Some people get a mail order bride. She got a mail order man.
A well-meaning friend places an ad to find a mail order husband for Sarah, the proprietress of Larkspur’s stage and mail office. Sarah, who is generally quiet and reserved, doesn’t know about the ad and has no idea what to do with all the people that are showing up in her community. Before long, the town is overrun with men and mail alike. Sarah is trying to avoid some men who have accosted her on the street when she stumbles into Samuel. Through long days spent together at the stage office, some very adventurous pots of coffee and a shared faith, the two become friends. Sarah knows that Samuel is hiding something from her, something important, but that doesn’t stop her heart from leaping wildly into love. Lacking the confidence to trust her heart, Sarah wars with herself over the feelings she can no longer deny. When some of the men who have come to town show their true intentions, a shootout follows. Sarah finally gets answers to many of the questions circling through her mind. One question remains, though. Where will her mail order man go when the dust settles?
Keeping her eyes directed down, Sarah walked from the small house she had once shared with Papa…
Sarah heard a commotion to her left. Before she could even raise her eyes to see what was going on, someone came barreling out from the mercantile and plowed right into her. Sarah’s feet flew out from under her, and she landed out in the street, far from the boardwalk on which she had a moment ago been walking. Before she could take stock of the situation to determine if she’d landed in mud or manure, at least a dozen hands were reaching out to help her up. Frightened by all of the men crowding in around her and not sure of their intentions, Sarah scrambled to her feet and backed up from the growing crowd. She did not recognize a single face from the group that continued to step closer to her.
As she scurried backward, Sarah ran right smack into a wall. She didn’t remember a wall being there in the middle of the street, but sure enough, she was trapped between the wall behind her and the wall of men walking toward her.
“Pardon me, gentlemen, but I think you have frightened the lady here.” Sarah stiffened as she heard the wall behind her speak. Her head whipped back and up. With the sun shining right into her eyes, she couldn’t see the face of her rescuer, but his voice was confidently calm, loud enough to carry to all of the men who had been reaching toward her without actually sounding as though he’d raised his voice. “Miss, are you okay?” It took Sarah a moment to realize the talking wall was speaking to her.
“Y-y-yes, thank you.” Sarah struggled to get the words out past a suddenly dry and scratchy throat.
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Late for the Ball?
Fulfilling one’s destiny has never been so…compelling. Myra is cast aside by her parents, betrothed to a man she’s never met, and forced into a life she never wanted. In the midst of it all, she finds herself strangely drawn into something she doesn’t entirely understand. The earl is mocking, demanding and entirely unwilling to break the betrothal. He speaks in riddles, but by night’s end, one thing is clear: He is not who he seems. Follow Myra into a world of intrigue and hidden meaning. Will she unravel the mystery before time runs out?
Myra was reaching for a glass of lemonade when a voice stilled her. “You must be my betrothed.” The words had the slightest accent. Myra tried but could not identify it. Greek, perchance? If a man could sound both immovable and fluid at the same time, this man did. His voice was warm like a rich cup of chocolate yet chilly as the deepest days of winter. A thought flitted through her mind. Devour the chocolate or swear it off for life? Myra turned to look at the man. Taller than any other at the ball, he was also broad-shouldered and fearsome in appearance. His hair was indeed darker than night. A deep olive color, his skin invited her to reach out and touch it. A shadow of growth covered his jaw, showing his utter disregard for the opinions of others. Determined to smile, she shifted her attention to his eyes and instead felt the corners of her mouth droop as their inky depths burned into her, making her feel transparent and bare. “And you are?” she asked, her voice quivering despite her best efforts to keep it steady. The man had the gall to throw his head back and laugh. This was not, however, the laugh of a man meeting his betrothed for the first time. It sounded to Myra like the feral cry of a predatory animal. Surely prey about to be devoured could feel no less cornered than she did in that moment. “Why, I am the Earl of Allegory, of course. And you, my dear, are all mine.” Fear sliced through Myra’s middle. Her earlier bitterness was washed away as a raging tide of panic swept through her. She cast her eyes frantically about the ballroom looking for anyone who might help her evade this tyrant. Seeing none to give her aid, she returned her eyes to meet his. He lifted an eyebrow sardonically. His words asked but his tone commanded when he said, “May I have this dance?” Before she could think of a way to avoid it, Myra found herself on the ballroom floor. The earl’s arms were bands of steel holding her in place, affording no opportunity for retreat. A waltz! Of all dances, why did it have to be a waltz? “Perhaps, my love,” he said, giving her hand a firm squeeze, “you should have spent more time preparing for this meeting. You don’t seem to have a thing to say to me.” What does one say to a fiend? There was no hiding the grimace that accompanied her ominous thoughts. “Ah, I think I understand what is going on inside that pretty little head of yours,” he said darkly.
