I’ve never before had two titles come out within days of each other. Very different stories, and totally different hero and heroine from Candleshine’s High Calling.
Elizabeth’s Bold Escape: Cherished Romance #13
“East is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet.” (Rudyard Kipling, 1889)
Spoiled, headstrong Elizabeth Courtland, who delights in shocking early 1900s society in Grand Rapids, Michigan, thinks otherwise. Will following a dedicated minister to a tiny Washington State frontier town bring “Madcap Betty” happiness or heartbreak?
Daniel Spencer is deeply committed to serving Pioneer. Can Elizabeth’s untimely arrival hamper the work to which he has been called?
My fictional hero Daniel is much like my great-grandfather Pastor A. B. Towne, who went to Darrington, Washington (basis for Pioneer) shortly after the turn of the century. Elizabeth is nothing like my petite, devout great-grandmother!
Chapter 1 Opening
“Miss Betty, your mama says for you to come down right now!” The freckled face of the serving maid in a neat gray uniform looked worried. “The carriages are coming, and Mr. Prescott’s glarin’ at his watch and watchin’ the stairs. All the people are—” she broke off sharply. “Miss Betty, whatever is the matter?”’
Elizabeth Courtland whirled, white skirts billowing around her. “Abbie, have you ever been in love?”
The maid’s eyes reflected her shock. “In love! Me?”
“Of course not, Miss Betty. Who’d look at the likes of me?”
Elizabeth cocked her head to one side. “Oh, I don’t know. You are well put together and have shiny hair and blue eyes. A man could do worse.”
Abbie just stared, then roused herself. “You’d better come. All those folks waitin’ for your engagement to be announced. Your papa’s goin’ to be up here after you if you don’t get downstairs.”
“Let them wait.” The imperious head crowned with sweeping dark hair was in sharp contrast to the creamy white shoulders and snowy lace dress. “It’s my engagement party, isn’t it? I’ll go down if and when I feel like it. I may not go at all.”
“What’s wrong, Abbie? Shocked because I’m in no hurry? Why should I be? I’ve been practically engaged ever since I was born.” She waved a haughty hand toward the newspaper clipping on the dressing table, mocking its contents.
HOUSES OF COURTLAND AND WETHERELL TO BE JOINED
In the most lavish ball of its kind ever to be held in the fair city of Grand Rapids, Miss Elizabeth Courtland’s engagement will be announced to Mr. Prescott Wetherell.
Betty dropped to the bed, appraising the Wetherell’s best guest room. “Hah! What choice did I ever have in the matter?”
Concern for her mistress replaced Abbie’s anxiety over getting her downstairs. “But Mr. Prescott just about worships you, Miss Betty! He’ll give you everything you want and let you do just as you please. He’s even letting me go with you to your new home just because I’ve always been your maid. Aren’t you happy?”
At the risk of crushing her gown, Elizabeth sprang from the bed defiantly. “Why should I be? Prescott is—Prescott. As for having my own way, haven’t I always?” She did not wait for a reply. “Too bad I didn’t have a passel of brothers and sisters to look after. I’ve never had anything but my own way.”
“You’ll have children of your own to look after.”
“Children? You must be out of your mind. Having children ruins your figure and makes you unfit for dancing.”
“Yes, ma’am. But children have a way of comin’ when you ‘re married.”
“Then I just won’t get married!”
“I mean it, Abbie. I won’t be tied down with children, even if nurses do look after them. It’s bad enough marrying Prescott, who’s dull as dishwater, but at least we can travel. He says he’ll take me anywhere I want to go.”
Abbie’s freckles stood out at her own daring as she asked, “Miss Betty, don’t you love Mr. Prescott?”
“Love Prescott Wetherell?” There was honest surprise in Elizabeth’s voice. “Why should I? We’ve grown up together, and I’m fond of him. He’s the most suitable match. Why should he want more than that?” She turned back to Abbie. “What do you know about it, anyway? You said you’d never been in love.”
Abbie’s face was sober. “Before my mother died she taught me never to marry a man I didn’t love with all my heart. She said it was a sin to marry without love.”
“Sin!” Betty broke into peals of laughter. “The only sin in this world is not doing as you please.”
Both titles available at