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Tag: Mail-order brides

A Slightly Scandalous Sighting in Angel Creek

This clipping came to the Tattler offices from a contact in the former colonies.

Dear Miss Decorum of the Angel Creek Gazette:

It has come to my attention that a certain group of impoverished debutantes from the war-torn city of Charleston have arrived in Angel Creek, Montana for the sole purpose of getting married. Of getting married, my friends! As in…the very moment they step off the stagecoach!

Scandalous Sighting
Postkutsche im Winter. Um 1798.

I’ve yet to verify all the details, but it appears they are responding to an advert in a newspaper that a few gentlemen in our town (who will not be named, at the current time) placed in the hopes of finding themselves wives. Now, I know there aren’t many young ladies in our town of a marriageable age, but my lands! To advertise in a public newspaper in order to find a match seems to exhibit a lack of faith in the good Lord’s ability to provide.

What’s worse, I had to witness (with my own aging eyes) one of these lovely young debutantes dis-embark from the stagecoach just this afternoon. Not only was she dressed in tatters, she was traveling alone without a proper companion or chaperone. Oh dear, where are my smelling salts? Just writing about it is giving me another fit of the vapors.

Scandalous Sighting

I did a little investigating and discovered that this young woman is named Miss Elizabeth Byrd. She served as a battlefield nurse during the Great War. Bless her heart! I don’t even want to contemplate the tragic things she’s seen and the horrid places she had to travel while following the drum. However, if she thinks marrying a man (sight unseen) will make her life any easier, well, heavenly days!  I wish the gel the best, I truly do.

At any rate, Miss Byrd was escorted to the church by none other than the retired Army Captain David Pemberton. I can only presume they said their vows and are married by now. Captain Pemberton is a bit of an odd fellow, albeit a handsome devil — just arrived into town a year ago, himself, and pretty much sticks to his lonesome. A quiet, brooding man who, rumor has it, was widowed during the war. Now, I wonder how in tarnation the other young fellows wheedled him into going along with such a scandalous lark as sending for a mail-order bride?

I’ll be keeping my ear bent for any new juicy tidbits about this developing story and report back as soon as I know more.

Sincerely, A Concerned Citizen Who Wishes to Remain Anonymous

About the Book

Can the hope and joy of Christmas light the way for two hearts devastated by war?

Elizabeth Byrd receives an invitation to join her friends in Angel Creek, Montana to become a mail-order bride. At first, the young battlefield nurse is scandalized by the idea of agreeing to marry a man she’s never met, but the war has taken everything from her — her brothers, too many friends to count, and her fiancé. There’s nothing left for her in Charleston but more heartache.

Captain David Pemberton retreats to his hunting lodge in Montana the moment the war is over. He’s looking forward to being alone with the memories of his wife who passed in the early days of the fighting. But the men of Angel Creek don’t see fit to leave a widowed soldier alone during Christmas. Insisting four years is long enough to grieve, they dare him to join them on a holiday venture to acquire wives for them all — a dare he accepts in a weak moment.

He receives the shock of his life at who steps off the stagecoach to claim his hand in marriage.

Available in eBook on Amazon + FREE in Kindle Unlimited at
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XF82LXC
Coming soon to paperback!
 

EXCERPT

So this was Angel Creek.

At least I’ll fit in. Elizabeth glanced ruefully down at her workaday brown dress and the scuffed toes of her boots. Perhaps, wearing the castoffs of her former maid, Lucy, wasn’t the most brilliant idea she’d ever come up with. However, it was the only plan she’d been able to conjure up on such short notice. A young woman traveling alone couldn’t be too careful these days.

With a sigh of resignation, Elizabeth reached down to grasp the handles of her two travel bags that the stage driver had unloaded for her. The rest of her belongings would arrive in the coming days. There’d been too many trunks to bring along by stage. In the meantime, she hoped and prayed she was doing the right thing for her loved ones. At worst, her reluctant decision to leave home meant one less mouth for her mama to feed. At best, she might claw her way back to some modicum of social significance and be in the position to help her family in some way. Some day…

Her hopes in that regard plummeted the second she laid eyes on the two men in the wagon rumbling in her direction. It was a rickety vehicle with no overhead covering. It creaked and groaned with each turn of its wheels, a problem that might have easily been solved with a squirt of oil. Then again, the heavily patched trousers of both men indicated they were as poor as church mice. More than likely, they didn’t possess any extra coin for oil.

