MAIL ORDER MORIAH
Pearson Grove, book 1
Genre: Western Historical Romance
My father’s first name was Pearson and he was born at a tiny place called Pilot Grove, Texas. He taught me to read early and always encouraged me to write. His stories of his family coming to Texas and events in their lives captured my interest in historical writing. I wanted to honor his memory by naming the series after him. I hope he knows and is smiling down from Heaven.
Kirsten Osbourne was kind enough to let me use her Brides of Beckham matchmaker’s name. I so love that series! I can’t fail to mention how kind Kirsten is to other authors. In addition, she is brilliant and creative. You probably know she recently celebrated the release of her 200th book.
About the Book
A woman desperate to begin a new life, a mercantile owner besieged by problems, and the disaster that brings them together . . .
Moriah Singleton faced hardship to get from England to America but met more problems once she arrived. The only solution she could find was to become a mail-order bride in far away Texas. How will she ever save enough to bring her sister to America?
After a disastrous brief engagement ended badly, Scott Ferguson sent for a mail-order bride. He needs her help in his mercantile. He hopes his wife will also be his life’s helpmate.
Danger, family entanglements, and disaster await the couple. Can Moriah fit into Pearson Grove? Can she help her sister? Will their problems bring Moriah and Scott closer? Will trouble drive them apart?
A sweet western historical romance, first of the exciting Pearson Grove series.
Pearson Grove, Texas
Kurt Kelly thought of himself as easy-going and pleasant to everyone. Since his former fiancée, Alexandra Novak, had broken their engagement a week ago, he had lost his good humor. His heart was slightly dented but not broken. His patience was exhausted.
Alexandra’s friends had been making tormenting him their mission. Now he forced himself to be polite to two of Alexandra’s friends, Melissa Baker and Deborah Taber. As the owner of the town’s mercantile, he depended on good will for business but these two stretched the limits of his self control.
Melissa had—deliberately he was certain—turned stacked clothing into a jumble. With no one to help him in the store, he’d have to straighten those shelves after closing rather than now and leave the rest of the place untended.
He ambled up to the twosome. “Was there something in particular you wanted to see, Miss Baker?”
The minx had the nerve to drop the shirtwaist she held so that it slid to the floor. “I was looking for something new but these are all too shabby and out of fashion. Come, Deborah, let’s go to the dressmaker.”
The two flounced out of the store.
Stanley Patrick, who was Kurt’s best friend and also the county sheriff, leaned his tall, lanky frame on the counter near the cash register. “Like Alexandra, those two are troublemakers who think they’re the center of the universe and everyone else is beneath them. You’re lucky, my friend, to be out of that engagement.”
Kurt hastily righted the shirtwaists enough to leave them until tonight. “Yeah, but I’m still feeling duped. I wouldn’t have even asked her out if she hadn’t invited me first. To this day I have no idea why she targeted me.”
“Targeted is right. Man, she pursued you like a cougar does a deer.” Stan studied Kurt. “I guess if I were a female I’d think you’re handsome. Since I’m not I think you look like a muddy road.”
Kurt laughed at his friend. “Thanks, that makes me feel a lot better.” But talking to Stan did boost his mood. He went behind the counter. “Since her father owns the bank, wouldn’t you think she’d find out how much money I have?”
“Maybe she doesn’t understand how much you have to pay for the goods you sell here. If not, your account might look pretty flush. Daddy probably told her you don’t have a loan on the store because it’s paid for. Maybe she thinks you have money from some other source.”
He ticked off on his fingers. “Not enough to buy a house, hire a housekeeper, hire a cook, and hire at least one person to work here so I could spend more time taking her places. Of course there’d be the expense of the places she wants to visit.”
“She’s always had money from her father. Probably never occurred to her you wouldn’t take care of her just like her daddy the banker.”
“You didn’t see her when I told her I wouldn’t… couldn’t do that and she would be expected to work in the store with me and that we’d live in my rooms upstairs.”
Stan pushed his hat back on his head. “Scary, huh?”
“Whew, I thought she was going to turn me into a frog.” He shook his head as he recalled the spiteful look she’d given him. “She is not pleasant when she doesn’t get her way.”
“You don’t sound as if your heart is broken.”
“I never thought I was in love with her, only that we might grow fond of one another over time. I haven’t told anyone, Stan, but she proposed to me.”
“You don’t mean it.”
“Imagine my surprise. Actually, she assumed we were together. Before I knew what happened, I was engaged and the wedding plans were underway. Now I’m back where I started—single and in need of a wife who’ll help me in the store and feed me upstairs.”
“You’re better off this way.” Stan picked up a copy of the newspaper, which included a new advertisement. The sheriff tapped a finger on the page. “Why don’t you send for a wife? You know, order a bride?”
Kurt read the boxed advertisement.
Do you long for someone to share your life?
I match brides with grooms. Discretion guaranteed.
Grooms should include 2 references with
a letter to his prospective bride.
Write to Harriett Long, 300 Rock Creek Road,
“Are you crazy? I could end up with someone who does look like a mile of muddy road. She could be a as bad as Alexandra—or worse.”
“Or, she could be a nice woman who would help you here in the store, cook your meals, wash your clothes, clean your house, and warm your bed.”
Kurt tucked the newspaper under the counter because there were only a couple of copies left. “Guess I’ll think about it. Where the heck is Beckham, Massachusetts?”
The sheriff raised his hands in surrender. “You’re asking me? Man, I barely remember where the state is on a map. I sure can’t tell you where towns are.”