Posts Tagged: Westerns

Preview Twice a Bride, Historical Romance

twice-a-bride[1]

The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek—Book 4

Love lost doesn’t mean love lost forever
Can unexpected romance deliver a second chance for two deserving widows?

Coming Tuesday, October 2nd!

Fourth and Final Book,
The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series!

Full of resolve, young widow Willow Peterson decides to pursue her dreams to be an artist as she settles into a new life in the growing mountain town of Cripple Creek.  When she lands a job working as a portrait painter with handsome entrepreneur and photographer Trenton Van Der Veer, the road before Willow seems to be taking a better-than-anticipated turn.

With questions tugging at several hearts in town, including the Sinclair Sisters’ beloved Miss Hattie, change is traveling down the tracks as several unexpected visitors make their way out West.  Will the new arrivals threaten the deep family bonds of the Sinclair sisters and the roots of love that are just taking hold for Willow?

Filled with the resonating questions that all women face, this romance awakens hope against grief, love against loss, and dreams against life’s unexpected turns.

Hear my cry, O God;
Attend unto my prayer,
From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed:
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 61:1–2

Read an Excerpt Here!

TWICE A BRIDE, now available for Pre-Order through your favorite bookseller!

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Dr. Quinn Inspiration

DrQuinn

Remaining true to our annual tradition, the summer of 1996, my friend Shirley and I loaded the back of my Jeep and headed to a cabin in Northern Arizona. I would write and she would work on her music. That year, however, we encountered a big problem. No, it wasn’t a bear on the trail, the squirrels in the attic, the midnight mice, or a skunk on the porch.

Our two-day getaway to the cabin swallowed a Saturday. Saturday night was DR. QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN night, and the modest cabin didn’t allow for TV viewing.

Don’t get me wrong—Shirley and I are all about retreating from noise, the hectic pace of small town life, and breathing in the pine-scented tranquility the mountains offer, but miss viewing Dr. Quinn (Jane Seymour) and Sully (Joe Lando) in “real time?” No way!

We had to find a place with good television reception. The nearest town was about thirty miles away. Never mind that we’d be driving back to the cabin in the dark, in the land of roaming bears and deer and elk.

This was before televisions lined the walls of most eateries. Where, oh where, could we go to catch up with the unstoppable Dr. Michaela “Mike” Quinn and mountain man Bryon Sully?  Department stores that sold televisions? Sports bars? Uh, not the kind of shows they broadcast.

Ah ha! Hospital rooms have televisions. Yep. Off we went to the hospital to search for an empty room with a TV. With no time to spare, we settled into the outpatient waiting room, and were swept away into historic Colorado Springs with the beloved cast of DR. QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN.

Yes, it was a dreary day when that show was cancelled. But fast forward to 2012. I’m a historical novelist, writing Old West fiction for WaterBrook Press. I’m still fascinated with the role of female physicians in the 1800’s. It’s no wonder then that Colorado doctor, Susan Anderson known as Doc Susie, serves as my “real life” character in The Bride Wore Blue, Book Three in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series.

Headed toward a fresh start but tethered by her past,
Vivian longs to break free, to find forgiveness and love.

The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek
Book 3

At last, the sisters are reunited! The youngest Sinclair, the family “baby,” is moving from Maine to Cripple Creek, Colorado and joining Kat, Nell, and Ida. But Vivian is a young woman with a will of her own, and made some decisions back in Portland that have begun to haunt her. Will she be able to live up to the expectations of her three perfect and now happily-settled sisters?

The sisters warmly welcome Vivian to the mountain west, but the wild-and-woolly mining town isn’t ripe with opportunities for a respectable young woman. The youngest Sinclair sister is determined to make her own way, so when she’s offered a job as a hostess in a sporting house, she takes it, thinking the position is appropriate for a tainted, unlovable woman like herself. Although she’s convinced she’ll never be asked to entertain privately, Vivian keeps her employment a secret from her sisters, knowing they’d be mortified—as will Carter Alwyn, the kind and godly sheriff’s deputy who’s sweet on her.

Vivian is descending into a life of secrets, lying to the very people who love her and could help her heal from her mistakes. Will an outpouring of grace remind her that she is still God’s beloved and that her past can be washed as clean as Rocky Mountain snow?

So is it Vivian or Sheriff’s deputy Carter Alwyn who has need of the good Doc Susie’s services? And who is at fault?

