It is my pleasure to welcome Alison Bruce to Bad Girl. All her books are wonderful, but this one is my personal favorite. Together with Kat Flannery, here are two compelling stories of living through the hell of war and finding a bit of heaven. Enjoy!
I was recently asked, “What was the best advice you were ever given?”
Tough question. The first thing that popped into my head was: “Never drink mixed drinks and beer on the same night.”
Then I reread the question and saw it was “best writing advice.” Still a tough question. I narrowed it down to two things. One was more of a life lesson and is about why I keep writing: “Life is too short not to do what you love.” The other was given me by Melodie Campbell. Let me tell you, up there in the important life lesson is, have a good friend and beta reader who teaches how to write comedy.
“What’s the worst thing that can happen?”
This single piece of advice has helped me fill out my plots, juice up a scene and, sometimes, get through the day when I’m getting bored standing in line at stores.
Let’s face it, in life we want everything to go smoothly. We strive not to make stupid mistakes and, when we make them, we pray no one notices. Not so in fiction. As authors, we plot horrible, embarrassing, often life threatening circumstances for our protagonists. As readers we eat that up. The last thing we’re looking for is “Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Nothing gets in the way of them getting together, including themselves.” Not only does it make for a boring story, it doesn’t even ring true. Maybe, in real life, she won’t be kidnapped by aliens and he won’t have to join the space program to save her, but something stupid will happen that will get laughed about years down the road. If they last that long.
The second part of Melodie’s advice is, “What is the funniest thing that can happen?”
Crime writers might substitute “most likely to make the protagonist the next victim.” Adventure authors might go for “most life threatening.” I don’t write comedy, but I do adhere to the belief that “life is too important to take seriously.” Funny things happen in the worst circumstances, and almost always happen when you do something stupid. In HAZARDOUS UNIONS: Two Tales of a Civil War Christmas, Maggie does something particularly daft when she agrees to go riding without changing into appropriate clothes first.
Master Sergeant patted me on the shoulder. "I'm going to let you ride Chalk. He's mine and the calmest mount I've ever had. No need to be scared."
I just nodded. I wasn't scared of horses. I was very appreciative of their efforts in pulling plows and carts and enjoyed feeding them apples as a reward. I was a bit nervous about riding.
My, cavalry troopers were efficient at saddling those big brutes.
Master Sergeant laced his fingers and crouched down. "Just put your foot here, and one hand on my shoulder. I'll throw you into the saddle. You just have to grab the horn and swing your leg over."
I followed the directions and was rewarded by the exhilarating sensation of feeling light as a feather as I was effortlessly tossed up. Then my crinoline, not being designed for saddles, popped up like an umbrella in a high wind.
"Master Sergeant, what the hell are you doing?"
I pushed my skirt down and saw Captain Stone, red-faced and fists clenched, and Master Sergeant looking very, very pale.
It gets worse, but you’ll have to find out for yourself.
Bestselling western romance authors, Kat Flannery and Alison Bruce take you on an exciting journey with the release of HAZARDOUS UNIONS, Two Tales of a Civil War Christmas.
“You’ll sigh with pleasure as you finish each story” ~ Caroline Clemmons, author of Bluebonnet Bride
“Stories that play on your senses like a sonata. A must read!” ~ Jacquie Rogers, award-winning author of Much Ado About Madams
“Wonderfully entertaining and well-written, with engaging characters…delightful!” ~ Charlene Raddon, author of To Have and To Hold
Twin sisters separated by war, bound by love…
After the death of their father, twin sisters Maggie and Matty Becker are forced to take positions with officers’ families at a nearby fort. When the southern states secede, the twins are separated, and they find themselves on opposite sides of America’s bloodiest war.
In the south, Maggie travels with the Hamiltons to Bellevue, a plantation in west Tennessee. When Major Hamilton is captured, it is up to Maggie to hold things together and deal with the Union cavalry troop that winters at Bellevue. Racism, politics and a matchmaking stepmother test Maggie’s resourcefulness as she fights for Bellevue, a wounded Confederate officer and the affections of the Union commander.
In the north, Matty discovers an incriminating letter in General Worthington’s office, and soon she is on the run. With no one to turn to for help, she drugs the wealthy Colonel Cole Black and marries him, in hopes of getting the letter to his father, the governor of Michigan. But Cole is not happy about being married, and Matty’s life becomes all about survival.
Two unforgettable stories of courage, strength and honor
Title: HAZARDOUS UNIONS
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Imajin Books (www.imajinbooks.com)
Alison Bruce has had many careers and writing has always been one of them. Copywriter, editor and graphic designer since 1992, Alison has also been a comic book store manager, small press publisher, webmaster and arithmetically challenged bookkeeper. She is the author of mystery, suspense and historical romance novels and occasionally helps Melodie out of technological worst case scenarios.