The Clocksmith of Her Dreams (Preview)

Chapter One

May 1885

New Rhineland, Maine

Milly clutched her suitcase’s handle firmly and, shifting her shoulders to the side, tried to slide the carpet bag’s strap back onto her shoulder. The stupid thing! It slipped off continually as though her shoulders sloped to the left. Which she was certain they didn’t.

It slid right off, and she was forced once again to stop in the middle of the street to adjust it.

Today of all days, she needed things to go as planned. Just for once. Just for now. Things could fall apart later, but she had to get to the train. It was imperative that she get there. Her whole future happiness was depending on it.

With gritted teeth, she hoisted the bag back in place and soldiered on across the street. She had her head down, hoping no one she knew would see her. It helped that a fine drizzle was falling out of the grey, cloudy sky, and everyone around her had their heads down in the collars of their coats too. Even the rain sliding down her neck couldn’t ruin this moment, this feeling of impending freedom.  The only thing to ruin all her careful planning would be for her folks to show up now and stop her. That would be a disaster.

Milly was upset about leaving like this, but her family hadn’t given her much choice. No choice, in fact. It was either marry Arnold Weisz or run away. Those were her options, and they hadn’t even considered one of them. She had chosen the latter because the former was her worst nightmare.

This terrible state of affairs had come about a mere three weeks ago when, at the end of a rather pleasant April day, the rain had stopped for more than a minute, and the sun had come out, Arnold had come calling.

It was a miracle they had been home. The McDonalds ran the local bakery and were not often found in their neat little townhouse off Elm street. Milly’s younger sister Annie had answered the door. Thinking that Arnold had come by with the meat for the week, she’d been about to call their mother when Arnold had asked her to rather call Milly. 

“Milly?” Annie had asked, all frowns. 

“Yes,” Arnold had said in his nasal voice. 

Milly had the misfortune to wander into the entrance hall at that point and see her sister and Arnold. Her nose could have told her it was him at the door without her having to lay eyes on him. Working as he did all day, the man had the pervasive and not at all pleasant odor of a butcher about him. It seemed to seep from his pores and was only one of the many things Milly didn’t like about him. 

What happened next made her like him even less.

“Ah, Mildred,” he’d said using her proper name. “I’m so glad you’re here. I wanted to speak to you and your parents.” 

Taken completely by surprise, Milly had frowned and nodded her assent. Understanding that as an invitation to touch her arm, Arnold had clutched her gently enough and steered her through her own house. Despite her admittedly incoherent protestations, he had insisted on going into the parlor where her parents were pouring over the bakery’s books. Naturally, being cordial folks and well liked in their little town of New Rhineland, Maine, the McDonalds had invited him to sit and have tea. 

Milly had wanted to leave to get the tea, but her mother had cast a look at Annie hovering in the doorway and let her do it. Why she’d been sequestered into the parlor was beyond Milly’s understanding. Had she done something to Arnold of late that had upset him enough to make him want her parents to weigh in on it? She couldn’t think she had. They had a mutual dislike for each other, but it was never truly hostile.

“I suppose you must be wondering why I’ve come by,” Arnold had said, perched on the edge of their sofa. 

He was a pudgy fellow with dark hair, a reddish nose, and small, hooded eyes. During this interview, they never left Milly for long, making her feel terribly uncomfortable. Did he expect her to pounce on him like a cat on a mouse?

“Well, the thought had crossed our minds,” Milly’s mother, Audrie, had admitted. Her kind brown eyes darted from Arnold to Milly, searching for something. Of course, Milly had been powerless to give her mother any hint as she had none herself. 

“I’ve come,” Arnold had said, his hands visibly shaking as they held the teacup and saucer, “For Mildred’s hand in marriage.” 

His words had sunk into the room like a lead balloon. 

Milly had almost choked on her tea. Having just taken a sip, she sprayed it all over the coffee table. Her mother’s look of indignation and embarrassment at her behavior would forever haunt Milly. Still, she’d had no control over herself at that point. How could one when something so monumental was flung casually at one from nowhere? 

