MAIL-ORDER MEMORIES by KIRSTEN OSBOURNE: Mary Brown is forced to start over in Beckham, Massachusetts, when the love of her life is killed out West. She has no desire to be in the town where they grew up together and memories of him will flood through her at every turn. After five years as a cook, her employer suggests she become a mail order bride to a man who has no desire to find love…only a life partner. Unsure if she’s making a mistake, she sends a letter in reply to the ad, unsure if she’ll be able to handle marriage to a stranger after expecting a life of love.
William Jones has always known he’d marry his love, but when her father insists he goes West to make his fortune before they can marry, he reluctantly agrees. After all, he wants his love to get everything she ever wants in life. When he finds out Mary has died after a tragic illness, he gets his farm ready, but he can’t go through his entire life without love. He sends for a mail order bride, getting the biggest shock of his life. Will he ever be able to trust his bride? Or will he spend the rest of his life regretting his decision to marry?
THE ECHO OF MUSIC by AMELIA C. ADAMS: When acclaimed opera singer Orinda Lou Britt loses her voice, she leaves the stage and her home in Chicago to live in Topeka, where no one knows her and she can start over again. Along with her, she brings her cherished heirloom piano, a gift from her grandmother.
Nathan Perry travels the country tuning pianos in every town, and there is no one Orinda Lou trusts more. But when it comes time for her piano to be repaired, Nathan seems nowhere to be found, and when he does finally arrive, the reason for his absence may drive them apart forever.
TETON SEASON OF PROMISE by PEGGY L. HENDERSON: Olivia Barkley knows how to take care of herself. Growing up in an orphanage, she’s learned that good things don’t come easily and certainly don’t last forever. While escaping the unwanted advances of her employer, her path crosses with a man who made a promise he didn’t keep.
Caleb Walker has lived a life of freedom among the spectacular Tetons, surrounded by the love of his family and friends. Unexplained restlessness prompts him to leave his beloved mountains in search of answers. When he joins an expedition into the wilderness, he is shocked to come face to face with a woman from his long-forgotten past.
Caleb and Livy must find a way to come to terms with their unexpected meeting. If they can move beyond the guilt and misunderstandings of the past, they might discover that they were meant to be together all along.
THE GUNSMITH’S BRIDE by KRISTIN HOLT: Morgan Hudson can’t begrudge his widowed father a second chance at happiness. So when Dad’s mail-order bride arrives in Mountain Home with a beautiful daughter, Morgan’s life flips upside down. The lovesick fifty-year-olds need a chaperone, and Morgan can’t remember to treat Lizzy like a sister. Will their emergent love survive their parents’ romance, threats from the past, and a law forbidding kissing on the streets of Mountain Home?
HANNAH’S HERO by MARGERY SCOTT: US Marshal Kirby Matheson is on his way to testify at the trial of an outlaw when he comes across Hannah on the trail, unconscious and hurt. He feels a connection to her unlike any he’s never felt with another woman. He’s sure she feels the same, so why is she so frosty toward him? And why is he suddenly thinking about giving up the one thing he’s always valued – his freedom?
When Hannah Wilde is rescued by a handsome stranger after being thrown from her horse during a storm, she finds herself growing to like him, much to her dismay. He’s exactly the kind of man she’s sworn never to get involved with – a lawman!
twenty-five sweet Western romance novels, the mother of four children, and the
eater of chocolate cake and tacos. Many tacos. Too many tacos to count. Because
cheese. And meat. Meat and cheese.
three times and has the screenshots to prove it. Even though she’s only been
publishing Westerns for two years, she plans to do it forever and ever, or until the cows come home, whichever happens first. She credits her own pioneer
heritage for this new interest, and is glad that she doesn’t have to wear
twelve petticoats to be considered modest.
Kristen’s Top Ten List
work for me. I told everyone that’s what I would be.
new book out. I’m always afraid I will disappoint them.
Snippet from Mail Order Memories:
Mary was finished with the dishes, and had found a book and planted herself at the dining room table before the door to the parlor finally opened again, more than an hour later. Papa looked between her and William, before he nodded. “I’ll give you two ten minutes of privacy.” He turned and headed up the stairs, leaving her alone with William. Never before had her father left them alone, so she was both surprised and pleased. Surely this meant he’d agreed to the marriage.
As soon as her father had climbed the stairs, Mary jumped to her feet. “What did he say?” She rushed forward, taking William’s hands in hers. “It was so hard to wait out here while you talked! I wanted to be in there with you, giving all the reasons we should marry immediately.”
William sighed. “He said I may marry you, but there are conditions that must be met first.” His brown eyes met hers, his filled with a sadness she’d never seen there. His eyes were always merry, and now they made her want to weep.
“Conditions? What kind of conditions?” Her papa knew they’d been courting for more than a year, and she’d been certain he would agree immediately. She was shocked that he was being difficult.
William took her hand in his. “Let’s sit and talk about it.”
“Of course.” She didn’t want to sit. She wanted him to tell her that they could plan their wedding. It didn’t have to be a big one. She’d wear her mama’s wedding dress, and they could get married at the small church in town where they’d both attended their whole lives.
William had finished school the previous week, but he still went into town to walk her home every evening. He had a job as a farmhand for old Mr. Hardy, and she wasn’t sure what the problem was. “Your father wants me to go West and get some land. If I prove up on it, then we can marry.” He’d never thought he’d consider being a homesteader. Eventually he’d inherit his father’s land, and he could be a farmer right there in Massachusetts, but it’s what her father wanted. He’d do anything to marry her.
“But it takes five years to prove up on land! And there isn’t any left that’s close!” She shook her head adamantly. “Let’s elope. We can go to Beckham and marry right away. No one can stop us. I’m sixteen! A full-grown woman! Just like my mama was.” Why wasn’t he fighting what her father said? He acted like it was the most normal thing in the world to be told he had to go West.
William rubbed the back of his neck. “I know. I don’t want to go against him, though. He’s the only family you have. I’ll go, and I’ll make a good life for us.” He couldn’t be the reason she and her father parted ways. He’d never really seen eye to eye with her father, but she loved him, and that was good enough for him.
Mary felt the tears escape the corners of her eyes. “I don’t want you to go.” She clung to one of his hands with both of hers. “Please stay.”
He used his thumb to rub away one of her tears. “This is the fourth time I’ve seen you cry…and the only time I’ve caused it. I’m so sorry.”
She took a deep breath, fortifying herself. “Well, if you must go, then you must. It’s a good time of year for it. Promise me you’ll write.” It would be better if he went in the spring, when all life was starting over. She’d wait for him…as long as it took.
“Every single week. No matter how busy I get, I’ll write to you.”
She stood, wrapping her arms around his waist and hugging him close. “I’ll walk you out.”
He raised an eyebrow. Never before had she walked him out, even with all the times he’d visited over the years. He turned to her as soon as they were outside. “Did you have something else you wanted to say?” he asked, keeping his voice low.
She shook her head. “No, but I have something else I want to do.” She reached up and pulled his head down to hers, pressing her lips to his. She’d never allowed him to kiss her, always believing they should wait until they were engaged.
William held her close, his hand stroking down her back, feeling her corset through her dress there. “I’m going to miss you so much.” He wanted so badly to take her with him. Together they could conquer the world. They could do anything!
She sniffled again. “Will you come see me before you go?”
He shook his head. “It’ll only be harder if I do. I’ll go first thing in the morning, and I’ll write you as soon as I arrive. I love you, Mary Brown.”
She bit her lip, nodding. “I love you too, William Jones.” She leaned against the wall of her house as she watched him go, already missing him.