Skip to main content

Blog Guest - Yukon Wedding by Allie Pleiter

Yukon Wedding
Allie Pleiter

A gold-rush town is no place for a single mother. But widow Lana Bristow won’t abandon the only home her son has ever known. She’ll fight to remain in Treasure Creek, Alaska—even if it means wedding Mack Tanner, the man she blames for her husband’s death. Mack sees marriage as his duty, the only way to protect his former business partner’s family. Yet what starts as an obligation changes as his spoiled socialite bride proves to be a woman of strength and grace. A woman who shows Mack the only treasure he needs is her heart.

Excerpt of chapter one:

Treasure Creek, Alaska, June 1898

Mack Tanner looked up to see a raging storm coming toward him.

"Good morning," said the storm, otherwise known as Lana Bristow. Each syllable of her greeting was sharp and steely. She stood in that particular way he called her "speechifying" stance, which heralded an oncoming verbal assault. Mack spread his own feet, not particularly eager to endure whatever was coming in front of the half dozen gold rush stampeders he'd managed to hire off the Chilkoot Trail to build his new General Store.

Lana's blond hair was a nest of frayed locks, strands sticking wildly out of the careful twist she usually wore. Her apron hung diagonally across that impossibly tiny waist of hers, with a wide smear of something dark that matched the smudge currently gracing her son Georgie's chin. The brooch she always wore at her neck—that silly, frilly flower thing with all the golden swirls on it—was gone. It was held bent and misshapen, he noticed with a gulp, in her left hand, while she clamped two-year-old Georgie to one hip with her right. One side of her hem was soaked and the boy sported only one shoe.

More was amiss than the argument he'd had with her last night, that was certain. They'd gone at it again regarding Lana's accounts. Her mounting debts had been a constant sore spot between them since her husband, Jed—Mack's best friend—had died in the Palm Sunday avalanche. She'd caught him monkeying with her store credit again, giving her more than what she paid for and "misplacing" numerous bills. And yes, Mack had taken it upon himself to slash her debt so that no one in Treasure Creek would guess the sorry state of her finances.

He owed her that much.

She didn't see it that way.

Instead, his "generosity" made her furious. Why that confounding woman wouldn't let him settle things up for her—when she needed it and he had the resources to easily do so—never ceased to amaze him.

Lana stood stiff and tall. "I have something to say."

Mack could have been blind, deaf, half asleep and still have picked up on that. Every inch of her body broadcast "I have something to say." A low commentary grumble to that effect rippled through the men around him until Mack raised his hand—the one with the large hammer still in it—to silence them.

Not taking his eyes off her, Mack shifted his weight and nodded slowly. For a moment he considered motioning her toward a less public place, seeing as this was no doubt going to be a long "something to say," but the flash of fire in her blue eyes told him to stay put. He had the odd sensation of facing a firing squad.

"Yes." That single syllable loudly declared, Lana spun on her heels, hoisted her son farther up on one hip, and started back down the way she came.

Mack's mouth fell open, letting the nails tumble out to jingle on the ground at his feet. Yes? What kind of riddle thing was that to say? Glory, but the Widow Bristow would be the death of him.

The men found this hilarious, sputtering into laughter and less-than-polite commentary until he threw down the hammer and strode off after her. Once away from the crowd, Mack expected Lana to turn and explain herself. It's what rational people did, after all. When after twenty paces she failed to either turn or slow, he bellowed, "Yes what?" after her. It echoed across the intersection, raising heads on either side of the roads that made up the center of tiny Treasure Creek.

Lana stopped and whipped around to face him. The sudden move forced Georgie to grab at her just to stay upright, balling the neckline of her blouse in his toddler fists. Lana glared at Mack as if he must be dimwitted not to catch her meaning. "I said, 'Yes what?'" he shouted again, not caring which of the curious onlookers gathered on the boardwalks heard him.

Lana furrowed her brows so far down she looked catlike. She flicked her eyes around at the small crowd now staring at them, as if his simple request for a reasonable explanation was some sort of cruel punishment. Lana took three steps toward him, and with something more like a hiss than a whisper, said, "For the seventh time, yes." Having spoken her piece, she turned once again and set off up the boardwalk away from him.

Mack slapped his hat against his thigh, confused and angry. What was that supposed to mean, "the seventh time"? What had he done six times that this now was the seventh…

It struck him like a bolt of lightening, thundering though his chest as if struck by the hammer he'd held moments ago.

