1867 – Oregon Trail
1865 – Ohio/Traveling
Larkspur Nielsen is ready for a change. Her parents have passed on, and her older brother is successfully running the family business. She bristles at the small-mindedness that permeates life in her small Ohio community, and she sees little chance of a satisfying future there. She has a little money saved, and after turning the tables on a crooked gambler who had fleeced several locals, including her younger brother, she can stake a new start for herself and her three sisters.
As the gambler’s threats of revenge echo in her ears, she and her sisters head to Independence, Missouri, to join a wagon train bound for Oregon. Knowing that four women traveling together will draw unwanted attention, Larkspur dons a disguise, passing herself off as “Clark” Nielsen, accompanying his three sisters. But maintaining the ruse is more difficult than Larkspur imagined, as is protecting her headstrong, starry-eyed sisters from difficult circumstances and eligible young men. Will reaching their goal prove too much for them?
1846 – Oregon
After a whiskey still explosion destroys her home and nearly her life, Rebecca Packwood and her father must leave Missouri and her dear friends behind. After crossing The Oregon Trail, she sets out to discover her family’s secret history and to forge a home and community out of the raw farm land of Eagle Creek, Oregon Country, never suspecting a ruthless enemy is seeking to thwart her plans.
Hard-working banker’s son, Clark Sutherland, thought the toughest test he would face was getting out from underneath his father’s thumb. The last thing he expected was to be penniless, homeless, and smitten with a shy, dark-eyed stranger. With nothing to offer her, will he find a way to support himself and still pursue his dreams before they’re pulled apart?
When a man in shadows sets his eyes on their coveted prize, danger descends. Rebecca and Clark must act to protect the desires of their hearts before harm befalls them all. Will they learn to trust their future to the God who heals and sets the lonely in families?
1849 – California
Hope White is one of the preacher’s daughters. She’s a loving, giving person who plans to start missionary work in California.
Clay Adams was raised by a strict preacher grandfather who constantly criticized him and treated him harshly. Now all he wants is adventure and freedom. But his first venture into ‘freedom’ landed him in hot water with a bad bunch. He wants to leave behind this particular adventure and tries to flee to California. On the journey, he grows ill and lies dying on the desert floor.
Hope and her father find Clay and care for him. But there are spots on his chest to indicate he has typhoid fever so the wagon master insists they must keep their distance. While her pa drives the wagon, Hope tends the sick man. As he becomes lucid, they talk, and learn things about each other that convince them they are the worst person in the world for the other.
As they cross the mountains, more of Clay’s secrets are revealed. Hope’s trust is shattered, but when the family wagon breaks an axle, she has no choice but to rely on Clay.
Can she trust him to rescue both her and her father? Can she trust her heart and God? Will Clay prove he’s a changed man?
1849 – California
Sarah Goodine lost her husband on their journey across the Great Plains. After a herd of stampeding buffalo rampage over her wagon, she has nothing left. Nothing other than the three children depending on her. How can she get them to safety in California? This journey was meant to protect her six-year-old son, but now the little family is in dire straits.
Davis Carpenter’s wife and newborn baby died on the trail. He has his hands full dealing with his two remaining children. His dream of joining his cousin on a ranch in California seems unimportant now but he has no choice but to continue on.
There is only one thing that will help Sarah and Davis complete this journey—a marriage of convenience. They have no intention of falling in love. Can their children help them see that a real family requires love?
1857 – Oregon
It was just one night at a Victorian B&B. Until they woke up in 1857.
Collette Donaldson never should have taken her boyfriend to her cousin’s wedding. Or introduced him to her parents. After a disastrous weekend, all she wants is to get back home and sort out the mess that had once been their relationship. A heartbreaking fight, a flat tire, and an inconvenient storm force her and Seth to stay the night at a quaint bed and breakfast. But when Collette finds an antique photograph of herself, circumstances quickly shift from weird to unimaginable.
Seth Stone was ready to propose. Now he isn’t sure if he and Collette even have a relationship. People he’d never want to be his in-laws, an irritable girlfriend, and now he has to spend the night in a creepy old Victorian inn. He should have never wondered how things could possibly get worse. When they wake up stranded on a wagon train in 1857, Seth is determined to get home. But the only way to get out of the past is to face the problems stealing their future.
1849 – California
Colleen Pringle has been falsely accused and kicked out of her wagon train. She is desperate to get to California, start her own business and be independent. And to keep her secret. Alone on the prairie except for her wee daughter, Sheela, she is rescued by Eli. She’ll accept his help on one condition: they part ways once they reach California.
Eli Oatman agrees to Colleen’s plan. After losing his home and the woman he thought loved him, he can’t risk his heart again. It can’t be that hard to keep his distance from Colleen, can it?
Over and over, Colleen finds herself depending on Eli despite her resolve to be independent. Little Sheela adores Eli and steals his heart. So much for not getting close to anyone.
When the past and the ugly accusations find her, will Colleen ever be able to live a life of freedom? Can Eli forget his reservations and take a risk on love?
1849 – California/Traveling
Faith White needs to get safely to California. She’s desperate for a fresh start after being jilted by the man she’d planned to marry. There’s nothing left for her but memories and disappointments and a lost love.
