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NEW BOOK, FREE BOOK, AND A PEEK AT INSPIRATION

How exciting to announce that my latest release, O’NEILL’S TEXAS BRIDE, McClintocks book 2, is now available. I hope you love this book as much as I loved writing this one!

One of the difficulties of writing numerous books is trying to find a fresh twist for each one. Readers know that in a romance there will be a happily-ever-after ending, but getting there needs unexpected action. For O’NEILL’S TEXAS BRIDE, I decided to take my ranch hand hero on a difficult undercover assignment to capture the culprit responsible for disasters at a Texas coal mine. My decision meant lots of research into coal mining in the 1880s.

What I found was lots of information on mining from prehistoric times to today, but not much about the period I needed. At last I found details on late 19th century mining. Additionally, my critique partner’s father had been a miner and she provided important details about daily life in a mine town.

Hero Finn O’Neill is an honorable man who has spent his life trapped by circumstances beyond his control. Through his sister’s marriage to Dallas McClintock in THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE, McClintocks book one, Finn and his family finally experience good fortune. Finn dreams of a life in partnership with Dallas raising horses. To achieve the dream, he must purchase land. Problem is, he has no money other than the generous salary paid him by his brother-in-law.

Stella Grace Clayton is a loving daughter and school teacher also trapped in a life she hates. No, she doesn’t hate teaching, just that her family lives in a coal town. Knowing her father won’t live a full life as a coal miner, she dreams of a better life for her and for her family. What’s more, she’s determined her younger brother will not be forced into that life. Nor does she want her sister or herself faced with only miners from which to choose a husband—but so far mine workers are the only men they meet.

ONeill's Texas Bride Final front cover_3

How do two people from two diverse backgrounds meet? Thank you for asking.

Here’s the blurb for this romantic mystery titled O’NEILL’S TEXAS BRIDE:

Finn O’Neill longs for his own ranch, his own horses, his own home and family but thought the lofty dream beyond him. Now the opportunity has arisen but to achieve his dream, he bargains with Grandpa McClintock and his nephew to pose as a miner and seek out the person or persons causing disasters at the Farland Coal Mine.

Stella Clayton has witnessed the heartbreak and tragedy of a coal miner’s life. Her family came from England to the promise of a better life only to find the same hardships. She is determined that her young brother will never follow in their father’s footsteps. And she vows she will never marry a man who engaged in that work. She fights to resist charms of the handsome Irishman who’s recently come to work in Lignite, Texas.

When Finn arrives in Lignite, he immediately falls for the beautiful schoolteacher, Stella Clayton. But her father is one of the men suspected of causing destruction. What Finn discovers soon puts him and members of the Clayton family in peril. Can he salvage his dream, fulfill his promise, and protect the woman he loves and her family?

Here’s an excerpt of Finn in his undercover job:

This [mining] was no life. At least the married men had families to offer comfort and support and a wife to cuddle with at night. How did the single men keep going?

He didn’t mind working from before dawn until after dark on the ranch, but he hated being underground. ‘Twas not a fit place for a human, only for worms and moles and gophers. Plus the repetitive hacking at the coal wrecked his back and shoulders.

Solve this puzzle soon or go mad. Think of Lippincott’s fine ranch, boyo. ‘Tis going to be yours if you can ferret out the troublemakers.

He figured there were multiple problems at work. He no longer suspected Karpinski either. The man was full of dark looks but he worked hard as he played. That left Swensen and Hartford. Neither man was on his crew. Mayhap he could strike up a conversation with Hartford at dinner or breakfast.

Swensen was married and lived in one of the houses near Clayton. What excuse could he find to talk to Swensen? Didn’t he have a son working in the mine? Yeah, a kid about the same age as Lance Clayton.

Hmm, that fact set him to thinking, but he’d have to work on that another time. His mind had given all he could for this day. He laid the apple core beside his boots and fell asleep.

When he woke the next morning, the apple core was gone. Worse, his knife was visible inside his boot. Last night, he’d carefully covered his boots to conceal his weapons as he did each time he undressed.

He checked around him, but others appeared engrossed in dressing and making their way to the dining hall. Quickly, he pulled on his clothes and then his boots. He knelt and looked under his bed. Sure enough, the apple core was there next to his concertina and duffle bag.

James called to him, “Hey, come on if you want to make up for missing supper last night.”

“Coming.” Shoving his shirttail into his britches, he grabbed the core and tossed it in the rubbish bin as he followed James.

He longed for a hot bath and his own bed at the ranch. The only reason he slept soundly in this bunk with a thin, lumpy mattress was his complete exhaustion. One thing was for sure, he was building muscles in his arms that would help him later on the ranch. He hoped that’d be on his ranch.

