Please welcome Cynthia Hickey to my blog. Cynthia is giving away a copy of Cooking up Love. Leave a comment about her article and say hello to be entered.
I’ve always enjoyed history, but it wasn’t until a few years ago when my uncle researched our family’s genealogy, that I became hooked. How fascinating to know my ancestors came to America in the 1700s or that my family’s coat of arms is hanging in the Scotland airport, or that unknown kin still living in Scotland never pledged their loyalty to any clan and that it’s perfectly understandable that most of the men in my family have served in the army. Mind boggling to know the reason behind our family’s name change or that on my mother’s side I’m a distant cousin of Abraham Lincoln.
These discoveries led me to a website that tells a person what happened each day in our country’s history. But, I stumbled across the story of the Harvey Girls one day by reading a children’s book in a school library. I thought the concept sounded interesting, and started doing some research. I found myself hooked in no time.
History is full of heroic women who made a difference in founding our country. From designing our flag to standing up for civil rights, the so-called weaker gender has left a mark that can’t be erased.
In the 1880s, sickened by the conditions of railroad restaurants, Fred Harvey, a Scottish immigrant, had a plan. His plan was to provide good food and impeccable service to the towns dotting the railroad line and to passengers riding the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe. He brought in upstanding, moral women to serve as waitresses in a time when working women were frowned upon. America was never the same again.
The romance of gentile, well-bred, mannerly women braving the wilds of the west for independence and the opportunity of leaving the familiar for the unfamiliar, tugged at my own adventurous side. Being a Harvey Girl was not for the faint of heart, yet the women became like sisters. Long hours of tending train customers and serving a four course meal in less than thirty minutes could take its toll on a gal, but the rewards were worth it. Most women found a husband before their six-month contract ended and stayed to farm or ranch. Others rose in the ranks to become head waitresses.
The Harvey Girls weren’t well known until the movie, by the same name, with Judy Garland. Then interest surged, and several books have been written about these brave pioneers. Then inspiration struck, I came up with an idea for a series, and the first of my Harvey Girl books comes out in July. If all goes well, there will be a total of four, each set in a different year, showing the changes of the Harvey Girls and their impact on America’s men and culture.
Tabitha McClelland knows accepting a job as a Harvey House waitress can be risky. Traveling alone to the rough-and-tumble West just isn't done by young ladies of good breeding. But far more dangerous is her powerful attraction to Adam Foster. Family means everything to the widowed chef, but the selfsufficient Tabitha cherishes her freedom above all else.
Adam is captivated by the fiercely independent Tabitha. Fraternizing with the female employees is strictly forbidden, but the Harvey Girl awakens feelings too compelling to ignore. Can Adam convince Tabby to share his dream of a future in California—together?
More about Cynthia Hickey
author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries published through Barbour
Publishing, with a novella releasing in March 2013. Her first mystery,
Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of
the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy,
Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic
Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the
MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series. She has several
historical romances releasing in 2013 and 2014 through Harlequin’s
Heartsong Presents. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their
seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who
keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit
her website at www.cynthiahickey.com
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