BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF WESTERN HISTORICAL ROMANCE!
Caroline Clemmons writes historical and contemporary genre fiction. Historical romances, contemporary romantic suspense, mysteries, and paranormals are among her current works. Learn more about her at www.carolineclemmons.com
Monday, February 15, 2016
ISAAC: LETTERS OF FATE--NEW RELEASE BY PATY JAGER
By Paty Jager, Guest Author My latest historical western romance series is
titled, Letters of Fate. This is a
series that is linked by the hero receiving a letter that changes his life and
brings him to the woman who captures his heart.
is the second book in the series. When I was approached by Debra Holland to
write a book for her new Kindle World Project which allows authors to write a
story in her world of Sweetwater Springs and Morgan’s Crossing, Montana, I
decided it was a good way to springboard my new series.
I read her book, Prudence, which, was the
first book she set in Morgan’s Crossing. Mine guards were mentioned. I asked
Debra if I could use one of the mine guards as my hero. She said yes, and I was
off discovering what would bring a woman to a mining town that had only ten
women, two of which worked at the saloon. The town was crude and had few
amenities. I decided she was coming because her father died without telling her
where to find a gold mine he’d talked about in letters. The heroine started
taking care of her ailing mother at a young age. After her mother’s death her
father left and at the age of seventeen she took care of her three siblings.
The letter Isaac sends her about their father’s death is her wings to freedom.
She leaves the farm in her brother’s hands and heads to Montana to find the
gold mine her father talked about and gain her financial freedom from family
and hard work.
Isaac doesn’t want anything to do with her, making
for a lot of butting head’s when she arrives in Sweetwater Springs.
Isaac: Letters of Fate
western filled with steamy romance and the rawness of a growing country.
Alamayda Wagner’s life has left her
cynical, but also vigilant, and that’s what propels her to Morgan’s Crossing,
Montana in order to uncover the secrets her father took to his grave. She
quickly discovers her only hope includes trusting Isaac Corum. That soon proves
to be expensive, and not just financially.
The last thing Isaac Corum needs or wants is a
snooty woman telling him he didn’t do enough to save her father, which is
what her letter implied. He’d helped the man more than most people would have,
and swears he won’t go out of his way like that again. He’ll meet her at the
Sweetwater Springs train station, deliver her father’s belongings, and send her
back the way she came.
But, dang it all, the woman doesn’t do
a single blasted thing she’s told, and Isaac can’t just sit back
and let her go traipsing off into the mountains alone…
the horses at the hitching post in front of the church. After climbing down, he
grabbed the box of Alan’s belongings and marched up to the little house next to
the church. For a brief moment, he had the notion to just leave the box with a
note. But his conscience wouldn’t let him do that. He’d been the last person to
speak with her father before his death. It seemed sociable he should talk to
He knocked on
pleasant-looking man, not much older than Isaac answered the door. “Good
evening. May I help you?”
“I’d like to see
Miss Wagner,” he said.
The man raised
an eyebrow. “Are you Mr. Corum?” he asked.
“We just sat
down for the evening meal. Would you care to join us?” The reverend asked.
Isaac didn’t want to sit through dinner with
the woman. “I’d prefer if you asked her to come out here. It won’t take long.”
He’d noted the chairs on the porch. “We can sit there,” he said, walking over
to one of the chairs and placing the box on the porch beside a chair.
“I’ll get Miss
Wagner.” The reverend disappeared into the house.
A minute later,
a tall, thin woman with dark brown hair pulled back in a severe bun, stepped
out and scanned the porch.
pulling his hat off his head as the woman walked toward him. He’d been wrong
about her being big-boned and horse-faced. She was tall, but thin. The dark
blue dress she wore hung straight from her shoulders to her feet with no curves
in between. Not even a bump where her bosoms should be. Her long, thin face had
a pointed chin and small, pointed nose. Her large, wide eyes were brown. She
held out a thin, long hand.
“Mr. Corum?” she
He gripped her
hand gently for fear of breaking the thin bones. “Miss Wagner.”
She pulled her
hand back and stared down at the box on the floor. “What’s this?” she asked.
“I brought your
pa’s things to you. This way you can rest a day or so and head back home.” He
said it with the enthusiasm he had for getting her back to Kansas and out of
at the box, then up at Mr. Corum. She usually looked down on most men. Mr.
