Most Embarrassing Moments in Letters and Lies:
“Letters and Lies” was written to be fun, designed around a heroine with grit and determination we can laugh at…because everything she did, we would do/have done/or truly want to. When Louise Archer finds herself jilted at near spinster age, she throws all propriety, good manners, and decent character aside to get her man. If you have ever tackled something with a fervor there aren’t enough apologies for later, please enjoy some of her red-faced moments as she lies her way west to get what she wants.
• My face warmed at the mention of the light trunk I hadn’t packed nearly enough in for a wife as I’d slammed the lid on what it would take to become a bride first.
• “Do you have anything to prove your claims of money to back this investment?”
“Of course I do.” A warm mist formed around my collar.
• “What’s this hot air about investin’?”
“It’s not hot air.” My neck warmed.
• I lowered my voice. “Business matters…” My face warmed.
“I see.” Clement’s brows furrowed.
• Warmth crept into my face. Drat. Between Mr. Brandt and Joshua my fiasco at the bank could be exposed.
• “Alex who? Oh. Yes, my late husband, God rest his soul.” A warm mist formed around my collar.
• Amber wouldn’t throw herself into others’ needs. Unless she ended up in a predicament like mine. My face warmed.
• “Money and passion bring out the worst in any man. And woman,” the marshal added. My face warmed.
• My face heated hotter than the oven I stood next to.
• “I only did what was right.” Mostly. My skin began to heat.
• Heat raged from my neck to my face. I’d look like a lit candle in a matter of seconds.
• “It’s my fault, all of it, and the worst consequence is that Cook might shoot Rudy.” Heat spread to my toes.
• My face heated even more that I had done that very thing. Unintentionally, though.
• My face heated at how I’d run the streets with my ragged skirt hiked up in my hand.
• Heat scorched my neck and fried my face. I peered over my shoulder at the one-man audience to my raucous display.
Louise Archer boards a westbound train in St. Louis to find the Kansas homesteader who wooed and proposed to her by correspondence, then jilted her by telegram – Don't come, I can't marry you. Giving a false name to hide her humiliation, her lie backfires when a marshal interferes and offers her his seat.
Marshal Everett McCloud intends to verify the woman coming to marry his homesteading friend is suitable. At the St. Louis train station, his plan detours when he offers his seat to a captivating woman whose name thankfully isn't Louise Archer.
Everett's plans thwart hers, until he begins to resemble the man she came west to find, and she the woman meant to marry his friend.
“He wrote and changed your plans? Why didn’t you tell me? You know I love hearing his letters.”
Everyone loved hearing his letters. Or at least they’d pretended to. I glanced at my friends, especially the one who’d first suggested I correspond with her husband’s homesteading friend in Kansas who was ready to look for a wife. She dabbed at her eyes with a handkerchief while she flicked the fingers of her other hand in a weak wave. I dredged my soul in search of a smile. The man she’d introduced me to truly had penned everything I’d ever wanted in a husband, months of letters which convinced Mama Jim was my open door. Letters I’d foolishly carted from family to friend to blather every word like a desperate spinster. Drat.
“He didn’t send his change of plans in a letter, Mama. He sent them in a telegram.” Don’t come, I can’t marry you. The only words I never shared.
“Well I imagine your Jim has a surprise for you and didn’t have time to send a letter before you left for Crooked Creek. How thoughtful to wire you instead.”
Thoughtful…I felt poisoned and Mama would too if she ever found out Jim had shut my open door. Which she wouldn’t, since as soon as I got out there and found him, I’d wedge it back open again.
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3aXuMCl
Born and raised in the Midwest, Colleen studied and worked in science, using that career to travel and explore other parts of the country. An avid fan of literature, both reading and writing, she loves tales involving moral dilemmas and the choices people come up against. A lover of the outdoors as well as a comfy living room, Colleen is always searching inside and out for the next good story.
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