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Now available ‘Mail Order Bride: Bernadette Finds Love’

I’m pleased to say that ‘Mail Order Bride: Bernadette Finds Love’ is now available.
Click Here to buy now.

Bernadette Havering is a vivacious and independent woman. She knows her mind and never intends to let a man dictate what she should or should not be able to do. In a world where women having a job is frowned upon, she longs for a profession and wants to make history by becoming one of the very first women in the United States of America to gain a law license. But why should she give up a husband and family in order to do so? Can she truly have both?

Edward Grieve has worked hard. He has come from nothing and managed to gain an education, becoming a skilled veterinarian in great demand. But this is not the only thing that makes him unusual. He also believes passionately that women deserve more than they get from men, society and the law of the land. But will he ever trust anyone enough to explain why?

Coming Soon!! Bernadette Finds Love (Ruby Springs Brides #4)

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend 🙂

I’m currently in the process of finishing book 4 in the ‘Ruby Springs Brides series’ and it will be published very soon.

Meanwhile enjoy the blurb and excerpt.

Blurb:

Bernadette Havering is a vivacious and independent woman. She knows her mind and never intends to let a man dictate what she should or should not be able to do. In a world where women having a job is frowned upon, she longs for a profession and wants to make history by becoming one of the very first women in the United States of America to gain a law license. But why should she give up a husband and family in order to do so? Can she truly have both?

Edward Grieve has worked hard. He has come from nothing and managed to gain an education, becoming a skilled veterinarian in great demand. But this is not the only thing that makes him unusual. He also believes passionately that women deserve more than they get from men, society and the law of the land. But will he ever trust anyone enough to explain why?
Excerpt:

Chapter One

“Congratulations Miss Havering,” Professor Wilder said with a snide smile. “Though what purpose an education in the Law will be to a young woman, such as yourself, I cannot possibly imagine.” Bernadette stifled her rage. She would soon be gone from Northwestern University School of Law, and she would be able to put the years of torment her teachers and fellow students had heaped upon herself and the other two young women in the class. All three had graduated above many of their male peers, and yet they were still not deemed the honor of being presented their diplomas with their fellows.

“Why Professor, like everyone else I intend to apply for my license to practice as a lawyer, and to help those in need to get the legal advice and support that they need,” she said, her voice saccharine sweet. She smiled at him, as though he hadn’t tried to diminish all her hard work, or her hopes and dreams for the future. She knew that too many men felt threatened by women like her, that they wished they would stay in the home and bring up babies as good little women were supposed to – but she had never been that kind of girl and she doubted she ever would.

She had chosen to attend Northwestern as it was the University that the heroine of her girlhood had attended, the remarkable Ada Kepley who had been the first woman in the United States to graduate from law school here in 1870. But Ada had never become a practicing lawyer; she was denied a license until 1881 when Illinois had finally overturned the law barring women from practicing the learned professions. Bernadette longed to be as fearless and to make her own way in the world. She was determined to do so – whoever told her she could not. She knew that she would still have a fight on her hands to obtain her license, but she had gotten this far – she would not give up now.

Professor Wilder made an indistinguishable sound, but Bernadette was sure he was trying hard to disguise his disgust at her audacity. “Well, I wish you luck, but I doubt any man will ever hire you to draft so much as a will for him,” he huffed.

“We shall see,” Bernadette said with a smile as she took the diploma he begrudgingly proffered. She grinned to see her name on it, and cheekily gave him a little curtsey. “Good day Professor Wilder, and thank you. I shall make this University proud.” She could hear him choking as she hurried from the room into the cool corridor. She leant against the wall, suddenly feeling a little overwhelmed. She took a few breaths and waited for her heart to stop pounding before she made her way outside into the warm summer sunshine. She had to keep looking at the certificate in her hand to believe that she truly had achieved everything she set out to do. She had not given up, despite the disdain of everyone around her, and she had proven she was just as capable as any man.

She hurried back to her lodgings. Chicago looked particularly lovely to her on this wonderful day and she almost skipped along the streets. “You look chipper,” her landlady, Mrs Peters said as she burst through the front door.

“I am on top of the world,” Bernadette said taking the portly lady by the hands and whirling her round and round in the hallway.

“He actually gave you your certificate then?” Mr Peters said as he emerged from the couple’s small front parlor, his newspaper still in his hand.

“He did, and I can hardly believe it. So few women ever achieve such things,” Bernadette cried eagerly.

“And you know you have a position in my law office, starting tomorrow,” he said proudly, “though getting your license will be difficult. I heard that they denied poor Myra Bradwell again.”

“That won’t stop me. At least I will be able to gain the experience I shall need to prove to them that I am competent, determined and not faint-hearted.”

“You are anything but that,” chuckled Mrs Peters. “When I think of those images Charles brought home, that the pair of you pored over for days. They quite turned my stomach, but you didn’t bat an eyelid.”

“My father owned an abattoir, blood and guts were a part of daily life,” Bernadette chuckled.

