Home of the Bluestocking Belles

Because history is fun and love is worth working for

Tag: American Historical Romance

Heard on the Boardwalk of Camp Floyd

Camp Floyd, Utah, 1860

“Did you hear about the other night at the saloon?” Miss Mora whispered, then forced a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes at a tall, dark, and handsome passing them on the boardwalk.

“No, whatever happened?” Miss Alamander, dressed in blue, sidled closer to her friend, if you could call her that, and together they took refuge behind her fan. Miss Mora’s lips made a moue at the back of the man who had just passed them without sparing the ladies, in their glittering (if slightly stained) dresses, another glance.

“I’d gone with Mr. Sorley for an evening of fun and cards at his cabin, entertaining him and his friends,” Miss Mora gave the other woman a wicked smile, “and—“

“I’ll bet you made a pretty penny for that night’s work,” Miss Alamander cut in, her lips tight.

She just smirked.

“Okay.” The woman in blue crossed her arms and waited, but Miss Mora just stood with one brow raised. Her curiosity eventually got the better of her, even over her annoyance at Miss Mora’s good fortune at the potential expense of hers. “What happened?” she finally asked.

“You wouldn’t think it, would you, but that big blond brute of a man, Jackson—”

“Yes?” she breathed, egging Miss Mora on.

“If you’d let me finish,” she harrumphed, “Jackson stumbled into the saloon late last night, drunk as a skunk, and…” She broke off and smiled over her fan at a man passing by, then resumed, “he stormed across the room toward this boy, and he so young he hadn’t a hair on his face.”


“Well, the young lad had his hat on, a big ten-galón hat, you know, like the caballeros from Mexico wear?”

“Get on with it,” Miss Alamander said crossly. We don’t have all day.” She smiled at a filthy man riding his horse past them, his stench following him, and swallowed hard.

“That boy, he got the best of him!” Miss Mora whispered.

Miss Alamander looked up from the blue bodice that just barely covering her bosom and blinked. “But no one gets the best of Mr. Jackson! That’s impossible, how did he do it?” She hissed as Miss Mora turned away from her to make eyes at a man walking down the street leading his mules not a yard away from them.

The gentleman’s accoutrements bespoke his success in the goldfields—not only his exquisite, if dusty, clothing, but the fine wood and leather cases piled high over his pickaxes, shovels, and pans. His waistcoat alone must have cost more than her wages for a month. She gulped and took a breath deep enough to nearly bust herself out of her bodice, but he never looked her way as Miss Mora strode boldly toward him.

“And how might you be today, sir?” she asked him in a throaty tone, somehow wiggling her top half at the same time she floated off the boardwalk and through the mud.

“All the better for seeing you,” he said, with a chuckle. “Will you ladies be here long?”

At least this time, he included Miss Alamander in his glance.

“That depends upon what you have in mind, sir,” Miss Mora continued, as she slithered up to him and stood between him and Miss Alamander, as if on purpose. Her gliding was made all the more difficult by the half-foot of slop which the locals deigned to call a “street” here in Camp Floyd. The soldiers didn’t seem to mind, but the ladies did.

“What do you say you come along with me for awhile,” he said, then nodded at Miss Alamander, still standing on the boards, “and then you can rejoin your friend afterward?”

The woman in blue took a deep breath and unclenched her hands and smoothed the silk down over her abdomen and joined them demurely before her. She gritted her teeth and forced a smile at him, then turned to face the other men passing her by as the stores closed for the day.

No one was up for a tussle at this early hour, at least the locals, and the soldiers would be at their mess up at the fort, so Miss Alamander cooled her heels for what seemed a month and fought back a smile.

This was going to be fun.

She schooled her features to look impatient as Miss Mora finally returned, a bit less tidy than when she’d left. She was missing a few hairpins, but wore a big smile. She jingled as she hopped up onto the boardwalk.

“So stop looking like the cat that ate the cream,” Miss Alamander said, pursing her lips, “and tell me! How did a mere boy best big old Jackson, especially when he was in his cups?”

“He cut him.” Miss Mora gave her a sideways smile. “Jackson stormed toward him, and you know how big he is, but this boy, his waist no bigger around than that brute’s leg, just stood up at his table, cool as a cucumber, knocked his glass on a table, even with his arms held behind his back by one of Jackson’s henchmen, and cut him. Sliced his arms and then those of the despicable man behind him, and bolted out the door! No one’s seen the boy since.”

“No.” Miss Alamander did her best to look shocked, but it would be nothing to what she was about to see on her friend’s face. She couldn’t wait.

“Yes,” Miss Mora said, nodding her head emphatically.

“You don’t say,” Miss Alamander said. “Now I remember. I heard something about that… I heard it wasn’t a boy at all… it was a girl!

