Kansas Crossroads

When Adam Brody receives a generous inheritance from his father, it's with the stipulation that he do something worthwhile with it. The year is 1875. The railroad is ever pushing west. People are relocating in droves, seeking adventure or a fresh start. What better way for Adam to invest his money than to build a hotel that will cater to the needs of those thousands of travelers?

Of course, he can't do this alone. He asks his aunt to join him in Topeka, Kansas, from her home in New York City to be in charge of hospitality while he runs the business. He brings on other employees, fresh-faced young ladies, to prepare and serve the food, as well as a porter and a maintenance man. This mixture of widely varying personalities becomes nearly as much of a challenge as carving a living out of the dusty land. With all his money spent on setting up the hotel, if Adam can't make a go of it, he'll have nothing left.

Book #1: A New Beginning (free - click to download)

Handsome young heir Adam Brody sees nothing but possibilities in the sprawling old building he's just purchased. With a little hard work, he will transform it into a hotel to meet the needs of those traveling by railroad. Aunt Caroline believes he's lost his mind, but she agrees to help him give it a try.

Left a widow with a small daughter, Elizabeth Caldwell must find work. When she sees an advertisement in the newspaper inquiring about cheerful young women to work in a hotel, she decides to apply. However, the hotel owner specifically requested single ladies, so she must hide her former marital status, and her child, if she wishes to get the job.

With cloudy pasts to overcome, both Adam and Elizabeth want to believe in a bright future. Will they find the strength they need in each other, or will their differences keep them apart?   

Book #2: A Free Heart (click to purchase)

Harriet Martin left her plantation home in Atlanta and came to Kansas with one thought on her mind—finding the mother of the man she was supposed to marry. She will never find peace or be able to move on until she knows that Jane, a former slave, is safe and happy.

Tom White wants nothing more than to be his own man—traveling where he will, taking whatever jobs come his way, moving on again when he gets feeling itchy. Now working at the Brody Hotel, he starts to put down roots for the first time since he was forced to leave his home at the age of fifteen. 

Both stubborn, independent, and free spirited, Harriet and Tom have more in common than either one wants to admit. By the same twist of fate, they each have exactly what the other needs—if destiny will allow them to find the happiness they’ve been seeking.

Book #3: The Dark and the Dawn (click to purchase)

Jeanette Peterson and her sister, Abigail, are running from a dark past and hiding from an even darker future. When they happen upon the Brody Hotel in Topeka, Kansas, they're given a chance at a whole new life, one where they can choose who they want to become. When Jeanette assists the town doctor with a difficult case, she realizes she has a calling and a passion to become a nurse.

Dr. Phillip Wayment is a set-in-his-ways bachelor, more than happy to run his medical practice alone. When Jeanette asks him to mentor her, he's hesitant at first, not wanting some woman underfoot. But as they work together, he comes to realize how valuable she is to his career ... and to him. Will the secrets from her past ruin what they've built?

Book #4: A Clean Slate (click to purchase)

Olivia Markham is a socialite from New York City who came to Topeka with one goal—to marry Adam Brody. But Adam has married someone else, and Olivia has nowhere to go. Taking a job at the Brody Hotel requires her to swallow her pride, but she has no choice in the matter. Now she must learn to adjust to simple living and wearing cotton dresses—cotton, when she should be wearing silk.

Pastor Robert Osbourne has taken on the huge responsibility of overseeing the spiritual welfare of a large congregation, and at times, he feels overwhelmed. He preaches on Sunday morning, but by Monday night, everything he’s said has been diluted by the alcohol at the saloons. He wonders if he’s doing any good for the people at all.

Olivia doesn’t see a need for God in her life. Robert can’t imagine living without Him. Drawn together for reasons neither can understand, can they find a way to overlook their differences and realize that love doesn’t have to make sense to be real?

