Midwest Christian Romance Authors is a group of four women who live in the Midwest and write, encourage, and edit each other’s work. Three of us met for the first time in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas when we toured the beautiful historic Frisco depot and grounds for the railroad. As a result, we each wrote a novella called In Mammoth Spring, AR.
A year later, three of us, although not the same three, met in Warsaw, Missouri, at the Truman Lake Visitor Center located on Kaysinger Bason. Later, all four wrote another series that became a sequel to our first series, In Warsaw, MO.
Since that beginning, our MCRA group has written a third series, moving to the wide open grazing lands near the fictitious town of Mesquite Gulch, Texas, in 1890. Texas Brides Mail-Order Style has five books, each ending with true love.
And, yes, we have another series in the works now. Twelve novellas will come out each month during 2017 called Birthstone Brides. Each bride receives her birthstone in some form of jewelry from the man she will marry. You’ll love this series and want to read all the stories.
About Book One in the Mail-Order Style Texas Series, Mail-Order Shotgun Wedding
Able Logan is shocked to learn of his father’s impending death, but what’s this mail-order bride notion he’s come up with? He and his brothers have to be married by Christmas or lose their inheritance? Able wants no part of it—until he touches a delicate hand,
looks into sky-blue eyes, and his heart jolts in a way he never expected.
Faith White is thrilled to be going to Texas where she and her younger sister will be close as they each marry a Logan brother. Security and family are all she’s ever wanted until Able Logan touches her hand and sends a smile to her heart. But is Able’s attentiveness a ploy to please his father or could he truly love her? The answer is torn from them both when they are accused of wrong doing and forced into a shot-gun wedding!
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Corralling the Cowboy’s Heart.
About Book Two in the Mail-Order Style Texas Series, Corralling the Cowboy's Heart
Not ready to settle down, Joshua Logan does his best to avoid contact with any of the mail-order brides his father ordered for him and his brothers. Ever the obedient son, for the first time in his life he goes against his father’s wishes, and suffers the consequences. Will his blunder cost him the one true desire of his heart?
Shy and happy to keep to herself, Temperance White must come out of her shell if she hopes to find a husband. Her elder sister is the first to marry and now it’s her turn. Neither Joshua nor his brother seems interested in marriage. Unaware that sending for a bride wasn’t their idea, she believes she’s undesirable and doomed to be a spinster. Unfortunately, her heart refuses to accept the inevitable.
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Linda Cushman wrote the third book, A Bride by Christmas, and feels very blessed to be part of this group of talented writers who make up Midwest Christian Romance Authors. She’s always been a dreamer, but didn’t start putting her stories on paper until
Writing fiction is her favorite hobby, but she can’t find enough time to devote to it. The mail-order bride stories were fun, and she’s now looking forward to working on the Birthstone Bride series, which is the next project for our group. Each month of one novella will be published to complete a set of twelve. Each heroine will receive her birthstone in a piece of jewelry given to her by her future husband.
About Book Three in the Mail-Order Style Texas Series, A Bride by Christmas
Zack Logan has plans for his life. A herd of cattle, fast horses, and races every weekend keep him satisfied. His father’s ultimatum to be married by Christmas or lose his inheritance hobbles his dreams. He schemes to avoid a trip to the altar even after his father sends for a mail-order bride. When two beautiful ladies arrive, he resolves to marry neither of them.
With a prayer on her lips and faith in her heart, Ida Mae McAllister leaves the orphanage in Chicago. Texas will be her promised land, an escape from poverty. Her most cherished dream is to find a man waiting for her in Mesquite Gulch, a husband who will love her. When her beautiful friend appears, Ida’s hopes vanish. With the refined blonde to compete with, Zack will never notice a freckle-faced girl from the slums.
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Regina Tittel is a writer, homeschooler, and love-struck wife. She enjoys adding bits and pieces from my life in my books, while her heroes always seem to walk away with one or two of her husband’s admirable attributes. She wrote the fourth book, The Substitute Groom, and says writing with the MCRA’s has been a lot of fun, and she hopes our efforts provide you with hours of enjoyment and something to take away.
