Reagan Burnsfield has no interest in finding himself a wife. But that’s exactly what he must do when a lumber contract falls through and threatens the family business. Marrying the beautiful debutante Amanda Bruester for her dowry will solve his short term need as well as give him the wife of his dreams.
His courtship is hindered until they are arrested after stumbling upon bounty hunters hotly pursuing runaway slaves. In the ensuing scandal, Amanda chooses marriage over betraying her Aunt Gabriella’s illegal activities in the Underground Railroad.
Expecting resentment for the forced marriage, Amanda’s fears of a loveless union are laid to rest when Reagan’s passions seem tempered with apparent affection and tender regard. Yet, despite being properly wed, another suitor, Derrick Banning, is determined to break apart their hasty marriage. He fancies it is he, not “that arrogant lumberman,” who should be enjoying Amanda’s wealth.
While snowed in at his lumber camp, Amanda discovers papers that imply Reagan’s offer of marriage wasn’t the sacrifice she thought it to be. Despite his assurances that he acted to protect her, Amanda begins to doubt everything about him.
To complicate matters, mysterious scratches on Reagan’s back seem to point to infidelity, further proving he’s the untrustworthy knave Derrick claims him to be. When a prostitute’s body is found in his office and Reagan is arrested for murder, Amanda flees to her aunt’s house until the mystery can be solved.
Targeted Age Group:
18 and above
How is Writing In Your Genre Different from Others?
I consider myself a “throwback” writer. I loved how Kathleen Woodiwiss wrote when she was the queen of historical romance during the 80’s and 90’s. Her style is what I endeavor to imitate.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
(Many things!) Tip # 1. “Butt in chair.” Tip #2. Show, don’t tell. Tip #3. Dialogue should be natural, not stilted. (Read dialogue out loud. Even if your “eyes” think it’s right, your ears will pick up unnatural speech patterns and cadence). Tip #4. Do your research! Tip #5. Less is more. Tip #6. Write with your “senses.” (Sprinkle your work with taste, touch, sound, etc.) Tip #7. You need a great “hook.” Tip # 8. Don’t publish too soon! (Hone your craft.)
I live on an Indiana farm with my husband, two of my four children, a dog and a barn cat. When I’m not writing or hauling grain, I enjoy canning food. Before writing my first book, I worked twenty-five years in the medical field of Optometry. During that time I wrote a human- interest story in a medical newsletter and have had poetry published in Speer Presents.
Although writing is my first love, I’m devoted to our military and am honored to organize a yearly event where our community sends care packages to soldiers overseas. Their bravery inspires me.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
My sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Rindfusz, once said to me, “You write the most interesting sentences.” Now, I was one of eleven children from a poor family. I’d just moved to a new school. I felt like an outcast, like I didn’t fit in. So her words gave me an indication I had a talent in some area. That was the day I decided to become a writer. My early influences (which helped shape what I write) were Taylor Caldwell, and Kathleen Woodiwiss. Taylor Caldwell wrote about relationships, politics, history and religion while Katheleen Woodiwiss wrote about loyalty, commitment and how it should be between a man and a woman. My writing is almost a combination of both their styles.