Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

TUMBLEWEED LETTERS in 25 days -- Vonnie Davis

 

News of an arranged marriage
Dear John letters
Unexpected inheritance
Mail order bride
Death of a loved one
We regret to inform you...
 
Sometimes, a letter changes everything.
 
In the historical Love Letters series, a character's life is forever changed by the receipt of a letter. Let your imagination run wild as you consider what life-altering news would be in your hero or heroine's envelope and how it would lead to the love of a lifetime.
 
Stories must be historically accurate and should range between 20,000-25,000 words in lengtht. The letter must occur within the first three pages of the story.

This was the series description I found on The Wild Rose Press website. It made me wonder. After all, I'd read a couple of the Love Letters stories and loved them. Could I write something to contribute to the series? I had a visual of a letter written in the margins of a torn piece of newspaper, wrapped in a strip of calico and tied to a tumbleweed. My research began. Deadwood, Dakota Territory snagged my attention. A rough and tumble town, it was full of memorable characters. I studied some of their histories and allowed a couple to work their way into my plot.
 
1876 Vintage Postcard of Deadwood


Set in 1879 --
When rancher and single father Cam McBride finds a letter tucked in a strip of cloth tied to a tumbleweed, he is captivated by the mysterious author. Finding a second tumbleweed letter further pulls him under the lonely writer's spell. He needs a mother for his little boy and a wife to warm his bed. Could this mysterious woman fill his needs?
Sophie Flannigan is alone, scared, and on the run from a rogue Pinkerton agent. She spends her days as a scrub lady at Madame Dora's brothel and her nights writing notes to the four winds. Her life holds little hope until a small boy lays claim to her and his handsome father proposes an advantageous arrangement.
Can these three benefit from a marriage of convenience, or will a determined Pinkerton agent destroy their fragile, newly formed bond?

EXCERPT:

Someone tugged on her skirt. When she glanced down, the little boy—Eli, his father called him—held up his arms in a silent request for her to pick him up. When she did, he burrowed his head in the crook of her neck and fingered the collar of her dress.

“Mine.”

She ran a hand up his narrow back and enjoyed the feel of the child in her embrace. Sensing the child’s father and Jethro were about to come to blows, she stepped back into the mercantile to shield him from the violence. “We’ll shop for a spell, Eli.” She hurried to the counter and asked Mr. Thatcher for Dora’s stockings. She set Eli on the counter while she withdrew her boss’s money from her reticule.

She tried her best to ignore the loud cursing outside. The sound of flesh smacking flesh made her jump. “I abhor violence.”

The store owner eyed her torn clothes, her blood splattered bodice and swollen knuckles. His face reddened. Sophie gave him her best school teacher glare, and he turned to wrap her purchase in brown paper.

Cam’s presence made itself known before he spoke. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. Heat stampeded through her body while chills raised gooseflesh on her arms. A warm hand went to the small of her back, and she inhaled a gasp. Her gaze swept to his reddened, swollen eye and split lip. “Oh, Mr. McBride, all because of me? That was so unnecessary.” She tsked and pulled a handkerchief from her reticule to dab blood from his lip.

“Mine,” Eli stated to his father.

“Yes, she is.”

Her eyes widened as her gaze rose from his split lip to his blue eyes and determined expression. Her ears buzzed and her world tilted.


 
 

2 comments:

LisaRayns said...

I read one so far - Mine to Keep and I loved it!

Liz said...

The series offers great step-backs into history. I hope you'll enjoy TUMBLEWEED LETTERS. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.