Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fun Friday - Meet Linda LaRoque & Giveaway!

Please help my welcome author Linda LaRoque! And not only has she brought A MARSHAL OF HER OWN for a giveaway, but leaving a comment will enter you in the drawing for a KINDLE she will hold on Dec. 18!!!
You can learn more about Linda and all her wonderful work at
But come on back and visit.
And good luck in the drawings!

Thanks for being my guest, Linda :)

Thanks for having me, Jennifer. Today I wanted to talk about 

When writing My Heart Will Find Yours I learned a lot about nineteenth-century kitchens.

Very few homes had an ice box, the kind where a block of ice was delivered to sit in an insulated reservoir in the top of the wooden structure. They were invented for home use in the 1840s, but it wasn't until the 1870s that the U.S. had ice plants that produced artificial ice. In the model seen here, the block would go in the unopened door to the left. As the ice melted the cold water flowed down the sides and kept the contents inside cool. Note the pan on the floor. Of course, in hot weather, the ice didn't last more than a couple of days. Owners had a sign with 25 lbs, 50 lbs, 75 lbs, and 100 lbs on each side. You'd prop the side up with the amount you needed out front so when the iceman came by he'd know what size block to bring in for you. This picture can be found in an online article titled Early Days of Refrigeration at

I found an advertisement for a model almost identical to this one. No date was given but the price was $16.98.

My mother-in-law said that even in the early thirties they kept their perishables in a spring house, a small shed built over a spring. Food was covered with dish towels or cheese cloth to keep out flies and other pests, and the flowing water kept the room cool. Some homes had a larder which was a room on the coolest side of the house or in the cellar. None of these solutions would make modern homemakers happy, but folks back then didn't know any difference and the system worked for them.

No kitchen was complete without a cupboard or Hoosier. Here kitchen utensils were stored. Many had a flour bin (see above right in cabinet), a built-in sifter, a granite or tin top for rolling pie crusts and biscuit dough, and drawers for storage. Note the meat grinder attached to the left and the butter churn on the floor to the right with a wash board behind. Hopefully the homemaker had a sink with a hand pump with room to the side to stack clean dishes to dry. A shelf below would hold pails and a dish pan.

This picture was taken at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore, Texas, and dates somewhere around the 1920s or 1930s. The design in these cupboards didn't change much over time so earlier models looked much like this one. Today cupboards or Hoosiers have become popular decorative additions to modern kitchens, as have old ice boxes. I'd love to have one but my kitchen is too small.

Last, but not least, in importance to the homemaker was the
wood cook stove. Before the cast iron kitchen stove was invented, women cooked over hearths with ovens built into the wall, if they were well-off, or outside in a fire pit. Both methods were hard on the back due to bending over to stir food in pots suspended from iron hooks. Cast iron pot bellied stoves, used mainly for heat, could be used for some cooking, but lucky was the woman who had a genuine kitchen cook stove like the one pictured here.

This is a restored model pictured at Many models such as this one had a copper lined reservoir on the side to keep water warm for beverages, dishwater, or bathing. In my reading I noticed some even had a kick plate to open the oven door when hands were full. Some of these models were designed to use either wood or coal oil. Restored wood stoves are popular and being added to homes of individuals who like antiques and love to cook. They aren't for the person who wants to pop something in the oven and go about their business as the product must be watched carefully to make sure oven temperature is maintained. Also, they're quite expensive, between two and three thousand dollars.

Managing a house hold during this era wasn't for the weak. Just lifting those iron cooking vessels took a strength many modern women don't possess. But, I guess carrying buckets of milk from the barn, doing the wash in the yard using a scrub board, and their other daily chores built muscles.

My time travel heroines face multiple challenges when learning to live and take care of a home in the nineteenth century. Though it’s never easy, their love for their hero gives them the perseverance to adjust to a past way of life.

Marshal of Her Own – Blurb and Excerpt

Despite rumors of “strange doings” at a cabin in Fredericksburg, investigative reporter Dessa Wade books the cottage from which lawyer, Charity Dawson, disappeared in 2008. Dessa is intent on solving the mystery. Instead, she is caught in the mystery that surrounds the cabin and finds herself in 1890 in a shootout between the Faraday Gang and a US Marshal.
Marshal Cole Jeffers doesn’t believe Miss Wade is a time traveler. He admits she’s innocent of being an outlaw, but thinks she knows more about the gang than she’s telling. When she’s kidnapped by Zeke Faraday, Cole is determined to rescue her. He’s longed for a woman of his own, and Dessa Wade just might be the one—if she’ll commit to the past.

Dessa stood still and watched as they conversed. Something stank to high heaven about this entire situation. Why were the cops chasing robbers on horseback? It’s not like Fredericksburg was that isolated. She glanced at the captured men. The boy moaned, and she made a step to go over and help him. The Marshal spun, and the expression in his eye froze her in place.
 “He needs first aid.”
 “He’s fine. The Doc will tend to him when we get to the jail.”
  “You could at least call 911 and let them patch him up for you.” She nodded to the man lying so still with his eyes closed. “Your other prisoner doesn’t look so good. He’s going to die on you if you don’t start CPR or get him some help.”
 “Lady, no one is going to hear a yell from out here. Never heard of any 911 or CPR.” He propped the hand not holding the shotgun on his hip and threw her a disgusted look. “Are you blind? That man is dead, shot through the heart.”
Her head swam for a moment, and she struggled not to give in to the sensation and faint. She drew in deep gulps of air. “Well...well..., what about the coroner and the meat wagon, not to mention the CSI folks? If you don’t get them to record the scene, how are you going to cover your butt? The authorities might say you shot him in cold blood.”
He looked at her like she’d sprouted an extra head. “I don’t know what the hell you are talking about woman. No one will question my authority. I’m the law in this county. Now, be quiet, or I’m going to gag you.”

