Bonus Material: Hanger's Horsemen Trivia
Did you know . . .
- At Love's Command was inspired by three television series I watched as a teen and young adult back in the 1980's and 1990's.
The A-Team inspired my team of four ex-military mercenaries and their determination to help the powerless fight against injustice. I gave them a Magnificent Seven spin to add the western flair, and then created a heroine inspired by Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Dr. Josephine Burkett was even mistaken for a man called Dr. Jo just like Michaela Quinn was confused as Michael when first hired.
- Hanger's Horsemen have names inspired by the four gospel writers. I didn't want to be too predictable, however, so I gave one a twist: Mathew, Mark, Luke, and Jonah. Not too much was made of this in the book since they call each other by last names, rank, and nicknames frequently, but sometimes I have fun including things just for my personal enjoyment. This was one of those times.
- When searching for a setting for this story, I combed my favorite 19th century Texas map for ideas. I love using old maps to help me find towns that might not still be in existence today. I wanted a small town that would be likely to accept a female doctor simply because they couldn't attract a male one due to small population and an unattractive location. As I scanned the map, a name jumped out at me. It was so descriptive, I just knew I had to use it—Purgatory Springs. It was perfect!
Purgatory Springs opened a school in 1877 for seventeen students. A post office operated from 1890 to 1895 then changed its name to Hugo in 1896, three years after the conclusion of my story. Poor Hugo declined after the turn of the century, and the post office closed in 1909. Within a few decades, the community was abandoned. All that remains today is a cemetery.
- The fictional horse farm I created for Josephine's father was named Gringolet Farms. I wanted his horses to be the finest stock and in great demand by the US Army for their cavalry units. So, I named the farm after Gringolet, Sir Gawain's faithful steed from Arthurian legend. Gringolet was a sturdy charger known for his ability in combat. The perfect name for a breeding operation that catered to the military. The horse that Matthew Hanger selects from Gringolet stock in order to track down the outlaws was named Percival, in keeping with the Gringolet tradition. Percival was one of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table.
- The medical school my heroine attended – The Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania – was the second medical institution in the world established to train women in medicine and granting the M.D. degree. It was founded in 1850 with the associated Women's Hospital of Philadelphia opening in 1861. They did not open their doors to men until a century later in 1970.
• One of my inspirational secret weapons is my Facebook group, the Posse. They help me find images and vote on names and other details during the plotting stage of my books. They were the ones who selected Phineas as the name for Matthew Hanger's horse. They also helped select the images that inspired the physical attributes of my hero and heroine.