Hearts Through History Romance Writers

Have Wagon will Travel

by | October 24, 2010 | 10 comments

The “soiled doves” of the wild and wooly west needed vacations, too. In the summer when the cities were hot and the men busy tending crops and cattle, some of the brothels would load up their “girls” and head to the mountains where it was cooler and they could entice the shepherds and cowboy tending the summer herds to come visit and spend money they had no place else to spend. It also made them appear “new and fresh” when they returned to the city and their usual customers.

I’d run across the fact the “girls” would go on vacations in one of my research books and didn’t think much of it until my husband and I were driving around in the Steens Mountains and there was a meadow with a sign- Merry Meadow. We began asking around it was the meadow where the “girls” would vacation in the summer. There were Basque shepherds in the area and a stray cowboy would wander by, visit, and spread the word to the neighboring ranches.

Then we were watching the John Wayne movie The Cowboys and there’s a scene where the cow”boys” come upon a wagon of scantily clad women. My husband laughs every time he watches that scene with the reactions of one of the boys.

Having three coincidences like that in a row, I knew a project had to include vacationing soiled doves. I’m working up that project right now.

Have you had that kind of a coincidence when things kept repeating themselves and you knew it had to be put in a book or story?

Blurb and Excerpt for Doctor in Petticoats
After a life-altering accident and a failed relationship, Dr. Rachel Tarkiel gave up on love and settled for a life healing others as the physician at a School for the Blind. She’s happy in her vocation–until handsome Clay Halsey shows up and inspires her to want more.

Blinded by a person he considered a friend, Clay curses his circumstances and his limitations. Intriguing Dr. Tarkiel shows him no pity, though. To her, he’s as much a man as he ever was.

Can these two wounded souls conquer outside obstacles, as well as their own internal fears, and find love?

“I’m going to look in your other eye now.” She, again, placed a hand on his face and opened the eyelids, stilling her fluttering heart as she pressed close. His clean-shaven face had a couple small nicks on the edges of his angular cheeks. The spice of his shave soap lingered on his skin.

She resisted the urge to run her cheek against his. The heat of his face under her palm and his breath moving wisps of wayward hair caused her to close her eyes and pretend for a few seconds he could be her husband. A man who loved her and wouldn’t be threatened by her occupation or sickened by her hideous scar.

His breathing quickened. A hand settled on her waist, slid around to her back, and drew her forward. Her hand, holding the lens, dropped to his shoulder, and she opened her eyes. This behavior on both their parts was unconscionable, but her constricted throat wouldn’t allow her to utter the rebuke.

Clay sensed the moment the doctor slid from professional to aroused woman. The hand on his cheek caressed rather than held, her breathing quickened, and her scent invaded his senses like a warm summer rain.

Paty Jager


  1. Sally

    Everybody needs a vacation now and again. I love that scene in "The Cowboys" too.

  2. Paty Jager

    LOL Sally, true!

  3. Margaret Tanner

    Wow Paty, that was interesting. Haven't heard that saying before "soiled doves" it sounds much nicer than prostitute, and lets face it, in those days it was often a choice between prostitution or starvation.



  4. Caroline Clemmons

    Yes, sometimes I think repeat coincidences are fate hitting us on the head with inspiration in case we weren't paying attention the first time. LOL

  5. Paty Jager

    I agree Margaret. Some women didn't have a choice. It was sell their body to stay alive.

  6. Paty Jager

    LOL, I agree, Caroline!

  7. Susan Macatee

    I've recently seen 'The Cowboys' again and it is a funny scene!
    Guess everyone needs a vacation. LOL.

  8. Paty Jager

    Susan, True! And I guess you might as well work as long as the scenery is different!

  9. Theresa Bruno

    Interesting…I agree with Margaret. Many women have no choice when they become "soiled doves." If a woman had no family and no means to care for herself, becoming a "lady of the night," was her only option.


  10. Paty Jager

    That's true Theresa.



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