Historical Christian RomancesI'll readily admit that in high school, I was not a history buff. I sure married one though, and over the years, my dear husband hasn't worn me out with baseball or football games on the tube, but let a Civil War series or WWII documentary come on, and I became a TV widow if I didn't watch with him. He loves it, all of it, and has helped me to see the light! Historical, in my Texas Romance series, starts in 1832, the year before my home town of Clarksville, county seat today of Red River County in far Northeast Texas. Texas was known as Tejas then--a part of Mexico--and didn't win its independence until four years later in April of 1836 at the Battle of San Jacinto. I lived in the DFW area--more precisely, Irving--for fifty-five years before moving to the country life of Red River County. Of the histories academia required of me, Texas history was without a doubt my favorite. I live in an amazing state and its days of yore are awesome to study. But Red River County and God clearly bringing me here...I believe His purposes are many. This area is so rich with history, and quite frankly, I cannot get enough. And oh, my! I am so very blessed God called me to write historical Christian romance. To tell a story in which I'm free to honor Him and bring Him glory is so amazing. I love taking Truth from His Living Word and working it into my characters' beliefs and faith. For instance, not to worry, to trust God no matter what circumstances they might find themselves in. I pray I can show my readers through my character's testimony (by the end of the story), that God will always keep them, provide every need, and even give them the desires of their hearts. Habakkuk 2:3 is one of my favorite scriptures because He gave it to me for my life. It's dated in the margin of my Bible. He told me in my heart to hold fast to the vision and promised me it would come to pass. So of course, my character has to have a vision that seems like it will never come to fruition. Though it may tarry, it will come. This area is so rich with history, and quite frankly, I cannot get enough. Red River County used to be so big that today, nine counties comprise the same territory. Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, Mirabeau Lamar--they all traveled up the Red River and came into Texas through land that I've come to love. And the first time I saw the welcome sign to my new home county, I got glory bumps all over! "Welcome to Red River County, Gateway to Texas!" It is strange to try and explain how much or why I so love this area. It's as though my heart has bonded; I love the town square, the streets and homes, the farm fields, the woods, the land and its people. I don't ever want to live anywhere else. If I go by the way of the grave, I want to be buried in Red River County. So when my New York agent asked me to write a historical Christian romance set in the 1800s, my brain never even thought about England with her Brits or the early colonies of America's east coast. There was never any question in my mind but that my story would of course be set in Texas! And in my part of this great state! Having started the Red River Writers' Workshop, Ron and I had a founding member, a retired history teacher, who brought his non-fiction area history chapters to read then receive critique. Marion Butts is his name, and he once read about how in the early 1800s when settlers flooded to the west, the neighbors would load their harvests and put together in a wagon train for safety then haul their crops south to market. He mentioned the Jefferson Trace and how our land was great for growing cotton. THE BOOKS Ta da! A journey for my heroine. A natural! And the premise for book one VOW UNBROKEN was fleshed out in a brainstorming session with my husband at Taco Bueno. No, there are no Taco Buenos in Clarksville. We had just dropped that agent off at the airport for the flight home. So when we're in town.... Susannah, a widow with two children, her nine-year-old daughter Becky and he orphaned nephew she's been rearing since he was five has struggled for ten years, but grown her best crop ever. She's raising God that finally there will be enough money to make it through the year without scrimping and doing without. But of course, everything works against her. She does trust God, but often listens to lies whispered in her head and loses hope. Life's been had on her and she's had no one--but God--to lean on. She can't go back to her daddy and walk away from the inheritance her husband and his brother left the children. Yet, she's vowed to God not to marry again without his blessings. Book two HEARTS STOLEN starts in 1839, then quickly goes to 1844 with the fourteen-year-old