Corum, she had to tip her head just a bit to see into his gray eyes. He had
several days of whisker growth on his face. His eyes were wide set with
wrinkles at the corners. His nose long but not wide. A full bottom lip made his
upper lip appear thinner. His square chin gave the appearance of a man who
didn’t back down. His shoulders were wider than his narrow hips hidden beneath
a long canvas duster. His hand when he’d clutched hers was wide with long
She had expected
him to be closer to her father’s age and not her own. “Thank you for bringing
me his things.” She sat in the chair closest to the box.
remained standing. “Ma’am, I just wanted to let you know there was nothing that
could be done for your father. The doc made sure he was as comfortable as could
be until the end.” He bowed his head and closed his eyes for a moment.
about to say something when he opened his eyes and peered at her.
“It was nice
meeting you. I can’t afford to miss too much work. I’ll be headed back to
Morgan’s Crossing now.”
heart raced. He couldn’t head back. She hadn’t had time to see if the clues to
the mine were in her father’s belongings.
He stared down
“Give me a
chance to go through my father’s things. I’m—” She didn’t want to tell anyone
about her father’s hidden mine. Surely, if this man had been friends with her
father he would know about it, but since he hadn’t mentioned it in his letter,
she didn’t know if her father hadn’t told him or he planned to keep the mine
Mr. Corum sat on
the other chair. “I’m sorry. As long as Alan was away from home, I didn’t think
you’d be upset to go through his things.” He reached down into the box. “I
didn’t send them home because they weren’t worth the postage.” He held up a
dirty sweat-stained slouch hat. He handed it to her.
her breath and turned the garment over in her hands. There wasn’t anything
unusual about the dirty hat. She placed it on the porch between them.
He pulled out a
chambray shirt. It was well-worn with patches but clean. “This is his clean set
of clothes. The ones he was wearing when he took sick I burned. They were
covered in dirt and—”
She didn’t want
to think about what might have been on her father’s clothing. She’d nursed a
sick mother long enough to know there were accidents and such.
lurched at the thought he’d burned a set of clothing. “Did he have anything in
his pockets?” She couldn’t bear to think this man might have burned up her only
way of finding the mine.
“Only a couple
coins. I put those in this clean pair of trousers.” He handed over a faded,
patched pair of wool trousers.
She put her hand
in a pocket and pulled out two dimes. Tears started to burn the back of her
eyes. Her father had died with two dimes in his pocket. He’d sent money home
over the years, never on a regular basis. She’d had to make sure the farm had
supplied all she and her siblings had needed. She’d sold eggs and cleaned rooms
at the local hotel to make enough money to buy the things they couldn’t make on
their own, like shoes and tools. There had to be something in his things to
tell her where the mine he talked about in his letters could be found.
cleared his throat. “Here’s his coat but it’s kind of…” He didn’t have to
her arm up in front of her nose. “Did my father never take a bath?” she asked,
trying to imagine what he must have looked like the last few years.
“He’d take one
monthly in the summer. He didn’t like to pay for a bath at the bath house. Many
prefer the cold water of the river to the dirty water someone else has been
sittin’ in.” He lowered the coat back into the box. “Your pa used the river so
it was only during the warmer weather that he took a bath.”
She didn’t want
to touch the nasty garment, but she had to see if there was anything in the
pockets or perhaps sewn inside the lining. Holding her hand out, she waited for
Mr. Corum to make up his mind about handing it over.
“You sure you
want to touch this?” he asked.
She nodded even
though she didn’t want to. But she had no choice. He held the coat out and she
grabbed it with one hand. She pushed her hands into the gritty pockets and came
up with nothing but dirty fingers. Holding her breath, she turned the coat inside
out and felt the lining around the cuffs and hem of the coat.
“What are you
looking for?” Mr. Corum asked.
She glanced into
the box and didn’t see anything else. Dropping the coat back in the box, she
folded her hands into her lap. They had to stink as bad as the coat.
“Mr. Corum, I’ll
be returning to Morgan’s Crossing with you.”
Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband
raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. She not only writes the western
lifestyle, she lives it. All Paty’s work has Western or Native American
elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her
penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet