Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Blog Tour Tuesday: DEAR MR. WEAVER

Our Blog Tour Tuesday feature today is 
Dear Mr. Weaver 
by Kit Morgan 

About the book:

Mail-Order Bride Ink! Mischief, Marriage and Mayhem, these brides have something to write about! Mrs. Pettigrew, of the Pettigrew Mail-Order Bride Agency sees to that! She likes to hear from all her brides and loves a happy ending. But to ensure her brides get one, she does things to help love along. Sometimes, however, those things don’t always go as planned…

Daniel Weaver was ready for a wife. His three older brothers had been married for several years and now it was his turn. So, like his brothers Arlan, Benjamin and Calvin, he sends for a mail-order bride, with a little help from their cousin Matthew of course. After all, he helped his brothers write their letters to their prospective brides, so why not him? But when the letter from his bride comes, it’s got more than her acceptance of his proposal written in it. Worse, it gets picked up and read by the town’s worst gossip, Nellie Davis.

Ebba Knudson can’t figure out why folks in her intended’s town of Nowhere would be giving her such odd looks. It was bad enough she had other things to deal with by coming to the Washington territory to marry a farmer, but now this? Was there something wrong with her future husband? Or just with her? Of which she knew there was plenty. Enough to make her think she might not get married at all…

Enjoy this sweet, historical, western romance and the first book in this laugh out loud new series!


Dear Mrs. Pettigrew,

I’ve reached my destination and I must say that the Washington territory is not what I expected, neither is my new husband for that matter. His family is huge, loud and boisterous! We haven’t had a moment’s peace since our wedding. I don’t mean to complain, but I wasn’t prepared to become a schoolteacher for seven children! Seven mischievous, prank-pulling, children no less. No, they are not my husband’s, (thank heaven). They belong to his older brother and his wife. In short, I should have been warned! He said nothing in his letters about any of this. I don’t know how much longer I can endure it. Please write back to me as soon as you can before I go mad!

Ebba Weaver 

You may purchase Dear Mr. Weaver on Amazon by CLICKING HERE.

About Kit Morgan:

A consistent Top 100 lists bestseller, Kit Morgan, aka Geralyn Beauchamp, has been writing for fun all of her life. When writing as Geralyn Beauchamp, her books are epic, adventurous, romantic fantasy at its best. When writing as Kit Morgan they are whimsical, fun, inspirational sweet and clean stories that depict a strong sense of family and community. She hopes you will enjoy reading this first book in the Mail Order Bride Ink series.

 Website: www.authorkitmorgan.com  (social media links are there.)

Please tweet this blog post:
Mail Order Bride Ink: DEAR MR. WEAVER @AuthorKitMorgan #SweetAmerSweethearts http://bit.ly/1sII7YW 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Feeding An Orphaned Baby

In a story I’m working on that's set in 1878 Texas, I created the situation of a ten-month-old baby being orphaned in a stagecoach accident and a single woman taking responsibility for the child. For any of us who are mothers, we know babies don’t easily go from the breast to soft foods. A transition needs to occur, which sent me on a research trail to learn more about baby bottles.

Unfortunately, what I discovered varied from sad to tragic. Throughout the ages, a need has existed for an artificial way to feed a baby who has lost its natural mother. In instances following a mother’s death and the family lived among a populated area like a king’s castle or a shop within a town, often the recourse was a wet nurse—an already lactating mother who added the new infant into the nursing cycle. This solution would involve compensation of some type—either payment or the wet-nurse would move to the location of the family who had the need.

When that situation wasn’t possible, other solutions were developed. In ancient times, animal horns were used with a patch of leather tied to the tip with twine. Holes cut the tip allowed liquid to drip out. Alternately, a finger of a leather glove would be used. But most leather tanning methods used items we wouldn’t want in a baby’s mouth like urine or brain matter. A twist of fabric could be dipped in milk and the baby sucks it, but that would take a long time to transfer sufficient nutrition. In the 1700s, pewter bottles with metal tips were used but those caused many deaths from metal poisoning. In countries where the glassblowing craft was practiced, thin-necked bottles were created so a screw-on metal lid with a tip was attached. A sponge was laid over the tip to make for a softer place to suck. Still a problem because of the metal.

