What Dark Power Makes YOUR Heart Beat?
About the Author
Getting A Second Chance At Love
Genre: multi-genre romance
Sometimes, when life takes us in unexpected or unwanted directions, we hope for a second chance. Dive into this mesmerizing selection of stories that feature second chances at love or life. From drama and suspense to passion and love, get ready for multiple journeys that will satisfy the romance lover in you. From 7 best-selling romance authors who also brought you the Summer Solstice collection, enjoy these heartwarming stories while the cold days of winter set in.
A thrilling novel of romantic suspense from author Sylvie Grayson.
After losing her husband to a deadly illness, Julia Butler is determined to look after her family, but this is the 1930’s and times are tough for everyone. As the endless string of jobless men trudges past her farm, she does her best to hang on. Then two strangers suddenly appear at her home. They are hiding something that places her family in danger, and nothing will ever be the same.
Dr. Will Stofford has become disillusioned with women. In an effort to heal his broken heart, he leaves his brothers behind and sets up his medical practice in the Kootenays where no one knows him.
Meeting Julia throws his plans into chaos. Will can’t turn his back on a challenge and he won’t rest until he solves this puzzle and puts things right.
If marrying Julia is part of the solution, then so much the better.
Life is full of complications, so why not have an uncomplicated arrangement between friends?
Former figure skater Caitlin Aimes doesn’t care to make life complicated. Publicly humiliated by her ex-fiancé years ago, she closes herself off to relationships and love. She never thought she’d be that girl- the one having a friends-with-benefits relationship. No complications, right?
Wrong. This holiday season, the unexpected happens, catching Caitlin and Ron off guard…
Ron Mercer lost his wife four years ago and has no plans to commit himself to another relationship. Life as a widower with two teenagers is already complicated enough. But in a world constantly changing, he finds himself in a predicament he never expected….
The arrangement they made has consequences which neither ever prepared for. Caitlin and Ron are in for a Christmas like they’d never had before.
Susie and Reggie return to the Behind the Love Trilogy as the main characters in this romance. Susie and Reggie have been together since high school. When they watch good friends Dean and Leah find happiness, they both know something in their relationship must change. Susie believes that means marriage; she didn’t expect it to be Reggie deciding they needed a break from one another.
While on break, a handsome publisher comes back to Victory to sweep Susie off her feet, while the voluptuous Sally Jean works her charms on Reggie. Meanwhile, the Victory Tavern owned by Reggie grows into a star attraction for the town. Dean and Leah help, and Susie’s sister Lisa returns home and provides Susie some much needed answers to the questions about their father. Reggie nearly loses everything in a bet that jeopardizes the Tavern. Secrets revealed bring more questions. When Reggie realizes Susie is the woman he loves, Susie must decide if she can ever trust him again.
Before either of them can move forward to a life together, they must realize their past does not define them.
For teenage musical prodigy Ophelia Stewart, life couldn’t get any better. A loving family, a friend closer than a sister, and big dreams to pursue. A perfect life until Ophelia’s world is shattered. A disaster claiming her parents forces her into a center for emotionally damaged children taking her far from her best friend. Lost and alone, Ophelia tries to cut herself off from all the other young people there, but Teodore De Luca, refuses to be put off. Breaking through her restraint, the young man encroaches on her life, and becomes her new support system.
What does the future hold for them? Ophelia wants to achieve her dreams but will that leave a place for Teo in her life? How can she choose between the man she loves and her passion for music? Can she ever truly commit herself to him? Or is their love destined to be crushed under the weight of her career?
Lilah Canfield has one last chance to save her career as a country music performer with a performance at Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth. Bad thing is the worst snow storm in a century has hit the Texas Panhandle making passage on the highways dangerous at best and closed at worst. When her motor coach slides off the road into a snow bank outside her hometown of Mistletoe, Texas, will Lilah make her gig and save her career? Or will she give it all up for a second chance at love?
Two years after the death of his wife, Sheriff’s Deputy Jack McCommas is ready to move forward for himself and his eight year old daughter. When he and a friend stop to help the folks in a stranded motor coach, he can’t believe Lilah Canfield’s standing in front of him and is literally shocked to realize the old spark is still there when they touch. He uncovers a plot to sideline Lilah’s career and realizes he has a dilemma. If he solves the mystery and she chooses her music, will he be able to let her go a second time? Or will he try to convince her to stay in Mistletoe?
