Monday, July 30, 2018

The Roaring Twenties - A Time of Change and Independence!


The “Roaring Twenties” was a new decade of independent women, when they raised their hemlines and bobbed their hair. This new hairstyle brought about a lot of commotion. If a woman bobbed her hair, she was fired from her job. A teacher in Jersey City was ordered to grow her hair back by the school board. They said that women wasted too much time fussing around with a bobbed hairstyle, and if she didn’t grow it back, then she would be fired. One prestigious department store actually fired all the employees who wore bobbed hair. In the newspaper, a preacher warned his congregation that a “bobbed woman was a disgraced woman.” In fact, men even divorced their wives over the new hairstyle. Can you imagine the conversation between husband and wife, ordering her to grow her hair back?

The roaring twenties was the inspiration for my new historical romance: Elena, Woman of Courage. This was a time when women wore sleek dresses just above their knees with long beads down to the waist. This new style accentuated the hips and beautiful legs of a woman. It was a new era for everyone. This was a time of courage, adventure, and new music. Jazz became famous and George Gershwin’s music was the craze. He was known as the “King of Jazz.” People would sit around the radio and listen to music, comedy shows, live performances, and the news.

In 1921, the first Miss America contest was held. And in 1922, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches became famous. Dance marathons were the craze in 1923, and people danced until they dropped from exhaustion. There was the Charleston, Fox Trot, and the Shimmy. To dance the Shimmy, one held his body straight and then shook it rhythmically from the shoulders on down to the knees. In 1927, the first talking movie, “The Jazz Singer,” was released.

As I wrote Elena, Woman of Courage, which was set during the roaring twenties, I decided to check out the language spoken during that period. In the 1920s, the new generation spoke a language that their parents didn’t understand. They used words such as: Cat’s pajamas! Ah, horsefeathers! Baloney! Hotsy-totsy! Ab-so-lute-ly!

If you were “all wet,” you were mistaken. If you were a “sap,” you were a fool. When referring to a woman, they used doll, tomato, and bearcat. A woman’s legs were “gams” and her lovely shape was referred to as a “chassis.” If you were in love, you had a “crush,” were “goofy” or “moonstruck.” And when a woman was not in the mood for kissing, she would say, “The bank’s closed.”

Many parents were in the dark, wondering what their children were talking about. So the next time you decide to complain about the language, music, and strange dances of this generation, remember what the parents of the roaring twenties must have felt. They must have complained, worried, and fretted. Is that what we do today? Do we worry and fret about our kid’s today?

Let me tell you what I think about this new generation. Some people believe our kids are headed in the wrong direction and will amount to nothing. Ah, Baloney! Only a sap would think that. The kids now days are hotsy-totsy. If you think I’m all wet, then take a look at my daughters. They’re a great example of kids now days, an example of fortitude and perseverance. They ab-so-lute-ly amaze me with their outlook on life. What do I say about this new generation? Cat’s pajamas! (Definition: “How Wonderful!”)


After researching this era, my new historical romance novel was born. In Elena, Woman of Courage, Elena settles in a small western town as the newest doctor but a few problems arise. The town is not ready for a female doctor, let alone one so strong and independent. She must struggle against the prejudice to establish her new practice. As she fights to prove herself, the town’s most eligible bachelor finds it a challenge to see if he can win her heart. When you mix a happy-go-lucky bachelor with a roaring 20s woman, you have Elena, Woman of Courage.

This book can be purchased through local and online bookstores and soon to be on Audible audiobooks. For more information, visit www.lindaweaverclarke.com.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Historical Romance Reflects the Mood of the “Roaring Twenties”


The “Roaring Twenties” was a time of great change, when women raised their hemlines and bobbed their hair. It was a time of independence, courage, and adventure.

In the 1920s, the new generation spoke a language their parents didn’t understand. They used words like: Cat’s pajamas! Ah, horsefeathers! Baloney! When referring to a woman, they used doll and tomato. When a person was in love, he was goofy. And when a woman was not in the mood for kissing, she would say, “The bank’s closed.” Elena, Woman of Courage: A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho creates the mood of the “roaring twenties” and is filled with sweet romance, courage, and humor.

