Northern Roses and Southern Belles. She wrote a short story titled “Long Way Home,” and I loved it so much I e-mailed her and told her. That message turned into an enjoyable friendship, as well as, a professional one. Since I know and admire her writing, I invited her to be my guest. My first question concerned her history in writing, her first published novel, and if she still loved the book.
She answered, “I began writing about 1990 to 1992. My first published novel was a contemporary, BE MY GUEST, published in 1998 by Kensington for their ill-fated Precious Gems line. I hate that book for several reasons, but am thankful it made me a published author and a member of RWA PAN. It’s sold in numerous foreign countries and been good to me financially.”
I guess I understand, but if a book was good for me financially, I might conjure up a little love! But let’s continue. There’s a commercial on TV that sings, “And that’s what I like about Tex…as!” If someone wrote a song about you with that same title, what three things would we like about Caroline Clemmons? Come on now; don’t be shy.
“Only three when there is so much of me to love? What can I say? I’m on a diet.  My writing, I hope!  My sense of humor.  That I’m friendly.”
I love your answers! Now, just for fun, I like to check my (theoretical) biorhythms occasionally on a little internet chart. In percentages, it measures my physical, emotional, and intellectual levels for that day. In your life, on an average day, which of the three would be the highest overall and which would be your lowest?
“Lawsy, I hope you’re measuring after ten in the morning! Oh, I don't mean I sleep until ten. I get up early and can even check email, drive to a meeting, do laundry, etc., but I'm pretty much on autopilot. At ten o'clock the other part of my brain wakes up--sproing!--and I'm a person. Whoever recognized biorhythms was a genius. I often listen to chakra tapes while I write, so I hope my chakras are aligned, at least. I am so not a morning person. My physical peak is from about ten in the morning until noon, and sometimes into early afternoon until about three. My intellectual peak is from eight in the evening until midnight. My emotional peak—do I have one of those? Hmm, it’s possible it’s aligned to my physical peak. Certainly, I’m more optimistic at that time.”
It seems you understand yourself pretty well, and I should think that would be useful for all authors. Speaking of authors, they fall into one of two categories: risk-takers or easy-does it. Which are you? Can you explain?
“I suspect I’m an easy-does-it. Could be it depends on what mood I’m in at the instant an idea occurs to me. Not that I’m moody. No, who said I was?”
Don’t worry. I know you’re an even-tempered, lovely lady. So tell me, what are three best things that have happened to you recently?
“My family is safe and supportive. My thyroid cancer is—hopefully—gone. Two of my books were published this year.”
And those would make anyone happy. I had no idea you had a health problem, but then you don’t talk about yourself like I do! Let’s move on to your newest release, The Texan’s Irish Bride, newly released by The Wild Rose Press. Why did you choose an Irish bride? What do you know of the Irish in Texas in the nineteenth century?
“I love Ireland! Not that I’ve lived there, but my husband and I have traveled there twice. We would both be ready in under an hour if someone offered us a return trip. While we were driving from one point to another, our wonderful tour guide commented on the landscape and its history. So many things fascinated me, like the penny walls, the stone fences, the intense green of the landscape, and…well, everything Irish.
Many Irish fought in the battle with Mexico for Texas Independence. My family is mostly of Scot-Irish ancestry, so I identified with this country. They are so friendly to Americans because so many of us are of Irish ancestry. The immigration to Texas began in the late 18th century, but accelerated in the 19th century with the Potato Famine. We have no idea how hard life was there even before the famine. But during the famine, hundreds of thousands of poor literally starved to death while the English were eating well. I can say this since I also have English ancestors—the English wouldn’t allow Irish children to attend schools, hence the “hedge row” schools for Irish children to learn to read and write. If caught, though, the teacher and the parents would be jailed for breaking the law. So, many illiterate Irish made their way to America and drifted to Texas. Many settled here.
In the book, most of the Irish are Irish Travelers, also known as tinkers. They aren’t gypsies because they are of pure Irish lineage, but they are often confused with gypsies due to the wagons in which they traveled. The heroine and her family are not Irish Travelers, but they are traveling with a band of them. When turned off their land in Ireland, the heroine and her O’Neill family were forced to leave with only what they could carry. The Travelers took them in and they made their way to America with the lure of free land. How they arrived and how they traveled to Texas is something you’ll have to learn by reading the book. Aren’t I devious, though?”
Well, yes, but I love your honestly! I learned facts I never knew, and I see why you’re so fascinated with the Irish. Visiting Ireland is on my Bucket List, by the way. And guess what, Caroline? I just read a review for The Texan’s Irish Bride from The Romance Studio, and she gave this novel Five Hearts! And…a Top Pick from Night Owl Reviews. Isn’t that exciting? I know it a great story, and you know how I feel about the cover—it’s gorgeous.
One more question: In a one-sentence blurb, tell us about The Texan’s Irish Bride.
“Texas rancher is forced to wed an Irish woman and inherits her entire family.”
Excellent. Now, do you have a blurb for us?
“Cenora Rose O’Neill knows her father somehow arranged the trap for Dallas McClintock, but she agrees to wed handsome stranger. She’d do anything to protect her family, and she wants to save herself from the bully Tom Williams. A fine settled man like Dallas will rid himself of her soon enough, but at least she and her family will be safely away from Tom Williams.
Texas rancher Dallas McClintock has no plans to wed for several years. Right now, he’s trying to establish himself as a successful horse breeder. Severely wounded rescuing Cenora from kidnappers, Dallas is taken to her family’s wagon to be tended. He is trapped into marrying Cenora, but he is not a man who goes back on his word. His wife has a silly superstition for everything, but passion-filled nights with her make up for everything. Ah, but what is he to do with a wife and her wild Irish family?”
How about an excerpt, too?
“Dallas raised his gaze where Aoife directed. Four girls danced, but only one drew his attention. Shoulders straight and feet flying, Cenora met his glance, then broke away from the other dancers to perform only a few yards from him.
Catcalls sounded nearby. She ignored them but gave a toss of her head. Her hair had come unbound, and her act sent her fiery hair awhirl. Light from the blazing campfire cast an aura-like radiance around her. Lantern glow overhead reflected her eyes sparked with merriment, challenge, and something mysterious he couldn’t name.
No longer the delicate china doll, her wild beauty called to him, mesmerized him. He visualized her brilliant tresses spread across a pillow, her milky skin bared only for him. His body responded, and savage desire shot through him. Surprised at the depth of his reaction, he wondered if her performance in bed would parallel the unbridled nature of her dance.
Good Lord, could this glorious woman truly be his wife? And if so, heaven help him, what on earth was he to do with her?”
Buy link is www.thewildrosepress/caroline-clemmons-m-638.html
Caroline, thanks for remembering the Buy Link and your website. I appreciate your visit this morning, and I wish you much success with this wonderful story. I know it will do well.
“Celia, thank you so much for having me as your guest today. I’ve really enjoyed the visit.”
Thank you again, and readers, thank you for visiting, and please leave a message for Caroline. She loves to visit!
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
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