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And Then Came Spring: A Bride for All Seasons Novella

And Then Came Spring: A Bride for All Seasons Novella

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And Then Came Spring: A Bride for All Seasons Novella

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Länge:
109 Seiten
1 Stunde
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Aug 20, 2013
ISBN:
9781401690212
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

It all started with an ad in a mail-order bride catalogue . . .

Mary-Jo has traveled halfway across the country to meet her match, arriving just in time . . . for his funeral. Returning home seems like her only option. Then her would-be brother-in-law proposes a more daring idea.

“An enchanting tale about a superstitious woman who is down on her luck, a needy boy whose luck has run out, and a lonely man. Readers will delight in this story, where faith proves more powerful than luck, and marriage, the third time, really is a charm." Vickie McDonough, award-winning author of 27 books, including the Pioneer Promises series

“A delightfully, romantic tale of a mail-order bride who discovers only love and trust in God can erase the label of "unlucky in love” from her superstitious heart.” Maggie Brendan, author of The Jewel of His Heart

Margaret Brownley is a New York Times best-selling author and has penned more than twenty-five historical and contemporary novels. A Lady Like Sarah was a Romance Writers of America RITA finalist.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Aug 20, 2013
ISBN:
9781401690212
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

New York Times best-selling author Margaret Brownley has penned more than twenty-five historical and contemporary novels. Her books have won numerous awards, including Reader’s Choice.Though successful, Margaret decided to leave behind the secular publishing world to follow God’s will for her: to write inspirational fiction. Since then she has published the Rocky Creek series and A Lady Like Sarah was a Romance Writers of America RITA finalist.Happily married to her real life hero, Margaret and her husband have three grown children and live in Southern California.

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And Then Came Spring - Margaret Brownley

© 2013 by Margaret Brownley

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a registered trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Thomas Nelson, Inc., titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail SpecialMarkets@ThomasNelson.com.

Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible. THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION. © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The Holy Bible, New Living Translation. © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. The Holy Bible, New International Version®, niv®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com.

Publisher’s Note: This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. All characters are fictional, and any similarity to people living or dead is purely coincidental.

ISBN 978-1-4016-9021-2 (ebook)

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

[Novellas. Selections]

A bride for all seasons : a mail order bride collection / by Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Robin Lee Hatcher, and Mary Connealy.

pages cm

ISBN 978-1-4016-8853-0 (alk. paper)

1. Mail order brides—Fiction. 2. Christian fiction, American. 3. Love stories, American. I. Brownley, Margaret. And Then Came Spring. II. Clopton, Debra. An Ever After Summer. III. Hatcher, Robin Lee. Autumn’s Angel. IV. Connealy, Mary. Winter Wedding Bells.

PS648.L6B753 2013

813’.08508—dc23 2013000168

To Natasha Kern, literary agent extraordinaire!

Natasha is my guardian angel. I’ll always be grateful to her for believing in me—and leading the way.

Contents

Glossary

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Reading Group Guide

An Excerpt from An Ever After Summer

Other Books by Margaret Brownley

About the Author

Glossary of Mail-Order Bride Advertising Terms

(And What They Really Mean)

Eager to learn—can’t cook; can’t sew; can’t clean

Accomplished—can ride, shoot, and spit like a man

Modest dowry—poor as a church mouse

Independent means—mean face and mean disposition

Loving nature—keep her away from the ranch hands

Traditionally built—you may wish to reinforce the floors

Matrimonially inclined—working on husband number three

Maternal—has six children and one on the way

Possesses natural beauty—don’t let the false hair, cosmetic paints, or bolstered bosom scare you

Industrious—give her a dollar and she’ll figure out how to spend ten

Young looking—doesn’t look a day over sixty

And they lived happily ever after—AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord.

Proverbs 16:33

nkjv

Prologue

The Hitching Post

A mail-order bride catalogue for the discerning, lonely, or desperate . . .

What in the name of Betsy was she thinking?

Melvin Hitchcock reread the letter from one Miss Mary-Jo Parker and shook his grizzled head. Not only was her spelling atrocious but she also expressed interest in a fine Christian man, then carelessly described herself as a gambler’s daughter!

No, no, no, that would never do. As owner and editor of the Hitching Post Mail-Order Bride Catalogue it was Melvin’s duty to present clients in the best possible light. To that end, he had no qualms about rewriting clients’ ads or editing letters exchanged between couples wishing matrimony. In his not-so-humble opinion, his clients were fortunate to have him looking out for them.

Men often described themselves in glowing, even mythical, terms. The more a man lacked in height, hair, or bank account, the more exaggerated his pen. If Melvin didn’t know better, he would think the Wild West was populated by rich, tall, and handsome men with an abundance of head fur and charm.

And the women . . . ah, they were a different story. The fair sex tended to be so disarmingly honest that he wondered if they really wanted husbands at all. Or perhaps worried or overbearing mothers were pushing their daughters into the realm of holy wedlock. That would certainly explain Miss Parker’s disregard for propriety.

No matter. Melvin had a reputation to uphold. Following the War Between the States, mail-order bride catalogues had sprung up like mushrooms, though none could claim as many successful marriages as the Hitching Post. That was because Melvin, with a swipe of his pen, turned a chunky figure into charming, homely to comely, and un­domesticated into a willingness to learn. Melvin would have no trouble making the gambler’s daughter sound like a pillar of virtue and innocence.

He wasn’t dishonest—heavens no. He was simply looking out for his clients’ best interests. If that charitable action benefited him and his company, what possible harm could it do to the soon-to-be happily wed?

Chapter One

Colton, Kansas

1870

Sure as God made little green apples, Mr. Daniel Garrett would rue this day. Mary-Jo Parker would make it her business to see that he did. For two solid hours he’d kept her waiting at the train station. He didn’t even have the courtesy to leave a message or arrange for someone to pick her up.

Well, Mr. Garrett, I’ve got news for you. You’d better have a good explanation for keeping me waiting or the wedding is off! Now she was talking to herself, but that was the least of her problems. She was cold and tired and hungry and . . .

She hated admitting it, but she was also scared. What if she’d traveled all the way from Georgia for nothing? Her aunt thought her crazy to marry a man she’d never met, but his kind letters convinced Mary-Jo that she was doing the right thing. Don’t let me be wrong about that, God.

She dug in her purse for her watch. Two hours and twenty-two minutes she’d been waiting! If her errant fiancé bothered showing up at all, it better be on hands and knees.

She slipped the watch back into her drawstring bag and reread the dog-eared telegram. All correspondence was screened by the proprietor of the Hitching Post Mail-Order Bride Catalogue, so the telegram was signed by Mr. Hitchcock. It clearly stated that her fiancé would meet her train. They would then drive to the church to be married posthaste by a preacher.

She stuffed the telegram into her bag and marched back into the telegraph and baggage office for perhaps the eleventh or twelfth time. Her high-button boots pounded the wooden plank floor like two angry woodpeckers. Nearly tripping over the threshold, she froze.

The last time her foot had caught in a doorway, a tornado blew the roof off her aunt’s house. Mary-Jo gave the wood panel wall three quiet knocks. Warding off bad luck was a full-time job, but no matter how hard she tried not to tempt fate, misfortune seemed to follow her wherever she went.

Careful not to step on any cracks, she paced the length of the counter, waiting for the

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