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Faith: Brides of the Rockies

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Is free on Amazon 19-23 March 2015

On the train to Denver, a rough-looking man captures Faith Hardwood’s attention; the stranger compels her in a way she’s never known. When robbers beset the passengers, he comes to her aid. The damage is done however, as she is robbed of every penny—the money she needed to live on.

Owen Birch, the stranger, has gambled his way to success, owning several hotels and saloons. Traveling on business, he encounters a young woman, Faith, who takes his breath away. After the robbery, he generously gives her money, because she has lost everything.

Two years later, at a faro table one evening, Faith sees the man she met on the train. He too recognizes her. Although fate has been unkind, Faith senses her luck is about to change. However, Owen isn’t the sort of man to settle down. He offers to spoil Faith as his mistress, but she refuses, because she’s in love, and it’s a husband she wants.

Preview of Faith: Brides of the Rockies

“What if you were to accompany me? I could pay you for the service.”

“Accompany you?”

“Travel with me.”

“And sleep in your bed.”

“I would pay you generously.”

The heat I had felt a moment ago grew cold. “I see.”

“You may purchase a new wardrobe. You may have all the hats and furs you like. You’ll travel in style. You’ll eat at all the best restaurants. Would that be agreeable to you?”

The wine I had drunk churned in my belly, having soured. “I suppose, considering my circumstances I should take that offer. Heaven knows there might not ever be another one.”

“You sound peeved.”

“I’d be your paid companion. I’d be like a personal whore. It’s charming, really, but I think I prefer my life the way it is.”

“You are peeved.”

“I’m sorry, Owen, but I must decline your … your offer.”

“I should’ve rephrased it. You’d not be a whore, Faith.”

“Yes, I would. I’d sleep in your bed and do whatever people do there and walk around in pretty things and live in rooms like this, but I wouldn’t have a ring around my finger or the blessings of the church. I’d be no better than a doxy on Market Street. Then, once you tire of me, you’ll toss me out with some money and I’ll be old and used and no man will ever want to marry me.”

He ran fingers through his hair. “I’ve fudged this completely.”

“Oh, you’ve made yourself quite clear. I heard you perfectly the first time.”

“I didn’t mean it in such a way. I’d never toss you out into the street.” He glanced at me. “You’d just live with me forever, as my companion.”

“Well, if that’s what you want, why not marry me?”

“Because you’d not be satisfied with that.”

“What does that mean?”

“You’d want children. You’d want to stay in one place.”

“That’s true. I do want that, but I realize it may never happen.”

He seemed thoughtful, but whatever it was had him frowning. “I think it will. You’re far too lovely to be left to rot in a saloon. Some man is going to know your worth and snap you up.”

“But not you.”

“I’ve just offered you a new life. You may take it, Faith.”

“To be your mistress.”

“Yes.”

“I have to decline.” It wasn’t anger I felt anymore, but sadness. All the enjoyment of having come to see him had evaporated. “I should go.”

“I’ll be in town for a few days. You have time to reconsider.”

“I can’t. I have to stay and take care of my father. He needs me.”

“In a cramped room in a boarding house over a saloon.”

“Yes. It’s not glamorous in the least, but it’s honest.”

“And my offer is somehow dishonest?”

“No, but it’s not what I want.”

“I think you’ll change your mind.”

“You’re far too optimistic.” He wasn’t used to not getting his way in the least. My negative answer had bothered him greatly, his eyes taking on an imploring quality. Knowing once I left this room, I would more than likely never see him again, I reached out to touch his face. “You’re a good man, Owen. I’m flattered by the offer, but you must understand. I want a house and children and a normal, quiet life. Traveling from place to place is exciting, but I know I’d grow weary of it.”

“You couldn’t sacrifice some things to be with me?”

“We’re essentially strangers. You won’t be here long enough for me to know you.”

I would say goodbye to Owen now, although it pained me to do so. Of all the men I had met in my life, he was the only one who even remotely tempted me to discard my morals and every other dream I had. Leaning in, I kissed him lightly, my lips brushing his. Inhaling the scent of his cologne, the aroma teased me, a reminder of that moment on the train two years ago when I had met a handsome and intriguing man.

