(Photo courtesy of Glacier National Park Photo Archives.)

I can’t honestly explain why, but the concept of “mail-order brides” has always intrigued me. Maybe it’s the romantic in me, wanting every lonely heart to find its true love. Maybe it’s the adventurous side, seeking the challenge of conquering the unknown. Whatever the reason, the concept has crept into two of my historical novels (A Hopeful Heart in 2010; and Beneath a Prairie Moon earlier this year), and in both I had a rip-roarin’ good time writing the stories.

The thing is, God created man and woman and designed the two to complement each other. So it shouldn’t be surprising that men in the West who were all alone wanted wives. Nor should it make us shake our heads in wonder that unmarried women would be interested in securing a husband. There were several “matchmaker” businesses in operation during the mid-to-late 1800s, and there were also a number of private individuals who posted ads—either men requesting a wife or women offering themselves for marriage. Historians differ on how many of these unions were truly happy, but when one is writing fiction, of course we shoot for the “happily ever after.”

I actually wrote Beneath a Prairie Moon to satisfy readers’ requests for another mail-order bride story similar to A Hopeful Heart. In A Hopeful Heart, a woman rancher brings inept Eastern women to her ranch and teaches them how to be ranchers’ wives before matching them up with local single ranchers. I twisted that around in Beneath a Prairie Moon and instead made the group of men seeking brides the inept ones when it came to courtship, and Mrs. Helena Bingham, owner of Bingham’s Bevy of Brides, would not send her girls to louts! So she sent one of her girls—one who’d been rejected by several matches already due to her hoity-toity attitude—to teach these men to be tender, attentive husbands.

Oh, such fun to place this young woman who’d been cast from high society (through no fault of her own) into a rough and rugged Kansas town and watch her interact with these goodhearted but very lacking-in-social-niceties men. Throw in a no-nonsense bow-legged sheriff (think Festus from “Gunsmoke”), good ol’ unpredictable Kansas weather, a storekeeper determined to find his bride the old-fashioned way, and a desperate man who’ll steal a wife if he can’t buy one, and— Well, let’s just say I had a good time. I’m not exactly a humor writer, but humor developed naturally as Abigail tried so hard to tame these untamable fellows, and I laughed out loud more during the writing of this book than any other.

Yes, there’s something intriguing about placing two strangers together and watching them find a way to mesh their lives and maybe, just maybe, discover their one true love.


(Btw, if I were a wife seeking a husband and had to pick from the fellows in the photograph at the beginning of this post, I’d take the second from the left. Can you guess why? Answer that question and your name will go into a drawing to win a copy of either of my mail-order brides books—your choice!)

May God bless you muchly as you journey with Him!


BIO: In 1966, Kim Vogel Sawyer told her kindergarten teacher that someday people would check out her book in libraries. That little-girl dream came true in 2006 with the release of Waiting for Summer’s Return. Since then, Kim has watched God expand her dream beyond her childhood imaginings. With almost 50 titles on library shelves and more than a 1.5 million copies of her books in print worldwide, she enjoys a full-time writing and speaking ministry. Empty-nesters, Kim and her retired military husband, Don, live in small-town Kansas, the setting for many of Kim’s novels. When she isn’t writing, Kim stays active serving in her church’s women’s and music ministries, traveling with “The Hubs,” and spoiling her quiverful of granddarlings. You can learn more about Kim’s writing or find purchasing links for all of her books at http://www.KimVogelSawyer.com.

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103 thoughts on “WIVES WANTED by KIM VOGEL SAWYER”

  1. Is it because the second from the left is holding a baby?

    BTW, I love mail-order bride stories too, and yours sound terrific! Thanks for a fun post. 🙂

  2. Looks like a cat to me.(don’t have my glasses on ) So if that’s it you must be a cat lover. 🙂 Your book sounds wonderful. I also enjoy Mail Order Brides stories.

  3. This sounds like a great book, especially tbecbook set in KS as that’s where I live.
    I know why you want the guy in the photo, he’s holding s kitty cat. You must love cats. Thanks for the opportunity to win one of your books.

  4. It looks like a cat to me in his arms. Anyone who loves cats must be OK. I am thinking that is why you choose him. Thanks for the chance.

  5. That is one fat cat! How cute is it that he’s holding it! The left one is holding something, too, but I can’t tell if dog or cat. Mail order brides have intrigued me, too.

  6. Oh my gosh, he’s holding a cat! And it’s coloring is the same as my Miss Kiki (she’s about that round too). I would definitely pick him too. Any man I am interested in has to understand my love for cats. 🙂

    • Your Miss Kiki must be very loved. 🙂 My husband tells people if I had to choose between him and my kitty Clyde, Clyde would win. I usually say, “No comment.” LOL!

  7. I thought it was a puppy, but whatever, he thought enough of her to bring her a potential pet. Which means he’s at least capable of caring for her and probably a nice guy.

  8. Kim, I love mail-order bride stories and marriages of convenience! Janette Oke used a marriage of convenience in “Love Comes Softly” and jump-started a whole genre. People back then were desperate, they didn’t have the options we do today, especially in the wilderness — widowed men needed someone to raise their children, destitute women needed a respectable home. It’s a respected genre within our genre and one I hope to write myself some day. Love DOES come softly, and makes a great read.
    Kathy Bailey

  9. Second from the left, a John Lennon look alike thats an animal lover and the cat isn’t trying to get away so he must be a good person too… I haven’t read one of your books and HWR is one of my favorite genres so I hope I win. A giveaway is an awesome way to find a new author to add to my go to authors list.

