Friday, December 31, 2021

A CHRISTMAS BABY FOR BEATRICE by Author Nancy Fraser **BOOK BIRTHDAY**

I love celebrating 'Book Birthdays' ... especially when they're mine! I'm so pleased to share my latest release, A Christmas Baby for Beatrice, with you today. Think of it as an "after holiday treat". A sweet, inspirational, western historical romance with all the feels!


Beatrice Collier has had a hard life. Born into poverty, she was orphaned at six and raised in a state-run facility. As a child, she never knew the joy of the holidays. When she turned eighteen, she married for propriety, rather than love. Having never really known true affection, she had no inkling what she was missing.

Maxwell (Max) McCauley, a Professor at the state college, makes his living as a horticulturist. Well educated, a stickler for detail, his expertise is in demand, making him far too busy to properly court a woman. Fortunately, he has a meddling housekeeper.

Max wasn’t sure what he was expecting when his housekeeper told him that the woman she’d chosen for him was a widow. However, it definitely wasn’t the strong-willed, independent spitfire with dark red hair and the most magnificent green eyes.

Beatrice can’t believe what she’s reading when she receives the telegram offering her the chance to become Mr. McCauley’s wife. Perhaps, at last, she’ll find a real home, with a man who can support her, and with whom she can work side-by-side. Her only concern is how he’ll react when she tells him the one secret she’s been keeping from everyone for as long as she can remember. As much as she dreads the admission, she knows they can’t marry until she’s confessed.

Will the professor and the widow find what they both need? A happily-ever-after and Beatrice’s first ‘real’ Christmas?

Find A Christmas Baby for Beatrice on Kindle Unlimited


“A widow? You chose a widow to be my bride?” Max looked up from his journals and met Alice’s stern expression. “Without even discussing it with me?”

“Do you have a problem with a mature woman? A widow?”

Rather than respond to her question, he asked, “What about the other woman?”

“Too young, and she wanted to bring cats with her.”

“And that disqualified her somehow?”

“I don’t like cats,” Alice said simply. “Besides, she was barely of legal age. I gathered her main interest was to get to the west coast, and I was concerned she wouldn’t stay put past the first winter.”

Max released a haggard sigh. Perhaps this had been a bad idea from the very start. As a matter of fact, he was almost positive he’d made a mistake in letting Alice oversee his love life. “So, what can you tell me about my intended bride?”

“Her name is Beatrice Collier. She’s thirty-four, was married for ten years before her husband died in a factory accident.”

A sudden thought occurred to him. “Children? How many?”

“No children... not that I would have objected.”

“Yes, I suppose you wouldn’t, given your own children are grown and moved away.” He narrowed his gaze, and slowly shook his head. “I guess I have no reason to question or complain. After all, I did go along with this wild scheme.”

“You trust me, don’t you?”

“I do with most everything, but... a wife? I must admit I am uncomfortable with all this. Of knowing very little about a woman I’m supposed to marry.”

“Don’t forget, she’s accepting you sight unseen as well. You’re not the only one taking a leap of faith here.”

Another logical point. “Yes, of course.” He rubbed his chin, stewing again. “When will she arrive?”

“Her train arrives in Tacoma on Thursday morning.”

“But I have classes, I can’t—” he began to protest.

“Not to worry, Maxwell. Pete’s going to take that blasted motor car of yours and fetch her. They’ll be back before you return from the research station.”

He was silent for a few moments. “Fine. I can take the wagon. It’s more reliable on the bumpy access roads anyway.”

“There, you see. Everything is working out just as I planned,” Alice said with a wide smile.




Nancy Fraser is a Top 100 best-selling and award-winning author. She was recently named Canadian Author of the Year by N.N. Light’s Book Heaven.

She's also the granddaughter of a Methodist minister known for his fire-and-brimstone approach to his faith. Nancy has brought some of his spirit into her Christian romances. And, her own off-beat sense of humor to her clean & wholesome books.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.


You can find the entire Mail-Order Brides' First Christmas series on


Thank you so much for stopping by. I look forward to seeing you again soon!

Nancy

Sunday, December 19, 2021

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM ROMANCE SWEET READS!

 


Romance Sweet Reads is taking a break for the holidays!

We will be back on January 1st!

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and safe and happy holiday season!