O’NEILL’S TEXAS BRIDE, McClintocks book two, is available at these sites:

Amazon      AmazonUK     Apple     Nook           Kobo           Google Play

Right now, to celebrate the release of book two, THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE, McClintocks book one, is FREE in the USA. Here are the links:

Amazon      Apple                   Nook          Kobo          Google Play

I’m already at work on Nettie Sue Clayton’s story. She’s the younger sister of Stella Clayton by two years. Where Stella is a redhead with a fiery temper, Nettie Sue is a blonde with a sweet, mischievous nature. Well, sweet until she tangles with Josh McClintock in McCLINTOCK’S RELUCTANT BRIDE.

Edgar Allan Poe–birthday

So, yeah. I kinda feel like I should write original posts and not send people off into the web-o-sphere. But I saw this on face book, and thought I should throw the link up. Yesterday was Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday and he was one of the most famous Victorians. Oh, and I love quotes. So here you go! Thirty Quotes by Mr. Poe. And I’ll add one right here, which I just put in my new release, Shadows of the Soul (announcement later this week, with cover and blurb and such). For my indie-books, I put quotes at the beginning of the chapters like my favorite author, Mary Stewart did.

From childhood’s hour I have not been

As others were—I have not seen

As others saw.

Edgar Allan Poe, Alone

 

Victorian Slang of the Week–And how

I’m working on the language in my next book and found this in The Dictionary of Cliches by James Roger. I’d have thought “And how” was pretty much a 1960’s thing because I heard it a lot when growing up. It generally means “that’s for sure” or “you better believe it”, which is similar to other slang of the era “you bet” “you bet your life”. And how goes back at least to 1865, when it’s mentioned in a letter written by Bayard Taylor, journalist, to Edmund Stedman, poet.

Victorian Slang–walking papers

I know I’ve been very lax about posting slang–apologies to anyone who misses it. I hope to get back to regular posting soon. In the meantime, I was reading a Horatio Alger book (Do and Dare) for research purposes and came upon this term–walking papers. I’d have thought it had a far more modern origin, but it’s in this book, in the terms that we would use today. The exact sentence: “I lost my situation, father–some meddlesome fellow told my employer that I occasionally played a game of pool and my tailor came to the store and dunned me; so old Boggs gave me a long lecture and my walking papers, and here I am.” The book’s publication date is 1884, but considering there is no italics or quotation marks around it indicating slang, I expect it was used long before that. My estimation, with nothing to back it up save reading a lot of books on slang, is that it was probably in use 10-15 years before at least.

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.

 

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.

Railroads in the U.S.

So I was googling around yesterday, trying to find information about railroads in the 1880’s for the book I’m working on.  I’ve googled this many times, and didn’t think I’d come up with any better information than I have before, namely exactly what lines were operating at what times.  But I was wrong.  I found this wonderful website, chock full of all kinds of information, which I really need to share.

http://www.cprr.org/Museum/index.html

For anyone in need, it has lots and lots of maps.

Also, I realized that I never shared some other information, or at least pictures, of a museum I traveled to last year with my (ever patient with my history addiction) family.  It’s the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Co.   It’s wonderful in that you get to tour trains from by-gone days.  They also have an extensive library, with a very nice and helpful librarian.  I was sad because I only had a couple of hours and there was so much I wanted to look at and read!  Actually, everybody was very nice.  When my husband mentioned that I’m a historical romance writer and I really wanted to get into private train car they had, but wasn’t part of the tour, they got a key and let me in.  They were, I expect, in the middle of renovating it, thus it not being open, so these pictures may not reflect how it looks now.  But I was so very grateful to them.  Enjoy, and please forgive me for being a terrible picture taker.

IMG_3603  These are regular seats, not part of the private car.

IMG_3633  Part of the parlor.

IMG_3640 More of the parlor

IMG_3642Kitchen.  It was actually quite large, and the pictures don’t do it justice.

IMG_3645Another view of the kitchen.  You’ll see electric outlets, added later I expect but am not sure.  I believe the original dating on this car was about 1880

IMG_3651Bathroom.  Yes, that is my reflection in the mirror.  The bathroom had a shower.  Whether or not this was part of the car in this period, or added later, I don’t know.

IMG_3636A bedroom.  Notice the wood paneling and storage area.

IMG_3635Another bathroom

 

And I expect most people don’t need to see this, but I did! The toilet:

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And here’s a picture I got off a plaque–don’t know why I didn’t get a regular picture.  The observation room.

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Another bedroom taken off a plaque before they let me into the car.  Yes, those are raindrops mess up the picture.  It always rains on us when we tour anything.

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And finally, the back the car:

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These photos don’t really represent the car as much as I would like.  I was taking them for my own use in writing my novel, but if you notice the gleaming woodwork, you’ll get a better idea of the luxurious traveling in this car.  Here’s the information on the car, per the website.

Chicago Burlington & Quincy Business Car No. 96 (S)

No. 96 was built by CB&Q as a traveling office with overnight accommodations and kitchen facilities. Up to twelve officers, board members or friends of the railroad could travel in quiet comfort to cities and towns served by the railroad.

Oh and finally–I mean really finally this time, a picture of the telegraph office:

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