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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Now I'm giving away A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist!

To enter the contest to win this novel simply post a comment about whether or not you agree with the whole idea of mail order brides or not. Do you enjoy reading stories about people who don't know each other but have an arranged marriage anyway? Any favorite authors who write about these topics? I will pick a winner next Sunday, July 12th. I'll go first. I think with the shortage of women in the early west it made sense. I really like the mail order bride series written by Al Lacy. I've read all but two of them.


The Wedding Is All Planned...
Someone Just Needs to Tell the Bride

In 1860s Seattle, redwoods were plentiful but women scarce. Yet a man with a wife could secure 640 acres of timberland for free.

Joe Denton doesn't have a wife, though. His died before she could follow him to Seattle and now the local judge is threatening to take away his claim. In desperation, he buys himself a Mercer bride--one of the eastern widows and orphans brought to the Territory by entrepreneur Asa Mercer.

Anna Ivey's journey west with Mercer is an escape from the aftermath of the Civil War. She signed on to become a cook--not a bride. When she's handed over to Denton, her stubborn refusal to wed jeopardizes his land. With only a few months before he loses all he holds dear, can he convince this provoking, but beguiling, easterner to become his lawfully wedded wife?

My review:

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, A Bride in the Bargain. There isn't a single book Deeanne Gist has written that I haven't totally adored. In fact, this may very well be my favorite book that she has written thusfar. It wasn't as "edgy" as several others, but was a truly fabulous love story with a deep emotion theme and powerful choices each character had to make. For me that makes any story a real page turner. I found the conflict 100% believable and I was so involved in the stories I felt the characters' emotional pain. Tears literally welled in my eyes on several occasions. The attraction between the characters sizzled, but it wasn't merely physical in this story. I think that is what I enjoyed most about A Bride in the Bargain. The hero and heroine fell in love with each other as individual people, too. My heart pounded as they discovered each other and felt a real sense of loss when things went awry. My heart also got all warm and fuzzy inside as they worked things out. Isn't that why we ladies read romances to begin with? We want to smile and feel breathless and fall in love while reading a great romance. This story delivers on all counts. I highly recommend it.


Renee said...

I absolutely LOVE mail-order bride stories! They are my favorites to read! This is actually one of my favorite mail order bride stories! I was lucky enough to get an ARC before it was released and read it straight through in one sitting. I just love the idea of pretty much complete strangers meeting and marrying and trying to make a go of it!

Sherry Kyle said...

Hi, Michelle—

I LOVE Deeanne Gist's books! :)

In a world where it was difficult to find a woman, I think mail-order-brides made sense. Oh, who am I kidding? Could you imagine being that woman? Marrying a man you didn't know? But, it makes for GREAT story! And Deeanne knows how to tell one!


Little Missus Sunshine said...

I have only read a couple of stories related to mail-order brides. I can't say that I would like them all, but I do enjoy the struggle between the characters. This books sounds intriguing.

gahome2mom said...

Hmm, we'll, today I think most of prefer to pick our own mates. I do think this book will be an enjoyable read though. lol

gahome2mom at gmail dot com

Edwina said...

Had I lived in the 1800's when mail order brides were the norm, I'm not sure I would have wanted to be one, but I would have certainly understood the need. I have always enjoyed reading books about mail-order brides and how the conflict between the hero and heroine is resolved.
Please enter me in the drawing!

Sherry K said...

I agree with Michelle though it would be very scary to sign up to marry someone you didn't know. I do enjoy reading those kinds of stories. I loved Colleen Coble's "Lonestar Sanctuary" which was more a marriage of convenience than an arranged one. But I still enjoy the idea of two people coming together and with God's help they make it into something beautiful.

I do enjoy Deeanne's books. I love the cover of each one and this one is not exception.

Thanks for entering me in the drawing.

Sherry K

Jan said...

I would not want to be a mail order bride. It would be nice to know someone, to know their heart, their passions and desires before marrying them.

An author who came to mind with similar story content was Dorothy Clark. I enjoyed that read and would most definitely enjoy Deanne's story as well. So...pick me, pick me...

Sherri said...

I think mail order brides in the 1800's was probably more commonplace than people think, as well as a necessity. I agree with your thought about the lack of women out west. One of my favorite variations on the mail order bride theme is "Mail Order Husband" by Diann Mills. Very sweet romance.

Anonymous said...

THIS is a book i want to read! I've read all of her books so far, and have really enjoyed them!

Holly said...