She'd said "yes."

As in "Yes, I will marry you."

He'd asked her six times over the last two months, the first time only a week after her Jed's tragic death. Marrying her was the best way to protect her now. After all, he'd lured Jed up here with the promise of fortune and adventure. A promise that ended with Jed buried in snow, alongside dozens of other stampeders who refused to heed their guide's warnings that Sunday. He could have done more to stop Jed, to make his foolhardy buddy see reason and be cautious. But he hadn't, and now Lana was left up here on her own—without Jed and without the fortune he'd made and subsequently lost.

He'd asked her over and over after that, even though she blamed him for Jed's death, knowing she'd rather marry a log than wed the likes of him, well aware of how much she disliked him, but equally aware that it was the only real way to make it up to her and her son. He'd asked her every time she struggled with this thing or that, every time she'd looked weary from keeping up appearances. He asked every time it looked as if the endless struggles of Alaskan living—and the greedy stream of despicable Alaskan men—were about to do her in.

Once, when a drunken "old friend of Jed's" had actually tried to drag her off to Skaguay and marry her by force, he'd even offered to pay her way back to Seattle. She had no family left back there, but he was plumb out of ways to keep her safe when too many stampeders still thought she held Jed's riches. After all, he'd known Jed's lust for gold was growing beyond reason and into desperation. He could have tried harder to protect Jed from the impulsive nature that was always his undoing. The fact that Jed was gone was his fault.

She knew he could have tried harder to save Jed, too. She'd refused every single offer of help. Until now.

So why was his now new fiancee stomping off without an explanation? He'd lived long enough to know that a female could be the most furious of God's creations when provoked, but he would not allow her to stomp off with the last word.

Especially when that last word was "yes."

Grumbling that his keen sense of obligation would likely be the death of him, Mack set off after her. She stalked past the white church—one of the first buildings he and Jed had built when they founded the town—and still didn't look back. Georgie did, though, catching Mack's gaze with troubled brown eyes under that mop of curly dark hair. His mama kept up her furious pace, past the other shops and houses, attracting the stares of the men gathered along the boardwalk. She and Georgie were sulking off to her cabin, from the looks of it. She had to know he'd follow her, even if she kept her back ramrod straight as she turned the corner past the schoolhouse.

The Tucker sisters, a trio of rough-and-tumble gals who'd spent the past month working on that building, stopped their work to look up at the spectacle. Lucy Tucker waved, but Lana stomped on, paying Lucy no mind. Buildings sprung up overnight like mushrooms here in Treasure Creek. Mack felt on display as the sisters gawked among themselves. With his town nearing a thousand residents and ten times that many rushing through in a steady stream toward the Trail, why did all them have time this morning to watch Mack Tanner make a fool of himself?

Lana didn't think she had any tears left to cry. She made her way back through the crowded, muddy main street, past the church Mack and Jed had insisted mark the center of the town they'd founded together just three months ago. Three months that felt like thirty years. She picked her way as fast as she could past the schoolhouse under construction, the bank and several rows of cobbled together shacks where farmers and butchers sold food. She didn't stop until she reached the cabin she and Georgie called home. She hadn't expected to cry, couldn't believe that tears threatened now, and would not, absolutely would not cry in public.

Mack was behind her, she knew it. And he ought to be, if he had an ounce of compassion in that stubborn, domineering head of his. She was sure she heard the thud of his angry boots behind her as she rounded the corner beyond Mavis Goodge's boardinghouse, but she wouldn't give him the satisfaction of letting him see her turn.

She'd done it. She'd surrendered to the only viable option available to her in Treasure Creek. Some "treasure." It was awful here—cold and crude, muddy and noisy—and this was one of the better towns. It seemed ages ago when Mack and Jed had founded Treasure Creek. They'd been full of big ideas, seeking to create a place of faith and values in the lawless, greedy chaos of the gold rush. Only it hadn't turned out that way. Not for her. Yes, Treasure Creek had become known as a God-fearing town, but what good had faith done in the face of all the rampant swindling of the Chilkoot Trail? Faith hadn't kept Jed off the trail that Sunday, even though the guides warned "the mountain was angry." Faith hadn't squelched Jed's relentless need to chase gold rumors, skipping Sunday services to meet an Indian guide boasting leads to an undiscovered lode. God hid no huge, undiscovered treasures up on that mountain. In her darker moments, Lana believed God sent the deadly wall of snow, stranding her up here and stealing Georgie's father. A vengeful God punished her husband's greed, backing her into so dark a corner that she must accept a marriage of convenience to Mack Tanner.

