Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Mail-Order Bride Valentine's Day-themed Short Story by Kaye Spencer

My contribution to the new Valentine's Day-themed western romance anthology—Lariats, Letters, and Lace—from Prairie Rose Publications is Mail-Order Mix Up.

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

Until next time


Writing the West one romance at a time


  1. I like this different take on mail order brides--a grandmother. What a wonderful idea, Kaye. This anthology certainly has some wonderful and diverse stories in it. I wish you every success, Kaye.

    1. Thank you, Sarah. I like the idea that it isn't just the 'young-uns' who strike out on a mail-order bride adventure.

  2. Sounds wonderful Kaye! I look forward to reading it.

  3. I have the book, just not time to read it. Moved up to the top of the pile. I love that your characters are mature and are hit by the unexpected. Here's to even more success. Doris

    1. Time, as Mick Jagger said, is not always on our side. *grin* I understand completely about having to prioritize my reading list.

  4. I read this story and what a delight! Readers won't be disappointed.

    1. I've read all the stories in this anthology, too, and each one is a treasure. :-)

  5. Lol!. What a fun read it will be. Love meddling parents and grandparents! Beautiful trailer. Thanks for the peek Kaye. Cathie

    1. Hi Cathy!

      Yes, those darn meddling family members can be a hoot to read (and write about). Thanks for commenting.