Suko’s Notebook Reviews wrote: “Linda Weaver Clarke is outstanding at presenting the characters' thoughts, especially when it comes to romance, and she captures the highs and lows of romantic life rather adeptly.”

When Elena Yeates settles into a small western town as the newest doctor, a few problems arise. The town is not ready for a female doctor, let alone one so strong and independent. She must struggle against the prejudice to establish her new practice. As she fights to prove herself, the town’s most eligible bachelor finds it a challenge to see if he can win her heart. When you mix a happy-go-lucky bachelor with a roaring 20s woman, you have Elena, Woman of Courage.

“Elena Woman of Courage is a wonderful book full of history, passion and romance, as well as a touch of suspense and humor,” wrote Kim Atchue-Cusella, Book Loons. “The characters are matched perfectly and it is sweet to watch romance develop between John and Elena.”

Elena is a courageous woman who went to college during a time when women were not encouraged to be educated beyond high school. The 1920s was a time of change when women began fighting for their rights. After getting her degree as a doctor, she moves to the West to set up her own practice. When she arrives in a small town in Idaho, she meets those who oppose her from day one, but Elena’s stubborn nature will not allow her to give up. In her fight for equality, she learns to love the people of Bear Lake Valley and realizes she has found a home at last.

Allison’s Attic Book Review, wrote: “Linda Weaver Clarke is an amazing author who writes visual and descriptive books. Elena, Woman of Courage is an amazing journey of visual reading that will take you to the lands of Idaho and transport you into the surroundings of the story. You feel you are living the life of the characters, as you get to know each character’s flaws and strengths. The love of a man and woman is only as strong as the bond and life they share together!”

Elena, Woman of Courage” can be purchased through local and online bookstores and soon to be on Audible audiobooks
For more information, visit www.lindaweaverclarke.com.

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster


The waves splashed gently upon the shore and the full moon shone brightly upon Bear Lake, making the water shimmer. A deep foreboding was in the air and the fawn, sipping from the lake, could sense it. His ears perked up and he stood still while his eyes searched the area. Only the sounds of nature could be heard, crickets sang and an owl hooted, but the deer sensed that he was in danger and quickly darted away. With great speed, he sprinted gracefully, as if in mid air, toward safety.

A few feet from shore, the water abruptly parted and exposed a gigantic brown lump about 90-feet long. Water was trickling down its sides as it floated in the stillness of the night. At first glance it looked like an enormous log that had floated to the surface. After a few seconds, it slowly moved toward shore. A howl of a wolf was heard in the distance but it was instantly cut off when a thunderous noise, like the roaring of an angry bull, pierced the night and was heard from the shores of Bear Lake and beyond. Immediately, the sounds of nature became silent and an eerie sense of foreboding remained in the atmosphere.

The mystery of the Bear Lake Monster has been an exciting part of Idaho history ever since the early pioneers arrived in 1863. Prominent leaders of the area encouraged the Indian legend because no one had a desire to move to the cold Bear Lake country. The valley was located at the tops of the Rocky Mountains in southern Idaho and the winters were harsh.

The legend of the Bear Lake Monster made life a little more exciting for the pioneers. Some people claimed to have seen it and gave descriptions of it. Throughout the years, no one has ever disproved the Bear Lake Monster. A bunch of scientists tried to discredit the monster and said it was a huge codfish that was shipped in from the East. Does the Bear Lake Monster exist? Is it fact or fiction, legend or myth?

The legend of the Bear Lake Monster began with the Natives who inhabited this valley. When the settlers arrived in 1863, the Indians told them all about the Great Bear Lake Monster. It had captured and carried off two of their braves while swimming. The legend came alive when people began reporting its existence.

Thomas Sleight and John Collings of Paris, Idaho, and Allen and M.C. Davis of St. Charles were taking six girls home from a party in Fish Haven when they stopped off at the lake. Some unusually large waves got their attention. They noticed four brown lumps and six smaller ones that were heading southward. They swam with incredible speed, about a mile a minute, until they were out of sight.

