Friday, December 14, 2018

Meet Your Match this Christmas with "Robyn: A Christmas Bride"

In September, I wrote a blog for Cowboy Kisses called "Wild Women Stage Drivers of the West" and shared an excerpt from my story-in-progress because the heroine, Robyn Llewellyn, was a wagon driver.

And now Robyn: A Christmas Bride will release next week! So it's time for lots of sharing. Here are Robyn's book cover, story blurb (just finished it today so you are seeing it here first), an excerpt (featuring Robyn's three big brothers who try to steal the show), and a teaser (featuring an absent-minded but lovable grandfather who is known for stealing everyone's hearts)...

Robyn: A Christmas Bride ~ Story Blurb

Who's the perfect match for a flame-haired Welsh tomboy who loves driving wagons? 

Raised by three free-spirited older brothers, Robyn Llewellyn has learned to fight for what she wants—and now she wants to transform her boss and best friend, Max Peregrine, into a lifelong partner. Determined to become the image of what a marriage-minded man wants, Robyn trades her trousers for a dress and heads to Max’s hometown of Noelle, Colorado. But changing who she is with the help of the now happily married Brides of Noelle puts her friendship with Max at risk.

Who's the perfect match for a work-addicted Denver business owner who loves his independence? 

Defying his brother and grandpa’s wishes for him to stay with them in Noelle, Max Peregrine has created his dream job—leading a highly successful branch of Peregrines’ Post and Freight while working beside Robyn, the only person who makes him smile every day. But when she leaves without a word, Max follows her to Noelle where the choices they both must face could make it impossible for them to stay together beyond Christmas day.

Inspired by My Fair Lady, The Gift of the Magi, and the spirit of gift giving, Robyn: A Christmas Bride is a classic Western historical love story set in a small town high in the mountains during Christmas 1877.

Robyn: A Christmas Bride ~ Excerpt

Since Robyn's three older brothers raised her, they are a big part of her story. They open the story along with Max Peregrine, my hero. Here's that first scene...


Denver, Colorado
December 21, 1877

“She’s gone?” Max Peregrine shouted, disbelief then panic raising his voice to a roar. “Where?”

Lined up shoulder to shoulder inside the Denver office of Peregrines’ Post and Freight, the three Llewellyn brothers studied him intently, not with surprise but curiosity. And something more. Something his careening thoughts couldn’t identify.

Brynmor, the eldest by several years, heaved a sympathetic sounding sigh. “She’s—”

“Fine,” Heddwyn interrupted, embracing his status as the swift-talking middle brother who needed to do everything quick, including driving freight wagons at breakneck speed. He shot his brothers a secretive glance. “Remember our plan.  He sounds upset but we need to know more.”

“Stuff your plans!” Max threw down his pencil and stormed around the desk where he’d been working on his ledgers. He’d throttle his answers from Robyn’s brothers if need be. “Why—did—she—leave!?”

Griffin, the youngest but also the largest, folded his arms over his barrel of a chest. “He sounds more than upset.”

“Good.” Standing on either side of their flame-haired baby brother, Brynmor and Heddwyn spoke and nodded in unison, like matching musclebound bookends with the same auburn hair and sky-blue eyes. Except Bryn had one eye clouded white. Max had yet to learn why.

The Llewellyns were fond of talk but notoriously unforthcoming on certain subjects. Like, at the moment, Robyn’s departure.

“He’s regretting something,” Griffin added.

Max froze. Leave it to Griff to pinpoint Max’s state of mind but never address his own. Griff’s hair color matched his sister’s, but his reputation as the Llewellyn sibling with a short fuse was his alone.

“I regret”—he unlocked his clenched jaw and tried to speak normally—“that your sister might have put herself in jeopardy.”

Heddwyn snorted. “Little Red can take care of herself.”
“Hedd’s right. The wee one is all grown-up,” Bryn proclaimed with another sigh.

“She’s as tough as she is beautiful.” Griff’s gaze narrowed, studying him even more keenly. “Or do you believe otherwise?”

“I don’t,” Max muttered, thinking of Robyn’s lean strength, steely blue gaze, and stunning smile. A smile he’d been blessed to see every day since he moved to Denver. A smile he craved more than a miner coveted gold. A smile that had become increasingly melancholy of late. “Whatever’s wrong and wherever she’s gone, she needn’t be alone. I would’ve traveled with her.”