Thursday, December 16, 2021

A CHRISTMAS DREAM FOR DESTINY by Author Annee Jones *Book Birthday* **Mail-Order Brides' First Christmas Series**

Today it gives me great pleasure to welcome my friend and author, Annee Jones, to Romance Sweet Reads. Annee is sharing her latest release, A Christmas Dream for Destiny, part of the Mail-Order Brides' First Christmas Series.

1890

Destiny Snow works in the sewing room of the Cleveland orphanage where she lives but longs for a better life. Even though she knows she’ll never be able to bear children and has never celebrated a real Christmas of her own, she is plagued by a recurring dream of sitting in a rocking chair next to a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, singing an infant to sleep.

Desperate to escape her dreary and monotonous life, Destiny answers an ad for a mail-order bride out west. But when she meets Stuart “Stormy” Holling, a former logger turned woodworker with a peg leg, is she prepared to handle the passionate temper that earned him his nickname?

Get your copy of A Christmas Dream for Destiny on Kindle Unlimited

Cleveland, 1890

The tinsel on the Christmas tree glittered in the warm golden glow cast by the oil lamp on the nearby table. The rhythmic rocking of the big wooden rocker was lulling not only her baby, but herself to sleep. She yawned and bent her neck to kiss the child’s downy brow. The baby sighed and nestled her tiny head deeper into the folds of the soft white blanket.

“Doesn’t she look beautiful on her first Christmas?” Destiny asked her husband, who was sitting in a chair beside her. Try as she might, she couldn’t make out his face but somehow knew he was nodding and smiling. How she loved him and their child. She’d never been so happy.

A loud knock on the door wrested her violently from her dream, pulling her against her will into stark wakefulness. She rubbed her eyes and, pushing the thin grey coverlet aside, sat up on her small cot. What time was it? Were the other girls still asleep? She looked down the row of identical beds in the room. No heads lay on the pillows and all were made up, sheets tucked neatly into the corners. The door opened a crack.

“Destiny Snow, you overslept again and missed breakfast.” The orphanage headmistress’s voice was sharp. “You have work to do, and the younger ones are waiting for you in the sewing room. Now hurry and dress quickly. The pile of clothes needing mending seems to be growing by the hour. Mrs. Staton also dropped off several dresses she needs hemmed by Thursday.”

“Yes, Mrs. Thackeray,” Destiny replied, but the door had already clicked shut. The wooden floorboards felt cold to her bare feet. She knelt beside the bed to pull the little trundle containing her garments out from underneath it, knowing all too well, however, that none of the contents actually belonged to her. She’d been taken in by the Cleveland Protectory for Girls at the age of two when both her parents died of typhoid, leaving her an orphan. Mrs. Thackeray had been the headmistress at the institution for as long as she could remember, and since she was eighteen years of age, that would be at least sixteen years per her calculation. Although, how old Mrs. Thackeray was, was anybody’s guess. She’d always seemed ancient to Destiny, with her slow, heavy-set body, gray hair pulled tightly into a low bun at the nape of her neck, and permanent aura of weariness.

Grabbing one of the dresses she’d sewn herself, she changed out of her nightclothes and hurried, shivering, to put on the layers of undergarments necessary at this time of year for warmth. While still tying the laces of her bodice, she shoved her stockinged feet into a pair of black shoes long overdue for a polish and ran from the room and down the hallway toward the stairs.

Why did she keep having that dream? It plagued her with its impossible beauty. It was heavenly – a real Christmas with a family of her own. She looked forward to going to sleep each and every night in hopes it would come to her again. She couldn’t seem to control it, though. Most nights she slept heavily, fatigue having eaten into her bones by the time the sun went down, and when she woke, couldn’t recollect having dreamt anything at all. Days were long at the orphanage, filled with cooking, cleaning, and sewing. Despite the toil, she was glad of the institution’s mission to equip the girls with a trade and the meager extra funds the mending work brought in. Otherwise, all they had to rely on was charity. Thankfully, Destiny had readily taken to the sewing machine and was the orphanage’s best seamstress, as well as the oldest girl still in residence, now that Charlotte had left.


Annee Jones is a heartwarming romance and soon-to-be cozy mystery novelist who enjoys sharing her heart and imagination with others. She is passionate about writing stories that offer readers a place where dreams come true!

Professionally, Annee works as a disability counselor where she helps her clients navigate through complex medical and legal systems while rediscovering their wholeness in Spirit.

