I am very proud to call Caroline Clemmons my friend and thrilled she is involved in the new anthology due for release on March 15. I have welcomed her here to give you a sneak peek at her story – Enjoy!
Thank you, Susan, for having me at your lovely blog again.
Today, instead of one of my books, I want to mention our joint project with several other writers, RAWHIDE AND ROSES. What a terrifying situation it is for me to be in an anthology with so many wonderful writers. I am still in awe that I’ve been included.
My story is HOUSTON McCLINTOCK, and it’s a prequel to one of my books that has been in publication for several years, THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE. Houston and Gentle Dove, called Dovie, are Dallas’s father and mother. I did a tremendous amount of research for Dallas and Cenora Rose’s story in THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE and love this family. Because of that, I wanted to bring Dallas McClintock’s parents to life. Whew! Definitely a challenge in only two thousand words.
The McClintock’s come from hardy Scottish ancestors, as have many Texans (including my ancestors). Gentle Dove is Cherokee. At this time, 1858, many Anglos harbored hatred of all Native Americans. Gentle Dove’s parents and grandparents and a few other families hid in the Georgia woods at the time of the removal for the Trail of Tears. Gentle Dove and her father, John Tall Trees, still live in those woods.
Here’s a blurb for HOUSTON McCLINTOCK:
Houston McClintock is on the way back to his Texas home from Tennessee. He carries the money from the sale of his late grandparents’ farm. While riding through Georgia woods, he is attacked by robbers and gravely wounded. Stripped of all his belongings—even his clothes and boots—Houston is left for dead. A Cherokee, John Tall Trees, rescues Houston and takes him home for his daughter, Gentle Dove, to heal. Her skill and determination save Houston’s life.
As Gentle Dove—called Dovie—nurses Houston back to robust health, the two develop strong feelings for one another. Houston wants them to marry, but Dovie knows the disdain most Anglos feel for Cherokee. She can’t subject her wonderful Houston to censure from his family and friends. Will Houston’s family accept Dovie? Can Houston convince her that his love is true?
Here’s an excerpt from HOUSTON McCLINTOCK:
Northwest Georgia, 1858
Too weak to move, Houston McClintock’s eyes refused to open.
“You’re safe now.” The voice soft as velvet calmed him.
He gasped to speak but his dry throat and tongue refused to cooperate. A damp cloth moistened his lips, then drops of water trickled into his mouth.
Someone bathed his face. Blessed coolness. He forced open his eyes.
The most beautiful woman he’d ever seen leaned over him. Her bronze skin proclaimed her an Indian. Light from the window shot blue and copper highlights across her coal black hair. Kindness shone from her face. She appeared near his age of twenty-five.
”Good morning. My name is Gentle Dove, but friends call me Dovie.” Her smile illuminated her features. She braced his head and held a cup to his mouth.
Gratefully, he swallowed.
He searched the room for clues. Planed log walls bore signs of expert craftsmanship. He lay in a brass bed covered by a brightly colored quilt. Dovie wore Anglo clothes.
In whirling memories, he recalled his frantic ride for the trees. Men shooting. Pain in his shoulder and head. The sensation of falling.
Had the robbers stolen his saddlebags? Money from the sale of family land in Tennessee? His favorite horse, Lightning?
He tried to rise but fell back. “Where?”
She laid a gentle hand on his shoulder. “Don’t fret. You’re in the home of John Tall Trees in Georgia. You were badly injured and stripped when Papa found you.”
Damn, was he buck naked? Houston slid his hands frantically under the covers. He exhaled relief when he realized he wore britches.
She smiled mischievously as if she understood his concern. “You’re taller than Papa but he loaned you clothes. We didn’t risk opening your wounds to add a shirt.”
He glimpsed strips of fabric binding his shoulder and chest. “Bad?”
“I dug out the lead, but we almost lost you. Only a strong will could have survived.” She leaned forward to adjust the bandage at his forehead. Honeysuckle filled his senses and a cascade of lustrous ebony hair fell across his chest.