Of all the rotten luck! She bit her lower lip. I’m about to marry a man as poor as myself. So much for her hopes of improving her lot in life enough to send money home to Mama and the girls!

The driver slowed his team, a pair of red-brown geldings. They were much lovelier than the rattle-trap they were pulling. “Elizabeth Byrd, I presume?” he inquired in a rich baritone that was neither unpleasant nor overly warm and welcoming.

Her insides froze to a block of ice. This time, it wasn’t because of the frigid northern temperatures. She recognized that face, that voice; and with them, came a flood of heart wrenching emotions.

“You!” she exclaimed. Her travel bags slid from her nerveless fingers to the ground once more. A hand flew to her heart.

About the Author

Jo Grafford writes sweet historical and contemporary romance stories — with humor, sass, and happily ever-afters.

A typical day finds her with her laptop balanced on her knees, a fizzy beverage within reach, and a cat snoozing on her knees. He takes credit for most of what she does.

When Jo’s not writing stories, she’s reading them. She adores dashing gentlemen, resilient heroines with a sense of adventure, humorous sidekicks, dusty cowboys, bounty hunters, mail order brides…you get the idea.

She loves to visit with readers in her Cuppa Jo Readers group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/CuppaJoReaders/.

To receive a personal email about each book she publishes, join her New Release Email List at JoGrafford.com or follow her on BookBub at https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jo-grafford.

Plus you can read free chapters of many of her books on Wattpad.com/user/JoGrafford.

A Dispatch From the Headstone Gazette

By A Concerned Citizen Who Wishes to Remain Anonymous

Glory be! A body must keep their ears to the ground in this part of the country. Otherwise, an innocent bystander, such as myself, might miss one of the never-ending scandals plaguing our small town — the latest of which is festering over at the Boomtown Mail Order Brides Agency.

Just this evening, one of the brothers (who co-owns the agency) arrived by train with their latest mail-order bride candidate on his very arm. On Jordan Branson’s very arm, dear citizens! According to my sources, her name is Olivia Rothschild, and she’s a shipping heiress from Boston. Now, why in heaven’s name a young woman of her vast wealth would be searching for her perfect match via the mail, is entirely beyond me! But those are the facts, my friends.

After asking a few discreet questions around Headstone, I also learned this stylish young debutante was rumored to be courting the matchmaker, himself, throughout their lengthy journey to Arizona. Oh, the horrors! To the best of my knowledge, all of this occurred without the oversight of a proper chaperone, such as a family member, a widow from church, or the like. Albeit, Miss Rothschild seems to be traveling with quite the entourage, to include no less than four individuals: her man of business, her personal maid, her chef, and a young man purported to be her chef’s younger brother — a groom-in-training or some such nonsense.

To make matters worse, one of our very own — a local rancher’s wife who has requested to remain unnamed — arrived on the same train after an extended visit to her ailing cousin back east. She claims there is a horrid rumor making its way around Boston that a certain Miss Rothschild had no choice but to flee the city or face utter ruin. If the rumor is to be believed, the high-flying debutante was witnessed sharing a kiss with the cousin of a most-eligible marquis. Alas, the two young men are not only known as capital pranksters, but they could also pass as twins. Some suspect that Miss Rothschild and her guardian might, in fact, have been plotting to entrap the marquis into marriage. If such were the case, their plot went seriously awry the moment the marquis’ rakish cousin intercepted her kiss!

Upon further investigation, I learned that Miss Rothschild and Mr. Branson have an “understanding,” one apparently that his own brother, Colt Branson does not approve of. He would have preferred his younger brother to follow agency protocol and match their latest mail-order bride with the next hopeful groom on their waiting list. Oh, the irony! Instead, it looks as if we have a case of a matchmaker falling into one of his own velvet traps.

Be assured, I will keep an eye on this developing story and report back the moment I have another juicy tidbit to share.

About the Book

Olivia Rothschild has made yet another mistake. She tries to follow the advice of her social climbing Aunt Beatrice, but she never quite plays the game of a debutante to her guardian’s satisfaction. This time, she’s kissed the wrong man — in plain view of her biggest rival, no less, who can’t wait to spread the scandalous tale. According to her aunt, she must marry the man with haste or face complete ruin.

Jordan Branson and his brother run a vastly successful mail-order bride business, but sometimes he grows a tad weary of arranging everyone else’s happily-ever-afters and never his own. He’s in just one of those moods when the wealthy heiress, Olivia, wanders into his office, utterly distraught at what her life has become after the loss of her parents. She’s desperate for a fresh start, far from the jaded social whirl of the big city.