Ceramic or pottery bowls with spouts on one end were used to feed milk or thin cereal. The safety factor was reliant on the contents of the glazing used—and sadly many contained lead.

In 1845 when India rubber was used to make the first nipple, many thought the problem solved. But the rubber was stiff and had a horrible smell. Forty-five years would pass before the invention of vulcanized rubber and a nipple that withstood hot water washings. I did find an advertisement for Little Cherub Feeding Bottle which had a long rubber tube with a pacifier-like plug on the end. Unfortunately, a popular guide, The Book of Household Management by Isabella Beeton (1861), used by many women running Victorian households advised washing the tubing only every 2-3 weeks(do you believe that?). Sadly, bacterial infections cost many lives.

Lucky, too, was the existence of canned milk. Since 1857, condensed milk was commercially prepared and sold by Gail Borden Jr and Company. (Process was first perfected in France in 1820) The company sold big quantities to the Union Army during the Civil War, and wider consumer distribution was achieved by 1875.
Although I realize a spoon could be used to feed the milk, I wanted the baby in my story to retain the comfort of sucking. So I combined a couple of the above items to use a thin-necked bottle with a piece of sponge covered with a scrap of toweling inserted into the opening. The invention seemed like a plausible method that people with limited resources would have put together in a pinch. Especially when faced with a pressing need to feed that hungry and cranky infant.
Linda writes for several small presses, as well as indie publishes her historical novellas and novels. The book mentioned in this article is tentatively titled Mail-Order Haven will be released in early fall. To keep updated on her releases, consider joining her quarterly newsletter list. Or follow her Amazon author page or on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Did You Know? The Suffrage Movement and Mail-Order Brides

The Suffragette movement takes center stage in The Suffragettes Choice Brides Agency series, which combines the amazing sacrifice and dedication of the suffragettes with sweet and clean historical romance.

Each story begins in Boston, (one of my favorite cities), and therefore it makes perfect sense that it would become the center of each mail-order bride’s origin in the series! The fact that the 1850 National Women’s Rights Convention was held a Brinley Hall in Worcester, MA, and 186 of the 268 attendees were from Massachusetts has a little something to do with it, too.

Here's some history...

In 1869, a joint special committee on Woman Suffrage was formed by the Massachusetts State Legislature; when the State House of Representatives voted on the question of municipal suffrage for women, there were 68 “Yeas” and 133 “Nays”.  This is what prompted the American Equal Rights Association to change the name of their organization to the National Women Suffrage Association. 

On July 4, 1876, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Sara Andrews Spencer, Lillie Devereux presented the “Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United States” and on September 12th they endorsed John I. Baker for Governor of Massachusetts. 

Once again, we find Massachusetts and Boston pivotal in the movement.

Historically, even women with the ‘highest standing’ in Boston (and other cities and states) struggled to find men who would take them as brides if they were a known suffragette. That is not to say that there were no men in Boston, MA who supported the Suffrage Movement, however, there were not many.

The territory of Wyoming was the first to give women the right to vote in 1869 (Go Wyoming!).  The West tended to give women this right on a much broader scale and earlier adoption than did the East, and we have a list below showing the chronological adoption of this right, by state. You can click the image to see the full list, as we cut it off when Massachusetts finally voted to allow women the right to vote!


I'm passionate about this, and grateful to all the women (and men) who sacrificed more than we'll ever know to pursue this right, and in some cases committed their entire adult lives to this cause. As a result, women today have the right to vote, own property, run their own businesses, and much more.

Although it may seem counterintuitive that a mail-order brides series would focus on Suffragettes, for this series it makes perfect sense.

Reading about the history of the Suffragettes is what prompted me to create the Suffragettes Choice Brides Agency series, and book one, BEGINNINGS, tells the story of one woman who decided to begin a mail-order bride agency to find husbands who supported the Suffrage Movement for her Suffragette friends.

I trust this brief synopsis has been interesting to you, and may even spur you on to learn more about the sacrifices and dedication of the suffragettes. 

It is my hope that as women we'll not take our rights for granted, but rather say a prayer of gratitude as we work, run our businesses, vote for the candidates we support, and teach our children the importance of this each and every day. 

It has not always been our right, but it is now. May we never lose sight of this fact, or become complacent. 

