into circus life, tough for a proper young woman from a wealthy background. No, those are not the plot obstacles. Takes more than that to weave an interesting plot, doesn’t it?

 

Here’s a brief excerpt of their first kiss in GABE KINCAID to tease you:

She pressed her hand against his arm. “Don’t, Gabe. It’s such a nice afternoon. Don’t spoil it by prying.”

“All right. But I wish you’d trust me with all your secrets, Shimza. I feel like a fool calling you that, but I don’t even know your real name.”

“Shimza will do. And I do trust you to keep me safe here.”

“But you don’t think I could if you told me more, is that it?” He gently clasped her shoulders and turned her to face him.

She met his gaze, pleading with him, “Please, it’s too . . . complicated.”

Slowly he slid his hands across her shoulders, lightly up her neck. He caressed her cheeks with his thumbs while he rested his hands gently on either side of her face. “Then let’s make it a little more complicated.” He leaned forward and claimed her lips.

She dissolved against him. His gentle kiss increased in fervor. Her arms slid around him and her fingers weaved into his hair.

His hands slid across her back. Stroking. Touching. Hugging.

One of his strong hands skimmed her ribs beneath her breast. Brazenly, she wished he’d move higher where she ached to be touched. As it was, the heat of his touch near burned through her clothing.

He broke their embrace, his chest heaving. “I’ve never kissed a client. Grandpa will have my hide.”

She rested her head against his powerful shoulder. “Mmm, I don’t think so. Perhaps you noticed we were seated next to one another at dinner. I could be wrong, but I think the Judge and Mrs. Kincaid are conspiring. Judge Kincaid smiled when we left the dining room together.”

“You don’t say? Then, if it’s all right with you, I’m kissing you again.”

And he did. Not that she was an expert, but her verdict was he kissed very well indeed. GABE KINCAID is available in print from Amazon and in e-book at Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and from iBooks

 

About the Author

Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling author of historical and contemporary western romances whose books have garnered numerous awards. Her latest release is GABE KINCAID, book four of her popular Kincaid series. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.

Caroline is a member of Romance Writers of America, Yellow Rose Romance Writers, From The Heart Romance Writers, and Hearts Through History Romance Writers. Her latest publications include the acclaimed historical Men of Stone Mountain series: BRAZOS BRIDE, HIGH STAKES BRIDE, and BLUEBONNET BRIDE and the audio books of BRAZOS BRIDE and HIGH STAKES BRIDE.

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, painting, and getting together with friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

 

Tearing Up Railroad Ties – This Day in Civil War History

grant_standing_promoBy the 25th of July, 1864, the siege of Petersburg continued on, but Union General Grant developed a plan to pester Confederate forces. Two divisions of Federal cavalry, the Second Corps, was sent to the north bank of the James River. Their orders were to tear up railroads and threaten Richmond in any way their hearts desired. Grant’s hope was that Lee would detach some of his  forces to drive the cavalry off.

Union cavalry not only tore up track, but they also burned the ties and iron, twisting the bars when hot. The reasoning was that bars simply bent could be re-used, but if they were twisted while red hot, they became usless. The instructions were to “Pile the ties into shape for a bonfire, put the rails across, and when red hot in the middle, let a man at each end twist the bar so that its surface become spiral.”

http://civilwardailygazette.com/2014/07/19/let-a-man-at-each-end-twist-the-bar-shermans-recipe-for-neckties/

http://www.civilwarinteractive.com/This%20Day/thisday0725.htm

For information on my romances set during and just after the American Civil War, visit my website: http://susanmacatee.com

Battle at Kennesaw Mountain – This Day in History

Sorry I’m a day late posting, but 150 years ago yesterday, the Battle at Kennesaw Mountain was fought resulting in a Confederate victory.

