Tag Archives: clean and wholesome

Release Promotion–Holle

In Holle Berthold’s experience, love is a curse. She’s been engaged twice and a mail-order bride once but remains unmarried. Her first fiancé died, and the second one jilted her two days before the wedding. Then the man who paid for her train ticket to bring her to Montana as a mail-order bride rejected her because of her partial deafness. Abandoned, she must find a job and settles in a working-class neighborhood just like the one she hoped to escape.

Widower Eduard Lambrecht never thought he’d love again. He discovers his late wife’s Christmas quilt suffered in storage since the last season. He takes it to a seamstress shop, where he learns the woman with the skills to repair it is also the mail-order bride his cousin rejected. Unaccustomed to facing open hostility, he works to gain the woman’s trust and establish her in the town’s German community. A near tragedy draws them close, but is it enough to base a future on?

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What could he be apologizing for? The longer he paced, the tighter the air in her chest caught.

He dug a hand into his front pocket. “Here’s five dollars. That’s all I’m carrying. I’m so sorry.” After setting the coins on the bench beside her, he straightened. “I wish you the best, Miss Berthold.” Following his statement, he turned, settled the hat on his head, and walked out the depot door. Within seconds, he stepped into the street and disappeared in the wagon and horse traffic.

Sounds wavered. What am I to do? Her vision narrowed to the space right in front of her with blackness circling the edges. I have no money to go elsewhere. She collected the coins into her hands and held tight, hunching her shoulders. Rejected again. The tick-tock of the regulator clock on the wall provided a steady rhythm that she tried to follow and put order to her wild thoughts. Her belongings wouldn’t arrive for several days on the freight wagon. Until that time, she had to secure lodgings. But then what?

Holle’s breaths came too fast, and a trickle of perspiration inched down her spine. She rolled her shoulders and released her gripped fingers, one at a time, and assessed her situation. Abandoned in a strange town hundreds of miles away from anyone she knew.

How had she put herself in this vulnerable position…again?

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Backlist holiday promotion–Silent Signals

Will the valley’s feud between cattlemen and shepherds keep Konrad and Anora apart?

After losing half his herd in the Great Blizzard of 1886, rancher Konrad Werner needs to safeguard his cattle. Tomboy Anora Huxley trains the Australian Shepherds and Kelpies that run the family’s sheep herd. Although cattlemen and shepherds are at odds, the pair discovers common interests. A threat is overheard, and Konrad rides out to Anora’s ranch to protect her. The tense situation reveals their true feelings. Will Anora be swayed by family loyalty, or will she listen to her heart that responds to Konrad’s silent signals?

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EXCERPT

Mikel returned, dropping two rolls of wire onto the counter. “I have a new shipment of barbed wire too. Perhaps that works better for your needs?”

Konrad turned and laid a hand on the smooth wire. “The fence to pen in my cattle has several components, so this is what I need. But thanks, Toussaint.”

The shopkeeper shrugged. “Some ranchers prefer the barbed.”

“I do too, and I may have to resort to that when the winter weather sets in. But I’ll wait on that purchase.” He leaned his other hand on the counter. “This year, I’m building a brush fence. I’ll use what I can from downed branches and rocks cleared from the field that will be planted in the spring.” He shrugged and straightened.

“Makes sense.” Mikel nodded as he pulled the pencil from his ear. “I remember those types of fences in old country. Uncle had them around his vineyard.”

Konrad was sure his wasn’t the only sad story the store owner had heard over the last year. “Gotta come up with the cheapest solution for protecting my cattle.” He shook his head. “The ranch can’t withstand any more losses like last year.”

“Excuse me, sir.” A female voice floated in the air.

The tone was pitched low, almost intimate. Konrad shifted and raised an eyebrow at the tall woman dressed in an ill-fitting coat and a split skirt that showed several inches of boot-encased legs. “Are you speaking to me?”

“Have you considered using herding dogs to contain your cattle?” The blonde woman took one step closer, her gaze intent.

“No.” This stranger had an opinion about how he ran his ranch? His body stiffened.

“I train the dogs that work the sheep at Green Meadows Ranch, and I don’t see why the dogs couldn’t be used with cattle.” She glanced over her shoulder and then back to connect with his gaze. “The principles are the same, as long as the person uses the right cues.”

