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Monday, March 2, 2020


By Caroline Clemmons

March came in like a lamb here in North Central Texas. According to myths, that means it’s supposed to go out like a lion. If you’ve seen the musical “Carousel” then you’ll probably remember the line about March coming in like a lion, whipping up the ripples in the bay—or something close to that.

Now is the time of year I’m sorry I didn’t plant more daffodils, crocus, grape hyacinth, and forsythia. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no such thing as too many flowers. This year I hope to purchase flats of woodland violets to go under the roses. Their dark green leaves cheer me even when the flowers have faded.

One of the reasons we bought this house is because of the breakfast room view of the wooded back yard. If you’d grown up in Lubbock, Texas, you’d love woods and trees, too. Hero and I grew up in subdivisions where the builder supplied five shrubs and one tree. In fact, his dad built their house, so I’m not sure they had five shrubs. They did have several trees. Anyway, we are fans of our wooded lot.

I wish I had Beth Trissel’s patience and ability to grow flowers. She’s a wonder. I’ve taken her class on herbs and highly recommend it if you have the opportunity. I also have the book she wrote and her daughter illustrated, PLANTS FOR A MEDIEVAL HERB GARDEN IN THE BRITISH AISLES. This book is also helpful for the United States.

What are your favorite flowers?

Speaking of books (see how I did that?), my latest book released yesterday, STUART, Bachelors and Babies Series book 10. At the risk of being immodest, I love this book, especially the heroine. I hope readers will love the book, too.

He is building for the future . . .
She is escaping the past . . .
Trouble could destroy their family

Stuart McGee needs the bounty from capturing the two men he’s trailing. That reward will allow him to buy the ranch of his dreams. When he encounters the men, he learns they’ve killed a young couple. The big surprise is there’s a baby in their cabin. What is Stuart supposed to do with a baby girl?

Georgina Potter has to get away from home. Her family treats her as a screw-up. She is determined to prove them wrong. Starting over as a mail-order bride might not be the best way but it’s the only way she can get away from her family. When she arrives in Colorado she learns her groom has married someone else. What is she going to do with no money, no groom, and nowhere to stay?

Georgina and Stuart marry but neither is convinced it’s the right choice. Baby Adeline captures the affection of both. Can working together as parents ignite romance for Georgina and Stuart? When trouble comes, will their fledgling relationship disintegrate or become stronger?

The Universal Amazon link is

Georgina fought the urge to run, reminding herself she was much better off with Stuart McGee. When she thought of the near escape she’d had with Brick Larson, she cringed. He and Sadie were well-matched and welcome to one another. What about her and Stuart McGee? He appeared nice—would he have rescued Adeline otherwise? She’d heard the sheriff tell Stuart that a marshal had sent a wire about his problem. So, she had to believe his story was the truth.
She’d also heard the sheriff laugh about her predicament. Imagine having that same ornery sheriff walk her down the aisle. She wanted to sock him again for deliberately keeping her luggage from her. At least at the jail he had fashioned a blanket screen to conceal where she slept and relieved herself.
Her soon-to-be-husband was a handsome man. He must be six feet tall with almost black hair. When he talked to the child, his dark eyes lit with humor and tenderness.
Although she hadn’t been fond of beards, Stuart’s was short and neat. She wondered what it felt like to kiss a bearded man. The thought of the coming night caused her to stumble and the sheriff braced her.
On the sheriff’s arm, she reached Stuart and Adeline. Sheriff Iverson handed her over to Stuart and then sat down on the front pew.
The little girl patted the beard on Stuart’s face and giggled. “Da da da.”
Stuart put a finger to his lips. “Shh, it’s time to be very quiet.”
Adeline covered her mouth with her fingers and giggled again. She really was a precious child. Probably she would lead both Stuart and Georgina a merry chase.
Georgina startled when Stuart reached for her hand. Of course they’d join hands for the ceremony. She looked at him and forced a smile. If she didn’t collapse or throw up during the wedding, she’d be surprised.
The minister opened his Bible and began. “We come today to unite in holy matrimony this man and this woman. Stuart Andrew McGee, will you have this woman to be your wife, to live together in holy matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, honor, and keep her in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?”
Stuart swallowed as if he had something lodged in his throat. “I will.”
“Georgina Elizabeth Potter, will you have this man to be your husband, to live together in holy matrimony? Will you love him, comfort him, honor, and keep him in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?”
The best she could do was whisper, “I will.”
She was a fraud who had lied in a house of God—they both had. She didn’t love Stuart, didn’t even know him. Perhaps she’d come to love him in time. Perhaps he’d learn to love her.
Reverend Moore smiled at them. “By the power vested in me by God and by the Territory of Colorado I now pronounce you husband and wife. Stuart, you may kiss your bride.”
Her new husband appeared surprised but recovered to lean down and kiss her cheek. His mustache brushed her skin. Instead of the stiff prickles she expected, his facial hair was soft.
They were married and there was no changing her mind now. This was her new life, no matter how it unfolded. Other women became mail-order brides and were perfectly all right. She hoped she would be.
But, she hadn’t asked enough questions of him. Did he drink to excess? Did he hold with beating a wife? Did he gamble? Would he be faithful?
Mrs. Moore played “Blest be the Tie That Binds”, a hymn Georgina recognized. Hearing a song she’d sung as long as she could remember comforted Georgina’s trembling. She’d calm down and determine to make the best wife and mother she could. 
Stuart paid the minister and shook hands with him and with the sheriff.
Soon she was in the wagon with her new family and on the way out of town. She hadn’t stumbled to the ground or thrown up and disgraced herself. Already things were looking better.


  1. Great article. I'm dealing with some of these
    issues as well..

  2. You are the Queen of new releases! Congratulations.

  3. My favorite flower is the rose, and the deer in our area won't let them grow. After replanting two knockout roses three years in a row, I threw in the towel and quit. The only ones I have left are my rag roses which come back each year despite the rabbits and deer. I'm putting "Stuart" on my TBR list. I enjoy books with children in them. Best of luck with promotion and sales.

  4. You are one busy author, Caroline. This does sound like a wonderful story and I can hardly wait to meet Stuart and Georgina!

  5. Oh Caroline! I don't know how you do it! Can't wait to read Stuart. Favorite flowers? My very favorite is the wild violet. I used to pick them as a child living in the country and had no idea they didn't thrive everywhere. I love hydrangeas too- in fact- I guess I never saw a flower I didn't love.


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