JANICE COLE HOPKINS IS OUR GUEST TODAY WITH A GIVEAWAY!

It is wonderful to be sharing with you today. The last time I was here, back in February, I shared the first book in the Cactus Creek series, Second Choice Bride. Today, I would like to share the two other books in the series that have been published since then, Sterling Orphans and Poor Relation.

Often town leaders in the West encouraged the establishment of churches if they wanted a family-oriented, growing town. Pastors were recruited through various organizations to come west. But pastoring could be a harrowing task, and it often took tough, tenacious men to stay. There were even rare cases of men who held both the positions of sheriff and pastor and toted guns most of the time. Congregations also preferred their preacher to be married, but this could be a challenge, too, unless the man brought his wife to the West with him. Eligible, single women could be scarce in the early West. In Sterling Orphans, Preston King finally finds a man to start a church in Cactus Creek. He had been holding Sunday services for the people on his ranch prior to Gray Fox rescuing Dan Proffit from the Apache and bringing him to the ranch. Preston talks him into starting a church in town. Dan becomes one of the two main characters in Poor Relation, and readers get a good look at his life as a pastor in a small, Western town.

These books continue the family saga of Preston and Abby King, but their family grows to not only include children, but also close friends. In Sterling Orphans, Book Two, Rose Sterling needs to leave the Sterling Orphan House since she’s turned eighteen. She’s asked to take toddler, Katie Hudson, to her father who works on the King Ranch in New Mexico Territory. She thought her biggest adventure would be getting there on the wagon train, but she was wrong. And Will Hudson can’t believe he has a daughter. His wife left him for a gambler, and he’d been trying to cope ever since. He doesn’t make the best impression on Rose Hudson at first, but he sees how much his little daughter loves and depends on her. Can he adjust to fatherhood, or will he always be a disappointment to the women in his life?

Letty Sawyer also comes to the King Ranch, and she’s traumatized by the sight of an Indian since they killed her adoptive parents. Gray Fox terrifies her, but he wants to show her that all Indians aren’t alike, and he would protect her with his life? All this sets the stage for adventure, conflict, personal growth, and a great ending.

In Poor Relation, the third book in the Cactus Creek series, Dan Proffit, Cactus Creek’s pastor, mistakenly thinks the niece of the town’s busybody will be a young girl. Instead, Hannah York turns out to be a beautiful young lady with remarkable musical abilities. However, she is also shy, overworked, and under her two aunts’ thumbs. As his attraction grows, so do the problems.

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What is a specific problem you think a pastor in the early West might encounter?

I will give a free Audible promo code for Second-Choice Bride, the first book in the series, to anyone who has an Amazon Audible account and asks for one in the comments as long as they last. Please specify if you need a U.S. or U.K. code. You’ll have to check back later in your comment for your promo code.

Please be sure to do that.

Sterling Orphans on Amazon

Poor Relation on Amazon

 

Early New Mexico – by Guest Janice Cole Hopkins

 

During the years when Spain ruled Mexico and territories to the north, they allowed very few foreigners to enter, and trade was nearly impossible. However, once Mexico gained its independence in 1821, things opened-up. Almost immediately, traders began to enter New Mexico Territory, and the legendary Santa Fe Trail began.

Much of the merchandise available from Mexico was inferior to that produced in the United States, and those in the territories were eager for the higher quality goods. Hauling the items that far was difficult and dangerous, but the lucrative profits were appealing. From its beginning, the Santa Fe Trail was only meant for wagon trains hauling goods. Other western trails, such as the Oregon Trail, the California Trail, and the Mormon Trail would be for settlers coming to the West. That didn’t keep settlers from trickling in, however, and for the most part, the Mexican government welcomed them.

This is the historical background to my new five-book series set in early New Mexico. The first book in the Cactus Creek series, Second-Choice Bride, is already out, and the second book, Sterling Orphans, will soon follow. In Second-Choice Bride, Abby Carter was horrified with herself when she blurted out a marriage proposal to Preston King. A proper lady would never do such a thing, but her cousin had just jilted Preston, and she wanted to ease his hurt. She cared too much for him. Preston is confused, but he knows he needs a wife to help him run his uncle’s ranch in New Mexico Territory, so he asks Abby to marry him. But will he ever purge Magnolia from his heart, and will they even survive the long journey west?

I lived in New Mexico for two years and learned much about the area and its history during that time. My husband and I bought an old adobe house and remodeled it. I had a great time decorating it with a southwestern theme. When my mother’s health began to fail, and her insurance wouldn’t pay out-of-state beyond six months, we returned to North Carolina, and I began writing some of those novels I had always wanted to write. Second-Choice Bride is my thirtieth published book.

I love writing about the places I have lived and worked, and I have a lot to choose from. I’ve been to all fifty states and about forty-five other countries. With my love of history, I always explore the past and culture of an area. Having grown up in the eastern part of the Appalachian Mountains, I often joke that I lived much as people did in the 1800s. However, there’s some truth in that statement, but it’s given me a good background for writing historical fiction.

Leave the answer to the question below in a comment, and I will give a Kindle copy of Second-Choice Bride to the winner whose name is drawn.

If you could temporarily move to a new place for a year or two, where would you choose and why?

Also, free to ask me any questions or make comments. I look forward to chatting with you.

You can check out Janice’s books HERE

In From the Storm with Janice Cole Hopkins

The Scots who came to settle the mountain regions of the United States were a hardy lot, especially those who hailed from the Scottish Highlands. They felt at home settling in these areas few other immigrants wanted – areas like the Appalachians or the Rocky Mountains. A large amount of my heritage can be found among this group. Eighty-three percent of my ancestry come from the British Isles with a mixture of Scot, English, and Irish.

This is what happens in Mountain Storms, the first book in my In from the Storms Trilogy. Ian MacGregor was wounded in the Civil War and left Maryland to hide away in a mountain cabin in Wyoming Territory. He had been rejected because of his war wounds and wanted to move from society. Aileas Campbell stumbles on the cabin in a snowstorm after she runs away from unwanted attention. Neither suspect the adventure they’re about to begin or the changes God has in store for them.

The family saga continues in Past Storms. Jeannie MacGregor, at seventeen, feels imprisoned in the secluded mountain cabin with her taciturn brother, so she runs away and goes back to her aunt in Maryland, hoping to have a social life and find a suitor. But nothing turns out as she expected, and within a few years, she finds herself on a train back to Wyoming with her young daughter in tow. The unexpected interest of three men there surprises her, but only one man makes her heart beat faster. However, he’s the new pastor, and what would a man of God want with someone like her. He could hardly find a more unsuitable wife.

In Dust Storms, Brady Sharpe, Aileas’s stepbrother, wanders his way to Texas after Aileas refuses to leave with him. He tries ranching and becomes a foreman but never feels he truly belongs. After catching some cattle rustlers, he decides to leave but discovers a young woman in desperate need of help. He does his best but ends up deciding to take her back to Wyoming and get Aileas to help her. In their journey, they battle many storms, including a major dust storm and storms of the heart.

I loved writing this trilogy. Originally, I hadn’t planned to write Dust Storms, but when I finished Past Storms, Brady said I needed to tell his story, so I did. This has happened before in my character-driven novels. Readers seem to like this series, too, because these books have been my best-sellers for months.

I would like to offer one of you the chance to win a free copy of Mountain Storms. In addition, as long as they last, I would also like to give free codes for audible editions of one of the 3 books to any who have an Audible account (which is free but required to redeem the code). You can email me at janicecolehopkins@gmail.com, and I will send you the code for the book you request. Have a blessed day, ask me any questions you’d like, and I hope to hear from you soon.