After a short interview, he decides any man with red blood running through his veins would be overjoyed to court a woman of her wit, kindheartedness, and beauty. However, he finds himself in no terrible hurry to marry her off to the next would-be groom in line. Perhaps a compromise might be in order — one that requires him to hold off selecting her perfect match until her arrival in Arizona. He takes it a step farther and personally accompanies her since he has business in that direction, never imagining what perils of the heart the gesture would set in motion.

Available in eBook on Amazon + FREE in Kindle Unlimited at
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YF13Q8Q
Coming soon to paperback!

Excerpt~

“Good. Let us at least shake on it tonight.” Without waiting for a response, Miss Rothschild reached for his hand.

Jordan was so surprised by the feel of her warm fingers curling around his that he acted on pure male instinct. He laced his fingers through hers and brought her hand to his lips. “I give you my word, Miss Rothschild. I’ll get you safely to Arizona. There you will help me renew my search for my sister while I commence a search for your perfect match.”

Her answering smile warmed the darkest, loneliest corners of his heart. He should have recognized it for what it was — the smile of a spoiled, indulged debutante who’d once more gotten her way.

Instead, for the first time in a very long time, he foolishly tasted hope.

About the Author

Jo writes sweet historical and contemporary romance stories — with humor, sass, and happily ever-afters.

A typical day finds her with her laptop balanced on her knees, a fizzy beverage within reach, and a cat snoozing on her knees. He takes credit for most of what she does.

When Jo’s not writing stories, she’s reading them. She adores dashing gentlemen, resilient heroines with a sense of adventure, humorous sidekicks, dusty cowboys, bounty hunters, mail order brides…you get the idea.

She loves to visit with readers in her Cuppa Jo Readers group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/CuppaJoReaders/.

To receive a personal email about each book she publishes, join her New Release Email List at JoGrafford.com or follow her on BookBub at https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jo-grafford.

Plus you can read free chapters of many of her books on Wattpad.com/user/JoGrafford.

Scandal on the Streets of Headstone, Arizona

Our devoted readers will no doubt find this clipping forwarded to The Teatime Tattler from The Headstone Gazette across the pond. Obviously, concerned citizens and devotion to proper behavior are not limited to here in London. — S. Clemens

Dear Ms. Decorum:

I’m penning this letter out of the utmost concern for the wellbeing and safety of our latest young debutante from Boston who arrived into Headstone yesterday. Lord have mercy, if the lovely Miss Daisy Danvers wasn’t thronged by a posse of train robbers the moment she set foot on the train platform! One witness claimed she fainted dead away and toppled straight over the side of the platform.

I’ve yet to verify the details, but another witness claims she was caught in the arms of none other than Prescott Barra, the rough and ready local bull rider who set a previously-unheard-of, 10-second record at our last rodeo. And you know what they say about those Barra brothers? Nothing but trouble, that’s what!

What’s worse about this report is the most unfortunate fact that Daisy hasn’t been seen since Prescott rode off with her on his horse yesterday. The very notion of them being lost in the desert — without a chaperone, no less — is giving me the vapors right this second. Oh, where are my smelling salts?

I did a little digging on my own and discovered that Daisy was sent to Headstone by the reputable Boomtown Mail Order Brides Company in Boston, which can only mean one thing: She is under contract as a mail-order bride to some gentleman in our town. Our very town, dear citizens! I’m not certain how reputable the name of this bridal agency will remain when they discover one of their brides is missing. The poor gel could be anywhere. Oh, the horrors! Is she safe? Is she alive? I can hardly bear to consider the possibilities.

Scandal in Arizona

Even if Daisy Danvers is returned to town whole and in one piece — may the good Lord let it be so! — I am distressed to be the one to point out that her reputation will be in shreds. The way I see it, the lovely Miss Daisy will only have one choice to salvage those shreds. Regardless of whom she is currently affianced to (may the Lord comfort him and send him another, more suitable bridal candidate), it is my Christian belief that Miss Daisy has been thoroughly compromised by Prescott Barra. Alas, he is the man she must marry.

I’ll be joining a group of God-fearing women who will be holding vigil on the steps of the General Store this afternoon. It is my hope and prayer they will have an update on this brewing scandal. Be assured I will report back with anything new I hear.