 Book #5: A Clear Hope (click to purchase)

As a daughter, an older sister, and now a hotel waitress, Abigail Peterson is used to taking care of everyone around her. When a nameless stranger collapses on the train platform and is brought to the Brody Hotel to recover, Abigail steps in to nurse her back to health.

Deputy Marshal Gabriel Hanks has seen a lot of violence in his life, and now he works every day to fight it. A man has been murdered, and it’s Gabe’s job to determine the innocent and prosecute the guilty. When that quest puts him at odds with the girl he’s growing to love, he has to choose between justice, mercy, and his heart.

In a world where right sometimes feels wrong and wrong sometimes goes unpunished, can these two come together to create a clear hope?

Book #6: The Whisper of Morning (click to purchase)

Caroline Hampton is an unmarried, independent woman, able to come and go as she pleases. Working as the manager of the Brody Hotel has suited her, giving her both a home and a career. But lately, she has begun to feel restless, wondering what else might be out there for her.

Since the death of his wife, Wallace Dupree has spent his time alone, working as a train conductor and reading poetry. When he catches sight of the beautiful Miss Hampton, he realizes that a second chance just might be in his future. First, though, he has to convince her to give it a try.

Can a man with a soft heart and an iron will win the heart of a woman who has sworn to remain single forever?

Book #7: A Careless Wind (click to purchase
When Rachel's fiance was killed in a railroad accident, leaving her with nowhere to go, she came to the Brody Hotel as a last resort. With the help of her new friends, she found comfort and healing, and now she believes herself as content as she can be. But when Nicholas Hardy, her fiance's brother, walks into her dining room, her world falls out from under her. Everything she thought she believed about herself, and him, is called into question. 
Nicholas wanted a life of adventure with the girl of his dreams by his side, but the death of his brother cast a pall on everything he'd hoped for. When he sees Rachel again, he thinks life has given him a second chance, but then an injury threatens to take everything away from him again. 

Two souls looking for a place to call home . . . and wondering if just by chance, they can find that home together.

Book #8: A Narrow Road (click to purchase)

With her checkered past, Margaret Smith doesn’t expect that she’ll ever fall in love again. She’s happy as she is, surrounded by good friends, but she still sometimes wonders if there isn’t something more.

Career cowboy Wade Watkins loves nothing better than the wide-open spaces of the prairie, but when a chance encounter with a beautiful waitress sends her sprawling into the dirt, he begins to rethink his priorities.

One is coming to terms with her past. The other is looking for a door into his future.

Book #9: The Bitter and the Sweet (click to purchase)  
A year ago, Sarah Palmer was utterly humiliated in every possible way while visiting her cousin in Denver. She vowed she'd never go back to that awful place, but then she gets a letter telling her that her aunt has fallen ill and would like to see her . . . in Denver. 

Stephen Howard feels terrible for the way his family treated Miss Palmer the previous summer, and wishes he could do something to make up for it. When she returns to Denver to visit her aunt, he realizes that this could be his chance. 

Two people from two entirely different walks of life, so different and yet so much the same. As they navigate all the roadblocks keeping them apart, will they learn to endure the bitter so they can eventually taste the sweet?

Book #10: The Calm of Night (click to purchase)

 A harsh winter storm has blown into Topeka, making train travel impossible and trapping people in their homes. No one can leave the Brody Hotel, either, not without risking their safety in the whiteout.

Nancy Ann Morgan has taken a job at the hotel after being thrown out by her mother, who is still grieving the death of her husband, a Union soldier. Timothy Hancock is the son of a Confederate lieutenant. When the storm forces them together, they must overcome their differences - or lives could be lost, including theirs.

Book #11: A Begrudging Bride (click to purchase)

Suddenly left an orphan and forced to leave behind her beloved Kentucky ranch, Camille Waterford answers an ad for a mail-order bride and begins her journey to Wichita, where she will begin her new life. When she reaches Topeka, however, she's plagued with doubt, and decides to remain where she is, taking a job at the Brody Hotel. She plans to pay her groom back for whatever he spent to bring her out west, but she just can't go through with the wedding. He's not happy when he hears the news, but she needs to find her own path and discover for herself what love really is.