Two years ago, Jenny Carter chose her career over the love of her life. Her career is soaring and she’s on the cusp of her dream promotion. Jenny’s too focused to even realize she’s missing a key element in her happily ever after. When her ex-fiancé Ty Sullivan unexpectedly moves to Seattle, shock is soon replaced by suspicion as he steals her client and threatens her promotion. What Jenny can’t deny though, is the way the one man she has ever loved still makes her heart race. For a second time, she’ll have to decide if her ambitions are more important than her heart.
Worse than the ultimatum he delivered in the heat of the moment, Ty regrets not leaving Boston with Jenny Carter. It took him two years, but now that he’s in Seattle, he’s determined to win her back, no matter what it takes. He’s not surprised she’s still holding a grudge, but her seething anger has him wondering how he’ll ever break through to her passionate heart. When they fall into old habits, he knows they have to break the cycle, but earning her trust could be the biggest challenge he’s ever faced.
JUSTINE CHARLES is still trying to put the pieces of her life together seven years after a disastrous extra-marital affair. She’s raising a troubled teenage daughter and six-year-old Emile, the result of her indiscretion.
A chance meeting drops the still-scorching Xavier McKellop back on her radar. Her former lover is hurt and furious that Justine has kept his son’s birth a secret. She has little choice when Xavier demands time with Emile.
Though the moments between Justine and Xavier are tense, it’s evident the flame of attraction between them still burns hot. And just as she begins to hope and dream about being with the only man who ever stirred her heart, body and soul, Justine’s life is thrown into chaos. Her daughter discovers Justine’s betrayal and Xavier’s soon-to-be ex-wife wants him back.
This time around, in her quest for love, Justine might not only lose her deepest desire, but everything she holds dear.
Sylvie Grayson loves to write about suspense, romance and attempted murder, and has published romantic suspense novels- Suspended Animation, Legal Obstruction, and The Lies He Told Me, all about strong women who meet with dangerous odds, stories of tension and attraction. She has also written The Last War series, a sci fi/fantasy adventure, the first books, Khandarken Rising, and Son of the Emperor which were released in 2015 and Truth and Treachery, Book Three was released in 2016.
She has lived in British Columbia, Canada, in spots ranging from Vancouver Island to the North Peace River and the Kootenays in the beautiful interior. She has been an English language instructor, a nightclub manager, an auto shop bookkeeper and a lawyer. She lives in southern British Columbia with her husband on a small piece of land near the Pacific Ocean.
Nikki Lynn Barrett: I’m an avid lover of books. I’ve been writing as far back as I can remember, completing my first “book” by fifth grade in one of those one subject spiral notebooks. I have a passion for music, photography, jewelry and all things creative. I live in Arizona with my husband and son, but dream of being somewhere much colder and stormier. For now, I’ll have to live that life through my characters and stick it out with the summer heat.
Bestselling author, P.C. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.
Many of her novels contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. “Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife – both human and animal – supply my fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.” Her Behind the Love trilogy – contemporary romance – is also set in Florida, but she’s now working on a series set in the Smoky Mountains.
Her fiction contains the elements most dear to her heart, ranging from love to the environment. All of her novels contain elements of romance with strong female characters and descriptive settings. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion, and through her fiction she imparts this philosophy in an entertaining manner with an obvious love for her characters, plot, and themes.
“Drama, true love, tattoos…and everything in between!”
Jude Ouvrard is an author who writes from the heart, and reads with passion and devotion. Jude enjoys stories of drama, true love, tattoos, and everything in between. While writing is her therapy, reading is her solace. Life doesn’t get better than books and chocolate, and maybe a little bit of shopping.
A romance lover, Jude writes about love, pain, heartbreak and matters that will challenge your heart. A book can tell an unexpected story, no matter which directions it takes. Jude embraces words that have haunted her for years.
Jude is a working mom who dedicates her time to a law firm and writing books. She has an energetic superhero son, and a supportive boyfriend of many years. Her family is her rock; she could not survive without them. Born a country girl, she transformed into a city woman who now lives in Montreal, Canada. Although French is her first language, Jude decided to write in English because she liked the challenge.
Best Selling Author, Carra Copelin, writes Contemporary and Historical Romantic Suspense books set mainly in Texas about Texans. Her stories revolve around love and family.
She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Yellow Rose Romance Writers, plus she’s a regular contributor to the blogs, Smart Girls Read Romance and Sweethearts of the West. She is a member of The Daughters of the Republic of Texas.
She and her husband live in North Central Texas, in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, home of the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers baseball, and the Dallas Stars hockey team. They enjoy living close to their family and grandchildren. In addition to writing and researching for the next story, Carra enjoys her Bridge group, crochet, and tracking down relatives through genealogy.
Big dreamer and certifiable overachiever Susan Ann Wall embraces life at full speed and volume. She’s a beer and tea snob, can be bribed with dark chocolate, and the #1 thing on her bucket list is to be the center of a Bon Jovi flash mob. Susan is a nationally bestselling, multi-genre author of racy, rule-breaking romance and women’s fiction. Her bragging rights include the Fighting Back for Love series, Puget Sound ~ Alive With Love series, Superstitious Brides Romance series, Sunset Valley Women’s Fiction series, and Devon Taggart Suspense series. She also likes to boast about her three perfect children, two amazing rescue dogs, and a happily ever after that started while serving in the U.S. Army and has spanned two decades (which is crazy since she’s not a day over 29). In her next life, Susan plans to be a 5 foot 10, size 8 rock star married to a chiropractor and will not be terrified of large bridges, spiders, or quiet people (shiver).
J.L. Campbell is an award-winning, Jamaican author who writes romantic suspense, women’s fiction, new and young adult novels. She has written thirteen books, four novellas and two short story collections.
Her novels include the Island Adventure Romance series, which currently has five exciting, stand-alone stories and features feisty women and determined men. Campbell’s mission is to write stories that entertain and educate readers. She also writes under the pen name Jayda McTyson.
She is a certified editor, who also writes non-fiction.
I have the pleasure of having Kristy McCaffrey here today.
She is a beautiful lady and extremely talented author. I am excited to read her new release.
Tell us a bit about yourself. I live in Arizona with my husband and two chocolate labs, Ranger and Lily. Our four children are mostly grown but still return home to litter the floor with laundry and eat all our food. I love to read, do yoga at home, and travel. I’ve been writing professionally for 13 years (historical western romances) and have published 6 novels, 1 long novella and several short stories.
How much research goes into your books, and how do you tackle that?
Since I enjoy research so much I can’t say if I do too much or too little. Over the years, however, I’ve gotten better at it—I don’t waste a lot of time investigating useless avenues. When I wrote my first book, THE WREN, I read an entire tome on the history of Texas. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed with information. These days, I begin with a preliminary pass on setting and general history of an area before writing anything. After the first draft, I do specific research based on the needs of the story.
In your new release, THE BLUEBIRD, what sets your heroine Molly Rose Simms apart from all the other women in your hero’s (Jake McKenna) life? Why is she perfect for him?
Molly Rose is a dreamer but she’s never gone anywhere. Because Jake is an adventurer, she’s naturally drawn to him. In her, he sees the one thing he’s traveled the world to find—a sense of awe and wonder. He’s also in need of an anchor and doesn’t realize this until she blasts into his life.
Can you give us a little background on your hero Jake McKenna that’s only in your author notes, and not found in your story? What inspired you to create this character?
My initial impression of Jake was happy-go-lucky. The first 4 novels in my Wings of the West series were serious and heavy in the plotlines, so I really wanted to make this novel fun and adventurous. Jake has evolved into a worldly man, having traveled to far off places. I read a lot of historical memoirs and they helped to shape his character.
Do you have any words of inspiration for aspiring authors?
Keep going. It sounds cliché, but you truly learn by doing. It doesn’t seem like writing should be that hard, but it takes skill to work with words and imagery. I’m constantly learning new things. I really love it. You’ll know if you’re not meant to be a writer because the tediousness of it will easily drive you away. But if it doesn’t, then you’ve found your passion and your tribe.
Amazon or read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited.
99 cents for a limited time.
Can be read as a stand-alone novel.
