I have the coolest friends! Linda Broday is a good friend and a special lady. She has generously provided this great material on the history of undertaking.
Funeral customs depended on whether the deceased was a city dweller or one who lived on a farm or ranch. People who lived outside of town placed the care of their remains in the hands of those who loved them. After a loved one died, the family lovingly washed their bodies and dressed him or her in their best clothes. Sometimes they made their own coffins if they had the tools. If not, they’d buy a coffin from the undertaker in town. They’d lay the person out in their parlor at home and sit beside the coffin. They called this custom a wake. Then, after no more than a day or two, they’d bury the deceased in a plot on their land.
(Embalming was unheard of until the early 1900’s and even then it was mostly back East. That’s why they had to hurry and get the dead into the ground. They got pretty ripe after a while.)
If the deceased lived in town, all the needs were seen to by the undertaker who usually had side occupations like furniture or cabinet maker. Hearses were horse-drawn and most of the time ornate with glass windows on each side through which viewers could see the coffin. Some even sported black feathery plumes at each corner. The mourners walked on foot behind the hearse to the cemetery which was generally near the church.
Then in rides Texas Ranger Stoney Burke. Stoney was Texanna’s husband’s best friend. Stoney promised Sam on his wedding day that he’d look after Texanna if anything happened to Sam.
When Texanna and Stoney are thrust together, he’s forced to face his deep feelings for Texanna. On the one hand, he’s mad as all get-out at her for making Sam give up his job with the Texas Rangers. But on the other hand, Stoney has worshipped Texanna from afar all these years. Memories of her and the kisses they shared long ago keep him awake at night.
There’s also the matter of dealing with Texanna’s six year old son who’s developed a bad habit of stealing, a jail break, and a fire that consumes the town.
Locked in a fight to keep Texanna safe, Stoney comes to see that old grudges have no place in the future and that love can survive past secrets if only he gives it a chance.
GIVE ME A TEXAS RANGER is in bookstores now. I hope you’ll pick up a copy. If you read our two previous anthologies, GIVE ME A COWBOY and GIVE ME A TEXAN, you’ll need this one to add to your set.
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Linda is an award winning author who lives on the Western plains of Texas that’s sometimes referred to as the short grass prairie. She has three single western romances and three anthologies to her credit. She’s won the prestigious National Readers’ Choice Award and the Texas Gold among many others. Writing western romance is in her blood. She loves nothing better than to saddle up with a cowboy hero and help him lasso the love of his life. You can contact her at http://www.lindabroday.com/.