Mail-Order Mix Up is set in the fictional town of Platte River City, Colorado, which is located on the South Platte River about 100 miles east of Denver. Another of my stories with Prairie Rose Publications, A Permanent Woman, is also set in this town, and several characters have cameos on Mail-Order Mix Up.
The gist of Mail-Order Mix Up is this:
Remarrying isn’t on widower Dale Forbes’ mind, but his three young granddaughters want a grandma. Widow Irene Maxon yearns for something more than the disappointments life has handed her. A mail-order bride catalog, a secret letter, and a blizzard combine to set the scene for match-making between Dale and Irene. However, another man expects Irene to fulfill their marriage agreement, and he isn’t going to take no as her answer.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Forgive me for intruding unannounced, especially during your festivities. I’m here to return—”
“Oh, there you are, Dale, Violet,” Eloy broke in. “This is Irene Maxon from St. Louis.”
Irene followed Eloy’s wave and recognized the man and the girl coming along the hallway from the photograph she’d received with the letter. She also noted with more than passing interest that the photograph had not adequately captured Dale’s handsome maturity, strong chin, and fine, broad-shouldered physique. Before she could greet them, movement at the top of the stairs drew her attention, and she looked up to see a girl descending one slow stair at a time, her hand trailing lightly along the banister. The girl stopped midway down and looked right at Irene, the little satisfied smirk on her lips as pleasant as the sparkle in her eyes. So this was Meredith—the instigator of the marriage invitation.
Then a wisp of a child with braids flying burst through the midst of the group with a shriek of squealing delight. When she leaped, Irene instinctively caught her, staggering backwards a few steps under the child’s momentum. The girl clamped her arms around Irene’s neck with a grip so tight Irene couldn’t turn her head.
“Grandma! You’re here. You’re really here. I knew you’d come. I just knew it!”
Lydia’s face broke into a bright smile. Clara Jean clapped her hands and blurted, “It worked! She really got Meredith’s letter!”
All attention swung to Clara Jean who realized too late what she’d said as she ducked for cover behind the coat tree.
The few seconds of solemn, stunned silence shattered into echoes when Dale’s booming voice rebounded off the walls. “Meredith Margaret Forbes! What have you been up to now?”
But Meredith was nowhere in sight.
Lariats, Letters, and Lace - available at Amazon.com
Until next time
Writing the West one romance at a time