Annee also enjoys freelance writing for Publishers Weekly and multiple publishing companies.



You can find all the books in the Mail-Order Brides' First Christmas Series on

~ ~ ~

Thank you so much for stopping by. Please come back soon for more wonderful authors and great books.

Blessings,
Nancy


Wednesday, December 15, 2021

MAIL ORDER LETITIA by Author Zina Abbott *An Imposter for Christmas Series**


Today I am pleased to welcome author Zina Abbott to Romance Sweet Reads to share her latest release, Mail Order Letitia, part of the An Imposter for Christmas series.

To save him from being swindled, she must deceive him.

When forced to live with her late mother's much younger sister, Aunt Matilda, she and Uncle Clyde make it clear that if Letitia wishes to eat, she will participate in the family business: swindling people. Matilda's latest scheme is writing to well-to-do men seeking wives through correspondence, with Letitia doing the writing. Collecting spending money and tickets to be cashed in is bad enough. The last straw for Letitia comes when Matilda decides to travel to marry a rancher she learns is well-off. She is already married to Clyde, isn't she? Then there is the manner in which Clyde puts his hands on Letitia's shoulders and assures her he will take real good care of her until Matilda returns.

Samuel Grayson has spent a decade building a successful ranch near Laramie, Wyoming. He now wishes to marry. After writing three letters to Matilda in Baltimore, he decides she is the one for him. He wants her in his home as his wife by Christmas.

Until the letter with tickets and money from Samuel Grayson arrives, Letitia had never, of her own free will, stolen anything. However, she sees this as an opportunity to save this unsuspecting rancher from Matilda and herself from Clyde. She only hopes, if Samuel Grayson ever finds out the truth, he will see it the same way.

Get your copy of Letitia on Kindle Unlimited

Hearing voices outside, Letitia tossed the skirt on the bed and stepped to her window. She watched Clyde, his arm around Matilda’s waist, guide her toward the end of the alley. Once the roofline of the house next door blocked their view, she spun to face the inside of her room. It was a nice-enough room, but she would be happy to leave it.

Again, Letitia pulled Samuel Grayson’s letter from her pocket and carefully read the letter. She realized exactly what she could do to prevent Matilda from swindling him. She would warn him in person. If he really wanted a wife by Christmas, she would happily fill that role. After all, she was already halfway in love with him.

After placing the letter, tickets, and money into her reticule, Letitia shed her dress with the short skirt and reached for the corset. Fortunately, she made a point to purchase the style that she could fasten in front. Over it she put her new shirtwaist before draping her longer petticoat over the shorter ones she already wore and covering it with her new skirt. She quickly restyled her hair into a chignon and pinned her winter bonnet on top before tying the ribbons beneath her chin. If Matilda sees the hat, she’ll recognize it. Hopefully, Clyde would keep her aunt busy for the next several hours, long enough for her to get to the train depot. Grabbing up the rest of the things she wished to take with her, including her mother’s Holy Bible, she draped the cloak she recently finished over her arm and ran downstairs. There, she found the sack she usually used for shopping and placed everything but the cape inside.

Letitia set the bag, her cloak, and her green, knitted shawl on the table. She made two bread-and-butter sandwiches. One she ate, and one she wrapped in a cloth napkin, along with several slices of cheese. That, along with two apples, she stuffed in the bag. Fearing she might get thirsty with all the walking she would be doing, she drank a glass of water.

Letitia started to reach for her bag to put it over her shoulder before a thought occurred. She dared not leave the earlier letters from Samuel Grayson behind. They contained his return direction. She knew where Matilda hid the letters she already received. Like everything else she did not wish Clyde to discover, Matilda kept the letters in the pantry under the stairs that connected with the first floor. Once she received the money and tickets from a man, she tossed any correspondence from the duped suitor into the fire.

With a hope that the foray beneath the stairs would not coat her clothes with dust and spider webs, she stooped over and made her way to her aunt’s hiding place. All the letters in her hand, she carried them to where she could catch enough light to find the ones from Samuel Grayson. After picking his out of the stack, she returned the rest. The ones from Mr. Grayson she tucked deep inside the tow sack that held all her worldly possessions.

