Don’t miss Hildie McQueen’s new series set in the 1870s of brave women who traveled to the west to seek marriage and a better life. Be sure to check back each day this week for a new Bride and your next book adventure.
Official Blurb: If opposites attract these two strangers will collide with the force of a raging storm.
Out of options, Wilhelmina Wilkins heads west to marry a total stranger upon answering a mail order bride ad. What could have been a fairytale beginning turns out to be this bride’s nightmare. Instead of meeting Wilhelmina at the train station, her husband-to-be is in the center of town brawling.
Marcus Hamilton is blindsided twice, first, by a mail order bride ad posted for him by his mother and sister, and secondly, by the beauty of the woman who arrives to marry him. That the bride wishes to cancel all plans after he fails to make a good first impression will not do. How far will Marcus have to go to prove his worth?
Excerpt from Wilhelmina, A Winter Bride
By Hildie McQueen
The view would never tire her. How very different Montana was from Philadelphia. Everything from vegetation to the landscape did not resemble anything she’d seen before. There were mountains in Pennsylvania, but in Montana, they seemed majestic, grander in a way.
Absently, she wondered what her family did at the moment. Slept, probably, as it was later in the east. They thought she’d left to go to Virginia. Instead, she’d boarded the train and debarked at the next station where she transferred to a train headed west. She’d left a note with Lady Price, asking it be delivered to her father two days after she’d left.
It was probable her stepmother and stepsister were not sorry Wilhelmina had not gone to Virginia. The farther she was, with her scandalous reputation, the better for them is what they’d think.
Although her father would be sad at her decision, they’d distract him by stating how she’d done the most impulsive, irresponsible thing and they should concentrate on keeping it a secret from their society circles.
The two letters she’d sent with James to town were to Aurora and Lady Price. She informed them about marrying Marcus. She’d not asked either to keep it a secret and, hopefully, they wouldn’t. It would serve her stepsister right to find out she’d married a handsome man.
The door opened and she turned. Her husband entered and sat down to remove his shoes. He seemed deep in thought. “Evan is still with Ma. He’s drinking coffee and waiting to see how the treatment he administered is working.”
“Would you like some hot water? I can fetch it.” When she reached the doorway, he took her arm.
“I’ve decided we’ll remain here through the winter months. I can’t move away right now.” Marcus looked at her then away. “We can move in the spring.”
“I understand what you must be feeling, but this is a decision we should speak about. Make together.” Wilhelmina attempted to keep her temper in check.
“It’s for the best.”
“You are not listening to me. Why can’t we discuss it? How are we to have a good marriage if I am not to be included in any major decisions?”
He stood to his full height, whether to intimidate her, she wasn’t sure. “This is not up for discussion. Wouldn’t you want to be with your father during his last days?”
Both hands flat on his chest, Wilhelmina pushed him back. “I am not intimidated by you. How dare you question my feelings toward my father?”
“I’ve decided we will remain. Discussion is not needed at this point.” Although he spoke softly, he lifted an eyebrow in challenge.
There it was; the temper she’d been expecting. Wilhelmina refused to back down. “I do not agree and I will not be spoken down to by you.”
“Why, because you’re from high society? Is that going to be your reasoning against me whenever we disagree? That I’m not worthy of you?”
“Don’t you dare put words in my mouth.” Wilhelmina blinked back angry tears. “I did not refer in any way to my upbringing.”
“What do you want me to say? That I will move into our house regardless of what is happening just to make you happy?” His voice rose just a bit and then his jaw clenched.
Of course, she realized at the moment that, perhaps, her argument was without foundation, as she would have agreed to remain. But the fact that he didn’t ask for her opinion would not do. If there was a lesson she’d learned from her stepmother it was to ensure, inside the home, the marriage should stand on equal footing.
“My happiness is not the concern at the moment. What is my concern is your attitude.”
“What?” He scowled and narrowed his eyes.
Wilhelmina lifted her chin and pointed at his face. “There, that. Most disagreeable.”
Knocks sounded on the other side of the door and Marcus yanked it open.
Eleanor looked from one to the other. “I can hear you all the way in the front room. This is not a time to be arguing. I suggest you both calm down and go to sleep. Get some rest and wait until morning to talk.”
“I won’t be sleeping in here with him.” Wilhelmina crossed her arms.
“Fine by me. I’ll sleep in the front room,” Marcus said and stormed from the room.
Wilhelmina let out a huff. “I’m so sorry. I hope we didn’t disturb your mother.”
“You didn’t.” Eleanor seemed unsure how to proceed next. “What happened?”
“To be honest, I’m not quite sure.” Wilhelmina ran her hands down her face. “Now, I’m too upset to sleep and want to cry. I am not sure how your brother and I will ever manage.”
Eleanor took her by the elbow and guided her to the bed just as tears spilled. “There now, don’t fret. I’m sure it’s just a misunderstanding.”
“He would not listen to me at all.” Wilhelmina let out a shaky breath. “I’m so embarrassed I raised my voice at him. I’ve not screamed at someone in very a long time.”
Her sister-in-law chuckled. “If anyone will bring out a temper in people, it’s Marcus. I agree he is impatient and quick to anger, but he will never disrespect you or mistreat you. That, I can assure you.”
Not knowing her husband well, Wilhelmina didn’t comment on Eleanor’s statement.
Her sister-in-law squeezed her arm. “I should let you get some rest. In the morning, things will be better, I’m sure.”
“Yes, of course. Again, I apologize.” Although she agreed, Wilhelmina did not think for a moment the disagreement would be any different by the next day. The challenge in Marcus’ expression had unsettled her. Did he expect her to bow to his every whim without some sort of discussion?
It would not do at all. She’d once heard a woman state that at the beginning of a marriage is when roles are set. Wilhelmina decided she’d not back down. Whether or not she won the argument didn’t matter. What did matter was that Marcus understood she would not be ignored when it came to decisions affecting them and their future family.
They would battle to see where the other stood. He was testing her and had tried to assert himself in their relationship.
There was going to be a very important lesson in it for both of them. She’d not back down on her belief that major decision would be discussed nor would she allow him to mow over her as if she were a puppet of some sort.
Mind made up, she fell into a fretful sleep. She knew the next day, she’d face her husband for another bout.
One she would not lose.
Wilhelmina, A Winter Bride was released on 1/17/17
Amazon KU Link:http://amzn.to/2gZ5fAU
Bestselling author Hildie McQueen loves unusual situations and getting into interesting adventures, which is what her characters do as well. She writes romance because she is in love with love! Author of Romance in Highland historical, Western Historical and contemporary, she writes something every reader can enjoy.
Most days she can be found in her pajamas hiding from deliverymen while drinking tea from her David Gandy coffee mug. In the afternoons she browses the Internet for semi-nude men to post on Facebook.
Hildie’s favorite past-times are romance conventions, traveling, shopping and reading.
She resides in beautiful small town Georgia with her super-hero husband Kurt, an unruly boy Chihuahua Pepito and a spoiled rotten girl Chiweenie named Lola.
Visit her website at www.hildiemcqueen.com