Molly Rose Simms departs the Arizona Territory, eager for adventure, and travels to Colorado to visit her brother. Robert left two years ago to make his fortune in the booming silver town of Creede, and now Molly Rose hopes to convince him to accompany her to San Francisco, New York City, or even Europe. But Robert is nowhere to be found. All Molly Rose finds is his partner, a mysterious man known as The Jackal.
Jake McKenna has traveled the bustling streets of Istanbul, exotic ports in China, and the deserts of Morocco. His restless desire to explore has been the only constant in his life. When his search for the elusive and mythical Bluebird mining claim lands him a new partner, he must decide how far he’ll go to protect the stunning young woman who’s clearly in over her head. A home and hearth has never been on The Jackal’s agenda, but Molly Rose Simms is about to change his world in every conceivable way.
Please note: Contains mild violence and a sensuous love scene.
As Jake contemplated getting a good stiff drink himself, he glanced to the staircase and froze.
Molly descended slowly, her eyes cast downward as she lifted the front of the ornate gown she wore. The dark blue material showcased a figure her clothes had only hinted at before, and her hair swept away from her face into an array of curls that made Jake itch to bury his fingers into the tresses. Her bosom peeked enticingly from the ruffled edge of the gown, the creamy hue of her skin reminding him of a full moon in the warm embrace of a starless night.
His legs carried him closer to the bottom step as his eyes remained fixed on her, his heart racing. He hadn’t been this nervous around a woman since…well, ever.
He’d lost his virginity at age sixteen with an experienced madam in Casablanca, and from that moment on, women had been a pleasant diversion, nothing more.
Molly glanced up, startled by his presence, then an elated smile spread across her face. She hurried toward him but tripped on the gown and flew into his arms.
Jake caught her just in time before she hit the floor. “Too much sherry?” He gently eased her to her feet, holding her a tad longer than appropriate.
With a flushed face, she stepped back from his support and laughed, smoothing her hands down the gown. Her gaze swept around them and she cleared her throat, then she looked at him. “This dress is too long,” she whispered. Then she gushed, “I’m very happy to see you.”
Her enthusiasm jolted right through him, and his mind went blank as he basked under her attention. It was far more potent than he’d recalled, and he’d been doing nothing but recalling everything about her since they’d parted ways…her eyes that shifted from sea-green to the deepest azure depending on the light, her heart-shaped face, her stubborn tenacity in standing up to Lannigan, and her obvious deep love for Robert. He’d even missed her sarcastic wit. She’d been on his mind almost nonstop.
“I’m glad you didn’t forget me,” he murmured.
“I’ve been worried ever since I left you and Pedro…I didn’t think I’d see you tonight. Does Lannigan know you’re here?”
Jake recovered himself. “He does. It’ll be fine. I doubt he’ll make a scene—there are too many witnesses.”
Molly tugged at the bodice of the gown, then at the tiny sleeves.
“Stop fidgeting,” he said. “You look beautiful.”
Bridget strode up to them. “Mister McKenna, Papa didn’t tell me you were here. Have you been introduced to Robert’s sister?”
“Yes, we’re acquainted.”
Bridget snagged Molly’s gaze and raised an eyebrow. Subtlety wasn’t Bridget’s strong suit.
“Splendid,” Bridget said. “Molly is visiting from Arizona.”
Bridget’s nose crinkled in frustration. “Then you won’t mind if I borrow her so that she has the opportunity to meet some of our other guests.”
Bridget hooked an arm into Molly’s and dragged her away but not before Molly cast a glance over her shoulder. Jake wanted to think it was filled with longing from having to leave his company, but he suspected she just wanted to escape Bridget.
He exhaled his disappointment over the brevity of the encounter and tried not to gawk at her retreating backside.
He needed a whiskey.
It was going to be a long night.
Copyright © 2016 K. McCaffrey LLC
Kristy McCaffrey has been writing since she was very young, but it wasn’t until she was a stay-at-home mom that she considered becoming published. She’s the author of several historical western romances, all set in the American southwest. She lives in the Arizona desert with her husband, two chocolate labs, and whichever of their four teenaged children happen to be in residence. She loves to travel and frequently blogs about her adventures.
Blog ~ Pathways: http://www.kristymccaffrey.blogspot.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2erVsze
A Mystery Genre
Which Path Will You Choose?
