Monday, November 02, 2015


Does it ever seem to you as if everything happens at once? Today is a BIG day for me! 

As I've told you before, I am participating in a Christmas anthology project in which my novella STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS is included. Today is release day. Whether or not you've read this novella, you'll want to grab this anthology at the special price of 99 cents while it lasts. This anthology includes ten stories from some of my favorite authors. Paty Jager's talented daughter Christi Keerins designed the cover. 

SILVER BELLES AND STETSONS is a mix of new and previously published novellas by authors Kathleen Ball, Cait Braxton, Caroline Clemmons, Carra Copelin, Kristin Holt, Lyn Horner, Susan Horsnell, Paty Jager, Hebby Roman, and Margaret Tanner. The anthology includes a nice selection of varied styles and stories. At only 99 cents, how can you go wrong. This is guaranteed to get you into the mood for Christmas!

You can order SILVER BELLES AND STETSONS from Amazon and KU here:

Now for my other news . . . 

If you joined the Sooper Sekrit Facebook Party on Sunday, you learned about our fabulous project, American Mail-Order Brides, featuring a bride representing each state and territory in 1890. My bride is PATIENCE, BRIDE OF WASHINGTON. I’ve enjoyed researching and writing about Patience.

Although I’ve never been to Washington state, I have contacts there who have helped with my research. When I hear about the state, I think of Washington Delicious apples each fall. So, the hero and his father have apple and other fruit orchards as well as local real estate and other investments. Coincidentally, Hero and I used to have an orchard of hundreds of peach trees and sixteen apple trees. This fact helped with the story.

Author Kirsten Osbourne conceived this amazing idea, and then several of her friends and she came up with the rules for the project. Those of us participating were sworn to secrecy. Imagine 45 women keeping a secret for six months. Hmmm, I wonder how well the secret was kept from readers and other authors. I'm so relieved the news is out!

Patience Eaton and her sister Mercy (written by Jacquie Rogers) are each a mail-order bride. I have to warn you that each of these books has some humor as well as a tempestuous but heartwarming romance. 


After a fire destroys the factory where she worked followed by a succession of job failures, Patience Eaton travels from Massachusetts to Washington to marry the man her father chose via a matchmaker. While Andrew Kincaid appears to be a very nice man, he’s her father’s age and not someone she wants to marry. Her prospective groom places her in a respectable boarding house and offers her a job in the office of his commercial apple orchard so she can learn about his life. Working alongside her handsome future stepson presents unexpected complications.

Two years ago, an unjust accusation ruined Stone Kincaid’s chance at happiness. Now he concentrates all his energy on building the family business. When he meets his prospective stepmother, he’s angry that his father cares so little for his mother’s memory that he sent for a mail-order bride younger than Stone.  He believes her to be interested only in his father’s fortune and Stone plans to keep an eye on the attractive woman who’s slated to become his stepmother.  

Can two people working at cross purposes arrive at a compromise?

Erin Dameron Hill designed my cover and that of most of the other authors. I believe Erin did a wonderful job. Each author chose her model and Erin did the rest. Except for Debra Holland, who posed with a male model and is herself the woman on her cover. What fun--but only if the author is as attractive as Debra!

Here’s an excerpt from PATIENCE, BRIDE OF WASHINGTON:
On an April evening, Moses Eaton addressed his daughters in the parlor. “Several months ago, you brought home something called the Grooms Gazette. I saved the copy. Patience, after you received the letter from your friend Roberta, I wrote to the matchmaker, Elizabeth Miller.”

Her father handed each of them a letter. “These are in answer. If you agree to go, you will each leave on the same train and travel together until Mercy leaves at a place called Nampa, Idaho.”

Mercy’s eyes grew wide. “Idaho? T-That’s all the way across the country.”

Patience scanned the paper she held and her heart broke. “Not as far as Washington. Papa, we’ll never see you and Mama and the boys again. I know we’ve upset you but please don’t send us away in disgrace.”

Mama said, “Girls, you’ve got everything wrong. Your father is only looking out for you two. You know how hopeless situations here are. We love you so much, he wants you provided for and secure.”