Book #12: A Twisted Fate (click to purchase)
Giselle Hardy has worked at the Brody Hotel for quite some time now, and believes she's seen everything. But when a dead deer suddenly lands on the kitchen porch, placed there by a handsome hunter, she has to admit, it takes her by surprise.

Jesse McVey is a man stuck between two worlds - that of the Indians and the white men. He has loyalties on both sides and would rather not choose, but at times, he seems he must - like when it comes to choosing a white wife.

When Jesse's half-blooded sister is put in danger by men who would see her dead, Jesse and Giselle work together to keep her safe - but how can they really protect her from prejudice? And will their own differences bring them together, or drive them farther apart?

Book #13: An Unspoken Dream (click to purchase)
Grace McAllister never asked to be put in charge at the Brody Hotel, but when the dining room manager left to go on her honeymoon, she asked Grace to take over for her. Now Grace is trying to balance the needs of her customers, the challenges of the waitresses, and the attention of a man she absolutely loathes.

Gilbert Howard hasn't had the best of luck with the waitresses at the Brody and has sworn them off altogether, but when he comes to Topeka to discuss a business proposition with his brother, he can't help but be charmed by the pretty blonde girl who runs the dining room. The trick will be convincing her that he's changed.

One girl who wants to be loved, and one man who is just learning that he has love to give . . .

Book #14: A Joyful Noise (click to purchase)
Georgia Baker has worked at the Brody Hotel for several months now with only her employers knowing her secret - she's almost completely deaf. It doesn't stop her from doing her job, though, as she has learned how to read lips, and she gets along quite well.

Pinkerton detective Chet Larsen has come to Topeka on a special case - a train carrying a king's ransom in gold is coming through town, and his sources tell him it's going to get robbed. His duty is to stop that robbery if he's able, possibly saving lives in the process.

When the pretty waitress at the hotel stumbles onto additional information in the case, he realizes that her help might be just what he needs for his job . . . and her love might be just what he needs in his life.

*Kansas Crossroads Novellas*

A Broken Wing (click to purchase)
Bored beyond all reason while riding a train from Missouri to Colorado, Trinity Scott amuses herself by imagining things about the passengers around her, including the handsome man sitting across the aisle. With his dark curly hair and warm brown eyes, he’s certainly intriguing, and the fact that his arm is in a sling makes him all the more a curiosity.

But when three dangerous men board the train, her desire for adventure and excitement takes a sinister turn, and she must call on her inner strength to do what’s needed to survive.

The Echo of Music - included in Gunsmoke and Gingham (click to purchase)

When acclaimed opera singer Orinda Lou Britt loses her voice, she leaves the stage and her home in Chicago to live in Topeka, where no one knows her and she can start over again. Along with her, she brings her cherished heirloom piano, a gift from her grandmother.

Nathan Perry travels the country tuning pianos in every town, and there is no one Orinda Lou trusts more. But when it comes time for her piano to be repaired, Nathan seems nowhere to be found, and when he does finally arrive, the reason for his absence may drive them apart forever.

The Risk and the Reward - included in Pistols and Poplin (click to purchase)

Sybil James has worked her way up and is now employed as the ladies' maid for Lady Douglas, a wealthy woman of distinction. When Lady Douglas decides to travel to America to visit her son, she gives the girl a chance to see the world and experience things she could only dream about before.
Grant Douglas is enjoying his life as an American businessman, all the while knowing that he'll eventually return to England to run the family estate. Circumstances force his hand early and he must drop everything to set things to rights--one of those things being the stewardship of a lovely young ladies' maid who finds herself without a home. 

Two very different worlds collide . . . two hearts must decide what it is they most want