The Preacher: Bachelors of the Prairie

Preacher_600x900

 

It will take a strong man to tame her…

Accustomed to running wild and free, Winter Maynard finds herself in a mountain town in Colorado, hiding out, while her outlaw brother ties up loose ends. Upon meeting the town’s preacher, who kindly offers her water, she’s drawn to the man, who she senses isn’t who he claims to be. No man of the cloth could look that handsome in a frock coat.

Turning over a new leaf, Pastor Creed Douglas vows to atone for the sins of the past–until the moment Winter Maynard sets foot in town. The winsome blonde, dressed as a man and filthy from the road, intrigues him. Smitten, Creed struggles with his desires, torn between love and duty. It will take a strong man to tame a woman like Winter, and he knows he’s more than capable, but she’s determined to resist him, running straight into disaster.

Here is a short preview of The Preacher: Bachelors of the Prairie

I had known lust before, having succumbed to it often enough, and having fought the temptation over the years. Once I left prison, I knew I would go west to start again, leaving behind family and a sense of disappointment in life. I had paid for my crime—dearly—losing everything. Turning over a new leaf, I vowed to devote myself to helping others, trying to atone for what I did. In that respect, lust was a distraction I could not afford.
That’s all I feel for that woman …
Is it?
Yes, of course it is … she’s a stranger … she has her own secrets …
It had been too long since I’d had a woman, but … I needed to hold myself to a higher standard. I had to set an example for all the folks of Animas City, all the people who looked up to me for guidance and support. My needs came second, but … pushing aside the feelings from last night proved difficult, my mind drifting … remembering the way Winter had felt in my arms.
“Pastor Douglas?” Clara Richards stared at me, her eyes soft and inquisitive. “Have you been listening to me?”
“Yes, I have, my dear. I’m sorry.” I smiled regretfully. “Please go on.” She had just had a baby, the infant asleep in the basket at our feet. We sat towards the front of the church on a pew. “You were speaking about Tom.”
“Yes, my husband.” Her expression fell. “He’s gone again. I know his business takes him away, but I find myself up most of the night with the baby. I’m dreadfully tired all the time. I miss my family.” Tears filled her eyes. “My mother writes faithfully, begging me to come home. I don’t know why I married a railway man. If the train were here, I’d be taking it back to Virginia quite often.”
I nodded, trying my best to concentrate on what she said.
“I yearn for city life. He promised that we would live in Denver, but now he’s far too busy with the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad’s San Juan extension. That’s all he speaks about. You know, they’re hoping it comes through Animas.”
“We all must bear the burden of life, I’m afraid.”
“But when we married, he promised to be with me!” She’d raised her voice, several people glancing our way. Then she whispered, “He should be home with us.”
“Yet he must earn a living to support you and baby. If given a choice, I’m sure he’d rather be with you. This business won’t go on forever. Once he’s finished, he shall return to you.”
“I know that, but I don’t like it one bit. I want my husband! Why is the Lord punishing me like this?”
I flipped through the Bible, finding a bookmark. “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.” I summarized the reading of 1 Peter 1:6.
She stared at me, her lower lip protruding. “I do feel this has been a trial. I’m just so tired, Pastor.”
“Your faith in the Lord shall give you the strength to endure. I know it will. As always, you must pray on the matter, Mrs. Richards. An answer will come to you. I suggest you speak to some of the other mothers in town. They can offer you advice to help the little one sleep better.”
“But then I’ll feel like a failure.” Tears formed in her eyes. “I thought motherhood would be a blessing in my life; instead, I’m thoroughly exhausted all the time. I cry all day long.”
“That’s quite common with new mothers. You’re not a failure, Mrs. Richards.” I glanced at the sleeping infant, finding her face lovely. “You’ve a beautiful daughter. She’s healthy and happy. You’ve a husband who cares for you, seeing to your welfare.” I appraised her, finding her attractive. “You’re in the prime of health yourself. You really must count your blessings. You’ve many of them. This period of turmoil shall not last. Think of yourself as a traveler, passing through troubled water. You can still capture joy during times of tribulation.”
She mulled that over, her eyes lowering to the gloved hands in her lap. “Yes, Pastor. You’re right.”
“Speak to other mothers,” I encouraged. “I’ll have a word with Mrs. Boone. She’ll know more about this than I. She’s quite active in the community. If you share your burden, it’s not as terribly heavy.”
“I feel a little better now speaking to you. You always know what to say to make it better, Pastor. Thank you.”
“It’s my pleasure, Mrs. Richards.”
“I wanted to ask you something personal. I hope I won’t offend you.”
“Yes?”
“You’re rather young yourself, young enough to have a wife and family. Is there a Mrs. Douglas in your future?”
“I’m far too busy tending to my congregation at the moment to concern myself with such things.” She eyed me askew, doubting that remark. “I won’t rule anything out. I’m not opposed to marrying. I should do so, in fact. It’s up to me to set a good example for the folks of Animas City.”
“The ladies seem to like you.”
This tickled my pride, which bothered me, making me uncomfortable. “I consider everyone among my friends.”
“I’ve embarrassed you. I’m sorry. Thank you for speaking to me, Pastor. It’s been helpful.”
“I’m glad.” I got to my feet. “Now, if you’ll excuse me.”
“Yes, Pastor.”
These were the moments that I felt I did some good in the world, although my contribution often felt miniscule. Heading toward my office, I passed several people who prayed. A cup of tea would be lovely, my mind returning to the events of last night.
Blasted! I have to get that out of my head. I can’t think of what happened … how … wonderful she felt in my arms …
I knew I’d left the door open, but I found it shut. That was odd. Stepping into the room, I faced a man in a wide-brimmed hat, who sat behind my desk, although, when he lifted his chin, he was a woman instead.
“Winter?”
“Howdy, Pastor. We need to have a little talk.”