One summer day in 1868, S. M. Johnson was riding his horse alongside the shoreline when he saw an object floating in the water. At first glance, it looked like a man’s body. He was shocked and thought that someone had drowned so he trotted his horse closer and watched the object but it didn’t move. When the water didn’t wash the body ashore, he figured it must have been a tree that was anchored to the bottom of the lake with its roots still in tact. As he watched this so-called tree, he said it opened a gigantic mouth that was large enough to swallow a man and it blew water from its mouth and nose. Johnson said that it had a skinny head, huge pointed ears, and three small legs that rose up from the water as it approached the shore.

Some time later, a group of twenty people spotted the monster, and among these were prominent men of the community. Two outstanding leaders who reported the sighting were Wilford Woodruff and George Q. Cannon. No one doubted what they saw. These men had integrity and were trustworthy.

The interesting thing is that all the reports have pretty much the same description. The monster’s eyes were flaming red and its ears stuck out from the sides of its skinny head. Its body was long, resembling a gigantic alligator, and it could swim faster than a galloping horse. It had small legs and a huge mouth, big enough to eat a man.

As I researched this subject for my next book, Sarah’s Special Gift, I learned so much about this area. I just lived a half hour away, over the mountain from Bear Lake Valley, but most of this info was new to me. 
So... is the Bear Lake Monster real or is it just a legend? Whatever conclusion is drawn, the legend still lives on and brings a great deal of mystery and excitement to the community. Remember! When visiting Idaho, never doubt the Bear Lake Monster or you’ll be frowned upon. No one makes fun of the great legend of Bear Lake Valley!

This book can be purchased through local and online bookstores and soon to be on Audible audiobooks. For more information, visit www.lindaweaverclarke.com.


Listen to a sample of this book.

LEARN HOW TO GET A FREE AUDIO BOOK FROM AUDIBLE! Receive this audiobook free if you join audible.com. Membership includes two free audiobooks and you can choose from 150,000+ titles. Go to Linda Weaver Clarke’s Audible Page and find the book you’re interested in and sign up for some free audiobooks. My Audible Page: https://www.audible.com/author/Linda-Weaver-Clarke/B004P47EWO

Monday, July 9, 2018

A Sweet Romance and the Legend of the Bear Lake Monster


Scotland has the Lock Ness Monster and Bear Lake Valley has theirs. Do they really exist? This historical romance focuses on deep-rooted legends, a few mysterious events, and a tender love story.

In Sarah’s Special Gift, Sarah is a beautiful and successful dance teacher. She is deaf, but this does not stop her from living life to its fullest. While visiting the Roberts family, David finds himself entranced with this very special lady and ends up defending her honor several times. He finds that Sarah has gone through many trials as she teaches him the importance of not dwelling on the past and how to love life. Meanwhile, David learns about the legend of the Bear Lake Monster and wonders why the community believes in such a thing. He is determined to prove there is no Bear Lake Monster.

“The romantic friction between David and Sarah is central to a story that will have you cheering for them to get together!” wrote Allison King, Allison’s Attic. “The fun part is wondering if there is truly a monster in the lake. It makes for an interesting adventure, with a surprise ending to the 'tale' of the monster. I love that the author based the monster on a local folklore in Idaho. This is a heart-warming story of finding that right person to live the rest of your life with. It teaches us that people with disabilities are just like any other person who has dreams for their life. So, if you want to laugh, learn and live in the life of some wonderful characters.... read this book and enjoy the journey!”

After a few teases, tricks, and mischievous deeds, David begins to overcome his troubles. As time passes, he realizes he must now face the dilemma of choosing between his career and matters of the heart.

“This romance will keep readers entertained right up to the last page,” wrote Kim Atchue-Cusella of Book Loons. “Linda Weaver Clarke creates another winner with this installment of her Family Saga in Bear Lake Valley series.”

Midwest Book Review wrote: “Sometimes when realizing one's roots, one goes through the process in the strangest of ways. David has returned after a long absence, and it seems that he can find love in this small hometown. But love is never easy, and David must overcome many obstacles to finally claim his beloved. This is another fine entry into Clarke's work, highly recommended.”

“Sarah’s Special Gift” can be purchased through local and online bookstores and soon to be on Audible audiobooks. For more information, visit www.lindaweaverclarke.com.


Listen to a sample of this book.

