Rebecca (Brides of the Oregon Trail) by Award-Winning Author @CynthiaWoolf is a Snuggle Up Readathon
Author: Cynthia Woolf
Genre: Historical Western Romance
Rebecca Taylor traveled the Oregon Trail for one reason, to provide for and protect her younger siblings. Having lost her mother years ago, the care and raising of the younger children fell to her and her brother. Oregon was supposed to be a new beginning, a fresh start. But the house they acquire needs more work than it's worth, and a wealthy and powerful man has taken more than a passing interest in having Rebecca for his wife. Add to her confusion a simmering attraction to Ian Stanford, the carpenter hired to repair their home, and Rebecca is in way over her head.
After losing his wife--in a still unsolved murder--Ian Stanford has been raising his twin boys alone. Work fixing up the Taylor's old home is exactly what he and his boys need, but the enchanting young woman in charge of the household is driving him to distraction. His two boys want a new mother, but the only thing Ian is interested in is catching his dead wife's killer. When a new discovery leads him to a startling truth, everyone is in danger…his boys, the family he's grown to care too much about, and the beautiful Rebecca, who had can't stop thinking about.
When the truth about his wife's killer is revealed, he's shocked to discover his first need is not vengeance but to protect his new family. But the stubborn Rebecca isn't the type to sit idly by when her family is in danger. Ian has no choice but to work with Rebecca to lure the killer into a trap. The real trap, he soon discovers, is the one Rebecca placed around his heart.
May 1, 1853, Independence, Missouri
Rebecca Taylor stood on her wagon’s bench seat, searching over the long row of wagons for Ben. She hoped he would return before the wagon started to move.
Over the buzzing of insects and the lowing of the oxen and cattle, she heard several different languages being spoken as immigrants from many countries were doing the same as she and her family, heading west for better land or more opportunities.
At twenty-three-years-old she and her twin brother decided to sell the farm and try their hand in Oregon Territory. The country was supposed to have the bluest skies, greenest hills, and to Ben’s great interest, the prettiest girls. Her twin was interested in finding a wife and starting a family of his own.
Rebecca wasn’t interested in finding just anyone to marry. She couldn’t marry anyone she didn’t love. That was why she hadn’t married before. In the back of her heart she did hope she would find someone to marry.
As far as Ben was concerned, wagon trains full of women were traveling to Oregon City he thought that might be a good place to find one.
This wagon train was full of mail-order brides along with families like hers who wanted a fresh start. A new place to farm. New people and new friends to make. People who didn’t know about her father and the life he’d forced them into with his drinking.
She had three younger siblings, four if you included Ben who was almost ten minutes younger than she was. Charlotte, who they called Charlie, was twenty-one, gorgeous with blonde hair and blue eyes and had not the least interest in men. Rebecca always wished she’d looked like her instead of having the same brown hair as her twin. Though all of them had the same dark blue eyes, the color was most striking on Charlie and Carrie Ann with their blonde hair.
Even Peter’s hair seemed prettier than Rebecca’s. His was brown but the sun had put golden streaks in his and Ben’s.
She’d worn a hat most of the time, so hers didn’t have as many streaks.
Peter was fourteen and thought he was already a man. Their surprise sibling, and Rebecca’s joy was Carrie Ann, who was six. Mother had believed she was too old to have any more children, so when she was expecting Carrie Ann, she always referred to her as her surprise baby.
Rebecca still missed her mother, Grace, who had died in childbirth while having Carrie Ann. Father had taken her death hardest, ignoring the new baby and drinking anything with alcohol in it. He finally drank himself to death the next year.
The only parents, Carrie Ann had ever known, were Rebecca and Ben.
“Becca, how long before we’re there?” asked the little girl from inside the wagon. Rebecca wanted her in there so she wasn’t injured by people who were not paying attention or animals that might get loose.
“Is that a long time?”
“Yes, baby girl, a very long time.”
“I’m not baby girl. I’m Carrie Ann.” She popped her thumb into her mouth.
“Ah, that’s right, I forgot.” Rebecca chuckled as she climbed down from the bench and sat. Then she gently pulled down Carrie Ann’s hand. “What have I told you about sucking your thumb?”
The child rocked back and forth with a hand behind her hands behind back. “I’m not s’pose to suck my thumb.”
“That’s right and why are you not to do so?”
“’Cause big girls don’t and I’m a big girl.”
“Yes, that’s right.” She gave her sister a kiss on the forehead. “Now why don’t you play here in the back of the wagon with your dolly until we’re ready to go? I don’t think it will be much longer.”
Charlie checked the yokes on the oxen and made sure they fit properly while Peter checked all the rigging on the outside of the wagon. They had tied things to it that wouldn’t fit inside or that they wanted to have access to all the time. They also had the chickens caged and tied to the canvas of the wagon.
She wanted to see Ben. He’d gone to buy their last minute supplies, actually surprises for the kids, some horehound and candy sticks, little treats to keep their spirits up. She’d told him to get two pounds of each. If Rebecca was judicious with the sweets, they might last the entire trip. Or at least until the family arrived at a place where the candy could be restocked.
She’d counted her family lucky with the sale of the farm. The property was located close to town and a large company purchased the land and buildings for five-thousand dollars, much more than they were worth, but the buyers wanted to put in a factory and homes. She and Ben had talked about moving for a year or so, the memories in their home were no longer pleasant. When the offer was made for the farm, she didn’t think twice but sold the land, the house and just about everything in it so they could take this wagon train.
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November is a time to be thankful. What are you most thankful for this year?
I’ve had great year of sales and I’m thankful for my husband and friends.
Why is your featured book worth snuggling up to?
This is the start to my Oregon Trail Series and features a great romance to enjoy.
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Runs November 1 – 30.
Drawing will be held on December 1.
Cynthia Woolf is the award-winning and best-selling author of forty historical western romance books and two short stories with more books on the way. She has also published six sci-fi, space opera romances, which she calls westerns in space. Along with these books she has also published four boxed sets of her books.
Cynthia loves writing and reading romance. Her first western romance Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia's father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. Although Tame A Wild Heart takes place in Creede that is the only similarity between the stories. Her father was a cowboy not a bounty hunter and her mother was a nursemaid (called a nanny now) not the ranch owner. Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and her great critique partners for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.
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WEBSITE – http://cynthiawoolf.com
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