Miss Mora’s chin dropped until it came to rest on her ample and exposed bosom. For once, she was speechless.

Wow, what a woman, if it was one! Who could she be? You’ll have to read A Long Trail Rolling to find out!

About the Book

Camp Floyd

A Long Trail Rolling

She didn’t expect to become a target…but she is one now.

Just orphaned, Aleksandra holds the family secret her father died for. She hides by joining the Pony Express as a boy, where an alluring Californio sees through her guise and offers help—and more.

Xavier’s conviction that women cannot be trusted is deeply rooted in the reasons he left his birthright. But Alex is like no woman he has ever met.

With the killer getting closer and an Indian war brewing, Alex and Xavier must decide whom they can trust, and what they really want.

Lizzi is one of the newest Bluestocking Belles!


A Long Trail Rolling is the first book in

The Long Trails series, out now!

Find the book here:

#ReadforFreeonKindleUnlimited or buy it here in paperback or digital on Amazon

Lizzi loves to connect with her readers!

You can learn more about Lizzi and her books here or on these social media sites:

Subscribe to Lizzi’s Newsletter (with a free gift!)

Subscribe to Lizzi’s Blog

Friend Lizzi on Facebook

Follow Lizzi on Twitter

Follow Lizzi on Bookbub

Follow Lizzi on Instagram

Follow Lizzi on Goodreads

Follow Lizzi on Pinterest

Follow Lizzi on YouTube

Email Lizzi

Visit Lizzi’s Author Website



Sign Me Up!  

Sign up for Lizzi’s newsletter here, with a free gift!


The Peculiar Lighthouse Keeper


Edward Moran 1876

Mr. Clemens,

I beg your help. Perhaps your readers have information.
I just can’t believe all that has happened in the last few days. My brother drowned in that treacherous storm, and three days of worrying about him and my niece, Abigail. Then such relief when that lighthouse keeper returned her in good health. But now she wants to marry him. A blind girl with no one in the world now but myself and her uncle. What were they doing alone on that island for three days. That strange recluse with the scared face and Irish to boot! Said he fought in the Civil War, our Civil War for the Union and he’s saving money to bring his mother and brother to America. I know the whole town will be talking, rumors from busybodies, and I’ve a funeral to plan for my poor brother. A funeral without a body. I told him he was getting too old to deliver supplies to the lighthouse. If he’d listened to me, he might be alive now.
And that Jeremy, he’s handsome enough from one side, but what do we know about him? Nothing.
Nothing at all.
Abigail’s Frantic Aunt

LighthouseAbout the Book

An immigrant from Ireland, Jeremy McKetcheon took the place of a wealthy New Englander drafted into the Union Army during the Civil War. Terribly scarred by a shell that set fire to his tent, Jeremy is now a reclusive lighthouse keeper on an island off the coast of Maine. He is haunted by flashbacks of the war, and never expects to find love, understanding, or acceptance.

Beautiful but blind from birth, Abigail Morrison sees the world through the intricate carvings her father brings back from Lighthouse Island when he takes supplies there. She wonders about the artistic carver and why he hides from the world. But when the opportunity arises for her to visit the island, she and her father are tossed overboard in a raging storm. Having seen their distress from the parapet of the lighthouse, Jeremy attempts a rescue in the frigid waters, and all their lives are changed forever.


    Abbey could tell the day was dying, the sunlight ebbing. The air had grown chillier. Her fingers, nose, and toes were numb. She rubbed and moved and massaged them. How she dreaded another night among the boulders. Her stomach was so empty that it churned endless and cramped painfully.

    She shook snow off her cape and curled up under it again. After a while, she slept.

She awoke to the howling of wolves. This time they were much closer. Her fingers wrapped around the club.

    She heard growling and imagined their fierce teeth. She’d heard stories of wolves surrounding a big bull moose and bringing it down, tearing open its neck. The silver timber wolves were large brutes with little fear of humans. Abigail tensed remaining perfectly still as she heard and smelled their approach. A branch snapped. She jumped involuntarily.

    I can’t spend another night here.

    A low growl erupted outside her cape. The muffled sound of front paws digging in the snow terrified her. She felt a canine body bump against hers with nothing separating her but a thick wool material.

Amazon  Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Kim McDermott was born and raised in Charleston, SC where she graduated valedictorian of Middleton High School and cum laudi from the College of Charleston with a B.A. in English.  She received a Masters Degree in Counseling from the Citadel and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in S.C. She has nine years of experience in guidance. She is also a Nationally Certified High School English and Language Arts teacher who worked for Charleston Country School District for 28 years as both an English teacher and a guidance counselor.  She is retired and currently teaches English and Creative Writing part-time as an Adjunct English Professor at Trident Technical College.