Phoenix Johnson, Kylie Price,
Charlene Raddon, Scarlett J Rose and
What secret has been uncovered in a disused mine? Something is not as it should be. The scene is set, the beginning in place BUT there are five different endings.
The path is up to you.
The story unfolds in the way YOU decide.
Five Authors – Kylie Price, Margaret Tanner, Charlene Raddon,
Scarlett J. Rose and Susan Horsnell.
Five Genres – Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Time Travel or Contemporary/Western
Which path will you choose to uncover the secret?
Detective Callum Palmer dragged his fingers through his thick hair. He had a murder to solve. A pile of skeletons had been found in an old mine shaft, and he’d been assigned the case. He and his new partner, who had yet to show up. Irritated, he paced the precinct floor.
“Calm down, Palmer,” one of the other detectives said, “You’re driving me nuts.”
“Tough shit,” Callum shot back at him.
A small woman dressed in black entered the room and his line of vision. A real looker. Callum wondered who she was and what she was doing there. Her posture and dress gave an image of a professional. Not the type of victim he usually dealt with.
“Detective Callum Palmer?” she said.
“Yes?” Oh oh. Callum hoped the thought that just popped into his head proved wrong.
She held out a hand so delicate, he feared he’d break those tiny bones if he grasped it. “My name is Detective Olivia Hansen. I’m your new partner.”
Fuck. They sent me a female partner? Great. Fucking great. Resigned, he took her hand. “All right, Hansen. You’re just in time. Come with me. A murder has been called in and we’ve been given the job of investigating it.”
“Fine,” she said. “Nothing I like better than to keep busy.”
Turning away, Callum rolled his eyes, and led the way to his car.
Contemporary: Do the mysterious bones belong to someone closer to home than Callum and Olivia realize, discover the secrets that one of them is hiding.
Historical: He stole his dead brother’s identity, then his wife. What happened in 19th Century Australia and who do the bones really belong to?
Paranormal: Do the mystery bones belong to someone in the supernatural world and how does a secret affect Olivia?
Time Travel: Murder, kidnapping, child abuse, time travel, and the healing gift of love.
Contemporary/Western: A sinister rancher is hell bent on getting what he wants regardless of who it will hurt… does he find himself buried instead?
Western Interactive Book
Which Path Will You Choose?
D’Ann Lindun, Allison Merritt,
RaeAnne Hadley, Susan Horsnell
and Margaret Tanner
Are you ready to be entertained?
FIVE ROADS FROM BELTANE
A new concept in reading.
One beginning, 5 different endings to choose from.
Which path will you follow? Will it be:
Hannah and Roan by D’Ann
Jessica and Ethan’s story by Margaret
Mr. Joseph Wade by Allison
Jacqueline Hamilton and Billy Williams by RaeAnne
The Bank Robbers by Susan?
The choice is yours. Once you have followed one path, at the click of a button, you are taken back to the beginning to choose another.
In total you have five entirely different stories which vary in length between 20,000 and 30,000 words each, five different characters to complete the beginning.
FIVE ROADS FROM BELTANE
“How does a Bank Robbery affect the people who were present?”
The story unfolds in the way YOU decide.
Which path will you choose?
To Interact with the authors visit:
Clint approached the alley leading to the rear entrance of the First National bank of Beltane. Scanning the area, he noted his men were positioned and ready as planned. They had meticulously gone over and over how the robbery was to play out. They dared not leave anything to chance.
Pete was slumped against the wall of the hotel across the street with his hat pulled low over his face. His long legs were splayed out, his arms crossed over his chest.
Billy is seated outside the Barber shop next door to the bank ‘reading’ the paper.
The horses are tethered out front and Clay is rummaging in a saddlebag for a non-existent something. They have used ponies which won’t be recognized by any townsfolk. It’s a pity the alleyway at the back of the bank wasn’t large enough to conceal their getaway horses.
A quick glance around, before he disappears into the alley, reveals the street is quiet. Most people are at home partaking of lunch. When he reached the rear door, he finds it unlocked. Sliding the kerchief up over his nose he drew his colt from the holster. Slipping inside the bank, he crept down the hall leading through to the main banking chamber at the front.
He approached a partially opened office door. Jonas McCallum, Owner, the bronze nameplate announces. He shoved the door open with force and it crashed on the wall. Jonas glanced up and leapt from his chair. “What are you doing?”
