Bride Brigade Series
By Caroline Clemmons
Too many young men were moving away from Tarnation, Texas, to larger towns where they hoped to meet a prospective wife. Lydia Harrison decided to do something to keep any more bachelors from leaving. She and her friend went to Virginia to recruit four respectable young women to accompany them back to Tarnation. They returned with seven lovely yet diverse women. Josephine’s story is the first. Although they are stand alone books, you’ll enjoy them even more if you begin with the first because it sets up the series.
99¢ Sale – Limited Time Only – 8:00 A.M. on July 23 – midnight on July 29, 2021
Even if it sounds immodest, I confess I love this series! Each of these women holds a special place in my heart. Josephine was my grandmother’s name, so she is extra-special. If you haven’t read this series, I hope you’ll take advantage of the special price and read Josephine’s book.
About the book
Josephine has every reason to mistrust men in general and politicians in particular. Will her misgivings ruin her chance at happiness?
Josephine Nailor is desperate to escape a terrible situation. When the opportunity arises via a newspaper ad, she and her best friend slip away from their oppressive fathers and head for Richmond. Neither can relax until they’re far away from their tiny hometown. With wealthy young widow Lydia Harrison’s help, Josephine and six other young women have a new life waiting in Tarnation, Texas. Secretly, Josephine only wants to escape her former life and protect her friend Ophelia. She isn’t certain she ever wants to marry. She hasn’t met a man yet who could tempt her to give up her freedom.
Michael Buchanan is fairly content running his mercantile and being mayor of Tarnation. The town is dusty and tiny, but it’s growing. He believes it holds all he needs to be happy—except a wife. There are no available women in town, but he hopes Lydia Harrison’s Bride Brigade will offer a woman he can wed. He is immediately attracted to Josephine.
She was exhausted by the approach of closing time. Gunfire cracked and she heard galloping hooves.
Michael reached under the counter for a gun. “Get into the backroom until this is over so you won’t get hit by stray bullets.” He raced out the door and down the boardwalk.
Mrs. Horowitz, wife of the butcher, stepped away from the windows where she’d been admiring a display. “Those awful cowboys have no care for the town’s residents. They must be drunk to act so carelessly.”
“I expect you’re right. If they were intent on robbing the bank, surely they’d come in quietly to evade notice. You can step through the curtain behind you, and you’ll be in the storeroom. There’s a chair you can rest in until those men are stopped.”
Disobeying her employer’s order, Josephine stood at the side of the window so she was protected by the wall but could look out. The sheriff, his deputy, Michael, and a handful of other men with guns drawn tried to apprehend the rowdy cowboys. One of the ruffians darted toward the store.
Dear Merciful Heaven! Terror struck her and her knees almost gave way. The man who’d attacked her had returned with his friends. Was he after her or bent on destroying Tarnation?
Unable to turn away, she watched the man make his way slowly toward the mercantile. This time she was prepared. She raced to grab a skillet, intent on cracking the man’s skull if he came into the store.
Mrs. Horowitz peeked through the curtains. “Miss Nailor, come in here with me. You can’t fight guns with a pan.”
“The man who attacked me is headed this way. I’ll dent his head if he comes into the mercantile.”
The other woman inched closer. “Do you see my Claus? Oh, I hope he’s not trying to outgun those men.”
“Besides Mr. Buchanan, I spot the sheriff, his deputy, Mr. Kendrick, and Mr. Evans there. Mr. Pettigrew also appeared. Oh, no, Tom Boyd is weaving down the road as if nothing is happening.”
“My, my, no doubt he’s so drunk he doesn’t know anything is going on.”
“Run back into the storeroom, Mrs. Horowitz. That man is almost here. He’s likely to shoot you if he sees you when he comes through the door.”
Aleida Horowitz scrambled toward the curtain. “What about you?”
“He won’t see me until too late. Hurry!” Josephine flattened herself against the wall behind the door.
No sooner had the other woman slipped through the curtain than the cowboy rushed toward the counter as if he expected Josephine to be crouched behind the island’s safety. As soon as he was inside, she swung the heavy iron skillet with all her might.
He dropped, but not before she heard a burst of gunfire outside. She turned and saw Michael slump in the street’s dust. As her heart dropped to the floor, she screamed, “No!”