Romance on the River – Novella
1861 – Virginia
This free short story prequel by bestselling author Mary Ellis provides an early glimpse into the life of Quaker Emily Harrison. Laced with humor and a sweet love story, this bonus material also contains the first chapter of Emily’s continuing journey in The Quaker and the Rebel, Book 1 of the Civil War Heroines series.
Summer 1861—Emily Harrison is finding life a bit overwhelming. Alone on her family’s farm, she must take on the roles of both housekeeper and farmer. She cares for the garden, makes plans for planting the fields, and milks the cows, all the while creating havoc in the home her mother used to keep immaculate. That is in addition to providing a safe house as part of the Underground Railroad. In the midst of this whirlpool of swirling tasks, she is getting ready to greet very important dinner guests—the love of her life and her pastor and his wife. Will Matthew finally propose? What news does Reverend Ames bring that turns Emily’s world upside down? How does the new war between the North and South impact her life? And…will the goose be cooked in time?
A Vow Unbroken
1832 – Texas
A spunky young widow hires a farmhand with a bad reputation to help her get her cotton to Jefferson to meet the wagon train, and sparks fly—but can she love a man who doesn’t love the Lord?
Susannah Abbot Baylor reluctantly hires Henry Buckmeyer to help her along the Jefferson Trace, the hard stretch of land between her Texas farm and the cotton market, where she is determined to get a fair price for her crop. It’s been a rough year, and she’s in danger of losing the land her husband left to her and the children, but she’ll need help getting both of her wagons to Jefferson safely. She knows Henry’s reputation as a layabout and is prepared for his insolence, but she is not expecting his irresistible good looks or his gentle manner. Soon they are entwined in a romantic relationship that only gets more complicated when Susannah learns that Henry doesn’t know God the way she does. Dangers arise on the road—but none as difficult as the trial her heart is going through.
Will Susannah and Henry’s love overcome their differences? And will she get her crop safely to the cotton market with enough money to save the farm? In this heartening and adventurous tale, a young woman’s fortitude, faith, and heart are put to the ultimate test.
1752-1757 – Pennsylvania
In 1738 Jakob Hochstetler and his family arrive in America, seeking sanctuary from religious persecution in Europe and the freedom to live and worship according to their Anabaptist beliefs, which include the doctrine of nonresistance. Along with other members of their church, they settle in the Northkill Amish Mennonite community on the Pennsylvania frontier between civilization and wilderness. They build a home near Northkill Creek, for which their community is named.
For eighteen years, the community lives at peace. Then, while the French and Indian War rages, the Hochstetlers’ way of life is brutally shattered. Early on the morning of September 20, 1757, their home is attacked by a party of Delaware and Shawnee warriors allied with the French. Facing certain death with his wife and children, Jakob makes a wrenching choice that will tear apart his family and change all of their lives forever.
Northkill is closely based on an inspiring true story well-known among the Amish and Mennonites. It has been documented in many publications and in contemporary accounts preserved in the Pennsylvania State Archives and in private collections.
A Sharecropper Christmas by Carlene Havel – short story
1930s – Texas
The Great Depression left the Shoemaker family hungry and homeless. Their desperate prayers are finally answered when Herbert Shoemaker finds work as a sharecropper. Alice makes the best of the hard times without complaint. though she dreams of giving her little family a special Christmas.
Fields of the Fatherless
1775 – Massachusetts
In the early months of 1775, war is brewing in the American colonies. Although frightened, eighteen-year-old Betsy Russell (an ancestor to actor Kurt Russell) of Menotomy Village, Massachusetts, wants to be prepared in case of attack by British troops. Her father, prosperous farmer Jason, is the fourth generation of Russells on this land yet their very rights as British Colonials are being stripped away one by one. Will the King of England take their land as well? Tensions are growing here in the countryside west of Boston and the outbreak of battle seems a certainty. Jason desperately wants to protect his family his wife, children and grandchildren and their future. Betsy makes every attempt to be prepared for the worst. But not even the American militia could have predicted the bloody massacre that was about to occur right on the Russells doorstep. If Betsy loses everything she holds dear, are the rights of all the Colonists endangered?
Fields of the Fatherless is based on a true story.
A Bride for Keeps (Unexpected Brides Book #1)
1876 – Kansas
Although Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won’t humiliate himself by looking for a helpmate ever again–not after being jilted by three mail-order brides. When a well-meaning neighbor goes behind his back to bring yet another mail-order bride to town, he has good reason to doubt it will work, especially after getting a glimpse at the woman in question. She’s the prettiest woman he’s ever seen, and it’s just not possible she’s there to marry a simple homesteader like him.
Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. Having finally worked up the courage to leave her life in Massachusetts, she’s determined to find a place where people will value her for more than her looks. Having run out of all other options, Julia resorts to a mail-order marriage in far-away Kansas.
Everett is skeptical a cultured woman like Julia could be happy in a life on the plains, while Julia, deeply wounded by a past relationship, is skittish at the idea of marriage at all. When, despite their hesitations, they agree to a marriage in name only, neither one is prepared for the feelings that soon arise to complicate their arrangement. Can two people accustomed to keeping their distance let the barricades around their hearts down long enough to fall in love?
1870s – Idaho
Dessert…the perfect remedy when nothing in life seems to be going right.
What do you do when you are the sole protector of four children, your brothers and sisters? When each day is haunted by disappointment, disillusionment and desperation? When you believe that everyone who ever loved you, including God, has abandoned you?
You bake a pie, of course.
What do you do when you find a woman whose heart is consumed by fear? Who does not know how to trust? Who scoffs at your faith and throws your kindness back in your face?
You eat a pie, of course.
Late 1700s – New York
Abducted by Mohawk Indians at fourteen and renamed Burning Sky, Willa Obenchain is driven to return to her family’s New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the People. At the boundary of her father’s property, Willa discovers a wounded Scotsman lying in her path. Feeling obliged to nurse his injuries, the two quickly find much has changed during her twelve-year absence—her childhood home is in disrepair, her missing parents are rumored to be Tories, and the young Richard Waring she once admired is now grown into a man twisted by the horrors of war and claiming ownership of the Obenchain land.
When her Mohawk brother arrives and questions her place in the white world, the cultural divide blurs Willa’s vision. Can she follow Tames-His-Horse back to the People now that she is no longer Burning Sky? And what about Neil MacGregor, the kind and loyal botanist who does not fit into in her plan for a solitary life, yet is now helping her revive her farm? In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, strong feelings against “savages” abound in the nearby village of Shiloh, leaving Willa’s safety unsure.
Willa is a woman caught between two worlds. As tensions rise, challenging her shielded heart, the woman called Burning Sky must find a new courage–the courage to again risk embracing the blessings the Almighty wants to bestow. Is she brave enough to love again?
The Baby Bequest
1870 – Wisconsin
Schoolteacher Ellen Thurston never expected to find love in Pepin, Wisconsin. But the moment she discovers a baby boy outside her door, it’s love at first sight. While the townsfolk don’t approve of Ellen as a single mother, what worries her most are her feelings for the handsome farmer who defends her decision to keep the child.
Ellen is far above the reach of a German immigrant like Kurt Lang. Especially one weighted with responsibility. Kurt knows how hard it is to raise a child alone, but he will do whatever it takes to help make Ellen’s dream of a family come true.
THE FARMER’S BRIDE COLLECTION
In six historic novellas, romance eludes farmers bent to the plow to plant, tend, and harvest the crop on their homesteads. Can love also grow in the hearts of these hardworking Americans who were the foundation of a rapidly expanding country?