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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Mail-Order Mix-up - Valentine's Day story by Kaye Spencer – February #blogabookscene #PrairieRosePubs #westernromanceanthology

The theme for February's #blogabookscene is All You Need is Love. Since Valentine's Day is tomorrow, and to shamelessly capitalize upon Sunshine Lake's recent review [ Read the review HERE ] for my story Mail-Order Mix Up, which is in the Valentine's Day-themed Lariats, Letters, and Lace western romance anthology, I'm sharing an excerpt from my story.

Scene Set-up

Through the well-intentioned meddling of his three young granddaughters, widower Dale Forbes gets a surprise on New Year's Day when Irene Maxon, the mail-order grandma the three girls 'ordered' for him, arrives at the house.


While another minute of exchanging weather observations ensued, Irene made a sweeping perusal of the house, or what she could see from the foyer at the foot of a wide staircase with hallways along both sides. The hardwood floor glistened in all directions. Framed pictures hung on the walls. A full-length cheval mirror stood opposite the coat tree. Coming in from the chill, the warmth from an unseen source touched her face, and the mixed aromas of baked bread, cinnamon apple pie, and roast chicken lingered in the air, which reminded her stomach she hadn’t eaten since last evening.

The foyer was crowded with adults and children busy donning winter clothing or assisting with buttoning and mittening.

“And who is this?”

Eloy removed his hat and held it in his gloved hands. “This is Irene Maxon recently of St. Louis.”

All talking stopped; every head turned to Irene. Eloy painstakingly introduced everyone. Irene acknowledged them with a nod and friendly Hello.

Ginny Forbes welcomed Irene with a polite, “We’re so pleased to meet you, but I don’t believe we’ve ever met. What brings you to our home?”

“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 bannister. 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 anthology is available on
Print | eBook | KindleUnlimited

Until next time,

Kaye Spencer
Writing through history one romance upon a time

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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Doris. The entire anthology has wonderful stories.

  2. Replies
    1. C.A.,

      Sneaky little meddling granddaughters... ;-)

  3. Ohhh! That moment where you hear your parent holler out your FULL NAME. eeek! trouble!

    And now with an excerpt to go with the reviews, I really, really want to revisit these stories!

    1. My mother-in-law doesn't have a middle name. Her mother didn't have a middle name. I've wondered how a parent can get the terror-in-your-heart effect as a parent when you don't give your kid a middle name. lolol On the other hand, one of my sons gave his girls two middle names. So those girls really get the terror when they're in trouble. *wink*

  4. Any romance with plotting imps has to be a fun read. And yes, full names yelled definitely portends trouble. Love it.

  5. It's funny that as I think about it, I can't recall a time when I was called by my first and middle names when I was in trouble. I think it's because my dad wasn't prone to lifting his voice when he was angry. He had the 'look' that turned me into a puddle of tears. My mom was a yeller (is that a word? lol) who spiced up the yelling with carefully placed expletives. lol (no, I was not raised in an abusive home... lol)

  6. Loved your story, Kaye. It was a fun book to be a part of. I wasn't called by my full name often, but boy did I know I was in trouble when my mother pointed her finger at me and raised that right eyebrow.

    1. I understand that. My dad's 'look' was devastating, and always worked to set me back on the straight and narrow. lol Thanks for stopping by.

  7. This is the first I have ever heard of a mail order grandma. Loved the excerpt. Now where did that Meredith go? LOL
    I wish you all the best, Kaye.

    1. That Meredith is a stinker. lol Thanks for commenting. *hugs*