“You sure ’bout that?” Hedd released a low whistle as he pointed at Max’s face. “Look! Dog Bone’s turning the same shade of red as Ruddy does when he’s near to exploding.”

In Welsh, Griff meant ruddy but that hothead remained poker-faced as he said, “We have eyes, Peaceful. No need telling us something we can plainly see.”

Max’s entire body burned with outrage. Not because of the teasing titles the Llewellyns loved to dole out, for themselves and others. In Welsh, Heddwyn meant blessed peace, a constant source of ribbing for a man who had too much energy to stand still. Max had learned to look below the surface of their name tomfoolery after Robyn revealed her brothers called him Dog Bone because he never stopped gnawing problems into submission.

He didn’t give up. A trait all of the Llewellyns found admirable. If they assigned you a name, even one you didn’t find flattering, it meant you’d earned their respect. They didn’t waste their time on people they didn’t like.

Robyn’s explanation along with her easy smile had ended his dislike for long conversations. But only with her. They’d talked about everything after that, argued as much as they’d agreed, but always ended up smiling.

No topic had been taboo, or so he thought. Why hadn’t she spoken to him before she left? And how could her brothers question his resolve, especially when it came to Robyn?

Their lack of faith left him not only furious but frustrated and flummoxed. “If your sister asked, I’d have gone anywhere with her.”

Robyn: A Christmas Bride ~ The Sequel to The Calling Birds

In my new story, both Robyn and Max's families play a major role. Max's brother and grandpa (Jack and Gus) were the stars (along with Birdie Bell) of my last Christmas story, The Calling Birds (released December 4, 2017).

The Calling Birds book cover
Many years have passed since Bernadette Bellamy fled the Cariboo Gold Rush and her reputation as the sister of a French-Canadian gang of thieves. Armed with only an honest talent for sewing and a willingness to lead a solitary life on the run, she stays one step ahead of everyone seeking her brothers’ last—and now lost—heist. Until a craving to settle down makes her reinvent herself as Birdie Bell, a dress shop owner. The arrival of an old foe combined with her desire to hold onto her treasure trove of fabrics has Birdie joining a wagonload of brides bound for a remote town.

After losing his leg and his wife, Jack Peregrine buries his pain under a mountain-high pile of work. He only agrees to sign up for a mail-order bride to save the town of Noelle, keep his freighting business, and care for his absentminded grandfather. But Jack’s request for a sturdy bride who won’t crumble under his burdens brings him a woman as tiny as she is troubled. Can two mismatched people band together to become the perfect match?

A wanted woman's flight, a man in pursuit of honesty, not stolen gold...and only nine days left to save the town.

To read an excerpt from The Calling Birds CLICK HERE.

Grandpa Gus ~ the Charmer Who'll Steal Your Heart 

Readers often say that Grandpa Gus Peregrine is their favorite, so I tried extra hard to give Gus some competition for everyone's hearts in Robyn: A Christmas Bride. But somehow I think that no matter how hard Brynmor, Heddwyn, and Griffin Llewellyn try, no one will match Grandpa Gus' charm and wit. He says and does the darnedest things. 

Here's a teaser of how Grandpa Gus greets Robyn when she finally arrives at his home in Noelle...

To receive a notice when Robyn: A Christmas Bride 
(or any of my stories) release, 
CLICK HERE to follow me on BookBub
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Wishing you all a Merry Christmas from the Peregrines and Llewellyns' home in Noelle, Colorado and from my home in Victoria, Canada :) 


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Renaissance Women said...

Congratulations. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and all the best on this story. Doris

Jacqui Nelson said...

Thank you, Doris! Wishing you a wonderful Christmas too. It feels like Christmas day is just around the corner and I still have lots of gift shopping to do!

jbiggar said...

This sounds like a lovely holiday romance. I can't wait to read it, congrats!

Jacqui Nelson said...

Thanks, Jacquie! Can't wait to finish my final edits and share this story with you and everyone.

glenda said...

Can’t wait to read this book Jacqui Nelson!!!

Jacqui Nelson said...

Very happy I can now share this new book with you, Glenda!