All posts by Wendy

I write sweet, historical romance novels and love to travel with my real life hero. Come along on our adventures :-)

New Releases from Author friends

C.T. Worth’s new fairytale retelling – The Man Once Called Rumpelstiltskin – sounds like all kinds of fun! Here’s the first paragraph of the blurb:

In a bid for vengeance, Thomas Schmidt abandoned the dream of a peaceful existence and assumed a double life. By day, he was the respected and trusted royal bookkeeper. In his free time, he was the infamous bandit, Rumpelstiltskin. But one more heist and his revenge on the king responsible for murdering his family would be complete. Everything was going according to plan and he had it all under control. That is until he met Greta Fischer. Available on Amazon.

Jo Noelle’s latest Sweet Historical Romance has the best tagline that makes me laugh AND want to learn more:

The last thing he wants is to take the boss’s pampered daughter on a cattle drive. The last thing she wants is to fall in love with a cowboy. Oops!

Ida Turner was supposed to pass along her father’s directions to the trail boss. Instead, she packs her wagon with silk dresses and joins the cattle drive up the Chisholm Trail from Windward, Texas, to the railhead in Kansas. Contrary to what she thought would be a grand adventure, the trail is fraught with dangers, threatening her life.

Find out more on Amazon.

And check out this beautiful new Sweet Regency Romance from Kasey Stockton – The Lady of Larkspur Vale.

This is a #1 Best Seller and is a childhood friends-to-lovers and second chance romance story.

Available through Amazon.

~ Happy Reading! ~

New Releases

Some of my author friends had some recent releases I thought you might enjoy. Check out these pretty covers!

A Past to Forget by Rose Pearson:

Already with 61 reviews averaging 4.8/5! Wow! Everyone’s loving it.

I love Rose’s tagline: A past relationship threatens their future. Can they clear his name and find happiness together?

Find it on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/37cdAbW

undefinedCallie’s Calamity by Marie Higgins:

Callie’s Calamity is a #1 Best Seller! Readers are loving it! Check out the first line of the blurb:

All Callie Cartwright knows is that she’s got to get out of town fast. Her husband is dead and she’s pregnant. If the truth comes out to how her husband died, she won’t live to see the day her baby is born.

Doesn’t that make you want to read more?? Find it here: https://amzn.to/3czWYMk

undefinedMail Order Pearl by Cheryl Wright:

This one sounds like it starts with tragedy but we know it’s going to lead to a happily ever after 🙂

Abducted and forced to marry at gunpoint, Pearl Hopkins is held captive until her outlaw husband is killed in a gunfight.
With nowhere else to turn, she decides to become a mail order bride, unaware she is pregnant with her dead husband’s baby.

Find out more here: https://amzn.to/2A60dxM

What kind of wagon was my heroine driving?

While I was writing my latest Proxy Bride book, , I found myself in need of a little research. In it, Sadie, my heroine finds herself married to a well-to-do man out west in Nebraska. The story calls for her to do some travelling around the area so I’ve had to research how she did so. Would she ride? Would she drive? What kind of transportation options did she have after she arrived in Nebraska by train? Here is a little of my research:

A single horse could pull a wheeled vehicle and contents weighing as much as a ton! Wow! I had no idea! Apparently their pulling abilities exceed their ability to carry on their back. Here are some of the wagons and carriages that would have existed in the 1850s:

Buckboard WagonBuckboard Wagon: The no-frills buckboard wagon was commonly used by farmers and ranchers in the 1800s. It was made with simple construction. The front board served as both a footrest and offered protection from the horse’s hooves should they buck.

Concord Coach: American made Concord coaches were tall and wide and incorporated leather straps for suspension that made the ride smoother than steel spring suspension. They were also extravagant, costing $1000 or more at a time when workers were paid about a dollar a day. Wells, Fargo & Co. was one of the largest buyers of the Concord coach. Today the company still displays its original Concord Coaches in parades and for publicity.

Gig Carriage: A gig was a small, lightweight, two-wheeled, cart that d one or two people. Gig CarriageIt was usually pulled by a single horse and was known for speed and convenience. It was a common vehicle on the road.

Barouche: A barouche was a fancy, four-wheeled open carriage with two seats facing each other and a front seat for the driver. There was a collapsible hood over the back. It was a popular choice in the first half of the 19th century and was used by the wealthy. It was often pulled by four horses.

