Dear Mr. Clemens,
I want to thank you for your support of authors ancient, contemporary and future, as evidence by your well-balanced support of the Bluestocking Belles. Albeit, your physical milieu is Regency England, your—how should I put this—timely connections are well known and highly regarded for their accuracy and vision despite The Tattler’s reputation for rumor and innuendo. But I digress.
I bring you via this letter the news that Miss. Rue Allyn, Bluestocking Belle, medieval scholar, and highly regarded author, is now writing a new 1870’s Wyoming novel. Yes, her fans and those who may never have indulged in her writings will thrill to adventures of Boyd Alvarez and Elise Van Demer who first appeared in Miss. Allyn’s opus One Night’s Desire. That Miss. Allyn is once more producing her heart melting romantic novels is truly good news.
The sad news is that a year may pass before the publication of The Legend of Skinner Jonas (the working title of Miss. Allyn’s Boyd and Elise story). Should anyone be interested in keeping abreast of Miss. Allyn’s progress, they may join her newsletter by following this link to RAVON. Meanwhile to whet readers’ appetites here is a small sample from The Legend of Skinner Jonas. Of course, Miss. Allyn’s already published works are available for purchase. Information about them and Miss. Allyn can be found at her website https://RueAllyn.com.
Again we thank you for support of Miss. Allyn and all authors.
Miss Essie Charleyton
President of RAVON (Rue Allyn’s Very Occassional News and blog)
A sample from The Legend of Skinner Jonas:
Nowhere Wyoming, September 1876 [Boyd is 28, Elise is 22/23]
“I saw Skinner Jonas’ rig over to the stable,” said one of the yahoos a the bar.
From the front door of the saloon, Boyd Alvarez spotted his quarry at the far end of the bar then headed for an empty table in the same area. He motioned to the barkeep, ordered one shot of Redeye neat, and settled with his back to the wall to watch Zachariah Jackson—the meanest, dirtiest, claim jumper, this side of the Wind River—whoop it up with some friends. With any luck, Jackson would drink himself into a stupor, and Boyd could haul the man over to the sheriff’s office with little or no problem.
“Ain’t never see’d Jonas m’self,” Jackson said.
“Well y’ can see ‘im now,” remarked one of the friends. He tilted his head toward the door Boyd had passed through. “Just came in.”
Jackson stood on his toes and craned his neck to see over the crowd. “Where? Man with as big a legend as Jonas’ oughta be big enough to see easy.”
The friend grinned. “Ain’t Skinner’s size what got ‘im ‘is reputation; it’s his luck. He’s standing smack in the middle of the doorway.”
“Afternoon boys.” The voice was rusty as barbed wire but surprisingly rhythmic—like church bells or a lullaby, and oddly soothing.
Boyd supposed a man who coaxed critters to haul 500 pound plus loads would need such a voice.
Booted tread followed the greeting. The crowd of men around the bar made room. Boyd watched a scruffy figure stride through. Something besides the skinner’s voice struck Boyd as odd. He couldn’t figure exactly what. As he considered, Jonas stepped into to a spot at the bar bedside Jackson, right between Boyd and the claim jumper.
“Whisky neat,” said the barbed wire and bells voice.
Boyd was still mentally cursing the luck that put an innocent between him and a $100.00 bounty when he finally figured out what bothered him. How in Hades have all these men failed to notice that Skinner isn’t a man.
Admittedly, dressed as she was it was kinda hard to tell she was female—so maybe it wasn’t so strange that most accepted her as a man—especially since Jackson’s friend called her one. But that walk was unmistakable. From whore to starched up school marm, every woman known to man had that same hip-swaying, make a man’s cock ache, sashay. Some had it more’n others, but they all had it, and despite Boyd’s blue balls that strut was a pure pleasure to watch. Purer than he’d seen in a long, long time.
