A Widow’s Salvation by Becky Lower

From Christina: Today I’m pleased to share this new American historical romance from Becky Lower. Read about the story here, and enjoy an excerpt. 

About the Story

In 1862 America, the Civil War has raged for twelve months. Pepper Fitzpatrick Brown’s heart was broken when her husband died with the first volley at Manassas. Now she’s a widow raising three young boys and plans to honor his sacrifice by volunteering at the army hospital.

When Colonel Elijah Williams can grab a few minutes to nap between his duties as head surgeon at MacDougall Army Hospital in the Bronx, his sleep is invaded with nightmares of the atrocities he’s seen. His life has narrowed to nothing but the bloody war … until he meets Pepper Brown. But her father is concerned Elijah doesn’t have the best intentions, and Pepper is fearful of loving and losing again.

It’s hard to find happiness in a war-torn United States, but these two stand a fighting chance—if they can save what’s left of their hearts.

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Available September 7

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A Widow’s Salvation


Becky Lower



New York City, July 1862

Pepper Brown yanked open her bedroom armoire and stared at the sea of black. Her widow’s weeds, as people called them. They were showing up in increasing numbers on the streets of New York, on women of all ages. The Civil War, which both sides had thought would be over in a matter of weeks, marked its one-year anniversary today. Which meant today was also Pepper’s one-year anniversary as a widow. She drummed her foot on the floor while she perused the black dresses. Was she ready to move on? Michael had thought she would be. In fact, he extracted a promise from her before he left for the war. One year and not one day more, he had said. Her mother thought so, too, or she wouldn’t have planned their outing for today. All Pepper now needed was the courage to convince herself they were right. The churning in her stomach told her she had a ways to go yet.

She straightened and turned her back on the black.

“Molly, please come help me dress,” Pepper called down the hall to her lady’s maid. “I’m going out today.”

“Aye, ma’am.” Molly, a young Irish girl with light brown hair and matching freckles across her pert nose, came quickly into the room. “Which gown would you be liking?” She began fondling the various dresses in the armoire.

“None of these. I’m done with these dresses. Besides, most of them are maternity gowns. I want to wear something fresh, something different.”

Molly nodded vigorously, and the little white cap on her head bounced askew. She righted it before she spoke. “Perfectly understood, ma’am, and you should be stepping down to half mourning. Perhaps I can find a nice gray or deep purple gown among your other things.”

Pepper shook her head. “No, no half mourning for me. What kind of silly term is that, anyway? I’m going out with Mother, and I want our day to be special. I want to wear something bright. I think the periwinkle dress Jasmine created for me right before Michael’s death will do. Yes, the periwinkle.”

Pepper smiled at Molly’s horrified intake of breath. She obviously disapproved, which meant it was the right decision.

“Periwinkle? Forgive me saying so, ma’am, but isn’t it a wee bit too much of a difference?”

“Why yes, it is, Molly.”


Pre-order your copy of A Widow’s Salvation today!


48988_1025007027_4423_nThank you, Becky, for sharing your story with us.


Prudence by Debra Holland

From Christina: Today I’m pleased to share western romance author Debra Holland’s newest release, Prudence. This sweet love story is from the “Mail Order Brides of the West” series. You can read about the story here and enjoy an excerpt.

About the Story

Shrewish Prudence Crawford is the last woman left at the Mail-Order Brides of the West Agency because she’s rejected every match offered to her as not good enough. One-by-one, she’s watched her fellow brides leave for their new lives and has heard tales of their happiness, and she wants that for herself—but not just any man. She will only take a husband who offers wealth and status.

Michael Morgan struck it rich in mining, or at least richer than anyone else in the tiny town of Morgan’s Crossing, Montana. He’s built himself the nicest house in town, which isn’t saying much when there are only ten homes in the whole place. He’s elected himself mayor of the population of 61 inhabitants and keeps his kingdom under tight control. When he hears stories of the mail-order brides arriving in nearby Sweetwater Springs, he decided to send for a wife, even if he has to exaggerate a mite to attract one.

A wealthy mine owner who’s the mayor of a town named after him and has a mansion sounds perfect to Prudence, even if the place is too close to the other mail-order brides whom she dislikes. But when Michael and his circumstances are not what Prudence dreamed, tempers flare and the fighting begins.

Can Michael tame the shrew, or are they destined to have a miserable marriage?

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Debra Holland




“You omitted telling me I’d be marrying a shrew,” Michael said. “You should have written the word at the top of your fancy stationary in big block letters.” He sketched the word in the air and stated each letter. “S-H-R-E-W.”

“Why…why I never!” Her mouth opened and closed as if she sought just the right words to hurl at him.

“As for being a drunkard. Up until today, I only occasionally sought refuge in the bottle. But I think being married to you, my dear wife, will make me a frequent patron of Rigsbys Saloon. In fact, I might as well take up residence in the place.”

