Oklahoma: The Worst Place on Earth – Blog Tour for The Charge by Sharon Bayliss

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Hi everyone! Today I have Sharon Bayliss here, celebrating the release of her first book – The Charge. So please, pull up a chair and a cup of tea, and settle in for an entertaining post! Take it away, Sharon!

In The Charge, the Texas territory and the state of Oklahoma have problems with each other. You could say that in the real world, the states have problems with each other too, although in reality, it hasn’t led to any wars, at least except for the annual scuffle held inside the Cotton Bowl.

Here is the story of the Oklahoma v. Texas conflict as explained in an excerpt from The Charge:

Warren didn’t claim to pay attention all the time in history class, but he knew about the Eternal War of Oklahoma. Way back when, when the U.S. first made Oklahoma a U.S. Territory, they had a disagreement with Texas about which branch of the Red River constituted the border between the U.S. and the Texas Empire. They never resolved their disagreement, and for more than one hundred years, the Texas Empire and the United States drew their maps differently. Over the years, they fought several bloody battles over the land, giving the area the nickname The Bloody Red. In fact, King Reven used this disagreement over land as an excuse to make the first move in the Second American-Texan War. He invaded The Bloody Red, and then just kept on moving.

They didn’t actively fight over this land for the whole time, but even in times when the two nations shared a period of peace, each one still kept a minor occupation of soldiers on guard. Warren pictured one Texas Empire soldier sitting in a chair on one side and one U.S. soldier sitting in a chair on the other side, both punching the clock day in and day out, but there to prove that yes, neither country will ever give up on this ugly, random piece of land. It also meant neither country had official claim of the area, making it an inland international waters, where people traveled from miles around to dump bodies and such. People often referred to land around the border between Oklahoma and Texas as The Worst Place on Earth.

As a Texas Longhorn, I’m obligated to make fun of Oklahoma from time to time, and I have to admit I was inspired in part by the Red River Rivalry, the annual football game between the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners, which is known as one of the best rivalries in college football. But this alternate history piece is also inspired by real historical events.

Technically, the “Worst Place on Earth” is just this small snippet of southwest Oklahoma between the north and south fork of the Red River.

When the U.S. made Oklahoma a state in 1890, they did in fact have a disagreement with Texas as to which branch of the Red River would be the border between Texas and Oklahoma. However, this disagreement ended in 1897 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Oklahoma and made the border the southern fork of the river (from How The States Got Their Shapes).

In The Charge, Oklahoma City is a special place. It’s where the main character Warren meets his romantic interest, Lena. They meet for the first time in the historic Skirvin Hilton Hotel, Oklahoma City’s oldest hotel. However, in the alternate reality, most of Oklahoma City was leveled in the Second Texas-American War, so the Skirvin Hilton had to be rebuilt, but they rebuilt the hotel to look exactly like the original version.

So that’s Oklahoma v. Texas from The Charge. Thank you to Oklahoman Rebekah Loper for welcoming a Longhorn to her blog. 🙂

About The Charge and Sharon Bayliss

The Blurb:

When King of the Texas Empire kidnaps Warren’s brother, Warren embarks into a still Wild West to save him. On his journey, he makes a discovery that changes his life forever—he and his brother are long-lost members of the Texas royal family and the King wants them both dead.

He gets help from an activist Texan named Lena, who’s itching to take on the King and happens to be a beautiful firecracker Warren can’t stay away from. Convincing her he’s not one of the bad guys becomes harder when a mysterious energy stirs in his body, turning his brain into a hive of emotions and memories—not all his own.

A legacy of violence is not all he inherited from the brutal Kings of Texas. The myth that the royal family possesses supernatural powers may not be myth at all.

Gone are the days when choosing a major was a big deal. Now Warren must save his brother and choose whether or not to be King, follow a King, or die before he can retire his fake ID.

Sharon is giving away autographed copies of “The Charge” (and Amazon gift cards, and Starbucks gift cards . . .)! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway here.

About Sharon:

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Sharon Bayliss is a native of Austin, Texas and works her day job in the field of social work. When she’s not writing, she enjoys living in her “happily-ever-after” with her husband and two young sons. She can be found eating Tex-Mex on patios, wearing flip-flops, and playing in the mud (which she calls gardening). You can connect with Sharon at www.facebook.com/authorsharonbayliss and www.sharonbayliss.com.