Absolutely, yes!

I know it’s not beyond the realm of believable history (in the young and expanding United States), because of an article that appeared in the Petaluma Courier of Petaluma, California, on March 18, 1885. Petaluma, California wasn’t the specified location–instead, this situation occurred in Pembina county [sic], D.T. (Dakota Territory):

The Petaluma Courier of Petaluma, California on March 18, 1885.

Pembina county, D.T.

Frontier doctor Dr. Charles Boarman Harris, one of the original pioneers to settle in Pembina, was the first county physician. He delivered over 3,000 babies born in the region between 1882 and 1942. Image: Courtesy of Wikipedia. Public Domain. (I encourage you to read Dr. Harris’s story on Wikipedia. He arrived in Pembina, D.T. in 1881, and married in 1886–a woman he met there. Dr. Harris was the first doctor in the county facing floods, thunderstorms, and harsh winters of the Upper Midwest). Dr. Harris would have known (given he knew everybody in the county) if this newspaper advertisement out of California was a hoax…or the honest truth.

Pembina county and The Bride Lottery

I found this newspaper article advertisement–and nearly squealed with delight.

I had to wonder… Did young women heed the call of men in Dakota Territories (D.T.)? Would marriage records or applications for marriage licenses (vintage records) show an increase in the latter half of 1885? Would census records show an increase in households containing wives (and eventually, children)? Could this notice have been a mail-order bride scam? (I don’t see how…unless men in Pembina county [sic](standard spelling with a lower-case ‘c’ for county, in the late 19th century) hoped to make easy targets of the men who might flock there, hoping to find a surplus of pretty, unattached women.) Did the men send one trusted fellow, east to Boston, much like Asa Mercer’s famous “Mercer Maids”–imported, marriageable women, to balance the gender imbalance in the Pacific Northwest.

The Bride Lottery, 2017 Edition, has a freshly redesigned cover. The interior has received a make-over, too. Errors corrected, improved formatting, and minor changes to existing scenes. The story remains essentially the same. The paperback edition received the same updates (the 2017 paperback edition will be live today or tomorrow).

This newspaper advertisement immediately brought to mind my series in progress, Prosperity’s Mail-Order Brides. Book 1, The Bride Lottery, has been available since 2014, and because readers received it with such excitement, the book ended up on the top of five or six Amazon bestseller lists that summer (July 2014). I gave away a few thousand copies (in a FREE promotion), and much later had the good luck of a BookBub promotion–which netted thousands of readers and to date, 303 reviews on Amazon plus 348 ratings (with 46 reviews) on Goodreads. I recently commissioned an updated cover for the 2017 Edition (corrections inside, adding the series badge to the cover, etc.)–and the updated, corrected edition with its lovely new cover is already live on Amazon. The paperback version should be ready today or tomorrow.

I really should have focused on more books in this series, rather than become distracted with other projects, other opportunities, and other commitments. To write several more books in that series in 2014 and 2015 would have been strong business strategy. I might be a lot of things, but a savvy businesswoman? Let’s just say I’m continuously learning.

But the good news is I have two more titles in this series well-begun. Books 2 and 3 have names, characters chosen, and BOOK COVERS! I’m pleased to share the new book covers. Aren’t they gorgeous!

When will books 2 and 3 be released?


My plan is one before the holidays and one after. In a perfect world, I could make that happen with ease. I’ve not disclosed much about my personal circumstances, as I think it’s wise to keep personal matters personal and professional matters professional…but I’ll say my dry spell has everything to do with health issues, and nothing to do with a lack of interest or a lack of ideas.

You’re invited to visit my website page about The Bride Lottery, where I’ve shared more than the blurb from the back cover. You’ll find links to the Pinterest Page (containing images I used for inspiration, location details, historical photographs, etc.), as well as links to many more blog articles I’ve posted that are connected to the story.

Copyright © 2017 Kristin Holt LC