About the Book
It’s Christmas in Ohio in 1816, and Abby Rose meets a Scottish immigrant who proposes minutes after they meet. Abby Rose figures she’ll rid herself of Preston McInnes by sending him on an impossible task, but the determined Scotsman doesn’t know the meaning of “impossible.” Has Abby Rose met her match?
This holiday novella, a dramatic sequel to The Gardener’s Tale and prequel to Chance’s Bluff, tells of a love story that connects generations.
About the Author
The daughter of a foreign-service officer, Catherine McGreevy grew up in countries including France, Spain, and Morocco, where she attended international schools. During this time she learned to love reading and dreamed seeing her own novels on a shelf next to those of her favorite writers Mary Stewart and Elizabeth Peters.
She majored in Communications (Journalism) with a minor in English at Brigham Young University, and later earned her Secondary Education Teaching Credential at Cal State Fullerton, teaching English/Language Arts before moving to Northern California ten years ago, when she joined SSWC and, thanks to her critique group, finally began finishing all those stories she’d started long ago while raising a family!
A history buff, Cathy is delighted to live in Northern California's gold country, where she has occasionally donned a bonnet and petticoats to re-enact the past with the Sierra Nevada Mormon Pioneers, appearing in Veteran’s Day and Fourth of July parades, as well as history days at Sutter’s Fort and Coloma.
She published her first two books in 2014, The Jewelry Case, a mystery/suspense, and The Gardener’s Tale, a historical. This summer, she signed a contract with Cedar Fort Publishing, which will release two more of her historicals in 2018: Chance’s Bluff (in January), and A Place Called New Hope (in March).
“Well, Mr. McInnes?” Abby Rose turned to face her companion. “What is this important question you could not ask with others around?”
Preston shoved his big hands into the pockets of his ragged coat. Abby Rose thought no less of the man for his poverty. That was no reflection on his character. Rather, it was his boldness and odd behavior that set her on guard.
“This spring, I leave for Iowa. They say part of it has been purchased from the Indians, and is open for settlement by whites. I’d like you to go with me, Miss Westerly—as my wife.”
The snow was thickening now. No longer melting, it formed a curtain around them, sealing them off from the world. Abby Rose stared at him. It took a moment to gather her wits. “Are you …? You mean …? Am I to understand that you’re asking me to marry you? But that’s ridiculous. We’ve only just met!”
His matter-of-fact tone did not change. “Trust me, Miss Westerly, normally I dinna behave so forward. But I’ve no time to court in the usual manner, even if I knew how. Where I’m going there are no white women, nor churches to wed in. If I’m to take a wife, I must do it right away.”
“And what on earth gave you the idea that I might agree? You know nothing about me, Mr. McInnes, nor I about you!”
His eyes held hers. “I know more about you than you might think.”
“How can that be, when we first laid eyes on each other less than an hour ago?”
“I am an observant man, Miss McInnes. For example, I know that you are intelligent, warm-hearted, a bit of a flirt, popular—and more than a tad spoiled. I also know that despite those qualities you are not yet married. At your age and with your gifts, that means only one thing: you’ve no wish to marry any of the men you’ve so far had the opportunity to wed. That’s what gave me hope.”
“You are very presumptuous, Mr. McInnes — and moreover, you are wrong.”
Privately, Abby Rose was amazed. In spite of her instinctive protest, virtually every word he’d said was true.
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