A Battle of Wills is Brewing… and Love Is on the Line!
Rural switchboard operator Georgie Gail is proud of her independence in a man’s world . . . which makes it twice as vexing when the telephone company sends a man to look over her shoulder.
Dashing Luke Palmer is more than he appears though. He’s a Texas Ranger working undercover to infiltrate a notorious gang of train robbers. Repairing telephones and tangling with this tempestuous woman is the last thing he wants to do. But when his stakeout puts Georgie in peril, he realizes more than his job is on the line.
Q&A with Deeanne Gist:
1. Love on the Line is about a Texas Ranger in 1903 who’s tracking down train robbers.Is the book a Western?
Love on the Line is definitely not a Western. Rather than coming out with guns blazing, our Ranger is forced to go undercover as a telephone repairman in order to flush out a gang of robbers. He finds himself in close quarters with the town’s switchboard operator. When his stakeout puts her in jeopardy, he realizes more than his job is on the line.
2. Love on the Line features a telephone switchboard operator. What did that job involve?
When I did my research, I discovered the phone companies back then set up their rural telephone operators in their own homes. So, Georgie Gail is an independent woman working in a man’s world. She runs the business, deals with customers, and works with the switchboard sitting right in her living room. The telephone operators in these small town’s were the source for all news and information. At any given time, she might be called and asked what was playing at the opera house, how much turkeys were per pound that week, and who arrived on the afternoon train. When our hero arrives on the scene, he’s having
to work in her home and she doesn’t appreciate him constantly looking over her shoulder.Little does she know her inquisitive ways begin to put his undercover operation in jeopardy.
3. How was telephone service in the early 1900s different from it is today?
Quite different. Few people nowadays can remember having party lines, but that was the norm back then. The telephone wires would be stuck to fence posts, trees, or whatever was available, and several residences would share one line. A certain number of rings indicated which family should pick up the call. Of course, people couldn’t resist listening in on other people’s conversations and there are some fun moments in the book as a result of this natural human tendency.
4. Love on the Line is set in Brenham, a small town in central Texas. Is it a fictitious town?
Brenham is a real town, and the details about the town and its traditions are historically accurate. It’s located in a beautiful part of Texas with rolling hills and an abundance of wildflowers. But what makes Brenham most unique is its German heritage. The singing, the cooking, and the strength of community described in Love on the Line are all very historically accurate. And its heritage still lives on today, for Brenham still celebrates an annual Maifest with parades, contests, and a Maifest queen… the origins of which are included in Love on the Line.
5. Georgie Gail has an unusual hobby—bird watching. Are you a birder?
I’m not, although as I researched the book I found myself being caught up by the diversity and challenge of birding. What touched me about the hobby is that birds seem to portray facets of our own lives. It’s like observing a small part of ourselves. Courtship rituals, building homes, facing danger, experiencing triumph—all of these are part of everyday life. In the story, these similarities help to give Georgie insight into the motivations and desires of her own heart.
Deeanne Gist–known to her family, friends, and fans as Dee–has rocketed up the bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her very original, very fun historical & contemporary romances. Add to this three RITA nominations, two consecutive Christy Awards, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you’ve got one recipe for success.
Love on the Live iPad2 Giveaway and Facebook Party!
Deeanne is thrilled to introduce Georgie and Luke to the word in her latest novel, Love on the Line. To celebrate Deeanne’s publisher, Bethany House, is hosting the Love on the Line iPad2 giveaway an Author Chat on Facebook! Enter today and follow the link below to RSVP for Deeanne’s rip-roarin’ Facebook Party!
One fortunate winner will receive:
- A Brand New iPad2
- An Autographed Hardback Copy of Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 8th. Winner will be announced at Deeanne’s Author Chat Facebook Party. Deeanne will be wrapping up the Love on the Line celebration by chatting with friends new and old! So grab your copy of Love on the Line (it’s okay if you don’t have one yet- you might could win one!) and join Deeanne on the evening of November 8th for a rip-roaring book chat, a little trivia and lots of giveaways (books, and Amazon, iTunes & Starbucks gift certificates)!
Top Texas Ranger, Lucious Landrum, hasn’t been able to apprehend Frank Comer, a Texan train robber who has mustered together Brenham’s citizens’ silence about where he lived by compensating them with goods from the robberies. So the Ranger headquarters’ captain decided to enlist Landrum’s services disguised as an undercover agent disguised as the telephone repairman, Luke Palmer. Luke, however, was worried about his Ranger reputation and being able to follow all the ‘rules’ a of a salesman.
Georgie Gail is the new, twenty-year-old, unmarried, female switchboard operator in Brenham who was given a home to live in, where the switchboard was located. Besides her job, her delight was her garden with a sanctuary for birds. As one of Nellie Bly’s followers, she is proud of her independence in a man’s world.
The switchboard was a party line where others could listen in, ‘rubbernecking’ as it was called back in my day, and I could easily hear the gossip flowing through the town. Where everybody knows your name, and more! Yet the community friendships and social gatherings held the town together, helping on another out.
It’s when Luke Palmer arrives at the home office and takes over part of Georgie’s space, watching over her, that the sparks fly, and not necessarily romantic! The humor of Georgie’s initial relationship with Luke was so clearly male chauvinistic! Oh, how I could relate! But a Mai tree does appear at Georgie’s door!
Deeanne did a fabulous job relating to and keeping me interested and engrossed in the story, ending it with a shocking twist! Her meticulous research payed off in being well-versed in the times and intricately written details of the different circumstances, such as hitching a horse to a cart, setting up the wiring for the telephones, or hunting down the elusive train robber and his cronies.
Not only was this a fun read, it also includes a lot of history, suspense as to the identity of the train robber, scouting him out, and Georgie’s interactions during her mysterious and dangerous encounters. Get a copy and enjoy a little fun down time!
This book was provided by Amy Lathrop of the Litfuse Group in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.