Earlier that week, on June 18th and 19th, General Joseph E. Johnston withdrew his army to a new position beside Kennesaw Mountain in Cobb County, Georgia. His forces entrenched in an arc-shaped line north and west of Marietta. The troops protected the Western & Atlantic Railroad, a supply link to Atlanta.

generalshermanSherman had defeated General John B. Hood’s troops at Kolb’s Farm on the 22nd,  and was sure Johnston’s line was stretched too thin. He  decided to launch a frontal attack with diversions on the flanks.

After an artillery bombardment, Sherman sent his troops forward on the morning of June 27 .  They overran Confederate pickets south of the Burnt Hickory Road, but found attacking an enemy that was dug in to be futile.

The fighting ended by noon, with Sherman suffering high casualties.

http://www.americancivilwar.com/statepic/ga/ga015.html

For info on my romance books set during and after the American Civil War, visit my website: http://susanmacatee.com

 

 

Victorian Slang of the Week–cit

This one’s mostly for the readers who follow Susan’s Civil War posts.  Cit: 1) an ordinary person. As early as the 18th century but used mostly in the 19th century, with the majority of the references pertaining to military books and magazines.  “Although courted by the entire platoon, in the end beautiful Sally Morissy married a cit.” 2) civilian clothes. “civvies” as many military folk refer to them today. From 1829 on.

Victorian Slang of the Week–cinch

cinch–this is a term we use today to mean something that’s easy. “No worries. I’ll do it. It’s a cinch.” The origin of this slang seems to come from cinch in terms of 1) defeating or beating someone, 1870’s. “He threw down two aces and I was cinched.” It later came to be used as 2) something that’s a certainty, a sure thing, 1890 and then, finally 3) something that’s easy 1896

Union Disaster at Cold Harbor – This Day in Civil War history

300px-Battle_of_Cold_HarborThree days prior to this date in Civil War history, June 3rd, 1864, Union General Ulysses S. Grant marched Union troops into a frontal assault at Cold Harbor, Virginia on entrenched Confederates. The general later believed this attack to be one of his greatest military mistakes. As a result 7,000 Union casualties were lost in less than an hour of fighting.

Prior to this battle, both Grant’s Army of the Potomac and Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia had endured great losses as they wheeled along an arc around Richmond, Virginia. This path covered the Wilderness forest to Spotsylvania, and included numerous smaller battle sites over the previous month.

The collision for Lee and Grant began at Bethesda Church on May 30, 1864. The following day, advance units of both armies arrived 10 miles from Richmond,  at the strategic crossroads of Cold Harbor. A Union attack seized this important intersection.  Grant prepared for a major assault along the entire Confederate front on June 2, when he sensed he had no chance for a victory over Lee at the outskirts of Richmond.

Unfortunately, Winfield Hancock’s Union corps arrived late and the operation had to be postponed until the following day. The delay hurt the Union plans,  allowing General Lee’s troops time to entrench themselves. On June 3, Grant gave his order to attack, but this decision resulted in a disaster. The Yankees met overwhelming fire, and could only reach a few Confederate trenches. 7,000 Union casualties, compared to only 1,500 for the Confederates, were lost in under an hour.

Nine days later, Grant pulled out of Cold Harbor in his pursuit of  flanking Lee’s army.

The next stop, south of Richmond,  was Petersburg, resulting in a nine-month siege. There would be no more attacks on the scale of Cold Harbor.

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/union-disaster-at-cold-harbor

For information on my romances, set during and just after the American Civil War, visit my website: http://susanmacatee.com

Victorian Slang of the Week

chuck: food, grub, provisions.  Originated probably in the West. 1850, used often throughout the century.   According to one reference from Wild Indians ” chuck” it was a universal Indian term for all of the plains tribes.  “The boys finished the work for the day, and gathered around the campfire to eat their chuck.”

chuck, as a verb: 1808, throughout the century.  to throw, pitch.

Interestingly, the term “chow” which I’d have thought was an American Western Victorian term, is nautical in origin, and used mostly in the 20th century.  I admit that I may have inadvertently used the wrong term in my Westerns.  Man, there is so much to learn!

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