Mail order bride, Livy Green, is desperate to escape the memories of her past. John Taylor will never love another woman again, but his children need a mother. Will they learn to trust each other, or will their pasts interfere?Longing to escape the awful memories and the saloon she once sang in, Livy Green lies about her past so she can be a wife to John Taylor and mother to his two young children. Overwhelmed by the task, she struggles to put her resentment aside and love them as her own.
John loved his first wife and is still heartbroken over the loss, but he needs a mother for his children. When his distant and unfriendly mail order bride arrives, he begins to doubt his decision, though one glance into Livy’s terrified green eyes tells him he can’t turn his back on her.
As Livy’s past catches up with her and suspicious accidents begin to happen on the ranch, she is tempted to come clean and tell John the truth. But will he send her back if she does? Or will they forever be CHASING CLOVERS?
Tell us about Kat Flannery. Who are you when you’re not writing? I am a mother to three very busy boys and a wife to a wonderful husband.
Do you have a day job as well?I co-own Prairie Dog Publishing where I and another writer put together anthologies from writers around the world. We donate a part of the proceeds to the charity we have based the book about. And I freelance as well.
How did you choose the genre you write in and where do your ideas come from?History has always fascinated me, but I am especially fond of cowboys. This could be from my parents over indulged love of John Wayne westerns. Family movie night often consisted of similar choices, Big Jake or True Grit. It wasn’t so much the gun fights and the Indian raids that intrigued me, but the characters these films were created around.
I’ve always loved to write, but as I grew older the need to scribe intensified. My ideas came from watching people around me—their mannerisms, wondering who they were and where they came from. My imagination usually took off and I’d be up writing vivid characters and plots.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?Sure, getting CHASING CLOVERS published took a lot of hard work. After I wrote the first draft, I revised and edited it before I took it to my own editor and worked on it with her. Once it was ready to send out to publishers, I needed to research their guidelines and follow them to a T. I knew, from being a publisher and having many articles published that if I did not adhere to the guidelines my manuscript was heading to the slush pile. Rejections came in along with a few suggestions to change some things and resubmit. After almost eight months of sending it out and begin turned down Imajin Books offered me a contract.
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?Absolutely not. At the time I was receiving rejections I remember feeling so low, that I wasn’t good enough. But it was never personal and I realize that now. With most of my rejections there were comments, and I read everyone in detail. I changed a few things, and kept sending the manuscript out. I would not be the writer I am today if it wasn’t for this experience.
Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?I have half a book I’ve written and I do love it, but I am not sure where I want to go with it, so I’ve put it on the back burner for a while.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre? Social Media is an amazing thing. Twitter, facebook, and conversing with my readers. Book signings are a good way to meet new people too.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? My chapter in CHASING CLOVERS to write was probably the very emotional scene Livy has with John’s daughter Emily. This book is about finding happiness again after a tragedy. When I wrote this scene it was almost a sigh of relief for both my characters.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment? Toughest criticism would be a rejection letter I received from a publisher that didn’t even have my name on it, instead is said “Dear Writer, you clearly do not know how to write romance. If you did you would not have wasted our time.” The best one was from my publisher Cheryl K Tardif at Imajin Books when offering me a contract. “It is an awesome read, well written and emotionally appealing.”
Here’s a couple of quirky questions for you….What’s your favorite movie?The Notebook Cake with or without ice cream?Without icecream. Date night out, or date night in?Date night out. Thanksgiving or Christmas?Christmas Physical copy of a book or eReader??Physical copy.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?I love hearing from my readers. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here.
Thanks for stopping by! Thank you, Molly for having me. Have a wonderful day.
Excerpt: CHAPTER ONE Calgary, 1884
The stagecoach pitched to a stop, jostling Livy Green from fitful nightmares of a past she longed to bury and the stranger she was about to marry. Her neck stiff and her back aching, she massaged her shoulders. She straightened and tried to stretch her arms, but the tiny space wouldn’t allow it.
A loud sigh blew from her lips when she realized how rumpled her clothes were. Frowning, she ran her hands along her skirt. Nothing but a hot iron would get the wrinkles out. With only two other dresses in her wardrobe, and no time to change anyway, she had no choice but to meet her fiancé looking as she did.
Her stomach dropped. What if I’m not what he’s expecting?
