Dear Readers, I read as many Christmas books as I can find during October, November, and December. Right now, I’m reading this novella collection, Christmas Mail-Order Angel. I’ve always loved mail-order bride stories. I even wrote a mail-order bride novel. I’m really enjoying this collection. I think you will, too.
I write primarily about the West. I’ve experimented with
Kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming, but I write mostly about settings I know first-hand:
Texas (8 books), Oklahoma
(7 books), and Colorado
(5). I moved to Colorado
in 1991 and felt like I had come home. Now I live in Oklahoma,
and I’ve spent time in Texas
But I’ve written the most books set in
Vermont. Eight books are a continuous series
covering Maple Notch, Vermont,
from the Revolutionary War to the present. The other two books are novellas. I
grew up in New England, and Vermont
was the state I was able to contract when Barbour was publishing books about
all fifty states in the country.
What do you look for when you’re shopping for a book to buy for yourself?
Hmm. Good question. Practical questions eliminate a lot of good books: is it available on Kindle? Living in a nursing home, I can’t accumulate hardbacks the way I used to. How much does it cost? I’ve also become leery of buying books that are part of series, at least sci fi.
After that. The cover, the description, an author I have enjoyed before. Even the length (shorter is better for me.). The setting does influence my choice as well. A book set in
is going to catch my interest before a book set in Iowa. No offense meant to Iowans. I just
don’t know your state well enough to appreciate it.
Give us a little tour of the setting for this book.
These settings are fun. They’re both fictional. It’s a mail-order bride series. The ladies all come from the town of
is the French word for sea, and “ville” is the French word for town (I think).
It’s a fishing village that has lost too many men to the Civil War and to the
Angel Vale is located in southwestern
County is Wyoming. It’s named for a rock formation
near the town. Gold was discovered in the region during the Black Hills Gold
Rush. There’s not a Christian woman to be found in the town. It’s not even
quite a town yet. That’s why the men want brides.
What other books do you have coming out soon?
Right now I have a devotional book designed for use during Advent available: An Advent Journey through Matthew. A devotional every day of Advent ties the events of Jesus’s life back to the Christmas season. It’s available for only 99 cents until Christmas at http://www.amazon.com/ADVENT-JOURNEY-THROUGH-MATTHEW-2015-ebook/dp/B016NIEJLI/
I also tried NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) for the first time this November, and I completed the first draft of a new mystery series, Case Closed. I am looking forward to publishing a new series this year.
I have a devotional in a book that makes a good advent read—21 Days of Christmas. It’s a fiction lovers devotional book with short stories by fiction authors with a devotion after the story that ties to the story. Please give us a glimpse inside your home.
You mean the home I share with 100 other people? ☺ I share a room with one person. Into my half of the room, I’ve squeezed family pictures, collages of my daughter’s poems, my clothes, toiletries, and one copy of each of my books, a couple of Bibles and all of my books online. My desk is my bedside table.
Jacob’s Christmas Dream is the first novella about eleven mail order brides going to
to marry gold rush miners. The complete collection of eleven stories has just
been published as Christmas Mail-Order Angels: the Complete 11 Volume Set
Tell us about the story.
Becky Patterson escapes the stifling life at her father’s parsonage for an exciting life as a mail-order bride ... only to learn her potential groom is a part-time preacher, Jake Underwood. Her dreams of working alongside Jake in his store stall when an itinerant preacher wants to ordain Jake as pastor of the growing church. Will Becky accept God’s calling on her life—or will she reject Jake’s love and the future God has planned for them?
Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
Territory, June 1877 Crook County, Wyoming
Get Your Personal Christmas Angel. Sign up with Matthew Thomas, Marriage Broker.
Jake Underwood looked at Matt across the packing crate he was unloading onto a shelf at his store in the small mining town. “What's this all about?”
Matt’s grin widened. “Why, I’ve figured how to make me some money, seeing as how my claim on the river didn’t make me enough money to earn a plug nickel. I thought I’d ask you to give it a look-see and tell me what you think.”
Jake frowned as he read the words again, wondering if he was misreading Matt’s sloppy handwriting. “Christmas Angels? Marriage broker? Are you setting up in the mail order bride business?” Matt had experimented with a lot of money-making schemes through the years, but this was his most outrageous idea yet.
Jake huffed. “You’ve got twenty years on me, and you’re not married.”
“Maybe I wasn’t ready until now.” Matt’s smile turned serious. “It’s time I stop drifting across the plains like tumbleweed. Gold or not, I want to stay put here in Angel Vale. Got to stay here, to keep you in line, don’t I?”
Jake simply smiled. “Do you really think men will pay money for this service?” He scratched his forehead. “I’ve seen some of those advertisements they put in the paper. Don’t cost that much. Why would they pay you to do it for them?”
“I’m aiming to bring a whole bevy of women, find a good match for everyone who’s interested. I’d like to see a bride for everyone who wants one, including you and me, if you want. I’ll find someone back east to help me out, choose the finest women while I weed through the men who are interested.” He picked up a lemon drop, placed a penny in the change jar by the register, and stuck the candy in his mouth. “You watch. The men’ll come out of the woodwork for the service I aim to provide.”
A wife. Matt didn’t know how often Jake’s mind had turned toward matrimony in recent days. He had always thought to marry when he reached thirty, but he had passed that milestone almost a year ago. No matrimonial prospects existed in the town of
Vale. It would take a host of Christmas angels to
provide for the needs of the town’s single men.
“See what I have here,” Matt said. “I’ve found several circulars advertising for brides. I figure we can write letters to send to all of ‘em, and see what kind of response we get.”
“I have a better idea.” Jake pulled out his Bible. “When I was a young boy.” Before things turned sour with his father. “Pa made me promise on the Bible.” He lifted in the air. “That if I ever got ready to marry, he wanted me to find a bride from the town where he grew up,
It’s right on the coast, the prettiest little place on God’s green earth to
hear him tell it.” Merville, Maine
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Christmas Mail Order Angels: The complete 11 Volume Set
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