Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spring 2015 Scavenger Hunt Stop #9

Welcome to the Spring 2015 Scavenger Hunt Stop #9!

You've reached R. J. Larson's blog, just in time to visit with R. J. and Margaret Brownley!

Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! I am a part of TEAM PINK, and this is Stop #9. If you’re just joining us, there are two loops—pink and purple—and they begin at Lisa Bergren’s site and Robin Hatcher’s site for stop #1 for either stream. If you complete either the pink loop or purple loop, you can enter for a Kindle paperwhite and the 17 autographed books from that loop. If you complete BOTH loops, you can enter for the Grand Prize of a Kindle Fire HDX and ALL 34 autographed books.

 For an overview of the complete hunt, click HERE.

When you complete the pink loop for its top prize, click here for the entry form.

When you complete the purple loop, OR both loops (for the grand prize!) click here.

The Hunt begins at NOON Mountain time on April 16 and ends at midnight Mountain on April 19, 2015, so you have a long weekend to complete all 34 stops and maximize your chances at prizes!


BE SURE to keep track of the clues at the bottom of every post in the loop and the favorite number mentioned. You’ll need those clues to enter for the loop prize and every number mentioned in order to enter for the grand prize.


ALSO, please don’t use Internet Explorer to navigate through the loops. Some web sites won’t show up using IE. Please use Chrome or Firefox—they’re better anyway!


Without further ado, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to my guest for the Scavenger Hunt, the amazing Margaret Brownley, who encouraged me to continue writing after she read my first--UGH, my very first--attempt at a novel. (I do hope Margaret has forgotten it!) Margaret Brownley is a N.Y. Times bestselling author with more than 35 books to her credit.  A former RITA finalist, she has won numerous writing awards and wrote for a TV daytime soap.  Margaret and her husband have three grown children and make their home in Southern California.

Margaret Brownley

More Love and Laughter from Margaret Brownley

Taking a Chance—a Big Chance—on Love

My June release Undercover Bride is a mail order bride story with a twist.  Maggie Michaels is a Pinkerton detective working undercover to nab the Whistle-Stop Bandit.  To do this she is posing as his mail order bride.  If she doesn't find the proof she needs to put him in jail soon, she could end up as his wife!
My heroine has a good reason for doing what she's doing, but what about the thousands of other women who left family and friends to travel west and into the arms of strangers?

Shortage of Men
The original mail order bride business grew out of necessity.  The lack of marriageable women in the west was partly responsible, but so was the Civil War.  The war not only created thousands of widows but a shortage of men, especially in the south.
As a result, marriage brokers and “Heart and Hand” catalogues popped up all around the country. Ads averaged five to fifteen cents and letters were exchanged along with photographs. It took ten days for a letter to travel by Pony Express and often the wax seals would melt in the desert heat, causing letters to be thrown away before reaching their destinations.  

According to an article in the Toledo Blade lonely men even wrote to the Sears catalogue company asking for brides (the latest such letter received was from a lonely Marine during the Vietnam War).

Cultural Attitudes
Marriage was thought to be the only path to female respectability. Anyone not conforming to society's expectations was often subjected to public scorn.  Women who had reached the "age" of spinsterhood with no promising prospects were more likely to take a chance on answering a mail order bride ad than younger women.
Not Always Love at First Sight
For some mail-order couples, it was love (or lust) at first sight. In 1886, one man and his mail order bride were so enamored with each other they scandalized fellow passengers on the Union Pacific Railroad during their honeymoon.

Not every bride was so lucky.  In her book Hearts West, Christ Enss tells the story of mail order bride Eleanor Berry. En route to her wedding her stage was held up at gunpoint by four masked men.  Shortly after saying “I do,” and while signing the marriage license, she suddenly realized that her husband was one of the outlaws who had robbed her. The marriage lasted less than an hour.

No one seems to know how many mail order brides there were during the  1800s, but the most successful matchmaker of all appears to be Fred Harvey who, by the turn of the century, had married off 5000 Harvey girls.

Under what circumstances might you have considered becoming a mail order bride in the Old West?  

Purchase Links:


Enter to win Queen!
Thanks for stopping by on the hunt to visit with Margaret Brownley! Before you go, make sure you WRITE DOWN THESE CLUES:

Secret Word(s): be

Secret Number: 54, a number I chose, because it's my dh's number.

Got ‘em down?? Great! Your next stop is #10, Margaret Brownley's site. Click on over there now. And if you get lost, a complete list of the pink loop with links can be found at Robin Lee Hatcher’s site.

BUT WAIT!!!  Don't forget to leave a comment and your *Coded* email below, and follow this blog for the chance to win an e-copy of QUEEN, inspired by the Book of Esther and other amazing favorites from the Scriptures! 

  Thank you, dear Hunters, we're delighted that you've stopped by! 


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