While the weather back east is usually horrid this time of year, we have pleasant weather for our trip to Rhode Island, where we meet Kristy McCaffrey and her American Mail-Order Bride, Alice. You can read the FREE Prelude to how this series first began, HERE.
Here's how Alice's story came to be:
My participation in the 50-book American Mail-Order Brides series is the first time I’ve collaborated in a multi-author project and it was a wonderful experience. When I joined the project, most of the western states had been spoken for—not an unexpected outcome since many of the participating authors are western romance writers. Because I couldn’t lean on my research of the American southwest (where my other books are set), I opted for an eastern state. I chose Rhode Island because it’s my eldest daughter’s favorite place and she seriously considered attending college in Providence. Although I’d visited the state a few times, I knew little of the history. I immediately downloaded three history books to my Kindle and set about to familiarize myself with the area.
Alice: Bride of Rhode Island is thirteenth in the unprecedented 50-book American Mail-Order Brides series.
Fleeing her stepfather and an arranged marriage in Newport, Alice Endicott finds work as a seamstress at the Brown Textile Mill near Boston. When a devastating fire destroys the factory, she and all the girls face dire unemployment circumstances. But hope arrives when their manager, Roberta McDaniel, shares the Grooms’ Gazette with them. Each woman will choose a husband and become a mail-order bride. As Alice’s friends—Lottie, Leora, Judith, Beth, Lessie and Josie—embrace the idea, she too becomes caught up in the excitement of a grand new adventure.
When fisherman Frank Martel contacts her, Alice can’t pass up the opportunity to return to Rhode Island despite her stepfather’s presence. Upon arriving at the train station in Tiverton, however, Frank neglects to meet her.
James Martel is shocked to find a woman at the rail depot claiming to be his brother’s fiancée. Even more surprising is her connection to a man who ruined James’ father years before. When Frank confesses that he can no longer wed Alice, James steps forward to fill the role since the beautiful young woman holds the key to avenging the Martel name.
Can Alice convince her new husband that their marriage is worth saving once she discovers his subterfuge? And will James learn that love is more important than revenge?
A sweet romance set in 1890 America.
Alice paced near the tiny fireplace, female chatter from the kitchen beckoning. Making up her mind, she moved to the entrance where her friends were preparing supper.
“I have a dilemma,” she announced.
Judith looked up from the table, blowing wisps of reddish brown hair from her face as she ceased the chopping of two large heads of cabbage. They’d been lucky to purchase them with the rationing of funds from Lottie’s betrothed. Samuel Cooke had kept them fed when few resources were left to them; Lottie was lucky to have found a good man.
Beth stopped at the edge of the table, the pot in her hand poised mid-air. “What’s wrong, Alice?”
“I need to make a decision. I need everyone’s help.” Alice held out a letter.
Leora gasped. “Did you get a response from Mr. Hughes?”
Alice shook her head.
Leora crossed the room, took the missive from Alice, and began reading it. Finally, she raised her gaze, her dark eyes pools of concern. “I don’t understand. Who is Frank Martel?”
“I received this letter nearly a week ago,” Alice said. “He learned of our predicament through business channels and sought me out. I’ve yet to hear from Mr. Hughes in Iowa.” Alice paused, seeking to quiet her nerves. She was both distressed and excited. Taking a deep breath, she continued, “In fact, I’m beginning to wonder if I ever will. And this Mr. Martel shows great promise.”
Judith frowned. “Has he proposed?”
Alice plastered a half-smile onto her lips. “Yes.”
Silence engulfed the room.
“This sounds very untoward,” Leora said quietly.
“I know what you’re thinking. I thought the very same thing. So I took the letter to Miss McDaniel.” Roberta McDaniel had been their manager at the Brown Textile Mill until it had burned down a month ago. In her efforts to help all the unmarried women in her employ, she’d encouraged them to consider the possibility of becoming mail-order brides. To that end, she’d instructed the girls to choose a husband from the Grooms’ Gazette, an advertisement of prospective grooms. “She contacted the matchmaker responsible for her sister’s happy union—I believe her name is Elizabeth Miller—and they both investigated. Frank Martel passed inspection.”
“Why would you change your mind?” Beth asked. “You liked that Mr. Hughes. I think you should wait.”
“How much longer can any of us delay?” Alice asked, panic rising in her voice. “We’re running out of money. In no time at all, we won’t be able to put food on the table. If I accept, it not only helps me, but all of you. The less people in the house, the better.”
American Mail-Order Bride - Alice- Bride of Rhode Island is available on Kindle Unlimited.
Kristy McCaffrey writes historical western romances set in the American southwest. She and her husband dwell in the Arizona desert with two chocolate labs named Ranger and Lily, and whichever of their four children that are in residence. Kristy believes life should be lived with curiosity, compassion, and gratitude, and one should never be far from the enthusiasm of a dog. She also likes sleeping-in, eating Mexican food, and doing yoga at home in her pajamas.
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