This one had less sway than many he’d seen. She had a stride that fit a man, aggressive and bold as brass, but she couldn’t hide that swing. Would’a been nice if she’d dressed like a woman ‘stead of a muleskinner. Would’a been even nicer if she’d cleaned up a bit and smelled like a woman. But she smelled the way she looked—trail-whacker through and through. Except for that sway. When one of the woman-starved men in this saloon finally noticed, she was bound to cause trouble.
The gloves she threw on the bar along with a very professional looking whip, had the creases and worn spots of an experienced wagon driver. The battered, broad brimmed hat that covered her hair and shaded her eyes was as dusty as that of any skinner he’d ever seen. And he’d seen a fair number during his days with the Pinkertons. The only thing missing was a lump in her cheek that indicated a chaw of tobacco. Which meant she probably still had all her teeth.
He swallowed a sigh along with a swig of red-eye and watched. Hard as he tried he could not determine hair color, eye color or the shape of any of her features. He cast a quick glance around the room. Either they were too drunk to notice she was female or not drunk enough to have the cajones to approach a woman as tough as this one appeared.
He shifted his gaze back to the woman downing her whisky. So what if she drank like a muleskinner too. Nothing about her would put off any of the men smart enough to see past her disguise. Boyd would be first in line, if he didn’t have more pressing business. Not one of those men would ask nice, at least not as nice as he would. Not one would take no for an answer. He would, even if he didn’t want to. Forcing an unwilling woman wasn’t just a crime, it was simply wrong. He may not be a Pinkerton any longer, but he would uphold the law and keep the peace. And the best way to keep the peace was to prevent law-breaking before it happened. Dang it, I have business to tend to. The last thing he wanted was to tangle with anyone over some strange woman. If he were lucky, he could distract the whole crowd from the female long enough for her to finish her drink and skedaddle.
He chugged the last of his redeye, plunked the glass down on the pinewood, and stood. Looking at the barkeep he put his two bits beside the glass and turned toward his quarry.
At the same moment, Jackson put his hand on the woman’s arm. “Yer a might scrawny fer a mule-skinnin’ legend, friend.”
Skinner shrugged her shoulder and stepped back. Posture balanced and relaxed, she looked Jackson up and down then sneered. “Keep yer hands to yerself. I don’t know you, so you ain’t no friend.” The bells tolled a warning.
She moved as if to walk around Jackson, but the bigger man stepped into her path.
“That was a mistake, mister.” The barbed wire muttered.
Damn, I waited too long. Boyd stood and reached out to tap Jackson’s shoulder to draw his attention.
“Sez you, pipsqueak. Whatcha gonna do ….”
Before he could finish speaking, Jackson lay moaning on the floor. The woman muleskinner had her foot planted square in his back. His gun arm was pulled straight out behind him held in a solid single-handed grip while she bent to slip the pearl-handled colt from his belt holster.
About Rue Allyn: Award winning author, Rue Allyn, learned story telling at her grandfather’s knee. (Well it was really more like on his knee—I was two.) She’s been weaving her own tales ever since. She has worked as an instructor, mother, sailor, clerk, sales associate, and painter, along with a variety of other types of work. She has lived and traveled in places all over the globe from Keflavik Iceland (I did not care much for the long nights of winter.) and Fairbanks Alaska to Panama City and the streets of London England to a large number of places in between. Now that her two sons have left the nest, Rue and her husband of more than four decades (Try living with the same person for more than forty years—that’s a true adventure.) have retired and moved south.
When not writing, learning to play new games, (I’m starting to learn Bridge) and working jigsaw puzzles, Rue travels the world and surfs the internet in search of background material and inspiration for her next heart melting romance. She loves to hear from readers, and you may contact her at contact@RueAllyn.com. She can’t wait to hear from you.
What Rue likes best about the belles is their can-do spirit. This group isn’t afraid to try anything the publishing world can dish out. The only other place I’ve found such completely supportive energy is with my fellow sisters-in-arms, both active duty and not.
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