Cover Reveal! Mail-Order Brides of Oak Grove

 

I am excited to share the cover of my newest book with you.

(First ~ a little introduction. By the way, this isn’t the cover…)

Old trains

When twins, Mary and Maggie McCary are caught selling
their family tonic without a permit,

they’re forced to agree to become mail-order brides to stay out of jail.
Taking the train to Oak Grove, the pair are separated–

For Mary, falling off the Oak Grove train
into Steve Putnam’s lap changes everything.
Could he be the cowboy to tempt her down the aisle?
And running from trouble, Maggie doesn’t intend to actually marry…
until she shares one sensational kiss with Jackson Miller!

When the mayor discovers the twins’ side business and their plans
to avoid the bride contract, 
things begin to fall apart for the sisters.
They both have a lot to learn about the men of Oak Grove…and likewise,
the men have a lot to learn about these two McCarys!

Join Maggie and Mary McCary in the first book of a new series from authors Lauri Robinson and Kathryn Albright that are all set in the fictional town of Oak Grove, Kansas.

So without further ado… TA DA!!

Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove

I absolutely loved collaborating with Lauri while she wrote Mary’s story and I wrote Maggie’s. These are two young women with a penchant for fun and trouble. In Taming the Runaway Bride, the second story in this book, Maggie’s youth and unconventional upbringing make her view of life slightly skewed from other “normal” folk. For her, rules don’t apply in the regular sense. She turns Jackson Miller’s quiet life into one big knot with her shenanigans!

It will be released on May 23  in paperback and on June 1st in eBook form.
Here is the link to Pre-Order

I hope that you enjoy this short excerpt~
Taming the Runaway Bride from Mail-Order Brides of Oak Grove

The worst of the screeching subsided as the engine shuddered and then slowed to a turtle’s crawl.

Her three companions created a fair wall with their noses pressed to the glass. Maggie could only see bits and pieces of the town moving by through the spaces between the three—Miss Know-it-all Rebecca, Miss Quiet-and Quaint Sadie, and Miss Gullible Anna. She couldn’t understand why they were excited about a new beginning and gaining a husband along with it. She certainly wasn’t. That’s all her life had been for as long as she could remember—always a new city, a new town, a new horizon. A seed didn’t have time to flower, nor dust to settle, the way her family lived. And she sure didn’t plan to get yoked to a man. A man would only complicate things between her and her sister. He might even separate them.

But while she was here, she would like to see a real cowboy. One with boots…and a Stetson. Or one of those ten gallon hats that the other girls had been giggling about. Did cowboys always wear spurs? These were things a girl should know.

She stored the deck of cards in her satchel. It wouldn’t do to lose them. She might have need of a little spending money or even a little “get out of town” money.

She stepped behind Anna to peer over her shoulder. From this position all she saw was a small sea of dusty and dirty cowboy hats and bowlers. A few men waved faded flags—bleached by the sun and whipped by the prairie wind.

She swallowed. Men. All men. At least thirty of them. She rose to her tip-toes in order to see better.

Some were really young, but most looked middlin’ to old. A few appeared…weathered. One thing was obvious—no two of the men staring back from the station platform were the same. They were all shapes and sizes. And whether they wore big grins or not as they vied for the front row, they all looked curious to see who would be stepping off the train. Some, she noticed uncomfortably, appeared eager—a bit too eager.

With that thought she shrank back and looked in the seat behind her for her sister. Where had she disappeared to so fast? This bride contract had been her idea from the start. She should be here.

“Oh! I see the one I want!” Anna squealed, her voice blending with the last screech of the brakes.

The train shuddered horrendously to a complete stop. With it, a band started up. A band? A trumpet played Oh! Susanna! and was joined by the beat of a drum and the trill of a fife.

Panic seized Maggie. She wasn’t ready for this! “I have to find Mary,” she croaked out. Swaying slightly, she headed toward the back end of the railcar. She wanted to be with her sister when she faced the men gathered outside—not with these women she’d known only a handful of days.

The door before her swung open.

“Well now, Miss McCary,” the conductor said, raising his bushy brows. “A bit anxious I’d say.”

She glared at him. He was in league with the sheriff back in Bridgeport—that scoundrel.

Behind him, a man from the platform climbed the steps, pausing when he arrived at the top as if the exertion winded him. He was dressed in his Sunday best, right down to the gold watch fob and chain dangling from his black satin vest. The suit appeared a bit small at the neck…and other places. Probably cutting off his breath judging by the redness of his face. He peered first at her and then at the other women behind her as he blotted a trace of sweat on his forehead.

“Welcome to Oak Grove, ladies. I’m Mayor Melbourne.” He paused, looking over the four of them. The welcoming mien dissolved and he turned to the conductor. “Where are the rest?”

The man fumbled in his pocket, withdrew a sealed envelope and handed it to the mayor.

Mayor Melbourne pressed his lips together. He slipped his wire glasses from his vest pocket and settled them on the bridge of his nose, bending the ear wires over his ears. Then he broke the wax seal on the envelope and quickly read the contents. If possible his face reddened further.

“Not coming!” he sputtered. “Not coming! I asked for twelve and all that answered the call are these four?”

“Actually, Mayor, that would be five,” Rebecca said from over Maggie’s left shoulder. “Mary McCary is also with us…somewhere.”

“Five, you say? The committee sent enough money for twelve. My brother has some answering to do.” He read the letter again, the perturbed look on his face slowly settling into resignation as he folded the paper and stuffed it in his pocket. “Very well. Ladies? Welcome. Please come meet your town.”