She laughed at the thought as she pushed open the door of her cabin and stepped into the tiny confines. It wasn't a marriage of convenience. It was a marriage of survival. And survive she would. Here, because here seemed to be the only place there was.

It had struck her last night, after yet another argument over her accounts with Mack, just how bad things had gotten. The point had been pushed home, literally, when she snatched her favorite brooch out of Georgie's hand and pricked herself on the now-bent pinpoint. The toddler had gotten into her jewelry box when she'd left it open after sorting through which jewels she might be able to sell discreetly in Skaguay. Some jewelry box. The rustic chest Jed had built her on her last birthday could barely be called such a thing. Life here was nowhere near what she dreamed it would be. She ought to be thankful that Georgie hadn't speared himself with the brooch before she found him. As it was, Georgie had managed to bend and dent the soft gold by banging it against the hearth until its floral shape was lost forever.

Why did she wear a brooch out here in the first place? Purely ornamental, it wasn't strong enough to hold a shawl or cloak together and it snagged on everything. Still, she wore it daily, a flag of refined defiance. No one would ever know how badly Jed had left their finances. She was and always would be "a lady of means."

Trouble was, she had precious little means left. Lana had realized, as she stared at the broken brooch, that her former self—the delicate Seattle socialite who'd followed her husband on his grand fortune hunt—no longer existed. She couldn't limp back to Seattle and be some man's useless ornament. She craved independence now, but it was a hollow craving without sufficient means.

Women could achieve astounding independence up here. The concept of "female" had been reinvented in Alaska. Transformed into something she wanted very much to be. She couldn't bring herself to turn from that freedom now. Not only that, but to sulk back to Seattle would be to admit that Jed and his adventures had all been nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Lana refused to count herself among the thousands of duped and squandered fortune hunters. Treasure Creek, for all the pain it held, was still the lesser of all available evils. Seattle might be more comfortable, and there were things Georgie could have there that she could never give him here, but Lana had swallowed so much pride over the past three months that she didn't think she could stomach the feast of humility it would take to head south.

I'll do whatever it takes to stay here, she told herself as she pulled the cabin door shut behind her with a declarative slam. Whatever it takes.

She turned and looked at Mack through the cabin's only window. Even if it takes him. The tears she'd held in finally burst out in sobs so great they shook Georgie as he clung to her side.

He stood perhaps a hundred paces from her home, staring at her closed door. The patient, dark expression on his face mirrored the way he looked that awful night Jed died.

About Allie:

An avid knitter, coffee junkie, and devoted chocoholic, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction.  The enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie spends her days writing books, buying yarn, and finding new ways to avoid housework.  Allie hails from Connecticut, moved to the midwest to attend Northwestern University, and currently lives outside Chicago, Illinois.  The “dare from a friend” to begin writing has produced two parenting books, fourteen novels, and various national speaking engagements on faith, women’s issues, and writing.  Visit her website at or her knitting blog at

And now, here's Allie!
I’ve decided I really like adventures.

Not just treks to exotic places, but the right-under-your-nose kind of adventures.   The inner ones, where you get one of those “ah-ha” moments that shifts your life’s direction.  Or the local ones, where you discover places and people that can enrich your life on a daily basis.

Sometimes, when you are very fortunate, you get to write about both.  In Yukon Wedding, Mack and Lana are at the ragged tail of a Yukon adventure, but just at the beginning of their journey toward each other.  It takes a grand landscape like Alaska to host a grand love story, don’t you think?  I love to write larger-than-life settings because it shows the common human center of any epic tale.  Mack and Lana could be anywhere when you get right down to it, but their struggles against the Gold Rush’s hardships amplify their joys as well as their troubles.

When I think of romances in epic landscapes, I think of movies like Dr. Zhivago, Casablanca, and Titanic.  What love story plays out on your favorite grand setting?

