A Christmas Baby for Beatrice by @nfraserauthor is a Christmas Holiday Festival pick #westernromance



Title: A Christmas Baby for Beatrice


Author: Nancy Fraser


Genre: Sweet Western Historical Romance


Book Blurb:


Beatrice Collier has had a hard life. Born into poverty, she was orphaned at six and raised in a state-run facility. As a child, she never knew the joy of the holidays. When she turned eighteen, she married for security, rather than love. Having never really known true affection, she had no inkling what she was missing.


Maxwell (Max) McCauley makes his living as a horticulturalist. Well educated, a stickler for detail, his expertise is in demand, making him far too busy to properly court a woman. Rather than waste time searching for a wife in an area where women are still few and far between, he asks his housekeeper to do whatever it takes to find him a suitable wife.


Max wasn’t sure what he was expecting when his housekeeper told him that the woman she’d chosen for him was a widow. However, it definitely wasn’t the strong-willed, independent spitfire with dark red hair and the most magnificent golden eyes.


Beatrice can’t believe what she’s reading when she receives the telegram offering her the chance to become Mr. McCauley’s wife. Perhaps, at last, she’ll find a real home, with a man who can support her, and with whom she can work side-by-side.


Her only concern is how he’ll react when she tells him the one secret she’s been keeping from everyone for as long as she can remember. As much as she dreads the admission, she knows they can’t marry until she’s confessed. Will he send her packing on the first train headed east when he finds out the truth?


Exclusive Excerpt:


Parkdale Home for Orphaned Children ~ 1873


“Welcome, Beatrice.”


Beatrice raised her head and met the stern countenance of the gray-haired woman in the black dress. There was something about her sour expression that reminded Beatrice of her late grandmother. Beatrice hugged her one-eyed doll to her chest and drew a full, deep breath.


“I’m sure you’ll soon become accustomed to Parkdale, and make many friends among the other children,” the woman continued. Turning to the police matron, the woman added, “Thank you for dropping her off. I’ll take care of her from here.”


The moment the door slammed behind them, shutting out the cold, and the outside world, Beatrice realized her life was about to change forever.


“My name is Mrs. Bellows,” the woman said. Motioning toward the long hallway, she instructed, “Follow me, Beatrice.”


“Bea,” Beatrice said softly. “My momma calls me Bea.”


Her comment drew Mrs. Bellows to a sudden halt. “Your mother is gone now. So, my dear, while you’re here with us at Parkdale, you will use your full, given name. Beatrice. Miss Beatrice Simons.”


Mrs. Bellows began walking again, the squeak of her black-soled shoes on the hard floor drawing Bea’s attention; her urge to giggle. She bit her lip to hold the temptation in. Something told her, Mrs. Bellows wouldn’t appreciate being laughed at.


“Don’t dilly dally, Beatrice,” Mrs. Bellows warned. “We’ve got to get you out of those ragged clothes and into a proper dress and underpinnings. Even at the tender age of six, you should dress like a young lady. And, for heaven’s sake, we need to get rid of that dirty, wretched doll.”


Parkdale Home for Orphaned Children ~ 1885


“I can’t believe you’re leaving,” Clara whispered. “And, with Willie Collier.”


“We both turned eighteen this month, Clara,” Bea explained. “The state no longer has an obligation to house, cloth and feed us. Thankfully.”


“What will you do?” Sixteen year-old Clara asked. “Where will you go?”


“I’m not sure,” Bea confirmed. “But, whatever and wherever, we’ll do it together. Willie’s been my best friend here at Parkdale. Other than you, of course.”


“You can’t live together,” Clara warned. “That would be sinful.”


“We talked about getting married,” Bea said, her voice a mere whisper.


“Married? Really?” Clara hid an outright gasp behind her dainty hand.


“Why not? Marrying your best friend... best man friend... surely isn’t the worst idea, is it?”


“I suppose not,” Clara conceded. “But do you love him? Like that, I mean?”


“Love is totally unnecessary. If I’ve learned anything in my twelve years here at Parkdale, it’s that being practical is a far sight smarter than being emotional.”