She sensed Anna, Sadie and Rebecca gathering in force behind her. “What about our things?” she asked quickly, hoping to stall a few minutes longer.

“Plenty of men here to see to them,” the mayor said. “Please follow me. As you can see, they are anxious to have a look at …I mean…meet you.”

Behind her, the others pressed forward, prodding her out the door and onto the steps. A blast of warm Kansas wind swirled around her and picked up her skirt.

“Whoo-wee!” a man in front called out. “Got a looker right off!”

Her cheeks heated as she struggled to subdue the billowing purple cotton and then she focused on the gawker, raising her chin defiantly and fixing him with a bold glare. She would make sure never to find herself alone with him.

He grinned. “Got spirit too! She’s mine. Might as well just check her off your list, men. She’s mine! Whoo-ee!”

“Not unless you take a bath and wash off that cow smell, Rader,” someone yelled back. A round of chuckles from a few of the others followed.

Behind her, Sadie, Rebecca and Anna must have crowded into view for a cheer went up from the men. “Hip-hip-hooray!” Several even threw their hats into the air and the small band played louder at a furious pace.

Four strong-looking men stepped forward and with a great deal more enthusiasm than the situation called for, took hold of her upper-arms and whisked her—her body floating through the air—down the last two steps to the platform.

She wasn’t ready for this! Where in heaven’s name was Mary?

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Mail-Order Brides of Oak Grove
© by Harlequin Books & Kathryn Albright
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.

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Kathryn Albright
Kathryn Albright writes sweet western historical romance. Her award-winning stories celebrate courage and hope with a dash of adventure. She loves hiking and traveling and being caught up in a good story. She lives with her family in the rural Midwest.

25 Comments

  1. I’ve been really looking forward to this new book, which is on my to-buy list. One of my favorites themes is mail order brides, and this book has two of my favorite authors. Can’t beat that! Whoo-ee, as Radar would say! 🙂

    1. Add a “whoops” to that “whoo-ee”–I should’ve typed “Rader” with an “e”.

      1. I’m glad you are looking forward to this story. Collaborating with Lauri has been fun and conversations back and forth would spark new ideas. It’s amazing how, when we’d talk about these two sisters, they became so real to us.

        And yes–I had to consciously put an “e” in Rader’s name too. Otherwise I thought of him as Radar from the TV show MASH.

  2. Oh man, I want to read this!!!! Love it!

    1. Hi Susan! I am excited to see how it is received too. My other stories have tended toward being emotional and full of angst. This one was full of spit and vinegar and a little more light-hearted than my past stories. Makes me smile thinking of some of the scenes.

  3. Congratulations on such a beautiful cover, Kathryn! I love it and the excerpt had me wanting more. I’ve got to find out what happens. And how exciting to partner with Lauri. She’s a very talented author also!

    Wishing you much success and every happiness.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Linda! And for your kind words. It was Lauri’s idea to collaborate and I am so fortunate that she asked me! Otherwise it would have been two stand-alone stories with no connection in one book. Like those old Doublement gum commercials–“Double the pleasure; Double the fun!” It was true in this case.

  4. I love that cover, and I love mail-order bride stories. Congrats on the new book!

    1. Thanks Cheryl! So glad that you stopped by!

  5. I am looking forward to this “sassy, spitfire” book! It really sounds like a fun read and I am ready for some lighthearted romance. We all need some heroines that “speak their mind” once in awhile instead of keeping it bottled up! Keep em coming!

    1. Hi Phyllis!
      I’m so glad you stopped by! Was the “bottled up” remark a play on words for this book? It fits well into a scene from the book when corks did fly!

  6. Congratulations to both you and Lauri!

    1. Thanks Tanya! Love having you pop in!

  7. Hi Kathryn! Great post Mary and Maggie’s stories! Creating the town of Oak Grove was such fun, and I’m so excited that we are writing more mail order bride stories set in this wonderful little Kansas town. I just wanted to share that an early reader said this: “I absolutely loved this mail order bride book about twin sisters written by two authors and how they blend them together into one very cute story.”
    Cheers!
    Lauri

    1. I’m so glad you came by today Lauri! Working with you on this duet has been a real treat! The folks at Oak Grove are a fun and interesting bunch of people. I’d love to meet most of them in real life!

      1. Me, too! It’s been so much fun! I want to see all the men who contributed to the “Betterment Committee” find their brides!

  8. Great cover but now I’m wanting to get to know these twins much better! I love mail order bride stories and these look to be a real treat.

    1. Hi Rosie,
      I’m so glad you are interested in learning more about Mary and Maggie. Next month, when the book comes out, I’ll be doing a giveaway so come back and visit again and you might get lucky.

      I enjoy reading mail-order bride books too, but this is my first attempt to write one. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it is well-received because I sure enjoyed writing it.

  9. I’m so glad you came by today Lauri! Working with you on this duet has been a real treat! The folks at Oak Grove are a fun and interesting bunch of people. I’d love to meet most of them in real life!

  10. What an absolutely beautiful cover — congratulations! And mail order brides. Love the excerpt, too.

    1. Thank you Karen! I think the impish look in the heroine’s eyes fits her character perfectly.

  11. Love the cover.

    1. Thanks for popping in Kim! I’m happy with the cover too.

  12. I love the cover! Just beautiful!

  13. I love mail order bride stories. There are so many different reasons young ladies signed on to be one. This set has a different scenario than one usually finds. Mail-Order Brides of Oak Grove sounds like it is a pair of stories I will enjoy. Thanks for sharing the excerpt and the premise of the stories.

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