Print book:
Barnes and Noble
Books a Million



Popular Posts

Merry Christmas! Enjoy The Spinster's Christmas

As a Merry Christmas gift to all my blog readers, I’m going to be posting my Christian Regency romantic suspense, The Spinster’s Christmas , for free on my blog! I’ll be posting the book in 1000-1500 word segments every Tuesday and Friday. (When I do the calculations, it’ll finish around the end of May.) Why am I posting a Christmas story when it won’t be Christmas in a week? Because I can! :) The Spinster’s Christmas is the prequel volume to my Lady Wynwood’s Spies series . Right now I’m editing volume 1 of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, and it’s on track to release in 2020. (If you’re on my Camille Elliot newsletter , you’ll be sure to hear when it’s available for preorder.) I anticipate that the Lady Wynwood’s Spies series to be about ten volumes. I think the series story will be a lot of fun to tell, and I’m looking forward to writing up a storm! Below, I’ll be listing the links to the parts of The Spinster’s Christmas as I post them. (I created the html links by hand so please l

Tabi socks, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.25.2008 (If you're on Ravelry, friend me! I'm camytang.) I made tabi socks again! (At the bottom of the pattern is the calculation for the toe split if you're not using the same weight yarn that I did for this pattern (fingering). I also give an example from when I used worsted weight yarn with this pattern.) I used Opal yarn, Petticoat colorway. It’s a finer yarn than my last pair of tabi socks, so I altered the pattern a bit. Okay, so here’s my first foray into giving a knitting pattern. Camy’s top-down Tabi Socks I’m assuming you already know the basics of knitting socks. If you’re a beginner, here are some great tutorials: Socks 101 How to Knit Socks The Sock Knitter’s Companion A video of turning the heel Sock Knitting Tips Yarn: I have used both fingering weight and worsted weight yarn with this pattern. You just change the number of cast on stitches according to your gauge and the circumference of your ankle. Th

How can I pray for you?

Photo credit: 日本語訳は下をご覧ください。 I hope you had a good Thanksgiving, taking time to be still and remember God’s grace. My IBS has gotten a little better, but I’m still not entirely in control of my symptoms. There are simply too many things I don’t know if I can eat or not, and when I try things, if they affect my IBS, then I’m out for about a week at a time. My writing has slowed down more than I’d like. Please pray for God to heal my IBS, and for me to learn what God wants me to learn by allowing these struggles. Just as I’m struggling, if you are too, remember that God is with us and has a reason for everything that happens to us. Lord, thank You that You are always with us and have control over everything that happens to us. Help us to surrender to You and do Your will, no matter what is going on in our lives. Amen How can I pray for you today? Please leave me your prayer requests! Prayer requests can sometimes be private things, so to keep your

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Grace Livingston Hill romances free to read online

I wanted to update my old post on Grace Livingston Hill romances because now there are tons more options for you to be able to read her books for free online! I’m a huge Grace Livingston Hill fan. Granted, not all her books resonate with me, but there are a few that I absolutely love, like The Enchanted Barn and Crimson Roses . And the best part is that she wrote over 100 books and I haven’t yet read them all! When I have time, I like to dive into a new GLH novel. I like the fact that most of them are romances, and I especially appreciate that they all have strong Christian themes. Occasionally the Christian content is a little heavy-handed for my taste, but it’s so interesting to see what the Christian faith was like in the early part of the 20th century. These books are often Cinderella-type stories or A Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett) type stories, which I love. And the best part is that they’re all set in the early 1900s, so the time period is absolutely fasci

Camy Tang's November newsletter

My Camy Tang (Christian Contemporary Romantic Suspense) newsletter went out this week, but in case you missed it, the link is below. In my newsletter this month, there’s an update on my personal life and publishing schedule, and I also linked to a blog post about what the TV show Supernatural has to do with GONE MISSING, the 6th book in my Sonoma series Click here to read my Camy Tang newsletter for November. I also forgot to post the link for the October newsletter, so you can click here to read it.