For years Gideon Holder slaved away in a coal mine to save his father from going to jail. He earned his father’s freedom but lost everything else that mattered–including the woman he loved. Now Gideon plans to make up for lost time by searching for gold.
Gideon and Faith are shocked and dismayed to discover they’re both on the same wagon train to California. Gideon doesn’t want Faith to know about his father’s secret shame. Faith only wants to avoid the man who broke her heart. They vow to stay far away from each other, but that turns out to be impossible when they are assigned to travel as part of the same unit.
Can the adventures and challenges of the journey make them realize that their love is still alive?
1887 – Canada
Marriage of convenience? Not to this man.
Laura has been lied to before and vows to guard her heart. Especially from the likes of Cody Remington who seems not to take life seriously for one minute.
Cody was erreneously charged with murder. And the one woman he trusted—the woman he thought he loved—left him to hang. Trusting a woman is a mistake Cody doesn’t intend to repeat.
Neither Cody nor Laura can turn away from two abused and hungry children. When they are stranded overnight caring for the children, the townspeople insist they must marry.
How can Laura marry a man she can’t trust? Can Cody overcome his past to become the man Laura needs?
1859 – Oregon Trail
The Man She Fears Is Her Only Chance For Survival . . .
All Christina Astle wants is to reach Oregon before her baby is born, but the wagon train is attacked, and her husband killed, stranding her in a mountain labyrinth. Raised in the East, within civilization’s embrace, survival is not a skill she’s learned. Neither is evading the lone warrior dogging her trail.
Disgusted by the greed and cruelty of men like his white father, Towan has turned to the simpler existence of his mother’s tribal people. He is not prepared for the fiery woman who threatens to upturn his entire life … and his heart.
1867 – Colorado Territory
She’s running from grief. He’s running from war memories. Can they find love on this dangerous journey west?
Cornelia’s parents send her to America hoping to heal her heart. Accompanied by her protective brother, they’ll travel by covered wagon to the Colorado Territory to search for gold. When Cornelia meets a man who seems as troubled as the friend she lost, it seems she might be given a second chance to save someone before it’s too late.
Jake, once a prisoner of the Union Army, leaves Tennessee in disgrace. He wants nothing more than to find enough gold to start a new life. The last thing he wants is to fall in love.
Can the feisty Cornelia make him leave his past behind?
As the wagon train brings them together, will they look beyond past promises and old pain and discover treasure worth more than gold?
1855 – Oregon Territory
After the death of her mother, Emmalin Hammond discovers she is not the heiress she’d always assumed she’d be. The revelation exposes her fiancé’s true intentions when he withdraws his marriage proposal, leaving Emmalin heartbroken and humiliated. When she discovers the father she believed to be dead is still alive and living in the Oregon Territory she decides it is time to meet the man who has been hidden from her all of her life.
Accompanied by her Uncle Jonathon, she sets out for the Oregon Territory in search of answers and hoping for a renewed relationship with her father. When tragedy strikes, she confronts the terrifying challenge of completing her quest alone. Faced with few options, she entrusts her life to a mountain man named Jacob Landon who agrees to transport her to a small settlement in Southern Oregon called Deer Creek, a place also known as the Land of One Hundred Valleys.
Emmalin is not prepared for the hardships of life in the Oregon wilderness. Each day presents a new challenge. Newfound friends, including the reserved Jacob Landon, who unexpectedly stirs her heart, come alongside to help her adapt. Yet she feels out of place. Should she brave the arduous journey back to Philadelphia for the life she once knew or remain and hope for something better in the Oregon wilderness?
1870 – Oregon
Sometimes the best gifts are those freely given form the heart…
Ready to begin a new life far away from the sad memories of the Civil War, J.B. and Nora Nash head west on the Oregon Trail. They settle into the small community of Pendleton, Oregon, on a piece of land where they’re excited to build a future and their dreams together.
A devastating tragedy leaves them both reeling as they draw further and further apart. Nora blames J.B. for her unhappiness while he struggles through his own challenges. Only a miracle can bring them through their trials and reunite them for Christmas.
Together, will they discover the gift of grace in this sweet holiday romance brimming with hope, history, and abiding love?
1870s – Colorado
Della Hughes longs for adventure and for freedom from the strictness and austerity of 1870s Boston society. When her uncle and guardian, General Clint Logan, uses his fortune to purchase property in Colorado and set up a horse ranch selling remounts to the western army, Della decides she must accompany him and his family to the West. Along the journey, Della encounters more adventure than she bargained for.
Rustlers, Indians, and rattlesnakes add danger to the trek. A persistent cavalry captain who believes Della would make him the perfect wife and a Cheyenne chieftain’s son who tells her she’s brought sunshine to his heart complicate her life. And the handsome army scout who ramrods their wagon train guards a secret from his past that makes him believe he’s not worthy of loving Della. She must meet the challenges of the West and convince the man of her heart that love is worth risking everything to gain.
1846 – Oregon Trail
Why him? Why here? Why now?