“Move over here before you get shot.” Clint pointed the gun toward the owner and indicated for him to move. When the man hesitated, he grabbed him by the neck and positioned his rotund body so he can wrap one arm around his neck and lodge his gun firmly in his back, before dragging him toward the front foyer of the bank. Clint opened a door leading into the teller area and stepped through with his hostage. The tellers turned and glanced at the stranger, fear and astonishment clearly etched on each face when they see their boss with a gun at his back.
Their attention is diverted when the front doors crash open and Clint’s three partners charge inside. Billy turned the lock on the doors while Pete and Clay move to cover the now terrified customers.
“This is a bank hold-up. Do as we say and no-one will get hurt.” Clint waved his gun at a few customers. “Get down on the floor. Don’t speak and don’t move.”
Cover, Beginning Chapters, Formatting and Published by:
Cherie Cam from LLEP
The Bank Robbers
Are the bank robbers, outlaws or victims of circumstance? This story will enlighten you.
Roan Maxwell and Hannah Johnson
The story of Miss Hannah Johnson and Mr. Roan Maxwell and how the robbery affected their future.
Jacqueline Hamilton and Billy Williams
The story of Jacqueline Hamilton and Billy Williams and how the robbery affected their future.
Mr. Joseph Wade
The story of Mr. Joseph Wade and how the robbery affected his future.
Jessica Smith and Ethan Beveridge
The story of Jessica Smith and Ethan Beveridge and why he accuses her of stealing.
The choice of where to begin is now yours. When one pathway has been read, visit another.
Five completely different stories about different people involved in the robbery.
Which story will be your favourite?
(Hearts of Owyhee novella)
Prairie Rose Publications
Available on Kindle Unlimited
The Murdock brothers have a fine ranch in Owyhee County, Idaho. The only things missing are wives and kids, so Hec orders a couple of brides for Christmas. The catch is, woman-shy Zeke doesn’t know about it. Dinah and Stella have a plan— If the grooms don’t work out, they’ll start a restaurant. Farm chores are hard enough, but a peckish chicken and a raging blizzard don’t help matters. Can Hec and Zeke capture their hearts?
There’s just something about Christmas that has “romance” splashed all over it—the season for sharing and putting our differences aside.
The whole idea of mail-order brides—why a woman would leave everything she knew for a man she didn’t know—fascinates me. In this story, we have two brides. Dinah Goode lost her husband and baby within a few weeks. Her goal is to own a restaurant and women couldn’t be chefs in Cleveland. But those rules didn’t apply in the Idaho Territory where women could own property in their own right, and the only way she could afford to get there was to accept a proposal as a mail-order bride.
Schoolteacher Stella Clemmons has stars in her eyes—she wants children but she’s already nearly thirty years old and time’s marching on so she decided to accept a mail-order proposal. She’s nervous about doing so, but meeting Dinah on the train was fortuitous because now she has a plan. If Mr. Ezekiel Murdock doesn’t pan out, she and Dinah will still be fine. Restaurants were few and far between—and even then, she could still find the right man to marry.
But neither lady knows one thing about country life. And neither brother is quite sure what to do with these city women.
I loved the idea that Hec ordered brides for himself and his brother for Christmas. How romantic! But can you imagine how surprised Zeke would be? How would he react? And how does the culture of the East blend with that of the West?
This novella is part of the Prairie Rose Publications Third Birthday Bash. Free books are being offered the week of August 13 – 20 at http://prairierosepublications.blogspot.com.
Would you like a copy of I Heard the Brides on Christmas Day? Just tell us what you love about Christmas stories. Do you read them year-around? Does the snow cool you off on a hot August night?
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.
The Glenmore Family come to the rescue of a young girl who has been ferociously beaten and left to die on the track leading to their ranch.
She is taken to their home to recover. The outlaws responsible for her beating keep watch hoping to recapture the girl and obtain the information they are sure she has.
The search for the outlaws becomes a matter of urgency when murder, shootings, robbery and beatings affect the Glenmore Family.
Rangers are brought in and the assistance of local Indians is sought.
A story about tender love, murder, greed and intrigue.
