Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Meet Victoria, Bride of Kansas, a new release from E.E. Burke

Out Today! Available from Amazon
Victoria, Bride of Kansas, is the 34th book in the unprecedented 50-book series American Mail-order Brides:

Victoria needs a miracle...

Jilted society miss Victoria Lowell travels over a thousand miles to marry an Irish suitor whose romantic letters won her heart. Upon arriving in Kansas, she discovers her betrothed has little enthusiasm for marriage and less Christmas spirit than Scrooge.

Divorced shopkeeper David O’Brien wants nothing to do with matters of the heart. However, his young daughter needs a mother, and his meddling sister believes she’s done him a favor by corresponding with a mail-order bride. Reluctantly, he holds off on revealing the author of the letters, giving Victoria until Christmas Eve to prove she can manage his troubled child.

When the truth finally comes out, it will take more than a miracle to deliver a happily-ever-after in time for Christmas.

In Victoria, Bride of Kansas, we meet a little girl, Fannie, who is mute. She hasn’t spoken since her mother left her two years earlier. Desperate to communicate with the troubled child, Victoria teaches her sign language.

Where did Victoria learn sign language? From a friend at the American School for the Deaf in Hartsford, Conn., which opened its doors in 1817. Within forty years after the opening of the Hartsford school, more than twenty other schools for the deaf had been established, the majority residential, teaching manual sign language. Education for deaf children soared.

Then, in the late 19th century, "oralists” argued that the deaf should be taught to read lips and speak in order better assimilate into the broader society. Even Alexander Graham Bell, best known for his invention of the telephone, advocated banning sign language.

David O’Brien doesn’t react well to Victoria teaching his daughter how to sign. If she doesn’t speak again and relies on sign language, he fears she will be excluded. His feelings reflect the general consensus of the time, fired by the fierce debate over the best way to teach the deaf to communicate. 

Here's an excerpt, when David finds out how Victoria has "helped" his daughter.

Fannie made that odd gesture a second time, which seemed deliberate and something she wanted him to notice.
“What’s that you’re doing?”
Victoria ventured closer. She seemed a little skittish, and he felt bad that he’d caused her to doubt herself. It wasn’t her fault he couldn’t love her. “Fannie is telling you she’s hungry.”
He straightened, not understanding. “She didn’t say anything.”
“Yes, she did, in sign language. I taught her how to say, I’m hungry.”
She’d stunned him, again.
“Victoria knows sign language,” his sister explained. “That’s what the deaf use to communicate.”
Maggie smiled. And Fannie. And Victoria.
David frowned. They couldn’t be happy about this. His daughter had to talk again, not wave her arms around in some useless gestures that nobody understood. She would be looked down on, shunned. “Why would you teach her a language she doesn’t need?” he demanded of Victoria. “Getting her to talk, that’s what you ought to be doing.”
Maggie gasped. “David! She’s just trying to help. The deaf communicate through—”
“My daughter isn’t deaf.”
Hurt flashed through Victoria’s eyes a second before she narrowed them. “Sign language is used by people who are mute for whatever the reason, which is why she needs it.”
“Fannie isn’t mute.”
Victoria’s chin went up. Her sweetness hid a streak of stubborn. “She is mute, and as long as she remains that way, if she’s willing to learn how to communicate through signing, we will better understand her needs.”
Put that way, it sounded reasonable.
Wild emotions ricocheted against the walls of David’s chest. He put his arm around his daughter’s shoulders, unwilling to accept Victoria’s judgment about Fannie’s condition. That meant the end of hope for any kind of normalcy in his daughter’s life. “You aren’t mute, are you Fannie? Tell Miss Lowell.”

What early reviews are saying about Victoria's Mail-Order Bride...

There’s so much to recommend this story, I’m not sure where to start... I highly recommend you read this truly sweet, well written and charming story that will fill you with hope of faith and love.
Melanie, Bookworm2Bookworm Reviews

"Weaving a beautifully written and poignant love story that showcases why I love this genre, E.E. Burke captures a time in our history that left me spellbound from the first page to the last.
Diane, Goodreads

"A charming story of forgiveness, trust, hope and true love! " 
Nicole, Goodreads

E.E. Burke

Weave together rich historical detail, passionate romance, add a dash of suspense and you have books by E.E. Burke. Her chosen settings are the American West, and her current series takes place during the tumultuous era of America's steam railroads. 

Her writing has earned accolades in regional and national contests, including the prestigious Golden Heart®. Over the years, she’s been a disc jockey, a journalist and an advertising executive, before finally getting around to living the dream...writing stories readers can get lost in. 

Cookie Time!

Victoria has to deal with burned biscuits. I managed NOT to burn the cookies this year, although I must admit a tendency to get distracted while baking. Eating or talking...

Yesterday, I shared a spritz cookie recipe. Today, I'll share my mother-in-law's carrot cookie recipe (on the card she gave me). You can't get your kids (or husbands) to eat their carrots? I promise you, they will eat them like this!


 
Our husbands and kids say we never make enough of these, so this year we doubled the recipe. 

Oh. My. Goodness. We had cookies coming out our ears! 

But they're disappearing fast. These sweet little treats--iced with powdered sugar mixed with fresh orange juice--are addictive! I have one left to show you...

Available from Amazon

Tomorrow, get a glimpse at the sequel to Victoria... Santa's Mail-Order Bride

David O'Brien's sister Maggie has an unexpected suitor...in a red suit.


Do you enjoy stories about mail-order brides? What attracts you to them, or to the historical romance genre in general?

Leave a comment and enter my drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card or a copy of these two new releases.

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2 comments:

  1. This is a great story. Very heart warming

    ReplyDelete
  2. So glad you liked it! Thanks for coming by and commenting. I was beginning to think everyone had left to go Christmas shopping. ;)

    ReplyDelete