LEARN HOW TO GET A FREE AUDIO BOOK FROM AUDIBLE! Receive this audiobook free if you join audible.com. Membership includes two free audiobooks and you can choose from 150,000+ titles. Go to Linda Weaver Clarke’s Audible Page and find the book you’re interested in and sign up for some free audiobooks. My Audible Page: https://www.audible.com/author/Linda-Weaver-Clarke/B004P47EWO

Monday, July 2, 2018

A Ten-Foot Grizzly in the Rocky Mountains

 
In the history of the Rocky Mountains, there have been many bears that roamed the mountains and fields. Early settlers knew the temperament of these animals, and that it was not wise to sneak up on a bear and surprise him. There was one such grizzly whose story has been told at several campfires to anxious young scouts who want to know about Old Ephraim. He was commonly known as "Old Three Toes" because of a deformity on one foot. He roamed the mountains from Soda Springs, Idaho to the Logan Canyon in northern Utah from 1911 to 1923.

The evidence of the strength and power of this bear was frightening. At one point, he bit a thirteen-foot log, twelve inches in diameter, into eleven lengths as though they had been chopped. He also bit off a six-inch aspen limb in just one bite, which was nine feet and eleven inches above the ground. He even broke the back of a cow with just one blow of his gigantic paw.

For twelve years, he had been wreaking havoc in the communities. Old Three Toes did some major damage to the flocks, crippling the sheep owners financially. He was becoming a bolder and a more ruthless killer as the years passed. Because of this one grizzly, sheep owners had a tough time hiring men to tend their sheep. Many of the existing sheepherders refused to stay on the job and quit. At last, the farmers and community members decided it was time to catch Old Three Toes. They set trap after trap at all his lairs and wallows. Sometimes the bear trap was found flung many yards away. Other times it was left alone, but his distinctive tracks were all around the trap. He seemed to know what the traps were. He was the smartest and strongest grizzly anyone had ever encountered.

Frank Clark from Malad, Idaho had had enough and decided to do something about it. When he saw how many sheep and other animals were being slaughtered by Old Three Toes, he made it his goal to trap the old grizzly. After a long and steady search for many years, he set a trap at the bottom of a pond that Old Three Toes bathed in. He swished the water around to create a cloud of dirt. When it finally settled upon the trap, he took a branch and wiped away his tracks as he backed away from the pond and then headed for camp. One evening, he heard the roar of the grizzly and when he went to the pond, the sight of the gigantic bear took his breath away. He had never imagined Old Three Toes would be so massive and enormous. The bear was angry and when he saw Frank Clark, he rose on his hind legs—all ten feet of him—and headed for his next victim.

Frank froze where he was, unable to move. Fear wedged in his throat and made it hard to breathe. When the bear got six feet away from him, Frank quickly got his wits about him and did the only thing he could. He finally shot Old Ephraim on August 21, 1923. The grizzly measured at exactly nine feet and eleven inches tall, and weighed 1100 pounds. A few weeks after he was killed, a Boy Scout Troop dug up the skull of the bear and sent it to the Smithsonian Institute to document what kind of bear it was and found that it was indeed a grizzly.

The research about this grizzly was intriguing to me because I had heard about Old Ephraim for years. I was from southern Idaho and the story was amazing. After reading about the grizzly from a pamphlet named "Old Ephraim" written by Newell J. Crookston, I decided to put together a historical romance with Old Ephraim as part of the story, using every bit of the information gleaned from this little pamphlet.
Jenny’s Dream is the story of a young girl’s desire to become a writer and how she finds love in her own backyard, with the legend of Old Three Toes as the subplot. The story of Old Ephraim still lives on, being retold at campfires today, by scout leaders and in the town of Malad, Idaho.

This book can be purchased through local and online bookstores and Audible audiobooks. For more information, visit www.lindaweaverclarke.com.

Listen to a sample of this book.

LEARN HOW TO GET A FREE AUDIO BOOK FROM AUDIBLE! Receive this audiobook free if you join audible.com. Membership includes two free audiobooks and you can choose from 150,000+ titles. Go to Linda Weaver Clarke’s Audible Page and find the book you’re interested in and sign up for some free audiobooks. My Audible Page: https://www.audible.com/author/Linda-Weaver-Clarke/B004P47EWO