Tag Archives: widower

Backlist holiday promotion–A Vow for Christmas

In the three years since his beloved wife died, rancher Chad Rutherford has done the best for his family. But with his sister leaving the family ranch to get married, he needs to find someone to keep house and tend his kids so he places an ad for a mail-order bride.

Left on her own by her brother’s murder, spinster Vika Carmichael must find a way to life. An ad for a mail-order bride from a widower with small children seems like the perfect fit. Until she arrives in Gunnison, Colorado Territory, and wonders if room for her exists in their hearts.

Will two proud individuals find a way to work together, or will their marriage vow be broken before Christmas?

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EXCERPT

After scooting away from the steps, she scanned the area and focused on a tall man with a wide-brimmed hat shading his face. He stood against the depot wall, away from the crush of people, with a small child clasping both of his large hands. His height and bulk dwarfed the wee ones. A thick coat hung unbuttoned from broad shoulders. From the angle of his body, she assumed he looked in her direction, but she couldna be sure. Lifting the front of her skirts, she took slow steps, inching her way through the crowd until she stood only a few feet away and tipped back her head. She gazed into the darkest eyes she’d ever seen. “Mister Rutherford?”

He nodded. “Miss Carmichael?”

The relief of arriving and making the anticipated connection tumbled her stomach. “I am pleased to be making yer acquaintance.” Seeing no offer of a handshake greeting, she dropped a shallow curtsey then glanced at the wide-eyed children now pressed against their father’s legs. “Oh, and the wee bairns. What be their names?” Smiling, she glanced upward to see his dark brows slam into a frown. Reviewing what she’d said, she realized in her excitement, she lapsed into her native brogue. “Sorry, I meant children.”

Mister Rutherford shook his left hand. “My son is Lance, and he’s five years old.” Then he wiggled his right hand. “My daughter is Guinie, and she’s three.” He crouched down to their level and glanced between them. “Children, here is the woman I told you about. Miss Carmichael has come to live with us.”

“No, Daddy! Want Auntie Caro.” Guinie shook her head then buried her face in her father’s neck.

Vika stiffened. Never in her thoughts of her new life had she worried about having to win over the children…only their father. Hoping for a friendlier reception, she looked toward the boy who stared with an unflinching, brown-eyed gaze. “Making new friends is hard.” She glanced at the father who patted his daughter’s back and wished the right words sprang from her lips. But she was so tired and hungry she couldna think straight. From a distance, she heard a faint yip and turned toward the back of the train. Biscuit. Of course. “I brought a surprise I think ye’ll like.”

Mister Rutherford straightened. “We’d best collect your luggage. Come along, children.” He urged them forward.

She was left staring at the backs of the three people who looked like a self-contained unit. Did room exist for her in any of their hearts?

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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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Release Day for A Vow for Christmas

Award-winning author Linda Carroll-Bradd creates a heartwarming holiday story in A VOW FOR CHRISTMAS, part of the Spinster Mail-Order Bride multi-author series.

Suddenly left on her own, spinster Vika Carmichael answers an ad for a mail-order bride then travels to Colorado Territory to marry a rancher. She needs security but hopes for love. But Chad Rutherford appears to still love his late wife. Their differences drive them apart until a threat arrives on the doorstep.

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EXCERPT

Mister Rutherford straightened. “We’d best collect your luggage. Come along, children.” He urged them forward.

She was left staring at the back of the three people who looked like a self-contained unit. Did room exist for her in any of their hearts? Shoulders drooping, she trudged behind them, wishing for a strong arm to lean on. On the platform near the freight car rested the trunk holding all her clothes, accessories, and valuables. Next to it were two wooden crates packed with kitchen items, linens, blankets, and her mother’s porcelain tea set. On top of the crates sat the wicker basket holding her beloved pet.

The baggage clerk lifted a hand. “Ah, Miss Vika. She’s been whimpering the last few miles.” He lowered the basket to the platform and worked to loosen the rope knot.

“Thank you, Mister Frederick, for all your good attention.” She reached into her reticule and pulled out a dime for his tip. Maybe extravagant but the clerk took good care of her Biscuit. Then she leaned down to drop her carpetbag before lifting the lid with one hand and slipping the other into the slim opening to grab Biscuit’s collar. “Calm down. I’m here.” Once she was sure the dog wouldn’t escape, she slid in her other hand to grab the leather leash and clipped it on. With a shove, she flicked back the lid.

Biscuit jumped out then shook herself before running her nose along the platform boards.

“What in blue blazes is that thing?” Frowning, Mister Rutherford pointed.

“She’s my dog, Biscuit.” Vika hurried to the platform edge and let her pet run down the four steps to the dirt to take care of her needs.

“You wrote nothing about bringing a pet.” He scoffed and waved a hand in the air. “And a scrawny dog, at that.”

After a moment, Biscuit hopped back to the platform then trotted toward the children, tail wagging like a flag in a stiff wind.

Her stomach rolled.

Both children looked at the dog then glanced at their father’s frown.

Would the presence of this surprise pet invalidate their agreement? Tiredness swamped her. “You never wrote that I couldna.” Needing the comfort of a warm being who loved her, she scooped up the dog, hugged Biscuit to her bosom, and kissed her furry head between her pointed ears. “Actually, you never wrote much of anything.”