She’s got a new release and she’s sharing about an really interesting topic. Welcome, Linda!
Pox on you!
During the period where I set almost all my western romances (1870-1885), disease killed millions of people. Even the common ones like chickenpox took about 150 lives each year. Not a lot was known about diseases and each epidemic caused wide-spread panic. People often mistook chickenpox for smallpox which was among the deadliest afflictions. Because of their ignorance, many didn’t see any distinction between them.
In my December 1st book, FOREVER HIS TEXAS BRIDE, Brett Liberty rescues two dozen sick Comanche orphans who are hiding out in a nearby canyon. His neighbor, Edgar Dowlin, sees the red spots on them and assumes they have small pox. The man enlists people in the surrounding towns to take up arms and eliminate the threat. Eaten up with hate for every Indian, Dowlin continues to wage war even after the doctor tells him the children merely have chicken pox.
Brett, who is a half-breed, is determined to save the innocent kids. He’s fought prejudice all his life and is determined to save these children. Brett’s blood brothers, Cooper Thorne and Rand Sinclair, stand shoulder to shoulder with him but the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against them even with their loyal ranch hands. Despite their chances, they’ll fight to the last breath for these orphans who have no one.
Rayna Harper knows what it’s like to be shunned. She’s a bone-picker’s daughter. Bone pickers were deemed the lowest of people and no one welcomed them when they passed through a town with their wagons piled high with bones. Brett finds a kindred soul in her after they meet in a jail when the sheriff arrests him for the crime of simply “being born.” Brett is drawn to her beauty and amazing strength. From their first touch through the cold steel bars, love stirs in his heart. He wants this woman, wants to make her his wife, wants to have children with her. But he won’t risk having people call her names like squaw and whore and spit on her as he knew they would. Aching, he tucks his love away, hiding what he most wants.
When his brothers come to get him out of jail, he refuses to leave without her. He takes her to Battle Creek, Texas where he has a small ranch and gets her a job as a nurse for the local doctor. When Brett finds the sick children, he sends for her.
Sharing his Wild Horse Ranch with Rayna deepens his yearnings to have her. Their love binds them like a strip of the strongest rawhide. But can they survive long enough to claim the forbidden passion they’ve found?
(This scene occurs after the sheriff shoots Brett and throws him in jail. His crime? Simply for being born he’s told.)
Rayna rolled Brett onto his side so the doctor could get to the blood that had run down to the thin mattress beneath. Minutes later, she helped wrap the wound with gauze overlaid with strips of muslin they tied together.
Doc stood back. “We’ve done all we can for him. The rest is up to the good Lord.” He began gathering everything and putting it back into his bag. “I’ll check on him again in a few hours.”
“Thank you, Doc. I’ll sit with him as long as Sheriff Oldham will let me.”
“I’ll tell him I’ve ordered you to.” He laid a hand on her shoulder. “I’m guessing your life has always been between hay and grass, but you have a big heart. That’s plain to see.”
“I do care, and that’s a fact.”
The room felt empty after he left. She sat on the edge of the bunk and touched Brett’s dark hair, which was tied back with a strip of leather. It was soft, just as the hawk’s feathers had been. “Yes, I care. More’s the pity.”
She sensed a wound much deeper than that left by the bullet. One that had scarred his soul. Her brother had once told her that kisses held magic, healing. They never had for her, but maybe they would for Brett.
Rayna lightly traced his lips with her fingertips. She could steal a kiss and he’d never know. It was too tempting. She’d never kissed anyone before without being forced. Just one time, she wanted to know how it felt because she wanted to. Bending her head, she gently placed her mouth on his.
It felt nice. Real nice.
So much that she tried it again.
* * * *
FOREVER HIS TEXAS BRIDE is the third and final book of the popular Bachelors of Battle Creek series. Join me for the thrilling conclusion. It’s available for preorder everywhere online.
And if you missed the first two of this series—Texas Mail Order Bride and Twice a Texas Bride – you can still get both online and in bookstores.
Why do you read historical romance? Is it to escape from your life into another world? For entertainment? For the history? For the feelings a book evokes?
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I’m a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of six full-length novels and seven short stories. I reside in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed. I love scouring history books and the internet for little known details to add to my stories. I’ve been accused, and quite unjustly I might add, of making myself a nuisance at museums and libraries. Humble roots and the love of family have become focal points of each book I write. Watch for my Men of Legend series coming soon!
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