After putting the strap over her head and securing the sack across her body, she draped her shawl across her shoulders and tied the ends into a knot. She covered everything with her new cloak and, sliding her sleeves through the slits in the sides, buttoned the front. Without looking back, she walked out the back door.


Zina Abbott is the pen name used by Robyn Echols for her historical novels. A member of Women Writing the West, Western Writers of America, and American Night Writers Association. She currently lives with her husband in California near the “Gateway to Yosemite.” When she is not piecing together novel plots, she pieces together quilt blocks.


You can find all the books in the An Imposter for Christmas series on

Thank you so much for stopping by. Please come back again soon for more wonderful authors, and great books!

Blessings,
Nancy

Sunday, December 12, 2021

A CHRISTMAS ESCAPE FOR ELIZABETH by Author Joi Copeland **Mail-Order Brides' First Christmas Series**


Today we're celebrating a Book Birthday with author Joi Copeland. Her latest book, A Christmas Escape for Elizabeth, is part of the wonderful series, Mail-Order Brides' First Christmas.

He’s a cattle rancher not interested in finding love. She’s a young woman on the run, seeking protection.

She needs to escape…

Elizabeth Baker’s life looks nothing like she hoped. When her mother suddenly dies, Elizabeth grieves her passing while evading the inappropriate advances of her stepfather. She has to get away from him and decides to go to her dearest friend, Hannah, for help. Can Lizzie escape her stepfather before it’s too late? And if she does, can she ever trust another man again?

He wants to remain single…
Mack Douglas sees his best friend, Briggs, and his new wife, Hannah, on a daily basis. He doesn’t begrudge their happiness and has no desire to get married and be responsible for someone else. When Hannah implores his help on behalf of her friend, however, how can he say no?

Will Lizzie and Mack be able to find common ground and build a marriage worth fighting for, or will their marriage end before it’s even had a chance to begin?

Get your copy of A Christmas Escape for Elizabeth on Kindle Unlimited

Prologue


Elizabeth Baker's eyes darted back and forth as she slipped into the only home she'd ever known. The very same one she had no choice but to leave. With the death of her mama the week before, she no longer had a protector. No one to keep Randall, her stepfather, from making inappropriate advances toward her. When her mama was alive, his stares left a sickening feeling in the pit of her stomach. Since Rebecca's death, not only had Randall's looks become more frequent, but now he touched her whenever he came within reach.

Lizzie shuddered, latching the wood to keep the door closed. It wouldn't keep Randall out of the house forever. If only it did, she wouldn't have to leave. At least she'd know when he came home because he'd pound on the door, causing a ruckus. He never did anything quietly, especially when drunk.

Randall Jones was a sorry excuse for a man, let alone a father. Not once did he act like a guardian. Instead, he drank away all her and Rebecca’s hard-earned money. The man hardly lifted a finger to bring in money. If it weren't for Lizzie and her mama, they would’ve been homeless or starving. Randall did odd jobs around the town, but nothing worthwhile.

Lizzie hurried to her room, grabbed her carpetbag and shoved all clothes as she had in the small case. Growing up, they had little to no money. She often wondered if her life would've been different if her father hadn't died when she was younger. Her mama made a horrible choice in marrying Randall. Why the God-fearing woman chose a louse like him still baffled Lizzie.

Rebecca Baker-turned-Jones had been a beautiful woman, blond hair as long as her waist. Just a smidge taller than Lizzie's five foot four inches, her mama had enough strength to fight off Randall when he made advances on Lizzie. Her light blue eyes held hope and faith, though the hope started to dwindle with the years. The night before her precious mama passed from this world to the next, she grabbed Lizzie's hand and made her promise she'd leave as soon as she could. “Get away from Randall,” her mama begged her.

And Lizzie had no problem agreeing. The man-made Lizzie's skin crawl. If it weren't for her mama, Lizzie would've left over a month ago when her best friend, Hannah Blackwood, sent her a ticket for the stagecoach to join her in Colorado. Temptation often crept her way when Lizzie discovered her mother battered with bruises. She wanted to steal her mama away, but Rebecca wouldn't go. She lived by her marriage vows to her husband and promised God she'd stay with him. So, Lizzie stayed as well.