George and James dropped back to re-join their father and as they discussed ranch business they kept their eyes on Laura up ahead. She had just crossed the tree line and had disappeared from their sight. Joseph had just opened his mouth to call her to stay in sight when they heard her blood curdling scream.
The three men wasted no time spurring their horses into a gallop and headed in the direction the scream had come from.
Laura had dismounted and was on the ground next to a small bundle which rested half on and half off the track. Tears flooded her cheeks and she was shaking uncontrollably. When she spotted her father she jumped from the ground and raced towards him. Joseph was off his horse in a flash and folded her into his arms. While she buried her face in her father’s chest George and James dismounted and moved to check the small bundle which they could now see was the body of a young girl.
“Pa, you better come fast!” called George.
Joseph peeled Laura away from him and reached inside his pocket for a cloth to wipe her tear stained face. Holding her hand he guided her to a nearby rock and gently encouraged her to sit. He grabbed his canteen of water from his saddle bag and handed it to her “Drink Laura. Don’t move darlin’ we’ll be right over here” She gulped thirstily from the canteen while she continued to sob.
Joseph approached his sons and couldn’t stifle the gasp which escaped him as he looked at the ‘bundle’ for the first time. He could now see it was a young girl, about the same age as Laura. Her clothing had been torn to the waist and across the once creamy skin of her back were at least two dozen bloody welts.
Joseph removed his hat and immediately began firing off instructions to his shocked sons. “James, fetch blankets, water and as many clean cloths as you can find! George, hobble the horses so they don’t wander. Keep an eye out for Ben with the board so he doesn’t run over us”
The boys answered in unison “Yes, Pa!” and raced off to complete their tasks.
As the boys followed his orders Joseph assessed the young girl’s wounds further. I will get the bastards who did this! he vowed to himself.
Just at that moment, Ben, the youngest son, drove up with the buckboard and their supplies. Seeing his family moving around ahead, his father attending to something on the ground, he brought the horses to a stop.
“Ben! We have a badly injured girl. Clear a space in the buckboard and lay some blankets so when we are ready we can take her home to Ma!” called out James.
Ben jumped down and began re-arranging the rear of the buckboard. “What’s happened James?”
“Not sure yet, we just came up on her. Pa and George are with her now”
Where’s Laura?” asked Ben concerned for his sister.
“Just over yonder on a rock. She’s very upset, was her that found the girl! After the board is ready go sit with her, I need to get these supplies to Pa”
James hurried back to where Joseph and George were waiting with the girl. “Ben’s arrived Pa, he’s clearin’ a space in the buckboard and is going to calm Laura”
“Thanks son. She is bad. Looks like she has a broken leg from the angle it’s at, a broken arm and all them welts, cuts and bruises!” We need to patch her up as best we can and get her to Ma”
“She’s lost a lot of blood Pa” commented George “Will she make it?”
“I don’t know son but we will do our best for her”
“Who would do this?” asked an angry James to no-one in particular.
“I have no idea” answered Joseph “but I intend to find out and get this little girl some justice!”
“Buckboard’s ready” shouted Ben
“Go find four pieces of wood to splint an arm and a leg” called George “be as quick as you can”
“On my way” called Ben running into the trees.
Joseph removed the lid from a canteen he’d been handed and poured water onto a cloth. As gently as he could he began to clean the wounds and only then could they see the extent of the damage from the vicious attack.
With her back wounds cleaned up a little the three men gently lifted her onto a blanket which was spread on the ground, turning her over as they did so.
They inhaled deeply when they saw the girl’s face. Both of her eyes were swollen shut. She had a large cut over one eye which would require stitches. Blood had seeped into her raven black hair and congealed which left her hair in a sticky, tangled mess. Her lip was split and her cheek badly bruised. Dirt and dust had combined with blood from her wounds to form a muddy mess over much of her body.
George quickly covered her with a spare blanket to protect her dignity but couldn’t help noticing her perfectly formed breasts and slim waist which brought a stirring to his loins.
Goddamn it George! What’s wrong with you? You are looking at a woman’s breasts and getting randy when you should be more concerned with her injuries! And you’re s’posed to be courtin’ Marybeth!
Joseph took clean cloths, doused them in water and proceeded to clean her face.
“Where do you want these Pa?” asked Ben holding up four good sized sticks.
“I’ll take them. Thanks Ben” said James “Go sit with Laura”