He squinted at the green-eyed woman who stood only a few inches shorter than his six-foot height. Wisps of blonde hair had escaped the edges of her plain black bonnet and straggled along her cheeks. Her face was pleasant enough—probably would be more so without the frown creasing her forehead. “Have we met?”

“I apologize, Mr. Werner. I’m Anora Huxley.” A blush reddened her cheeks. “I am acquainted with Gaelle.”

His younger sister by five years. Which explained why he didn’t know this woman from his schooling years. Huxley did sound familiar, though. But he didn’t have time to contemplate why because the woman now stood by his side. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted a thick-set scowling man hovering two feet away who looked madder than a newly branded steer. The second member of the arguing duo.

“My dogs are exceedingly smart. A special breed with strong herding instincts. They respond to hand signs and whistles, and from a distance of more than ten rods.”

He held up a hand lest he be stuck here listening to her run down every detail. “I do not wish to be lectured on how to run my ranch. My brush fence will suffice.” Regretting the stiffness of his tone, he lifted a finger to tap the brim of his hat. “Good day, Mrs. Huxley.” He spotted the brief widening of her gaze before scooping up the roll of wire and headed toward the storeroom. Irritation at the outspoken women and her high-handed advice put an extra punch into each footfall.

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Release day for Cherishing Caitlyn

On a visit with an aunt and uncle at an army fort, Caitlyn O’Mara meets a man with exceptional horse riding skills and is intrigued. At a ball, she enjoys a flirtation with the cocky rider where they exchange only first names.  Anxious to return to her horse breeding program, she travels back to the family ranch, only to discover the charming stranger is on the same stagecoach. When a broken wheel rolls the coach, everyone is injured and alone on the Texas prairie.

Mateo Beltran is on his way to investigate specially trained horses. He’s on the lookout for cutting horses to give him the edge for the roping event in the newly established professional rodeo. An accident leaves him injured with his future career in jeopardy.

Determined they are the most fit, Caitlyn and Mateo lean on each other to reach the next stagecoach stop to summon help. Trust develops but will it last when they discover an unknown connection?

A tragedy forces them to rely on each other to reach safety, but will the connection last?

FREE in KU

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Release Day for Rosie’s Gamble

As arable farmland grows scarce, the United States opens up former sections of Indian Territory for homesteading. Those who want to claim land must make a run for it.

After seeing her mother die in childbirth, Rosabelle Ardmore decides to become a doctor. Her self-funded education takes longer than she’d hoped. When she returns to the job promised upon her graduation, she discovers the hometown doctor has died. His replacement has no use for a female doctor. Nor do two other offices where she applied. Rosie takes a chance on answering an ad for a mail-order bride for a man intent on the Cherokee Strip Land Run. Surely, people populating a new town will accept medical care wherever they can get it.

Beck Shepherd returned empty-handed from the 1889 Oklahoma land run. Trying it alone didn’t work. He vows to win a plot this time, but he needs a partner to achieve his dream of opening a mercantile. The easiest way is to arrange for a wife so he places an ad in a matrimonial newsletter. Ideally, level-headed Beck would like more time to decide, but Rosie’s two letters reveal the heart of a woman as determined as he is for a new start. But her bold plan for securing a claim might be the act that tears them apart…forever.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09WM3K4TD

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Release day for Amity

Amity Grenville is set on reaching Oregon’s Sweet Home Valley, where her aunt and uncle have a farm. They were part of the Great Migration of 1843, and Amity saved every letter Aunt Beitris wrote, complete with advice on the journey preparations. Amity is eager for a fresh start, in the hopes that her husband, Garvey, will find a new vocation in farming and leave behind his drinking and gambling ways.

Newly finished with his apprenticeship, blacksmith Shawe Creighton can ply his trade just about anywhere so he agrees to throw in with his best friend’s family on the trek to Oregon. With no family ties, he heads west, thinking Oregon is as good as any place to establish a shop. Fun loving by nature, he’s also looking forward to what the adventure will bring.

In St Joseph doing last-minute preparations for the journey, Amity receives the bad news that Garvey was caught cheating and killed over a poker game. Now men are seeking to claim the wagon and team as their recompense. She barely removes her belongings in time but is faced with either marrying a stranger to comply with the wagon train’s rules or remain behind. Taking pity on her plight,  Shawe offers marriage and is immediately faced with her two demands–no drinking or gambling. Intrigued by the outspoken woman, he figures the trip won’t be boring. Will a decision made in haste bring disaster, or will the journey forge bonds neither Amity nor Shawe can imagine?