Papa smiled at Mama then looked at Patience and Mercy. “Your mother is correct and you should know me better than that, my dears. There are more women here than there are jobs—or suitable men to marry. The way things are in Lawrence, you can’t earn a good wage even if you find a position. My teacher’s salary barely stretches.” He held up his hand. “We’d manage somehow if there were prospects for you here.”

He rose and paced. “Each of your prospective grooms is well-to-do and can offer you a nice home and security. Perhaps you can even travel back here for a visit from time to time.”

Patience re-read the letter from Andrew Kincaid. “He sounds nice, and he enclosed a ticket and money for meals. He says I’d have a month after I arrive to get acquainted before the wedding.”

“Mr. Isaac Fairchild says the same.” A frown furrowed Mercy’s lovely face as she looked up from the sheets of paper in her hand. “But Idaho is so far.”

“But it’s close to Washington. We can probably visit back and forth.” Patience tried for a positive attitude, but neither she nor her sister had ever been away from their parents or one another.

Her brothers clomped into the room. 

Twelve-year-old Jason looked at the adults and folded cross-legged onto the floor. “Why’s everyone so serious? What’s going on?”

Papa patted ten-year-old David as the boy sat on the floor and smiled at Jason. “Your sisters are deciding whether or not to accept marriage proposals.”

“From who?” David asked.

Papa thumped the boy on the head. “From whom, young man. You know to use whom when you use a preposition before the word.”

Rubbing his scalp, David said, “Sorry, Papa. I’ll try to remember.”

Jason held out his hands. “Please, just tell us who proposed?”

Holding up her letter, Patience gazed at her two brothers. “Papa wrote to a matchmaker, a woman who arranges marriages. Mercy and I have answers. Her groom is in Idaho and mine in Washington.”

Jason rose to look at the globe where it sat on a table by the window. “That’s a long way from here. When would you leave?”

Mercy consulted the letter. “In five days. Oh, my, we have a lot to accomplish before then.”

Ticking off on her fingers, Patience listed, “We’ll each need a trunk and a valise. Let our friends know how to write us. Do the laundry so everything is clean—.”

“And we can’t share things since we’ll be in different places.” Mercy rose to get two sheets of paper and pencils from Papa’s desk. “We’d better make lists.”

Later in the bed they shared, Mercy said, “I can’t believe Papa wrote away without consulting us. I don’t know whether to be relieved or angry or sad.”

“I’m a little of all those. But thank heavens I never again have to work for a man with lecherous thoughts and groping hands. I’ll miss our family, but I’ll have my own home and soon my own children.”

“You’re right. Oh, I hope we like our grooms-to-be. Mine lives on a ranch. I hope he’s handsome and strong and rides a white horse.”

Patience reminded her sister, “I remember that Roberta said Miss Miller investigates the grooms before she’ll send a bride to them. She works with agents all over the country. Even if the men are not ideal, at least we know they’re not criminals or drunkards.”

“Four days to get ready and on the fifth, we leave. We’ll ride on a train and see the country and then we’ll meet our grooms. How can you not be more enthusiastic?”

Pulling the cover under her chin, Patience admitted, “I admit I’m kind of excited. I’ve never ridden on a train or been out of Massachusetts.”

Mercy flopped onto her side. “Ha, we’ve never been out of Lawrence. That’s about to change.”

Want to read the prequel that ties all the books together and see all the covers and release dates and brief blurbs for each of the American Mail-Order Bride Series? Link to the prequel is at the top above the covers.

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The pre-order link for PATIENCE, BRIDE OF WASHINGTON is at Amazon. 
 Pre-ordering is such fun because you open your Kindle and (pop!) there the new book is. I love that feature. It doesn't actually make that sound, of course, but I hear it in my head. 

Most of the American Mail-Order Bride Series books are in Kindle Unlimited so that readers can afford to read all of them. The first one will be released on November 19 and there will be one each day for fifty days (some authors have two states). I especially hope you’ll pre-order PATIENCE, BRIDE OF WASHINGTON, which will be released on December 30. That seems a long time to wait, but with all that goes on in the fall, the date will be here soon. I can hardly wait!

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