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1850 – Missouri to California
Previously released in the The Westward Christmas Brides Collection
Only the brave—or foolhardy—would attempt a cross-country journey late in the season. Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri, in April 1850, and their owners decide to keep forging ahead despite many setbacks and delays. December finds them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when a sudden snowstorm traps them, obscuring the trail.
Cynthia Cooper is traveling with her mother and the man she has promised to marry. But as Christmas is upon them and they are hunkered down in a small cabin, she is forced to reevaluate her reasons for planning to marry fellow-traveler Walter Prentice. When a widowed father heading to a California ranch and a gold prospector both show an interest in Cynthia, she weighs her dreams for marriage alongside her responsibility to care for her mother. Can love win over her timid heart?
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1848 – New Mexico
Judith Russel is devastated by the death of her fiancé and vows to never again trust her feelings toward a man.
Gil Trapper is the wagon train scout and owner of several freight wagons. Freighting is going to give him the future he’d thought he lost. He has no interest in love after the woman he intended to marry broke his heart.
Judith and Gil are forced to marry after they spend a night alone together saving a lost child. Their marriage of convenience doesn’t change anything. Judith can’t trust Gil and Gil will never open his heart to Judith. But as they work together to care for the tiny child that needs them, they can’t help growing closer to each other.
Will time spent together facing the challenges of the trail, the joy of the child, and the truth about their past experiences force them to admit their growing love or drive them apart forever?
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1848 – New Mexico
A life-altering betrayal leaves Donna Grace alone, unmarried, and pregnant. She’s desperate to leave St. Louis, Missouri, and return to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she grew up, and the only way back is by wagon train. The wagon master refuses to let a single woman drive a wagon without a male escort. Donna knows she can’t trust men, but it seems she’s going to have to partner with one if she wants to get back home.
Luke Russell failed to protect his fiancée. Because of his neglect, she was murdered. He vows to never leave another person to face dangers on their own and to never again open his heart to love. When he overhears Donna Grace’s predicament he offers her a marriage of convenience that they will dissolve as soon they reach Santa Fe.
But the trail forces them to work together. The birth of Donna’s baby unites them in a way they can’t deny. Will the dangers and joys of the Santa Fe Trail break down the barriers these two have built around their hearts?
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1865 – Wagon Train to Montana
Can a woman with no faith in men learn to trust the half-Cheyenne trail guide determined to protect her?
Young Irish widow Bry Brennan doesn’t want another husband to break her spirit. When she and her brother Con join a wagon train headed to Montana Territory, Bry ignores her fascination with Nick Laramie, the handsome trail guide.
Nick lives in an uneasy truce between the settlers and his mother’s tribe without fully fitting in among either. With no intention of dragging a woman into his troubles, he stifles his yearning for Bry.
The perilous journey throws the two together, leaving Bry no choice but to trust Nick with her life. Can she also trust him with her heart? Answering that riddle forces Bry to confront her unresolved questions about God’s love.
Based on actual historical events during a time of unrest in America, Cheyenne Sunrise explores faith, love, and courage in the wild west.
1847 – Washington
Grace Martindale has known more than her share of hardship. After her parents died, raising her two younger sisters became her responsibility. A hasty marriage to a minister who is heading to the untamed West seemed like an opportunity for a fresh start, but a cholera outbreak along the wagon trail has left Grace a widow in a very precarious position.
Having learned natural remedies and midwifery from her mother, Grace seeks an opportunity to use her skills for the benefit of others. So when she and her sisters arrive at the Whitman mission in “Oregon Country,” she decides to stay rather than push on.
With the help of Alex Armistead, a French-American fur trapper, Grace begins to provide care for her neighbors, including some of the native populace. But not everyone welcomes her skills–or her presence–and soon Grace finds herself and those she loves in more danger than she imagined possible.
Wed on the Wagon Train
1845 – Wagon Train
When she and her sister are unexpectedly orphaned and prevented from traveling West unless they have a male chaperone, Mattie Prescott disguises herself as a boy. But after Mattie’s fellow wagon train companions discover her masquerade, their long-dreamed-of fresh start is over before it’s even begun. She has only one choice: marriage to the man who helped her—and kept her secret—along the trail.
To save her honor and his own, Josiah Dawson agrees to take Mattie as his bride. But his plans don’t include a wife, and this hasty union is just a temporary duty he’ll dissolve at the end of the trail. As Mattie proves herself indispensable in the face of tragedy, though, it’s soon clear that she’s also indispensable to Josiah’s heart…
This Road We Traveled
1846 – Oregon
When Tabitha Brown’s son makes the fateful decision to leave Missouri and strike out for Oregon, she refuses to be left behind. Despite her son’s concerns, Tabitha hires her own wagon to join the party. Along with her reluctant daughter and her ever-hopeful granddaughter, the intrepid Tabitha has her misgivings. But family ties are stronger than fear.