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New release–A Match for Althia

 

This novella is book 7 in Marianne’s Mail-Order Brides, which is an offshoot of the wildly popular Pinkerton Matchmaker series.

Chicago socialite Althia Heathley feels pushed out of her life by her father’s new wife. Convinced all she needs to write a great novel are a few more life experiences, she agrees to become a mail-order bride. But once she arrives in Denver, she’s not so sure she’s cut out to live in such a wild and less-than-civilized city.

Leather worker Diego Roldan needs a bit more culture in his life to help attract new business clients. But his first sight of his prospective bride clues him that maybe he asked for more than he can handle. She’s so refined and proper that he wonders how he can provide her with what she needs.

One of the men Diego put in jail during his years as a bounty hunter comes seeking revenge. Will Althia fall to pieces in a panic, or will the pair work together to save their fragile relationship?

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Lighthouse story collaboration

In July, I released Lightkeeper’s Challenge in the Keepers of the Light series. Zina Abbott, who wrote Lighthouse Escape, and I collaborated in that we created a family and a fictional town and then wrote stories featuring the sisters. Not only was the process of deciding upon a location, ethnic background, and family members easier between our two creative minds, but the experience of growing up in the lighthouse was shown from two different perspectives.

Lightkeeper’s Challenge— Raised in a Pacific Coast lighthouse, Lisbet Dinesen hopes to follow family tradition and succeed her father as senior lightkeeper. Assistant lightkeeper Hale Warwyck feels he’s paid his dues by working the night shift for five years and deserves command of his own lighthouse.

Principal Lightkeeper Anders Dinesen announces the need for a substitute during his vacation time. Both Lisbet and Hale want to step in. A challenge is established to test their suitability and skills. Has Anders taken on the role of matchmaker for his eldest child? Will the competition drive a wedge into Lisbet’s and Hale’s budding attraction?

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Lighthouse Escape by Zina Abbott– Stina Dinesen loves her older sister but felt relieved once Lisbet and her new husband moved away from the Crystal Beach Lighthouse. Her happiness was short-lived. She now realizes her parents expect her to take over many of her sister’s former responsibilities in addition to the ones already hers. Only, unlike her sister, Stina never wanted to manage her own lighthouse. She wants to move to town where she can have neighbors and enjoy a social life.

John Andersen felt lost at sea long before he left his Oregon home on business to sail to San Francisco. Now, he is in the water with a twisted ankle, clinging to a rock miles from shore, and convinced he is destined to meet his end. The first hint he might survive comes when he sees a glowing lantern and realizes it is being held by someone on an approaching boat.

Is it the light that promises a bright future, or could it be the young woman plying the oars?

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Release of Amata

Grayson’s adopted daughter is all grown up and not following Papa’s directives.

After completion of her studies at a teacher’s college, Amata Wainwright returns to her Cheyenne, Wyoming, hometown. Her worry is she must inform her state senator father that she didn’t earn the expected diploma. Determined to help a younger brother who suffers with dyslexia, she starts tutoring him and his friend using unorthodox methods.

Rancher Harlan Thorpe has his hands full and needs no more distractions. He’s establishing a breeding program on his ranch, keeping an eye on his stubborn son who keeps ditching school, and riding herd on his younger brother who would rather drink and gamble than put in an honest day’s work.

The mischievous young boys contrive situations to get Dario’s sister and Liam’s dad together. Each time, the adults don’t know what has hit them, but the growing feelings are definitely not in either one’s plans.

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EXCERPT

A familiar surrey with a matched team of roans stood near the holding corral where transported animals were off-loaded. A group of saddled horses stood tied to the railing.

A shaft of sunlight reflecting off a depot window blinded her. She averted her face then lifted a hand to shade her eyes. Several men gathered near the corral with a couple of them sitting atop the corral railing. The broad-shouldered one with the wide-brimmed hat looked like Chester. Why was the family’s man-of-all-work waiting there instead of on the platform to greet her?

The ground beneath her shoes shook. She glanced down but saw nothing amiss.

Pounding hooves beat the dirt, followed by masculine hollers and whoops.

An echoing set of hard footfalls thrummed from the opposite direction.

“Get out of the way!”

What’s going on? Amata looked between a tall man bearing down on her from the left and a beast of a cow thundering her way from the right. Her pulse kicked up.