“Marry…you…?” she’d stammered. “But we hardly know each other.” 

Which wasn’t true. They’d known each other, and she’d thought, disliked each other since the first day of school. He’d pulled her hair, dipped the ends of her braids in ink and glue, making her honey blonde hair green, and he’d fed her lunch to the geese at the pond habitually. Arnold Weisz had been a horrible bully that she had actively tried to avoid. Why would she want to marry him?

After all of that, why would he want to marry her?

“Oh, that is wonderful!” her mother had gushed. Her words were soured a little by the look of utter surprise and incomprehension on her face. Milly suspected she was reacting automatically without the words actually sinking into her head. How could she think this was good?

Her father had been more reserved and had at least glanced at Milly before smiling and offering Arnold his hand to shake. “Well, this is good news,” Andrew McDonald had said in his booming voice, and that was it. Just like that. 

It was incomprehensible. Without so much as a ‘by your leave,’ Milly’s doom had been set. 

Later that evening, she’d asked her mother why no one had thought to ask her if marrying Arnold was what she wanted. 

“Oh Milly,” her mother had said, looking pityingly at her. “At your age, darling, you should take what comes.” 

‘At her age?’ It made her sound ancient. She was only twenty-five, not a hundred and three. At her age indeed! 

“Anyway,” her mother had continued. “It’s not as though you have suitors banging down the door. And Arnold is a good man from a respectable family. You could do a lot worse.” The unmentioned possibility of spinsterhood hovered in the air above them as it always did when such conversations began. 

Admittedly, Milly had been feeling a creeping concern that she might end up an old maid. It only reared its head when she thought of her friends all engaged or married with families already. Then she fell to wondering if someone would come along for her. Someone who would like her for who she was, plump and rosy-cheeked with an undeniable sweet tooth. 

Anyway, her baking had taken up all of her focus, and honestly, there wasn’t a better pie maker anywhere. 

The train station was in view. It was a proud building with a tall steeple that held in it a large clock. It tolled the hour. Only another thirty minutes, and she’d be on her way out west.

Milly dragged her now needlessly heavy bags into the station and, standing on the platform, felt her heart begin to race. Not long now, and this deceit would all be over.

Oh, and what a dishonest time these last three weeks had been.

At first, Milly had been overcome with melancholy. While her mother gushed and her father looked on proudly, knowing he was getting rid of one daughter, she’d fallen into utter despair. A life with smelly Arnold was no life at all. And she couldn’t bring herself to even consider making the best of a horrible situation as she usually would.

And so, one night, while lying in her bed, she’d come up with The Plan. It warranted the capitals because it was such an undertaking as she would never have dared enter into under other circumstances. To run away out west was unthinkable. Good girls from nice families didn’t do that. And yet, it was exactly what Milly planned to do.

There was always the Matrimonial News. She’d seen it on the racks at the news vendor’s, but it held no interest. She’d be swapping Arnold for some other desperate man and one she didn’t know if she became a mail order bride. No, that was not the way for her. Milly could support herself, after all. Bakers of her ability were surely in demand out west. No, she’d make her own way.

That meant that her first step had to be to casually enquire about getting her hands on a train schedule. That had been the easy part. The schedules were little books, printed on cheap paper, and available for a couple of coins at the station. Easy.

With the book in her possession, jealously guarded and hidden under the loose floorboard in her room, Milly had spent nights pondering over it. Where to go? That was the question. Where would she be far enough away that her father wouldn’t jump on the next train out to drag her back?

Eventually, she’d settled on a little mining town called Doleman’s Hills in Montana. She’d liked the sound of it, and it was small enough, she fancied, for her parents to overlook it as a destination she’d consider. Also, Montana was far enough away for her to feel that she’d truly left them; without feeling, she’d moved so far away that reconciliation would never be possible.