The trials they face along the way will severely test Tabitha’s faith, courage, and ability to hope. With her family’s survival on the line, she must make the ultimate sacrifice, plunging deeper into the wilderness to seek aid. What she couldn’t know was how this frightening journey would impact how she understood her own life–and the greater part she had to play in history.
With her signature attention to detail and epic style, New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick invites readers to travel the deadly and enticing Oregon Trail. Based on actual events, This Road We Traveled will inspire the pioneer in all of us.
Post Civil War – Several US States/Wagon Train
Abigail Baldwyn might not be a widow after all…
Ever since she received word that her husband, Robert, was killed in the Civil War, Abigail has struggled to keep her Tennessee home and family together. Then a letter arrives claiming that Robert isn’t dead, yet he has no plans to return. Desperate for answers, Abigail travels to Independence, Missouri, where she joins a westbound wagon train to find him.
Leading a company along the Oregon Trail isn’t part of Hoke Mathews’s plans. But then the former cavalry scout gets a glimpse of Abigail—so elegant compared to the rest of their hardscrabble wagon community, yet spirited and resilient. Through every peril they encounter—snakebites, Indian raids, fevers, dangerous grudges—his bond with Abigail grows.
Abigail knew this journey would test her courage. Now it’s testing her marriage vows and her heart, daring her to claim a future on her own terms in a land rich with promise.
Wagon Train Proposal
1843 – Washington Territory
A marriage of convenience? Rachel Hewitt couldn’t possibly accept. Not even for the sake of three adorable little girls who desperately want a new mother. Sheriff Tristan McCullough offers Rachel a home and family, but not the one thing she truly seeks—someone to love her for herself.
Tristan McCullough hoped to find a wife on the wagon train, not a nanny. The hardworking widower wants a marriage without emotional risks. But independent Rachel intrigues him. One minute she’s winning over his shy little girls, and the next she’s tackling danger head-on. She might just be Tristan’s unexpected second chance at happiness…if he’ll risk his wary heart again.
Wagon Train Sweetheart
On a Wagon Train
Emma Hewitt never thought she’d travel thousands of miles to wed. Yet Oregon is where she’ll meet the groom her brothers have chosen. After years of nursing her ailing father, Emma’s social skills are lacking. An arranged marriage is only sensible. And her growing feelings for Nathan Reed, a worker on her wagon train, are surely better forgotten.
Nathan knows he’s wrong for Emma. He’s too rough, too burdened with guilt over his past. But when Emma nurses him through a fever, she sees something in him no one ever has. Now he wants to be a man worthy of her love. Emma’s loyalty to family has always come first. Will she find the courage now to follow her heart?
Wagon Train Reunion
1843 – Oregon Wagon Train
Abigail Black had no choice but to break Ben Hewitt’s heart years ago. Her parents had picked another, wealthier groom. Now widowed and destitute, she’s desperate to leave her old life behind. The wagon-train journey to Oregon is full of dangers, but she’ll face anything—even Ben—for a fresh start.
Ben knows better than to trust Abby again. Between her family’s snobbery and his family’s protectiveness, avoiding her should be easy. Yet he’s still moved by Abby’s sweetness and beauty…along with a sadness and strength he never noticed in her before. Forgiving past wrongs would be a struggle—but the hardest struggle would be letting Abby go once more.
The Oregon Trail Romance Collection
Risking all their hopes and dreams on promises of fertile land in the Northwest, thousands set off on the Oregon Trail between 1843 and the 1890s. Despite the majestic landscape and daily opportunities for fireside chats, the trail was hardly the place these migrants expected to find romance. In these nine novellas, travelers on the wagon trains experience all the challenges and dangers of the trail. Some will lose much, settle down along the trail, and even turn back home, while others endure to the end. Readers will enjoy traveling along with the romantic adventures in which faith is honed.
The Westward Christmas Brides Collection
Take the journey into the American west alongside nine women who are chasing their dreams—Cynthia, for security; Beryl, for a new family; Adeline, for freedom; Molly, for marriage; Beth, for a new start; Belinda, for a place to heal; Suzette, for adventure; Juliet, for peace; and Caroline, for a future for her children. Celebrate Christmas alongside these pioneers as love finds them in nine distinctly different romances penned by leading Christian fiction authors, including New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter.
A Light in the Wilderness
1844 – Missouri
Letitia holds nothing more dear than the papers that prove she is no longer a slave. They may not cause white folks to treat her like a human being, but at least they show she is free. She trusts in those words she cannot read–as she is beginning to trust in Davey Carson, an Irish immigrant cattleman who wants her to come west with him. Nancy Hawkins is loathe to leave her settled life for the treacherous journey by wagon train, but she is so deeply in love with her husband that she knows she will follow him anywhere–even when the trek exacts a terrible cost. Betsy is a Kalapuya Indian, the last remnant of a once proud tribe in the Willamette Valley in Oregon territory. She spends her time trying to impart the wisdom and ways of her people to her grandson. But she will soon have another person to care for. As season turns to season, suspicion turns to friendship, and fear turns to courage, three spirited women will discover what it means to be truly free in a land that makes promises it cannot fulfill.
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.