Friday, January 06, 2017


Please welcome my friend Cynthia Woolf to the blog. Cindy and I worked on The Surprise Brides together and will be working together on the upcoming Widows of Coyote Junction with Sylvia McDaniel. Cindy’s an excellent writer and all-around nice person. Don’t you love when the two occur together?


Alice Carter found herself a widow, her doctor husband murdered as he left the hospital where he worked. Alice, too, is a doctor and thought she wouldn’t have any trouble finding a position with the hospital where her husband had been so well regarded.

She was wrong. Seems no one wanted a female doctor, especially one in mourning. Seeing no other way out, Alice becomes a mail-order bride to a doctor in Hope’s Crossing in the Montana Territory.

Dr. Jeremiah Kilarney, needs help. He needs a nurse to assist him with his patients. Knowing he has to marry the woman or she’ll be inundated with marriage proposals from the lonely miners, he goes to Matchmaker & Co. Specifying his need for a nurse or someone willing to be trained as one, he’s surprised when Alice Carter, doctor, steps out of the stagecoach with her precocious daughter Melly.

Can Alice and Jeremiah have a future when ghosts from her past still hold her heart?

Hope's Crossing can be the answer to their future or the end of their dreams.


Alice Carter wore her best lavender silk dress which she knew made her violet eyes appear even more purple than normal. The cool May weather forced her to cover her lovely dress with a black wool overcoat. The calendar may say the season was spring but the weather was still more like winter with the cold and recent snow New Yorkers had to endure.
It was too soon for her to be wearing lavender, she was in mourning and should still be wearing black for another six months, then six months of gray and then six months of lavender, but she couldn’t stick with tradition. She’d worn black to the other interviews she’d had and hadn’t gotten the job. Today, she had to find a husband and that didn’t involve wearing mourning.
She stood in front of the bright blue door at 221 Baker Street, taking deep breaths to calm her nerves. Apparently she wasn’t too successful, as her hand still shook when she turned the door knob.
A bell above the door rang as she entered.
“Hello. Come on in,” said a pretty brunette woman, with spectacles, from behind a large oak desk.
Her voice was husky, pleasant to the ear and put Alice at ease. “Thank you.”
She glanced around at the sparse but serviceable furnishings. A pot-bellied stove in one corner, two tables topped with boxes of files behind the desk and a single ladder back wooden chair in front of the desk. She made her way into the room and sat in the chair.
“I’m Sally Wyatt.” She folded her hands on the top of the desk. “I manage this office of Matchmaker & Co. What can we do for you, Miss…”
“Carter. Mrs. Alice Carter. I’m here because I want to become a mail-order bride.”
“I assumed,” she said with a smile and reached for a form. “I don’t get too many female visitors who want something else. So tell me why you want to make use of our matching services?”
With a lump in her throat, Alice pressed on. “Well, I’m recently widowed and a doctor. I graduated from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. I’m unable to find a position using my skills here in the city and thought that if I went west where doctors are in demand, that I might be able to use my knowledge to help people.”
“I’m so sorry for your loss. What is your living situation like here?”
Alice found it hard to talk about the time with Adam. It seemed like he’d been gone so long, because she missed him so much. But this needed to happen.
“When my husband died we were renting a house and looking for one to buy. I’ve gone through our savings in the last six months, just paying for rent and food and his funeral. I’ve tried to find a position but no one wants a widow who is still in mourning.”
Sally looked at Alice for a moment, with her finger on her chin.
“Would you be willing to accept the position of a nurse to your doctor husband? At least until you can convince him of your medical training?”
“Yes. Anything to get my patients familiar with me so they will have an easier time accepting me as a doctor.”
Sally made notes on a piece of paper and examined papers from a folder on the desk.
“Wonderful. I have a doctor in Hope’s Crossing. It’s a very small mining town in Montana Territory. He is thirty-eight years old. How old are you?”
“I’m twenty-nine.”
“Do you have experience as a practicing doctor?”
Alice shook her head. “Not really. Right after I graduated I married Adam Carter. We’d known each other a long time. He was also a doctor. When I finished my two-year residency, I discovered I was expecting Melly…Melissa…my daughter. After Melissa was born, I didn’t want to go to work and Adam was making a nice living.”
She stopped, closed her eyes for a moment. This was so hard. She didn’t know how she would keep from breaking down. Then she thought of Melly and knew she must keep herself together. There was no choice.
“Are you sure this is what you want to do?”
“Miss Wyatt, my husband passed away six months ago. I haven’t been able to find a position here and I need to provide for Melly, who is three now. Our savings are running out, I must do this.”
“Hmm. I understand. There is a little more of an age difference than I usually allow for our matches, and I hadn’t planned for a child, but he didn’t exclude his bride from having one. With you both being doctors, you should have plenty in common to talk about. I think you will get along. Can you cook?”
“I’m a good cook but I don’t want to just be the cook and housekeeper.”
“No, I don’t imagine you do. Let me give you his letter.”
Sally rummaged through the stack of file folders on her desk. When she found the one she was looking for she pulled out a single sheet of creased paper and handed it to Alice.
“Jo Longworth is a former client and very happy in the match we made for her.”
Alice read the letter, before looking up and giving back the sheet of paper to Sally, who tucked it into the folder.
“Well? What do you think?”
“I think he’ll do. Can you arrange it?”
She nodded. “I’ll write to him and to the owner of the company, Mrs. Maggie Black. She lives in Golden in the Colorado Territory and runs another office out of that town.”
“When do I leave for Montana Territory?”
“I want you to write a response to Dr. Kilarney. I’ll make arrangements for train and stagecoach tickets as soon as possible and I’ll send you a message when they are ready for pick up. You should be packed and ready to go.”
“Very well. I don’t have much. A few clothes and some small things that have memories attached, plus Melly’s clothes and doll. A couple of valises is all we’ll need.”
“Fine. That makes it easier. Plan on leaving on the ten o’clock train to Chicago in ten days. You’ll change trains in Chicago to go on to Cheyenne in the Wyoming Territory. The stagecoach to Hope’s Crossing takes seven or eight days. It’s definitely not an easy trip. Are you sure you’re up for it? With a small child along, the travel will be that much more difficult.”
“We’ll be fine. Melly is a good traveler. She makes friends with everyone.”
“All right then, be back here in two hours to pick up your tickets.”
“I will. Thank you very much for your help.”


Cynthia Woolf, Author

Cynthia Woolf is the award winning and best-selling author of twenty-two historical western romance books and two short stories with more books on the way.

Cynthia loves writing and reading romance. Her first western romance Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia’s father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. Although Tame A Wild Heart takes place in Creede that is the only similarity between the stories. Her father was a cowboy not a bounty hunter and her mother was a nursemaid (called a nanny now) not the ranch owner. The ranch they met on is still there as part of the open space in Mineral County in southwestern Colorado.

Writing as CA Woolf she has six scifi, space opera romance titles. She calls them westerns in space.

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and her great critique partners for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.


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