Victoria Carriage: The Victoria carriage was named for Queen Victoria and renowned for its elegance. It was a low, open carriage with four wheels that seated two people. It had an elevated seat for the coachman.

Phaeton: The Phaeton was a sporty four-wheel carriage with front wheels that were smaller than the rear wheels. The sides were open and that exposed a gentleman’s trousers or a lady’s skirt to flying mud. The seat was quite high and required a ladder to access. Phaetons were fast, but also high-centered leaving them vulnerable to tipping. They were pulled by two or four horses.

Landau Carriage: The Landau carriage was considered a luxury city carriage that seated four. It had two folding hoods and was uniquely designed to allow its occupants to be seen. It was popular in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Brougham Carriage: Designed by England’s Lord Brougham, the Brougham carriage was lightweight, four-wheeled carriage with an enclosed carriage. It was popular because passengers sat in a forward-facing seat making it easy to see out. It was also lower to the ground and easier for passengers to climb in and out of the carriage. The Brougham was driven by a coachman sitting on an elevated seat or perch outside of the passenger compartment.

Rockaway Carriage: The Rockaway originated on Long Island. It was a popular vehicle with the middle class and the wealthy. One distinguishing feature of the Rockaway was a roof that extended over the driver, while the passengers were in an enclosed cabin.

Conestoga Wagon: The Conestoga wagon was large and heavy and built to haul loads up to six tons. The floor of the wagon was curved upward to prevent the contents from shifting during travel. The Conestoga was used to haul freight before rail service was available and as a means to transport goods. Conestoga wagons were pulled by eight horses or a dozen oxen and were not meant to travel long distances. The Conestoga wagon is credited for the reason we drive on the right side of the road. While operating the wagon, the driver sat on the left-hand side of the wagon. This freed his right hand to operate the brake lever mounted on the left side. Sitting on the left also allowed the driver to see the opposite side of the road better.

So, I have concluded that Sadie was probably using either the buckboard or the gig depending on the situation. Have you read Sadie and Hamilton’s story yet? If not, check out A Bride for Hamilton today 🙂

Homesteading

I have found it fascinating to research the Homestead Acts in the United States and cannot even begin to imagine how exciting the possibilities were for anyone with the courage and energy to take advantage of the legal opportunities. This research went into Homesteadingmy most recent release, A Bride for Hamilton, since it fascinated me so much.

The Homestead Acts were several laws in the United States by which an applicant could acquire ownership of government land or the public domain, typically called a homestead. In all, more than 160 million acres (650 thousand km2; 250 thousand sq mi) of public land, or nearly 10 percent of the total area of the United States, was given away free to 1.6 million homesteaders; most of the homesteads were west of the Mississippi River. (This fact blew my mind!)

The first of the acts, the Homestead Act of 1862, opened up millions of acres. Any adult who had never taken up arms against the Federal government of the United States could apply. Women and immigrants who had applied for citizenship were eligible. The Homestead Acts had few qualifying requirements.

homesteader had to be the head of the household or at least twenty-one years old. They had to live on the designated land, build a home, make improvements, and farm it for a minimum of five years. The filing fee was eighteen dollars (or ten to temporarily hold a claim to the land).

The homestead was an area of public land in the West (usually 160 acres or 65 ha) granted to any US citizen willing to settle on and farm the land. The law (and those following it) required a three-step procedure: file an application, improve the land, and file for the patent (deed). The occupant had to reside on the land for five years, and show evidence of having made improvements. The process had to be complete within seven years.

The “yeoman farmer” ideal of Jeffersonian democracy was still a powerful influence in American politics during the 1840–1850s, with many politicians believing a homestead act would help increase the number of “virtuous yeomen”. The Free Soil Party of 1848–52, and the new Republican Party after 1854, demanded that the new lands opening up in the west be made available to independent farmers, rather than wealthy planters who would develop it with the use of slaves forcing the yeomen farmers onto marginal lands. Southern Democrats had continually fought (and defeated) previous homestead law proposals, as they feared free land would attract European immigrants and poor Southern whites to the west. After the South seceded and their delegates left Congress in 1861, the Republicans and other supporters from the upper South passed a homestead act.

I really love the ideals and principles behind these Acts. The fact that those supporting hamilton-ebook-coverthese laws wanted to allow “average” people to settle and prosper rather than those who were already wealthy landowners really appeals to me. And inspires story ideas 😉

If you haven’t yet read A Bride for Hamilton, check it out now 🙂