Sincerely, A Concerned Citizen Who Wishes to Remain Anonymous

Scandal in Arizona

About the Book

Dare-Devil Daisy: Mail Order Brides Rescue #5

To the world, Daisy Danvers is a spoiled young debutante from Boston who always gets what she wants. But she has secrets — big, festering secrets she doesn’t want her best friend, Meg Nicholson, to find out. All she needs from Meg is a promise to help her find the perfect husband the moment she steps off the train in Headstone, Arizona. Her very life might depend upon it.

She never dreamed her troubles would follow her out West, and a whole posse of armed robbers would be waiting for her when she disembarked. She also never dreamed a cocky cowboy would sweep her away to safety on his horse.

It’s way too bad the devilishly handsome Prescott Barra claims he’s already affianced to another woman, because he’s everything she’s been looking for in a husband. He’s brave and fearless with a streak of adventure as wide as the canyons they’re riding. When she discovers he has a secret or two of his own, she begins to hope that maybe — just maybe — their secrets will lead them to each other.

Available in eBook on Amazon + FREE in Kindle Unlimited at
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07W61WBRR  
Coming soon to paperback!

An Excerpt~

The storm swirling across Meg’s features cleared. She stood and held out both hands to him. “You dear, dear man! I am so happy you’ve agreed to help me.”

That made one of them. He was fairly certain pretending to be engaged to Meg’s dearest friend was the most foolish thing he’d ever been asked to do.

“I’ll be sure to tell Shad how kind you were to me in his absence.”

Right. He was only doing this to help out a man he respected. Or at least the friend of the wife of a man he respected… Which was the same thing, wasn’t it? His brain hurt just thinking about it.

“What is her name?” he asked abruptly. He at least deserved to know the name of the chit he was going to be saddled with for a few days.

“Daisy.” Meg beamed at him. “Daisy Danvers, though some folks like to call her Dare-Devil Daisy.”

Blast it all! Helping Daisy sounded like a pack of trouble. Then again, he was a Barra brother. Trouble followed him everywhere he went. Trouble was his middle name.

About the Author

Jo Grafford writes sweet historical and contemporary romance stories — with humor, sass, and happily ever afters.

A typical day finds her with her laptop balanced on her knees, a fizzy beverage within reach, and a cat snoozing on her knees. He takes credit for most of what she does.

When Jo’s not writing stories, she’s reading them. She adores dashing gentlemen, resilient heroines with a sense of adventure, humorous sidekicks, dusty cowboys, bounty hunters, mail order brides…you get the idea.

She loves to visit with readers in her Cuppa Jo Readers group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/CuppaJoReaders/.

To receive a personal email about each book she publishes, join her New Release Email List at JoGrafford.com or follow her on BookBub at https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jo-grafford.

Plus you can read free chapters of many of her books on Wattpad.com/user/JoGrafford.

A brigade of brides? Whatever next!

AnsonTxPostOfficeMuralCowboyDanceDancers409BGLorraine Stuart reporting from Tarnation, Texas direct to Mr. Clemens at the Teatime Tattler:

Your correspondent was fortunate to attend a festive evening at the luxurious home of Mrs. L. Harrison, young widow of famed United States Army soldier Col. William Harrison. As one might expect at this ball, ladies presented a rainbow of lovely gowns.

Foremost was Mrs. Harrison herself, who led fashion in a lavender silk gown trimmed in white Valencia lace. Mrs. V. H., wife of J.H., looked lovely in mauve gros grain accented by white point lace. Newcomer C. B. wore blue poult de soie trimmed in darker blue embroidery.

After twirling across the floor in the slightly scandalous waltz, Miss O. S. was seen strolling to the balcony in the company of E. K. for a secluded tête–à–tête. Do we hear wedding bells? Miss J. N. danced repeatedly with M. B. and love’s light also danced in her eyes—in spite of her vow not to wed. Was there a spat between Miss R. R. and Z. E? Your correspondent was not privileged to hear the words spoken, but there appears to be trouble on the horizon for this couple. Mr. G. P. took an unfortunate tumble to his knees and sat out the remainder of the ball.

