With the publication of The 12 Brides of Summer in book form, you can now read Michelle Ule’s The Sunbonnet Bride on an actual page.
Instead of in pixels!
A sequel to her 12 Brides of Christmas story, The Yuletide Bride, The Sunbonnet Bride revisits the community of Fairhope, Nebraska during the summer of 1875.
The players are all the same, except for the new seamstress in town, Sally, and her family and neighbors from nearby farms.
While Kate and Ewan from The Yuletide Bride have settled down into married life together, Kate’s brother Malcolm is struggling to find peace of mind. He’s working as a teamster, has finally mastered basic math skills, but feels large and awkward around the beautiful new seamstress in town: Sally Martin.
Sally has come to the town of Fairhope in a tizzy of joy. A larger community, clothes and hats to make, people to meet, a church to attend. Life looks glamorous compared to the farm eight miles away where she lived with her father and younger sister.
Her father understands the odds and wants the best for his girls. He sends Sally to work in town to pave the way for a brighter future than farm life.
Her clever needle, vivacious charm and earnestness attract Malcolm, but also banker Josiah Finch, returned to town to take over his father’s bank.
The polished, comparatively urbane Josiah paints a pretty picture for Sally of a life making hats and dressing the local townswomen from her own shop.
She likes the idea of her own business, but she’s got to earn some money first.
Things come to a head when a tornado sweeps through the farmlands and her father and neighbors lose their home and barns.
While Malcolm harnesses his horses and heads out with Ewan to help, Josiah trails behind on his fine stallion.
One of the men gets his hands dirty.
The other does not.
As Fairhope rallies to help those in need, Sally and her father see the difference between the men’s hearts.
But are they so different in their desire to help or in their ways of helping?
Josiah, perhaps, puts the question best: Do you want to marry a man who gets his hands dirty or one who uses his brain?
Is it a sin to make a profit on someone else’s fund raiser?
Will Ewan and Fairhope ever really love the bagpipes?
All this and more, including an incident with a blackberry pie, await readers of The Sunbonnet Bride.
Inspiration for The Sunbonnet Bride came from several areas.
“I’d been thinking about how a community comes together to help those in need and how that played out in a prairie setting. I took some of my inspiration from events in the Little House books as well as movies.”
Malcolm’s fear of finding leeches on his legs while helping Sally cut reed, came directly from Laura Ingalls Wilder‘s On the Banks of Plum Creek. The pie contest and dancing scenes come from two of her favorite movie musicals: Oklahoma and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
While she originally planned to use the infamous grasshopper invasion for the natural calamity, a 15,000 word novella wasn’t long enough to explore the idea well. A trip to an IMAX film about natural disasters convinced her a tornado would serve the purpose much better.
Michelle also explores the morality of making a profit.
“I’ve had a number of friends start businesses that ended up being under capitalized. I wanted to encourage anyone thinking about starting a business to think through some of the questions both Josiah and Malcolm ask the aspiring shop owner, Sally.”
The two stories, The Yuletide Bride and The Sunbonnet Bride, provide fun bookends for two seasons of the year.
The Yuletide Bride is still available for 99 cents here.
Michelle Ule is the author of five historical novellas and the Navy SEAL novel, Bridging Two Hearts, all published through Barbour.
She is currently writing a biography, Mrs. Oswald Chambers, which will be published by Baker Books in fall, 2017
A native of southern California and a graduate of UCLA, she trained as a newspaper reporter and loves writing her blog on Tuesdays and Fridays each week.
This is her fourth book with Margaret Brownley and third with Vickie McDonough. The Log Cabin Christmas Collection, The Pioneer Christmas Collections and The 12 Brides of Christmas Collection were all best sellers.
For more about her, examine this website! 🙂
You can also follow her on
She has a Pinterest board for The Sunbonnet Bride here.
A strong teamster or a pristine banker. How’s a girl to choose? Click to Tweet
Sunbonnet Bride–a tornado, leeches, music, romance and fun! Click to Tweet
Is it a sin to make a profit on someone else’s fund raiser? Click to Tweet
We’re offering six autographed (by all 12 authors) copies of The 12 Brides of Summer Collection in a Goodreads Giveaway May 18-June 1. Enter the Giveaway by following the link below!
The 12 Brides of Summer Collection can be purchased at all major booksellers, as well as here.