No doubt this was silly conjecture on her part, yet Milly couldn’t help it. She was close to her parents and her brothers and sister. She loved them all dearly and was terribly heartbroken to leave. She’d only considered it because she had no choice in the matter. She had to go or face a life of revulsion and sadness at Arnold’s thick sausage-like hands.

The thought made her shiver.

“Are you alright, Miss?” a porter asked her. He smiled brightly at her.

Milly nodded. “I’m fine, thank you.”

“If you’re feeling chilly, you can wait for your train in there,” he continued, pointing to a room across the platform from where she stood. Other passengers were huddled inside, visible through the large glass windows.

Shaking her head Milly declined. She’d never liked a press of people around her. She’d rather stand on the platform where the roof offered some protection from the rain, which was coming down harder now.

The porter, recognizing a lost cause, moved on, and Milly fell back into her cogitations.

With the train schedule and her destination chosen, all she needed was the money to buy the ticket. That had been tricky. Naturally, her parents had been paying her wages for working in the bakery for around nine years. They took off the amount for her room and board, which Milly considered fair. After all, she was an adult with a job, and food cost money. The rest went into the bank for her. Her father had signed for her account, and she knew she couldn’t withdraw from it without him hearing about it if the bank manager, Mr. Snyder, heard about it.

This had taken some thinking around. However, since her friend from school, Roland Moore, worked as a cashier at the bank, Milly had seen hope. Waiting until her folks sent her to the bank with the day’s takings, she’d asked Roland about the procedure to withdraw some cash.

He’d been helpful. It turned out that she could withdraw small sums without needing her father’s approval or signature. Milly had enquired the exact amount. Roland had told her, outlining the procedure necessary, and she’d added this information into her plan.

For the next two weeks, every couple of days, she’d gone to the bank and withdrawn just less than her limit and always varying the sums. This, she hoped, would make them less likely to stand out. She’d told various clerks that she wanted to buy a few presents or that she was contemplating a trip to visit an aunt and needed the cash.

With the cash in her purse under the floorboards with her train schedule, Milly had waited for the opportunity to buy her ticket out west. It had come two days ago when both her parents had gone out to tea with Arnold’s folks. Milly had said she’d stop by the haberdashers and see about the price of bridal satin. On her way, she’d stopped by the train station, which was quite out of her way, and bought her ticket.

And now, here she was. She’d told her folks she was going to see a friend who had an ill baby, and she’d be a few hours. Having hidden her bags in the shed behind her house, it had been a matter of moments to retrieve them and head to the station.

All this lying and scheming didn’t sit well with Milly. Her stomach was beginning to churn, and she felt she might be sick. After all, she’d never considered being deceitful before. There had never been a need. The ease with which she’d pulled off this Plan of hers made her shake all over. Did it mean she was at heart a terrible, evil woman?

No. She wasn’t evil, merely desperate. Pushed into a corner, she’d done the only thing she could do to survive. Being tied to Arnold was a horrible thought and made her feel even more ill. The thought of having to have his children made bile rise in her throat, and she pushed that nightmare far away.

She didn’t love him, and she never would. Knowing that made this easier. She’d have to write her folks a letter when she was settled in her new life and let them know she still loved them. Of course, they might choose not to know her anymore, but that was the price of her happiness.

It was almost time. The train rumbled into the station, spewing smoke and steam as it came. It chuffed up to the platform, groaned, and lay still. Suddenly, a hive of activity burst out around her, and Milly found herself in the middle of a throng of people pushing in two distinct directions.

The passengers from the train pushed to get out of the train and onto the platform, where others pushed to enter the train. With baggage and bustle about her, Milly felt small and ridiculous. What was she doing? She couldn’t travel out west alone. What was she thinking? Anything could happen to a woman traveling alone. Honestly, where was her head?

That thought wasn’t hers. She knew it instantly. It belonged to her father, and she could hear his voice in her head.

