Behind her back, they call her Bad Luck Penny. After being twice widowed before the age of thirty, misfortune follows her all the way to Colorado, culminating in humiliation when the third groom skips town on the day they’re to be wed.
Mayor Charles Hardt will do anything to save Noelle, the town he founded, as long as it doesn’t involve taking a wife. But then a jilted bride shows up at his door begging for a ride out of town on the day before the town must deliver twelve married couples as part of a deal to secure Noelle's survival.
Under no circumstances will Charlie allow the last bride to escape, even if Penny is certain Noelle can’t take any more of her bad luck. For that matter, neither can Charlie...
Here's an excerpt:
She reached to put a dried plate on the shelf. He turned and she nearly bumped into him, but he caught the plate before it dropped. “Oh goodness! You really ought to keep me away from anything that might break.”
He waggled the plate. “Nonsense, we make a good team. You throw it and I catch it.”
His good-natured teasing eased what could’ve been another awkward moment, and she found she could laugh about it because he didn’t act annoyed, or worse, scared.
“You have good reflexes,” she pointed out. “Maybe you should take up juggling.”
His lake-blue eyes sparkled with amusement as he picked up the second clean plate and tossed it upwards. Catching it, he sent the other plate airborne and snagged that one, too.
“Shall I try?” She reached for one of the plates.
He pulled it back, and then put both plates on the shelf. “Mm. I only have two. Maybe there’s something else we can do together that doesn’t involve breakables.”
“How about this?” He circled his hands around her waist and drew her to him.
Kissing him seemed the most natural response in the world.
The touch of his lips reignited the fire he’d set the night before, and she wrapped her arms around his neck. Oh yes, this was something they did very well together, and it didn’t involve anything that could be broken.
Except for her heart.
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What in the world inspired you to write about a bad luck bride?
Her name. When I first imagined Penelope or Penny, as she's known, I started thinking about the old ideas about good luck -- i.e., Lucky Penny. But then it struck me, now ironic if Penny thinks she has bad luck? She's twice-widowed before age thirty, and if that isn't bad enough, she's always dropping things or bumping into people. You'll meet her in the very first book in this series, and poor Penny continues to have bad luck all the way until...well, almost the very end. She's a perfect foil for my hero, Charles Hardt, who's suffered through serious misfortune, but refuses to accept the notion of bad luck--even when it seems to be following Penny every step of the way.
What's the biggest challenge in a project involving other authors?
Keeping up with everyone else's stories! We set out to write what is essentially one long story about a little town name Noelle and the residents who band together to save it. That involves a lot of interconnection between characters and plots, which means we were doing a lot of talking back and forth, as well as reading each other's books. I considered it an honor, as well as a challenge because in the process we helped each other out. One great example: I needed a scene where Penny takes action to do something about her bad luck, and author Mimi Milan shared with me about Mexican religious customs associated with ridding people of bad luck. The hilarious bath scene is a result of Mimi's brilliant inspiration!
Here's an inspiration board for how I see my two main characters, and also images of the mine, the town and a map of Noelle (very important for continuity).
If you haven't yet, be sure to check out the entire series!🎄🎄🎄
Christmas, 1876: Noelle, Colorado is in danger of becoming a ghost town if the railroad decides to bypass the mountaintop mining community. Determined to prove their town is thriving, twelve men commit to ordering brides before the railroad’s deadline six days into the New Year.
Each of the twelve women has her own reason for signing up to become a mail-order bride. But after they arrive in the uncivilized settlement, they aren’t so sure they’ve made the right decision. Neither are the grooms.
Will the marriages happen in time to save Noelle? The countdown starts on Christmas Day.
The Twelve Days of Christmas Mail-Order Brides, written by twelve bestselling authors, put a new twist on an old song in this heartwarming historical romance series.
The Partridge by Kit Morgan - A clever man’s plan becomes a matchmaking disaster…and the countdown begins to save the town of Noelle.
The Dove by Shanna Hatfield - A bewitching gypsy and a beguiled blacksmith tangle over a hidden treasure…with only eleven days left to save the town.
The Hens by Merry Famer - A wandering woman finds exactly who she was looking for, but not who she was expecting...with only ten days left to save the town.
The Calling Birds by Jacqui Nelson - A wanted woman's flight, a man in pursuit of honesty not stolen gold...and only nine days left to save the town.
The Gold Ring by Caroline Lee - A dangerous masquerade and a twist of fate put Noelle’s future at risk…with only eight days left to save the town
The Goose by Peggy Henderson - A woman on the run, a man who doesn't want to be caught—it's one wild goose chase…with only seven days left to save the town.
The Swan by Piper Hugely - A beautiful woman with secrets comes to Noelle to confront a powerful person with the truth...and only six days left to save the town.
The Maid by Rachel Wesson - A convicted murderer, a young maid on the run...and five days left to save the town.
The Dancing Lady by Mimi Milan - A desirous diner owner and a disguised dancer waltz their way to love... with only four days left to save the town.
The Lord by Danica Favorite - An assayer and a ladies maid, each living a lie. Will the truth ruin everything...with only three days left to save the town.
The Piper by Amanda McIntyre - A determined matchmaker, a stubborn mountain man...and only two days left to save the town!
The Drum by E.E. Burke - A bad luck bride, an exploding disaster…can Noelle be saved in just one day?
Get the series here: http://amzn.to/12DaysSeries
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If you had to pick one gift from the Twelve Days song, what would it be, and why?