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Wednesday, December 27, 2017


Why does the subject of mail order brides hold such an attraction for us as readers and as authors? Maybe we wonder if we could take such a chance.

What would make a woman leave everything familiar to her and travel to “parts unknown” to marry a man she knew nothing about? What’s scarier than online dating? Being a mail-order bride! Once they’d made the commitment to leave their homes behind—much to the consternation of many family members and friends, in some cases, I would imagine—the die was cast.

Livia J. Washburn, Celia Yeary, Jacquie Rogers and I decided we would write a boxed set of stories about four sisters--the Remington sisters--who were going to be virtually "sold" by their stepfather into loveless marriages for his benefit. After overhearing these plans--what could they do?

A woman would have to be certain in her own mind that what she was going to was better than what she was leaving behind. She would have to be resourceful enough to plan some kind of “exit strategy” if things didn’t work out. And I suppose, many times, women resigned themselves to the fact that they would become a soiled dove—the lowest of the low—in order to survive.

In spite of all the scenarios we might come up with for a mail-order bride to leave the life she had known behind her for something completely foreign to her, there are, I’m sure, many that we never could have even contemplated. For each story is personal, intimate, and heart-rending in its own right.

But our intrepid sisters come up with a scheme to get themselves to safety--and anything would be better than what their stepfather has planned for them--of that, they are certain.

Here's a bit about their background and each of the four sisters:

Brought up in the wealth and comfort of Eastern “old money” in staid and proper Philadelphia, the Remington sisters are forced to scatter to the four winds and become mail-order brides. In order to gain a fortune, their sinister step-father, Josiah Bloodworth, has made plans to marry them off in loveless marriages. Time is running out, and no matter what lies ahead in their uncertain futures, it has to be better than the evil they’re running from…

LIZZY: Livia J. Washburn
Elizabeth Remington’s world is turned upside down when she is forced to become a mail-order bride. With her cat, Fulton, Lizzy flees to Alaska—only to discover the man she’s to marry is not who she thought he was! Now, she must protect herself from the biggest danger of all—her own heart. Handsome Flint McKinnon has signed his soul away to her step-father, hasn’t he? He’s chased Lizzy across the continent, but can she believe him when he says he loves her?

BELLE: Jacquie Rogers
Belle Remington must marry someone before the dangerous Neville Fenster catches up with her. She hightails it out of Philadelphia to the wilds of Idaho Territory to become a bootmaker's bride, but when she arrives in Oreana, she discovers her groom has been murdered! Now, handsome, inebriated rancher Cord Callahan insists on fulfilling the marriage contract himself. Belle is beautiful and smart as a whip. But she has a secret. When Fenster shows up, can Cord protect the woman he wants to love forever?

SABRINA: Cheryl Pierson
Impulsive Sabrina Remington, the youngest, weds a man she knows her family would disapprove of. Though Cameron Fraser’s family owns a ranch in lawless Indian Territory, he’s made his way in the world with a gun, living barely on the right side of the law. With everything on the line as Bloodworth and his henchmen close in, will Cam be able to protect Sabrina from the desperate man who means to kidnap her for his own wicked purposes?

LOLA: Celia Yeary
Sensible Lola Remington, the eldest of the four sisters, must be certain the others are on their way to safety before she can think of fleeing Philadelphia herself. With the help of a local bridal agency, Lola finds the perfect husband for herself—in the wild countryside of Texas. Jack Rains owns a ranch and he’s in need of a bride—and children, of course! But just when Lola starts to believe there might be a future for them, she discovers a hidden letter from another woman…Jack’s first wife.


Both Cam and Sabrina have secrets--Cam has pretended to be his brother, Robert, in an effort to find out if Sabrina could care about him. Being half Cherokee is a burden he knows too well--and he knows he's got to have the right kind of wife to survive in Indian Territory. But Sabrina has not been entirely forthcoming with her situation, either. Let's take a look...

“I’d—I’d like an explanation,” she said frostily.

“And I’m gonna give you one, Sabrina. The best I can, any-how.” Cam raked a hand through his hair. “Let’s sit down over here—”

“No, thank you. I’ll stand.” Her voice was prim, proper, and as icy as a frozen pond in January.

Cam sighed, hooking his thumbs in his gun belt and tilting his head back to look at the night sky. “You’re not making this any easier.”

“No. I don’t intend to. You’ve deceived me. You’ve made me feel…foolish.” She let out a deep breath. With it went some of her anger. “I trusted you, C-Cameron.” It was still hard to think of him as “Cameron” rather than “Robert”—and it was going to take some getting used to.

