Wednesday, July 19, 2017
NEW RELEASE, SNARE HIS HEART
I’m excited to announce my latest title, SNARE HIS HEART, is now available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B073ZN4CCG. This is number 5 in my Loving A Rancher Series for Debra Holland’s Montana Skies Series for Kindle World. Whew! That sounds a lot more complicated than it is.
In addition to SNARE HIS HEART, eight other Montana Skies Series books are now released. TANGLED BLOOM is by Dallis Adams, SAVING THE OUTLAW is by Linnea Alexis, HEARTS RHYTHM is by Linda Carroll-Bradd, THE SCOUNDREL’S INCONVENIENT BRIDE is by Crystal Green, GIFTS OF LOVE is by Kit Morgan, REDEMPTION ROSE is by Louella Nelson, WHEN THE HEART HEALS is by Judy Pennell, and LEGACY is by Lynn Winchester. You can see the covers and purchase each book on Debra Holland’s website at http://www.debraholland.com/kindle-worlds.html
SNARE HIS HEART is set in 1887 in and near Sweetwater Springs, Montana Territory. Those of you who read Debra Holland’s books will recognize many of her characters in this story. My main characters are Forrest Clanahan and Addie Ryan, with Forrest’s stepbrother, Ethan Campbell, playing a large role. Here’s the summary:
How can Adeline “Addie” Ryan deal with pity and sly remarks after her fiancé elopes with her bridesmaid? Usually optimistic, she suspects this event will taint her socially as long as she remains in Atlanta. At her sister’s suggestion, she visits a matrimonial consultant. One man’s letter touches her heart, but can she travel to Montana Territory to marry a stranger?
Forrest Clanahan carries scars on half of his upper body he received when he tried to rescue his late wife from their burning home. Her death left a hole in his heart that won’t allow him to love again—but his children need a woman’s guidance and he needs a wife. He offers kindness and consideration—but not love. Never love.
Addie and Forrest unite against threats but can they develop a loving relationship?
Yes, this is another mail-order bride story. I love reading and writing about women who believe becoming a mail-order bride is the best or only opportunity left for them. Would I want to have been one? No, but who knows what we’d do if faced with difficult choices?
When many eligible men moved west, a surplus of marriage-age women were left behind. At that time in history, there were few options left for a woman who didn’t marry. She could become a companion for an elderly relative, become a governess if she was educated enough, or teach school (which required she remain single). Doing anything else lowered her social standing—if she had any.
I’ve read true stories of women who ventured across the country to marry a stranger they knew only by mail. Brides in some of these situations have tragic tales while others are happy—or at least contented. If you’re interested, Chris Enss published HEARTS WEST about several of these real-life mail-order brides.
Years ago, there was a man in our church who had at one time been handsome. A terrible car wreck left his lower face disfigured. Part of his jaw was missing and surgery had left vicious scars. When I first met him, I had to make a conscious effort not to stare at him. After becoming better acquainted with him, I stopped seeing the scars and deformed face. When my mom visited and asked me about the man in the choir who was so badly scarred, I had to stop and think who she could mean. When we take time to know someone, we see the person rather than only the exterior.
That’s what happens to Addie in SNARE HIS HEART. Once she comes to know Forrest, she realizes what an admirable person he is. Here’s an excerpt from SNARE HIS HEART:
As they drew closer, Addie was surprised at the size of the log home. The house was nothing like those she’d been accustomed to seeing in Atlanta. Although the size matched that of luxurious Georgia homes, large logs formed this one’s walls.
What an effort cutting, stripping and hauling all those logs must have been. How had they managed this large two-story home? She supposed the men had made the shingles for the steep roof, too.
A huge barn and several other buildings were near the home. Biscuits and Rowdy milled around the grounds and turned toward the wagon. Biscuits shaded his eyes as if watching them.
“That’s a beautiful home and large. How many bedrooms does it have?”
“Two downstairs, one’s for a housekeeper if we can ever afford one. The other is for older guests, say if your parents wanted to visit or when we get too old to climb the stairs. On the second floor, there are seven including ours.”
The number of rooms surprised her. “I suppose without a local hotel, you have to provide for travelers in the area. Do you have guests frequently?”
“Not since my wife died. Beg your pardon, I meant my first wife, Evie. Admit I’ve been a mite standoffish since the fire. Figure most folks won’t want to stay here bad enough to look at me in the bargain.”
She laid a hand on his arm. “Trust me, Forrest, I know how petty a few people can be, but you underestimate the largest percentage. Mrs. Norton told me you’re a fine man and a hero, so don’t you think others will feel the same way?”
He dipped his head. “No matter how they feel about my character, they won’t want to look at me. I don’t blame them. Shaving and combing my hair is a chore I’d like to avoid.”
“You could grow a beard.” She smiled.
His eyes sparkled with humor. “Pffft. On half my face? That’d look even weirder than now.”
“I’m more interested in the person than the appearance. I should explain now that I was engaged to a handsome and charming man. He left me at the altar and eloped with my bridesmaid. She had been—after my sister Julie—my best friend.”
“Ouch, that must have been a bitter pill to swallow.”
“Not as much as it should have been. What drove me out of Atlanta were the gossips. I simply couldn’t take the pitying glances or the spiteful glee from some of my so-called friends.”
“I certainly understand. Guess your bad luck was my good fortune.”
She touched his arm before she caught herself. “Oh, how nice of you to say that, Forrest. I hope you mean it.”
“I do. I’ve needed help and wanted a wife. Especially the girls need a woman to guide them but all three children need to be taught their lessons. I’ve tried but I’m so tired in the evening plus some days they’re in bed as soon as I come in and we eat. Winters I have more time indoors but chores have to be done year ’round.”
“I hope life will be better for both of us now.” And she still had a good feeling about the success of this adventure.
Congratulations again to Judy Loughman, who chose Adeline “Addie” as the heroine’s name. (In the same contest, Vanessa McBride chose Vanessa as the heroine’s name for an upcoming title.)
I hope you’ll read and enjoy SNARE HIS HEART and that you’ll love Addie and Forrest as much as I do. If so, please leave a review!