Welcome to the First Love Forever Romance Collection Blitz Tour! Be sure to stop by each stop for spotlights and excerpts from the different stories in this collection! And be sure to visit the main page for the tour at JustRead!
Title: First Love Forever Romance Collection
Authors: Erica Vetsch, Suzanne Dietze, Cynthia Hickey, Marcia Gruver, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Martha Rogers, Lorna Seilstad, Connie Stevens and Jennifer Uhlarik
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Release Date: April 1, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance Fiction
A first love is never easily forgotten…
and coming face to face with that person again can be awkward when the heartstrings are still holding on to the “what ifs.”
In settings from 1865 to 1910, nine couples are thrown back on the same path by life’s changes and challenges. A neighbor returns from law school. An heiress seeks a quick marriage. A soldier’s homecoming is painful. A family needs help. A prodigal son returns. A rogue aeronaut drops from the sky. A runaway bridegroom comes home. A letter for aid is sent. A doctor needs a nurse. Can love rekindle despite the separation of time and space?
First Things First by Susanne Dietze
1877 – South Texas: Texas rancher’s daughter Georgie Bridge mourned when her first love, Ward Harper, left town to study the law, but now he’s back—as opposing counsel in a case against her father.
A Most Reluctant Bride by Cynthia Hickey
1880 – Ozark foothill ranch: Maggie Spoonmore marries her father’s former foreman, Zach Colton in order to salvage her reputation, yet struggles to believe he married her for love and not her inheritance.
Weeping Willow by Marcia Gruver
May of 1861 – Port Royal, Virginia: In Civil War Virginia, tables are turned for Willow Bates when Julian Finney, her childhood crush and steadfast defender, returns from the war a broken man in need of rescue.
His Anchor by Carrie Fancett Pagels
1894 – Mackinac Island, Michigan: Robert Swaine, a ship captain, returns to Mackinac Island where his first love, Sadie Duvall struggles to support her siblings. Will she anchor him to the island he has vowed to leave behind?
After the Ball by Martha Rogers
1910 – Dallas, Texas: Chase Thornton, a wealthy oil man yearns for the life of a cowboy and his first love, Susannah King, but can she trust him to keep his word to leave the city and stay on the ranch?
Lighter Than Air by Lorna Seilstad
1900 – St. Louis, Missouri: After Titus Knott crashes his hot air balloon behind Ella Mason’s boarding school, he must convince his former sweetheart that his words are true and not full of hot air.
In Due Season by Connie Stevens
1901 – Whitley, Kansas: Leah Brown accepts her role of town spinster until Gareth Shepherd unexpectedly steps back into her life. Now she’s faced with a choice. Can she forgive the man who jilted her?
Heartfelt Echoes by Jennifer Uhlarik
1875—Virginia City, Nevada: A short, urgent letter mentioning his childhood love, Millie Gordon, forces deaf Travis McCaffrey to turn to his estranged birth father for help rescuing the woman he can’t forget.
Prescription for Love by Erica Vestch
1905 – New Orleans: Erstwhile fiancée Natalie Morrison is the last person Dr. Mackenzie wants as his new nurse, but when an epidemic hits, Phin finds she’s come back into his life at the perfect time.
TO PURCHASE A COPY
FEATURED AUTHOR JENNIFER UHLARIK
Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a pre-teen when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed with a B.A. in writing, she has finaled and won in numerous writing competitions, and been on the ECPA best-seller list numerous times. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, college-aged son, and four fur children.
EXCERPT FROM HEARTFELT ECHOES
Virginia City, Nevada—October 1875
Travis McCaffrey stared at the front door of the mansion before him. Victoria Gordon Sessums lived here? He extracted her letter from his inside coat pocket and re-read her cryptic words.
I am sorry to write you in this manner, but Millie needs you. We both do. Please come to Virginia City immediately. It is urgent.
Victoria Gordon Sessums
Despite the terrible memories Virginia City held, Travis had dropped everything to cross the Sierra Nevada and come to Millie and her mother’s aid.
Yet he hadn’t expected this.
Years ago, pretty Millie Gordon had told him that her mother was well-off. He’d believed it easily. On the few occasions the woman had visited her daughter at the California School for the Deaf, Victoria’s clothing, the fancy gifts she’d bought Millie, all oozed wealth. But this home was so large and refined it almost made his skin crawl. What could he, a livery-owner’s son, do for a family living in such luxury?