I understand why people did it back in the olden days, but I do not understand why people have marriages of convenience in the modern era. I do enjoy reading books like this because it's nice to read about people making the best of a difficult situation. Perhaps they wouldn't have chosen this were it not for the circumstances, but they plow ahead and don't let the difficulties drag them down. I don't have a favorite author who writes about this topic, though I do enjoy Deeanne's other books as well as Cathy Marie Hake's western books.


Lindsey said...

I think I read some of the Al Lacy Mail-Order Bride books! I love reading about them, there are just so many possibilities and ways the story can go. My intro to them was through Janette Oke (I think it was A Bride for Donnigan) - I can hardly remember it but I know I loved it and read it more than once.

As to whether or not I agree with it... I guess I hadn't thought about it. If I had been in the right (wrong) situation and was desperate enough, I suppose I might have done it. Thankfully I didn't have to do that. ;-)

Thanks for the giveaway!

ladyufshalott at

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of mail order brides. I don't think I've ever read about any.

Stacey said...

I agree with you, Michelle. I think mail order brides made sense "back then". I love the idea of marrying for love - as I did :) - but I know that several members of my family (from my Grandmother's generation) who had arranged marriages and they worked. Isn't God good?

Please enter me in the contest. I adore DeeAnne's work. Thanks.


Carmen7351 said...

I never gave a thought to all the widows after the Civil War. For them to become mail-order brides would be a great way to give them hope for a new life. If a woman is willing to go and make the commitment, I think it's ok. I'm not sure I'd be one of them, though! I'd like to meet my man first!
desertrose5173 at gmail com
This sounds like one terrific book.

Sylvia M. said...

I like reading mail order bride stories. I doubt most of them were as romantic on real life though as they make them out to be in books. One of the best ones I have read is Karyn's Memory Box by Stephanie Grace Whitson.


Stina Rose said...

I do enjoy stories about mail order brides. I don't think that would work well in today's culture, but back on the frontier, that was the only chance that some men had at finding a wife. I believe that the women who took part were brave beyond belief. They didn't know what they were getting into when they signed on.

I should mention that my favorite book as a girl was "Sarah Plain and Tall." That is a classic tale of a mail order bride, with a great ending!

Thank you for this contest!

fredamans said...

Thank you for the entry.

I am on the fence about mail-order brides. I don't agree for the fact people should fall in love naturally first, then marry. However, if it wasn't for that system, I don't think my grandfather would have found love a second time around. She is from Russia, and close to his age, not a youngin'. They have many similarities, and now have been together for many years. So it can't be all bad, maybe just a little morally off.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

I love reading stories like that because I know it really happened in history and I can only imagine what it must have felt like, not knowing each other.

windycindy said...

I have known about a few men who have
gotten Russian brides from a catalog!
I believe the women are just wanting to come to America and thus it is not a good arrangement for the man or woman! Thanks, Cindi

Lela Fox said...

On the subject of mail order brides-- I think back in the beginning of the settling of the USA that it was common to order mail order brides because many women didn't accompany men when they went to claim their land and make a better life for themselves. It might have been ok to order brides back then but today is a totally different story. Many women want to come in the USA just to gain entry here and don't have good intentions of marrying the man once they get here. Just too much deceit today. Don't think it is necessary since there are more adequate ways of meeting people; church, school functions, many places to meet people.
Please enter me in the contest for the book by Deeanne Gist. Thanks!


Kathleen L. said...

I adore the inherent conflict of a mail-order bride tale. This one sounds especially well-written and researched. I am a huge Civil War buff, and I admit I have never heard of the Mercer brides. Would this be the same idea as the orphan trains?

If I were a man in a situation where a bride was necessary to stake a land claim, I am sure I would not have hesitated to go this route. How much different is it, for example, than modern-day e-Harmony or internet matches? Oops, have I just spawned a new sub-genre in mail-order fiction? heehee


~Ley said...

Mail order brides and/or arranged marriages are always fun to read about. I would never do it, but I can certainly understand the necessity of mail order brides back then. There simply weren't enough women around! Anyway, this sounds like yet another great book by Deeanne Gist, so enter me!


Anonymous said...

I love reading about mail order brides, arranged marriages or marriages of convenience between people who don't know each other. There is something about having already made that commitment to each other which makes it extra captivating to see if they can find their way to love.

Like you, I think it is a practice that made sense for the times.

Changing subjects here, I love the pictures you posted of desert scenery! My grandparents live in Tucson and so did I the year I was 20. I love it down there!


Carole said...

I don't know about the merits of mail-order brides, but the practice seemed to meet needs at a certain time in our country. It makes a good plot to plan a book around, though. I just wonder how many turned out as happy as those we read about.