“Don’t be a goose, Milly,” she could hear him saying. “Come home. Talk to us. We love you. We’ll work it out.”

But she had tried, and they had failed her. No, this was the only way.

With that, she picked up her bags, and slipping into a line of people heading onto the train, she followed their footsteps.

She’d booked a seat in the women’s sleeping compartment and hurried along to it. It was still mostly empty, and she found her seat by the platform facing the window. Hurriedly stowing her luggage, she pulled a book from her bag and sat down to read.

But her eyes couldn’t stay on the page. Out of the window, she saw and heard something at once wonderful and terrible. She heard her father’s voice. Not in her head this time but coming through her ears.

“Milly! Milly, where are you?” he boomed, striding along the platform.

Heads turned and looked around. Milly ducked down in her seat. Oh no. If he found her now, it would all be over. He’d drag her off the train in utter disgrace. Oh no!

“Mildred McDonald!” her mother yelled with equal disregard for decorum. “You get out of that train this instant!”

Milly wrung her hands and chewed her lips. No. This couldn’t be happening. Not like this. Why wasn’t the stupid train moving? Her father was getting closer. Soon he’d see her, and she’d be captured.

“Move train! Move!” she repeated urgently under her breath. “Move!”

Chapter Two

June 1885

Doleman’s Hills, Montana

Oliver Townsend tried to stifle a yawn as he waited on the platform for the last train of the day to arrive. Having been up and at his workbench since before five that morning, he was rather tired and looking forward to dinner. No doubt Mrs. Moore would have a splendid feast set out for them when he and his uncle Leonard returned. The apartment above Oliver’s store was small and simple, but it was all the two bachelors needed. With the addition of Mrs. Moore cooking their evening meals, there was nothing they were lacking.

Well, nothing but the parts they had ordered from back east and were now eagerly awaiting the arrival of.

“The darn thing is late,” Uncle Leonard said, consulting his pocket watch for the umpteenth time.

“You know they never run to the minute,” Oliver said, good-naturedly. Apart from an older sister he rarely saw, Uncle Leonard was his only family. He had a great deal of patience with the rather impatient older man.

“Still, if the schedule says arriving at five-fifteen, then surely, they should make some sort of effort to arrive at five-fifteen?” he asked. “Can you imagine if everyone was this lackadaisical? What if I decided to add a little more or less sulphuric acid to the ore? Would that do? I think not!”

Oliver nodded his agreement. Comparing his uncle’s job at the mine where he was in charge of extracting the copper from the ore to a train running late was ridiculous. And yet, his uncle loved to draw comparisons between his work and that of just about everyone else on the planet. Oliver included.

“What would happen if you decided to put the wrong size cog into a watch you were repairing? It might be just about the same size, but would the timepiece then be accurate? I think not!” Uncle Leonard continued.

Sighing, Oliver glanced down the track, hoping to spot the train on approach. No such luck. The track was empty all the way to where it turned and ran around a hillock. There wasn’t even the smudge of smoke that was often visible in the sky when the train was still a way off.

With nothing to hold his eye, he was forced to turn his attention back. The Doleman’s Hills station was small. Only a platform with a roof over it to fend off the worst of the weather. He and his uncle had moved to this town two years previously from Philadelphia, and he still couldn’t get used to it.

Uncle Leonard had asked him to come to help with his new experimental way of extracting minerals from the rock they were found in. The methods currently used were appalling and wasteful, in his words. Cyanide and mercury leached into the soil and water, and his uncle was convinced of their toxicity.

Oliver reminded him that they were often prescribed as medicines to which his uncle would often scoff and roll his eyes. “Medicines indeed!” he would snap. “More like illnesses waiting to happen.”

The Ottoman-Webster and Kline mining consortium had offered Uncle Leonard the position of head chemical engineer, and he’d jumped at the chance to try out his theories in the field. At first, Oliver had been of great help and allowed up at the mine. But now that the crusher was working and the frother was shaking merrily when the handle was turned, no one seemed to need him anymore.