Scurrying into her mother's room, Lizzie scanned the bureau. She pulled open the drawer and reached to the very back. Wedged in the top corner of the wood, she pulled down an envelope, exactly where her mother told her it would be. Inside, the ring her father gave to her mother on their wedding day glistened in the dim light. A bundle of money filled the envelope. A small gasp escaped Lizzie's lips. Where had her mama gotten this money? Surely not from the meager jobs she had managed to get to support the three of them.

A small piece of folded paper caught Lizzie's eye. She cast a furtive glance to the door. She expected Randall soon. He normally went to the saloon for a few hours, but he always came home for supper. She needed to hurry if she were to escape before he arrived. No time to read the letter, she shoved the envelope in her pocket.

The quilt she'd made her mama years ago covered the bed. Lizzie's finger traced the awkward stitching. The scent of rose water wafted toward her. Her mama's favorite soap. Lizzie made her mama a bar for Christmas but hadn't been able to give it to her. Now tucked into her carpet bag, she'd take it with her to always have a reminder of her mama. She swallowed the lump in her throat. How did she still have tears to shed? She'd cried over a bucket, it seemed, since the funeral.

Lizzie folded the quilt, her heart tearing in two at the thought of her mama gone. She'd take it with her. She'd given it to her mama, after all. It seemed right for it to belong with Lizzie.

A pounding on the door startled Lizzie into action. She ran to her room, tossed the quilt onto her bed, then hurried to the door.

"I'm coming."

"Open the door, woman." Randall shook the handle.

Lizzie pulled it open, forcing her features to remain calm, even though Randall wasn't expected home for another hour. "Why are you home?"

"Can't a man come to his home whenever he wants?" Randall staggered into the room and pushed past Lizzie. "Why 'aven't you made supper yet?"

"I was about to. I figured I had a few minutes." Lizzie turned her back to the awful odor permeating from her stepfather.

Randall slumped down on the couch and waved his hand. "Get on with it. I'm starvin'."

Lizzie rolled her eyes, grateful she was facing the stove. She rummaged through the cupboards, looking for anything to tide him over until he slept off the alcohol. Finally finding a can of beans, she warmed them on the stove. Slicing up the bread, she dropped it onto a plate and slid everything onto the table.

"It's ready."

"Good. Sit. We can eat together."

Lizzie shook her head. "No, thank you. I'm going to go rest for a bit. I have a slight headache."

Randall huffed. "Figures. Lazy as ever." He hunched over his food and shoved it into his mouth.

Lizzie bit the inside of her cheek to keep from saying anything. Last time she did, she received a fat lip and couldn't go into town for days until it healed. That was the day after her mama's funeral. She learned real quick not to mouth off to Randall. No one came to her defense, and she didn't have the strength her mother did.

Finally, Randall left the table and went to the sofa. He leaned back and closed his eyes. Lizzie continued to peek out at him from the safety of her room until she heard his muffled snores. She inched her way across the small room and into her mama's room. Still wanting a few things of her mama's, she had to get them while Randall slept or miss her opportunity. She closed the door as quietly as possible then began collecting a few small items.

The door burst open. Lizzie's heart hammered in her chest.

"Whatcha doin' in here, girl?" Randall sauntered toward her, a dangerous look in his eyes.

Lizzie dropped the dress she'd been holding onto the bed. "Remembering Mama. I miss her."

Randall's eyes flitted to the bed, then back to Lizzie, desire darkening his features. "I've missed a woman in my bed, too."

"I don't miss just any woman." Lizzie scooted around the bed, a surge of fear coursing through her. "I miss my mama. She was my only family."

"Not your only family. I'm here." Randall moved toward her like a coyote on the hunt prowl.

Lizzie continued toward the door. Randall blocked her path, arms held out. "Now, now. I ain't meanin' nothin' by it. I know you miss your mama, but I can help fill that hole. After all, we's family, ain't we?"

"No, we're not. I've never been a daughter to you." Lizzie ducked under his arm. Good thing he'd been drinking or she'd be hard pressed to move away from him. The alcohol often slowed him down. Tonight, she thanked the Good Lord for that.

"That's true." Randall scanned Lizzie from head to toe, stopping on his way back up on her chest. "You've always been a pretty little thing. I'd hoped one day to have you to myself, and it looks like I might get that."

Heat rose to her face. "Not today, you won't." Lizzie rushed out of the bedroom, away from the monster hot on her heels.

"Come on, darlin'. You know you want it as much as I do. I'll treat ya real nice and go as slow as ya like." Randall slurred his words and grabbed her wrist.

