Sunday, October 13, 2019

Book Blog Tour and Giveaway: A Distance Too Grand (American Wonders Collection, Book One) by Regina Scott

(American Wonders Collection, Book One)
Genre: Historical Fiction / Christian Romance
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: October 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 384

Scroll down for the giveaway!
Meg Pero has been assisting her photographer father since she was big enough to carry his equipment, so when he dies she is determined to take over his profession--starting with fulfilling the contract he signed to serve on an Army survey of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in 1871. What she doesn't realize is that the leader of the expedition is none other than the man she once refused to marry.

Captain Ben Coleridge would like nothing more than to leave without the woman who broke his heart. He can't afford to be distracted during this survey, which is a screen for another, more personal mission, one he cannot share with any member of his team.

As dangers arise from all sides--and even from within--Meg and Ben must work together to stay alive, fulfill their duties, and, just maybe, rekindle a love that neither had completely left behind.

Chapter One, Part Two of
A Distance Too Grand
By Regina Scott

Fort Wilverton, Arizona Territory, August 1871

Truly, had there ever been two more different siblings? Her father had been joyful, carefree, expansive in gesture, vocabulary, and choice of living. His widowed younger sister seemed grim, weighed down, and tight-­laced in body and spirit. Her son, Meg’s cousin, had been equally as restricted.

“You can have no further use for that camera equipment,” Cousin Harold had maintained, standing with his arms crossed over his broad chest in the door of the prison cell of a room they’d given her. “By rights, it should be mine. I’m sure I could get a pretty penny for it.”

Over her dead body.

Neither of them understood. She loved the trade she’d been baptized into, the way the world opened through the lens of her camera. It was a challenge and an art to choose the exact right angle, the exact right light, to create something extraordinary out of the ordinary, to share a glimpse of the divine. How could they ask her—­no, order her—­to give it up, as if it were something shameful?

Papa had refused to allow her gender to get in the way of their trade. He’d taken her with him to the edge of the battlefield and the wilds of the frontier. She’d met women who nursed wounded soldiers, taught natives to read and write, forged a home in untamed territory. She knew her life didn’t have to be confined to the sitting room and the kitchen.

Aunt Abigail and her son had other ideas. They seemed to view her gender as a limitation, and one that must never be overcome. She’d only met one other woman with such rigid ideals. A shame she’d been the mother of the man Meg had thought she might love.

She’d tried to play the demure miss for a time when her father had had a studio. She’d taken tea in the afternoon, attended balls and soirees. She’d never fit in. Indeed, she sometimes wondered whether she was constitutionally capable of it. Her ideas, her hopes, her skills were as expansive as her father’s. She’d escaped her aunt’s narrow expectations by working with a friend of her father’s to sneak her equipment out of the house and used the money Papa had left her to purchase the transportation she’d need to head West. She’d escape this clerk’s expectations as well. Too much depended on it—­her freedom, her future.

“Perhaps you should speak with Captain Coleridge,” she said, straightening. “He signed the contract. Only he can renegotiate it.”

“Colonel Coleridge signed that,” the clerk said. “He went missing two months ago. Our interim officer in charge of the fort, Colonel Yearling, will back me up. He likes regulations.”

Meg frowned. “So is Mr. Coleridge a colonel or a captain?”

“Both,” said a familiar voice behind her.

Summer turned to winter. She must have been staring at the clerk, for he was reddening. She rather thought she was white.

God, if you’re still there, if you still care, not him. Not now.

“Is there a problem, Corporal?” the man behind her asked. Oh, but she couldn’t mistake that voice, even ringing with command. It seemed God wasn’t going to answer this prayer either, just as he hadn’t seen fit to allow her father to survive his illness.

Corporal Dent squared his shoulders. “No, sir. This citizen says she’s to go on the survey expedition to the North Rim, but it’s clearly a mistake. I can deal with the likes of her.”

Meg bristled, but the voice behind her was now all commiseration. “No need to be rude, Corporal. I’d be happy to explain the situation to the lady. If you’d tell me your name, miss?”

So well meaning. That was one of the traits that had originally drawn her to him. That and his unrelenting confidence. Easy to turn now, to greet her long-­lost love, to let him convince her she should go back home.

But there was no home and never would be if she didn’t win this commission.

She raised her chin and turned. Even though she knew who she would find behind her, the sight of Benjamin Coleridge still shook her. That shock of golden-­brown hair, so thick
and silky; those blue-­gray eyes that could look deep inside her. The chiseled chin that could soften with emotion, that strong physique outlined in the navy wool of his uniform jacket, two silver bars on his shoulders. Oh, but she could hear the ladies sighing from here.

Once more she put on her best smile. “Good afternoon, Captain Coleridge. I must insist that I join your expedition. I’m your photographer.”

Ben Coleridge stopped, hand extended in greeting. He’d assumed he’d been about to meet someone’s sweetheart or sister. But Meg Pero? Here? How? Had the Arizona sun addled his wits?

Just looking at her took him back to West Point, the walks among the trees, the stolen moments at balls. She was as beautiful as he remembered, pale blonde hair wound up under a surprisingly practical broad-­brimmed straw hat, figure swathed in a dark wool cloak. The fire in those green eyes dared him to argue with her. He never had been able to argue, even to beg her to stay.

He inclined his head as he pulled back his hand. “Miss Pero. I take it you’re here with your father.”

She raised her chin a little higher, all bravado, though her cheeks held little color. He remembered them pink with delight, soft to his touch.

“My father passed away,” she said.

Sorrow washed over him. Matthew Pero had been a friendly fellow, always ready to talk, to laugh. His daughter had been much like him. The two had been nearly inseparable, unlike him and his father.

“My condolences,” he said. “Your father was a good man, and a great photographer.”

That determined chin inched higher. “Which is why I intend to carry on his work.”

Corporal Dent’s sigh was audible. “You see, Captain? She won’t listen.”

She never had. Meg Pero did what she liked and never mind the consequences. He’d had to accept her decision once. Not this time.
Click to finish reading chapter one of A Distance Too Grand.
"Five stars is not a rating I usually bestow. But Regina Scott's A Distance Too Grand merits it. Lively, realistic, engaging characters. A compelling and intriguing plot with life and death consequences kept me turning pages. I hated to put the book down."--Lyn Cote, Carol Award-winning author

"Adventure, danger, and romance in a wonderful, fresh setting: the Grand Canyon of 1871. Readers will find much to love." --Julie Klassen, bestselling author

"Regina has done an excellent job of bringing the setting and characters to life. I could see and feel the canyon and picture the characters going about their tasks. A balance of mystery, romance, and adventure with enough factual information that I almost felt I could take over for the heroine. I highly recommend this book." -- Linda Ford, award-winning, fan-favorite author of the Glory, Montana series

Regina Scott is the author of more than 40 works of warm, witty historical romance. Her writing has won praise from Booklist and Library Journal, and she was twice awarded the prestigious RT Books Reviews best book of the year in her category. A devotee of history, she has learned to fence, driven four-in-hand, and sailed on a tall ship, all in the name of research. She and her husband of 30 years live south of Tacoma, Washington, on the way to Mt. Rainier.
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FIRST PRIZE: Copy of A Distance Too Grand + 2020 National Parks Calendar;
SECOND PRIZE: Copy of A Distance Too Grand  + Grand Canyon Candle;
THIRD PRIZE: Copy of A Distance Too Grand  + Parks Pencil Set

October 8-October 18, 2019

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