Oliver had decided to open a watch repair store in town. An old laundry had closed only months before he arrived, and the store space had been selling for a song. Oliver purchased it right there on the main street of Doleman’s Hills and soon after opened his doors.

He’d expected to get the odd watch in to fix, expecting to spend the rest of his time on his research into creating a mechanical device to power his uncle’s crusher and frother machines. Turning handles was horrible, tedious work, and often the miners complained of sore arms and utter tedium.

The residents of Doleman’s Hills had other plans for Oliver, though. They brought him their watches, certainly, but they also brought him their music boxes, clockwork toys they had for their children, roasting jacks, and a whole host of other things that required cogs and wheels. He fixed them all and soon found he was constantly busy. So busy in fact that he was up all hours fixing them.

He peered off into the distance again and thought perhaps he could see the smudge of smoke from a train’s smokestack this time. Perhaps it was only wishful thinking—anything to get Uncle Leonard to stop moaning.

He was right though, the train was a good twenty minutes late so far. At this rate, they’d get home rather later than he had expected. Oh well, there was nothing for it. He could hardly replace springs, brackets, and cogwheels if he didn’t have any.

Others appeared around the platform. Some carried bags while others looked impatiently at their own pocket watches. Mumbles and low conversations rustled through the air and Oliver imagined them all saying variations of Uncle Leonard’s own words. “The train is late, whatever can we do?”

And suddenly, he heard the shrill whistle, which couldn’t be anything else on earth but a steam-powered locomotive making its way along the tracks towards them.

“About ruddy time,” Uncle Leonard said. “I suspect our dinner will be ruined by the time they’ve offloaded everything.”

“I’m sure it’ll be fine,” Oliver said with a smile.

Chuffing, belching steam and smoke into the evening air, the train came to a rambling stop at the platform, and things started happening. People issued from the compartment doors, luggage slung across backs and clutched in hands, as they blinked in the light. The sky was clear and still bright, the sun not yet diving behind the rolling hills.

Uncle Leonard pushed his spectacles up the bridge of his nose in his excitement and ran a hand through his brown hair. There were delicate threads of silver running through the mop of waves now. Oliver could remember when there had been no gray in his uncle’s hair. How time marched on.

He pushed his own spectacles up his nose in a nervous response to his uncle’s gesture and waited just as impatiently as his uncle. They both had the habit of rocking back and forth on the balls of their feet when waiting in anticipation. Oliver had tried to stop this affectation but had been utterly unsuccessful. Even now, as the crowd swirled around them, he found himself beginning to rock.

A porter came up to them and consulted a clipboard. “Are you Townsend?” he asked of Uncle Leonard.

“Dr. Leonard Townsend, yes,” he said.

The young man, stick thin with big hands, cast a perplexed look at him and then back at his clipboard. “I have a package for a Dr. Oliver Townsend.”

“Ah, that would be me,” Oliver said with what he hoped was a reassuring smile.

“Right,” the young porter said. “I’ll bring it now. Don’t move away, alright? It takes far longer if I have to go looking for you again.” He sounded annoyed.

“Um…what about my package?” Uncle Leonard asked. “I suspect it must be there on your list, somewhere.” He reached out for the clipboard.

“Oh, you do, do you?” the porter asked, wrenching it away from Leonard.

Laughing and trying to hide it, Oliver turned from his uncle and found himself staring at a vision.

She was alone on the platform, summer dress blowing in the light breeze. She held her thin cardigan around her shoulders and stared out at the diminishing crowd as though lost. While all about her was bustle and movement, she was utterly still, and it was this and the air of something magical that hovered around her that drew Oliver to her.

Before he knew what he was doing, he had left the spot the porter had asked him to stay on and walked over to her.

“Excuse me,” he said softly. “Do you need assistance?”

The young woman turned richly brown eyes on him, and her bottom lip quivered ever so slightly as though she might be holding some emotion in check.

