Thursday, June 04, 2015

UNDERCOVER BRIDE - Margaret Brownley - One Free Book

Welcome back, Margaret. As an author, I know it takes a lot of people to birth each book. Who were the people involved in the birthing of this book, and what were their contributions?
You're absolutely right, Lena! It does take a lot of people. For this book I'd have to travel back in time to 1852 when Kate Warne asked Allan Pinkerton to hire her. I've never been able to find out why a young widow would want to be a detective—especially at that time in history—but I'll always be grateful to her for being the inspiration behind my Undercover Ladies series.

I also have to mention my wonderful agent, Natasha Kern, who knew my idea would make a great series even before I did. Also, on hand all through the birthing process was my editor Annie Tipton whose sharp eye and thoughtful suggestions always makes a book better. Also, I can't forget to mention the whole Barbour support team.

 I also have to mention my readers. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be writing.

Oh yes, we love our readers. If you teach or speak. What’s coming up on your calendar?
I usually have speaking engagements lined up for the year but other than being on a panel at the Cowboy Festival in Newhall I'm taking a break. I've got too many books to write.

That’s a wonderful reason not to have a full speaking schedule. If you had to completely start over in another place, where would you move, and why?
It would take an act of congress to move me out of California. I love the weather. Also I love that in less than an hour's time I can travel to the ocean, the mountains, the desert, or countryside. Nope, not moving.

If you could only tell aspiring novelists one thing, what would it be?
Make your readers use their senses. Give them something to see, hear, taste, or smell in every paragraph.

You’ve been asked to be in charge of a celebrity cruise. Who would you ask to take part, and why? (AS in what program, singers, etc. [it doesn’t have to be writing related])
I'd probably invite the entire cast of Dancing With The Stars and they'd have to teach everyone aboard ship the Argentine Tango. Yep, even my non-dancing husband.

Tell us about the featured book.
In a nutshell: Maggie Michaels is sent to Arizona Territory as an undercover mail order bride to track down the notorious Whistle-Stop Bandit. With the clock ticking, she has to prove the suspect guilty before the wedding—or she could end up as his wife!

Sounds wonderful. Please give us the first page of the book.
Undercover Bride
Arizona Territory
Maggie Taylor spotted the thief the moment she stepped off the Southern-Pacific train and onto the open air platform.

As a Pinkerton operative, she'd dealt with her share of pickpockets through the years, but this one put the profession to shame. The man made no attempt to be discreet; he simply bumped into a male passenger and walked away with the man's gold watch.

Normally, Maggie wouldn't hesitate to go after the culprit, but today she had bigger fish to fry. Chasing after a third rate thief could jeopardize months of hard work and careful preparation and she couldn't take the chance.

It was only after he targeted a young mother with three small children that Maggie changed her mind. The man had to be stopped.

Threading her way through the crowd, she reached the woman ahead of the thief and picked up the drawstring handbag carelessly left next to a carpetbag.

"Your purse, ma'am. There are thieves around. Better keep an eye on it."

The harried mother took the bag from her. She looked no older than nineteen or twenty. "Thank you," she murmured as if thieves were the least of her problems.

Satisfied that the pickpocket's latest attempt at debauchery had been thwarted, Maggie pushed him from her mind and swung her gaze over the crowd. Never before had a new assignment filled her with such anxiety. But then again, never had she attempted such a daring venture.

Would she recognize the suspect on sight?

According to Pinkerton files, Garrett Thomas stood six feet tall, was thirty-five years of age, and had dark hair and blue eyes. His one outstanding feature was a scar along the side of his face—a war wound. He was also extremely clever. Some said even lucky. A suspected thief and murderer, Thomas had endured the Battle of Gettysburg and a year in the Andersonville rebel prison— an impressive record of survival by anyone's standards.

Though he was suspected of committing a daring train robbery, his most notable achievement was evading Pinkerton's best detectives for nearly two years. We'll see how long your luck holds out this time, Mr. Thomas. Eventually even a cat runs out of lives.

After checking that her feathered hat was angled just right, she pushed a strand of auburn hair behind her ear and smoothed the bun at her nape. Her wardrobe had been chosen with utmost care and her demeanor meticulously polished.

The goal was to look fashionable but not ostentatious; to act domesticated without appearing dull. At all times she had to be charming, well-spoken and industrious. In matters of politics, religion and finances she must take care not to express a contrary view as she was often inclined to do. In other words, she had to look and act like a woman that any man would be proud, indeed anxious, to wed.

