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Luscious Looks at Caroline Clemmons’ The Most Unsuitable Courtship

by on January 21, 2014

Thanks to Lynn for letting me guest at Luscious today.

What inspires you to pick up a book? Maybe the same thing that inspires authors to write one. For me, I love when there are children in a story. How the hero and heroine interact with children and pets reveals a lot about their character. Children add complications—as any parent knows. Children also add richness and reward. In the right circumstances, children bind a couple together.

The greatest percent of my books have children in them. Often the children in my books are orphans to be rescued: THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE, THE MOST UNSUITABLE HUSBAND, THE MOST UNSUITABLE COURTSHIP, HIGH STAKES BRIDE, SAVE YOUR HEART FOR ME. Occasionally, they are children belonging to the hero or heroine: BE MY GUEST, BLUEBONNET BRIDE, HOME SWEET TEXAS HOME.

Why? Perhaps it’s my unfulfilled wish that I could have adopted half a dozen kids to raise with our two biological girls. Perhaps because there are so many homeless children still who need rescuing. Who knows? I do know that I love books that include children and pets.

How many times has a gruff hero shown his softer side by stooping to speak to a child? Or feeds/adopts a homeless dog? A real hero protects and cares for those weaker than him, especially children.

I admit my weakness for books and movies that feature tough guys and small kids. One of my favorite western movies is “The Apple Dumpling Gang” in which a self-interested gambler becomes caregiver for three adorable orphans. We all knew he was a goner the minute the kids showed up, didn’t we? And I loved Julie Garwood’s FOR THE ROSES, in which three kids adopt a baby girl and notonly get themselves and her to safety but also establish a ranch for their family. Garwood’s PRINCE CHARMING also shows a tough western man who helps an amazing English heroine save several children. There are too many more to list.

What are your favorite books and movies that show a hero interacting with children or pets?

Here’s the blurb for THE MOST UNSUITABLE COURTSHIP:

Storm Kincaid wants justice; Rena Dmitriev wants vengeance.

 

When Storm’s best friend and the friend’s wife are murdered, Storm secures a temporary appointment as Federal Marshal so he can trail and capture the killers. He follows them to twenty-one year old Rena’s home, which is in flames when he arrives. She has surived by hiding while the men murdered the elderly man who was her husband in name only.  Storm intends to take her to the nearest town where she will be safe. She can identify the men who killed the person who had been like a grandfather to her and she vows to kill at least one of them. Whether or not Storm allows her to accompany him, she assures him she will go after the murderers.  She is the only person alive who can identify the evil foursome whose policy has been to leave no witnesses. Storm agrees to taker her with him. She’ll be safer with him to protect her than she would riding alone.

 

As a powerful and passionate love blossoms, they unite to rescue three children, fight the elements, and encounter the killers. Will their love be enough to protect them?

 

Here’s the excerpt of THE MOST UNSUITABLE COURTSHIP:

 

She emerged from the brush straightening her trousers and shoving her pistol back into her waistband. “Where do you think those men are going?”

“Indian Territory. They’ll steal all they can before they reach the Red River and leave no survivors to identify them. They’re selling off the stolen stock along the way, so that will slow them some.” He wondered if she knew how to use the gun.

“But I saw their faces.”

He sent her what he hoped was a frightening stare. “If they knew that, you’d be dead for sure.”

She shivered, but glared at him. “Do not think to frighten me. I will do everything I can to kill these men and reclaim my gold and my mother’s locket. It is not that I care about the jewelry that once belonged to Abram’s wife. But to him, it meant a great deal, and I want it because he gave it to me.”

Storm wanted to shake her. Not that he hadn’t lived all his life with stubborn women. At least his oldest sister Pearl made sense. He’d worried about shy Sarah, especially when she’d appeared head over heels with a con man. Now that Sarah and Nate were married, she had life figured out. Nate had surprised everyone, even himself. Storm suppressed a smile and worked up his anger again at his traveling companion.

“We can be in Llano by nightfall. We’ll get a couple of rooms there and you can rest.”

She shot him a suspicious glare. “You think to abandon me in that town. If we stay somewhere, we will be in the same room so I can watch you.”

Shocked, Storm wondered what he could do with this woman. “We wouldn’t be allowed to stay in a decent hotel. You want to sleep over a saloon? Besides that, folks will be shocked when they see you in those trousers. You want people to think you’re a fallen woman?”

With her chin raised, she placed her hands on her hips. “I am a good woman. You can tell them we are married and I wear britches to ride more easily.” She held up her hand and wiggled her fingers. “I have a wedding band, see?”

