August 29, 2011


Stephen Bly

A number of Old West bachelors found brides through mail order. For a good reason. 

The Civil War decimated the supply of eligible eastern men. So, single women and widows abounded. And a shortage of females existed in the wild west. 

This led to outlets such as The Heart And Hand Magazine, published by a matrimonial bureau. Many a cowboy spent a cold winter’s day or night flipping through the pages. Often he believed the lovely, lively descriptions of the gals who sent submissions.

After a series of letters, written as a lark or out of sheer loneliness, a cowboy might drive a buckboard fifty miles to meet his Heart-And-Hand love. She might turn out to be quite unlike his perception or her photograph. Of course, the cowboys didn’t always appear as prime treasures themselves.

The system wasn’t all bad though. Honest correspondence provided potential for building a solid foundation for a relationship. The letter writers could discover each other’s mind, soul, spirit…the important parts.

Sometimes outer looks get in the way, divert attention from what’s a person’s true value. Long, copious conversations…by letter, phone, e-mail or texting…can lead to discovery of the true spirit, what’s inside.

A dozen thoughtful epistles from an honest heart can be worth about two years of dates at the movies and pizza parlour. Such a system helps folks really know each other before they commit...and advances the prospects of living happily ever after.

It's Your Misfortune & None Of My Own
The premise for my Code of the West Series grows out of a scenario such as this with two different couples, Zechariah Hatcher and Suzanne Cedar, Tap Andrews and Pepper Paige...honesty and sincerity by one and plenty of deception and deceit to overcome by the other. 


Throw The Devil Off The Train
Throw The Devil Off The Train

Stuart Brannon's Final Shot


dancealert said...

I would love to read this book!
I'm a subscriber and a follower gfc.

Great interview!!

Brenda from Michigan

dancealert at aol dot com

Shannon Nicole Wells said...

I had an idea of writing a story about a mail order bride, so I went looking on the internet for inspiration. Of course, Google led me here. I hope these books will be available in audio, someday. I would love to read them. God bless