Caroline Pierce O’Leary expects to work hard to earn her passage to the Oregon Country. She doesn’t expect to find that the wagon train scout is a man with whom she shares a troubled past. Though Caroline is a Christian now, thanks to her late husband, she finds forgiving Michael to be the hardest part of her journey, harder even than the Trail.
Michael Moriarty thought he’d left his past behind in “green and hurting Ireland.” Seeing Caroline on his wagon train, brings his past to the forefront. With a price on his head, he doesn’t want her to get hurt, but he can’t deny what they were…and could still be.
Michael once betrayed Caroline in the worst possible way. Can she trust him to get her across the Oregon Trail? Can he trust himself to accept her forgiveness and God’s?
1844 – California
Two years before the Donner Party, the Stevens-Murphy company left Missouri to be the first wagons into California through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Mostly Irish Catholics, the party sought religious freedom and education in the mission-dominated land and enjoyed a safe journey–until October, when a heavy snowstorm forced difficult decisions. The first of many for young Mary Sullivan, newlywed Sarah Montgomery, the widow Ellen Murphy, and her pregnant sister-in-law Maolisa.
When the party separates in three directions, each risks losing those they loved and faces the prospect of learning that adversity can destroy or redefine. Two women and four men go overland around Lake Tahoe, three men stay to guard the heaviest wagons–and the rest of the party, including eight women and seventeen children, huddle in a makeshift cabin at the headwaters of the Yuba River waiting for rescue . . . or their deaths.
Past/Present – Oregon
A young indentured Chinese boy is injured and left behind by his Oregon-bound wagon train. Trapped in an underground pit, incapacitated and terrified, his pleading is mistaken for that of an evil spirit by the Indians who hear him. Gifts of food and water appear as if from nowhere. The wailing moans frighten some and intrigue others, including a young slave girl who thinks he is the wanagi spirit of her lost warrior.
His struggle to survive occupies his mind, body and spirit with surprising results. A hundred and fifty years later the echoes of his struggle remain when a Lakota Indian advisor finds signs of his passage in the limestone cave.
1848 – Colorado
Sophia Lorenzo is a young widow. And she’s in hiding at Bent’s Fort with her one-year-old son. Her late husband’s parents are powerful and determined to take her son from her. To protect them both, she must hide her true identity.
Buck Williams is the wagon master for the wagon train recently arrived at the Fort. He has been a loner since his wife died on a wagon train headed for Oregon. He guards his heart against further hurt.
Buck knows Sophia, but doesn’t know why she is lying about her identity. When she reveals the trouble she is in and asks for his help, Buck finds new hope that protecting this woman and child will atone for his failure to protect his wife.
But trouble is on Sophia’s trail. Can Buck protect the woman and child he’s come to love?
1848 – New Mexico
Mary Mae Clark has learned the hard way not to trust what a man says. Broken promises have made her wary and now she only wants to return to Santa Fe to help her friend Sophia keep her wee son.
Warren Russell has been freighting on the Trail for four years. He likes it that way. No ties. No family. No love. He doesn’t deserve it after his neglect of his wife and small son resulted in their deaths.
But the accidental death of his best friend on the trail leaves Warren as guardian to the man’s ten-year-old niece, Polly. He gratefully accepts Mary Mae’s help with the child but only while they are on the trail. Then he and Polly will move on. Only Polly has other ideas. Matchmaking ideas…
Can Polly match Mary Mae and Warren in time for her to have a family for Christmas?
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?
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?
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?
1866 – Ohio
Two strangers hiding their own life-long secrets. Can pretending to be married…be that hard? The town of Greenlock shuns the daughter of the mortician. Day after day, Lauren begrudgingly has to take over her father’s duties creating despondence in her tender heart.
Then a voice speaks from the morgue basement. A rough and tumble outlaw who’s supposed to be dead is still alive! For some unfathomable reason, Lauren agrees to help him stay dead.
Elias was raised at Lennhurst Asylum. Since he had no family or future, he jumped a half-served prison sentence and enlisted in the recent Civil War to wield explosives. From running and surviving all his life, all Elias promised anyone was loyalty. Love was out of the question. When Lauren mentions her longing to see her mother and sister in Colorado, for loyalty’s sake, he offers to take her on the arduous wagon train journey. Of course, it wouldn’t be proper not to be married while traveling together. Lauren and Elias, so vastly opposite; their charade should be easy and yet they never expected it to threaten their very lives.
Loyalty versus love. Can Love Cover a multitude of sin or destroy a future?
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.
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…
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Missouri to Kansas
The wagon train ride from Missouri to Kansas territory is rife with perils. But there are bigger obstacles for Dr. Victoria Fenway than cholera or creek floods. Years ago, she and wagon-train captain Joseph Rickard were deeply in love. Now, Victoria is tracking the man who killed her late husband, and she is determined to continue his work rescuing slaves. She can’t allow herself to fall for Joseph again—not when he abandoned her once before. Joseph told Victoria he’d love her forever, and he’s been as good as his word. Misunderstanding led to her marrying another man. But with dangerous slavers on their trail, he’ll do anything to keep her safe until they reach a new home—and a second chance.