***

Having sat at Pastor Douglas’s desk for nearly an hour, I realized coming here had been a mistake. I should have taken the horse and left. The situation seemed impossible now, this feeling of desperation entirely familiar. Like a cornered wolf set upon by hunters, I had to secure my freedom—by any means necessary.
“Winter?”
“Howdy, Pastor. We need to have a little talk.” I eyed him from the seat behind the desk, disturbed by how appealing I found him, his handsome face in the doorway. “Close the door.”
“Is this about last night?”
“Not especially. Close the door, would you?”
He did so, facing me, a curious expression on his face. “What is it, Winter?”
“I’m in a bit of a bind. You could call it … trouble. It has a way of finding me. My plans have changed. I’m leavin’ town just as soon as I’m done here.” Getting to my feet, I held a revolver, pointing it at him. “I sure am sorry about this, but,” I shrugged, “it can’t be helped. I’d normally never do this, especially not to a clergyman, but … I’m goin’ to hell anyhow, so … ”
“What sort of trouble are you in? I can help you.”
“Oh, you sure can. I’ll need whatever money you got. All of it.”
He frowned, sighing. “What’s happening? Please tell me what’s wrong.”
“It wouldn’t matter. The only thing you need to know is that … you’re a lovely man. I could see myself falling in love with a fella like you. I sure did like kissing you. I would’ve liked … doing other things with you too. You’re the only man I’ve ever felt that way about. As usual, I’m gonna ruin it, because that’s the story of my life.” The gun shook in my hand, a sudden case of regret weakening me. “I’ll be outta your hair soon enough, Pastor. I just need some money.”
“You’re with that train robbing gang, aren’t you?”
“It doesn’t really matter at this point. I’ve somewhere else I need to be.” Stepping out from behind the desk, I approached him, the gun firmly in my grip. “Now, please give me what I asked for. I’ve already wasted enough time waiting for you.”
His dark eyes drifted over my face, regret swimming in their depths. “We can work this out some other way, Winter. You needn’t continue to run. I can speak to the authorities on your behalf. We can clear up the matter in no time.”
I shook my head. “Nope. I’m guilty as sin. I’ll go to prison for what I’ve done. I’m not about to let that happen. All I need is some traveling money. I know you have it.”
“It’s not mine,” he said softly. “You’d be stealing from the members of my congregation.”
“Like I said, I’m goin’ to hell anyway.” Impatience made me want to hurry, the time ticking away, lessening my chance of escape. “Money now, please.”
His mouth formed a grim line. “I forgive you, Winter.” He moved to the desk, retrieving a key from a pocket to unlock a drawer.
“What?”
“I forgive you for robbing me.”
“I didn’t ask for your forgiveness. I don’t care a continental about it.”
“One day you might.”
“I doubt I’ll live long enough for it to matter much.”
He didn’t like that, anger distorting his face. “We all do things we shouldn’t. Everyone has regrets.” From a leather bag, he withdrew a stack of bills. “I’ll give this to you, but I wish you’d reconsider.”
“I won’t.” I watched him warily, concerned he might have a weapon of his own. I suspected he knew how to use one. The money came my way, but instead of leaving it on the desk, he grasped my wrist instead, flicking the revolver out of my grasp.
In the space of an instant, he had disarmed me. “Tarnation!” I shouted. He pulled me to him, a steely arm around my back. He was far stronger than he looked. Startled, I met his gaze, my heart pounding in my chest. “Blasted, I should’ve just shot you.”
“I can help you.”
“No, you can’t. This isn’t your concern anyhow. You’ve your flock to tend. You’ve the Lord’s business to conduct. You’re not really a preacher, though, are you?”
“I am now.”
“You’ve your own secrets.”
“Who doesn’t?”
“What will you do?” Although he’d disarmed and captured me, I still had a knife in my boot.
“I’ll beg you to reconsider.”
“No.”
It would be just a matter of time before the detective came pounding on the door. My horse waited at the livery, while the chance of freedom had all but slipped through my hands. I could have kicked him or stabbed him to secure my release, but instead, I grasped his face, feeling the rough quality of the skin there.
“Goodbye, Pastor.”
I kissed him, not being able to hide the way I felt. He held me even tighter, his mouth slanting over mine, hungry and eager. Our tongues met in an instant, the passion suddenly out of control. He tasted like sweet bread and honey, a heady combination, making me want so much more. His lips grazed my cheek, his ragged breath in my ear.
“Winter … ”
A moment of clarity had me reaching for the gun and the bundle of money, holding both in my hands. “Thank you kindly, Pastor.” I nodded briskly, the hat having fallen askew from the kiss. “That sure was a nice sendoff, but I really must be goin’ now.” The revolver slid into the holster at my thigh, the money disappearing into the pocket of the frock coat. “You take care now, you hear?”
The look of regret and disappointment on his face was almost too much to bear. Turning on my heel, I needed to distance myself from the man, both relieved and saddened I would never see him again. Perhaps if things had been different, if we had met under better circumstances, we might not have to say goodbye, but … my brother needed me. He was all the family I had left in the world.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Lawman

