I am a stay at home mother on a tiny little farm with a fixer-upper house. As much as I love writing and reading about homesteaders, I am so glad I’m a homesteader during an era with modern grocery stores to take up for my slack. I am an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher by trade, and I still work occasionally in that field along with being my church’s financial secretary and writing novels.
My husband and I have been married since 2001 and have a daughter and two little boys. My husband shares my fascination with traditional living except for being more hands on. He loves blacksmithing, knife smithing, traditional archery, hunting, etc. Generally whatever a mountain man does, he does it or has or wants to attempt it. He comes in handy for research! And of course, the rest of the family gets involved. I have my own blackpowder rifle, named Calvin, that my husband made for me. And I’m pretty sure my daughter is probably one of very few her age who can instruct adults how to shoot a longbow properly. The boy digs random holes in my yard to make “cement” with dirt and water making our yard a tripping hazard. The baby does what babies do.
Learn more about Melissa and her books on her Website.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
A Tender Tale of Love on the Prairie Perfect for CBA Readers!
Although Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won’t humiliate himself by looking for a helpmate ever again–not after being jilted by three mail-order brides. When a well-meaning neighbor goes behind his back to bring yet another mail-order bride to town, he has good reason to doubt it will work, especially after getting a glimpse at the woman in question. She’s the prettiest woman he’s ever seen, and it’s just not possible she’s there to marry a simple homesteader like him.
Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. Having finally worked up the courage to leave her life in Massachusetts, she’s determined to find a place where people will value her for more than her looks. Having run out of all other options, Julia resorts to a mail-order marriage in far-away Kansas.
Everett is skeptical a cultured woman like Julia could be happy in a life on the plains, while Julia, deeply wounded by a past relationship, is skittish at the idea of marriage at all. When, despite their hesitations, they agree to a marriage in name only, neither one is prepared for the feelings that soon arise to complicate their arrangement. Can two people accustomed to keeping their distance let the barricades around their hearts down long enough to fall in love?
Poor Everett has given up on finding a wife…the woman he loved married another man. He tried mail order brides but that didn’t work out either…two married others and one died on her journey to Kansas. Marriage just must not be in God’s plan for Everett’s life. Julia is running from her past and hoping for a new life. She has no other choice but to marry but hopes for a platonic understanding. She is done with men but is willing to work hard for security. Brought together by the wife of Everett’s best friend, they agree to marry but each of them is so deeply wounded that a real marriage seems impossible.
A Bride for Keeps is a story filled with one misunderstanding after another. Julia is stubbornly determined to help in every way she can, often at her own risk but has difficulty accepting any offer of kindness from Everett. In turn, Everett believes that Julia’s insistence on keeping her distance must be because of something lacking in him. I will admit that at times I grew a bit weary of the misunderstandings but by the end of the book I understood their purpose.
The characters will touch your heart and the strong message of faith is encouraging. Although A Bride for Keeps is her first novel, Melissa Jagears is an author to keep an eye on. I know I will be watching for her next book.