From the back of the book:
Ruby Steed will not be repressed! The cruel overseer of the orphanage cannot crush Ruby’s spirits, neither can bullies nor the machinating woman who forces Ruby into the position of unpaid lowly servant. Throughout all Ruby’s trials and troubles, she stands all the taller over time when others attempt to demean her. Just when Ruby feels at the end of her tether, near despairing; she sees and seizes an opened door that offers cheerful possibilities.
From cold orphanage out east to a luxuriant mansion out on the western frontier, freckled redhead Ruby forges a happy path out of obscurity, neglect and abuse; discovering windows revealing light on the horizon of her future. First, a joyful teacher and then favored governess, the young beauty is quite determined to remain content to love and nurture children of others, even as a host of men begin courting her attentions. Will Ruby Steed finally say yes to the love of a near perfect man who will give her earthly angels of her own?
Frontier Ruby was originally inspired by a doll. A fairly large, very limited edition, hand-made by the artist, almost life-sized little-girl doll. Bright red hair, freckles, big brown eyes and a cute little nose, and in a Victorian outfit. I wanted to buy her on the spot, but the price-point was well beyond my comfort zone. So, I kept a little picture.
Years later, still thinking about that little girl doll from time to time, and viewing her photo again and again, I began to imagine her grown up, and I liked to think of her back in the day, of course. In Victorian times. Out west.
So, my little Ruby started her life out east, where the original doll was made, and I brought her west to grow up into a beautiful young woman. Strong against her odds. Of course, I also gave her a true love happy ending.
A freckle inspired by darlin’ ‘Anne of Green Gables’, a generous dash of some ‘Jane Eyre’, and much more from my muse – with me at the keyboard. My daughter Brina (who is my main cover girl) did the portrait of my Ruby, with me over her shoulder pitching in my opinion on how she looked to me. Yes, this is just how I pictured Ruby.
“Frontier Ruby” is available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon: