Claire: Gail, what made you decide to set your historical romance in this particular time in our history?
Gail: I wanted my heroine to be feisty, to question the establishment–and in the 19th century it was a rigid one.
Claire: Well, Allie Baldwin certainly fits the role! But it’s not just the women’s vote Allie fights for. What else motivates her?
Gail: It was a time when women immigrants were leaving their homelands for a better life. Instead, they were working in deplorable conditions in factories and their children weren’t schooled. They had to work. Families lived in crowded tenements with so many others in the same situation.
Claire: Who helped inspire Allie’s cause?
Gail: Allie follows in the footsteps of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and so many others fighting for the votes for women, the fight for freedom, and the fight for the right to choose.
Claire: But she runs into the same kind of resistance they did, doesn’t she?
Gail: Most certainly. Allie had to fight her father, her brother, and even turn away from marriage to work for the vote.
Claire: What was one of Allie’s pet peeves?
Gail: She hated the corset. It was symbolic of the stranglehold on women.
Claire: Well your timing couldn’t be better, Gail! 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote. Bravo!
A little more about the book:
Opposites attract in this gilded age historical romance when a young American suffragette eschews marriage until a handsome detective is hired to protect her from a dangerous stalker.
It’s not that she doesn’t want to marry…
Allie Baldwin is tired of writing about the latest fashions for the society column of her father’s newspaper, the New York Sentinel. Determined to write about important issues, Allie can’t help but defy danger at every turn. When she narrowly escapes a riot at a suffrage rally, Allie’s beleaguered parents enlist the services of a security agent—a dashing and debonair detective, with a knack for getting under Allie’s skin.
He’s not ready for marriage…
Peter Harrison is too busy running Harrison Detective Agency to bother with courtships and conjugality. He refuses to make the same mistakes his father made—marrying too young and forsaking family for work. But when a newspaper magnate hires him to protect his willful daughter—Peter is torn between his oath to bachelorhood and an alluring attraction to the ravishing redhead with a nose for trouble.
When a mysterious fire sparks her investigative instincts, can Allie stick to reporting the facts and restrain her flowering feelings for the handsome detective?
~~~Spunky Allie Baldwin wants to write about more significant issues in her father’s newspaper than the current fashion trends. Bottom line is, Allie is a suffragette who is far from shy and, defying her father, plunges headfirst into the fray of suffragette rallies. Worried for her safety, her parents hire a security guard to try to keep her out of trouble.
You can get your copy of The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin here, and find out more about Gail Ingis at her website.
Interviewer, Claire Gem is a multi-published, award-winning author of emotional romance—contemporary, paranormal, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction. She writes about strong, resilient women who won’t give up their quest for a happy-ever-after—and the men lucky enough to earn their love. No helpless, hapless heroines here. These spunky ladies redefine romance, on their terms.
A Taming Season
Claire has a special of short stories up for preorder on Amazon: ENIGMATA: Eerie Bits, Book 1 – A Collection of Short Stories by Claire Gem. Leaves you wondering where, why and what. It certainly ignited my curiosity, and gave me goosebumps, the kind that chilled me deep in my imagination. Want a thrill? Order now, and they’ll be ready to read on 9/29.
My mind is wrapped around the civil war with my hero and heroine, Rork and Leila, who are stuck right in the middle of it. They ended up on the Ohio River, on a steamer, trying to get to Parkersburg, a city that supplied critical provisions during the war, like transportation, oil and gas. I had an opportunity to discover the town when I visited my editor, Sandy Tritt, of Inspiration for Writers, Inc., and decided to poke around town before we left on our way to Nashville.
Ohio and . . . Rivers, Parkersburg
So, where is Parkersburg? Do you know what state it’s in? It was part of Virginia until the secession and then it became the thirty-fifth state, West Virginia. There wasn’t always a West Virginia, at least not until June 1863, when a group of citizens were determined to break away from the southern slave states south of this part of Virginia.
According to David L. McKain’s book “The Civil War and Northwestern Virginia,” many voters favoring the Union felt intimidated by radicals favoring secession from Virginia. However, Virginia declared itself part of the Southern Confederacy and the Northwestern counties, not wanting to join that infamous cause had decisions to make. That’s when in May 1861, the area got bombarded by the Confederate troops and guerillas and burned the B&O Railroad facilities and bridges between Parkersburg and Grafton.Railroad President Garrett was forced to declare that the B&O would not carry Union troops.
Within days tens of thousands of union troops began to pour into and through Parkersburg and the city became a crucial route for transporting troops. The Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad and the river steamers transported troops. I could see the whole town below as I stood on top of the hill in Fort Boreman Historical Park and saw the B&O train go by. This town has a long, wonderful history, but during this time of the civil war, the people were split in their views of slavery. Disagreements split families, marriages, brother pitted against brother, father against son.
Slaves escaping the interior of West Virginia could follow the Kanawha River to Point Pleasant. From there they could follow the Ohio River north to Parkersburg. Across the river from Parkersburg was the Ohio town of Belpre where a Col. John Stone acted as an agent for the railroad. Fugitives were hidden at Parkersburg by a black woman called “Aunt Jenny” until they could cross the river. The first school for blacks was founded in Parkersburg in the 1870’s.
Little did I know about this amazing state. It’s packed with history, has charm, has paddle boat tours and if you want a beautiful car trip, take a ride on route 78, anytime of the year, but especially in the spring or the fall. To get there, you will pass Shenandoah, one of the sites where civil war fighting took place.
The Grand Stand of design happened in the early 20th century. The guilty? The Bauhaus. So, what came before? Gradual economic and social changes in the 18th and 19th century caused by the Industrial Revolution. Because of those events, the Bauhaus, a school of different ways of thinking, changed how we viewed and developed art and technology. We are talking about, let’s say for an art example, a painting, and for technology, the Bauhaus balconies or a chair or a teapot and more stuff than you can imagine.
The idea for the school was the gestalt of a learning atmosphere for all, the teacher, the student, and the creator. They all were involved with the process. Triggered by 19th century technological-industrial development, there was no gap between artistic conception and realization. It became easier to design and develop because everyone worked together.
Bauhaus "Wassily" Chair by Marcel Breuer
For example, another member of the staff at the Bauhaus, Marcel Breuer, looked at the tubular form of the bicycle handlebars and made a chair using the concept. No, it wasn’t a chair with pedals. It was a chair with tubular steel supports.
Designed by Marcel Breuer, produced by Knoll®
In spirit and stature, Marcel Breuer’s Wassily Chair (1925) from Knoll has few equals. Believed to be the first bent tubular steel chair design, the Wassily Chair distills the traditional club chair to a series of strong, spare lines, executed with dynamic material counterpoint. The gleaming chrome-finished tubular steel frame, inspired by the graceful, curving handlebars of the Adler bicycle, is seamless in its assemblage. Thick cowhide leather slings create the design’s seating surfaces, which maintain their crisp tautness for decades. Named for Wassily Kandinsky, the father of abstract painting and a colleague of Breuer’s at the Bauhaus, the Wassily Chair is a symbol of the industrial heroism and engineering invention of the early 20th century. Made in Italy, each piece is stamped with the KnollStudio logo and the designer’s signature. The Wassily Chair is a registered trademark of Knoll, Inc., manufactured by Knoll according to the original and exacting specifications of the designer. The outcome of the grand stand school of design, the Bauhaus.