Lizzie tried to yank her arm away from him. He tugged her closer. His lips brushed her ear. Her stomach rolled. His lips sought hers, his hot, smelly breath washing over her like sour milk. He grabbed her waist and pulled her against him. She wiggled and squirmed, trying to get out of his embrace. With all of her might, she raised her knee and connected to his groin. He doubled over with a loud cry.

"Why you little-" he spat.

Lizzie ran into the kitchen, searching for anything to protect herself. Seconds later, Randall had her pinned against the stove. Fear pumped through her veins. She had to break free, or he'd take what wasn't meant for him. Reaching behind her, Lizzie felt the cast iron pan she'd used earlier that morning. She swung the pan around, smacking the pan on the back of Randall's skull. Randall groaned and dropped to the floor.

Breathing hard, Lizzie dropped the pan onto the floor, ran into her mother's room, grabbed the few items she longed for to remember her dear mama, and then she hurried into her own bedroom. Lizzie grasped her carpetbag and tossed the remainder of the items she needed before leaving the room she'd grown up in. Glancing at the heap of man on the ground, Lizzie paused.

Guilt ran through her. What if she killed him? She pursed her lips. Wouldn't he deserve it? After all the torture he put Lizzie and her mama through, wasn't it justice if he died by her hand? Tears pooled in the corner of her eyes. She couldn't leave without knowing if she'd taken his life. Not even Randall deserved a death like that.

Lizzie tiptoed closer to the man. His chest rose and fell. Her shoulders relaxed. He was alive. She scampered out of the house. Darkness covered the town. Perfect. She'd either catch the last stagecoach or have to wait until morning. How much time did she have?

Running to the preacher's house, she banged on the door. "Mrs. Varney!"

Seconds passed by until finally, the door flung open. Joshua Gallagher, Hannah's grandfather, stood, concern filling his rugged face. "Child, what's the matter?"

Lizzie's chin trembled. "I, I have to leave. Now."

"Are you hurt? Can you come in?"

Lizzie shook her head. "I'm fine, just a bit shaken. I'm going to Colorado to be with Hannah. She wrote me and sent me a ticket, promising she'd find me a husband. I have to go now."

Understanding dawned on Mr. Gallagher's face. "Did he try to hurt you?"

A wayward tear slid down her face as she nodded. "I hit him with the cast iron pan."

A slight chuckle escaped Mr. Gallagher's lips. "Good for you. I'll send the sheriff on over to make sure he's fine and lock him up for a few days."

"You won't tell him where I've gone, will you?"

"'Course not. I'll see to it he doesn't find out." Hannah's grandfather waved her inside. "Come in for a moment. I want ta give you somethin’ for your journey." He shuffled away from her and returned with some coins. "Take this with ya."

Lizzie shook her head. "I found an envelope with money in it. Mama wrote a letter, but I haven't had time to read it yet. I'll do it on the coach." She inhaled a deep breath, tossing a glance over her shoulder. "Have you seen it come by yet?"

Mr. Gallagher shook his head. "Hasn't left yet. Ya probably have a half an hour. Better get on with ya. I'll take care of that no-good father of yours."

"Stepfather." Lizzie grimaced.

Remorse filled his eyes. "Sorry."

Lizzie blinked back her tears. "Don't be. I better go. Thank you. I'll tell Hannah you're well."

"Thank you, child. Take care of yourself, ya hear?"

She nodded and hurried away. An hour later, the stagecoach hustled out of the only town she'd ever known. Lord, go before me and secure me a husband who can protect me from men like Randall.


Joi Copeland is an award-winning author. She has written over twenty books and desires to share her love of hope and redemption through each story she pens. Joi and her incredible husband of over twenty-years have three fabulous boys and currently live in Ireland. She is passionate about Jesus, Bible study, and the people of Ireland.



You can find all the books in the Mail-Order Brides' First Christmas Series on

It's been my pleasure hosting Joi today. Please come back again soon for more authors, and more "sweet-read" books!

Blessing,
Nancy

Thursday, December 9, 2021

MAIL ORDER LILLIAN by Author Cheryl Wright **An Imposter for Christmas Series**

Today I am pleased to feature the first book in the An Imposter for Christmas series. Mail Order Lillian, from author Cheryl Wright.

