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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Spotlight Saturday: Guest Post and Giveaway with Caroline Clemmons, author of Bluebonnet Bride

Hi, everyone!

Welcome to another edition of Spotlight Saturday at Darlene's Book Nook, where we feature authors and their books!

We will be joined today by Caroline Clemmons.

About Caroline:

Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling author of historical and contemporary western romances whose books have garnered numerous awards. Her most recent novel, BLUEBONNET BRIDE, is a poignant tale of tender redemption. 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 are the acclaimed historical Men of Stone Mountain series: BRAZOS BRIDE, HIGH STAKES BRIDE, and BLUEBONNET BRIDE.

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, painting, and getting together with friends.


Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Caroline!

Caroline has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her!

Thanks to Darlene for having me as her guest today.

Many readers ask what sparks an author’s ideas. Bobbye Terry says she orders hers from a small factory in Ohio. ☺ You can tell her books include humor. The true answer is . . . everywhere. A song, a photo, a TV show, a newspaper article, or a conversation can ignite an idea that may or may not have much to do with the kernel that sparked it.

An example is the love of history my husband and I share. A few years ago we learned of an open house for an historic ranch a couple of counties away. For those who live elsewhere, this ranch may not seem historic, but for this area of Texas, it is remarkable. The Belding-Gibson Ranch was settled in 1859. During this time, Comanche and Kiowa still raided this part of North Central Texas and this was a dangerous place only the hardiest survived.

The original Belding cedar log cabin has been preserved and is now incorporated as a bathroom for the ranch house. Don’t you admire people who have the vision to preserve and protect their heritage? The smoke house is also a part of the home, serving as a storeroom. Along the hall, one can see evidence of the former cold room for storing those foods that required refrigeration before other means were available.

Rail fences and an Irish-style stone fence remain near the ranch headquarters, but others are the five-strand barbed wire common to this area. A wandering Irishman built the fence in exchange for food and shelter.

Large live oak trees beautify the pastures and offer cattle shade during hot Texas summers. By the way, live oaks are not oaks that are alive, although they are, of course. A live oak is a type of oak tree that has thick clusters of green leaves year round. These trees are important in High Stakes Bride when the heroine hides in one during her winter escape.

In the back of my mind, I had been thinking about a series for three brothers who lived in the Palo Pinto Mountains. These are not what most people think of as mountains, but in geographical terms, they are mountains due to their formation. To me, they’re lovely and I planned for the brothers to own one, hence the series title, Men of Stone Mountain.

When I saw this beautiful Belding-Gibson Ranch, I knew I’d found the perfect setting—but with a few alterations. I created the town of Radford Springs as the seat of fictional Radford County. The main ranch became a part of a Spanish don’s holdings, complete with a large hacienda near the Brazos River. Nearby, I “built” a cedar log cabin for the first book’s hero, Micah in Brazos Bride.

Additional research led to side trips and adventures for High Stakes Bride’s hero, Zach Stone. I’m one of those authors who become lost in research. But this idea so excited me, I pulled my nose from history books and started the Men of Stone Mountain series.

Today, I’m happy the third book, Bluebonnet Bride, has been released. I enjoyed them too much to say goodbye to the Stone brothers. So, I plan to revisit them with a couple of novellas in the near future. The first one, Wonders of a Texas Christmas, will be released at the first of November. (That’s not the title I liked best, but is one that no other books have used.)

When you read a book, ask yourself if you can figure out the original idea that sparked the book. Better yet, become so engrossed in the book’s characters and plot that you don’t care what sparked the story.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Thanks so much for joining us today, Caroline!


Three lucky winners will win a copy of the third book in Caroline's Men of Stone Mountain series, Bluebonnet Bride.
Grand Prize (Canada/US only): Paperback copy

2 Runner-up Prizes (Worldwide): Digital copy

He’s a by-the-book Texas sheriff; she’s on the run from a murder conviction...

When a tornado provides Rosalyn with the opportunity to escape the gallows, she collects her daughter Lucy and flees. They travel far enough West that Rosalyn believes she’s gone to the ends of the earth. She hopes she and Lucy will be safe in this remote North Texas town where she embarks on a new life as a dressmaker. If only she could avoid contact with people, especially the handsome sheriff who pops up every time she turns around. She fears either she or her chatterbox daughter may slip and reveal too much.