Ten Million Reasons is a contemporary Christian romance scheduled for release Summer 2013.
Money talks, and the way she spends hers tells him all he needs to know…
Richard needs to find a woman he can trust, and he needs to find her fast. He doesn’t have time to waste on getting to know people, which means dating and interviewing are out of the question. So how can he get past that initial mask of good behavior to learn what people are really like? Easy! Give them ten million dollars and watch to see what they do with it.
Genevieve is a free-lance journalist who talks to herself, constantly forgets to put appointments on her calendar and can’t go anywhere without being asked to take a survey. Why on earth is Richard interested in her? She doesn’t know it yet, but he has ten million reasons…
Genevieve read through the article offers. “Really?” she asked the empty room. “I don’t want to write about monkey mating habits, the chemistry of turtle urine, or the nature of flea families!” Oh great. Now I’m yelling at my computer.
When Genevieve’s phone rang, she was so relieved to be distracted from her abysmal writing offers, she picked it up with gusto and answered, “Please tell me something good!” Her enthusiasm was met with silence. “Uh, hello?” she asked, feeling her embarrassment in the heated flush moving across her neck and face.
“Miss Genevieve Mason?” The voice was male, deep, a touch gravelly, and slightly delicious.
“Is this Miss Mason?” The voice had moved from delicious to downright arrogant.
Somebody’s got too much starch in their shirt!
Genevieve’s ire rose, and her words were clipped. “Well, generally when you call someone, you introduce yourself. I don’t recognize your voice or your number, so it wouldn’t be wise of me to give out my name prior to knowing who you are. Safety and all that. Who’s asking?”
“My name is Richard, and I’m calling about the survey you recently took.”
“Which one?” she asked.
“Which one?” he echoed.
“Yes. Which survey?” Is this guy dense or something?
“You’ve taken more than one survey?”
“I walk through the mall a lot. I end up taking surveys.” Chagrin snaked its way through her middle and up her throat. Trying to swallow it back down, she defensively added, “I can’t be the only person who gets stuck taking surveys all the time. I’ve never gotten a call about one before. Which survey is this for?”
“You took a survey asking how you would spend ten million dollars if you had a day to do so.” Was that judgment she heard in his voice?
Fantastic. Some people tell stories about the crazy cat lady. He’s going to be telling stories about the crazy survey lady!
“Oh, that one,” she said airily. “I remember it. What can I do for you?” Genevieve still wasn’t sure this guy Richard was on the up-and-up, but since he knew which survey she’d taken, she decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. Without revealing any personal or pertinent information, that is. She hadn’t forgotten everything from the Technological Self Defense course she’d taken a few years back. Sure, she’d only taken it so she could write a series of articles about it, but still, she’d learned a few things.
“As I was saying,” the arrogance had seeped out of his voice, “my name is Richard, and I’m calling about the survey you took.” She tried to picture the face that would go with the rich velvety tones now coming across the phone line and making her ear tingle. Unfortunately, the only picture that came to mind was the short, skinny, balding, yellow-toothed man who usually conducted the surveys.
Great. Even my fantasies mock me.
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Find out more about Heather: I was born in Nevada. As a child, I lived there as well as Montana, Texas, Arizona and possibly California. I was too young to remember the last one, though, and am putting my trust in family lore on that count. As an adult, I called Idaho home for eight years before the economy transplanted us to the east coast. I currently make my home in Virginia with my fantastic family. http://www.heathergraywriting.com/
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