Lillian is an unwilling impostor bride. What will Simon do when he discovers her secret?

Montana – 1880: Simon Watson, owner of a prosperous ranch, needs a wife to look after his motherless four-year-old daughter.

Joy Hanover accepts Simon’s proposal, but later changes her mind. She begs her cousin Lillian to go in her place – leaving out the part she found most objectionable, namely Simon’s child.

Lillian plans to tell Simon about her deception the moment she arrives at Samson’s Creek, but the best of plans can often go awry.

What will happen when Simon finds out he married an impostor? Will he have the marriage annulled, or will they stay married and get the happy ever after ending each of them crave?

Get your copy of Lillian on Kindle Unlimited


Boise, Idaho – 1880’s

Lillian Hanover stared out the window at the snow flurries and shuddered, then turned to study her cousin. “I have to find another job. Horace is both revolting and persistent.” She pulled her shawl further up and around her shoulders. “He cornered me in the storeroom yesterday. It was all I could do not to gag.”

Her cousin Joy’s eyes opened wide in shock. “He… cornered you? That disgusting pig! Did you manage to get away?” Joy appeared quite concerned at her cousin’s predicament.

“I did, but I have no idea how much longer I can put him off.” She brushed the hair back off her face and glanced up again. “Perhaps I should do what you did and become a mail order bride. Either way, I have to get away from here.” Not that Lillian wanted to go that route, but she had few options available to her.

“About that…” Joy’s face suddenly fell, and Lillian wondered what could be wrong.

“Is everything all right?” Lillian asked, hurrying over to where her cousin sat. “You look quite distressed.”

The two women had practically grown up together. Their fathers were brothers, and each family had lived on the same property, meaning they spent much of their time together playing. The pity of it all was their fathers were both killed in the same shocking accident on the property when a large tree fell. Five men died that day.

“I…” Joy took a deep breath, then glanced up at her cousin. “I need to ask a favor,” she said far more quickly than Lillian had ever heard her speak before. “A rather big favor.”

“Ask away.” Now her interest was piqued.

Joy suddenly sat down and clasped her hands tightly in her lap. Her eyes were focused on her hands, rather than the person she was speaking to. Lillian felt quite concerned at this turn of events. “I am beginning to panic, dear cousin. Please tell me what ails you.” Her heart pounded as she waited for her cousin to speak again.

Joy suddenly pulled a letter out of her pocket and handed it over. “I am supposed to leave tomorrow to meet my groom and marry him.” Her head slowly came up until their eyes met. “I… I can’t go. Will you take my place?” She let go of a deep sigh and Lillian could do nothing but stare.

“But…” She shook her head. She couldn’t take her cousin’s place, not when Joy had already accepted the proposal. And why didn’t she want to go now, anyway? Her head suddenly felt as though it was filled with a thousand drummers, and she dropped into the chair next to her cousin. “Wha—why?”

Joy’s eyes dropped to her lap again. “I’ve met someone, and we plan to marry.” She glanced up and continued. “I had already promised to marry Simon Watson by then, but…” Tears filled her eyes. “I’m in love with Timothy Chambers, and he with me. I couldn’t bear to marry someone else.”

Lillian sputtered at her words. “Why would he marry me? I am not the one he’s been corresponding with.”

Joy suddenly stood. “Then don’t tell him. Let him believe you are me.”

Had she not been sitting, Lillian was certain she would have landed in a heap on the floor.


Award-winning and best-selling Australian author, Cheryl Wright, former secretary, debt collector, account manager, writing instructor, and shopping tour hostess, loves reading. She writes historical and contemporary western romance, and has over fifty published books.

She lives in Melbourne, Australia, and is married with two adult children and has six grandchildren. When she’s not writing, she can be found in her craft room making greeting cards.

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You can find the entire An Imposter for Christmas series on

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Thank you so much for stopping by today. Please come back again soon.

Blessings,
Nancy



Wednesday, December 8, 2021

MAIL ORDER CHLOE by Author Margaret Tanner *An Imposter for Christmas Series*

 

Today is it my great pleasure to welcome Author Margaret Tanner to Romance Sweet Reads. We'll be taking a peek at her new release, Mail Order Chloe, An Imposter for Christmas Series ~ Book 2.

Chloe was an impostor. Joel lied by omission. What hope does this marriage have?

