Monday, August 29, 2022

Zinnia – Western Flower Brides – Book 3 by Margaret Tanner


Zinnia – Western Flower Brides – Book 3  
by Margaret Tanner 


Transplanted to the West, can these flowers flourish in their harsh new environment? Or will their resolve wilt? 

Each story in the series can be read as a standalone story.


Cade Barton has been duped out of his wages.  

Flung into jail, he is shocked to find his cellmate is a young woman. 

Betrayed by a man she thought was her husband, Zinnia was left for dead and ended up sharing a cell with bounty hunter Cade. 

To obtain her release, Cade is forced to marry Zinnia. 

If fate intervenes, can this reluctant groom and his broken-hearted wife find happiness together? 

Western Flower Brides Series page: 



Zinnia woke up to a world tilting and somehow out of focus. Where was she? Why was she moving? She tried to gather her wits. She had been fighting a crazed woman called Lilly, who said she was married to Tobias. That couldn’t be true. She must be having a nightmare. The pain in her head was real enough, though. It felt as if a red-hot poker was being jabbed into her skull. 

Glancing down at the deep pink dress she had been married in, she tried to grapple with the gaps in her memory. Her and Tobias had been married in a pretty San Francisco church with beautiful gardens surrounding it. She could clearly remember standing in the stately grounds, wearing her beautiful new pink dress and clutching a huge bunch of flowers to her bosom. 

Why was the dress so dirty and ripped? Where was Tobias? Gingerly, she lifted her head and pain shot through it. It was easier and less painful to remain motionless. 

What had happened to her? Why was she moving? Where was the terrible smell coming from? She tried to open her eyes and failed. They felt as if they were fused shut. 

If she didn’t know better, she would think she was moving. A scream rent the air and she realized it came from her. Groaning with pain she forced her eyes open, then glanced around - terrified. She was in a cattle car on a train. How that happened was a mystery.  

Dragging herself to her knees she started crawling over to the closest side. Even this task caused her puny strength to fail; her arms collapsed and forced her face down on a floor covered in cow dung. 

“Take it slowly.” She had never heard such a harsh, guttural voice before, yet somehow knew it belonged to her. Slowly, painfully, with her head nearly splitting in half, she continued dragging herself across the floor. It was too much effort to even try getting to her knees. Forcing her eyes to remain open, she squinted through the wooden slats. Even with her vision see-sawing, and the pain in her skull so bad she wanted to rip her head off to ease it, she realized the train was barreling through a timbered landscape, with huge trees on either side almost forming a canopy. 

Where she was, she had no idea. What had happened, exactly? Bigamy, the word being hammered into skull made it ache even more. Even in this filth she had to lie down; she just couldn’t bear to sit up any longer.  

If she could sleep for a while, it might clear her brain; but would do nothing for her heartache. Why was she heartbroken? Then it hit her with the force of a battering ram. She had married a man and been his wife in every way for two weeks, only to find out he was already married. 

“I won’t scream. It hurts my head,” she muttered. She had seen the black smoke spiraling upward and heard the hiss of steam every now and again, so this railcar had to be near the locomotive.  

Dare she try to yell out on the off chance the engineer or his fireman might hear her? What would they do if they found a filthy, bedraggled stowaway? Kick her off the train, most likely, and leave her to die in the wilderness. 

She had no idea where she had boarded the train, couldn’t even remember whether she had done it herself or been dumped there by someone else. The more she forced herself to think, the clearer her brain became. She didn’t really want to remember, it was too painful. If she could get to a town, maybe she could complain to the sheriff. More than likely, he would throw her into jail for being a vagrant. Who would believe the wild story she had to tell? If someone tried to tell her something this outrageous, she wouldn’t believe them, either. 

Her throat was parched, her belly empty, indicating she must have been on the train for at least ten or twenty hours. It was mid-afternoon going by the position of the sun, even in her wretched state she could see this. It had been around midday on Sunday, just after they had returned from church, when Lilly had burst in on them. 

To think Tobias had been despicable enough to marry her, knowing full well he already had a wife, and more shocking, he had attended church with her. This was the foulest act of all. One of the most important of the Ten Commandments was Thou shalt not commit adultery. It was a wonder the Lord hadn’t sent down a lightning bolt to strike him dead as he calmly sat on a pew in God’s house. She had defiled his house, also, because she was a fallen woman, all be it, unbeknownst to her. 

Author Bio: 

Margaret Tanner is an Award Winning, Amazon Best Selling, Historical and Contemporary Romance Author who now writes mainly Western Historical Romance. She has over 120 books published on Amazon. 

She lives in Australia, is recently widowed, and has three grown up sons and two gorgeous little granddaughters. 

She has been an Army Reservist, a Postal Delivery person, Medical Audio Typist and Army Major’s Secretary, in her decades long working career. Now retired, she is a full-time writer. 

Frontier Australia and frontier America, have many similarities, isolated communities, a large single male population and a lack of eligible women. This leads to many interesting plots and feeds her vivid imagination. 

She has always loved Westerns, soaking up all the Western TV shows and movies when she was young. Bonanza was her all-time favourite show. Little Joe Cartwright was her hero. Western Author, Zane Grey was her favourite author at that time. 


Margaret’s Links. 

If you would like to join Margaret’s FB Reader Group: 


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Caroline, thanks having me over to visit. Lovely to be here. Margaret

Caroline Clemmons said...

Margaret, Ilove your writing, and ZINNIA sounds too good to miss. Best wishes with the series and ZINNIA!

Margaret Tanner said...

Thanks Caroline, you are too kind.