He knocked firmly on the door and, while waiting, took in the picturesque views surrounding him. Situated a little way up the mountain, the mansion overlooked the valley where Virginia City lay, the craggy hill rising behind it. The lavish house was perfectly situated to enjoy both views. He scanned the town below. It had grown immensely in the twelve years he’d been gone.
A sudden whoosh of air alerted him the door opened. Travis turned to find a portly gentleman in dark pants and gray coat, waiting expectantly.
“Hello. I’ve come to speak with Victoria Sessums.” After losing his hearing at eleven, Travis had learned lipreading while at the deaf school. That skill, coupled with his ability to speak clearly, allowed him to act like a hearing person when it suited. And right now, far from home with no friends, such skills suited his purposes very well.
The stout man shook his head. “I’m sorry. Mrs. Sessums is not receiving guests.”
Travis concentrated on the man’s lips. “Oh. Uh…she asked me to come.”
“I’m sorry. The lady of the house is unavailable. Please return another time.”
As the man shut the door, Travis braced a hand against it. “Please. I’ve traveled from San Francisco to see her. Could you at least tell her Travis McCaffrey’s here?”
The gent’s brows lifted. “McCaffrey—from San Francisco?”
“She’s expecting you.” The man motioned Travis inside. “Wait here while I announce your arrival.”
Travis stepped inside. Once the man disappeared up an impressive arching double staircase, Travis studied the nearby rooms. To the left, a parlor with grand fireplace and lavishly detailed furniture. To his right, a dining room with a long table and many chairs, two huge flower arrangements topping the surface. Directly ahead, an arched doorway led to other parts of the house, though the butler reappeared on the landing above, beckoning him upstairs before he could see more.
Complying, Travis went up the stairs and followed to the last door on the right side of the long hall.
“You may enter.” The butler pushed the door open then disappeared down the hall.
Travis peered into the brightly lit bedroom decorated in rich golds and purples, everything of the latest fashion except for one old chest. The well-worn piece, positioned at the foot of the bed, stuck out in the opulent surroundings. His eye traveled from it to the bed itself. Propped up against a huge pile of pillows, Victoria Sessums smiled weakly at him. She waved him inside.
For an instant, he stared. What had happened? The woman was a mere shadow of the one he recalled from her infrequent visits to the deaf school. Her dark hair was pulled into a simple braid, a few stray curls framing her jaundiced face. Her features, once plump and healthy, were drawn and frail. He finally uprooted his feet and walked to the bed.
“Thank you for coming, Travis.” She signed and spoke the words, then motioned to a richly upholstered wingback chair beside the bed. “Please, sit.”
Aware he was staring, he took the offered chair. “Forgive me for being blunt, ma’am, but what happened?”
She shook her head and began to sign again. “I fell ill months after my husband, Walt, and I married.”
At her stumbling gestures, Travis held up a hand to stop her. “If signing is too taxing, ma’am, I can read your lips almost as well as sign language.”
A weak smile broke across her frail features. “Thank you. Signed conversations are difficult.”
He nodded. “I understand. Please, continue.”
“The doctor says I have gastric fever.” Her features grew pinched, as if she were fighting not to cry. “He hasn’t said so, but I fear I’m dying. I grow weaker each day. I don’t know how much longer I can hang on.”
Without thinking, he took her hand. “I’m truly sorry.”
“Thank you.” Victoria squeezed his fingers. She paused, eyes closing, whether due to weakness or emotion, he wasn’t sure. After a moment, her chest heaved and she looked at him again. “Travis, I’m afraid for Millie if I die. I know your school works hard to teach its students skills to earn a living, but I want someone to look after my daughter. She shouldn’t be on her own. Walt is a good man, but he and Millie haven’t gotten along well. She wouldn’t be happy staying here.”
His thoughts reeled. “What are you asking, ma’am?”
“I know you two meant a lot to each other. She often wrote about you in her letters to me.” The woman paused. “I want you—and your family—to make sure she’s safe and happy.”
(1) Winner will win a prize pack consisting of one print copy of First Love Forever Romance Collection, (1) Print copy of My Heart Belongs in Mackinac Island by Carrie Fancett Pagels (or any other one of her released titles), a pair of handmade earrings (*style subject to change from what is pictured), additional book swag and a $20 Barnes & Noble Gift Card. (Only Gift card open internationally. All items open to US mailing addresses.) To Enter, use the Rafflecopter below. Be sure to stop at every stop on the tour for additional entries.
For the release of First Love Forever Romance Collection, the authors also have a month long giveaway for some awesome prizes shown below. To enter click on the image below.