Second Lt. Jack Walker doesn't always think ahead and when he decides to defy logic and send off for a mail order bride, he might have left out only a few details about his life at the all-but-forgotten Fort Gibson...
Upon arrival at a forsaken military fort in the middle of Indian Territory, Ella Davis learns Jack's situation isn't quite what she's believed from his letters and while hoping to avoid such a fate, she's been made the fool again. Unfortunately, this time she can't run and hide from the man who's done her wrong, but neither is she convinced their marriage will be the same one she'd envisioned for them...
Now it's up to Jack to find a way to show his always skeptical bride that he is indeed trustworthy and that despite what she might believe she does belong somewhere in the world: right there, with him.
Fort Gibson, Indian Territory
Late September 1845
Second Lieutenant Jack Walker scanned the endless brown grass that stretched out for miles ahead of him from where he stood in the top of the northwest lookout tower. Lush, open prairie, he scribbled on his paper. He mindlessly drummed his fingers on the wooden ledge of the lookout, thinking of what else to write for the ad he was placing for a mail order bride.
He swiped the back of his hand across his forehead. Warm weather. He jotted that down and looked up in time to see a man on his horse. Jack tipped his hat to the man and the rider returned the gesture. Friendly neighbors.
There, that should do it. He rescanned the lines of his ad, a slow smile spreading over his lips. Perfect. He folded up the paper and stuffed it in his pocket, lest anyone see him carrying it.
Whistling, he went downstairs and across the large courtyard to his office where he dripped hot wax on the top edge of the folded paper and sealed it.
“Jack? Are you in here?”
Jack snapped his head up to see the curious blue eyes of his friend and the reason he’d had the nerve and motivation to write the ad in the first place: Captain Wes Tucker. Wes had married a mail order bride not even a week ago and everything seemed to be working out perfectly for the two of them, giving Jack hope the same would be possible for him.
“Do you need something, Wes?” he asked as he shuffled around the papers on his desk to hide the address of the Savannah newspaper he was writing to.
“Yes, it’s time for you to hie yourself up into the watchtower.”
“Oh. Right,” he said trying not to scowl. Now that Wes was married, he was exempt from having to spend a night in the watchtower. Just another point in the favor of marriage. “I just need to finish getting the mail addressed and in the basket, then I’ll be right out.”
Wes nodded his head slowly and gave him a quizzical look. “Don’t be long.”
As soon as Wes was out of the room, Jack finished addressing his letter, then slipped it into the middle of stack of letters that were waiting to go out with this week’s mail.
This is the second in a series of three Historical Westerns set in Indian Territory (modern day Oklahoma) in the mid 1840s. The first in the series is The Officer and the Bostoner, which is also available, and Book 3, The Officer and the Traveler
USA Today Bestselling and Award Winning Author of more than a dozen unusually unusual historical romances that have been known to include scarred heroes, feisty heroines, marriage-producing scandals, far too much scheming, naughty literature and always a sweet happily-ever-after.
When not escaping to another world via reading or writing a book, she spends her time chasing two young boys around the house, being hunted by wild animals, or sitting on the swing in the backyard where she has to use her arms as shields to deflect projectiles AKA: balls, water balloons, sticks, pinecones, and anything else one of them picks up to hurl at his brother who just happens to be hiding behind her.
EE—Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?
Rose—Absolutely! I’m a hick from the sticks, so my favorite music is country love songs. Not the ones about cheating and honky tonks necessarily, but those old country love songs where the guys compare their love for their girl as being better than owning a mansion or taking their dream trip or making it to the top and becoming famous—just as long as they have her hand in his or if seeing him makes her as excited as seeing her makes him, then life is perfect. I’m a sap, it’s why I write and read romance!
EE—Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
Rose—A long time ago I did. But you know what, spending your 25th birthday in tears over something you can’t change…just isn’t worth it. Fortunately that was at the beginning of my career and I can say it’s been more than five years since I’ve bothered to read a review. Some people will love your book and some won’t, you can’t please everyone. Besides, if you get a bad review, take it as a compliment—albeit a backhanded one—it means you’ve sold enough books to get outside your niche! Think positive and keep at it.
EE—What do you do to unwind and relax?
Rose—Crafts. I’d love to go on Flea Market Flip and would design something absolutely nuts that has a one-in-the-world audience. In other words, I am terrible at crafts and upcycling, but it doesn’t keep me from loving it.
EE— What sound or noise do you love?
Rose—That’s a toss up. Here are the runners up: 1. click, click, click of an old typewriter. 2. the clicks and whirs of the dial on a rotary phone. 3. A heavy ran and thunderstorm heard under a tin roof.
EE— What’s your favorite kid joke?
Rose—Alas, another tie:
1. Knock, Knock
That’s right, owls do whoo!
That’s right, owls do whoo!
2. Knock, Knock
3. Where does a general keep his armies?
In his sleevies!
In his sleevies!
These jokes were staples for many years in my house. Now we’ve moved onto ones I don’t think are appropriate to share (nor would I want to admit I even know the joke). Boys. What can ya do?!
EE—What has been your most rewarding publishing moment?
Rose—Making the USA Today on my own. No mega ads. (This was back before the days of BookBub.) No special promotion other than a book being on sale. I was truly humbled by the experience.
Rose will give away two copies of her first book in the series, The Officer and the Bostoner.
Enter the drawing below...and be sure to leave a comment.
Have you ever visited any of the old forts along the former frontier? If so, which ones? If not, is there one you'd like to visit?