Redheaded, mail order bride, Jenny Lindstrom, marries a stranger and within a few short months is a widow. Left with a homestead she is determinded to hang on to through conflicts, storms and a threatening bank loan, she has no time for romance..though two men think otherwise. Do either change her mind?

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Excerpt from Rustling Cottonwoods:

The young red-headed woman on the seat on the seat of the jouncing wagon sent a speculative glance from the brim of her modestly decorated hat. Her glance was directed at the short, stocky, slightly plump man sharing the seat—a man she had married not an hour ago—a man she had met that morning.

Ivan Lindstrom was certainly not a romantic figure, but in all truth, he had not misrepresented himself in their letter exchange. He’d made it clear in his cramped hand writing that he was not handsome—just a plain, regular sort. His words had stated that his neighbors could testify to his honesty and that he was hard worker. Due to his father’s death he had completed only eight years of schooling. He did not drink nor chew though he did like a pipe if she had no objections. His mother had not liked tobacco smoke. He had proved up on his homestead in addition to a tree claim quarter. His house was of sod, but it had four rooms with double-sashed windows. He had both a spring and a well on his land. His mother had passed away the past fall leaving him her homestead quarter to add to his own giving him a total of 480 acres of valley land.

Ivan’s newspaper advertisement had appeared in an early February issue of the Chicago Times to which surprisingly, Esther Bloom, Jenny’s tight-fisted sister-in-law subscribed.

It so happened that the former Jenny Bloom, the young woman on the wagon seat with the blazing red hair and pert nose lightly sprinkled with freckles, had ran across his advertisement. Her angry eyes had darted down the help wanted column of the paper spread on the table in the Illinois farm kitchen.

Woman to do ironing.

She’d known such jobs paid barely enough to keep body and soul together, if that. Her eyes had jumped to the next column.

Live-in housekeeper for widower with seven children.

Could lead to matrimony.

She’d wondered how many answers there would be to that particular advertisement. Not many, she’d bet. Her eyes had continued to scan the page until they fell on a simply stated advertisement.

Christian man needs helpmate on Nebraska farm.

Jenny had read such advertisements in the past, always wondering what type of people resorted to this method of finding a mate. What kind of a man had to advertise for a wife? What kind of woman would reply to a stranger living off in Timbuktu?

Perhaps one that felt trapped and desperate.

“Well, Jenny, my girl,” she had muttered to herself. “That describes you to a T.”