The stranger waved an arm. “Move back, lady!”

Two hands grabbed her upper arms and jerked her off her feet. A muscular body slammed her back against the railroad car, pressing close. He tucked her head under his chin and clamped her to his chest. Grasping handfuls of soft cloth, she gasped and inhaled warm cotton and male sweat overlaying the scent of fresh soap.

Seconds later, the cow barreled past followed by a galloping horse, both kicking up clods of dirt.

Amata squirmed, which only dragged her fists across hard-as-granite muscles. Such awareness was scandalous. Heat invaded her cheeks, and she stiffened. “Sir, unhand me.”

Another horse charged past.

“Not yet.”

“I beg your pardon.” She lifted her head but only moved an inch under his strong hold.

“My men need to get that steer controlled.”

The metal car at her back kept her upright and as far away as possible from the rampaging cow. Unfortunately, her feet dangled several inches above the ground, hardly a position from where she could issue directives. “At least allow me to stand on my own two feet.”

His stance eased away. “Sure enough, miss.”

Even with her feet under her, Amata was adrift. Their bodies no longer touched, but the skin on her arms tingled where his grip held her safe. Her breathing was too fast. Blood pounded in her ears, and yet again, her hat hung askew. Except at a few dances as a youth, she’d never been held in a male’s embrace.

Freed from his iron grip, she shook herself and glanced up into eyes of the bluest blue. A lock of sandy brown hair hung over one eyebrow. The stranger was quite a handsome man…as long as she didn’t factor in his brutish manners.

“Cupids and Cowboys” is a multi-author series. Previous titles are:

Harriet by Pam Crooks

Lainie by Cynthia Woolf

Vella by Charlene Raddon

Alice by Margaret

To find these and upcoming titles, go to the series page on Amazon.

Release Day for An Agent for Liana

My story about a woman who wants to become a Pinkerton agent is part of the popular, multi-author Pinkerton Matchmaker series. So popular that my story is book #63. (The second book highlights the sister, Dixie, introduced in this story.)

BLURB:

Loner Dale Claybourne spent the last five years as a dedicated and decorated Pinkerton agent. Confident in his abilities, he’s not afraid to face down thieves, swindlers and even murderers. But he quells at the mandate of having to train a female agent and, even worse, to marry her before receiving his next assignment.

Gregarious Liana LaFontaine served as a seamstress for the Denver Pinkerton Agency. Now she yearns for a taste of the adventurous life of being an agent. Her ability to speak several languages and her ease with getting people to talk are her strongest assets.

Impulsive by nature, Liana jumps into situations she doesn’t have the experience to handle. Dale fights his growing admiration for this French beauty while keeping close to guard her safety. At odds over almost everything, the pair has to solve the mystery of who is stealing from a Virginia City saloon—a task made even harder because of the wild attraction that shouldn’t be present in a marriage of convenience.

FREE in Kindle Unlimited

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New Titles in Sweethearts of Jubilee Springs series

Although the mail-order bride series set in a Colorado mining town started in June of 2017, the multi-author series is still going strong.

I bundled my three novellas–Perfectly Mismatched, Perfectly Unscripted, and Perfectly Unacceptable–into Miners’ Mail-Order Brides which released in ebook format today. (the print edition is coming soon) FREE in Kindle Unlimited

Perfectly Mismatched (tied for first place in novella category of 2018 Book Buyers Best contest)

Escaping from the past to a new home and name, Aurelia runs into a man who follows the rules to the letter.

Perfectly Unscripted

Is the shared danger the lure between these individuals, or did Rilleta and Wit discover they have much more to offer one another?

Perfectly Unacceptable

Jared’s been turned down twice and is taking no chances. Losing her job forces Dina West to become a mail-order bride.

~oOo~

Two offerings are also available from Zina Abbott.

 

Two Sisters and a Christmas Groom

Two Flanagan sisters need to escape the overcrowded family apartment back East and set their sights on Jubilee Springs. Anna secures work as a housekeeper and Kate corresponds with two potential grooms. Who will walk down the aisle?

 

 

Nathan’s Nurse

The opportunity to be a mail-order bride and escape from her sister-in-law’s clutches suits Dahlia Greenleaf just fine. Marrying the miner she’s corresponded with is the perfect solution for this lonely spinster–until she must marry via proxy and then tend her badly injured fiance. Do Dahlia and Nathan truly have a future?