Lawman_600x900

I just released another Bachelors of the Prairie book!

The Lawman is now available for 99cents for a limited time.

She’s determined to be a successful businesswoman…

He’s ready to arrest her…

Called to investigate a shooting incident at the new brothel in town, Sheriff Graham Winston is stunned to find its owner a woman. Charlotte Morris is determined to be successful, but fate conspires against her, leading to a confrontation with the local sheriff. The attraction is immediate, the connection unbreakable, but Charlotte has vowed never to remarry, having resigned herself to widowhood. Graham has other ideas though… because the lovely young madam is far too tantalizing to resist.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Bachelors of the Prairie

Gambler,The_600x900_72dpi

Bachelors of the Prairie

I’m publishing a new Wild West series filled with handsome heroes and sassy damsels in distress. The first in the Bachelors of the Prairie series is The Gambler.

Now available for 99 cents or free with Kindle Unlimited!

After stealing money from a handsome gambler who kindly offered her assistance, Lea Duncan runs from him, although the memory of that night will haunt her forever. The beauty with the emerald green eyes played him for a fool, which is something Nash can never forgive. Gambling with ruthless intensity and skill, he’s amassed a fortune, heading west to secure land. That is, until he stumbles upon an old enemy—the stunning saloon girl who hurt his pride, stole his money, and made off with his heart.

AUW_Audio_600x600

An Unexpected Widow – Audio Book Edition

The first book in The Colorado Brides Series is now available as an audio book at Amazon, iTunes, and Audible.

Hannah Hoffman Clark is the spirited young wife of Denver City’s only preacher, Frank Clark. After arriving by wagon to the howling wilderness of the unexplored west, they settled on land, built a home, and began what they thought would be a long and prosperous life together. After an accident leaves Frank without feeling in his legs, the dream of self-sufficiency suddenly slips away, but even more tragedy is on the horizon for Hannah.

