An Unexpected Mother, the fourth book in The Colorado Brides Series, chronicling the lives of the Hoffman sisters and their bid to find love in Denver City, is now available on Amazon as well as B&N Nook and iTunes.
Now it’s Fanny’s turn to travel west, hoping to marry a man she has been corresponding with for a year. After her husband dies unexpectedly, she discovers that she is a stepmother to his sister’s five children, which he had been caring for. Pastor Jack Bailey has the unfortunate duty of delivering the shocking news, incurring the brunt of her anger.
When the oldest, Jane, goes missing, Fanny and Jack are desperate to find her before tragedy strikes. While on the rescue mission, they discover a surprising attraction that has been simmering, hiding behind a veil of animosity. The bond they share will bring this family together.
I’ve started writing the first book in The Arizona Brides Series. The stories center around four sisters, who have never known their mother, a notorious madam. She gave the babies away at birth. While on her deathbed, she writes each a letter, informing them of their parentage and naming their fathers.
These books are sassier than The Colorado Brides Series and infused with humor. The girls set out to find their fathers, encountering train robberies, gunfights, kidnappings, and love. They will finally meet in the end, but only after surviving outrageous adventure.
The first book of the next series is An Audacious Spitfire. This is slated for a late July release.
The Arizona Brides Series will be available later this summer.
Here is an excerpt of An Unexpected Mother:
We were in the Nave. “Do sit here for a moment. I’m going to find him.” I strode down the aisle, inhaling the light scent of incense. Pastor Bailey was in the small office, sitting behind the desk. He glanced up when I entered; his expression was unguarded for a moment, revealing distaste.
“I’ve brought the children.” He seemed confused for a moment. Had he forgotten our shared responsibilities?
The quill he had been using was left on a sheet of paper. “How can I help you?”
“Truly? You don’t remember?”
“From all accounts, I’ve heard things are going well. When the children are adjusting so beautifully, why would you want to upset everything?”
“Oh, I see. It’s quite all right for my life to be turned upside down, but heaven forbid you’re inconvenienced in any way.”
“They aren’t my children. I wouldn’t uproot them at this juncture. They’re adjusting well—”
“How do you know that? I’m the one dealing with them. My sister’s house is filled with more people than she knows what to do with. She’s been dreadfully inconvenienced. I’ve three girls in my bedroom! I haven’t had a moment of peace since Sunday, when I was told that I was suddenly a mother.” What was it about him that provoked my anger so quickly?
“I…meant to come and—”
“Hogwash! You had no intention of checking on us. How you were named pastor for this community is beyond me. You’ve shown absolutely no compassion at all for your parishioners, especially…especially me! You could care less about the stresses I’ve been suffering.” I glanced around the book-lined space. Everything seemed well-organized. “You’re here in your nice little office, writing letters in peace and solitude, while I’m feeding and washing up after five children. I won’t even bore you with how many hours I spend driving back and forth to town every day.”
He had gotten to his feet, towering over the deck. “Must you provoke a fight each time we meet?”
“I certainly don’t mean to.”
“I’ve been thinking about this situation.”
He appeared to be taking a deep breath. “I sympathize with your plight, Mrs. Hatch, but the children aren’t related to me in any way. I’m willing to guide them down the spiritual path to commune with our Lord, but I am not obligated to see to their care and maintenance. With the exception of homelessness, of course, but that’s not the case here. I’ve collected the names of several families who are willing to take them, but none will have all five at once.”
That was the last thing I had wanted to hear. “I see.” My shoulders were back, as I fumed with irritation. “You won’t lift a finger to share in the responsibility, because you feel it’s a hardship for them to go back and forth between our houses, but you have no qualms about splitting them up. YOU WOULD RATHER HAVE THEM SEPARATED!”
“Please lower your voice.”
“Coming here has been an enormous waste of time. I should’ve known you’d be completely unreliable. You—how old are you, if I may ask?”
“I’m not twenty-five yet.” The question seemed to perplex him.
“I assume you’re unmarried.”
“Well, I can see why.”
A hint of pink appeared on his cheeks. “I beg your pardon?”
“You might be capable of delivering a rather tepid sermon, but you lack in other essentials.”
“Before you continue on this path,” his voice held a hint of warning, “I’ll politely ask you not to judge my character by what little you’ve seen.”
“Oh, I’ve seen more than enough. I thought we’d reached an agreement the other day, but you’ve gone back on your word, which means your word is worth nothing.”
Knowing that I would now have to deal with the children on my own brought the reality of the situation into sobering focus. Whatever hopes and dreams I had for my future would have to either be abandoned or postponed.
He must have sensed my distress, because his features softened slightly, as he stared steadily. “I’m sorry for the situation you find yourself in, Mrs. Hatch. I know the children are a shock. I’m appalled that Jason lied to you. Such behavior was beneath him; it really was. I wish I could help you, but, although you find my sermons less than inspiring, others count on me to deliver them. You may not think much of me in that regard,” his brows had drawn together, “but hopefully you’ll see things with greater clarity in the future.” He looked concerned. “Are you all right?”