  10. This type of novel interests me greatly because it is meaningful and unforgettable. The man must be holding a cat. That is so cute.

  11. Hi Kim…..Welcome back! We’re happy to have you visit. I love that photo of those men! Makes me laugh. They’re a sad-looking lot but I think I’d take the one in white. Not sure what he’s holding…maybe a dog. I love the mail order bride concept and will launch a series about them in January. I’ve had a lot of fun writing the first two. I think they’re unique and readers will love them. I hope. Your series sounds like a lot of fun. If only the real men had had someone to teach them something about women before their brides arrived! I’m sure things would’ve gone lot smoother.

    Wishing you tons of good fortune with your books. I love the covers of both! Very pretty.

    • I’m with you, Linda, because I would take the guy on the left in the white shirt too, also wearing a tie and suspenders with his hair parted in the middle. I can’t tell if he’s holding a cat, or his hat in his right hand and something else in his left (though likely a cat the way his hands are cupped). Either way, he’s the only one to have taken off his hat and coat and let his tie show! 😉

      The second man from the left is indeed holding a cat whose striped tail is curled under his hand, I can see that now. He is wearing spectacles too because it looks like his eyes are whited out, but my son pointed out it must be glare.

      Three of the men are wearing leggings of some kind but the two in the middle sure have colorful ones. And I didn’t notice the black dog with the white on its chest the first time either.

      • I found some other croppings of the photo above which BTW was from 1901 Montana, and I’m feeling more confident that Mr. White Shirt is holding his coat rolled up with his hat on top in his right hand. Mr. WS definitely isn’t wearing leggings either. So my take is that he tried to look more dressed up for the photo than the usual coats/hats/leggings. He’s got himself some ‘shine’ on those suspenders too. 😉

  12. Aww, is he the one with the kitty? I haven’t read either of those books. Not sure how I missed out. Thanks for the giveaway.

  13. Because he’s holding a Kitty Cat so that has got to mean he’s got a gentle way about him. Have a Blessed Day Kim!!!

  14. He is holding a cat in a comfortable way. Cats are picky when choosing their owners and the fact that it seems comfortable with him says a lot about his personality. Plus, he is wearing glasses. Could he be a reader? The man on the left is holding something, but you can’t really tell what it is.

  15. I’m going to say you’re thinking any man who holds a cat in a photo would be gentle with a woman and a great choice for a cat lover like yourself.

  16. I’d say you’d choose that man for three reasons. 1. He’s nice looking in a rugged way. 2. He’s holding a cat so he likes animals and cuddling. 3. He wears glasses so he must read a lot.

    I, too, have always been fascinated by mail-order bride stories. I’ve read about real-life mail-order brides whose stories vary from happy to sad or terrified. That’s the nice thing about romance fiction–there’s always a happy ending.

    • The real stories are intriguing, aren’t they? Too bad not all of them ended well. But they took a chance! What courage they must have had to make that journey to an unknown result.

  17. That man has a tiny animal in his arms. Is it a cat? There’s something special about men who love animals….and little children 🙂

  18. Kim, you would pick that dashing young man not because of his rugged good looks, but because snuggled within his arms is a fluffy cat! I know how much love and happiness your pets (especially your cats) bring into your life each day. I hope you’ll consider adding my name to your drawing. I just finished up Bringing Maggie Home and I am in need of another good book! 🙂

  19. I think that the reason you would choose the man second to the left is because he’s wearing glasses which may mean that he loves to read. Also maybe because that he’s holding a cat. So after he finishes his hunting he likes to sit by the fire with the cat in his lap reading a good book.

  20. Well….He’s really handsome and must be kind because he holding a little kitty cat like he really loves it which means he has a good heart and would love a wife kindly too.

  21. He’s holding a cat and usually animal lovers are pretty nice people! 🙂 I love mail-order brides books, but I haven’t read these two yet.

  22. You like this man because he is holding a cat, one of your favorite creatures!
    I sure love your books and receiving your Facebook messages every day!

  23. He has a cat but it looks like the first guy has one too and he’s kinda cute so I’d prob pick him. Is the cats supposed to make them more desirable, you think?

    • I had to blow the pic up pretty big to see what the other guy was holding–his coat rolled up! I imagine the cat was his company, but any man who cradles a cat so kindly will likely be kind to his wife, too. That’s why I chose him. 🙂

  24. The man in the picture is. Holding a dog & you have some I love reading your books hope to again I would love to win a paperback of your choosing

  25. I’m pretty sure you chose Number 2 because of the cat. I’ve always believed you can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat animals, and if this man cares enough about this cat to hold it in the picture, then he is probably a pretty good man. ?

  26. Definitely because of the cat! He has unique coloring and looks content with his master. Thank you for writing this post as I was wondering about the background. I’m in the middle of Beneath a Prairie Moon and have laughed out loud at the humor. I’m not sure I read the first book you mentioned.

  27. Because he is holding a cat.You love cats . Thank you for the opportunity to win.Have a wonderful weekend.

  28. I’m sure it’s because the gentleman is holding a fur baby (cat). That hits the heart for me!

  29. I think you would choose the 2nd from the left because he was holding a cat. I like Mail-Order Bride stories, too. I’m not sure why, either.

  30. Perhaps holding the cat means he has a tender spot for felines, making it possible that he also has a tender heart for a special female!

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