About Book Four in the Mail-Order Style Texas Series, The Substitute Groom
Lily Dixon lives a comfortable, although lonely, life in Chicago. When the benefactress from her youth persuades her to travel to the great state of Texas to become the wife of Zack Logan, she agrees. However, a childhood friend has arrived with the same intentions. Determined to win the hand of the wealthy rancher, Lily struggles with her decision. Does she pursue what could be a loveless marriage, or does she take a chance on a penniless ranch hand?
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About Book Five in the Mail-Order Style Texas Series, December Love
Since we only have four authors, we all pitched in and wrote December Love, the fifth book. It's about our older couple.
At last, Will Logan can sit back and wait for the grandchildren to come. If he doesn’t die first. Even after successfully finding mail-order brides for his sons, Will continues to have chest pains, and his sister is talking of going back home to Ft. Worth and her husband. But if she does that, he and Florence will be alone on the ranch and Florence will also have to leave. If his heart pains don’t kill him, he’ll for sure die from losing the city woman he’s fallen in love with, yet all he can seem to do is stick his foot in his mouth when he tries to talk to her.
Florence Foster has accomplished more than what she came to Texas for. Her goal was to help four young ladies find husbands, and she’s done that and made an unexpected connection with her secret daughter as well. Her work is finished and she needs to return to Chicago, but how can she if her heart remains in Texas with Will?
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Book One - Mail-Order Shotgun Wedding by Mildred Colvin
September 21, 1890, Mesquite Gulch, Texas
“What?” Able Logan jerked up his head as his two younger brothers echoed his shock. Surely, he hadn’t heard right. “Would you repeat what you just said, Dad?”
“It’s my heart, but that isn’t why you’re here.” Able’s father placed a hand over the middle of his chest as if covering the pain. “I have until Christmas, maybe a few weeks more. I’ve come to terms with this. You can too.” He looked toward his older sister, Mabel Harris then turned to his lawyer and long-time friend, Wade Durham, as if seeking their support.
A blurry cloud of unreality closed in on Able the same as four years ago when Mom got sick. Now it was Dad, only Able didn’t want to believe it. How could this happen? Sure Dad was getting older, but he wasn’t that old. His next birthday he’d turn fifty—if he lived that long. Pain sliced through Able’s heart.
“They should be here tomorrow.”
“Who?” Someone was coming? Able shook his head, trying to free himself from the dark shadow holding him in its grip. He blinked and met the steady gaze of his younger brothers, Josh and Zack. They looked as dazed as he felt. He turned back to his dad.
“Have you been to a doctor?”
A crease formed between Dad’s eyes. “Yes, I have. Doc Brown gave me a thorough examination. I don’t want you boys to worry about me. I wouldn’t have told you except I hoped you’d understand how important it is.”
“Making good matches. I just told you. The ladies will arrive on tomorrow’s stage. I’ll expect you to pick them up shortly after noon.”
“Ladies?” Nothing seemed real. “This isn’t a good time for company, Dad.”
“I wouldn’t call the brides company.” Aunt Mabel spoke up. “They’ll be living here until you boys are married then they’ll move into your houses with you. I understand an escort will come with them, an older lady.”
“Brides!” Zack jumped up. “I don’t intend to get married anytime soon.”
“Marriage sure isn’t in my immediate plans, either.” Josh folded his arms and scowled. “Seems we should be more concerned about your health, Dad.”
Able sucked in a breath. He’d missed something.
“Calm down, boys.” Wade held up a sheaf of papers clutched in his hand. “Let me explain the terms of your father’s new will so you’ll understand.”
Able leaned forward. Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw Josh take a similar position while Zack slumped back in his chair.
“Because of your father’s serious health condition, coupled with concern over your shenanigans in town each weekend,” Wade looked through thick glasses at each of them, “which often keeps you from God’s house on Sunday morning, your father has come to the best solution possible. Marriage to a good woman will help his sons settle down and become responsible ranchers.”
Zack sputtered, Able opened his mouth to protest, and Josh shook his head, but none of them managed an intelligible word.
Book Two - Corralling the Cowboy’s Heart by Jamie Adams
“Hey, Zack, look who decided to show.” Josh reined in his mount and whipped off his Stetson as he hopped off. He brushed damp hair from his brow before replacing the dust covered hat.
“Well, if it isn’t the old married man himself.” Zack dropped down from the fence housing the livery stable’s new additions. Today’s horse auction was to be held at noon. The event had been on the town calendar for weeks. Zack insisted they get there early to check out the stock. No one knew horse flesh like the youngest Logan boy.
