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Saturday, July 9, 2016

MAIL ORDER BRIDES--COULD YOU BE ONE? COULD YOU MARRY ONE? by CHERYL PIERSON



I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been enthralled by mail-order brides. No, I’ve not been “studying” them, or “researching” them—yet. I’ve just been wondering why this became such a practice—and a successful one—among women of all walks of life, or so it seems.

What would make a woman leave everything familiar to her and travel to “parts unknown” to marry a man she knew nothing about? What’s scarier than online dating? Being a mail-order bride! Once they’d made the commitment to leave their homes behind—much to the consternation of many family members and friends, in some cases, I would imagine—the die was cast.

Could be these thoughts cross my mind when the weather is sooooo bloomin' hot here in Oklahoma that I can't even imagine traveling for days in a covered wagon or even on a train to get to this part of the country from "back east". Same for the winter--with the ice and snow being plentiful and hard to navigate in, much less just being frozen stiff.

Here's one of the first mail-order bride stories I wrote--FOUND HEARTS, penned for the PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS 2014 Valentine's Day anthology, HEARTS AND SPURS, and later released as a single sell story.

BLURB:
Southern belle Evie Fremont has lost everything—except hope. When she answers an advertisement for marriage to Alex Cameron who lives in the wilds of Indian Territory, she has few illusions that he could be a man she might fall in love with—especially as his secrets begin to unfold.

Ex-Confederate soldier Alex Cameron needs a mother for his two young half-Cherokee sons more than he needs a wife—or so he tells himself. But when his past threatens his future on his wedding day, he and Evie are both forced to acknowledge their new love has come to stay—along with their FOUND HEARTS.

http://www.amazon.com/Found-Hearts-Cheryl-Pierson-ebook/dp/B00R3MWEUC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1455685920&sr=1-1&keywords=Found+Hearts

A woman would have to be certain in her own mind that what she was going to was better than what she was leaving behind. She would have to be resourceful enough to plan some kind of “exit strategy” if things didn’t work out. And I suppose, many times, women resigned themselves to the fact that they would become a soiled dove—the lowest of the low—in order to survive.

Here's a wonderful collection of mail-order bride tales from Prairie Rose Publications, LASSOING A MAIL-ORDER BRIDE. Take a peek at what's inside:

BLURB:
A woman would have to be loco to become a mail-order bride...wouldn't she? Leaving everything behind and starting fresh in the untamed west is the answer to a prayer for these ladies! A beautiful socialite needs a husband fast —but her husband wants a bride for life. A pregnant young lady becomes desperate —almost as desperate as her soon-to-be husband, who just inherited his sister's kids. A man is in love with a woman he can’t have —or can he? A woman’s reputation is tarnished and professional career compromised —she runs, but she can't hide. Will they all find love with strangers they've never met who are set on LASSOING A MAIL-ORDER BRIDE?

THESE ROUGH DREAMS—Cheryl Pierson
A pregnant mail order bride. A groom with three orphaned children. Some dreams get a rough start

HER HURRY-UP HUSBAND—Tanya Hanson
A beautiful socialite needs a husband fast —for just one month —but the rancher wants a wife for life!

A PERMANENT WOMAN—Kaye Spencer
He needs a wife to get custody of his grandchildren. She needs a fresh start and a new reputation. Desperate men —and women —sometimes take desperate measures...but can she be A PERMANENT WOMAN?

THE BIG UNEASY—Kathleen Rice Adams
A man in love with a woman he can’t have. A woman engaged to a man she doesn’t love. A secret in common could destroy them all.



http://www.amazon.com/Lassoing-Mail-Order-Bride-Cheryl-Pierson-ebook/dp/B00KREGPI0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1455686282&sr=1-1&keywords=Lassoing+a+Mail+Order+Bride

In spite of all the scenarios we might come up with for a mail-order bride to leave the life she has known behind her for something completely foreign to her, there are, I’m sure, many that we never could have even contemplated. For each story is personal, intimate, and heart-rending in its own right.

