Evergreen—One quaint western town…roiling with romance, rivalries, and proposals. Now, for the first time in a box set! Yep, ALL the Brides of Evergreen together in one collection!
I’ve truly enjoyed writing the Evergreen series! So many fun, historical characters are woven into the stories. And because I’ll be adding one more book to the collection in 2020, here’s your chance to catch up on all FIVE previous stories for only .99!
One reason I think these books are appreciated by readers is my research and passion for the story shows. Anyone who reads even just
one of my books knows I love history!
So, let me give you a little peek-behind-the-curtain at the Evergreen stories.
Book 1: Hang Your Heart on Christmas is about a tough lawman bent on revenge and he’s very good at his job–until a sweet schoolteacher gets him to thinking about things other than vengeance. The hero in Hang is Hispanic U.S. Marshal Dent Hernandez–loosely based on the very real Elfago Baca. Baca was a gunman, lawman, lawyer, and eventually even a politician and his real-life exploits–well, let’s just say you should read the foreword in Hang. Baca was one amazing man.
Book 2: Ask Me to Marry You contains two stories — #1 Male-Order Bride and #2 A Proposal So Magical. The interesting thing about #1 is the idea was sparked by the stunning number of casualties the South suffered during the Civil War. Literally, women became desperate for husbands, if they didn’t have some other plan.
Book 3: Mail-Order Deception — this story prompted research into two interesting historical figures: Nellie Bly was the brash and fearless reporter in the late 1800’s who turned out to be the inspiration behind the inimitable Lois Lane! And Kate Warne was the first female Pinkerton Detective, hired by Allan Pinkerton himself in 1856. Both these ladies contribute mightily to my heroine in the story!
Book 4: To Love and to Honor — I wrote this story with the very specific desire of creating an amputee hero who finds true, lasting, unconditional love. The entire story is a tribute to our American military veterans, both men and women! For this story, I did some fascinating research into the history of prosthetics, as well as horseback riding missing a limb!
Anyway, all the books are together in a box set now, so I hope you’ll give them a read. I plan on releasing a final addition to the set in 2020 so this is your chance to get caught up for less than the price of a cup of coffee!
Happy trails, y’all, and thanks for reading!
As a nation, not only have we become deeply divided, but we’re divided over stupid things. Maybe–here’s a crazy thought–if we were a little less sensitive we’d all get along a little better. Instead of scouring the universe for something that hurts our little feelings, maybe we could be more concerned with things that matter.
So, here’s the reason for my rant. I recently read an article (Writing with Color Description Guide Part One) that said writers shouldn’t use words like chocolate, coffee, cinnamon, cocoa, etc. to describe a Person of Color. Such descriptors are, according to this article’s author, fetishizing, dehumanizing, and my favorite (and I quote): these words are about aggression and appropriation and have links to colonialism.
You can’t, according to the writer, use coffee, for example, to describe someone’s skin color because it refers to slavery. You’re microaggressively trying to show your European dominance. I have to quote the writer again: “Cocoa. Coffee. They drove the slave trade. They still drive the slave trade.” (Underline is hers not mine.) In short, you are obviously a racist if you use the word coffee to describe an African American’s skin tone. Give me a break.
BUT, we can use words like peachy and milky to describe whites–because, according to the article’s author, whites aren’t people of color. Furthermore, she says it’s okay to say Olive-toned (Olives have no historical connection to slavery?). She also says it’s okay to use other foodie descriptors like wheat, soybean…wait, what? Soybean?
I’m pretty sure a stranger would be offended if I described her skin as a warm soybean color. Now THAT is dehumanizing.
And just who does this writer suggest run the Politically Correct Botanical Comparison Police anyway? Her? Frankly, with stupid suggestions like “soybean,” someone needs to take her badge away.
I LOVE coffee. I am pretty sure that’s not because I’m a subconscious racist. Coffee smells like heaven. The texture is gritty and firm. The taste is warm, savory, and comforting. I could sleep on a bed of steamy milk. Anyone who walks into a Starbuck’s and inhales that heady aroma knows exactly what I’m talking about.
My point is rather than worrying about microaggressions or poor cliches in literature, people that live to be offended should try to be more constructive. That is if they truly want to make this a better world.
Instead of complaining about being called coffee, go have a cup with someone who has a different view of life from yours. Instead of acting like your elders’ march for civil rights didn’t break any barriers, let’s march together to end sex slave trafficking. Instead of whining about the way illegal immigrants are treated, study America’s history and look at what blessings members of the “melting pot” have added to the world.
I have a suspicion, though, the writer of “Writing with Color” would rather just go read Mark Twain and strikethrough all the offensive words. Maybe she’ll feel better but I doubt it.
How about you? Do you feel victimized by bad color metaphors or do you even give a rip as long as you can see the scene and the character?
(To be fair, the author in Part 2 she does offer some nice substitutes, but she clearly shies away from metaphors and similes, preferring to just use colors to describe characters).
In light of all the racial tension boiling in Ferguson, I thought it would be uplifting to remind us that, even in the Wild West, peace among different races has not always been elusive. Mattie Bost Bell Castner is a wonderful example.
Born a slave in Newton, NC in 1848, she and her family moved to St. Louis after the Emancipation Proclamation for a fresh start. Mattie worked as a nanny, domestic servant, and hotel maid. Eager to expand her horizons, though, she moved to Fort Benton, MT and opened a laundry. Her business did quite well and the former slave could have called herself a successful, independent businesswoman. Sharp, wise, well-spoken, and pretty to boot, Mattie caught the eye of John Castner. Castner, too, was a hard-working entrepreneur who ran his own freight business. He had scouted much of the territory and had a particular fascination with Belt Creek. Dreaming of bigger pay offs than the freight company, he had filed several mining claims along the creek’s ford, which is near present day Great Falls.
Recognizing the fact that life in Montana is not for the faint of heart, Castner was taken with Mattie’s grit and determination to succeed in such a tough environment. Defying convention, the white man took as his wife the lovely, dark, former slave. The two were stronger together than they could have ever been apart. They dug in and went to work, building what would become the town of Belt. Castner pursued his interests in freighting and coal mining, and opened a mercantile. Matty opened the Castner Hotel, in the center of the booming little mining town. A place known for good food, exquisite service, and plenty of smiles.
Perhaps because of her background, this former slave was renowned territory-wide for her generosity and compassion. She was always ready to help out new families in town with advice, connections, and donations of supplies and cash. She became known as “the mother of Belt.” In the meantime, her husband served as the town’s mayor.
The mixed race couple had a good thing going and blessed others as much as they could, building a tight community, and living a life together that was envied by most.
When Mattie died in 1920, she left her fortune of $25,000 to charity.
A life begun in slavery could have made this woman dark and twisted. Instead, Mattie became a true Lady in Defiance. She lived in defiance of bitterness, hatred, and racism to leave behind a legacy of peace, love, and unity. Well done, Mattie. Well done.
copyright 2014 Heather Blanton