“You two are a real hoot.” Able quipped as he dismounted. His eyes sparkled with a sense of contentment Josh hadn’t seen on any Logan in years. “Either one of you finally wise up and ask Temperance White to marry you?”
Josh squared his shoulders as he waited for Zack to respond. After taking her for a ride last night, he believed he could easily fall in love with her. He didn’t have any right to expect a respectable woman like Tempe to want anything to do with him, but he couldn’t help wishing.
“Like I said from the start, I’m not interested in settling down.” Zack puffed out his chest.
His younger brother’s answer sent a jolt of relief through Josh’s heart. Tempe was both pretty and sweet, but Zack needed a woman who could hold her own. Put him in his place when need be.
“Mark my words, Zack,” Able laughed deeply, his words filled with wisdom. “One day you’ll find a woman who’ll tame you and you’ll be thankful she did.”
Book Three - A Bride by Christmas by Linda Cushman
A smile split Zack’s face, and his heart swelled with pride, and something else. Was it love? Ida had spirit. Enough spirit to be the wife of a rancher who was just starting out with his own spread. He took her hands in his. “Ida, will you marry me? I know this is sudden, but please marry me.”
She pulled her hands free and walked back to the edge of the canyon, her gaze on the horses below. The rain had reached them, and now blew in sheets. Zack moved to Ida’s side, where she stood with her head bowed.
“See the stallion,” she pointed. “He never stops trying to find a way out. There isn’t an escape for him, and soon his spirit will be broken.”
Zack’s gaze traveled to the gallant red horse. He was standing near the gate, head drooping almost to the ground.
“You’d be trapped, Zack. Your father is forcing you to do something that’s against your nature.” Ida turned tear-filled eyes toward him. Rain dripped unheeded from her hair and face. “He’s just bluffing about withholding your inheritance. Don’t ruin your life. Don’t be his marionette.”
Zack watched the defeated stallion. Was she right? Why did his heart ache like it would break? Was it for himself or the horse?
“So you won’t marry me?”
Book Four - The Substitute Groom by Regina Tittel
Rex stepped to Lily’s side and drew a breath, catching hints of honey and vanilla. His eyes trailed from her soft featured face to her golden brown strands. “Why don’t you go riding with me?”
“If you’re going to live out here, you need to learn to ride.”
“I’m not Ida.”
“Of course you’re not.” Her blue eyes clouded over, revealing the depth of her vulnerability. “How about after lunch. I’ll meet you at the barn.”
“Don’t you have a fence to fix or cattle to move? Surely there’s more for a foreman to do than teach helpless women how to ride.”
He enjoyed her teasing and the fact she hadn’t refused him, yet. His eyes dropped to her lips and his blood warmed. In an effort to control the rush of feelings, he centered his attention back on her hair.
“What are you looking at?”
He fought the desire to loosen her bun and feel its softness. Get a grip, Rex, she’s not for you. The self-correction did little good. “Why do all you women wear your hair up?”
As though he’d made her self-conscious, Lily reached back and smoothed her hair. Rex tugged her wrist down. “Don’t worry, there’s never a hair out of place.”
She rubbed her wrist where his fingers had been. Did she feel the same shock as he had? “This is the style … what’s expected.” She stalled then seemed to give into curiosity. “Why?”
“God gave you that pretty crown. You shouldn’t hide it.”
A small laugh slipped past her lips as she shook her head and moved toward the house. “And you should concentrate more on the ranch.”
Book Five - December Love - a collaboration of all four authors
Other than the occasional outburst of voices coming from the front of the building, it was quiet in the back section of the jailhouse. The cells were cleaner than Florence imagined. Not that she’d ever put any thought into the cleaning rituals that went into running such a place. Without any chairs to sit on she gave in and took a seat on the cot. Apparently a thin mattress covered by a rough blanket was meant to serve as both bed and settee.
Alone and afraid, she released a deep sigh and buried her face in the palm of her hands. Her strong resolve to stand up for herself had unraveled faster than a ball of yarn left to a litter of kittens. She’d really messed up this time and in front of Will of all people.
Abandoned Hearts by Regina Tittel on Amazon
Mildred Colvin: This Child Is Mine at Amazon here
and Cora’s Deception at Amazon here
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