Cam took a step toward the boulder he’d sat on earlier. “I’m sorry for that. It was wrong of me, ’Brina. But I had to be sure—”

“Sure? Of what? I’m the one who’s given up everything to come here to a place where I don’t know anyone—evidently, even my husband—to a land that is unfamiliar—”

“Sabrina, you haven’t given up everything. Even though, right now, you may not recognize it, I’m your best bet for any protection you might need.”


He bent a dark, searching stare on her. “You’re running from someone—your stepfather, maybe others—there in Philadelphia. When they get here—”

Sabrina’s eyes were wide, and she felt the blood drain from her face. He hadn’t said “if”—he’d said “when”. He believed they were coming. It had been in the back of her mind, ever since she’d boarded the stage west, but to hear it voiced by Cam… Still, he didn’t really even know the full circumstances of her leaving Philadelphia…he couldn’t be sure she’d be followed.

“You believe they’ll follow…for certain.” She shuddered.

Cam’s expression changed, letting her know he’d only speculated up to now; her reaction had let him know he was right. “I’d like the full story. When you’re ready.”

Would you have what it takes to be a mail-order bride in the old west? I’m not sure I would, but it’s fun to think about--and write about. Leave me a comment to be entered to win a digital copy of MAIL ORDER BRIDES FOR SALE: THE REMINGTON SISTERS!

If you just can't wait to see if you won, here's the link!


  1. Cheryl,

    I think the first mail-order bride story I came across was the movie version of 'Zandy's Bride' with Gene Hackman and Liv Ullman. What a scoundrel he was. The two scenes that stick out in my mind are when she smacks him upside the head with a coffee cup and when he runs cattle through her garden.

    I'm intrigued by the storyline for The Remington sisters, and I'm looking forward to reading it soon.

    1. Kaye, I have not ever seen that movie! I'll have to hunt for it.

      I have always wondered how in the world a woman could leave everything familiar and go west to a man she knew nothing about. Of course, where the woman came from--the circumstances--may be worse than anything she could imagine going TO.

      I love to think about how everything might play out--and I'm sure that there were very many unhappy matches, but I do wonder how many HAPPY ones came out of that kind of union?

      Oh, we had a blast working on THE REMINGTON SISTERS--and I think it all holds together splendidly. I hope you enjoy these stories, too!

  2. The really cool thing was we took four sisters from the same background and told totally different stories. I thought it worked out great, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the other three books. Quite a thrill!

    1. I loved doing that too, Jacquie. It was so much fun--and really, the possibilities are endless when you think about it. That was the beauty of it--they had all kinds of adventures/men they could have married and experienced.

  3. When I think of Mail order brides I think about Paint your Not sure if it started out with mail order, but it was the same sort of beginning. I love Westerns, grew up on them. Wish I could write them, but I just don't have the feel.

    1. I love westerns, too, Deborah, and absolutely loved growing up here in Oklahoma in the heart of "cowboy country"--although my dad was not a cowboy. He did love westerns, too, and we used to watch them together on tv. One of my fondest memories of his older years was when I introduced him to Louis L'Amour--he'd watched The Sacketts on tv and I had the books--he read those and loved them. I ended up going to the used book store and buying as many of the LL books that they had--and we both read them and talked about them, and it ended up that he was getting ahead of me so I just gave them all to him and told him to give them back to me to read when he was done. He loved them, and read every one of them.

  4. I love, LOVE the concept of novellas by different authors connected by the same starting point! It makes it fun for the readers and the authors. I'm curious if you collaborated much on the basics (like what the stepfather looked like, etc.) before you all wrote your pieces? Or were you surprised to see what everyone else came up with? (I once worked on an anthology with stories connected by a paranormal detective agency set in the old west, if you can believe it) Spanning such a wide geographic area is interesting too. I wish you all the very best of luck with this project! Everything about it says it's a winner!Happy New Year!

    1. You're in for a treat, Patti--these are full length novels! And they were so fun to work on and collaborate with everyone on. Yes, we had a basic idea of the bad guys just for consistency. This was so much fun, because although there were certain things in the sisters' past that were the same, it was neat to see the sisters from each others' POV both as characters and as authors.

      A paranormal detective agency in the old west? THAT sounds like fun! HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU, PATTI!

  5. An anthology by awesome authors about mail order brides in the old west. I can't wait to read.

  6. I just started reading the series. Great stories.

  7. Sigh, I'm so looking forward to down time and reading!

  8. Doris, ME TOO! I have soooo many good books waiting! I know you do, too.

  9. Patti, YOU are my winner! DING DING, DING DING!!!! E-mail me at to claim your prize!

    Thanks to everyone for stopping by and reading and commenting. We loved writing about these feisty sisters!