Maya Angelou is one of my absolutely favorite women in history, and so I leave you with her words, spoken at former President Bill Clinton's Inaugural address: 

"... give birth again to the dream... "

With love,
Kate Cambridge


Consistently an Amazon top 100 bestselling author in Literature & Fiction Short Reads, Westerns, and Christian categories, Kate Cambridge writes always sweet historical and contemporary romances with strong characters, and a thread of faith and love interwoven throughout. She has loved writing since she was a child, and could not be more grateful to be an indie author! Her first Western Historical Series is The Suffragettes Choice Brides Agency series, and she also writes in collaboration with the Sweet Clean Book Club authors. Visit Kate's Amazon Author page here: Kate Cambridge on Amazon. Visit her website at KateCambridge.com and let's connect on Instagram! @KateCambridgeAuthor

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Blog Tour Tuesday: CASSANDRA

Today's Blog Tour Tuesday feature is
By Caroline Clemmons 

About Cassandra:

A desperate plan…
A masquerade to achieve a goal…
Lies that create a web…

Cassandra Bradford has the cast off wardrobe to pose as a lady. Her goal is to marry a wealthy man who can provide her young brother with a sound future. Drat the luck! The first man she sees in Tarnation is a dusty cowboy who sends her heart pounding. Not for her. She has a better life in mind.

Samuel Drummond is one of the wealthiest ranchers in that part of the state, but he wants that kept quiet. His first wife married him for his money then left when she became bored with ranch life. He won’t let that happen if he remarries. He intends to find a woman who wants him no matter how poor she thinks he is.

When both Cassandra and Sam learn omissions the other has made, there are fireworks between them. They must work through their anger and hurt to achieve happiness.


Talking about her family had caused so much distress she hadn’t noticed the cabin until now. Somewhat horrified, she asked, “I-Is this where you live?”
If he noticed her disbelief, he gave no sign.  “This is a line cabin where we hole up when we’re trapped out on the range overnight in bad weather or working on this part of the ranch for several days in a row.”
He helped her down and gazed into her eyes as she slid down his body. She thought he held her close longer than necessary, but being near him was too wonderful for her to complain. Even through their clothes, his warmth heated her. When he broke contact, she wanted to throw herself into his arms and hold on forever.
No, no, no! What was she thinking?
After gaining control of her emotions, she asked, “So no one actually lives here?”
“The cowboys sleep in a bunkhouse at the ranch unless they’re married. I guess I could live here if I were married and wanted to. I’ll show you inside.” He led her to the small building with a half shed attached.
Inside was dark until he opened the three windows’ shutters to admit light. A large stone fireplace took up most of one end with wood stacked neatly on the hearth. Nearby was a stove of sorts. Four chairs surrounded a small table on which a lantern stood. Thin ticking mattresses were rolled up on each of the four bunks.
Not much space remained around the small room’s austere furnishings. The floor was stone. Shelves at one end held a few canned goods as well as metal dishes and cutlery. Two pots and a Dutch oven were on the stove. A tall bench held a dishpan, bar of soap, and an empty bucket. She’d seen no creek so there must be a well nearby.
He laid a hand on a range. “We used to cook in the fireplace, but we found this old stove and brought it here. Cooler in summer.” He gestured around the room. “You can see we have everything we need.”
Not to her way of thinking. “What about sheets and pillows and blankets?”
He grinned at her. “We carry bedrolls behind our saddles. Cowboys don’t need sheets and pillows.”
She was incredulous. “You’ve been living like this for eleven years?”

You may purchase Cassandra on Amazon by CLICKING HERE.

About Caroline Clemmons:

Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling author of historical and contemporary western romances whose books have garnered numerous awards. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel. She is newsletter editor for her local Yellow Rose RWA chapter and a member of several online chapters. Her passion is writing and she spends ten to sixteen hours a day at the computer creating the next book.

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. Prior to writing full time, her jobs included stay-at-home mom (her favorite), secretary, newspaper reporter and featured columnist, assistant to the managing editor of a psychology journal, bookkeeper for the local tax assessor and--for a short and fun time--an antique dealer with her youngest daughter.

Connect with Caroline Clemmons:

Website  ~  Blog  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Pinterest  ~  Goodreads  ~   Google+

Please tweet this blog post:
Lies that create a web: CASSANDRA @CarolinClemmons #SweetAmerSweethearts http://bit.ly/1SZPGVf