My Thoughts -Ellie’s Escape Author: Linda Shenton Matchett
About the Book
Book: Ellie’s Escape
Author: Linda Shenton Matchett
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release date: March 25, 2022
She’s running for her life. He needs a trophy wife. They didn’t count on falling in love.
Ellie Wagner is fine being a spinster school teacher. Then she witnesses a bank hold up and can identify the bandits. Fellow robbery victim Milly Crenshaw happens to run the Westward Home & Hearts Matrimonial Agency so she arranges for Ellie to head West as a mail-order bride. But her groom only wants a business arrangement. Can she survive a loveless marriage?
Banker Julian Sheffield is more comfortable with numbers than with people, but he’s done well for himself. Then the bank president tells him that in order to advance further he must marry in six weeks’ time. The candid, unsophisticated woman sent by the agency is nothing like he expected, but time is running out. When her past comes calling, does he have what it takes to ensure their future?
Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is a former trustee for her local public library. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry (of Star-Spangled Banner fame). Linda has lived in historic places all her life, and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.
More from Linda
One of my favorite tropes to use in a story is the proverbial “fish out of water,” so when it came time for me to brainstorm the idea for Ellie’s Escape, I made a list of situations that would be uncomfortable for my protagonists (see what we writers do to our poor characters?).
As a result, I sent my female protagonist from the crowded city of Boston, Massachusetts (population 362,000) to the remote reaches of Gunnison, Colorado (population 888) where because of its location in the Rocky Mountains is one of the coldest places in winter in the United States. Compared to Boston’s elevation of 141’, Gunnison’s elevation of over 7,700 feet had to seem dizzying to my poor girl. The research into Gunnison was very fun, and I was able to use my boss as a subject matter expert because he’d lived there for several years before moving to New Hampshire. I gave my painfully shy male protagonist a gregarious mail-order bride that he doesn’t quite know what to do with.
Here are a few fun facts about Gunnison:
The Gunnison River drops an average of forty-three feet per mile through Black Canyon which is SIX times more than the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.
Standing at 2,250 feet from river to rim, Black Canyon’s Painted Wall is the tallest cliff in Colorado, and nearly twice as tall as the Empire State Building.
The town is named for a man who only stayed for three days – explorer John W. Gunnison who was searching for a route for the transcontinental railroad.
A little-known site for gold and silver mining, Gunnison and the surrounding area produced a reported 130,000 ounces of gold.
Gunnison residents isolated themselves during the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918. All highways were barricaded near the county lines, and train conductors warned passengers that if they got off the train in Gunnison, they’d be arrested and quarantined for five days.
Comment and name a fun fact about where you live for your chance to win the grand prize.
Linda Shenton Matchett
Ellie’s Escape is written by Linda Shenton Matchett. This is part of the Westward Home and Hearts Mail Order Brides series. I have not read any other books in the series. This can be read as a stand alone. One of the things that I love about this author is all the historical details she puts into her book. She really makes sure she brings history to life. This book is set in 1878.
Ellie was left at the alter and has accepted the fact that she will be a spinster. One day she goes into the bank to open up an account with her savings and the bank is robbed. She sees one of their faces and is threatened. Milly Crenshaw the owner of Westward Home and Hearts matrimonial agency overhears it and suggests Ellie as a mail order bride. Ellie agrees.
Julian has worked hard to get where he is in the banking world. He is a young bank manager and hopes to become president some day. However his boss has informed him that he needs to take a wife if he wants to see his career advance. He does not know one thing about women. The bank president has already placed an add with the Westward Home and Hearts agency.
When Ellie and Julian meet they do not get off tons good start. He starts to criticize her right away. She is worried that she has made a mistake. They are married right away and they soon settle into a routine. I just love mail order bride books. I love seeing how the characters get to know each other. Ellie has a strong Christian faith while Julian doubts God listens.
This is a sweet historical novella. The book moves fast but the author does a wonderful job with her story. The author is one of my favorite historical fiction authors.
Thank you to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this book. All thoughts are my own