By Caroline Clemmons
March is one of my favorite times because so many good things happen this month. Spring arrives today. Already daffodils and pansies are waving from many gardens. Bluebirds are nesting in their house and the goldfinches have arrived at our bird feeders. Our grass and plants are greening and native elm trees have leafed out. Soon our redbud tree will flower and our peach trees have already budded. Those two trees signal to my family that spring has arrived..Bluebonnets like those above are in bloom along the roadways.
Don’t you love spring? It’s as if the world gets a fresh start. Spring is a time of renewal for people as well as the earth. The new growth and flowers inspire us to make a new start at achieving our own dreams. This time of year, I feel invincible–like the country western song says, “Ten feet tall and bullet proof.” Well, until I look in the mirror and wonder what the heck happened there? LOL What are some of your goals for the rest of this year?
One of my goals for this spring was to finish BRAZOS BRIDE, a western historical. Yes, this is a Victorian blog, but we also write the Victorian period in the United States, and this book takes place in August of 1870. Thank goodness, I finished this book and published it on Amazon only one week after my goal date. I love publishing on Amazon Kindle because this gives me control over what and when I have for readers. Even better for readers is the fact that this book is only 99 cents. What a deal, right?
Here’s a blurb for BRAZOS BRIDE:
Hope Montoya knows someone is poisoning her, but who? She suspects her mother was also poisoned and knows her father was murdered. Who wants her family eliminated? She vows to fight! She realizes she won’t last the eight months until she turns twenty-five and her uncle no longer controls her or her estate. Never will she be dominated by a man as she was by her father, as she has seen her mother and grandmothers dominated. If she marries, she gains control now, but only if she weds a man she can trust. Only one man meets her requirements. Can she trust him to protect her and capture the killer…but then to leave?
Micah Stone has been in love with Hope since the first time he saw her. But he was accused of her father’s murder and surely would have hung if not for his two brothers’ aid. Most in the community still believe him guilty. But the drought has him too worried about water for his dying cattle to care about his neighbors’ opinions. When Hope proposes a paper marriage in exchange for land on the Brazos River and much needed cash, her offer rubs his pride raw. His name may be Stone, but he’s not made of it. He can’t refuse her for long, and so their adventure begins.
Here’s an excerpt from BRAZOS BRIDE:
She looked at her hands. Perhaps she was unreasonable. Or maybe insane for sympathizing with a man who’d had to work harder because of her family.
“I know it is an odd situation. If—if you wear your shirt and britches, I guess it would be all right if you slept on top of the cover here.” She patted the bed beside her.
He froze. Not a muscle moved, and he only stared at her. Had she misunderstood? Did he think her offer too forward?
She babbled, “That is, if you want to. You said I should trust you. Well, maybe you would be more comfortable where you are.” Why didn’t he say something? Would he prefer sleeping in a chair to sharing the bed?
From the street below, she heard raucous laughter and someone called to a man named Ben. Music from a piano, she supposed in the saloon, drifted in through the open windows. A gust of breeze moved the curtains and slid across her skin. In this room, though, there was no sound.
Slowly, he rose and extinguished the lamp as he moved across the room. She slid one of the pillows beside hers then scooted down. What had possessed her to offer him half her bed? Would he think she invited more?
Too late to take it back now, for the mattress dipped as he stretched out. Quaking inside at the thought of him so near, she turned her back to him. She heard his weary sigh, as if he relaxed for the first time in a long while.
“Good night,” she offered, and hoped he understood the finality of the phrase.
“Yep. Good night, Mrs. Stone.” The mattress shook as he turned his back to her. She felt the soles of his feet press against her ankles. He must be several inches too long for the bed and she guessed he had to bend his legs to fit. She didn’t dare turn to see firsthand.
She lay perfectly still, afraid to take a deep breath. Soon his breathing changed and she knew he slept. Outside the open window the town quieted and the distant tinkling of the piano was the only sound. Light from the full moon illuminated the room and slanted across the bed. A soft breeze drifted across her, lulling her in its caress.
With a sigh, she fought to relax, but abdominal pain kept her awake no matter how her body cried for rest. Perhaps if she planned, she’d forget the pain and chills that racked her frame.
Plan, yes. She needed a plan for food preparation when she returned to her home. No, Micah said he had a plan. Oh, dear, once more he took charge when it was her life, her home.
Maybe Aunt Sofia and Uncle Jorge would have left by then and things would be fine. Already she felt more secure. She sensed her eyelids drifting closed and the sleep’s blessed relief approaching.
A gunshot ripped apart the night.
The blast startled her and she screamed as something thudded near her head, showering her hair and face with splinters. Panic immobilized her. What had happened?
Micah dragged her onto the floor as a bullet ripped into the mattress.
Did that excerpt intrigue you? Please say yes. Here’s the buy link:
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Since St. Patrick’s Day occurs this month and this is also Irish-American Month and some of my ancestors were Scot-Irish, I thought perhaps I’d leave you an Irish Blessing to end the post. In my book THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE, the heroine’s father, Seamus O’Neill, is a man with the gift of gab and a blessing or toast for every occasion. Here is a well-known blessing he used:
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
The sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your fields
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hallow of His hand.
Thanks for stopping by!
Caroline Clemmons writes romance and adventures—although her earliest made up adventures featured her saving the West with Roy Rogers. Her career has included stay-at-home mom (her favorite job), newspaper reporter and featured columnist, assistant to the managing editor of a psychology journal, and bookkeeper. She and her husband live in rural North Central Texas with a menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family, reading, travel, browsing antique malls and estate sales, and genealogy/family history. . Caroline loves to hear from readers at firstname.lastname@example.org