I love mail-order bride stories, and in July I released my first one, with a bit of a twist.
A Fresh Start forChristmas is book one in a series based on matchmaking venture started by a matron of an orphanage. Subsequent stories are A Bride for David, Willow’s Worth, and an upcoming release is A Beekeeper for Christmas.
She’s whimsical and fun-loving, he’s gruff and likes to keep things simple. Has the matchmaking agency made an error in judgment? Can affection soften two stubborn, opinionated individuals forging a relationship of the romantic kind?
Bethany Phoebe Brady loves assisting her grandfather with his bee farm and volunteering at the Counting Stars Children’s Home. A tall woman, she’s always felt awkward and unattractive and now at the age of twenty-seven, she’s given up on the dream of a family of her own.
Until her grandfather and the orphanage founder come with a proposal that will change her life forever. Should she take a chance and turn her future over to the new matchmaking venture? Is her desire to have a family of her own, enough to risk a future with a man she’s never met?
Encouraged by his brother’s success with his mail-order bride, twenty-nine-year-old, Moses Montgomery is ready to take a chance. Afterall, he orders things from a catalog all the time, why not a wife? She should be sensible and take an interest in his business at the livery stable.
Bethany prefers to avoid the stable yard due to problematic hay fever. Moses finds bees destructive and painful pests. She’s whimsical and fun-loving, he’s gruff and likes to keep things simple. Has the matchmaking agency made an error in judgment? Can affection soften two stubborn, opinionated individuals forging a relationship of the romantic kind?
After the death of Isabelle’s father, the last few years have been difficult for Izzy and her family. Employment for women in the late nineteenth century is limited, so her job as a waitress is a godsend. Isabelle’s mother encourages Izzy to let go of the worries of the past and move forward. Why not consider the offer of courtship from one of her many admirers? The problem is—the so-called admirers at the diner are insincere flirts.
Bart Ogletree, a successful businessman new to Carrie Town, Texas, is intrigued by the lovely waitress at the local diner. Isabelle Miller is hard-working, with a ready smile for everyone but him.
And then there’s Maude. God has sent a lovable but slightly awkward angel to the rescue. Her mission is to find two worthy souls to bring together. The problem is two-fold: How will she recognize the worthy souls, and how can she cook up ways for them to be together and fall in love?
Will the difference in social backgrounds and a certain family member’s prejudice be too much for this clever-but-clumsy angel?
We live in a world where we have communication at our literal fingertips. I’m old enough that I recall the time where telephones were plugged into the wall and calling anyone outside of town was costly. While researching life during the 19th century I became fascinated by the lives of telegraph operators, many of who were women.
Messages were sent with dots and dashes and abbreviate much like we do today via text.
Telegraph operators would greet each other in morse code — at the beginning and end of their shift. They had the unique opportunity of getting to know other operators when they weren’t busy sending other people’s messages. Messages were sent with dots and dashes and abbreviate much like we do today via text.
Telegraph operator, Willow Graham benefited from a unique lifestyle growing up with her grandfather. She’s independent and loves spending time riding and training animals. With her twenty-first birthday approaching, her family pressures her to return to the city and take up the lavish lifestyle her uncle has planned for her. But another option piques her curiosity –a matchmaking agency’s recommendation that she begins a correspondence with a handsome farmer.
Hardworking, twenty-seven-year-old, Leo Weaver, is a man of many talents. He’s helped his father develop a successful farm. Loyal to Carrie town, he volunteers as a deputy sheriff. But handsome and charming, Leo’s become the target of several well-meaning ladies in the community who have submitted his name for a new matchmaking venture.
Willow craves the outdoors. Leo loves community life and wants to live in town. Can a matchmaking agency really help two independent people realize the opposing desires of their hearts?
While researching life in the 19th century, I became fascinated with the quirky octagon fad that was popular in the mid-19th century. The Octagon House, A Home for All, written by Orson Fowler, promoted an idealistic movement in architecture to promote efficiency of building materials, improved natural lighting, and ventilation.
A circle is the most efficient shape but challenging to build. “An octagon is a shape within a circle. It contains eight sides, eight angles, and has straight sides that connect. Thomas Jefferson built his home in the configuration.
The eight-sided octagon maximizes living space, receives more natural light, is easier to heat, and remains cool during the summer months. The design includes a flat roof, which has cisterns built in to collect and distribute water.
The Octagon home seemed the perfect place for geometry loving, Mathematics teacher, Daisy Murphy. She agrees to participate in a new matchmaking service organized by her pastor and the matron of the orphanage where she has spent the last fifteen years. Romantic, yet practical, Daisy’s systematically eliminated all candidates but one and anticipates getting to know him better through months of correspondence. Time is not on the side of David Taylor. He has a nephew and niece to think about, and his attorney has warned him he will lose custody of both to their rich grandfather if he doesn’t have a wife. A teacher longing for security, a businessman about to lose the only family he has; and a proxy marriage that can give them both exactly what they need.
A teacher longing for security, a businessman about to lose the only family he has; and a proxy marriage that can give them both exactly what they need.
***Although I enjoy mail-order bride stories, I’ve never written one. My concept is based on a backstory of several of my characters, mentioned in previous books, however this story is a stand alone. The concept is several pastors and the matron of an orphanage work together to find a way to match young women to men in the west to form H.I.M.M.” Which is short for Heaven Inspired Matrimonial Matches.
Memphis Rose Griffin loves teaching at Counting Stars Children’s Home. The girls and staff are like family, and working here ties her to her mother, whose last wish was for Memphis to take her place as teacher. But something’s missing. Now at the age of twenty-eight, her teenage dream of having her own family has all but faded.