“Well, in that case you can help me to butcher the mutton for your celebration supper tonight,” Mrs Peters said giving her a shove towards the kitchen.

“Congratulations Bernadette,” Mr Peters said. “You deserve it. I certainly never worked so hard to get my diploma. I am absolutely certain that old Wilder marked you girls much more harshly than he has ever done a male student. Maybe it is something we should look into. It is not right, nor fair that a woman should have to prove herself to be so much more capable than the mark made out for a man in any sphere.” He rolled up his newspaper and tapped it against his chin thoughtfully as he headed back into the parlor, his mind clearly mulling over his idea already.

Bernadette smiled, it was so like him. He was a good man, and he truly believed that women should be on an equal footing in life with men, that they should be able to follow whatever profession they chose, should be able to gain access to any college or University in the land if they could prove their ability – as men did – and he was passionate about women’s suffrage. He would have a case mapped out by the time she and his wife had served supper, and he would do what it took to see it through too. Though there were many nights when it was he who was slaving over a hot stove, and his wife busy poring over her ledgers. They truly were a most unusual couple, and Bernadette found them inspiring in every way.

Inside the kitchen, Bernadette took off her coat and hung it on the hook by the back door, and pulled on a crisp white apron. Mrs Peters opened the door to the ice house, and they entered, shivering. A number of whole and half carcasses were stored inside. “That one,” Mrs Peters said, pointing to the half carcass of a sheep. “He is so very proud of you. I am too of course, but I think he likes to think of you as his protégé.”

“I am honored. He has been such a support, and an invaluable resource. He is so knowledgeable. I am so glad that I chose to board here, rather than at Moira Clayton’s,” she said honestly. They lifted the mutton on a count of three, neither of them struggling with the weight. Bernadette’s mother would have been appalled to see her daughter undertaking such toil, lifting was a man’s work. Though to be fair, she would also have been quite upset that her daughter did anything outside of the scope of a genteel young lady. She shuddered as she thought of how dull her life might have been, if dear Mama had managed to keep her tucked away in the parlor playing the pianoforte and stitching at her sampler.

“Are you cold?” Mrs Peters asked her.

“No, I just had the most horrible vision of what my life might have been like. As much as I do miss Mama and Papa, I am glad to have the right to choose my own destiny.”

“Well, if that isn’t the most pragmatic thing I have hear in some time. We are glad you chose to come and board here too. I know you miss your family, and rightly so, but do know that you have become like a daughter to us and we love you dearly,” Mrs Peters said affectionately. “We shall miss you when you marry and have to leave us.”

 

 

Now available ‘Mail Order Bride: Carolyn Finds Love’

I’m pleased to say that ‘Mail Order Bride: Carolyn Finds Love’ is now available.
Click Here to buy now.

Carolynn Kemp has lost everything. Her entire family is gone, and her life is in turmoil. Her hopes and dreams of making every one of their lives better are dashed and she is tempted to give up and accept the misery that she seems destined for. But will life let her lie down and give in, or will she find the inner strength to start again?

Coming Soon! Mail Order Bride – Carolyn Finds Love

I’m currently in the process of finishing book 3 in my  ‘Ruby Springs Brides series’ and it will be published very soon 🙂

Meanwhile enjoy the blurb and excerpt.

Blurb:
Carolynn Kemp has lost everything. Her entire family is gone, and her life is in turmoil. Her hopes and dreams of making every one of their lives better are dashed and she is tempted to give up and accept the misery that she seems destined for. But will life let her lie down and give in, or will she find the inner strength to start again?

Winston Piper is jealous of the happiness his friends have found in recent times, and so he takes the chance that he might find love by mail order too. But his fears are not that he won’t find the woman he so desperately craves, he worries that she will not give him the chance to make her happy. Can he convince her that her past does not have to overwhelm them and deny them of happiness, and that it is their future he cares about most?

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Texan Doctor requires an educated and kindhearted young lady to correspond with, with a view to eventual matrimony. She should have a cool head in a crisis and be able to accept the unseemly hours of the position a small town doctor requires.
All response to Box 248, The Matrimonial Times.

