My #Romanticidea is:
Nothing is more romantic than time with the one you love. Quality time in which you listen and exchange ideas is important to a lasting relationship. Go for a drive. Take a stroll together. Read together. Watch a movie while snuggling on the sofa. Talk at the breakfast table while you enjoy your favorite beverage. Time, not money, is the key to romance. Of course, if you also have money to lavish on your loved one, lucky you.
And now my post:
From her appearance in JOSEPHINE, I’ve had many, many requests for Ophelia’s book. I’m pleased to announce the release of OPHELIA, Bride Brigade book 4. I love shy, gentle Ophelia who grew up with a warped and severely restrictive father. I hope readers will adore her, too. Her hero is Elias Kendrick, who owns the saloon and opera house. Do you see possible conflict here?
Here’s a blurb for OPHELIA:
A painful past…
Hope for the future…
Ophelia Shipp wants safety, a home, husband, and to raise a family. To achieve her goal, she travels halfway across the country to a tiny Texas town, Tarnation. What awaits her there must be better than what she left. She longs for a respectable man who will be a gentle and kind husband.
Elias Kendrick had a difficult childhood but he has overcome poverty to build his empire in Tarnation. Now that he owns a successful saloon and the opera house, he is ready to marry and start a family. He’s vowed his children’s life will be different from his—if only he can find the right woman.
Two opposites attract—or are they? Ophelia and Elias must learn to overlook their superficial differences to work out their chance at lasting love.
Here’s an excerpt from the first reception in OPHELIA:
Mr. Kendrick strolled toward her holding a cup and a plate filled with samples of Mrs. Murphy’s delicacies. “You look as if you could use punch and a snack.”
She fought for something clever to say, but nothing came. At least she mustered a smile. “Thank you. I am thirsty after introducing myself so many times.”
He sat in the chair separated from hers by a small table. “Nice shindig, isn’t it?”
How she admired his ease and friendliness. She took a sip of punch before answering. “I love watching and listening. Everyone appears so happy and excited.”
He raised his eyebrows. “What about you? Are you happy or excited?”
She couldn’t prevent a grin. “Both. Being in Lydia’s home is so pleasant and the other women are very nice. This morning I woke up excited about this event.”
“Me, too.” He chuckled. “What brings you to Tarnation, Miss Shipp?”
“Same as the others I suppose and there’s no point pretending otherwise. I want a kind husband, a secure home, and children. This appears to be a nice town even though it’s small. I notice there’s even an opera house.”
His smile broadened. “That there is. In fact, I built the opera house only a year ago. The manager and I try for a variety of acts so that by the end of the season, everyone has enjoyed at least a couple of shows.”
She leaned forward, happy to know he was so fair-minded. “I’m sure I’ll enjoy them all. Actually, I’ve never been to a live performance.” Oops, why did she have to confess that?
He leaned back and his eyes widened. “Never? You mean except at school, of course.”
A blush’s heat seared her face. How embarrassing to admit she was a country bumpkin who had done nothing. “My father was very strict. I couldn’t appear in or attend school plays. Mr. Kozlov has invited me to the opera house opening performance in two weeks. I’m looking forward to the event.”
Was that disappointment she saw flash across his face? “You’ll enjoy Geraldine Chitwood. We were exceptionally fortunate to book her. Normally, she only plays larger towns more easily reached. Being without railway access places us at a severe disadvantage.”
She had to stop herself from rubbing her sore rear. “Oh, I haven’t forgotten that stage ride.” She leaned toward him. “Tell me about yourself, Mr. Kendrick. Besides owning the opera house, I mean.”
“I’m twenty-nine and never married.” He took a deep breath and averted his gaze before he spoke. “If you led such a quiet life that you weren’t allowed to attend plays, then you’ll no doubt look down on me because, as well as the opera house, I own the local saloon.”
She hoped she hid her surprise that Lydia had included a saloon owner in this group of “acceptable” men. What should she say? A saloon owner here went against everything she’d ever been told. Yet, didn’t she trust Lydia? And, Mr. Kendrick appeared so nice. Think, what would Lydia or Jo say?
“I seek never to pass judgment, Mr. Kendrick. I don’t approve of drunkenness but I know most men enjoy meeting with others and sharing a drink or game of cards.”
He raised his eyebrows. “Very broad-minded of you. Do you play cards, Miss Shipp?”
Relief relaxed her and she couldn’t help laughing at his question. “I don’t play anything. All I’ve ever done is work.”
A frown marred his handsome face. “Ah, no wonder you chose to leave home. I guarantee Mrs. Harrison will see you enjoy yourself here. She’s a wonderful hostess.”
“That she is. And she says we’re going to learn many things while we’re here.” She leaned forward, feeling quite daring. “Yesterday I learned to play checkers.”
He placed a hand on his chest and widened his eyes. “I’m shocked.”
Download OPHELIA on Amazon
Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of American-set Victorian historical and contemporary western romances. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.
Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys time with family, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, and getting together with friends. Find her on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and her books at her Amazon Author Page or iBooks Author Page.
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