「ひとり寿司」をブログに連載します! ひとり寿司 寿司シリーズの第一作 キャミー・タング 西島美幸 訳 スポーツ狂のレックス・坂井 —— いとこのマリコが数ヶ月後に結婚することにより、「いとこの中で一番年上の独身女性」という内輪の肩書を「勝ち取る」ことについては、あまり気にしていない。コントロールフリークの祖母を無視するのは容易だ —— しかし、祖母は最終通告を出した —— マリコの結婚式までにデート相手を見つけなければ、無慈悲な祖母は、レックスがコーチをしている女子バレーボールチームへの資金供給を切ると言う。 ダグアウトにいる選手全員とデートに出かけるほど絶望的なわけではない。レックスは、バイブルスタディで読んだ「エペソの手紙」をもとに「最高の男性」の条件の厳しいリストを作った。バレーボールではいつも勝つ —— ゲームを有利に進めれば、必ず成功するはずだ。 そのとき兄は、クリスチャンではなく、アスリートでもなく、一見何の魅力もないエイデンを彼女に引き合わせる。 エイデンは、クリスチャンではないという理由で離れていったトリッシュという女の子から受けた痛手から立ち直ろうとしている。そして、レックスが(1)彼に全く興味がないこと、(2)クリスチャンであること、(3)トリッシュのいとこであることを知る。あの狂った家族とまた付き合うのはごめんだ。まして、偽善的なクリスチャンの女の子など、お断り。彼はマゾヒストじゃない。 レックスは時間がなくなってきた。いくら頑張っても、いい人は現れない。それに、どこへ行ってもエイデンに遭遇する。あのリストはどんどん長くなっていくばかり —— 過去に掲載済みのストーリーのリンクはこちらです。 *** ビーナスはベンの視界をさえぎった。「ここは大丈夫だから、もう帰っていいわよ」 「でも——」 ビーナスは、また彼の目の前でドアを閉めた。 「何——」 ビーナスはレックスの言葉をさえぎり、ドアの隣の窓から外をのぞいた。「よかったわ、レックス、エイデンが来てくれて。あなたの巻き爪を全部切ってくれるわよ」ビーナスの声が小さい部屋に響き渡った。 どうやって礼儀正しく答えようかと決めかねているように、エイデンの表情は少し硬くなった。多分、(そうなの?)とか(それはおもしろいね)とでも言う

Join Camy's Patreon!

At the moment, I’m releasing all my books in Kindle Unlimited, which requires my books to be exclusive to Amazon. However, I wanted to accommodate readers who prefer other ebook distributors and also reward my fans who might like my books a little ahead of schedule. ​So I started a Patreon where patrons will get BookFunnel links to download my latest ebooks about 2-3 weeks ahead of the release date. The ebook files are DRM-free and BookFunnel is great about helping you to load it onto your ebook reader or phone/tablet or computer. My Patreon is “per creation,” which means you won’t be charged every month. You will only be charged when I’ve posted a new book. For example, if I post a book on April 15th, you’ll be charged on May 1st. But if I don’t post a book in May, you won’t be charged on June 1st at all. This is because with my health problems, and since some of my books are over 100,000 words each, I’m not able to write a book a month, and I certainly don’t want to charge my

Year of the Dog serial novel, chapter 6

I’m posting a Humorous Christian Romantic Suspense serial novel here on my blog! Year of the Dog is a (second) prequel to my Warubozu Spa Chronicles series. Year of the Dog serial novel by Camy Tang Marisol Mutou, a professional dog trainer, is having a bad year. While renovating her new dog kenneling and training facility, she needs to move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate—according to them, a job requiring her to be covered in dog hair and slobber is an embarrassment to the family. She convinces her ex-boyfriend to take her dog for a few months … but discovers that his brother is the irate security expert whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier. Ashwin Keitou has enough problems. His aunt has just shown up on his doorstep, expecting to move in with him, and he can’t say no because he owes her everything—after his mother walked out on them, Aunt Nell took in Ashwin and his brother and raised them in a loving Chri

One-Skein Pyrenees Scarf knitting pattern

I got into using antique patterns when I was making the scarf my hero wears in my Regency romance, The Spinster’s Christmas . I wanted to do another pattern which I think was in use in the Regency period, the Pyrenees Knit Scarf on pages 36-38 of The Lady's Assistant for Executing Useful and Fancy Designs in Knitting, Netting, and Crochet Work, volume 1, by Jane Gaugain, published in 1840. She is thought to be the first person to use knitting abbreviations, at least in a published book, although they are not the same abbreviations used today (our modern abbreviations were standardized by Weldon’s Practical Needlework in 1906). Since the book is out of copyright, you can download a free PDF copy of the book at I found this to be a fascinating look at knitting around the time of Jane Austen’s later years. Although the book was published in 1840, many of the patterns were in use and passed down by word of mouth many years before that, so it’s possible these are p