An older man appeared behind Dovie. “About time you woke up, young fella. I’m John Tall Trees.”
“Here…long?” The few words he’d spoken since he’d awakened exhausted him.
“Four days ago I found you and tracks of three men. You needed help immediately. My daughter is very skilled in our medicines.”
“Don’t fear.” She checked his shoulder bandage and offered a wry smile. “I have also studied white man’s medicines.”
John gestured over his shoulder. “Big dun showed up. Figured she was your horse.”
He sighed with relief. At least he hadn’t lost Lightning. “Saddle?”
“None. Horse appeared interested in the house. Guess she tracked you here.”
Dear Lord, his family’s money was in the saddlebags. They’d trusted him and he’d let them down. “Family…write…for me?”
“Sure, tell me who.”
“Father…Vincent McClintock…McClintock Falls…Texas.”
John Tall Trees nodded. “Your name?”
“I’ll post a letter today.” He repeated the name and address.
Houston tried to nod, but the hammering in his head increased. He closed his eyes
We’re excited about this anthology. As you may have heard, all royalties go to a charity that rescues wild horses from impending slaughter. What could be better for western writers than saving horses?
RAWHIDE AND ROSES’s cover was designed by Charlene Raddon. Imagine trying to come up with a book cover that would please fifteen authors. Our lovely Susan Horsnell is the editor and formatter. Both ladies have the patience of a saint.
RAWHIDE AND ROSES goes on sale March 15, 2014. Try it—you may discover a new author whose work you love.
Thanks again to Susan for hosting me today. Y’all keep reading !
Sounds fabulous? I have had the pleasure of reading the entire story and I can assure you it is.
Be sure to grab some of Caroline’s novels. Having read everything this fine lady has written, I can tell you they will capture you and carry you away.
Men of Stone Mountain
Brothers Micah, Zach, and Joel Stone establish homes in 1870’s Palo Pinto Mountains of North Central Texas. These brave brothers battle the elements while facing and capturing killers. Join these stalwart, handsome men and the beautiful, resilient women they come to love.
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. He and Hope have to stay alive and discover the killer before they become victims in the deadly assaults.
High Stakes Bride
Mary Alice Price is on the run from dangerous men. She had known that when her stepfather died, she would have to hurriedly escape her stepbrothers. Hadn’t she heard them promise her to the meanest man in Texas as payment for high stakes gambling losses? One misfortune after another devils her until she links up with Zach Stone. He looks sturdy as his last name and invites her to his ranch where his two aunts will chaperone them. She figures life finally dealt her a winning hand.
Zach Stone has the sweetest ranch in all of Texas; at least he thinks he does. All he needs is a wife to build his family of boys and girls to carry on his ranch and name. He’s been jilted and vows he will never even speak to a woman again unless she’s a relative. Then he comes across Alice Price and comes up with a crazy plan. He’s figured everything out, and is sure nothing can go wrong with his plan.
But life holds many surprises for Alice and Zach..
He’s a by-the-book Texas sheriff; she’s on the run from a murder conviction…
When a tornado provides Rosalyn with the opportunity to escape the gallows, she collects her daughter Lucy and flees. They travel far enough West that Rosalyn believes she’s gone to the ends of the earth. She hopes she and Lucy will be safe in this remote North Texas town where she embarks on a new life as a dressmaker. If only she could avoid contact with people, especially the handsome sheriff who pops up every time she turns around. She fears either she or her chatterbox daughter may slip and reveal too much.
Joel Stone has been content with his life, even if it’s not the one he’d dreamed. His younger brothers are married and living nearby, his aunts have moved to Radford Springs, and he is respected for the efficient job he does as sheriff. When he meets the new widow in town, his instant attraction staggers him. She appears uninterested, but he is determined to win her hand in marriage.
But life doesn’t turn out the way either Rosalyn or Joel plan. They overcome temporary obstacles, but what of the secret she protects? Can he save her from the gallows?