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Of Peaks and Prairies – Book 1, Paradise Valley
Of Peaks and Prairies
Fort Worth, Texas
Genevieve Waters-Ewing walked from the church with her hand resting lightly on Quincey Ewing’s raised arm. He’d shaved for the first time in months, and she glanced with distaste at a scratch on his cheek where the blade had nicked his weathered skin. Her whole body trembled, and she fought hard to push down the sobs that threatened to escape her aching throat at any moment. He turned to face her with a grin, his ten gallon hat perched unevenly on his square head.
The minister who’d married them was so old and frail, and his hearing so bad, each time she shook her head and shouted ‘no’ during their vows, he simply nodded with a toothless grin and continued on with the ceremony. If she tried to run, Quincey held her close and pinched her arm. In the end she stood her ground, confident that the law would never uphold such a marriage — until, that is, her new husband forged her signature on the certificate of marriage. Now she wasn’t so sure.
She glared at him as her stepfather came up alongside her.
“Congratulations Genny, you’re a married woman now. Isn’t that what you’ve always wanted?” He chuckled, she caught him winking behind her back at his childhood friend - the man who’d just been pronounced her husband.
“Well, at least it’ll get you out from under my feet,” he continued. “I can’t be payin’ for yer upkeep forever. Your Ma done died on me, leavin’ me with a rug-rat I never wanted, and now it’s time for you to find yer own place in life. Can’t say as I’ll miss ya much, ‘part from the cookin’ an sech of course, but I’ll find a missus to do that soon enough, with you out of the house. ‘Course, you’re not goin’ far — just across the way. I’m sure you could find it in yer heart to help me out a time or two.”
They’d stepped out into the bright Texas morning, and Genevieve squinted her eyes against the sunlight that streamed down through a faint fuzz of thin clouds above. She cast her gaze about - they were on the outskirts of Fort Worth, Texas, and she could see the plains stretched out before them. The town pushed toward the openness, threatening to civilize its bluffs, rises and hollows. Chaparral tufts littered the landscape, sheltering hare and various rodents, and giving the plains an unkempt look. She smoothed the skirts of her burgundy plaid dress. It was the nicest dress she owned, even so it was well worn, and pulled tightly across her chest and hips where she’d grown in recent years. A long line of small buttons ran up the front of the bodice. The sleeves no longer reached her wrists even when she tugged at them, and her stays pinched her tiny waist. She sighed.
“If Ma knew what you had planned for me, Fred, she’d roll over in her grave.” Genevieve caught a sob, and pushed it back down with a grimace.
Vivi Holt writes inspirational, historical romances with a western flavour. Of her books, readers say:
"The plot kept me enthralled and the pages turning"
"I cried and laughed"
"What an awesome ending. Can't wait for more!!"
Vivi lives in beautiful Brisbane, Australia with her husband and three young children. Growing up on a farm she learned to love the country life and now she writes about it in her books. History has always fascinated her as well, so writing historical romance seemed a natural progression. She loves horse-riding, hiking, and reading.
Her goal is to write touching, emotional and sweet romance stories that captivate the reader and transport them back in time.
Follow Vivi Holt:
1. What does your day look like when you release a book?
For my latest release, Of Peaks and Prairies, my release day looks something like the following.
· Get woken up by Miss Two running into the bedroom and climbing into bed for cuddles.
· Get older kids ready for school
· After the school drop off, hurry home to check emails, Facebook etc. and do breakfast dishes.
· Press publish!
· Head off to church for a women’s Biblestudy group.
· Back home again for lunch and nap-time.
· Send an email to my ARC team to let them know the book is ready for their reviews.
· Send an email to my newsletter list to let them know the book is ready to purchase.
· Promote the release of the book in various ways while Miss Two sleeps.
· Do laundry.
· Pick up the kids from school.
· Do homework and housework.
· Soccer practice.
· Cook dinner.
· Bath time.
· Eat dinner.
· Wash dishes and clean up.
· Write/edit etc.
Not very glamorous I’m afraid. But it’s still fun for me. Especially when those first reviews start rolling in.
2. What were your favorite childhood books?
The books from my childhood are some of my absolute favorite books. They include:
· Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree series
· The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
· Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
· The Silver Brumby series by Elyne Mitchell
· All of C.S. Lewis’ books
· The Secret Garden
· The Anne of Green Gables series
All of these books had a big impact on me, and I still love to read them. Now I get to read them to my children, which is a lot of fun.
3. Tell us about your new book
Of Peaks and Prairies is the first book in a new series, Paradise Valley. It’s going to be a series of sweet, historical romances. The setting will be Paradise Ranch, in Paradise Valley, Montana Territory. This book follows a young woman, Genevieve, and her journey to wholeness after a childhood of brokenness. She leaves Fort Worth Texas, running from her troubled past, and hitch-hikes on a cattle drive, north to Montana. The story is full of drama, romance and suspense. It also follows the journey of Sarah Songan and Bill Hanover from the second Cutter’s Creek book – after their wedding. So that’s been fun as well. To find out when the next book comes out, sign up for my new release newsletter. Here’s the link for the newsletter sign up.
4. Where did you grow up?
I grew up on a small farm in northern New South Wales, Australia. It is a beautiful part of the world, very green and lush, surrounded by mountains. The farm was set in a narrow valley, with rolling hills and a winding creek. I rode horses, and went to Pony Club every week and spent my days swimming in the river, making cubby houses, and exploring the countryside. It was quite an idyllic childhood. My Dad sold his successful business in the city, and became a saddler in a small, rural town so that we could have the country lifestyle. I have so many memories of watching him making ornate western saddles, or beautiful bridles, whips, halters and more, with the rich smell of leather in the air about us. It was a wonderful time.