As yet, they hardly resemble novels. More a mish-mash of words at the moment. So, I’ll go with the acronym W-I-P: work-in-progress. And, if all goes according to plan , below is what I hope to finish with.
Under the Mistletoe
In book one of the Comfort Marvel  Mystery Series, Comfort has just arrived in the newly designated Indiana Territory to visit her father, the Reverend Marvel, for Christmas. Nothing, however, in her Philadelphia upbringing has prepared her for life on the frontier. Rumors and stories of Indians intent on harming the neighboring settlement abound, so when a Christmas gathering at the home of a prominent military official ends in murder, the Native-born wife of one of the guests is naturally suspected.
Comfort is buying it, though. And with the help of the annoyingly underfoot local Ranger, Daniel McDougal, she will stop at nothing to make her case.
Moonlight & Roses
Riley McIntyre’s a city girl, living the best life 1972 has to offer. But all that changes when Gram dies and leaves Riley the family farm. Her plan: go in, settle Gram’s affairs, then sell as quickly as possible. That is, until she starts receiving threatening letters warning her to leave. Her reporter instincts tell her there’s a story behind those letters and she aims to find out what it is. Besides, who’d be fool enough to cause her trouble with the Sheriff living on the neighboring farm? When she uncovers a trunk hidden in Gram’s closet, though, she wonders if she’s made the right decision. Maybe Rose’s secrets are better off forgotten.
Rose married for love… and against the wishes of her mother, who disapproves of the farmer “from the wrong side of the tracks.” But, it’s 1928 and Rose is her own, free-thinking woman. Although, she has to admit, farm life is not the moonlight and roses  she expected. Nor is she the quintessential farm wife. She can’t cook, knows nothing about the chores she’s expected to handle, and doesn’t understand how tight money really is.
None of that matters to Harold McIntyre. With Rose at his side, he’s driven to provide her with everything her heart desires. He can’t stave off the economic disaster that sets the nation—and his farm—into a spiral, though. But, with the connections of the stranger they’ve nursed back to health, he can, and does, take drastic measures to keep them all afloat.
Sources & Notes
- I know it sounds strange, but some Characters have minds of their own, and no matter how firm a writing hand you yield, they insist on doing what they will. Sometimes this results in an interesting twist. Other times it just ties the plot up in knots. And there’s always the possibility that the story you end up with is not the one you thought you were telling. I won’t know where mine lies for some time yet. But, I can tell you, so far, these are a mouthy bunch of characters!
- Comfort Marvel is my 3rd-great-grandmother and ever since I discovered her, she has been daring me to dedicate a novel (or more) to her life in the Indiana Territory. She is the first character I ever wrote a scene about, way back when I was testing out the writing waters, and when I found myself faltering with my 1920s novel, she chimed right in: “Me! It’s my turn. Write a story about me!” Comfort is hard to say no to… You’ll find out.
- Moonlight and Roses may seem a weird title for a farm story set in the early part of the Depression. As with all novels in the creation phase, though, they have to be called something. So, consider this a Working Title… until something better comes along.