I'd love to read Deeanne's book, so thank you for the giveaway, Michelle.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Amber S. said...

This book sounds really interesting! That's a tough question...I suppose that with most mail order brides it was the woman's decision to take the risk on whether or not the person she'd end up with would be "decent" or not. For them, perhaps it was a way to go West and know that in a sense they would be taken care of. It does make for an intriguing story, and I love the idea of love blossoming in unlikely places, by people who finally take the time to really know each other. I hope some of this makes sense! Also, I really like some of the books by Lori Copeland (like Ruth, Patience, etc.).

Anyway, thank you for a chance to win the book!


mez said...

I do like mail order bride stories. What a step of faith to trust your future to a stranger! A Bride for Donnigan by Janette Oke is a favorite.

A Bride in the Bargain is going on my "have-to-read"list. Thanks for a chance to win it.


Denise said...

Mail order brides makes for a very interesting story. I mean, the conflict is right there-someone needs a bride and the bride is unwilling! Do I agree with it? It totally depends on the person. I think it could work if the couples have the same spirit and goals in life.

Holly O said...

I find the topic of arranged marriage very interesting. I don't know that I agree with the idea, but I do enjoy reading about mail order brides. I don't have a favorite author in this genre, though I do enjoy Deeanne's other books, and Cathy Marie Hake's Old West style.


Kathryn said...

Do you agree with the whole idea of mail order brides?
1. I think that depending on the time period, that mail order brides were a necessary thing. Some women had no family and no money and that was their only way of surviving. Of course if they just wanted to meet someone and get married I think that mail order brides would still be acceptable and a good way to meet your potential husband. It's pretty much unheard of in today's society though, and can you imagine if it really did happen today??

Do you enjoy reading stories about people who don't know each other but have an arranged marriage anyway?
2. Yes! I really do. It makes things so much more interesting! I like reading about how they get to know each other within marriage and how they end of working things out and falling in love.

Any favorite authors who write about these topics?
3. The brides of the West Series by Lori Copeland comes to mind. But Deeanne Gist is still my favorite!

Thanks for your time! Enjoyed this!

Sally Bradley said...

Michelle, I love the idea of mail-order brides in a historical novel. In contemporary stories, though, I find it rather hard to believe. And risky! Good grief.

sallybradleywrites [at] gmail [dot] com

amweeks said...

Wow! I'm the first to comment! I have to admit that I've never given mail order brides a thought! I can't imagine it in this day & age...our individual choices as men AND women is just too important. BUT I guess there was a time in history that it made sense. I've never read any books in which I"ve encountered the practice.

Anonymous said...

Even though I enjoy reading a mail-order bride novel, I wouldn't have wanted to be in their shoes. They must've been incredibly brave!

Would love a chance to win.

ldneuhof at hotmail dot com

Aspen Kuenning said...

I would love a chance to win this book. I really enjoy all christian fiction and have recently enjoyed a couple of other Deanne Gist books. Thanks for the chance to win fun books.


Megan said...

This sounds like a super cute book! I hope I win!

megan.nadalet at gmail dot com

Katie said...

Please enter me for this book.... I would LOVE to read it it sounds GREAT!!!


Julie J. said...

I love reading stories of mail order brides! I think they were very brave back in the day, but that was also a different day and time. Most took their vows very seriously and stayed married no matter what. I haven't read many books about mail order brides but would love to add this one to my TBR pile!


Anita Yancey said...

I don't agree with the idea of mail order brides in real life, but I enjoy reading fiction books about them. Please enter me. Thanks!


Katherine said...

Please enter me for this book...Deeanne Gist is an awesome author!


Katherine said...

please enter me for this book...Deeanne Gist is an awesome author!


Anonymous said...

I don't agree with the whole mail-order bride topic. Women are people for goodness sake! Every woman should be able to choose for herself who her mate will be.

Please enter me in the July 2009 book giveaway! Thanks.

sugarandgrits said...

I LOVE reading about mail-order brides, but I could not imagine being one! It would be scary to have to move to a strange place, meet/marry a strange man (his children?), and be expected to cook, clean, take care of them, when you have no idea how they like things done!!! I'm not really an outgoing person, so I would be terrified!

I love all of Deeanne's books! I can't wait to read A Bride in the Bargain, it sounds just as wonderful as the others.


JenniferB said...

I wouldn't want to be a mail order bride- imagine wondering what kind of man you would get- Reading the arranged marriage stories are good because they always end up with some gorgeous and wonderful guy 99% of the time.

Michelle Sutton said...

and the winner is...

Sherry Kyle!

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