This is volume six in her Christmas mail-order Angels series.
Here is Teresa's awesome book cover and just a smidgen from chapter one of Cooking up Christmas. It makes me want to read more. :)
BY TERESA IVES LILLY
Henrietta Myrick set a small valise on the porch. With a sigh, she closed the front door of the large, old boardinghouse, and then looked at the envelope clasped in her hand.
It’s the only thing I can think of to do, Lord. Please help me to find a good life in Wyoming.
“Yoo-Hoo, Henrietta, are you ready to go?”
She looked up and smiled. Alice Canton, her best friend, was sitting in the driver’s seat of a small surrey.
“Your train will leave without you if we don’t hurry.”
Henrietta made her way down the pathway. When she reached the picket fence’s gate, she turned to gaze at the house one last time. It will only be a memory now. She couldn’t help but allow another heavy sigh to escape.
The letter in her hand made a crinkling noise as a gentle breeze blew over it, and pulled her thoughts back to the task at hand. Get to the station, board the train, switch to a wagon, get to Angel Vale, meet Benjamin Capell, get married.
It all sounded simple, but the reality of going through with the whole thing was terrifying. Ever since her pastor’s daughter, Becky had given her the pamphlet about the men in Angel Vale, Wyoming looking for mail order brides, her life had been turned upside down.
There’s no going back. I have nothing left here.
Henrietta turned, pushed open the gate and moved toward the surrey. She handed her valise up to Alice and clambered into the front beside her friend, glad she had sent her trunk ahead to the station. She settled onto the hard seat and took a gulp of air to press down the fear and sorrow that gripped her heart. After squeezing her eyes shut for several seconds, she looked up and met her friend’s sympathetic eyes.
“You don’t have to go, Henrietta. If we put our minds together, we can come up with a different answer.” Alice reached out and patted Henrietta’s hand. “Jon assured me last night. You are welcome to stay with us.”
“You’re newlyweds. You don’t need an old maid like me in the house.”
Her friend frowned. “You’re not an old maid. You have never given yourself a chance, never mingled with the young people, never attended church socials. You just kept yourself locked up in the kitchen of the boardinghouse. There was never an opportunity for you to meet anyone.”
“I loved the boardinghouse. Grandmother was kind enough to take me in when I was nine years old. She taught me to cook. I love cooking and I loved the boarders. I have no regrets.”
“Except, now you’re twenty-nine years old, your grandmother is gone, the boardinghouse is closed up and you have no husband.”
The words sounded harsh, but Henrietta knew her friend meant well. Hadn’t she told herself the same things over the last several weeks?
“But, you don’t have to go all the way to Wyoming. If you stay with us, Jon and I can introduce you to several eligible bachelors.”
Henrietta shook her head, straightened and laughed. “I have already committed to marrying Benjamin Capell. Besides, we both know the mail order bride pamphlet was a Godsend for me. I’m just feeling nostalgic. It’s hard to say goodbye to a house. It’s not like a person who you can write letters to, or see in heaven someday. A house is just…well, it’s just a house. But I have so many wonderful memories here…” Her voice faded.