Closing my eyes, I sighed against his lips, his tongue sweeping into my mouth. His hands grasped my face, the fingers feeling warm against my cheeks. I had never kissed a man before, not knowing what to expect. The sheer pleasure of it caught me by surprise. Whatever dormant feelings I had hidden, sprang to life, propelling me to scoot nearer to him. Our lips felt soft and moist, while our tongues collided repeatedly, the sensation like warm honey. I drifted … floated … a moan tearing from my throat.

“Faith,” he murmured near my ear. “Please reconsider.”

Kissing him had been a mistake, a terrible, massive, horrible mistake. I pulled away, gazing at him. “Oh, drat.”

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Cassie, Brides of the Rockies, a new western romance series set in the 1880’s

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Nathanial Carroll has been a thorn in Cassie Bjorn’s side ever since they were children. He has tormented her by dipping her blonde hair in ink, pouring honey into her school bag, and teasing her relentlessly. Now, grown up and more handsome than a man ought to be, Nathanial is determined to make Cassie his wife, although she loathes him with a passion. The task before him is formidable, and Nate will have to make amends for past behavior and court Cassie properly.

Cassie knows Nathanial as a womanizer and drunkard with appalling manners. Any well-bred young lady would give this man a wide berth, as she has done for years. But Cassie’s mother and Nate’s mother are the best of friends, and they see fit to broker an engagement. To compound matters, an accidental kiss during a shootout sends the town’s gossips into a furor,and Cassie finds her reputation in tatters. There’s only one man to blame for this predicament—Nathanial Carroll.

Preview of Cassie, Brides of the Rockies

A carriage waited, two horses grazing on the grass behind the hitching post. Nathanial opened the door for me, and I ducked my head, stepping inside. Once he had released the lines, he sat next to me, his form filling the interior, his head nearly touching the ceiling. The aroma of leather lingered, but not the smell of whiskey.

“Are you sober?”

“I am. For the first time in my life.” He called to the horses. “Come on, girls. Get a move on.” The carriage gently swayed, the wheels crunching on gravel.

“I was at your mother’s house this morning.”

“You were?”

“She invited us to tea.”

His eyes skimmed over me. “Your face looks better.”

“I’m healing. It was just a scratch.”

“What were you doing at the Courier?”

“Talking to William.”

“Oh, it’s William, is it?”

“And it’s none of your business.” I crossed my arms over my chest.

“You look like you were crying. There are streaks of dirt on your face that look suspiciously like tears.”

“It’s none of your cotton pickin’ business.”

“He broke things off, huh?”

“None of your business.”

“You know, they’re gossiping about us something awful. I am sorry I kissed you the other day, but you … you looked so darned handsome. You look just as handsome now, but you’re a dirty little thing.”

I glared at him. “Just get me home. I don’t want to talk to you.”

He sighed, glancing at the street out the window, the carriage trundling along the avenue before the Barton House. “Well, it’s gonna be a quiet life then, if we never speak.”

I had no idea what he was talking about, not caring in the least.

“If we’re gonna marry, a few words should be spoken, don’t you think?”

“I’m not marrying you,” I grated. “People need to stop harping on about that.”

“I wish you would.”

Dash it! I wasn’t supposed to speak. “No.” I sensed his attention, my skin prickling with awareness.

“Well, I wouldn’t normally force a woman to wed me, but I think I might have to agree with my folks on this issue. You, Cassie Bjorn, are a stubborn woman, who doesn’t know what’s good for her. If I had some doubts about that before, the kiss cleared it all up. You might think you hate me, and maybe you do, but I know in my heart we’re right for each other.”

Was I supposed to respond to that?

“So, on that note, I do hope you plan on giving me a chance, now that Mr. Stuart has cut the ties.” We neared my house, mercifully. As Nathanial brought the carriage to a stop by the fence, I prepared to spring from the conveyance, but he grabbed my arm, stopping me. “Cassie?”

“I’ve nothing more to say to you, Mr. Carroll. Thank you for seeing me home, but that is all I’ll require of you.” His hand felt warm around my arm.

“All right, be like that, but it won’t change a thing.”

