Cover Reveal for The Widow Wagon by Megan Michaels #HistoricalWestern #Western #Romance #SpankingRomance 7

This is the cover for my new book Widow Wagon!  I want to thank Rachel Olson of No Sweat Graphics.  Rachel has done all three of my covers and I have to say I have been more than pleased with the end results!! 

Widow Wagon should be out no later than Wednesday (hoping). Until then I’ll leave you all with an excerpt.

1866 Sugar Creek,
For the hundredth time since Clive
had passed, she wished there had been an announcement — a warning.
This is the last time you’ll
hear his voice, remember it. Kiss him longer! Hug him harder! You won’t
experience this again. It’ll be the last time you’ll have him in your arms.
Life didn’t work that way. Clive
had died, leaving her with only the memory of their last hug. She had been left
trying to remember every detail.  She’d wondered
what  she’d said, how she’d said it. Had
she  been kind?  Or had she been distracted or dismissive?
What did he say? What were his last words to her?
She had been on the Widow Wagon for
only two hours and the smell of horse shit and the mindless gossip and
prattling of women had about driven her insane already. She pulled her brown,
wavy hair up and off her neck.  The heat
inside the bouncing wagon was stifling and her hair and clothes were sweat
sodden.  When she’d read the ad for the
Widow Wagon outside the Mercantile, it certainly didn’t mention the heat or how
much walking would be required. 
Inside the covered wagon, it was a
sea of gray and black silk.  Society
dictated black dresses and veils for a year—at a minimum. 
Daisy who appeared to be under
twenty, had raven black hair that matched the black dress she wore.  “Why aren’t you women dressed in
black?” Daisy scowled at everyone.
Clara was an attractive woman for
her age which could have been mid thirties. 
Her long blondish brow hair was pulled up into a tight bun with a bow
that matched her deep gray dress.  Clara turned
to look at Daisy and blinked a couple times. 
“I’m wearing gray because it’s been over a year since my husband died
and my girls are wearing white which is customary for children. “
Clara tucked a girl under each
arm.  Nellie appeared to be ten or so
with long blond ringlets and Rose was younger, maybe eight years old with the
same blonde curls. 
Daisy stiffened lifting her
chin.  “Well, I’ve heard that the
more devoted a spouse is or the more he was loved, the longer the family wears
black.  I loved my husband.”  She sniffed closing her eyes and turning her
head in disgust.
“Mommy is that true?” Nellie
had turned with tears in her imploring eyes
“Of course, it isn’t
true!”  The other women in the widow
wagon murmured their disagreement with Daisy’s proclamation. 
Everyone had decided to ignore
Daisy.  Most of them had a long journey
ahead of them, the last thing they needed was a fight within the first couple
of hours.
Sophie looked around the wagon at
the women she would be spending time with for the next week or two.  Some would be going all the way to Oregon,
others like herself would be exiting within a week or so. 
Most were wearing a shade of gray
and they were all ages.  Minnie looked to
be about the same age as Daisy, but they seemed to be opposites if she was to
guess.  Minnie had piercing blue eyes
with alabaster skin, her hair was a deep brown and flowed down to the middle of
her back. Sophie wondered if Minnie was excited to meet her new husband…and
where she would be meeting him.

Sophie had memorized the ad for her new husband,
Daniel.  At twenty two Sophie felt older
than her age and yet strangely excited about her upcoming meeting.  The ad had read:
“Widowed man, twenty-four years old
is looking for a woman who is kind, obedient, and neat. Needs help with
cleaning and cooking. Minimal field work. Looking for a companion to love,
marry, and have children with.
Weston, Grantville, Kansas (near Topeka, Kansas).”

didn’t want to be someone’s field hand. She also wanted a companion, someone to
love, and marry. She’d wanted children with Clive and though at only twenty-two
she wasn’t old by any means, she was older than most of her friends who’d
already had children. Children were definitely part of the dream.

She looked over at Margie, an older
woman but not old by any means.  She
guessed that Margie was early forties, there was a hint of gray at the temples
of her brown hair.  She had laugh lines
at the corners of her green eyes and the creases at the corners of her mouth
spoke of a happy woman who smiled and laughed often.  She also had a gray dress on with a matching
bonnet that tied under her chin. 
They were all warm in the wagon and
although walking in the noon day sun would be tedious, she looked forward to
the breeze – even if it was a warm breeze.
Sophie remembered the events that had
occurred that morning and the fight that broke out over Daisy’s  trunk. 
The women had gathered at the spot
outside the post office, just as they’d been instructed. There were six of
them. They’d been told they could only bring one trunk; the mules wouldn’t be
able to carry more than six women, six trunks, along with the food and supplies.
But there was always one—Daisy.
Angus, their driver, had raised his
voice informing the girl that she’d have to leave the bag behind. “Miss,
you ain’t allowed to bring that. Your bag is stayin.’” Angus took her bag
tossing it to the ground.
“And I told you, silly man,
that I’m bringing that bag! That bag has some important things I cannot — will
not — leave behind. I’m not discussing it any further with someone of your
position.” Daisy grabbed the bag and added it to the pile of items still
waiting to be placed in the wagon.
“Don’t you get all high
falutin’ with me! Where you from, anyhow? You don’t talk like us.”
“I’m from Boston. I came to
see my Aunt after my husband’s death. It doesn’t matter to you anyway.” She
pointed at the bag. “We’re taking this with us!”
“Don’t be pushing me, girl.
I’ll tan your backside, sure as the sun’s shining!’”
Daisy sputtered. “I never!
You, sir, will not touch me!”
A voice rang out and Charles, the
owner of the Widow Wagon, quickly approached the women. “What appears to
be happenin’ here?”
Angus jumped in, pointing an
irritated thumb at Daisy, explaining to Charles. “This brat here says
she’s bringing this bag when she already done brung a bag. I told her that she
can’t bring it and she’s done nothing but argue.”
Charles turned to Daisy, holding up
a hand before she could speak another word. “Miss Daisy you were told that
you can only bring a trunk. I told you myself, and the paperwork states it
clearly. The bag has to stay. Clear?”
Daisy stomped her foot, her voice a
frustrated screech. “No! I need that bag!”
“Ma’am, you can stop the fit.
It ain’t going to help. You can take the important things and put them in your
trunk. But that bag is staying here with your aunt. I don’t want to hear
anymore about it!”
“Yes!” She grabbed her
bag and dragged her trunk a few feet away to shuffle the contents.
Lord, this will be even worse than I feared.
She shook her head as she watched
Daisy. Life had been a rough for Sophie, and watching the drama some women
displayed did nothing but make her teeth grind. She didn’t remember a time in
her life where she’d thrown a fit about clothing. Whatever the rules were, she
steeled herself and simply resolved to follow them. Some rules she didn’t like
and she chafed under them, but soon enough she’d adjust to them. That’s not to
say that she didn’t have some fits of temper herself, but they were never over
things so senseless and silly. She was confident that the headstrong Daisy was making
a mountain out of a molehill.

I’ll be posting more tomorrow. 

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