She peered out the window and wasn’t surprised to see a few North West Mounted Police mingling with the other townspeople. Their bright red uniforms stood out like apples on a tree. She reached for her satchel and held it tightly before she stepped out the small door. You can do this. She squeezed the handle on her luggage. You have to.
Fort Calgary was a bustling town with two hotels on either side of the street, a small dress shop with ladies hats and fabric displayed in the window, and a red-bricked bank on the northwest corner. She watched people walking along the wooden planks and filtering in and out of the shops.
A loud squeal sounded behind her.
Livy jumped. She was almost trampled by a young boy running from his mother. Her heart lurched at the sight of the child. The familiar ache inside her soul willed her to look away. But she continued to watch mother and child until they disappeared inside the mercantile.
She took a deep breath, forced all thoughts of the past out of her mind and scanned the streets again. Her face flushed when she thought of what she was about to do.
Bag in hand, she spotted the blacksmith across the street next to the barbershop. Her stomach twisted at the sight of the saloon two buildings down. The all too familiar swinging doors waved back and forth, taunting her. Two drunken cowboys left the saloon, weaving their way down the boardwalk.
Livy clenched the satchel and tensed.
She turned away, closed her eyes, and took another deep breath. Here she would be the wife to John Taylor―a man she’d never met―and stepmother to his two children.
She took another breath. She would start over. Again.
She surveyed the busy boardwalk in search of a tall man with dark hair. Almost every man she saw fit the description he had given her, so she decided to move over to the bench in front of the mercantile and wait for Mr. Taylor to find her. Hands folded together on her lap. She tapped her toe restlessly. Where could he be?
A rough looking cowboy sauntered toward her. His brown greasy hair, and ripped denims were paired with an evil smile.
Livy tucked her chin into her chest. Oh, please don’t let that be him. She’d seen his type before and knew what they were capable of. The man lingered beside her for a few moments before continuing on down the boardwalk.
She sighed with relief. How am I going to do this?
No longer Angel Green, she was now Olivia Green. The past was far behind her, except on those long dark nights that would not allow her to escape it.
She chewed on her bottom lip and stared at the busy street.
Her new life would begin here. She would survive.
She blew out a shaky breath. It was all she knew how to do.
“Olivia?” a male voice asked.
A tall man stood beside her, his hat pulled low so she couldn’t see his eyes. He hesitated, then extended his hand. “Olivia?” He had a polite, resonating voice.
She shaded her eyes with a hand. “Livy will do fine.” She was uncomfortably aware of his presence as he towered over her.
He smiled and took off his hat. Wavy black hair curled above the collar of his coat and his skin was tanned from the sun. He looked nothing like the dirty cowboy. Thank goodness. Instead, he wore a clean flannel shirt tucked into faded denim pants.
“John Taylor. Good to finally meet you. My buckboard is over there.” He pointed the way, then peered around. “Where are your trunks?”
“I only have this one.”
Her cheeks reddened as she lifted her tattered brown satchel. She held it slightly behind, not wanting him to see the holes and stains on it.
Nodding, he offered his arm. She ignored it. Friendly eyes stared back at her. After what had happened to her in Great Falls, she hated being touched by men.
“Do not be insulted, Mr. Taylor,” she said, staring at his boots, “but I’d rather you show me the way instead.”
She headed in the direction he’d pointed out earlier. When she heard a low chuckle from behind, she pursed her lips and walked faster. I need no one, least of all a man.
In truth, she needed John Taylor more than she could admit.
As soon as she reached the buckboard, she tossed the satchel up onto the seat, gathered her skirts and climbed up. She had sat down when she noticed he was still standing on the walk.
“Uh, Miss Green?” He tipped his hat back, crossed well muscled arms and smiled at her. “That’s not my buckboard.”
Her face flooded with heat.
If this wasn’t his wagon, why hadn’t he said something earlier, instead of watching her make a fool of herself?
Her eyes misted. How had she gotten here, in this place, with a man she didn’t even know? She swallowed. How could she have thought he was the answer to her problems?
About The Author:
Kat Flannery has loved writing ever since she was a girl. She is often seen jotting her ideas down in a little black book. When not writing or in school, Kat enjoys snuggling on her couch with a hot chocolate and a great book. Kat has had her writing published in numerous periodicals. Her first novel, Chasing Clovers, was released by Imajin Books this Fall. She is now hard at work on her next book. When not focusing on her creative passions, Kat is busy with her three young boys and doting husband.