Joel Taggerty rescues a small boy who has been discarded in the wilderness. He now needs to speed up his marriage plans to his mail order bride.

Chloe discovers her friend Rebecca, has been working at a saloon and secretly writing to a Colorado rancher. Rebecca’s dying wish is that Chloe should go to Joel and pretend to be her. Homeless and without a job, she is desperate enough to try it, even though such an undertaking is fraught with danger.

Will Christmas weave its magic and save their marriage once Joel realizes Chloe is an impostor?

Get your copy of Chloe from Kindle Unlimited



Boothby, Colorado mid 1870’s.

“Dead!” Chloe Smith exclaimed. “She can’t be.” Her eyes filled with tears as pain gripped her with cruel fingers. Her friend was dead. It could not be true. The livery stable man must be mistaken. Maybe there were two Rebecca Maynards here in Boothby.

“I’ve traveled over a thousand miles to get here, and now you tell me my friend is dead?”

The elderly livery man glanced at her small, covered wagon and the two ordinary looking horses pulling it, and shook his head sadly. “There’s no mistake. You were lucky to make it this far, if you ask me.”

His tone of voice indicated he didn’t think much of her conveyance, and her most probably. She was dressed in male attire, and wore her hair tied back with a leather thong so it would be easy to shove under her wide brimmed hat, if necessary. She had let her guard down now that she had arrived in Boothby; wanted to weep for the loss of her friend but dared not in case the tears, once they started, would go on forever.

Over the years they had regularly corresponded, and now Rebecca was dead. She had no reason to stay any longer in this town, but where could she go? Traveling back to Virginia was out of the question, as there was nothing left for her there except memories.

“What happened to Rebecca?” She blinked back the threatening tears, resolving to stay strong, no matter what.

The man nervously glanced around. “I reckon she was murdered.”

“Murdered!” She would have collapsed in a heap had the man not grabbed her by the arms and led her over to an old wooden chair.

“Who would murder a schoolteacher?”

He gave her a hard, penetrating look. “She wasn’t no schoolteacher, Miss.”

“What do you mean? Of course, she was, we’ve been exchanging letters for about three years.”

“Rebecca Maynard worked at the Lady’s Garter saloon.”

There was a roaring noise in Chloe’s ears, although she managed to stutter. “She did not. She was…”

“I don’t know what she told you, but she waited tables and, well, took men upstairs.”

All moisture dried up in Chloe’s mouth as sickness curdled her stomach. They had grown up near Richmond, Virginia, poor but respectable, and to think Rebecca had been reduced to… No, she didn’t believe it. Couldn’t believe it. “I think there has been a mistake.”

“There’s no mistake. Rebecca was shot by a disgruntled customer, so the sheriff says, but I’m not convinced she was. She died out the back of here. I was with her when she died. You must be Chloe Smith. She talked about you quite often.”

“We grew up together; the Maynards took me in when I was orphaned as a child. Were you the only one with her when she died?”

“Yes, she left a message for you, that’s if you are really Chloe Smith. I’ve got a few of her belongings here and some letters. She used to come here to see the horses. She was a sweet gal who had been wronged.”

“I still can’t believe it.”

“With her dying breath, she asked me to give you everything when you arrived.”

“Oh?”

“Yes, then she said something strange.”

“What?”

“Tell Chloe to play our swap game.”

The swap game Chloe remembered from their childhood. They used to change places and pretend to be each other. Not that they ever fooled anyone with such a ploy.

“It’s a real shame because Rebecca told me she was waiting for you to come, then leaving here to start a new life. Probably what got her killed.”


Margaret Tanner is an Award winning, Amazon Best Selling author. She writes sweet Historical Western romance now. Having always loved history, she started out writing Australian historical romance then graduated to westerns

She lives in Australia, is married and has three grown up sons and two gorgeous little granddaughters.

Frontier Australia and frontier America, have many similarities, isolated communities, a large single male population and a lack of eligible women. This leads to many interesting plots.

She has always loved Westerns, soaking up all the Western TV shows and movies when she was young. Bonanza was her all-time favorite show. Little Joe Cartwright was her hero. Western Author, Zane Grey was her favorite author.


Find all the books in the "An Imposter for Christmas" series on

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Thank you for joining me today. Please come back again soon for more authors and great books.
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season and the merriest of Christmases!

Blessings,
Nancy