Please help me welcome Kristin Holt to the blog. She's visiting today to tell us about The Drifter’s Proposal her story in the Silver Belles and Stetsons anthology.
What inspired you to write The Drifter’s Proposal?
Two things inspired this story: baking (which I’m ultra familiar with) and forensic accounting (which occurred with frequency in the Victorian era—but the term hadn’t yet been coined in 1900—and something I know absolutely nothing about). I took two characters who need each other desperately and have very little in common. The pair discovers they’re so well suited it’s their own kind of Christmas miracle. These two, more than most of my characters, needed the security of a certain happily forever after. Bringing Malloy and Adaline together was a most rewarding writing experience.
What is a typical writing day like for you?
In a perfect world, I’d have the ease of writing from 7 AM to 4 PM, and I could set work aside and enjoy other pursuits (and maybe my family) in the evenings. I’ve discovered the world is far from perfect.
About The Drifter's Proposal
The baker’s man is home for Christmas…
A spinster is startled by an overdue mortgage and imminent eviction, mere days before Christmas. Dare she trust a drifter to fight at her side, and invite certain heartbreak when he moves on?
She met his gaze, straightened to her full height— five-feet-nothin’— and pointed a finger at his nose. Somehow, she’d drawn awful near, that close-trimmed nail mere inches from his face.
Fire sparked in her hazel eyes, turned far more green than brown by the apple-green of her shirtwaist and the flush of her porcelain skin. “Shame on you.”“Excuse me?”
“Shame on you for proposing—” She shook her finger harder at him.
Silence skipped over several heartbeats.
“There you go again,” he countered, “hauling up short and never finishing your sentences. I don’t understand you, lady.”
“Be quiet and let me finish.”
Sparks fairly flashed in those captivating eyes, and he found himself willing to do just about anything she asked. So he shut up and tried real hard not to smile.
“I do not care what you think to do for me and my family, Mister Malloy. Anyone who finds it amusing to propose marriage to a—”
Whoa! How in the blazes had she jumped from here to there?
“—to a spinster, simply to—” She drew in a great breath.
Before her runaway wagon could get any further down the wrong turnoff, he jumped into the fray. “Now hold up, right there.”
“Simply,” she poked him in the chest with that forefinger, “for amusement?”
Not sure how it happened, he found his fist wrapped ‘round her little hand. Darn, but it fit snug inside his own. Soft, too. Warm, and decidedly feminine.
She tried to yank free.
He tucked their clasped hands against the chill of his coat. He’d never seen such a pretty woman riled up over a misunderstanding. “Where’d you get the idea I proposed marriage?”
“Maybe not in so many words. But that’s what you wanted me to think, now isn’t it?”
Nothing could have prepared him for the way his heart knocked hard against his breastbone, all because this soft, captivating female thought he’d hurt her. On purpose.
He stroked a thumb over the edge of her finger.
True, it might have been the soft hiss of steam from the coffee pot or tea kettle, but he’d have sworn she sucked in a quick breath.
And it sure as shootin’ didn’t sound indignant. Or angry.
In fact she’d calmed, a good deal. “Adaline… may I call you Adaline?”
“Adaline.” He liked how her name rolled off his tongue. “Let me get this straight. You thought I’d proposed marriage.”
He watched her expression for tell-tale signs, ‘cause he genuinely wanted to know. Unbelievable, to think this woman was actually in a lather because he hadn’t proposed.
The beauty he’d wanted to start something with but had stayed away ‘cause he had to be in Cheyenne before Christmas and she— well, she was a lady and wouldn’t be interested in the likes of him.
“Just so I understand,” he murmured, easing the hand he held ever nearer his lips, peering into those captivating green-and-brown eyes, “you’re put out, angry, because I didn’t propose marriage?”
She shivered and he felt the movement all the way at the tips of her fingers.
He captured her gaze and waited for an answer.
“Yes.” She shook her head. “No.”
“Did I hear you say something ‘bout a spinster?” That seemed to bother her worse than anything else. Odd. Surely this sweet girl couldn’t be a day over twenty.
He tried not to smile. “I don’t scare so easy.” He dragged his lips over her knuckles. Not a kiss, exactly, but the touch of her skin fired his blood just the same.
Playing with fire.
“I’m here ‘til this is over, Adaline. Watching a big bank throw its weight around and cause trouble for a widow and her daughters just don’t sit right with me. We’re gonna work this out, side by side, you and me. Understand?”
Thanks for visiting with us today, Kristin.
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If you'd like to know more about The Drifter's Proposal, you can find the story in SILVER BELLES AND STETSONS Anthology!