Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog.
Join them as they dish about Books, Romance, Love, and Life.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


My latest trilogy, Men of Stone Mountain, is about the three Stone brothers: Micah, Zach, and Joel. Aren’t brothers enough of a link for a trilogy? Yes, but there’s another link to these three books. Each involves poison in some way and is a mystery as well as a historical romance. No, I’m not bloodthirsty and I don’t intend to use my knowledge to wipe out any real people. In this trilogy, however, I wipe out a several people. Ah, the joys of being a writer! We are allowed to vent our frustrations by killing people on paper. And it’s legal. I love my job!

Studying herbal medicine is sort of a mini-hobby. I’ve taken the excellent herbal class Beth Trissel occasionally offers, as well as perusing my books on folk medicine. Pioneers relied heavily on their ability to recognize healing plants as well as those that discouraged pests and vermin. No Walgreens or WalMart around in those days.  Early settlers also learned that what can heal, if administered improperly, can harm. Cue eerie music.

Don’t you suspect a lot of so-called natural deaths were helped along before modern medicine and forensics discouraged using potions and tinctures to kill? Maybe I’m suspicious by nature, but I believe a lot of troublesome people died prematurely, helped along by a supposedly loving family member.

“My father in law Uriah? Why, he had a heart attack and up and died.”

“My first two wives? Each took sick and died on me.”

If you lived in the middle of nowhere, who was around to prove otherwise? If you lived in town, forensics had not advanced to today’s level. Even if a lawman or physician suspected murder, he had to prove it. A few poisons left tattletale signs, others left none. And that’s not even counting falls and other so-called accidents. You think life is dangerous now?

Often pioneers learned more about the local plants from friendly Native Americans. As people moved West and the topography and climate changed, they found many plants with which they were unfamiliar. They required help to discover which helped and which harmed. Have you wondered who first tasted this or that to see if it would make good food or medicine? I admit I often wonder trivial things like that.

I’ve heard that women are more likely to use poison than men. Perhaps that’s due to lack of physical strength. In this trilogy, both sexes are involved in using poison—some for evil, some for self defense. And I wanted each to be a natural poison found in the wild.

Here are the three books:

BRAZOS BRIDE’s heroine, Hope Montoya, is a smart woman and figures out that someone is poisoning her. Who and why are more difficult problems.  Until she knows, she can trust no one who has access to her food or medicine. She vows to fight for her life, but she’s so weakened by the poison that she can’t fight alone. Enter our hero, Micah Stone. Do you hear the “1812 Overture?” You know, I’ve heard a highbrow is someone who can hear that music without thinking of the Lone Ranger. But I digress.

In HIGH STAKES BRIDE, Alice Price is on the run from her less-than-bright stepbrothers who plan to hand her over to a man she considers the meanest man in Texas to settle a gambling debt. Enter Zach Stone to lend a hand. But in the end quick thinking Alice has to save herself, with Zach fast on her heels to the rescue.

In BLUEBONNET BRIDE, Rosalyn must escape an unjust death sentence for poisoning her husband with dried oleander from her garden.  She flees to the ends of the earth, or so it seems to her, and meets Joel Stone. Only he can save her, but his family helps. Those Stones stick together. I love that fact about them.

In the event you wish to buy any of these books, I’m happy to share that I have combined the three into a boxed set, MEN OF STONE MOUNTAIN: MICAH, ZACH, AND JOEL, at a reduced price that saves you two dollars at Amazon

Individually, each book is also available at iTunes, Kindle, Nook, Kobo and at Smashwords.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Hi Caroline! I find the herbal teachings of the Native Americans interesting as well. And I've often wondered how they discovered what each of the plants were good for and who the guinea pigs were? Perhaps slaves, injured warriors from other tribes? The whole fact that most of the pharmaceuticals sold over the counter started out as a natural substance and they package it charging an arm and a leg is ridiculous.

    I've only read the first book so far. It's hard to get to more than one book from each of the authors I know. If I ever stop adding more authors to my friend stable, I'll get to read a second book by them!

    Fun post!

  2. Paty, we'll never get caught up with our friends' books. Thanks for reading one of mine.

  3. Poisons or medicinal, the study of herbs and natural treatments have always fascinated me. Good post. I love all three of these books, Caroline. I can hardly wait for the next one. Like you told a writer friend the other day, write faster! ;-)

  4. Well, you know I'm all about herbs, and thanks for the high five. You certainly can do a lot with medicinal treatments or poisoning in your era and setting. These books sound fascinating. Sometimes I think I should give up all my researching and writing and go back to just reading which I used to do a great deal more of.


Thank you for commenting on Smart Girls Read Romance. We love readers and love their comments. We apologize that due to a few unethical spammers we've had to institute comment moderation. Please be patient with us... we DO want your genuine comments!