A Marshal of Her Own will be available now at The Wild Rose Press,, Barnes and and other online book stores. It is the sequel to A Law of Her Own available at The Wild Rose Press,, and Barnes and and other online book stores. I’m awaiting a release date for A Love of His Own, the third story in the Prairie, Texas series.

My release contest for A Marshal of Her Own began November 9th. I’ll be giving away this vintage rhinestone typewriter pin. To enter the drawing, go to my website or blog and sign up for my newsletter. Don’t forget to verify your email address. If you already receive it, email me at with A Marshal of Her Own contest in the subject line. Contest ends December 15, 2011.

Leave me a comment or ask a question today and you’ll be entered into a drawing for an ecopy of A Law of Her Own.

Also, today’s blog post is part of 2 blog tours—this one for A Marshal of Her Own and starting December 4th, one for Born in Ice. Follow along each day and leave a comment to be entered into the grand prize drawing and learn about my Born in Ice contest. 

The Blog Tour schedule will be posted on my blog and website. It will last 25 days and the Grand Prize is a Kindle. Leave a comment each day and your name will be entered 25 times. Pretty good odds, huh?

Thank you for having me on your blog today, Jennifer!

Tomorrow, Dec. 10th, I’ll be on Allison Knight’s blog at sharing an excerpt from Born in Ice, my futuristic romantic suspense.
Happy Reading and Writing!
Linda LaRoque
Writing Romance With a Twist in Time

 Linda LaRoque is a Texas girl, but the first time she got on a horse, it tossed her in the road dislocating her right shoulder. Forty years passed before she got on another, but it was older, slower, and she was wiser. Plus, her students looked on and it was important to save face.

A retired teacher who loves West Texas, its flora and fauna, and its people, Linda’s stories paint pictures of life, love, and learning set against the raw landscape of ranches and rural communities in Texas and the Midwest. She is a member of RWA, her local chapter of HOTRWA, NTRWA and Texas Mountain Trail Writers.


  1. We had a cast iron stove when I was a girl. I can still picture the wet washing hung in front of it on a wet day. The heat would dry it. My Father would chop the firewood. All this was not THAT long ago.


  2. Fascinating stuff, Linda. I love learning more about how people used to live. And your new romance sounds great too.

  3. Another great article. Makes me very thankful for modern day conveniences. :-)


  4. Totally cool post, Linda! Very informative. And your blurb/excerpt have me intrigued. :)
    Best of luck with your tours and book sales!

  5. How interesting, Marybelle. I imagine there are a few people still using them. I think they lasted forever.

  6. I do too, Beth. Sometimes wish I could travel back and spend a week.

  7. LOL, true, Sarah! We're used to those instant conveniences like microwave cooking.

  8. Thank you, Lydia! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. What an interesting post; I really enjoyed reading and viewing the pictures.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  10. Glad you did, Tracey. I enjoy this historical stuff too!

  11. Being a homemaker was definitely not easy in historical times, not much different than now. They really had to make to most of their foods because storing them wasn't easy. Thank you for sharing your research findings it us. They're a lot of fun.


  12. Thanks for being here today, Linda! Very interesting post.

  13. Oh, my, Linda. This really brings back memories--this 'ice box' and cupboard looked so much like what my great-grandmother kept on the farm. Although she had the "modern" conveniences, she still kept the old ones in her giant 'pantry.'

    Your story sounds great. I'm looking forward to reading it. Best of luck.

    Your books

  14. Another facinating post Linda, you really do your homework.

    My great grandmother cooked on a cast iron stove like that. She was a master of pies, turning out delicious pastries with flaky crust. Everyone in the family misses G-Grandma Dolly's pies.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at

  15. Yes, they did, Na. I bet they were grateful when Mason jars were invented to make canning easier.

  16. Thank you having me here today, Jennifer, and thank you for finding those lost photos for me.

  17. Barbara, I hope someone in your family still has those items. I have a cupboard that was my cousins. She got her mother's Hoosier.

  18. Katheryn, our great-grandmothers really knew how to cook, didn't they? I guess part of it is they had plenty of practice.

  19. NA -
    YOU"RE THE WINNER!!! Linda will contact you soon:)
    And everyone remember, you will be entered into the drawing for the Kindle Linda is holding right before Christmas!

  20. Another Texas girl! Well, I'm Texas at heart LOL, does that count? The series sounds awesome. I love time travel and the setting you've created. I've always wanted a hoosier cabinet. Hubby, not so much, therefore I don't own one - darn!I'll be stalking you on the blog tour, fyi :-)
    Merry Christmas! ~ Angela