Joel Stone has been content with his life, even if it’s not the one he’d dreamed. His younger brothers are married and living nearby, his aunts have moved to Radford Springs, and he is respected for the efficient job he does as sheriff. When he meets the new widow in town, his instant attraction staggers him. She appears uninterested, but he is determined to win her hand in marriage.

But life doesn’t turn out the way either Rosalyn or Joel plan. They overcome temporary obstacles, but what of the secret she protects? Can he save her from the gallows?

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Rosalyn has been convicted of poisoning her wealthy, influential husband. She is innocent, but has no way to prove it. She has been sentenced to hang the next day on the gallows she watched built outside her cell window.

Rosalyn looked at Lucy’s drawing. Her daughter’s simplistic art showed a woman and little girl holding hands in a garden. How many times had she and Lucy walked among her plants, admiring the blooms and the butterflies attracted to the flowers? Rosalyn sank to her cot and sobbed.

The wind picked up and a gust fluttered the paper in her hands. Lightning flashed and rain blew through the open window. Rosalyn moved to the other cot across the narrow cell. At least the rain didn’t hit her there.

The sky grew darker and clouds developed a greenish cast. Fine hairs on Rosalyn’s arms prickled and raised. A peculiar sulphurous odor surrounded her.

“Sheriff, the sky looks ominous, like a tornado is coming.”

Sheriff Boudreau glanced up but didn’t rise from his chair. “Naw, too early in the year for a cyclone.” He went back to reading his newspaper, which is what he did most of the time as far as Rosalyn could tell. Either the man memorized the stories or he was the slowest reader ever born.

Dust and debris blew through the window and swirled around the cell. A horrific sound reached Rosalyn’s ears, like a freight train roaring toward town. She’d never been in a tornado, but she recognized the vibration from descriptions she’d heard. Instead of just dust and paper, now debris flew from between the bars. A tin can hit her forehead with such force she fell back against the wall.

“Take cover,” yelled the sheriff and he hit the floor in an attempt to crawl into his desk’s kneehole.

Her cot was bolted to the concrete floor, so she crawled underneath. The rumble grew louder, shaking everything. Rosalyn clung to the cot’s legs with white knuckles. Air whooshed from her lungs and she fought to breathe.

Winds sucked at her skirt so hard she thought her clothes would be ripped from her body. Holding on to the metal bed legs required all her strength. Swirling debris pummeled her and she closed her eyes against the sting. With a powerful crash, the roof flew away and the wooden jail walls collapsed inward. The noise nearly deafened her and her ears popped. At last, the only sound was thunder.

Cautiously, Rosalyn clawed her way out from her hiding place. Clouds of dust rose through the rain and she coughed. Her mouth tasted like mud. Only rubble surrounded her. In addition to jail’s cell bars, the storm had deposited debris from who knew where. No telling where her shawl was. A roof beam lay across her bed’s frame.

If not for the sturdy metal skeleton, she surely would have been crushed or blown away. Rain drenched the town and she heard cries as people called for loved ones and friends. Darkness hung heavy, broken only by flashes of lightning. She inched her way across the littered floor in a crouch, climbing cautiously over obstacles.

Lucy, she had to make certain Lucy was all right.

To enter the giveaway, you must complete the Rafflecopter entry form below.

The giveaway is open worldwide and will close at 12:00 AM CST on March 9, 2013.


  1. Darlene, thank you for featuring me today on your beautiful blog.

  2. Darlene thank you for having Caroline as a guest. She is a friend of mine and one of my most favorite authors, plus reading her post enabled me to visit your beautiful blog.
    I will be back.

    1. Wonderful, Carra! I am happy to have Caroline as a guest here today.

  3. Caroline, I enjoyed reading your post. I don't remember ever hearing the full story behind your inspiration for the Men of Stone Mountain series. I've loved each story and eagerly await your Christmas novella.

  4. Nice post, Caroline. You have a winner with your Stone Mountain series!

  5. Caroline, I enjoyed your post. I have the Men of Stone Mountain series and loved every story.

  6. Carra, Jacquie, and Mary, thanks for coming by.

  7. Interesting information about Texas history and ranching. I'm so far behind in my reading! I need to get your Stone Mountain books.

  8. I really enjoyed your post, Caroline, about inspiration and how you mapped out the background and location for your Men of Stone Mountain series. The research and imagery you bring to your writing is always exceptional and truly paints a picture that is unforgettable. Combined with your wonderful characters and heartfelt romance, I LOVE this series.

  9. Terrific post, Caroline, as always. Interesting historical info. Your Men of Stone Mountain series is wonderful!


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