He raised his hands and backed up a step. “Oh, no. I’m not even pretending to be married. If I were ready to marry, which I’m not, I’d pick a woman who knew when to let a man do his job.”

“Ha, and when I recover my dowry, I will marry a man who knows a woman can do as much as a man.”

He swept a formal bow. “And when you marry, will you be wearing the lovely gown you now wear?”

She appeared angry enough to use that Colt on him. “You are wrong to…to talk so. I do not have the English words to tell you what I think, but do not try to leave me behind. If you do, I will go after the men alone.”

Disgusted, Storm stomped over and retrieved the horses. “Then let’s go.”

They rode into Llano in late afternoon. Since they arrived mid week, the town appeared peaceful and quiet. Storm spotted a hotel by the livery he remembered.

“If you’re determined to stick to me like glue, let’s stable the horses.”

At the stable, she staggered when she dismounted and he thought she might fall. He grabbed her arms. “Steady. You’re not used to riding so long.”

“Ja, my legs do not work so well. Do not worry, I will be fine in a minute.”

She remained quiet while he dealt with the hostler and insured his rifle and saddle would be safe. He threw his saddlebags over his shoulder and retrieved the two pillowcases and box he’d tied to the saddle pommel. They ambled the block toward the hotel.

He indicated a mercantile. “Just what we need. After we get our room, let’s head for that store before it closes. You probably need to replace a few things that burned.” When she glared at him. “I’ll give you the money, all right? I don’t want folks thinking my wife runs around in men’s clothes. If anyone gets nosy, tell them you lost your bag crossing a river.”

She sniffed and sashayed as if she wore a ball gown instead of ill-fitting men’s trousers. “I will keep track and repay you when I kill those men.”

ABOUT CAROLINE

Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling author of historical and contemporary western romances whose books have garnered numerous awards. Her latest release is THE MOST UNSUITABLE COURTSHIP, book three of her popular Kincaid series. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.

Caroline is a member of Romance Writers of America, Dallas Area Romance Authors, Yellow Rose Romance Writers, and Hearts Through History Romance Writers. Her latest publications include the acclaimed historical Men of Stone Mountain series: BRAZOS BRIDE, HIGH STAKES BRIDE, and BLUEBONNET BRIDE and the audio book of BRAZOS BRIDE.

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets—Shih Tzu Webster, huge tuxedo cat Sebastian, and small Manx cat Max. Prior to writing full time, her jobs included stay-at-home mom (her favorite), secretary, newspaper reporter and featured columnist, assistant to the managing editor of a psychology journal, bookkeeper for the local tax assessor and—for a short and fun time—an antique dealer with her youngest daughter. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, painting, getting together with friends, and enjoying watching the birds, butterflies, and squirrels wandering through her back yard.  Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

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16 Comments
  1. Thanks so much for hosting me here at Luscious Literaries. I love the site and am honored to be a guest.

  2. Caroline, I agree with you about children and pets. I usually don’t seek to include them in my stories, but they manage to sneak in anyway, the little devils. 😉

    I need to get busy reading your “unsuitable” series. I so enjoyed the Men of Stone Mountain books.

    HUGS!!!!

    • Thanks, Kathleen. I sure loved THE SECOND BEST RANGER IN TEXAS. Just finished it last night. Can’t wait for more stories from you.

  3. Great post and excerpt, Caroline! You’re such a talented writer.

  4. Great post, Caroline. I love including children and pets – especially pets – in books. They really bring out a character’s true …. character.

  5. The best way to let a reader know the hero or heroine is a good person is to show them treat a pet or child with love. You are so right about that.
    I enjoyed your excerpt and your blog, Caroline.
    I hope you’re having a wonderful day.

  6. I certainly love stories with kids and animals in them. 🙂 One thing I love about your books is that your child characters act age-appropriate and your pet characters are spot on. You’re such an awesome writer!

  7. Hello Caroline – why, yes, I knew you were Luscious – lol. Great post. Didn’t know you had so many books in this series or that you wrote about children and pets. I’m a HUGE animal lover and often place dogs in my books. You know, the scruffy, mongrel bad-A** dog that helps the hero put the villain in his place. Anyway, the excerpt was great and love the cover of the cowboy and the blond beauty! Wishing you tons of success on this release.
    Blessings, Keta
    http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com

  8. Aw, shucks, Jacquie. You know you are the best in my opinion!

  9. Loved the blog, Caroline, you luscious doll.

  10. Hi Caroline,
    What a great post. You are one of the best western authors that I have read. I really loved the excerpt.

    Regards

    Margaret

  11. susanhorsnell permalink

    Caroline, wonderful post as usual. You are so talented and I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of your books.

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