“This is Doleman’s Hills?” she asked, frowning at something in her hand.

Oliver looked from the train ticket in her hand to her face and nodded. “That it is indeed,” he said. “Is someone coming for you?”

She shook her head. “I just thought there would be more to the town.”

Turning to look away from the train at the other end of the platform, he frowned and then realized the problem.

“Oh, of course,” he said with a chuckle. “This is just the station. It’s about a mile from the town itself.”

“A mile?” the woman asked. She looked quite alarmed. “How does one get from here to the town if it’s a mile away?”

“Usually, someone comes to meet one at the station,” Oliver said.

She was in greater distress now, and her bottom lip was wobbling. “There are no carriages for hire?”

He shook his head. “Sadly, not. But my uncle and I have a cart on hire, and we would be delighted to offer you a ride into town.”

“Oh, I couldn’t,” she said, turning from him.

“But you could,” Oliver said gently. “And you should. It’s a long walk otherwise, and we have plenty of room.”

Her enchanting eyes held his gaze for a long moment, searching his own for something. They must have found it because she slowly nodded. “Alright,” she said and, holding out a gloved hand, waited for him to shake it. “I’m Milly McDonald,” she said. “And you are?”

“Oliver,” Oliver said and cleared his throat that suddenly had a frog in it. “Dr. Oliver Townsend.”

“You’re a doctor?” she asked.

“I have a Ph.D. in the sciences,” he said. “Engineering, actually.”

She smiled. “The other kind of doctor then.”

He nodded. “You know I’ve always been fascinated by science,” she said. “Not that I’ve studied it or anything. I’m a baker, and I’ve always thought it was a little like science. You know you add things together to get certain effects… It sounds really silly now that I’ve said it aloud to someone like you.”

Oliver beamed. She was positively delightful. What a concept. He thought about her words for a moment and then nodded. “You are correct,” he said. “You add rising agents and heat the substances to effect change. I think you’re on to something.”

It was her turn to smile, and for Oliver, the sun shone all the more brightly. Her smile was intoxicating and revealed little dimples in her rosy cheeks.

He picked up and carried her bags across the platform to where Uncle Leonard was gesticulating wildly to a new porter.

“…you can’t simply toss the boxes like that!” he roared. “There are volatile chemicals inside them. If you break so much as one bottle in that crate, I can promise you, sonny, you’ll lose your hand. That’s sulphuric acid.”

The porter sighed. “I’m being careful.”

“If that’s what you call it,” Uncle Leonard moaned. “I suppose there’s always work for a one-handed porter.”

“Uncle Leonard,” Oliver said, drawing his uncle’s attention from the luckless porter who was carrying a host of boxes from an open train car to the platform. “This is Miss Milly McDonald.”

“Pleased to meet you,” Uncle Leonard said, hardly glancing at her. “Oh, do be careful now!” That last was to the porter again.

“We’re giving her a ride to town,” Oliver continued.

“Very good, very…” Uncle Leonard turned to him, frowning. “We’re doing what?”

“She’s only just arrived and needs transportation to…” Oliver realized he had no idea where Miss McDonald was staying. “Where are your lodgings?”

“I…” she blushed a most delicate pink that Oliver, a man who usually didn’t notice women, found most becoming. “I don’t have any.”

“Ah,” Oliver said, thinking quickly. There had to be a story here. However, from the way she acted, he could tell Miss McDonald was not keen to share it yet. It was none of his business anyway. He’d simply help her. “We could try AnnMarie Jurgens’ boarding house. She’s a widow and runs a good clean place.”

“That sounds lovely,” Milly said. “What is in those crates? Is it safe?”

“It is if no one throws them around like they’re feather pillows,” Uncle Leonard said, pointedly steering his words to the porter who was treating the crates with great care.