Stepping forward, she brought up her hand to slap him.

He leaped out of the way.

Prudence missed, and her hand sailed past, making her off balance.

Sure she was going to try again, Michael moved away, putting more space between them.

Prudence slipped on a slimy rock and lost her balance, rotating and stepping sideways only to catch her heel in the hem of her skirt. She teetered backward toward the pigpen. Her legs hit the low fence, catching her at knee-height.

Oh, no! Michael leaped to catch her.

With a horrified expression, Prudence windmilled her arms in an effort to right herself.

Michael missed, grabbing only a fold of her skirt. He yanked back, hoping to pull her upright, but instead, with a ripping sound, the fabric tore.

The momentum toppled Prudence backwards into the pigpen, where she landed on her rump in the mire.


Get your copy of Prudence today!


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About the Author


Psychotherapist Debra Holland, Ph.D is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of the Montana Sky Series, sweet, historical Western romance. She’s a three-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist and one-time winner. In 2013, her book Starry Montana Sky was selected by Amazon as a top 50 greatest love stories pick.

Debra is also the author of The Gods’ Dream Trilogy (fantasy romance) and the nonfiction books, The Essential Guide to Grief and Grieving and Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude: a Ten-Minute eBook. She’s a contributing author to The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing. Sign up for her newsletter at http://drdebraholland.com


1886 Mail-Order Brides of the West Series in order:

Mail-Order Brides of the West: Trudy
Mail-Order Brides of the West: Evie
Mail-Order Brides of the West: Heather
Mail-Order Brides of the West: Lina
Mail-Order Brides of the West: Darcy
Mail-Order Brides of the West: Kathryn
Mail-Order Brides of the West: Prudence
Mail-Order Brides of the West: Bertha (Spring 2016)

Connect with Debra!

Debra Holland’s Website

Debra Holland – Facebook

Debra Holland – Twitter

Finding Love Again by Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam

From Christina: As a member of the Internet Writers’ Workshop, I have the awesome opportunity to get to know writers from all around the world. Today, I’m pleased to introduce Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam from Enugu, Nigeria. Her first novel has recently been published by Ankara Press. Read about the story here, and then read two delightful excerpts Chioma has shared. Enjoy! 

About the Story

For performance poet, radio broadcaster and recently jilted bride Kambi, the serene Obudu Mountain Resort is the perfect place to finish her poetry collection and heal her broken heart.

But along comes Beba, the gorgeous, olive-skinned man from her past, who had rescued her from an attack several years ago. Back then, they came close to having a relationship but Kambi had pushed him away. In the lush mountain setting, can Kambi resist Beba’s charms and keep up the pretence of being his fake fiancé in order to help him in his quest to find his mother? Or will a phony engagement be the key for Kambi to begin Finding Love Again?



Available Now from Ankara Press

Finding Love Again


Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam


Excerpt 1

Kambi had thought of Hunky Beba as an angel. Before he went for his masters they had spent some time together. She began to admire his smile, his eyes, his calm demeanour, his intelligence, and experience. She loved the way he treated her with respect. But she had felt so overwhelmed by emotions that she decided to end the warm friendship that they had built. She had always been the cautious kind – choosing her priorities carefully. He, too, had said he was afraid of getting hurt. Orchestrating fights and quarrels: these were her strategies for discouraging him. Once, she had turned down his invitation to accompany him to a dinner party to meet some good friends of his.

It was the only way she knew how to protect herself from emotional hurt – shielding herself from love. Back then, the thought of commitment made her feel stifled, as though strong hands were gripping her throat and blocking her windpipe. Then, she was young and naïve.

Now, there was the new deadline for the submission of her poetry collection to her agent, and she just couldn’t handle another distraction.

“Quite an attractive man, isn’t he?”

“Who?” Kambi replied, feigning ignorance. One look at him sent shivers down her spine.

Mina raised her chin towards the window where the man was standing, staring into the sky.

Excerpt 2


With both her arms resting on his broad chest, her fingers inched up slowly and locked behind his neck. The tempo rose and her body shivered. Lost in the throes of wild kisses, her mind stopped working. She didn’t notice when his hands slid down her waist, didn’t notice as they caressed her back.

Her hands pawed down at his muscular chest, and she leaned closer. She moved her hands up to his neck and stroked his chin. She moaned again and her hands pulled his face closer. I’m losing myself in this … wonderful kiss. Kambi stop, stop … why?


About the Author

chioma_iwunze_Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam describes herself as a hopeless romantic. But not that she would want to change that. She lives in Enugu with her lawyerly husband and her pretty, hyperactive daughter.  Finding Love Again is her first novel with Ankara Press. She’s also the blogger at creativewritingnews.