"The Widow Buys a Groom" is part of the multi-author anthology, Under a Mulberry Moon.
The year is eighteen sixty-eight. Like every other state in America, the Civil War has taken its toll. So many men have been killed, leaving women to survive on their own, raise children without fathers, and run ranches, homes, and businesses with no help. Meadow Creek, Kansas is no different.
Reverend Strong decides to find a solution for his town. He contacts clergymen in different states and learns that women aren’t the only ones who have been devastated by the war. Men, who made it home, also found they have lost everything and want to start new lives.
Katherine Parnell owns Maggie’s Baked Goods. She and her four-year-old son, Timmy, have been alone since her husband was forcibly taken to fight with the Confederacy. She might need a man, but has no intention of ever having another husband and tells the good Reverend that in no uncertain terms. Ghosts from her past will make sure of that. Jim Sutton has demons of his own and comes to Meadow Creek to start over. He also has no desire to get married. He comes to Katherine’s aid more than once and finds himself smiling around her and the boy which is something he hasn’t done in years. When Jim lands in jail his only way out is by the woman whose green eyes haunt his dreams.
Can the two of them put their pasts behind them and find love in each other's arms or will their ghosts keep any kind of happiness at bay? "The Widow Buys a Groom" is one of nine novellas in the anthology, Under A Mulberry Moon. Adventure! Mystery! Romance! Nine award-winning and bestselling authors present sweet western historical stories to ignite your imagination and feed your passion for reading. Let us sweep you away from your daily cares and entertain you with our sigh-worthy novellas set between 1865 and 1900.
Enjoy a sneak peek from The Widow Buys a Groom by P.A. Estelle
Another shot came from behind the barn. Jim pulled his gun and followed the noise. He pulled his horse up short and stared. There was Katherine sitting on the cold ground and looked to be loading a gun, while her son was whooping and hollering as he ran about twenty feet away to set up some old cans and rusted out buckets. When Timmy was done, she told him to get behind her. Jim’s jaw dropped even further when he watched her wiggle down onto her stomach. Her legs were bent at the knees with her ankles crossed in the air, blue wool stockings visible from her brown shoes to where her dress was laying on her upper legs. Her elbows were set on the ground and she was steadying the gun in her hands. Jim watched her take aim and fire the gun.
“You missed again, Mama.”
“Yes, I’m aware.” Jim smirked at the irritation in her voice. She brought her head down, only inches from the ground, and fixed her sight on the target. The gun exploded and the old bucket went flying. Katherine dropped the gun, spun over onto her back and came to a sitting position with her arms opened wide. “I did it!” They were both screaming and Timmy flew into her arms which had them both rolling around in the dead grass.
Jim got off his horse, laughing at the sight before him. The play continued a few more seconds until Katherine’s face registered shock and she jumped to her feet, stumbling back to the ground then quickly hopped up again.
“Wha…what are you doing here?” she asked breathlessly. Katherine’s hair was a heap of auburn curls and tangles hanging in her face. A faded brown coat, that was several sizes too big, had a patch on the elbow and the sleeves were rolled up. The hem of a blue skirt was stuck on her stocking about three inches above her knee showing off a shapely leg. Smiling at the site in front of him Jim walked up and took a small branch from her hair. He nodded to her exposed leg.
Gasping, she was quick to cover her leg and step back, limping on her ankle. “Again, Mr. Sutton, what are you doing here?”
“I heard shots. I came to see if there was a problem.” He shrugged, trying to hide another smile. “I guess there wasn’t.”
End of Excerpt
Copyright © by P.A. Estelle
Learn more about this book and order a copy by visiting the book page. "The Widow Buys a Groom," as part of the anthology, UNDER A MULBERRY MOON, was released July 2018.
AUTHOR BIO: My name is Penny Estelle. I live in Sun City, AZ. When I’m not writing, I’m playing water volleyball and pickleball with the “old” folks. I also hike every morning. I’m thinking at trying my hand a tap dancing! We older folks are a gutsy group! LOLAbout my writing - I started writing for tween kiddos right before I retired. There is always material when kids are involved. These stories range from fantasies to time travel to puppy love. I also have several picture books out for the beginning readers.
Under P. A. Estelle I write for the older “young at heart” crowd. Romances in every genre. I must admit historical western romances are my favorite – at least for now, but I have found one never knows what tomorrow will bring!
Genre: Historical Western Romance
Heat Level: 1
Language Level: 1
Violence Level: 1
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