One of the most unusual books about mail-order brides is Jim Fergus’s story, ONE THOUSAND WHITE WOMEN—which is not about “mail-order brides” as we think of them, but in a totally different way—a trade by the U.S. Government of 1000 white women to the Indians in order to achieve assimilation into white culture. Interestingly enough, this premise WAS discussed in reality, but not carried through. In the book, however, Fergus shows how the government emptied insane asylums of women and sent them to the Indians…only most of the women were not insane, but had been “put away” by their families for one reason or another.


http://www.amazon.com/One-Thousand-White-Women-Journals-ebook/dp/B0042XA3OE/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1455685348&sr=1-1&keywords=One+Thousand+White+Women

Would you have what it took to be a mail-order bride in the old west? I’m not sure I would, but it’s fun to think about. And for you guys--would you consider "mail-ordering" a bride? What if either of you had habits the other couldn't abide? What if you just didn't "suit" in general?

A MAIL-ORDER CHRISTMAS BRIDE is a collection of Christmas mail-order bride stories that Prairie Rose Publications just released with some wonderful tales of how some women with pasts they needed to leave behind find new beginnings at the most joyous time of the year. These eight stories by Livia J. Washburn, Kathleen Rice Adams, Cheryl Pierson, Patti Sherry-Crews, Jesse J Elliot, Meg Mims, Tanya Hanson, and Jacquie Rogers will provide you many hours of reading pleasure all year 'round.



http://www.amazon.com/Mail-Order-Christmas-Bride-Livia-Washburn-ebook/dp/B0182FEYU6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1455685767&sr=1-1&keywords=A+mail+order+Christmas+Bride


So what about it, y'all? Ladies, could you BE a mail-order bride? Gents, would you consider advertising for a bride? What would be your qualifications?

Would you leave your familiar surroundings and go west to be a mail-order bride?
Thanks for stopping by today!

http://www.prairierosepublications.com/

17 comments:

  1. Although I would have prefer to be an independent women,(you can use your imaginations to figure out how I would have supported myself *grin*) I would not have had a problem with leaving all I knew to try something else.

    By the way, I've always loved this story!!!! Doris

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    1. Doris, you crack me up. Yes, you would have been very independent! I don't know if I ever could have gotten up the courage to pack up and GO--really do it--even if I thought about it a million times. That would be a huge step.

      I'm reading The Passions of Emma right now--a wonderful Penelope Williamson book. Although Emma wasn't a mail order bride, she recognized that she was not going to be happy fitting into the mold that her family expected. I'm still reading, so I don't know what she intends to do about it, but oh, it is a delicious story.

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  2. Cheryl,

    In real life, I "practiced" being married a couple of times before I got the marriage thing 'right'. *wink* So, I don't think I'd have been a good candidate as a mail-order bride. With my marriage track-record, I would have ended up in a "Zandy's Bride" scenario. 0_o

    I'm pretty sure you would have found me in a sporting establishment before I pursued a mail-order marriage. *grin*

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  3. OMG! You made me snort my drink. You practiced being married. LOL You know what they say about "Practice makes perfect." I probably would have wound up as a prostitute, too. But I would want to be the madam, like Miss Kitty. She had the best of both worlds--owned her own business and was independent, and only had to satisfy Matt Dillon. LOL

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  4. No, not me. I could/would/ never want to be a MOB. But I love to read about them, and I love to write about them. The one I'm writing now is finally taking shape.
    I loved the books you mentioned, too--The Passions of Emma and 1000 White Women.

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    1. Celia, you really have insight into the way a MOB would feel and think. I would never say never, when it comes to choosing to be a MOB, because if I found myself in a situation that was unbearable, there might be no other choice. But I have to say, it would most likely be a last resort for me. Well, unless I was in my rebellious years. Then...I might just do it on a dare. LOL

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  5. Absolutely not! I cannot imagine me leaving a place I love and all my friends and family to marry someone I don't know in a place I've never been with no promise of love. But I can see where, in a time when women had few job options except to marry a man who would support them financially and protect them, a woman might choose such a precarious life decision.
    In some regard, MOB still continues today. Men seek wives from the Philippines and Russia.
    While I do like to read MOB stories because it's always so fulfilling to see how they receive a life better than they imagined, I've never written one. I don't know why. Maybe the right story line just hasn't revealed itself to me.
    All the best to you, Cheryl. Stay cool there in the heat of Oklahoma. I could fry eggs on my sidewalk here in North Carolina. Ugh!

