Sunday, 8 January 2017

HIS MAIL-ORDER BRIDE coming out from Harlequin Historical

Book one in Western historical trilogy THE FAIRFAX BRIDES

Release date March 2017. Available to pre-order now:  

Amazon UK           Amazon US         Barnes and Noble

The orphaned Fairfax sisters live as prisoners in their Boston home. Charlotte, the eldest, stands to inherit the family fortune. To escape the attempts of their greedy cousin to force her into marriage, Charlotte flees into the night and steals another woman’s identity, believing to be heading for employment in the Arizona Territory.

On arrival in the dying mining town of Gold Crossing, Charlotte discovers she has become the mail-order bride to a big, strong, and very determined homesteader. Worse, it turns out she is supposed to be with child.

Thomas Greenwood has scrimped and saved to get himself a wife. He will not be cheated, even if his bride appears reluctant and looks nothing like the photograph in his pocket.

Background and research:

The story is set in 1889, a time when women had few opportunities to support themselves, which adds to the difficulties for the heroine on the run. It is an interesting period to write about the West. Railroads are bringing in civilization but there is still lawlessness. Modern inventions, such as the telegraph and electricity, canned foods and ready-made clothing, are starting to change everyday life.

The dying mining town of Gold Crossing is fictitious. I've toured the ghost towns in Arizona and New Mexico, and I found the towns still clinging to life more fascinating than the towns already in ruins. Gold Crossing has a population of eight, and I've grown quite fond of some of the supporting characters - Art Langley, who owns everything and longs for the good times to return, the ancient Doc Timmerman and his wife Dottie, the adolescent Gus Junior, who loves to gossip and turns it into a trade by starting a newspaper.

On one of my trips I stayed on an isolated pomegranate farm, and I have used the location as the inspiration for Thomas's farm. In my childhood I learned how to milk a cow, and I could use that experience, however I had to research growing corn and vegetables in such a climate in the 1880's, which has given Thomas some of his mechanical skills. I hope the historical detail adds to the story instead of cluttering it up!

You can find out about the other two books in the trilogy under the "Coming Soon" tab.