Given her somewhat opinionated and independent spirit, curtailing her impulsive nature would be her greatest challenge. She couldn't afford to do or say anything without careful consideration of the consequences. Not this time.

Not only did she have to make a fine impression but one that would throw no suspicion her way. "Dazzle Thomas with your charm and good looks," Mr. Pinkerton had said. "He won't suspect a thing."

In her current state, she'd be lucky to dazzle a horsefly. She was hot and she was hungry and more than anything, travel-weary.

I can’t wait until my copy arrives. Your books go to the top of my to-be-read list. Where can we find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Lena, for having me. Now I have a question for your readers. 

If you had lived during the 1800s, under what circumstances would you have considered being a mail order bride or, for that matter a Pinkerton detective?

A very interesting question, Margaret. Thank you for sharing this new book with us. I can't wait to see how my readers answer this question.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Undercover Bride -
Undercover Bride: (Undercover Ladies) - Amazon
Undercover Bride (Undercover Ladies Book 2) - Kindle

Leave a comment answering the question for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


scottsgal said...

I'm a big fan of historical western romances - I'd enjoy reading this book.

Cheryl in IL

Anonymous said...

For a period of time I did live In Yuma, Arizona which was definitely Arizona territory. It was fascinating to see so many things that were new and different to me. Being from Pennsylvania I was not used to the Southwest but came to appreciate their way of life. I would have been a mailorder bride if I needed to have somewhere live or a new start in life. I could only do this after much prayer and thought. The Yuma Territorial prision was fascinating in how the worst of the worst lived in total darkness 23 hours a day. I thnk this would drive anyone crazy.
I would love to read your western, Margaret.
Deanne in Pennsylvania

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

If I had no other options, I would definitely consider being a mail order bride during that time. Glad I live in today's world with the opportunities we have, though. :)

Thanks for the giveaway!

Anna in Florida

Lane Hill House said...

Pinkerton agent ~ think of all the possibilities and adventures ~ no one would suspect and I would meet interesting people. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House (Missouri)

Margaret Brownley said...

Hi Scotsgal, I love meeting fans of historical western romances. Thank you stopping by.

ASC Book Reviews said...

I LOVE the cover image! Okay let's see...if I needed to support my family and there was no other way...I'm not sure I could or would have ever become a mail order bride.

But a Pinkerton? That's a whole different story! LOL! I think I would have LOVED to be a Pinkerton detective! There's really no circumstances needed for that option, that is to say if the opportunity came for me to be a detective I think I would have jumped at it! :)

Many Blessings, Amada (pronounced: from New Mexico

Margaret Brownley said...

Hi Deanne, Arizona is a fascinating place with a wealth of history. I imagine you did find it quite different than what you were used to.

A new start in life was probably the reason many women chose to be mail order brides.

Margaret Brownley said...

Anna, I'm with you. I love reading and writing about the Old West but I'm sure glad I'm living back there. I like my creature comforts too much.

Margaret Brownley said...

Hi Amada, (Love your name)

Yes, it is an interesting cover. He just slipped an engagement ring on her finger. Fearing she could soon become an outlaw's wife, she panics. LOL.

It sounds like you have an adventurous spirit! Love it!

Margaret Brownley said...

Hi Kathleen, sounds like we have another adventurous spirit! All my Pinkerton heroines get more than they bargained for--but that's part of the fun.

Trixi said...

In the 1800's there doesn't seem to be too many opportunities for women, other than being a wife or a spinster (lol)! I think I would opt to become a mail order bride for the love of an adventure somewhere new...perhaps the wild west! Would I be concerned about who I was marrying, most likely, but the chance to go out west would probably overrule that!
As for becoming a Pinkerton detective, I'm not sure I'd have the sleuthing skills necessary to be of any use, lol! I'd probably blunder it somehow :-) But maybe if I was paid well and again for the love of an adventure I might consider it!
Thanks for the first page of your book "Undercover Bride", it drew me in like a bee to honey! I have the first book on my Kindle (Petticoat Detective) but have yet to read it. If it's anything like what this one sounds like, I know I am in for a treat! Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

Trixi in OR

Patricia said...

Yes, as long as the Lord lead me in either direction after much prayer.

Shepherd, Texas

Melanie Backus said...

A Pinkerton detective would have been my cup of tea! Thank you for a great interview and this great giveaway!

Melanie Backus, TX

Cindy W. said...

I would LOVE to win a copy of Margaret's book. I love to read stories about the Pinkerton's.

I live in Indiana.