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    1. Sarah, it's hot as blue blazes here, too, but we've been spending a lot of good time in the pool. I've just been lazy. But I need that sometimes.

      I can't imagine MYSELF doing that either, Sarah...but I can imagine others doing it--because I always manage to put them in such dire circumstances that there really is no other choice. And I'm sure there were those situations in actuality "back in the day" when there were so many fewer choices for women than there are now.

      BTW, I worked with an older guy at the museum who got himself a very young bride from the Philippines. They sponsored her family, one by one, so they could come over from the Phillippines. The day after they had been married for the required 5 years--she left him. And you know what he did? Went out and got himself another one that was even younger than the first one. UGH. Just sickening. They must have been so very desperate.

      Thanks for coming by, Sarah!

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  6. Arranged marriages have been happening for a long time. I think expectations were different back in the day, that perhaps marriage wasn't as romanticized as we make it today. It was a practical arrangement. But, that being said, I'm sure certain women could tolerate it better than others. That book by Jim Fergus looks great. I'll have to check it out.

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    1. I think you are right, Kristy. People expected to marry not for love, but for property or because it was "expected" for other reasons.

      Oh, yes, you must read Jim Fergus's book! That is one of the best books I've ever read. He writes it from a woman's POV--and it is sooo realistic. It's very hard to put down.

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  7. My grandmother was a mail-order bride, c. 1899/1900. She came from Naples, from a poor family; she was legally blind and her father and grandfather had both died so she was without a "dowry," which was something southern Italians still needed at the time. My gf was from Pistoia (outside Florence) and wanted an Italian bride. They had five children..... Would I do that? Not so sure, but I understand why she did. She was without opportunity, but talk about brave..... She spoke no English, was young and fairly blind, and came "blindly" to this country! I have worked on the beginnings of her "story" for some time, and will finish it one day.

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    1. Gail, that took SUCH courage! Even under the best of circumstances it would be very scary for a young woman, but to be in your grandmother's circumstances, I can't even imagine going away from the familiar to the unknown like that. You have to write her story!

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  8. I know I can pack up and head out into the unknown. I have done it. However, that didn't include marriage. Many mail-order brides did exchange at least a few letters with their intended grooms, so at least thought they knew something about them. How much was true on both their parts was of doubt. Committing your life and body to another person is a big step even if you have known them a long time. It is easy for us in today's world to think we wouldn't do it, but back then women's options were so limited circumstances could be dire enough to force this as a last option for survival. I would have to have an escape option if I met him and decided there was no way it would work.
    I just realized reading Gail's post that I do have a mail-order bride of sorts in my lineage. In 1663 to 1673 King Louis XIV of France sent 800 women over to the colonies along the St.Lawrence River near Quebec City and Montreal. They were called Filles de Roi, Daughters of the King. He wanted the farmers and trappers to establish families and permanent settlements to solidify France's claim to the area. The first groups were from good families . Can you imagine coming from Paris, across the ocean by boat, to a primitive area to live in a dirt floor log cabin and hostile indians and wild animals all around. It must have been a shock. I think marriage was probably the easy part. Anyway, one of my great++++great grandmothers was one of these women.

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    1. That is amazing, Pat! I wish I knew more about my "VERY long-ago" relatives. My mom told me many stories about her grandmothers and the stories they told her when she was growing up. But as far as the 1600's--I've no idea.

      I think you're right about our options being so many more these days than back then--it's hard to imagine for US because we are able to work and make our own money and have our independence. But times were so different back then, we may have looked at being a MOB in a totally different way--maybe as an unbelievable opportunity! But like you, I'd have to have a "back-up" plan. LOL

      Thanks for coming by. I know you are one busy woman!

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  9. I need to catch up. There are so many of these stories I haven't read. I love the sound of this one.

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    1. Linda, it's really a good collection.

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    2. Linda, it's really a good collection.

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