Once widowed, she struggles to cope with her loss, relying on those her husband had hired, especially Nathan Weaver, a no good gambler and drunkard. While the tenuous hold she has on her sanity crumbles, her connection with Nathan becomes something far greater than she could have ever imagined, but her family would be scandalized if she married such a man.

One should never judge a book by its cover, and Nathan, although rough around the edges and crude, has his heart in the right place, and it belongs to Hannah… if only she could see it.

Leave a comment

Filed under romance, Uncategorized

Jessica: Orphans on the Frontier

Brides of the Rockies Covers 14_600x900

Jessica: Orphans on the Frontier

Available now for a limited time for just 99 cents!

The moment Lachlan Garrett and his men set foot in town, Jessica Hardtock knows there will be trouble. The handsome cowboy, with his easy manner and lazy smile, steals her breath away. However, having escaped from danger as a child, she’s learned men can never be trusted.

Having come west in search of a trio of cold-blooded killers, Lachlan is stunned to find Snowcastle, a town not on any map. There is something peculiar about its sheriff as well. His instincts tell him the boy with the shorn blonde hair isn’t a male at all, but a woman—a beautiful woman.

Fate has brought them together, but the shadows of the past are closing in. Jessica will have to trust the handsome rancher, or else risk the welfare of the town, and the life she’s dreamed of. She is in danger of losing it all—especially her heart, because there is something about Lachlan she cannot resist.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Montana Sky Series at Kindle World

WesleysUnexpectedBride_600x900

Various authors have written books set in Debra Holland’s 1880’s world of Sweetwater Springs and Morgan’s Crossing, Montana. I wrote Wesley’s Unexpected Bride for this world, and it’s available now on Amazon.

Widower Wesley Briggs is content to raise his son and work his ranch alone, until one of his cowhands, Rory Wise, who has already ordered a mail order bride, breaks his back in a fall. When Wesley fetches Rory’s bride from the station, he encounters a lovely, vulnerable woman.

After her father’s death, Frances Brewbaker and her four sisters must find husbands at once. Agreeing to move to Montana and marry a stranger, she embarks on the adventure. She is met at the depot, not by her intended, but by his employer, who she finds appealing and ruggedly handsome.

Faced with the prospect of losing her intended, Frances must decide if she will stay in the Montana Territory. The widower and his son, Jason, are much in need of a woman’s touch to soften their rough edges. Jason adores her, yet Wesley’s feelings are infinitely more complex, because he has fallen in love with Frances. Can he convince her to stay and marry him?

Leave a comment

Filed under romance, Uncategorized

The Mail Order Brides of Boot Creek Anthology

TEST_Series_600x600

The Mail Order Brides of Boot Creek Anthology

99 cents for a limited time!

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.

Desperate Lola

Lola Parsons is 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.

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.

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.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Trinity

Trinity_600x900

Happy Holidays!

Trinity: Bride of West Virginia is now available. My book is number 35 of a 50 book series of mail-order brides featuring a story from every state by 45 different authors of historical romance. We’ve been working hard to organize this super-secret project. Soon they will all be available, with a new release every day. Buy them or get them for free with Kindle Unlimited.

Here is Trinity’s love story:

After a fire at the Brown Textile Mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts, twenty-two-year old Trinity Kroger agrees to become a mail order bride, traveling to West Virginia. Her intended, Mr. John Witherspoon, is nearly fifty-eight-years old. Shocked by the age difference, it is far too late to change her mind, the ceremony taking place immediately.

Nathanial Witherspoon tries to stop his father from making a grave mistake, arriving at City Hall too late. The shabbily dressed young woman in his father’s company cannot be his new stepmother. It would be impossible, because, although poor and uneducated, she’s the loveliest thing he has ever seen.

Trinity is drawn to Nathanial, who showers her with gifts and clothing, writing heartfelt letters. She came to West Virginia to find a place of belonging. Never could she have imagined falling in love so deeply—so passionately, yet not with her husband. Nathanial has stolen her heart, but they can never be together.

Read more about the historic 50-book mail-order bride endeavor at http://happyeverafter.usatoday.com/2015/12/10/becky-lower-american-mail-order-brides-series-kirsten-osbourne/

Find all of the mail-order brides at http://www.newwesternromance.com/

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized