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I hope everyone enjoyed the PRP Christmas in July Fandango. Wow, what a sale--21 new releases! I've read a good share of them and they're all good. My story is in darned good company. Today, I'm telling you about my Christmas in July offering, A Gift For Rhoda.
I have to say, this cover is absolutely wonderful thanks to Livia Reasoner. All her covers are outstanding but this one is the topper. Of course, I'd have to arm-wrestle a few of the other Roses for the honor, but I'm up to it.
This story takes place in Garden Valley, Idaho Territory, which is quite a way from my Hearts of Owyhee stories. Whereas Owyhee County is high mountain desert, Garden Valley is beautiful in the more classic sense--a small forested valley between two mountain ranges with peaks rising 7,000 feet on either side. Not a lot of people live there even today. The last census put the population at a little over 500. That includes Garden Valley (the town), Lowman, and Crouch. Crouch is where we had the Walker family reunion a few years ago, and is home to the best huckleberry milkshakes you ever tasted.
|Garden Valley, Idaho|
I got the idea for A Gift For Rhoda when a friend's son was picking out a gift for his girlfriend, only she didn't know she was his girlfriend yet. That amused me, but also got the wheels turning, and I wondered what would happen if a mail-order bride was expecting her unwanted groom, but another man showed up bearing gifts. And because I still can taste that huckleberry milkshake, I set it in Garden Valley, where my aunt and uncle live.
Since it's not desert, Garden Valley gets quite a lot of snow (but not as much as surrounding areas and is generally warmer; hence, the name) and in Rhoda's story, she's been snowed in for a couple months all by her wee little lonesome. That would be enough to make anyone leery, but when you have a drunken groom on the loose that you've never seen, imagine how you'd feel if a big, shaggy man came to your door. That's how Rhoda felt, and she wasn't about to let him in. What a pickle she's in now!
|Garden Valley, about 1890|
Nate Harmon is a big burly intimidating man--and half frozen. Think he can figure out a way to get the skittish Rhoda to let him in the house so he can warm up? A hen named Flossie took to him right off, so maybe there's hope.
Here's the blurb:
A mail-order bride disaster!
Rhoda Johnson is stranded in a lonely cabin without a groom. The townsfolk say she’s better off without him, but her drunken groom sends a message that he’ll claim her as his Christmas bride. Gunman and ex-Confederate soldier Nate Harmon comes to Idaho to make peace with his abolitionist preacher father. When half-frozen Nate reaches the cabin on a snowy Christmas Eve, instead of his parents, he’s greeted by a pretty blonde with a shotgun who keeps calling him Mr. Snyder. Will she shoot him, or melt his heart? *Sweet*
I hope you enjoy this single read and all the other new releases offered by Prairie Rose Publications Christmas in July. And no, I haven't started Christmas shopping yet. My sister is probably already finished, though.
Meantime, happy reading!