What's A Dragoon? Find out in my new release The Dragoon's Bride!
From the desk of Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy…….
Have you ever met a Dragoon? They’re rare these days although they still exist. Yes, Dragoon, not dragon although I’d hazard a guess you’ve probably never met one of those either. Dragoons began as a type of mounted cavalry troops. Dragoon soldiers were something different than the common foot soldier. Today, a few Dragoon regiments exist in Canada and Britain. Some of those in Britain are the 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards. You’ll find a few in other parts of the world as well but in the 21st century, most are ceremonial. At one time though, dragoons ranked as crack, top troops. Here’s an example of a Dragoon soldier from United States history, the type of dragoon soldier once stationed at Fort Scott on the wild frontier (now part of Kansas).
Fort Scott’s – the Army post and not the town which grew up outside the gates of the fort over time – history is a brief but colorful one. Since I live a couple of hours away from the historic Fort Scott site, it’s a favorite place to visit. Many of the post’s original buildings still stand and on special days, the fort hosts dragoon re-enactors which are amazing to watch. A visit to Fort Scott prompted me to write the first of my new brides series for Rebel Ink Press, Dragoon’s Bride. The official release day is November 17th, tomorrow. Upcoming titles will also include The St. Nicholas Bride in January. Despite the name, it’s not a Christmas story at all – St. Nicholas is the name of a one-time saloon and hotel in the frontier outpost that grew into Kansas City, Missouri.
I love the cover for Dragoon’s Bride, a unique and beautiful effect created by Carl J. Franklin. Here it is and here’s the blurb as well:
Army Sergeant Andrew Carmichael is a Dragoon stationed at Fort Scott on the far edge of the great American frontier. His duties include riding with wagon trains that are Santa Fe bound to offer protection and this trip should be routine. But he's smitten with a pretty woman, Miss Charlotte Lockhart, but he thinks she's traveling with a husband. When cholera strikes the westbound party, he learns her companion is not her husband but her brother. Despite the epidemic and ongoing tragedy, Andrew finds he's ready to take a bride.
And here’s a little taste from the short, first of my new brides series! Andrew had appreciated her beauty from the moment he first saw her. He’d lusted after her luscious body. He’d been smitten even when he thought her wed. Andrew would do anything for this pretty little gal and although he shouldn’t, he nodded. “I promise, Miss Charlotte. Don’t you worry, not for one minute. I give you my word as a man and as a soldier.”
Her tears increased from a trickle to a thunderstorm. Charlotte Lockhart tucked herself into the curve of his arm and wept with her face against his blue jacket. Andrew found himself holding her, one hand patting her on the back in a clumsy effort to offer succor. Through her sobs, he realized she said, “Oh, thank you, thank you.”
He had no doubt this lovely lady would cause him no end of trouble and complication, but as he held her tight, Andrew realized she touched his heart as well as his body. He wanted her, but the first stirrings of love tempered his lust.
My next release will be a little Christmas tale coming December 3 – Scrooge’s Song, also from Rebel Ink Press! Here’s the blurb for it and a little sneak peek as well!
After three Christmas ghosts impacted Ebenezer Scrooge’s life and transformed the man forever, he became a better man. His miserly ways vanished in the wake of his new generosity and he embraced life in every way. Happiness and contentment came along with his changed soul but something’s missing from his otherwise full existence. His relationship with his nephew Fred deepens and so does his friendship with the Crachit family but there’s something he doesn’t have although he’s not sure quite what.
After a chance meeting with a lovely widow, Mrs. Abigail Collins, however, Scrooge realized what he lacked and set out to court her, object marriage. By the time the Christmas comes around again, Ebenezer Scrooge will fully experience and embrace the change begun after his haunted experiences with a song in his heart and on his lips.
“Good day to you, madam,” he said with another bow and tip of his hat. If she’d been a green girl, never married, they couldn’t have exchanged these few words and remained proper. Even their chance meeting could’ve been a scandal but her widowhood lent an air of respectability. By Jove, he thought, I do believe she connived this meeting. ‘Twasn’t by chance she timed her task just as he happened to take his leave. Their brief conversation seemed to hold much more meaning and although he turned, as a gentleman should, and headed in the opposite direction, Ebenezer realized something new and awfully wondrous was afoot.
He’d shelved the very idea of courtship long ago, after Belle and never considered it. Scrooge had lived as a confirmed bachelor and thought he’d end his days as such. Even after Christmas when his experiences revived his dormant heart, he hadn’t imagined such a thing.
Mrs. Collins, Abigail, he remembered Sallie had said, evoked interests he’d given up with his youth. The old delicious feeling he remembered from courting Belle, from eyeing young girls in his youth returned. It rushed through his body until he wanted to dance, to cut a caper as he walked the long blocks toward his counting house. He resisted the urge to sing as he strolled but as he made his way toward the financial district, the heart of the old city, Scrooge greeted all who passed with such enthusiasm they had to smile back at him.