Heroes: Matt Dillon Style

Any Gunsmoke fans out there?

Marshal Matt Dillon

James Arness played Matt Dillon in the longstanding TV series Gunsmoke. Marshal Matt Dillon’s larger-than-life persona kept me on the edge of the couch rooting for him. Apparently, I was one viewer among a throng who favored the Dodge City drama because Gunsmoke ran for twenty years with a whopping 635 episodes.

The appeal of an Old West lawman is no surprise. A modern day lawman had already captured my heart—my daddy, William “Bill” Gansberg. Daddy was a city policeman and later a California Highway Patrolman. The uniform and the means of transportation were different, but the ideals that made him strap on a gun and stand for justice were the same—good, out to overcome evil.

You may recognize facets of Gunsmoke characters in The Bride Wore Blue, the latest book in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series.

Book 3, The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series

  • Sheriff’s Deputy Carter Alwyn has Marshal Matt Dillon’s chiseled good looks, integrity, compassion, and confident gait.
  • Vivian Sinclair doesn’t own a saloon, but it won’t take much stretch of your imagination to see a bit of Miss Kitty in her.
  • The wiry miner Boney Hughes definitely reflects some of Festus Haggen‘s backwoods charm.
  • Doc Susie displays the quiet conscience of Doc Adams.

Do you have a favorite character from TV westerns? Why is he or she a favorite?

Wanted: Mail-Order Bride Stories

letter

I had great fun living the life of a mail-order bride. Vicariously, that is, through the harrowing, humorous, and heart-warming experiences of Kat Sinclair and her sister Nell. Two sisters, two missing misters, and a shocking welcome to the Wild West.

What pulls you and I toward such an outrageous scenario as a woman leaving what she knows to step into the unknown with a man she doesn’t know?

Mail-order brides represent a stalwart breed of women who exude courage, strength, and a sense of adventure. They are women seeking a new beginning, opportunities, and financial security. We gravitate toward these stories because we like meeting a gutsy woman, young or old, who has a need to be married, but doesn’t have any promising prospects in her current circumstances. Their moxie might inspire us, but we’d happily do without the desperation that drives many of them west.

Usually, the heroine is connected to a possible mate through a response to some sort of advertisement.

Wanted: A single woman who is willing to walk away from the life she knows to travel across the country or even around the world and marry a stranger. She must be willing to bear his children and take care of their home, all while causing him to grow in his affection for her.

The mail-order bride plot line is typically one in which a man living in a western country, most commonly out west in the United States, marries a woman from a depressed or oppressed country or from the male-deprived eastern United States, sight unseen. Personal advertisements for matrimony served as the link between mail-order brides and the men who sent for them.

The fellow placing the ad or responding to an ad may end up being the one the heroine marries, but what if he isn’t? What if he isn’t who he is purported to be? Or maybe it’s the heroine who wears a façade. If so, why? And where does the misleading and misgivings take the characters? I loved finding that out in Stephen Bly’s Code of the West book, It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own.                     .

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan is one of the most popular examples using the mail-order bride scenarios in fiction. Papa lost his wife and placed an ad in the newspaper. Easterner Sarah Elizabeth Wheaton responded, setting her adventure in the west with the widower and his two children in motion. The classic tale began as a children’s novel and emerged as a popular Hallmark television movie.

While the mail-order bride storyline is most commonly seen in historical fiction, the 1993 movie, “Sleepless in Seattle,” offered a contemporary twist on the classic story form. A motherless boy desperate to help his father find a new wife called into a radio show and told his father’s story of loss and loneliness. Letters flooded his father’s mailbox opening the door to a compelling and heart-warming romance.

Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series
Book 1

In Two Brides Too Many, two of four Sinclair sisters travel west and arrive at the depot in Cripple Creek, Colorado expecting to meet the men with whom they’d corresponded. But when the ladies disembark at the train depot, neither fiance’ awaits them. The well-bred Sinclair sisters find themselves alone in the wild, frontier town—a place where fire threatens to reduce the buildings to rubble, the working women strut the streets, rogues will gamble for the shoes on one’s feet, and grace is found among the most unlikely of folks.

If you share my delight in mail-order bride stories with a twist, I hope you’ll ask your favorite bookseller for a copy of Two Brides Too Many.

Read Chapter One.

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Do you have a favorite Mail-Order Bride story?

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