MyThanksgiving treat is having Western Author Linda LaRoque visiting 'she said, he said...' today! Please give her a big welcome, settle in, and find out what Linda has been up to. Not details of today's celebrations-Linda's going to update us on her recent release called 'A Marshall of Her Own'. Take a little break from feasting...or whatever else you might be doing around the world. Pull up a ...chair, get that delicious drink ready..., and let's get going! First let's learn a bit about Linda herself.
Linda LaRoque is a Texas girl, but the first time she got on a horse, it tossed her in the road dislocating her right shoulder. Forty years passed before she got on another, but it was older, slower, and she was wiser. Plus, her students looked on and it was important to save face.
A retired teacher who loves West Texas, its flora and fauna, and its people, Linda’s stories paint pictures of life, love, and learning set against the raw landscape of ranches and rural communities in Texas and the Midwest. She is a member of RWA, her local chapter of HOTRWA, NTRWA and Texas Mountain Trail Writers.
Welcome, Linda. it's great to have you here on your blog tour. Since yesterday kicked off with a bang let's read a lttle about you, and the 'tools of writing' history you've got to share with us today. Maybe if we're good we'll get right on to that exciting blurb...and excellent 'gotta read today' excerpt.
The Invention of the Fountain Pen
In the process of writing my time travel, A Marshal of Her Own, set in the old West in 1890 my heroine wants to write an article for the newspaper and goes in search of writing materials. The owner of the boarding house where Dessa is staying sends her to the desk in the parlor. What would she find? I decided I better research the topic.
When I started school in the early 1950s, our desks still had ink wells and the pens we used were refillable by using a plunger type device. It could sometimes be a messy process and we often had ink smudged fingers and papers. In high school we graduated to the ink cartridges you dropped into the pen and then ball point pens became readily available.
For my research, I knew my heroine would be using either a quill pen, which had its own hollow channel, or possibly an early fountain pen. Steel nips for pens became common in the 1830s and soon replaced the quill pen. The oldest known fountain pen that has survived was developed by a Frenchman in 1702. The first self-filling fountain pen was developed by John Jacob Parker in 1831 but early pens were plagued with problems--ink spills and problems that made them impractical for use.
Louis Waterman is credited with developing the first practical fountain pen. He added an air hole in the steel hip and three groves inside the feed mechanism. This allowed the ink to flow more smoothly.
The most competitive part of the fountain pen industry was the method the pen used to fill the ink reservoir. Earlier pens used an eyedropper. Next came the flexible rubber sac that you squeezed the air out of allowing it to draw in the ink. A variety of other methods were designed with the lever filler by Walter Sheaffer being the design used most into the 1940s.
The lever type pen is the one I first remember using. In 1950 the cartridges were developed though I don't believe they were readily available for a few years.
Though ballpoint pens actually date back to the late 19th Century, they weren't exploited commercially. The first commercial ball point pens were made by Josef Lazio in 1943 in Britain and sales skyrocketed during WWII. They were more durable and could survive battlefield environments. They weren't introduced to the US market until 1945.
I decided in my story the heroine Dessa Wade wouldn't have access to a fountain pen so, she starts out with a quill pen. After a messy start, she gives up and picks up a lead pencil.
A Marshal of Her Own
Despite rumors of “strange doings” at a cabin in Fredericksburg, investigative reporter Dessa Wade books the cottage from which lawyer, Charity Dawson, disappeared in 2008. Dessa is intent on solving the mystery. Instead, she is caught in the mystery that surrounds the cabin and finds herself in 1890 in a shootout between the Faraday Gang and a US Marshal.
Marshal Cole Jeffers doesn’t believe Miss Wade is a time traveler. He admits she’s innocent of being an outlaw, but thinks she knows more about the gang than she’s telling. When she’s kidnapped by Zeke Faraday, Cole is determined to rescue her. He’s longed for a woman of his own, and Dessa Wade just might be the one—if she’ll commit to the past.
Dessa stood still and watched as they conversed. Something stank to high heaven about this entire situation. Why were the cops chasing robbers on horseback? It’s not like Fredericksburg was that isolated. She glanced at the captured men. The boy moaned, and she made a step to go over and help him. The Marshal spun, and the expression in his eye froze her in place.
“He needs first aid.”
“He’s fine. The Doc will tend to him when we get to the jail.”
“You could at least call 911 and let them patch him up for you.” She nodded to the man lying so still with his eyes closed. “Your other prisoner doesn’t look so good. He’s going to die on you if you don’t start CPR or get him some help.”
“Lady, no one is going to hear a yell from out here. Never heard of any 911 or CPR.” He propped the hand not holding the shotgun on his hip and threw her a disgusted look. “Are you blind? That man is dead, shot through the heart.”
Her head swam for a moment, and she struggled not to give in to the sensation and faint. She drew in deep gulps of air. “Well...well..., what about the coroner and the meat wagon, not to mention the CSI folks? If you don’t get them to record the scene, how are you going to cover your butt? The authorities might say you shot him in cold blood.”
He looked at her like she’d sprouted an extra head. “I don’t know what the hell you are talking about woman. No one will question my authority. I’m the law in this county. Now, be quiet, or I’m going to gag you.”
A Marshal of Her Own will be available now at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com and other online book stores. It is the sequel to A Law of Her Own available at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble.com and other online book stores. I’m awaiting a release date for A Love of His Own, the third story in the Prairie, Texas series.
My release contest for A Marshal of Her Own began November 9th. I’ll be giving away this vintage rhinestone typewriter pin. To enter the drawing, go to my website or blog and sign up for my newsletter. Don’t forget to verify your email address. If you already receive it, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with A Marshal of Her Own contest in the subject line. Contest ends December 15, 2011.
Leave me a comment or ask a question today and you’ll be entered into a drawing for an ecopy of A Law of Her Own.
Also, today’s blog post is part of 2 blog tours—this one for A Marshal of Her Own and starting December 4th, one for Born in Ice. Follow along each day and leave a comment to be entered into the grand prize drawing and learn about my Born in Ice contest.
The Blog Tour schedule will be posted on my blog and website. It will last 25 days and the Grand Prize is a Kindle. Leave a comment each day and your name will be entered 25 times. Pretty good odds, huh?
Thank you for having me on your blog today, Nancy!
Tomorrow, Nov. 25th I’ll be on Linda Kage’s blog at http://www.lindakage.com/index.html talking about Underwear in the Nineteenth Century.
Happy Reading and Writing!
Writing Romance With a Twist in Time
hope you enjoy the blurb and excerpt for A Marshal of Her Own.