Today we travel to one of my favorite states, Kentucky, with Peggy L. Henderson. Peggy introduces us to Emma in this next installment of the American Mail-Order Bride series.
If you are just joining us on this travel across America, you will find the Prequel by Kirsten Osbourne HERE.
Here is how Emma's story came to be:
When I was first approached to take part in the American Mail Order Bride Series, my first reaction – which lasted about 5 seconds – was that my writing schedule was full. How could I possibly squeeze in another book, and especially a book unlike any I’d written before? I’ve never written a mail order bride story. Well, maybe that’s not quite true. I’ve written a mail-order bride book, but it was a time travel story about a woman who comes to the past to be the unknowing mail order bride to a 1870’s rancher.
My next reaction was that this was an opportunity too good to pass up. The line-up of authors was amazing, and I was elated to get an invitation. My first and second choice in states were already taken, but another state that I knew I could do justice was still available,
I chose Kentucky because I used to be a huge horse racing fan. I don’t follow the sport much anymore, but horses are my passion, and what a great place to set a romance than the backdrop of Kentucky’s Bluegrass Country among beautiful horses. I really didn’t know what I was going to do with this particular story, other than it was set in Kentucky, and would include horse racing and a horse farm.
When I got my cover for the book, the story instantly came to me. The heroine on my cover looks like an upper class lady, and a little haughty, and that’s when I knew who my heroine was going to be, her character arc, and who her perfect hero was.
The most challenging part in writing my story was time management.
A lot of things got in the way of the schedule I set for myself to get the book finished, and lots of lost sleep, but in the end it will be worth it. I loved collaborating with the entire group and also with the subgroup several authors and I formed to connect our stories somewhat through our heroines.
Emma Waterston is determined, headstrong, and comes from a lifestyle where class structure determines one’s associations. Left destitute after the death of her mother, she takes a job at a textile factory. When a fire destroys her place of employment, leaving her penniless again, she makes a desperate decision and answers an ad for a mail order bride from a wealthy Kentucky horse breeder.
Sam Hawley is content with his life as a horse trainer on an affluent Kentucky estate. His primary focus has always been on the horses. He views their owners as rich people with nothing to do but flaunt their money. Loyalty to his mentor is the only thing that keeps him rooted to one place. When he meets the bride-to-be of the man he detests the most, his life is about to change.
Too late, Emma discovers the ad she answered was too good to be true. Her future husband is not what she was led to believe and a horrific experience leaves her no choice but to face the kind of life she’s been trying to escape. Kentucky was supposed to promise a return to her life of wealth. What she finds instead will redefine her definition of being rich.
“Miss Emmaline Waterston,” someone called from behind her.
Emma’s heart lurched in her chest at the deep voice calling her name. Finally. Curbing her agitation at having been left waiting for so long, she plastered her best smile on her face, and swallowed the lump of apprehension in her throat. When she wheeled around, she nearly tripped on a loose wooden board under her feet.
The smile faded, and her forehead wrinkled when she glimpsed the man walking toward her. Her eyes darted around to see if it might have been another man calling out her name, rather than the one heading directly at her.
She mentally recited the description David Benton had given of himself - dark-haired, with a moustache, nearly six feet tall, and wealthy. The man in her direct line of vision did not fit that description, not in the slightest.
He was dressed in a simple, light-blue cotton shirt tucked haphazardly inside tan britches that were held up by dark suspenders. The sleeves were rolled up to his elbows, and his wide shoulders did not escape her notice. Neither did this man’s dirty blond hair that poked out from beneath a brown cap that reminded her of the newspaper boys back in Lawrence. The other ends of his britches were tucked into old, worn boots.
He stopped just in front of her, and Emma raised her head to look him in the eye. He languidly peeled the cap from his head, revealing a disheveled mop of hair that fell forward over his eyes. His lips curved in a slow grin, creating indents in his cheeks. Emma’s heart fluttered inexplicably in her chest. She blinked, and shook her head slightly at the reaction. She stared up into deep-blue eyes that threatened to suck her right up. She’d never seen a man this handsome before, even if he appeared unkempt.
“Miss Emmaline Waterston?” he asked again in that rich drawl she’d already heard once before.
A slight shiver passed down her spine, and goose bumps formed on her skin, despite being warm under her cloak.
“Yes,” she answered, having to clear her throat to say it a second time. “And you are?”
Surely, this couldn’t be David Benton. If so, she’d been deceived.
“Sam Hawley,” he said, holding out his hand.
* * *
Peggy L Henderson is an award-wining, best-selling western historical and time travel romance author of the Yellowstone Romance Series, Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series, Teton Romance Trilogy, and the Blemished Brides Western Historical Romance Series. When she’s not writing about Yellowstone, the Tetons, or the old west, she’s out hiking the trails, spending time with her family and pets, or catching up on
-needed sleep. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart. Along with her husband and two sons, she makes her home in Southern California.
Emma, Bride of Kentucky released December 3rd on Amazon .
Other books by Peggy L. Henderson can be ordered from Amazon as well as B & N.
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