Winston stared at the advertisement in the newspaper and cursed under his breath, he had forgotten how difficult it had been to compose it – and seeing it now in print showed him just how badly he had got it wrong. He had agonized over draft after draft, and yet this was all he had been able to submit. He looked at the other matrimonials that surrounded his and knew that they would be far more likely to receive a response than he would. They had offered some kind of insight into themselves, whereas he had been as closed off and curt as he was with his more difficult patients. He hated that he had such an impatient and dismissive streak within him, and even more that he had let it dominate in this of all things. He screwed up the page in frustration, and threw it into the fire. He did not know what to say, or what to do, to put it right and so he would simply have to accept that he would be unlikely to find a bride in such a way.
A knock on his office door dragged him out of his self pity. “Enter,” he called briskly, trying to sound professional.
“Dr Piper, Mrs Jones is here to see you with young Frederick. It seems he has a nasty earache,” his assistant Gwen said ushering in the smartly dressed young woman and her infant.
“Good day to you Mrs Jones,” he said indicating she should sit down. He moved to the front of his desk and crouched down beside her.
“How many times do I have to insist you call me Catherine?” she said with a smile. “You are after all one of my husband’s closest friends.”
“I shall remember one day. I think it is being here, I have to be professional with my patients after all,” he said chucking the little one under the chin. “Now what is wrong with Master Owen here?”
“He has been teething, and going through it very hard. His gums are sore and bright red, and he keeps clutching at his ears.”
“Has he had a fever?”
“From time to time. I have been keeping him cool when it is up, and bundling him up when he is cool.”
“Teething can be a tricky business and it is more common than people realize for babies to get ear pain when they go through it. I think we may need to give you a tincture. You can pop it in some water and try to get him to take it at least three times a day, if he will not take it that way then just rub it over his gums – it will have the same effect. It has willow bark in for the pain and some feverfew. It should help him through. Give him something hard to chew on, oddly it will soothe his gums. My mother always gave us rusks. I shall write to her for the recipe for you as you will have many more months of this I am afraid to say.”
“My cakes and biscuits might do as well as any special recipe,” Catherine said self deprecatingly. “I am not the greatest at baking. I feel for poor Dylan and Kyle, if it weren’t for Mrs Wilberforce I suspect we might all starve!”
“I am sure it is not that bad,” Winston said with a wink.
“Oh it certainly is,” she said not chagrined in the slightest. “But my talents lie elsewhere and so I shall stick with what I do well and leave the cooking to the marvelous Mrs Wilberforce. There is nobody in town who can shine brass like me.” She chuckled, just as young Owen decided to let them know just how much pain he was in with a piercing wail. She cuddled him to her breast, and Winston pulled a small bottle out of his drawer and put a few drops on his fingers. He coaxed the little lad to open his lips and then rubbed it gently over his gums. Owen continued to scream, and Catherine stood and bounced him on her hip as she walked up and down the room. Then just as quickly he seemed to drift off into a deep slumber. “My, that truly does work,” she said picking up the bottle and looking at the label. “I don’t think he has been soothed that quickly since he was born.”
“Then my work here is done,” Winston said happily.
“Thank you Dr Piper,” Catherine said cheekily. “How much do I owe you?”
“Nothing,” he said, but Catherine frowned at him.
“You shall never make a bean if you do not charge everyone in town fair rates. Dylan and I can easily afford it. If you wish to treat someone with much less than us for free, then please do so, but charge us full rate so you may help those who truly need you without harm to yourself.”
“You are a good woman Catherine Jones,” he said, not for the first time admiring the wife his friend had found from an advertisement in the newspaper. He had found a good and loving mother for his son, and a true love and helpmeet for himself. Their ranch was flourishing under their joined hands and they were both more than content with one another.
As Catherine left, he felt his heart sink once more as he thought of what a mess he had made of something that should have been so simple. He knew he might not be as lucky as Dylan had been when he placed his own advertisement, nor even as blessed as Marty and Georgina had been in finding one another, but he had hoped to at least find someone whose company would bring him contentment and peace. He just wished he had been more creative, more open when he had written the words he had himself submitted – words that, upon reflection, made him sound like an utter bore. He doubted any woman, of the kind he might wish to know, would ever take a risk on him based on such an advertisement and they would be right to choose another over himself.
But it did not do to dwell on such things and so he packed up his black bag, and made his way into the outer office. Though Ruby Springs was a small town, he was a busy man and it was rare that he had much more than an hour to himself. “Gwen I shall go on my rounds now. Who must I visit with today?” he asked his assistant. She had a sturdy body, and thick ankles but she was a fine nurse and an excellent secretary. He knew he would be quite at sea without her, and she was also kindly enough to ensure he ate well and took care of himself too. She smoothed back the single strand of hair that had escaped her tight bun, and handed him a list. She looked severe, but under the heavily starched aprons and stern look beat a heart of gold.
“Will you need me again today?” she asked.
“No, I doubt it,” he said distractedly as he worked out the best route to take to get to everyone who needed him.
“I promised Marie Masters that I would go and sit with Craig so she can get some rest.” She took her coat from the hat stand in the corner and began to pull it on.
“I should add him to my list,” Winston said thoughtfully. “I am still amazed that the lad is still with us. It has been over a month now that he has been so unwell. He is quite the fighter.”
“He seemed a little cooler the day before last. I can only hope for his sake that he is on the mend at last.” Gwen buttoned herself in, even though the Masters’ home was only across the street. It amused Winston that she always appeared as she should. Few in Ruby Springs were so particular.
“Diphtheria is usually done much more quickly than this, we can only hope it means it was some other disease, one thankfully less deadly it would seem,” Winston said hopefully. He had no trouble admitting that his diagnoses might not always be right. He personally despised doctors who insisted that they were right, when all evidence was to the contrary. He felt that it was better to admit that there were simply some things he just did not know and nor could he. But he did spend all of his spare time studying the journals he had delivered each month to continue learning more about the new research and discoveries that seemed to improve outcomes for patients more and more with each passing year.

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