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A Blacksmith for Birdie by Kimberly Grist is a book worth reading #inspirationalwesternromance #inspirationalhistoricalromance #historicalromance #bookboost

Title: A Blacksmith for Birdie


Author: Kimberly Grist


Genre: Inspirational Western Historical Romance


Book Blurb:


A blacksmith in need of a miraclea livery stable owner requiring rescueWill an arranged marriage bring more than either bargained for?

A widowed blacksmith, Joseph Evans, is hardened, hard-pressed, and weighed down by the needs of his unusual family. If only he could find a housekeeper. But they’re in short supply, and Joseph needs one with the patience of Job. “I don’t want a wife. What I need is a miracle.”

Livery stable owner Birdie Murphy needs another pair of hands to save her family home and business. In desperation, she seeks the help of a matchmaker. “I don’t want romanceWhat I need is a single man without baggage or children – a business partner who’s honestkindhardworking, and uncomplicated.”

A satisfied grin spreads across the matchmaker’s face as she considers the surveys. Such a perfect pairing doesn’t occur often. After all, what we think we want and need are two different things.




“I don’t believe the Lord is prodding you to take such drastic action. It’s more likely an idea rooted in the depths of Hades.” Birdie pressed her lips into a thin line in an attempt not to give a sharp retort to her soon-to-be eighteen-year-old sister. Instead, she gritted her teeth and focused on clearing the supper dishes from the table. She would need to choose her words carefully if she had any hope of convincing Emmaline to follow her plan.


“The trouble is you’ve worn yourself out working from dawn to dusk and have lost all sense of reason.” Emmaline huffed.


“How quickly your opinion of me changes. When I took over for you and cooked dinner tonight, you called me an angel from Heaven.” Birdie’s work boots hammered across the open room that housed the main living space, doubling as a way station for the stage company.


Undeterred, Emmaline’s daintily attired feet followed, tapping with equal force. “Making a joke of the situation will not change my opinion, Birdie Mae. You are making a terrible mistake.”


Birdie paused and adjusted the tray of dishes on her hip, studying her sister’s narrowed gaze. “Truthfully, when I was your age, I would have been equally appalled at such a prospect. But since then, I’ve learned that practicality and hard work overcome romantic notions. I also find that exhaustion eliminates any time for dreaming.” She inclined her chin toward the opposite side of the room, where their grandmother was simultaneously attempting to settle her husband in his chair while answering questions fired at her by their six-year-old niece.


Birdie whispered. “Besides, we have bigger problems to worry about.”


“I understand you need help with the livery.” Emmaline posted her hands on her hips, her frustration as evident as the flames of her ginger-red hair. “But it’s not like you to take the easy way out.”


Birdie stumbled, causing several dishes to rattle together as if joining her sister’s protest. “The easy way out?” she muttered. “Do you think I want to advertise for a mail-order husband?”


“Then don’t do it.” Emmaline removed a few dishes from Birdie’s overloaded tray and began stacking them according to size on the worktable, prattling about various efficiencies they could implement to make ends meet. “I like your idea about switching from offering a hot meal to a stew, sandwich, and coffee. That will make things easier for Granny and give her more time to nurse Grandpa. She says Grandpa will return to his old self once the weather warms up. Maybe if you appeal to the stage company again, they’ll give us an extension.”


“They’ve already given us an extension.” Birdie blew out her cheeks. “We have to face facts. The stage company has put up with our lack of speed in the livery because we’re the only inn within twenty miles. But now that the routes have changed, that business has ended. There will be no overnight guests to accommodate.”


 “That’s good news. There will be less food to prepare and laundry to do.” Emmaline beamed and began counting with her fingers the additional tasks she could eliminate from her list of daily chores.


  Birdie fought the urge not to roll her eyes and was thankful for the tea kettle’s whistle, a welcome interruption to their conversation. Surprisingly, Birdie found comfort in the sight of the steam pouring from the cast-iron vessel, hand-forged by her father. The sturdy pot was, among many other tools and utensils scattered throughout their home, a reminder of his steady influence.


She closed her eyes and pressed her hand to her stomach, attempting to envision her father. His copper-colored hair streaked with gold mimicked his fiery disposition, balanced by his quick wit and a ready smile. What advice would he give? If only I had his ability to take the cold water Emmaline throws on my ideas and convert them into steam to push ahead.

“While I appreciate your enthusiasm, overnight guests are the meat and potatoes of our business. Without them, we’ll have to rely solely upon money paid by the stage company to tend to their livestock. Even on a good day, the workload at the livery is too much for Grandpa, and we don’t have the funds to hire someone to help.” Birdie noted Emmaline’s quivering lips with trepidation. Truthfully, she’d rather be mucking out horse stalls than attempt to persuade her sister to face the grim reality of their situation. 


She glanced heavenward, praying for strength. Since the day her sister’s tiny fist first curled around Birdie’s finger, she’d been captive to Emmaline’s emotions. Her cries pierced her heart, and she found herself a willing advocate, ready to do anything to make her happy.


That sense of contentment from realizing her actions could affect someone Birdie loved left her craving for more. Since then, she’d become a slave to the need to please the rest of her family. With each success, the temporary feeling of euphoria created a hunger to repeat the process. She’d become a glutton for their smiles. 


Unfortunately, the added responsibility of raising her niece and caring for her grandparents was now proving too much to bear. Grandpa’s declining health was almost to the point of becoming dependent himself. Birdie’s ability to keep her family safe and happy weighed as heavy as if her father’s anvil was strapped to her back. How in the world am I to keep everyone fed, much less happy?


“Where’s my pipe?” Grandpa’s raspy voice interrupted further conversation.


“It’s right where you left it last night.” Granny’s full skirts swished as she retrieved his long-stemmed pipe from its holder and placed it in her husband’s hand.


Grandpa’s weathered face formed additional wrinkles across his brow as he patted his jacket pockets. “That one’s not broke in yet.”


“Your eyes must be playing tricks on you again.” Granny clucked her tongue. “That’s the same pipe you bought in Missouri almost twenty years ago.”


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Author Biography:


Kimberly Grist is married to her high school sweetheart, Nelson. She and her husband have three adult sons, one with Down syndrome, and they have a passion for encouraging others.


Kim has enjoyed writing since she was a young girl; however, she began writing her first novel in 2017. “I believe you should come away refreshed and inspired after reading a book. Despite my best efforts, sometimes life is difficult. I need and want an outlet, an opportunity to relax and escape to a place where obstacles are met and overcome. My stories are designed to entertain, refresh, and inspire you, the reader. They combine History, Humor, and Romance with an emphasis on Faith, Friends, and Good Clean Fun.”


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