Meet Maxine Douglas and Read About Elizabeth, Widows of Blessings Valley, Book 1 of American Western Historical Romance Series
Maxine writes in many genres and has found a love for the western historical romance. A Wisconsin native, Maxine resides in Chickasha. While Maxine may miss her family and friends in the north, she loves the mild winters Oklahoma has to offer. She has four grown children, two granddaughters, and a German Shorthair Pointer. And many friends she now considers her OK family.
Maxine’s western along the Chisholm Trail, The Marshal’s Bride, was a 2017 International Digital Award Finalist in the Western Historical-Short category.
Maxine is a current member of Romance Writers of America, Wisconsin Romance Writers of America, Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. and its affiliate Oklahoma Romance Writers Guild, Inc.
A Message From Maxine
While it is always a thrill for an author to start a new series, it is with heavy heart that I am compelled to write this one. I became a widow in April 2018 after a brief battle with cancer that took my love from me to be with our Lord. During those agonizing first few months so many questions flitted into my mind, along with the anger, grief, loneliness, and finally acceptance that my beloved was really gone from this realm. It was some of these questions that inspired this series. I hope that it will let other widows, and widowers, know that they are not alone with the crazy questions that come to mind. That as they wonder what is or isn’t appropriate, should they remove their rings, should they start dating, are they still married or now considered single, what is the proper mourning period in our modern times, when will the anger go away, and the list goes on and on. While I don’t expect this series to be the answers to the grieving, I do hope that I have somehow eased that feeling of being alone. Webster defines grief as “emotional suffering caused by or as if by bereavement” and a widow as a “woman who has lost her husband by death and has not married again.” If these definitions were as simple as they sound. To the Widows of Blessings Valley, these two words mean so much more. They mean living their lives without the one they gave their hearts and souls to. The one they vowed to love forever. It means crying themselves to sleep at night. It means trying to go on in a new life without knowing how. It means knowing no matter how much they try to heal they never really completely do. No matter how much they think they’ll never love again, they will but differently. They say time heals all things. That may be true or may not. All I know is the scab on my heart and soul was slowly peeled off and bled again over the months I wrote this book. But I had to write it regardless of my pain, tears, and sorrow.
I cannot promise all the books in the series will be the same emotionally. I'm not sure I want to feel the heartache all over and over again. Regardless I will tell their stories...the Widows of Blessings Valley.
About ELIZABETHA mining accident has killed several miners in Blessings Valley. Some of the widows are struggling through their grief to answer a widow’s question. With Wilhelmina “Willa” Alexander’s guidance, they just might each learn to live again.
Two people scarred by life. She carries the scars on her heart. He carries the scars on his body. Can they find peace, healing, and love together?
Elizabeth paused at the fireplace on her way out of her house and, as she so often did, gazed at their wedding picture. “Steven, I’m going to place the advertisement. It’s the only thing I can do.” Her eyes misted over. She sucked in a shaky breath. “I will not let them see me cry. I will be strong for both of us.” Shawl wrapped snuggly around her shoulders, Elizabeth began on a journey she thought she’d never have to take. “You can do this, Elizabeth. You have to.” She muttered softly, putting one foot in front of the other along the path she knew all too well. Looking up, Elizabeth’s gaze settled on the open church door, and a warm shiver slipped down her spine. Fannie Rochester, who’d lost her husband the same day Elizabeth had lost her Steven, stepped out into the morning sun. “Hello, Fannie,” Elizabeth called back, biting her tongue when all she wanted to do was lash out at Fannie. How could she find solace in church when God had taken their husbands from them? “Won’t you come in and sit with me?” Fannie offered, stepping closer. “Not today, Fannie, thank you.” Elizabeth waved as she continued on her way. She would never forget the pain of losing Steven. Not now. Not ever. “Maybe I should move into Willa’s boardinghouse, so I don’t have to pass the church ever again,” Elizabeth mumbled. Feeling her heart race, stealing her breath, she paused for a moment. “Go ahead, take me to join Steven, and I will go willingly.” She took deep breaths until her heart returned to its normal cadence then continued on her way.
Elizabeth rounded the corner leading into the heart of Blessings Valley. She loved this little mining community that had become home. The thought of having to leave it broke what was left of her already shattered heart. If she didn’t find work soon, she’d be on the first stage at the end of the month.
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