Eighteen-year-old Penelope Langton lives a quiet life as a cook for a wealthy family in 1880 Chicago. She’s resigned that her life will remain routine and uneventful. Marriage is the furthest thing from her mind. Her best friend tries to convince her to leave before her employer’s despicable nephew returns for the summer.
Penelope believes her friend’s plan to become a mail-order bride is foolish. With her friend gone and the family’s nephew’s early arrival, Penelope finds herself fighting for her virtue and looking for employment.
Will Penelope find a way to freedom and safety by becoming a mail-order bride? A visit to the matchmaker seems her only way out, but will her new life as a bride be more complicated than the life she leaves behind?
Meet Penelope and the wonderful, heart-warming residents in the town of Gentle Falls in this sweet historical romance.
The train wheels screeched jerking to a stop, and Penelope stood her legs a bit shaky. She reached up and took down her satchel. She carried it in one hand and her reticule in the other. Ready or not, she stepped off the train to meet her future.
Penelope watched people greet others. People left the train and others hurried to board it before it left. She heard the train whistle and the conductor call out for passengers to hurry aboard. The platform was emptying, and she felt very alone. The people standing around seemed to know each other. She didn’t see a young man anywhere. Where was Matthew? Panic ripped through her. Was it a joke? Surely not if he paid money for a ticket. Maybe he was a womanizer and was busy with another woman and forgot about her. That must be it. He wasn’t coming. She said a silent prayer of thanksgiving for the extra money Mrs. Carster gave her. She could afford a room in the hotel or rooming house until the sheriff found Matthew and he sent her home. She wanted to go back. Although she didn’t have a home, she could go to Aggie’s. That was her plan. She’d find a rooming house, look for Matthew, get a return ticket, go back to Aggie’s, and find a job in Chicago. She was an excellent cook. The mayor’s wife loved her chocolate cake. She could find employment in a restaurant or bakery. She could do this. She picked up her satchel and headed toward the ticket office to inquire about a boarding house when she heard her name.
Penelope turned at the sound of her name expecting to see Matthew although the voice she heard was female. “Miss Penelope Langton,” an attractive dark haired woman close to her mother’s age called.
Penelope nodded, “Yes, that’s me.” She walked toward the woman and the tall older man standing next to her.
The woman reached out and shook Penelope’s hand. “It’s nice to meet you. I’m Miranda Greiner, and this is my husband, Roy.”
The man nodded.
Miranda continued, “Matthew works on our farm. We met your train to make sure you’re all right and to let you know Mathew’s gone.”
“Gone?” Penelope gasped not being able to stop the tears that immediately ran freely down her cheeks. “Why does everyone die? Why me? What have I ever done?” Her sobs increased, and she couldn’t speak.
I was born in Wisconsin and lived there until I was eighteen. Then I spent eight years in Washington state and California before returning to Wisconsin. I love historical sites, eerie places, and books. I began with a love of Nancy Drew books and Saturday afternoon Westerns at the movies. When I am not writing, I am reading or watching sunsets. I enjoy making up stories about people I meet or see on the street. I can see a story in a picture, especially if the picture is eerie or American Western. My imagination runs wild and free. I have self-published fourteen books in four genres: historical romance, paranormal, cozy mystery and tried my hand at a thriller, Kathryn’s Justice. I am sure my muse will guide me into another story plot.