Until her pastor and the orphanage founder come with a proposal that will change her life forever. Should she become their first candidate for their new matchmaking venture? Though grim, at least her life at the orphanage is familiar and certain. Can she risk an unknown future with a man she’s never met?
The last thing thirty-three-year-old Mike Montgomery wants is to marry again, especially to someone he’s never met. His family has other plans for him and completes the application without his permission–even changing some of his preferences to make him seem more intriguing. Can two star-crossed candidates dare to dream again?https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081SF6HCK
Twenty-two-year old Garnet Adams longs to marry and have a
houseful of children. Forced to support her widowed mother, she embraces her
role as a teacher, although the Carrie Town board of education’s rules for
female teachers leave no opportunity for a social life. She contents herself
playing the violin at church.
Tall, bearded, and rough around the edges, Deputy Noah Scott would rather hunt than socialize. Garnet thinks he’s a rude, insensitive drifter, and Noah’s sure the last person he’d want to court is a schoolmarm–especially with her unladylike sneeze. As the needs of her students bring them together, opposites seem to attract until a certain Christmas present derails their future.
New Release – Carol’s Choice A Western Christmas Carol
After the deaths of her mother and stepfather, twenty-year-old Carol Stone finds herself in reduced circumstances with two younger siblings to care for. The suggested marriage of convenience is out of the question, so she stalls for time. When Carol learns she is the sole heir of a small home in Carrie Town, a newly expanded railroad village, she throws caution to the Texas wind and packs her bags.
Though warned of the extreme change in lifestyle, she’s shocked at the smallness of the Sunday House. And why didn’t she think to ask about indoor plumbing?
Leaving her lifestyle of shopping, lavish parties and holiday endeavors for a simpler life is a temporary solution until she can make a match of her own design. Carol struggles to let go of the past, embrace the present, and hope for a better future. What she doesn’t bargain for is the handsome livery-stable owner, who understands the true meaning of family and Christmas. Will love conquer lavish?
Twenty-year-old Maggie Montgomery, is a petite young woman ahead of her time. She’s had a wonderful childhood and enjoyed spending time with her father and five brothers and is happiest working in the smithy with them. A competent cook and housekeeper, as a favor to the local doctor, she moves in to assist his wife who is struggling to recuperate from a bout of pneumonia.
A tomboy at heart, she ignores her mother’s pleas to dress more appropriately. Until the son returns. A recent graduate of medical school, although handsome, the young doctor is stoic and obviously put out that his father has hired her to help his mother recuperate. Sparks fly and suddenly for the first time Maggie is concerned more about how she is perceived by others, especially the young doctor? The question is why?
Twenty-year-old Meriwether Walker enjoys teaching students of various ages and skills in a one-room schoolhouse. What she hates is the nomadic lifestyle that comes with it as she rotates boarding with families in the community every month. From feeling like an unwanted guest to leaky roofs and bedbugs, Meriwether longs for a place to call home. Unexpectedly she inherits an estate from a devoted uncle.
A buyer is already lined up. But Meriwether snatches at the opportunity to put down roots in Trickling Springs, Texas. The handsome prospective buyer thinks she’s holding out for more money and she finds him rude and offputting.
Circumstances cause them to work together and their feelings change. But is he interested in her, or is the real attraction the property and the water rights he needs and she has inherited?
Combing History, Humor and Romance with an emphasis on Faith, Friends and Good Clean Fun, A Promised Land is available on April 8th:
Available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited: https://www.amazon.com/Promised-Land-Lockets-Lace-Book-ebook/dp/B07P7F5RPF
In my first novel Rebecca’s Hope, I introduced colorful characters and innovative young women in a western town in the late 19th century. Lois’s Risk is a continuation of the tale based on Rebecca’s friend and dress shop owner, Lois Weaver.
Our story begins several months before Rebecca’s wedding and we focus on Lois whose choices in life go against nineteenth-century convention of how a woman should behave.
Lois Weaver has been schooled to be proper, lady-like, honest, to clean, sew and cook so at the appropriate age she would marry. As an adult, she surpassed her father’s expectations with her skills and beauty only to shatter them when she opens a dress shop. She’s worked hard making a success of her business. Now the handsome bank owner has come calling. So why isn’t she happy? Moreover, why can’t forget about a certain farmer with big brown eyes?
Daniel Lawrence former Texas Ranger gained immense satisfaction when he purchased his farm and livestock. His new way of life is not only a means to make a living but adds a sense of fulfillment. The only thing lacking is a wife and family. He is just shy of proposing when a family tragedy forces him to open his home to his grieving sister and her niece. How could he bring a new wife home to this?
Lois is heartbroken because Daniel is ignoring her. Can she go against the 19th-century rules of how a woman should behave and have the courage to tell Daniel how she feels?
Combining history, humor, and romance with an emphasis on faith, friends, and good clean fun, fans of historical romance set in late 19th-century will enjoy Lois’s Risk a delightful tale of courage and reminds us how God uses adversity to strengthen us and draw us closer to Him.
From the land who introduced the Christmas tree, an old German superstition stated should a maiden wish to know if she’ll be married in the year, she should go out to the chicken coop on Christmas Eve and knock on the door. If she hears a rooster crow, she will. But if she hears a hen instead, she won’t.
As a historical inspirational romance, one of my goals was to give an accurate account of the time period while exposing the inaccuracy in the quotes and beliefs in a humorous way.
This is a story of love that’s being tested by distance and has the perfect combo of love, faith and humor. A delightful read.
Combining history, humor, and romance with an emphasis on faith, friends, and good clean fun, Emma’s Dream is a delightful tale that reminds us how God uses adversity to strengthen us and draw us closer to Him.