Here Come The Brides – Laughing On The Way To The Altar

More Love and Laughter From Margaret Brownley

The following is a short except from Dawn Comes Early.  Eleanor owns the Last Chance Ranch. Robert proposes to her yearly, but has never mentioned the word love.  This is a good thing—a very good thing.  Because even an old hand like Eleanor can’t protect her heart forever. 

Miss Margaret is giving away a copy of her book,

 so speak up or forever hold your peace

 (Your choice: print or eBook!)


 Excerpt 1 — Dawn Comes Early

            Robert picked out a clear sandy spot and knelt on one knee. He pulled off his hat and held it to his chest. Most men his age would be at least half bald but not him. His silver hair was just as full and lush as that of a much younger man.

            Eleanor gazed down at Robert. “Must you be so dramatic?”

            “It’s my proposal. I can be as dramatic as I please.”

            “Very well. If you insist.”

            He cleared his throat and his pale blue eyes held hers. “Will you, Eleanor Walker, do me the honor of becoming my wife?”

             Each year on her birthday he proposed marriage and each year she turned him down—and for good reason. Arizona Territory community property laws would make Robert half owner of her ranch. Her painful divorce taught her the folly of shared ownership and she had no intention of making the same mistake twice.

             “How long have we been doing this, Robert?”

            “Fourteen, fifteen years,” he said. “But like I’ve told you many times, I’m a patient man.”

            “I’m not sure that patient is the right word,” she said. “In any case, the answer is no.” No surprises, there.

            Her answer hung between them for several moments before he rose and brushed the sand off his trouser leg. “Same time, same place next year.”

            “Same answer.”


And now from Phyliss Miranda . . .

Miss Phyliss is giving away a copy of Give Me a Texas Ranger, so be sure to leave a comment!

In my story, One Woman, One Ranger for our anthology, Give Me a Texas Ranger, I used factual events of Mickey and Frenchy McCormick and how they were forced into marriage. I took that tidbit of history and turned it around where my Texas Ranger, Hayden McGraw, is faced with a similar situation. As a matter of fact, McGraw’s character was developed from a real life crusty  ol’ Texas Ranger in the Texas Panhandle in the late 1800’s.   

Please note that I am using some quotes from the book, but also leaving parts out, so you won’t find every single word of these excerpts in the story.

Excerpt 2 ––  “One Woman, One Ranger” in Give Me A Texas Ranger

            Not only was he tired, hungry, and dirty, but technically, Hayden McGraw guessed he was still on suspension with the Texas Rangers. The last thing he needed was to become involved in the quarrel that seemed to be brewing in Buffalo Springs, Texas. It wasn’t any of his concern … yet.

            First Lieutenant McGraw finds a place to quench his thirst where he walks right into the middle of a room full of grumpy towns folks, including an old toad named Baldy, waiting on the Justice of the Peace to commence a meeting …

            “Where’s that dern justice of the peace anyways?” A boisterous voice boomed. “He called this meeting.”

            “Probably at Molly Lou’s showing off his new book of marriage licenses, trying to make the gamblers and dancehall girls see the error of their ways,” Mr. Baldy answered. “He says you’ve gotta get hitched if you’re livin’ without benefit of clergy–“

            “What in the heck is that supposed to mean?” A woman, not so lady like, spouted.

            “Means everybody in Newman County has gotta get legit. No marriage license, no beddin’.” Baldy’s eyes narrowed, brows knitted together. “I’m jest quotin’ the JP.”

            It doesn’t take long for McGraw to encounter the feisty, beautiful Patience Eleanor Stevenson, who has come to town to fight for the rights of the ladies who work in Molly Lou’s, her drinking establishment across the creek. She enters the saloon mad as a peeled rattler ….

            “Women have rights, and we’re nobody’s have to! We don’t have to do anything, just because a man tells us to do so.”  

            The bully of a sheriff takes umbrage at her attitude and threatens to arrest her if she doesn’t leave.  Unfortunately, Hayden can see how things are unraveling. The sheriff attempts to physically remove her, but comes up on the losing end of the stick … she punches him accidentally.

             Before Hayden can blink the sheriff tries to arrest her, but the towns folks would just as soon see her hanged.  Suddenly, the Texas Ranger is faced with …  A beautiful woman with a noose around her neck, no proof he is a Texas Ranger, and a pompous-ass of a sheriff with hangin’ on his mind. Ranger McGraw, being the senior law enforcer, tries to take custody of her….

             Sheriff Oldham smirked in a gottcha way. “And, I reckon you don’t even know her name.”

            Having a knack for remembering details to a flaw, McGraw says, “Patience Eleanor Stevenson.” He pushed his Stetson back with his thumb. “But, I call her Puddin’ Cake.” He turned to Ella, and said, “Don’t I, wife?”

            If looks could kill, Ella’s face would be on every Wanted Poster between the Canadian and the Rio Grande….

