Friday, March 22, 2024


 By Caroline Clemmons

Hello, Friends,

I’ve invited for tea recently wed Elliana Barrington Martin, bride of Keith Martin. Their story is in KEITH AND THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE, Book 5, Texas Hill Country Mail Order Brides, a sweet historical western romance and adventure. [Elliana glides in wearing an impeccable lavender silk dress trimmed in lace. She is dark blond with wide blue eyes and alabaster skin. Her regal bearing might make her appear unapproachable if it were not for her delightful smile. She appears to be a young woman who smiles frequently.]

Elliana Barrington Martin

CC: Please have a seat, Elliana. Thank you for joining me today. [I pour our tea into my best china cups, hoping I don’t rattle the cup and saucer as I hand it to her.]

Elliana's Interview Dress

EM: [She takes the cup and saucer with no apparent effort or concentration.] Thank you for having me. I appreciate the invitation.

CC: Will you tell readers a bit about yourself—your age, how tall you are, and so forth? [I hold the pastry plate for her to select one, then set the plate on the table between us. She chose a shortbread cookie.]

EM: [Her eyes ice over briefly.] One doesn’t usually ask a woman her age, and I can’t imagine why your readers would like to know. [She takes a deep breath and her smile returns.] I’m twenty-three and about seven inches over five feet. I grew up in Evansville, Indiana, where both my parents and my father’s brother and his wife lived with my grandparents.

[She has a wistful expression.] My parents were a wonderful couple. Papa helped Grandpa with his investment business and they were successful for clients and for our family. Papa was devoted to Mama—everyone was. She was elegant but kind. She laughed easily and was quick to hug me. While they were alive, I was happiest while they were alive. My parents and aunt died in a tragic accident when I was twelve, and my grandmother took over my care. My uncle Joey and then my Grandpa died a few years apart. I adored Gran, and I knew she doted on me. But she was much more serious and formal than my mother. She had a bad heart and recently passed.

CC: You have my sincere condolences. How did you come to be a mail order bride?

EM: You see, Uncle Joey’s son Trey was only a couple of years older than I was. Sad to admit, but he was a terrible person. A greedy bully, vengeful and always in debt, even though he had a very nice monthly allowance from his trust fund. Gran wanted me away from Evansville when her Will was read. She had left our family home to become the Barrington Girls Academy and a good deal of money to others, especially to me. She knew my cousin, Trey, would be furious and seek to harm me unless I was elsewhere.

CC: That sounds frightening. But if you were getting a large legacy, why did you need to marry a stranger?

EM: For all Gran’s having trained me to be a strong woman, she thought the right husband would help protect me. Uncle Alexander was given the task of finding that man. He wasn’t really my uncle, but my godfather and our family attorney, Alexander Penobscott. How he located Keith I have no idea, but he is quite resourceful and a leading attorney, not just for Evansville, but for surrounding states as well. I’m not certain he looked for a man seeking a mail order bride, but that’s the way it worked out.

CC: Was it an arduous journey?

EM: [She rolls her eyes.] The train would have been rather pleasant if I hadn’t been so sad about Gran. I have to say I hope to never, ever ride a stagecoach again. It’s an onerous way to travel. I apologize, but I don’t believe I should reveal more about that part of my trip.

CC: How do you like your new home?

EM: If you mean Harrigan Springs, I love it. Since I grew up in a city, I was surprised to learn I love living in a small town. The people are friendly, but curious. It’s true what they say about small towns: If you sneeze on one side of town, someone on the other side of town will say “bless you.”

CC: How about your home? After growing up with wealth, have you adjusted?

EM: [laughs] Traveling there, I had no idea what to expect. For all I knew I’d be living in a log cabin. I had to trust Gran and Uncle Alexander. I knew that Gran had her companion, Jane, supervises the packing of many things from our home and having them shipped to my new address. I was so surprised to find Keith’s home, well our home now, was a beautiful and luxurious Italianate-style house. Seeing inside was also a surprise, for there was almost no furniture.

CC: Is there anything else you’d like for us to know?

Foyer of the Martin Home

EM: Oh, there is so much more, but I simply must go. I’ve promised the children I’d take them for a drive to visit friends on a ranch outside town.

CC: Children?

EM: Readers will simply have to buy the book to find out more. [She elegantly rises.] Thank you for your hospitality. Please excuse me. [She she leaves]

CC: Goodness, it sounds to me as if Elliana left out quite a few details. If you haven’t read KEITH AND THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE, you can find it in e-book and print at Amazon. It’s also in Kindle Unlimited.


Thank you for stopping by.

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