It took quite some time to load Uncle Leonard’s many crates into the cart. Oliver had quite forgotten his own box of parts and was surprised when the original porter appeared with it in his arms. He signed for it on the clipboard and loaded it into the cart too. With Miss McDonald’s luggage as well, the cart was quite full. Luckily, the driver’s seat was large enough for all three of them to sit beside one another, and so they set off for town.

As they rode along, Uncle Leonard turned his attention to Miss McDonald.

“Do you have family out this way?” he inquired.

She seemed to have been dreading this line of questioning and swallowed before shaking her head. “I have no one in Montana,” she said in a small voice.

“Oh, it’s nothing to be ashamed of,” Uncle Leonard said. “We have no family here either, beside each other, that is. We came here for work.”

And so, the conversation started and rambled on. Uncle Leonard seemed oblivious of any feelings of ill-ease on Miss McDonald’s part. He prattled on about everything and nothing all at once. She seemed to enjoy it and even laughed a couple of times which made Oliver smile.

All too soon, they came upon the town growing out of the gloom of evening like a glowing firefly. The lamps in the windows of the houses shed their warm light on the ground through open windows and doors not yet closed against the still chilly evenings.

Mrs. Jurgens’ boarding house stood on a tree-lined street. It was on a rise and peered out from behind hedges and gracefully bowing trees all green and bright in their new foliage. Oliver drew up in front of the house and hopped down to help Miss McDonald down.

Her hand was warm in his and sent a joyful tingle through him as he helped her down. Then he walked her up the steps to the front door and opened it.

At this point, she turned to him and, smiling, said, “Thank you so much. I can take it from here.”

“Are you sure?” Oliver asked, feeling somewhat responsible for her wellbeing.

“Yes,” she said. ‘You’re too kind. I will make my way from here.”

Accepting her decision, he went to the cart and fetched her bags, bringing them up the steps to her.

“I have a store on Main street,” he said. “It’s Townsend clock repairs. If you need anything…”

“I’ll be sure to look you up,” she said and, with that, went in through the door.

Oliver waited a moment before heading in the opposite direction.

“The Clocksmith of Her Dreams” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!

Milly McDonald has always dreamed of two things: having her own bakery and finding true love. When her parents try to marry her to a man who is far from her idea of a perfect match, Milly is horrified. In a fit of despair and with her protests falling on deaf ears, she decides to run away. Doleman’s Hills becomes not only her refuge but the place where she stumbles upon a handsome stranger who helps her build a new life. As she gets to know him, she is surprised to realize he might be exactly who she has been longing for all along. While Milly starts making steps towards a rose-colored future though, danger may be lurking around the corner. Will she find the courage to stand up both for herself and her newfound love?

Oliver Townsend might be a great scientist but more than anything he enjoys being the town’s clocksmith. He prefers fixing watches and small gadgets rather than running experiments with his uncle at the copper mine. His uneventful life is about to take a sudden turn when he spots a beautiful young woman looking lost at the train station. He is immediately captivated by Milly’s enquiring mind and gentle nature and in no time he starts courting her. Yet before long things begin to go very wrong for Oliver. His uncle goes missing and his budding romance with Milly is jeopardized by an unexpected arrival in town. With his uncle’s life and his own heart at risk, will Oliver overcome the challenges ahead before it’s too late?

With complicated secrets and life-threatening truths coming to light, Milly and Oliver’s relationship may be over before it even starts. Daunted by the danger surrounding them, will they be able to find their way out of this perilous maze at each other’s side? Will their blossoming love withstand the pressures of so many forces pulling them apart?

“The Clocksmith of Her Dreams” is a historical western romance novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after.

Get your copy from Amazon!

3 thoughts on “The Clocksmith of Her Dreams (Preview)”

  1. Hello my dears, I hope you enjoyed the preview and that you are as excited as I am for this upcoming release! Make sure to leave your comments here. I’m so looking forward to read them 🙂

  2. I LOVE Uncle Leonard. He reminds me of the absent minded professor. It’s always
    amazing to see how a young person would react to different surroundings in this era.
    Especially if they are in Milly’s place.

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