            “Miss Stevenson, uh Mrs. McGraw.” … “Uh, I’m Wilson Scott, Newman County JP. This won’t take long. Reckon we gotta get the formalities out of the way.” He opened a black ledger. “If you’ll both sign here, then all I’ll need is the fee and your union will be duly recorded as required by law.”  

            “Can’t this wait? The misses and I are tired and hungry. And, I want to clear up the matter of the Warrant.”

            “No, sir.“ The JP stood his ground.

            “Nope, Ranger. This needs tending to … now!” Sheriff Oldham interjected.

            “Gotcha fee right here.” Dixie (one of Ella’s employees) pulled a stringed bag from between her breasts and began counting out coins.

            Reluctantly, Hayden signs his name to the ledger.

            Ella folded her arms across her chest and tapped her foot, resisting the JP’s demands. As if it were Hayden’s fault, she furrowed her brow and sent him a go to blue blazes look which scathed all the way to his toes and back again.

            “It’s them or me.” Hayden nodded toward the Sheriff and Baldy, who now held the noose.

            Almost knocking the JP off the porch, she seized the ledger. In an exquisite script, Ella scrolled her name across the paper. She shared her frown with Dixie, as she handed over the fee.

            Dixie raised an eyebrow and shrugged her shoulders. “Should I let them hang you?”

            Ranger McGraw was weighing his druthers.

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27 thoughts on “Here Come The Brides – Laughing On The Way To The Altar”

  1. Vickie, I’m standing in for Phyliss today. Hope you don’t mind. I’m really glad you loved Texas Ranger. These stories were fun to write. We all love Texas Rangers so it wasn’t any stretch of the imagination to pen stories featuring them. Phyliss’s story had so many funny scenes, but the wedding part was simply hilarious.

  2. Margaret, I loved DAWN COMES EARLY. I laughed so much reading about these zany characters and the fixes they found themselves in. I loved that scene when Kate was trying to mount her horse for the first time and then when she was practicing her roping skills of which she had none. And I think Kate and Luke definitely had sparks. Well done.

  3. Another great set of excerpts! I loved all the stories in TEXAS RANGER, and I can’t wait to read DAWN COMES EARLY, sounds like a great fish-out-of-water story. :o)


  4. Good Morning Ladies, I have read other books by Margaret–loved them. Always a funny something going on. Haven’t read the ILL HAVE A TEXAS RANGER. Both have the ‘makins for some good reads. (How’s that for Western talk?) Too early in the day? That’s what I thought, too.

  5. Love today’s excerpts! Thought I had read Texas
    Ranger, but the excerpt doesn’t sound familiar.
    Got to get a copy quickly, also Dawn Comes Early!

    Pat C.

  6. I enjoyed both excerpts. I have read Jodi’s and enjoyed them and the others are new to me but I’m sure they would be stories I would also enjoy!

  7. Thanks for the great excerpts. Loved them.
    Are there no other women around that Robert has to ask Eleanor to marry him every year for the past 14 or 15 years? I’m not sure if that’s patience or stupidity. Can’t wait to see what happens.
    Can’t wait to read more about Hayden and his new bride.

  8. I have to find out if she ever relents and marries the poor guy…..adding that one to my list!
    And the second…..I can just see the fireworks. Yep it’s on my list also!

  9. Kirsten, Phyliss and I are thrilled that you liked all the stories in Texas Ranger. Phyliss is without Internet access today or she’d be doing this instead of me. I hope everything is going well with you and your writing.

  10. Hi Mary J…….glad you enjoyed the excerpts. Phyliss will be tickled to know you liked hers. She’s away from the computer today or she’d be doing this instead of me. We’ll put your name in the pot to win a copy of GIVE ME A TEXAS RANGER.

  11. Joanne B…….Phyliss’s excerpt is such a funny scene, something that she excels at right along with Margaret. They both have such a fine sense of humor. Sure makes their stories come to life.

  12. Hi everyone, I’m in and out today but thought I’d pop just see what you’re all up to.

    Linda, thank you for filling in for Phyliss–and for saying such nice things about my book.

  13. Dawn Comes Early was a great book Margaret. Give Me A Texas Ranger sounds like my kind of book. I love lawmen and fisty women. Loved the excerpt. Adding to my wish list. Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

  14. Margaret, “Dawn Comes Early” was a really good book. Love those western-theme stories. Please enter me in the “giveaway” for “Give Me A Texas Ranger”. The excerpt was relly good. God Bless, thanks. Pat Hines
    221 West Franklin
    Monmouth, Illinois 61462

  15. I have Dawn comes early on my tbr shelf… The excerpt from this book was excellent. I love a man who keeps on proposing, to know the answer will always be no…
    Both of these books are on my tbr list…

  16. Great excerpts on both of these books and I am sure they are awesome reads. Lately I have been reading more Kindle books then paper, not sure why.

  17. Hi! I am a fan of Margaret’s books, but the other authors are new to me! I love this genre, though, so I’m looking forward to checking them out. Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. this is such a cute site, love all the little fillies…I would also love to be in your drawing for Margaret’s book(print one please) thanks so much for sharing…
    Paula O

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