Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this—except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction."
So that’s what Margaret did. She’s now a New York Times bestselling author and a Romance Writers of America RITA finalist with more than 28 novels to her credit. Her first non-fiction book Grieving God’s Way: the Lasting Path to Hope and Healing has won much critical acclaim. Look for more of Margaret’s storytelling in A Bride for All Seasons collection (June) and the exciting conclusion to the Brides of Last Chance Ranch series Gunpowder Tea (September). Not bad for someone who flunked 8th grade English. Just don’t ask her to diagram a sentence.
More Love and Laughter from . . .
Horses to Horsepower
In my new book Waiting for Morning Dr. Caleb Fairbanks drives an automobile he built himself. The car he calls Bertha has one very bad habit; it backfires. Thinking she’s being shot at, Molly Hatfield does what any feisty heroine would do; she shoots back. Not only does this start a cattle stampede but almost gets Caleb killed.
Ah, the automobile. What would we do without it? Today cars are blamed for everything from global warming to funding terrorism through dependency on oil. But it wasn’t that long ago that the old gray mare was held responsible for the social and economic ills of the world.
In 1908, it was estimated that New York City alone would save more than a million dollars a year by banning horses from its streets. That’s how much it cost to clean up the tons of manure clogging the roadways each year.
Horses were also blamed for traffic congestion, traffic deaths, diseases and, of all things, noise pollution. Hooves clattering on cobblestones were said to aggravate nervous systems. Even Benjamin Franklin complained about the “thundering of coaches, chariots, chaises, waggons, drays and the whole fraternity of noise” that assailed the ears of Philadelphians.
The first automobiles to drive west were driven by insurance salesmen and land agents. When a witness in a small Texas town left the courthouse during an important trial, he was followed by the entire courtroom, including jurors, who wanted to see his automobile.
As with all technology, outlaws were quick to see the advantage of automobiles. They could make a quick get-away and the automobile would keep going long after a horse gave out. This left the local sheriff at a disadvantage.
Then as now, youths were quick to get on the auto band-wagon and many ceased driving the family wagons entirely. Frontier lawmen suddenly found themselves issuing stern warnings, not to outlaws, but to racing youths.
The automobile was supposed to make the world a safer, saner, quieter and healthier place. It was also thought to be more economical since feeding a horse wasn’t cheap. That’s something to think about the next time you’re stuck in traffic or filling up your gas tank. But take heart: the safer, quieter, more economical Robot Car is here.
Stop by and say hello and you could win a copy of the first book in the Brides of Last Chance Ranch series Dawn Comes Early.