“You’re wasting your time, if you think I’ll marry you.” I glanced at him, wishing I hadn’t. He looked handsome in his deputy attire, a wide-brimmed hat shading his forehead, but his eyes bore into me with their intensity, the golden depths flickering in an odd light.

“You are a stubborn woman, but … I can be just as pigheaded. This isn’t over, Cassie. Not by a long shot.”

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“Bride of the Wild” is now available!

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Bride of the Wild is a romantic adventure set in 1850’s Colorado.

A series of bear attacks shatter the peace of Fern Valley, spurring the inhabitants to organize a hunting party to rid the town of a feral animal. Micah Blaylock is a wagon master and trapper, having lived deep in the Rocky Mountains most of his life. He has come to Fern Valley to look for work, bringing with him his friend, Deer Runner, an Arapaho Indian, who speaks fluent English. Upon meeting Saffron Fossett, he is drawn to her beauty, her poise, and her spirit, harboring a crush that blossoms into love, but, alas, she seems firmly set on Silas Hefferman, the eldest son of a rich merchant.

Thus begins the adventure of a lifetime, as Saffron, Micah, and Silas join a hunting party intent on killing the rabid bear. Not only will they be forced to protect themselves from the dangers of nature, but the woodland Utes call these mountains their home, and they will go to any length to protect their way of life.

Saffron will have to place her faith in God, and once the decision is made, she won’t ever be able to turn back. This leap of faith might just end in tragedy—but perhaps not, if you believe in miracles.

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Bride of the Wild

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Bride of the Wild is a novel about the pioneers who settled the American west, risking everything in pursuit of better lives. Saffron Fossett and her family braved a treacherous journey along an immigrant trail to settle in the wilds of the Rockies, with its majestic, snowcapped mountains and lush prairies. The family built a house and farmed for a living, but after a bout with illness, Saffron’s mother succumbed, leaving the Fossett children bereft. Her beau, Silas Hefferman, offered comfort, and Saffron hoped to be his wife one day.

Micah Blaylock had been a wagon master and trapper, having lived deep in the Rocky Mountains most of his life. He has come to Fern Valley to look for work, bringing with him his friend, Deer Runner, an Arapaho Indian, who was fluent in English. Upon meeting Saffron, he is drawn to her beauty, her poise, and her spirit, harboring a secret crush that blossoms into an all-encompassing love.

A series of bear attacks shatter the peace of Fern Valley, spurring the inhabitants to organize a hunting party. As Saffron embarks on this dangerous mission, calamity soon follows, and she must confront her fears and risk it all to save those she cares for. The love she seeks is indeed near, someone whom she has grown to respect—someone she had never imagined herself with—yet through trial and circumstance, she could now never live without.

Bride of the Wild is a standalone novel, coming in October November… now available at Amazon and CreateSpace.

Categories: Victorian romance novels, historical romance bestsellers, sweet historical romance, pioneer western novels, Colorado history, clean historical romance, inspirational historical romance, action adventure historical romance, Christian historical romance, 19th century fiction, Victorian romance suspense.

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Spoiled Evelyn is available now!

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The Mail Order Brides of Boot Creek

A woman of means, Evelyn Warner refuses to marry the man her family insists upon, fleeing with her maid, Tory, to the New Mexico Territory. Believing she has successfully escaped, hiding under the guise of a mail order bride, Evelyn is hesitant to marry Percy Vanguard, although he is from a respectable family and kindhearted. A chance encounter with Boot Creek’s most notorious bachelor, Chuck Brittle, in a stairwell, stuns Evelyn, especially when he takes her in his arms and kisses her. Trouble is never far behind, though, and the past is about to catch up with her.

Here is a preview of Spoiled Evelyn:

 

Leaving Tory, I ventured down a lushly carpeted hallway towards a set of heavy oak steps. As I descended, passing several mirrors, I glanced at myself, seeing a woman with pale skin and dark hair, which had been artfully arranged. I wore a mini top hat with a green sash and feathers. My dress was green satin with lavish, black decoration and a high bustle. I knew the Vanguards would find little fault in my appearance, but it was what they thought of my character that worried me. I had proven myself to be rather fickle. I would have to win them over in some manner.