Cindy W.

Vera Godley said...

Margaret Brownley's books are always such fun to read. This fiesty leading lady promises to have an exciting venture ahead of herself. I'd love to be included in this drawing. I'm always delighted to be to pass along Brownley's books to the Alamance Christian School library when I finish with them.

I'm in North Carolina.

Loraine Nunley said...

I would have to be in dire straits in order to become a mail order bride or a Pinkerton Detective. I'm not as adventurous as some of these women would have been. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!
Loraine in TX

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me can't wait to read your book it looks awesome!!
Conway, SC.

Margaret Brownley said...

I don't know that you needed any special skills back then to become a detective, except for how to ride a horse and maybe fire a weapon. If hired you would have attended the Pinkerton detective school to learn how to shadow and other tricks of the trade, some of which are included in my book.

sm said...

I would have been a Pinkerton detective if they paid me tons of money and I had a fast horse and the criminal was really handsome! Just kidding. I would not have made a good detective because I don't have quite the stomach for all that adventure. I could certainly ask enough questions but it would end there. sm wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com S. California

Deanna Stevens said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deanna Stevens said...

I would have wanted to be a Pinkerton detective! I hate housework & I want to explore & know why and how things work. I loved riding horses & I do know how to shoot a gun.. I guess inquisitive would be me.. I've read the first book in this series, loved it, & I'm going to have to get me a copy of this one :)
dkstevensne AToutlookD OtCoM
dkstevens from NE

Library Lady said...

There is no way on God's green earth I would have been a mail order bride but a Pinkerton Detective, sign me up.
Janet E.

Bookishqueen said...

I absolutely love Margaret's books!

Rebekah TN

Melissa M. said...

I might have been a mail order bride if I were desperate (had no other good options nearby), and knew the man really well by mail. But even so, I probably wouldn't have wanted to do it, as I'm quite cautious and not too adventurous. As for a detective, well--I like to read about them, but I don't think I'd have the stomach or skill for it (even with training), since I'm shy and hate deceiving people (like undercover detectives have to do).

-Melissa M. in TN

Patty said...

I think if I got to be a certain age I would have considered becoming a mail-order bride. There certainly were not the opportunities back then to meet guys as there are now. Most people lived in small towns and transportation was limited I would think, so that really narrows the pool of options.

Patty in SC

Beth Gillihan said...

I love western and mail-order bride stories! Sounds like a great read! Thanks for the chance to win!

Beth in Montana

Pam K. said...

Though I love to read mysteries and about Pinkerton agents and their cases, I'm not adventurous enough to be an agent. It's hard to imagine being a mail-order bride either, but I have to remember if I was living in the 1800's I wouldn't have the oportunities I have now to work and live alone. My mother told me when she taught school the year before she was married, she rented a room in a widow's house. When that widow became ill and had to be hospitalized, Mom had to move into another house, which must have been kind of like a boarding house. It was unheard of for her to stay in the other house alone. This was just in the early 1950's! I couldn't fathom that.
I've read quite a few of Margaret's books and always enjoy them. Thanks for the chance to win Undercover Bride.


Mama Cat said...

Oh, I want so badly to read this! Had a review copy of the MP3 CD of Petticoat Detective and loved it! While I wouldn't have had the spunk to be a Pinkerton agent or a mail order bride, the story sounds so awesome that I would be thrilled to read it. Thank you for the chance to win!

Jeanie in Phoenix

Anonymous said...

I don't think I could be a mail order bride. I would like to really know the person first. But times were certainly different back then. The thought of being a Pinkerton Detective sounds very interesting though. That would interest me for sure!
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
Maryann in NY

kam110476 said...

Hi Margaret & Lena! Undercover Bride sounds just as fun and cute as all the rest of your books! I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on a copy and continuing the series!
Kristen in OK
kam110476 at gmail dot com

Margaret Brownley said...

Hi everyone, just popping in again. Seems like most of you would be a Pinkerton Detective but not a mail order bride. I guess you're rather deal with a bunch of outlaws than one stranger. LOL

Abigail Mitchell said...

Looks fantastic!

Blanch, NC

Brenda Arrington said...

I love mail order bride stories. I live in VA.

Merry said...

A Pinkerton agent and a mail-order bride what a fun combination!
Merry in MN

Anonymous said...

I love margaret's books. It would be hard to travel somewhere strange and marry a stranger. It would be scary. Of course if that was financially necessary and only chance for a family you might do that. Maxie from TX. > mac262(at)me(dot0com <