Return next week, dear readers, when you correspondent will report on the opera house appearance of famed singer Geraldine Chitwood.

~~~~

The small, dusty town of Tarnation, Texas is suffering. There are no single women and young men are moving to more diversely populated towns. Lydia Harrison is a young widow who wants her town to prosper and grow. She travels back East to recruit suitable young women to come to Tarnation and live with her until they choose the man they wish to marry. To help, she holds receptions and dances where the seven young women can meet fifteen respectable men under properly chaperoned conditions. People in town have labeled these young women the Bride Brigade. Ophelia is a painfully shy, gentle woman who suffered severe beatings from her overbearing father before she escaped with the help of her friend, Josephine Nailor, also one of the seven women.

OPHELIA, Bride Brigade book 4:

Ophelia final LA painful past…

A desperate escape…

A hope for the future…

Ophelia Shipp wants safety, a home, a kind husband, and to raise a family. To achieve her goal, she travels halfway across the country to tiny Tarnation, Texas.  What awaits her there must be better than what she left. She longs for a respectable man who will treasure his wife and never raise his hand to her.

Elias Kendrick had a difficult childhood but has overcome poverty and shame to build his empire in Tarnation. Now that he owns a successful saloon, the opera house, and his home, he is ready to marry and start a family. He’s vowed his children’s life will be different from his—if only he can find the right woman.

Two opposites attract—or are they? Ophelia and Elias must learn to overlook their superficial differences and work out their chance at lasting love.

Excerpt from Ophelia

Here is an excerpt from OPHELIA at the first reception for the men and women to mingle. After greeting the fifteen men in a receiving line, shy Ophelia has chosen a seat at the side to watch others:

Mr. Kendrick strolled toward her holding a cup and a plate filled with samples of Mrs. Murphy’s delicacies. “You look as if you could use punch and a snack.”

She fought for something clever to say, but nothing came. At least she managed a smile. “Thank you. I am thirsty after introducing myself so many times.”

He sat in the chair separated from hers by a small table. “Nice shindig, isn’t it?”

She admired his ability to appear so at ease. She took a sip of punch before answering, “I love watching and listening. Everyone appears so happy and excited.”

“What about you? Are you happy or excited?”

She couldn’t prevent a grin. “Both. Being in Mrs. Harrison’s home is so pleasant and the other women are very nice. This morning I woke up excited about this event.”

“Me, too.” He chuckled, sending light dancing in his brown eyes. “What brings you to Tarnation, Miss Shipp?”

“Same as the others I suppose. No point pretending otherwise, I want a kind husband, a secure home, and children. This appears to be a nice town even though it’s small. I notice there’s even an opera house.”

“That there is. I built the opera house only a year ago. The manager and I try for a variety of acts so that by the end of the season, everyone has enjoyed at least a couple of shows.”

She leaned forward, happy to know he was so fair-minded. “I’m sure I’ll enjoy them all. I’ve never been to a live performance.” Oops, she hadn’t intended to admit that.

He leaned back and his eyes widened. “Never? You mean except at school, of course.”

A blush’s heat seared her face. How embarrassing to admit she was a country bumpkin who had done nothing interesting in her entire life. “My father was very strict. I couldn’t appear in or attend school plays. Mr. Kozlov has invited me to the opera house performance in two weeks. I’m looking forward to the event.”

Was that disappointment she saw on his face? “You’ll enjoy Geraldine Chitwood. We were exceptionally fortunate to book her. Normally, she only plays larger towns more easily reached. Being without railway access places us at a disadvantage.”

She had to restrain herself from rubbing her rear. “Oh, my bones haven’t forgotten that stage ride.” She leaned toward him. “Tell me about yourself, Mr. Kendrick. Besides owning the opera house, I mean.”

“I’m twenty-nine and never married.” He took a deep breath and averted his gaze before he spoke.  “If you led such a quiet life that you weren’t allowed to attend plays, then you’ll no doubt look down on me because, as well as the opera house, I own the local saloon.”

She hoped she hid her surprise that Lydia had included a saloon owner in this group of “acceptable” men. What should she say?

Trying for the truth, she said, “I try never to pass judgment, Mr. Kendrick. I don’t approve of drunkenness but I know most men enjoy meeting with others and sharing a drink or game of cards.”

He raised his eyebrows. “Very broad-minded of you. Do you play cards, Miss Shipp?”

She couldn’t help laughing. “I don’t play anything. All I’ve ever done is work.”

~~~~~~~~

Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of American-set Victorian historical and contemporary western romances. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys time with family, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, and getting together with friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, Pinterest, and her books at her Amazon Author Page.

Subscribe to her newsletter here to receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE.

Caroline loves to hear from readers at caroline@carolineclemmons.com

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