nephew Levi in VOW all grown up to be a Texas Ranger of the Republic! His heroine, Rosaleen 'Sassy' Fogelsong marries an older man at the young age of fifteen, and being the only girl and youngest of six, has a little trouble submitting. This gets her in more than a little trouble when two Comanche braves capture her off the Texas prairie. Her family knows nothing of her plight, and she spends five long years as the third wife of Bold Eagle. Her tow-headed son Charley is every bit the Indian boy, accepted as the chief's son. Enters Sergeant Levi Baylor with his Texas Ranger dispatched after Sam Houston's peace treaty to pick up the white women and children stolen by the Comanche. Except to his and her dismay, Sassy is not on his list. Still, she vows she will not remain captive another day! Book Three HOPE REBORN begins in 1950 and ends in 1951. Meet the highly, successful New York novelist May Meriwether. I really enjoyed her character and her being a writer, sharing many of my own frustrations and triumphs. Bored with the same old stories, she decides to travel to Texas and meet a famous Ranger she's read about in the Tribune. Hoping to find inspiration for a new sort of rugged hero for her stories, she hollers for her Chester who sees to almost everything in her life that needs seeing to tell him the news! In the Lone Star State, besides finding a bevy of fans, she meets someone who stirs something long dead inside her--or so she thought. A widower resurrects her dreams, but he's still devoted to his deceased with, not to mention his fanatical beliefs in a fairy-tale, omnipotent being. But she harbors dark secrets, and if he knew.... Book Four SINS OF THE MOTHERS (1851 -1853) debuts May 3, 2015 and picks right up in the same scene at the end of book three, when she tells her daddy she isn't going to Europe, then he's barely gone before she lights out to elope with the man he disapproved. The newlyweds are off to the gold fields of California. Caleb Wheeler knows well enough he can't stay in Red River County, so talks the one who loves him into partnering in his cousin, John's dry goods store. But he's sent the one he loves, John's sister Lanelle ahead. Oh what a tangled web we do weave. Nothing goes right for sweet Mary Rachel, and she just keeps digging her hole deeper. For someone so smart.... Book Five DAUGHTERS OF THE HEART (1853 -1854) debuted September 1st, 2015 and picks right up in the same year book four ended with Mary Rachel's three younger sisters, Gwendolyn and Cecelia coming of age, and twelve-year-old Bonnie wishing she were, too. Gwen leads the sisters to make a pact never to break Daddy's heart like their older sister did, then almost as soon as it's done and suitors show up, find it a difficult promise to keep. Henry on the other hand has never been so beside himself, hating that men are showing up who want to take his babies away. He's inclined to shoot every one and feed them to the hogs. Praise the Lord for a level headed wife who helps him navigate through the feminine chaos that's descended on his home.
Blessings from Texas!VOW UNBROKEN 1832 / Susannah Baylor Buy VOW Now HEARTS STOLEN 1839-1844 / Sassy Nightengale Buy HEARTS Now HOPE REBORN 1850-1851 / May Merriwether Buy HOPE Now SINS OF THE MOTHERS 1851-1853 / Mary Buckmeyer Buy MOTHERS Now DAUGHTERS OF THE HEART 1853-1854 Gwendolyn Buy DAUGHTERS Now and Cecelia Buckmeyer THE FUTURE for this SERIES God willing, Book six JUST KIN, 1861-1864 debuts January 2, 2016. The Civil War has begun, Texas has sided with the Confederates, and though Henry hates slavery, he loves Texas more, and goes to war with Levi and Wallace, Charley, Houston, and Bart. On the day they leave, after the photographer has shot plenty of photos, Lacey Rose (born in book two Hearts Stolen) kisses Charley good-bye. Her act leads to her running off to live a life that's so different from any she could have imagined. Will Charley go after her? Can he even try without deserting? Book seven AT LIBERTY TO LOVE, 1865-1868 debuts May 15, 2016 and will take place in San Francisco when two sisters, Rebecca and Bonnie go to visit Mary Rachel and her family there. Book eight THE BEDWARMER'S SON, 1858-1866 and 1929 next September, and book nine THE CHIEF OF SINNERS, 1926-1950, with Broderick Eversole Nightingale (Charley's grandson) as hero, are planned. And a companion story THE SON OF PROMISE, 1951, with Travis Buckmeyer as hero. You're sure to have fun with a new contemporary Red River Romance series with a few more Christian romances that have the descendants of the Buckmeyers and Baylors in them: titled THE PREACHER'S FAITH, SING A NEW SONG, THE PITCH and ACQUIRING A WIFE. ALL if the Lord is willing, of course.
Long Live Texas!!