She has free lanced for numerous regional and national publications including: The State, Charleston Magazine, Standard, Blue Ridge Country, Reader’s Digest, Christian Single, Home Life, Straight, Evangel, Smokey Mountain Magazine, and others.  She won the Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s award in l987.  Her first book, All Work, All Play published by Marco. She has two children’s books, a chapter book aimed at elementary age children entitled The Underwear Tree and a picture book, Les Petits Gardes. With Margie Clary, she co-authored South Carolina Lighthouses published by Arcadia Publishing. Her latest book is a suspense romance entitled Hiding published by The Wild Rose Press.

Contact Information



Strange Encounter

This arrived at the Tattler by mysterious means from the Tucson Tattler, 1890
Interview with hotel front desk clerk, Homer Jenkins

I heard Abbot Foster’s mail-order bride disappeared. Vanished into thin air, the way folks put it. I know more than people think. I see things from my desk, though I don’t pass judgement. I’m surprised you’re the first paper to talk to me.

Erline Foster stayed here waitin’ to be wed. She was a pretty thing, but the maid refused to clean her room after the first time she set foot in there. The girl wasn’t specific–something about a feeling she got in that room.

I was here when those two detectives booked in too. He’s a real detective with the Pinkertons, Aaron Turrell’s his name. The lady, Healy Harrison, called herself a detective too, but I ask you, what kind of detective agency specializes in ghosts? More to the point, what kind of fool hires them? Some fool who wants to be parted from their money. Not that I’m judging.

The two of them arrived separately. Turrell was waiting here for his next assignment. He’d just caught some outlaws outside of town–it was in the papers. Then, she shows up. Odd girl. Pretty though. From the desk here I can see the dining room, and I witnessed their first meeting. She come down all gussied up except she was pretending to be blind. She had on dark glasses and stumbled around with a cane. She’d been seated and all, so I don’t know what got in her craw, but she ups and crosses the room to Mr. Turrell’s table, and gives him what for. I thought that would be the end of that, but no, she joins him!

Cadillac Hotel, Detroit MI (Scan by NYPD) via Wikimedia Commons

Cadillac Hotel, Detroit MI (Scan by NYPD) via Wikimedia Commons

After that I watched those two coming and going, sometimes together, sometimes separately. She got picked up and returned by Abbot Foster’s nephew every day. This was before Erline disappeared. It was tragic when Abbot lost his first wife, Cora, but still, what business did a ghost hunter have out there?

Meanwhile things got interesting at the hotel. I saw those detectives getting cozy. I’m not one to gossip, but if I say one of their employers was paying for an empty room, you get my drift. One night another guest complained he had to intervene when a man wearing a nightshirt was making a racket and trying to get into a lady’s room.

Next day, I saw Turrell waiting for her in the lobby, and she was hiding behind a potted palm, which was odd considering how… friendly they’d become. Then he gets a telegram and you should’ve seen the expression on his face. He stormed out of here.

Later Miss Harrison comes back from the ranch, all frantic, saying she needed me to pass along a note to Turrell. She wanted him to high-tail it out to the ranch.

What happened there is a mystery. All I know is Erline disappeared and those two detectives show up here asking for a Justice of the Peace.

About the Book

tgtbtg-coverWhat do you get when you mix cowboys with ghosts? A collection of eight (stand-alone) amazing stories from the Old West with haunts of every variety.

Get your love of alpha cowboys on and feed your addiction for the bizarre (and sometimes spooky) world when you download The Good, The Bad and The Ghostly.

Bestselling and Award-winning authors are pleased to save you more than 75% on this fantastic boxed set! (Price if books sold separately)
* * *
Wild, Wild Ghost by Margo Bond Collins
With everyone she loves in the grave, Ruby specializes in the dead.

Comes An Outlaw by Keta Diablo
An outlaw returns to his childhood home to find his parents and brother dead, and the lovely widow in grave danger.

Long A Ghost, and Far Away by Andrea Downing
Ghosts are restless souls, and Lizzie Adams is one of them. How many lives will she get to find the perfect love?

A Ghostly Wager by Blaire Edens
Even a skeptical detective needs a little otherworldly help.

How the Ghost Was Won by Erin Hayes
There are ghost stories. And there are ghost legends.

McKee’s Ghost by Anita Philmar
The ghost living in his house might have saved him from an unhappy marriage and brought him the girl of his dreams but when his ex- fiancé returns, the same spirit turns his life upside down.

A Ride Through Time by Charlene Raddon
P.S.I. Agent Burke Jameson wants to find out if Eagle Gulch, Colorado has genuine ghosts. But he found far more than he expected, including a horse ride that could change his life forever

The Ghost and the Bridegroom by Patti Sherry-Crews
She’s sent west to solve a case. What she finds will change her forever.

Buy it on Amazon


Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén