by Shanna Hatfield
Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to cross the ocean in a grand ship like the Titanic?
In Crumpets and Cowpies, the first book in my Baker City Brides series, Oregon rancher Thane Jordan reluctantly travels to England to settle his brother’s estate. He arrives to find he’s inherited much more than he could possibly have imagined, including a niece and nephew he didn't know existed. They live with their incredibly beautiful and maddeningly proper aunt.
Lady Jemma Bryan has no desire to spend a single minute in Thane Jordan’s insufferable presence much less live under the same roof with the handsome, arrogant American. Forced to choose between poverty or marriage to the man, she travels across an ocean and America to reach his ranch in Oregon. The solicitor that handled Thane's brother's estate happened to book them first class accommodations on a ship called Teutonic.
Sister ship to the Majestic, both keels were laid in 1887 as part of the White Star Line. The Teutonic was built under the Auxiliary Armed Cruiser Agreement. An extremely fast ship, she set a transatlantic crossing record twice. Teutonic was the first armed merchant cruiser and one of two White Star Line vessels ever armed with guns. The Teutonic was one of the first ships in the White Star Line to offer second class accommodations. The ship was in service from 1889-1921.
This staircase reminds me of Titanic (also a White Star Line ship). Teutonic sailed on the route from the home port of Liverpool, England, to New York City. Each week a ship sailed from Liverpool on a specific day, commonly Wednesday or Thursday. From there, they would stop at the small port of Queenstown, Ireland, to pick up more passengers. As many as eight hundred Irish immigrants might board in the single stop. After Queenstown, the ship would then begin the long voyage to New York, almost 2,500 miles of open sea. Once passengers were disbursed at either the White Star Line pier in New York or the immigration center at Castle Garden, the ship would be prepared for her return voyage.
In the story, this is where Thane, Jemma, and the children took their meals, unless they ate in their room.
It was an amazing, beautiful ship.
Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”
She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America.
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It's easy to see how and why the Teutonic caught your imagination and a place in your novel. It is beautiful and speaks to the romance in all of us...how could your heroine continued to resist Thane in such a setting??