Rounding the bend on the last landing before the entranceway, something tall and dark collided with me. “Oh!” This person had nearly trampled me, and we both fell, although he grabbed my waist in such a manner that instead of falling to the floor, I fell on him. “By mighty!” My hat was no match for gravity, sliding free of its pins, while it sailed across the landing. I lay on top of a complete stranger, in a jumble of arms and legs and enough fabric to drown us both. Mortified, I sucked in a shocked breath, while meeting his startled expression.

“Well, hello, little lady,” he drawled.

As I pushed against his chest, he felt muscular beneath my fingertips, entirely hard and unyielding. “Sir!”

His hat had fallen as well, exposing a mass of dark, thick hair. “You sure are a tall glass of water. Yes, ma’am.” I’d managed to get to my knees, although breathing had become difficult in this position, the corset digging into my chest. “Let me help you, honey.” He grabbed me around the waist, hauling me upwards, but, instead of letting me go, he pulled me near. “You’re not from around these parts. We don’t get ladies this pretty, normally.” He stood taller by nearly a foot, his face weathered, yet friendly, while a teasing smile lit his eyes.

“I’m fine, sir. You may unhand me.” I sounded slightly breathless.

“Oh, indeed, you are fine.”

Never having been treated in such a manner by anyone, I strove to form the words needed to chastise him for his impertinence. An arm remained around my back in a far too familiar manner, while the aroma of brandy and cigar smoke clung to his clothing. In that moment, while gazing at his pleasing face, I felt the most outrageous urge to kiss him. Never in my life had I faced such a startling dilemma. This rough and rugged man was the epitome of what I imagined cowboys were like from these parts, and it seemed as if my dream of meeting one had come true. Something glimmered in his eyes, a flash of roguish intent, because he grasped my face then, his sizable thumbs pressing into my cheeks.

“I’ll probably get slapped for this, but I don’t care,” he murmured, closing his lips over mine.

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The Mail Order Brides of Boot Creek

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The Mail Order Brides of Boot Creek

Amidst the lawlessness of 1880’s New Mexico, the mayor’s wife, Mrs. Hershey, is determined to find wives for the towns most notorious and eligible bachelors. But little does she realize the magnitude of the challenges that face her, because matching perfect strangers is far more difficult than it looks.

Wretched Chastity

Fleeing New York and her creditors, Chastity Donovan arrives in Boot Creek to marry an alcoholic miner, with a murderous bent. The promise of a new life quickly evaporates, but outlaw Lucian Ellison presents an interesting dilemma. He is determined to not only find the gold that is owed him, but also steal Chastity for his own.

Amazon

Desperate Lola

Lola Parsons has a secret. She’s a runaway, determined to escape the clutches of her stepfather. Being a mail order bride will solve all of her problems, as Mrs. Hershey has connected her to one of the wealthiest cattle barons in the territory. But her new husband won’t tolerate lies, and trouble looms from the threat of a business rival. To compound matters, Lola’s worst fears are realized when her stepfather kidnaps her, throwing everything into chaos.

Amazon

Shameful Celia

After Celia’s husband dies in a freak accident, she is forced to answer a mail order bride ad, hoping to wed quickly. After arriving in Boot Creek, her fiancé, Earnest Hobart, is shocked to learn that not only has she been married before, but Celia’s also heavily pregnant. Pastor Nicolas Kinsley must step in to help, offering the mother-to-be a place to stay in the Men’s Emporium, where he lives. He falls hard for Celia, but a secret from his past threatens to destroy any chance of happiness.

Amazon

Coming soon… Spoiled Evelyn

A woman of means, Evelyn Warner refuses to marry the man her family insists upon, fleeing with her maid, Tory, to the New Mexico Territory. Believing she has successfully escaped, hiding under the guise of a mail order bride, Evelyn is hesitant to marry Percy Vanguard, although he is from a respectable family and kindhearted. A chance encounter with Boot Creek’s most notorious bachelor, Chuck Brittle, in a stairwell, stuns Evelyn, especially when he takes her in his arms and kisses her. Trouble is never far behind, though, and the past is about to catch up with her.

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