The Details Matter

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Highlighting Historical Romance with Linda Carroll-Bradd and the ways cultural details enhance stories

As I plot and write my sweet historical romances, I do my best to include interesting features of one of my protagonist’s cultural background. In the 1800s, America was a true melting pot of peoples from a host of countries. Many of these people were either new emigrants or were raised by those who made the sea voyage. Traditions tying them to the life they knew in the “old country” would be strong. I’ve researched my own family tree and often use the names of ancestors in my stories as a way of honoring them.

Clootie-Dumpling-from-wikipedia Highlighting Historical Romance
Clootie Dumpling

In A Vow for Christmas, my heroine, Vika, is of Scottish descent and is forced by circumstances to respond to an ad for a mail-order bride in Wyoming Territory. Everything she knows about maintaining a household comes from her nana’s and mum’s teachings. I dove into finding recipes of typical Scottish foods that would be the dishes she’s used to preparing. Ever heard of mince and tatties (chopped beef and mashed potatoes) or neeps (turnips) and or rumbledethumps (mashed potato, rutabaga & cabbage casserole) or tipsy laird (a raspberry & whipped cream trifle) or clootie dumpling (a steamed cake with raisins). Some dishes she can’t make because ingredients like smoked haddock for Cullen skink or sultanas for a Dundee Cake are just not available.

mince-and-tatties-from-Wikimedia Highlighting Historical Romance
Mince and Tatties

The average diet of people in the 1800s was high in meats from pigs, but I didn’t find a single Scottish recipe where pork was the main ingredient. Her new husband, Chad, is a meat and potatoes guy and is challenged by what is put in front of him. An aspect of a story that I always tweak and play with to boost the tension between people draw together by circumstance who learn to love one another.

About the Book: A Vow for Christmas

A-Vow-for-Christmas_cover Highlighting Historical Romance

In the three years since his beloved wife died, rancher Chad Rutherford has done the best for his family. But with his sister leaving the family ranch to get married, he needs to find someone to keep house and tend his kids so he places an ad for a mail-order bride.

Left on her own by her brother’s murder, spinster Vika Carmichael must find a way to life. An ad for a mail-order bride from a widower with small children seems like the perfect fit. Until she arrives in Gunnison, Wyoming Territory, and wonders if room for her exists in their hearts.

Will two proud individuals find a way to work together, or will their marriage vow be broken by Christmas?

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About the Author

Linda-C-B-casual Highlighting Historical Romance

As a child, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about characters having exciting adventures in places far away. In later years, she started writing romances and achieved her first publication–a confession story. Now Linda writes award-winning heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor.

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One thought on “The Details Matter

  1. a Lovely article, I totally agree that it is the little things .. a throwaway about a heroine noting that a ball will end before dawn as the candles are 6-hour candles not 8-hour candles … mending a book by heating the glue crystals in the gluepot, a doubleboiler [bain marie] and food of course is always evocative.
    a small thought though – my Scots ancestors always had neeps ‘n’ tatties with mince, swede mashed with potatoes and butter. Neeps ‘n’ tatties always go with haggis. As a matter of interest, although one nowadays has to translate ‘rutabaga’ for an English reader, back then, it was used interchangeably with Swede, Swedish turnip, or purple turnip [I read the newspapers online including the farming pages in my research into weather, because one of my details I like to include is weather accurate to he day]

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Caroline Warfield, Author

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