“But what about all those penny novels we sneak when old lady Bellows and Miss Armitage aren’t looking? They’re all about love and happiness.”


“They’re for dreamers, Clara. Like you.” Bea reached out and ruffled Clara’s blonde curls. “I’m truly surprised you were never adopted. I’ve no doubt, when you leave here, you’ll have young men clamoring for your attention.”


“You would too,” Clara argued, “if you let anyone other than me and Willie see the real you.”


Bea gave a slow shake of her head. “I’m not pretty like you, Clara. I’m plain. You got the beauty and I got the practical head on my shoulders.”


“Well, I do wish you and Willie the best. I really do. Please promise me you’ll write and let me know where you are, and what you’re doing.”


“I will. I promise. Now, help me pack. The fifteenth is day-after-tomorrow, and I intend to be ready the moment the official papers are signed.”


Home of William and Beatrice Collier ~ 1885


“Evening ma’am,” the young, uniformed officer said. He offered Bea a tip of his stiff cap and a subdued smile. “May I come in please?”


Bea was dead tired after a full day on her feet working as an aide at the local home for the elderly. The last thing she wanted was to have to bail her husband out of jail. Again.


Not that she had the money to do so anyway.


“What’s this about, constable?”


“It’s about your husband, ma’am. It might be best if I come inside.”


Bea pushed the door open and stepped back. “Whatever it is Mr. Collier has done this time, I’m afraid he’ll have to spend the night in the hoosegow. Neither of us get paid until tomorrow, so there’s no money for bail.”


“Your husband isn’t in jail, Mrs. Collier.”


“Then why are you here?”


“I’m sorry to tell you this, but your husband is dead. He was killed in an accident at the textiles factory earlier today.”


“An accident?” Bea sank back against the wall. The narrow corridor closed in around her and her head spun. “How?”


The officer took hold of her elbow and coaxed her to the closest chair. “Take a seat, ma’am. Let me get you a glass of water, and then I can tell you what I know.”


Two weeks had passed since Willie’s unfortunate accident. Braxton Textiles had paid for the burial, given Bea a paltry fifty dollars in settlement, and the equivalent of Willie’s last paycheck. Ten dollars and sixty-eight cents.


“This can’t be right?” she’d argued. “He worked a full two weeks, minus a day after he died.”


“He missed two other days,” the representative from Braxton explained.


Bea had taken the money in shaky hands and left the factory office, uncertain of what she would do next. She couldn’t afford even their tiny two room apartment on her own. With no more than the basic education afforded her at Parkdale, she was at a loss for a way to keep a roof over her head, and food on her table.


At church that Sunday, she prayed for guidance, for a way out of her personal dilemma. Thankfully, her prayers were answered when fellow parishioner Ernestine Willows came into her life, and offered her a much-needed helping hand.


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):


Kindle Unlimited: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099HVPV86

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59346392-a-christmas-baby-for-beatrice


BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/a-christmas-baby-for-beatrice-mail-order-brides-first-christmas-book-20-by-nancy-fraser



Share a holiday family tradition:


Despite the usual ups and downs all families face, ours has been blessed with good health, steady employment, and more than the basic necessities. I always tried to instill an understanding in my two sons that it wasn’t that way for everyone. We always participated in one or more charitable causes around the holidays. I’ve done my best to carry on with that tradition with each of my grandchildren as they’ve grown up. This year, it’s the youngest grandchild’s turn. I’m not sure what we’ll do yet, but it will definitely give him an understanding of what it means to share.


Why is your featured book perfect to get readers in the holiday mood?


A Christmas Baby for Beatrice isn’t your usual cheery, upbeat holiday story. It’s a story of how trusting in yourself and your instincts can lead you on an unexpected path. In Bea’s search for a stable life, she learns that stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a chance on the unknown can be the best gift of all.


Giveaway –


Enter to win a $75 Amazon (US or Canada) Gift Card.


https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/92db7750143/


You must have an active Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to be eligible. Open internationally.


Runs December 1 – 31


Drawing will be held on January 3, 2022.



Author Biography:


NANCY FRASER is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.


Nancy published her first book in 1996 and hasn’t stopped since. Her 100th book will be released on her birthday in April of 2022.


When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.


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