Issac: Letters of Fate by Paty Jager

IsaacWhen I finished my last historical western romance series, I started brewing up the next series I wanted to write and came up with, Letters of Fate. This is a series that is linked by the hero receiving a letter than changes his life and brings him to the woman who captures his heart.

After I’d decided on this series, I was approached to be part of a Kindle World Project authored by Debra Holland. It seemed like a good way to help jump start my new Letters of Fate series.

Isaac Corum is a mine guard at the mine in Morgan’s Crossing owned by Michael Morgan, one of Debra’s characters and part of her Montana Skies series.

Isaac: Letters of Fate

Historical western filled with steamy romance and the rawness of a growing country.

Alamayda Wagner’s life has left her cynical, but also vigilant, and that’s what propels her to Morgan’s Crossing, Montana in order to uncover the secrets her father took to his grave. She quickly discovers her only hope includes trusting Isaac Corum. That soon proves to be expensive, and not just financially.

The last thing Isaac Corum needs or wants is a snooty woman telling him he didn’t do enough to save her father, which is what her letter implied. He’d helped the man more than most people would have, and swears he won’t go out of his way like that again. He’ll meet her at the Sweetwater Springs train station, deliver her father’s belongings, and send her back the way she came.

But, dang it all, the woman doesn’t do a single blasted thing she’s told, and Isaac can’t just sit back and let her go traipsing off into the mountains alone…



Isaac stopped the horses at the hitching post in front of the church. After climbing down, he grabbed the box of Alan’s belongings and marched up to the little house next to the church. For a brief moment, he had the notion to just leave the box with a note. But his conscience wouldn’t let him do that. He’d been the last person to speak with her father before his death. It seemed sociable he should talk to her.

He knocked on the door.

A pleasant-looking man, not much older than Isaac answered the door. “Good evening. May I help you?”

“I’d like to see Miss Wagner,” he said.

The man raised an eyebrow. “Are you Mr. Corum?” he asked.


“We just sat down for the evening meal. Would you care to join us?” The reverend asked.

Isaac didn’t want to sit through dinner with the woman. “I’d prefer if you asked her to come out here. It won’t take long.” He’d noted the chairs on the porch. “We can sit there,” he said, walking over to one of the chairs and placing the box on the porch beside a chair.

“I’ll get Miss Wagner.” The reverend disappeared into the house.

A minute later, a tall, thin woman with dark brown hair pulled back in a severe bun, stepped out and scanned the porch.

Isaac stood, pulling his hat off his head as the woman walked toward him. He’d been wrong about her being big-boned and horse-faced. She was tall, but thin. The dark blue dress she wore hung straight from her shoulders to her feet with no curves in between. Not even a bump where her bosoms should be. Her long, thin face had a pointed chin and small, pointed nose. Her large, wide eyes were brown. She held out a thin, long hand.

“Mr. Corum?” she asked.

He gripped her hand gently for fear of breaking the thin bones. “Miss Wagner.”

She pulled her hand back and stared down at the box on the floor. “What’s this?” she asked.

“I brought your pa’s things to you. This way you can rest a day or so and head back home.” He said it with the enthusiasm he had for getting her back to Kansas and out of his way.

Alamayda stared at the box, then up at Mr. Corum. She usually looked down on most men. Mr. Corum, she had to tip her head just a bit to see into his gray eyes. He had several days of whisker growth on his face. His eyes were wide set with wrinkles at the corners. His nose long but not wide. A full bottom lip made his upper lip appear thinner. His square chin gave the appearance of a man who didn’t back down. His shoulders were wider than his narrow hips hidden beneath a long canvas duster. His hand when he’d clutched hers was wide with long fingers.

She had expected him to be closer to her father’s age and not her own. “Thank you for bringing me his things.” She sat in the chair closest to the box.

Mr. Corum remained standing. “Ma’am, I just wanted to let you know there was nothing that could be done for your father. The doc made sure he was as comfortable as could be until the end.” He bowed his head and closed his eyes for a moment.

Alamayda was about to say something when he opened his eyes and peered at her.

“It was nice meeting you. I can’t afford to miss too much work. I’ll be headed back to Morgan’s Crossing now.”

“Wait.” Her heart raced. He couldn’t head back. She hadn’t had time to see if the clues to the mine were in her father’s belongings.

He stared down at her.

“Give me a chance to go through my father’s things. I’m—” She didn’t want to tell anyone about her father’s hidden mine. Surely, if this man had been friends with her father he would know about it, but since he hadn’t mentioned it in his letter, she didn’t know if her father hadn’t told him or he planned to keep the mine for himself.

Mr. Corum sat on the other chair. “I’m sorry. As long as Alan was away from home, I didn’t think you’d be upset to go through his things.” He reached down into the box. “I didn’t send them home because they weren’t worth the postage.” He held up a dirty sweat-stained slouch hat. He handed it to her.

Alamayda held her breath and turned the garment over in her hands. There wasn’t anything unusual about the dirty hat. She placed it on the porch between them.

He pulled out a chambray shirt. It was well-worn with patches but clean. “This is his clean set of clothes. The ones he was wearing when he took sick I burned. They were covered in dirt and—”

She didn’t want to think about what might have been on her father’s clothing. She’d nursed a sick mother long enough to know there were accidents and such.

Her heart lurched at the thought he’d burned a set of clothing. “Did he have anything in his pockets?” She couldn’t bear to think this man might have burned up her only way of finding the mine.

“Only a couple coins. I put those in this clean pair of trousers.” He handed over a faded, patched pair of wool trousers.

She put her hand in a pocket and pulled out two dimes. Tears started to burn the back of her eyes. Her father had died with two dimes in his pocket. He’d sent money home over the years, never on a regular basis. She’d had to make sure the farm had supplied all she and her siblings had needed. She’d sold eggs and cleaned rooms at the local hotel to make enough money to buy the things they couldn’t make on their own, like shoes and tools. There had to be something in his things to tell her where the mine he talked about in his letters could be found.

Mr. Corum cleared his throat. “Here’s his coat but it’s kind of…” He didn’t have to finish.

Alamayda held her arm up in front of her nose. “Did my father never take a bath?” she asked, trying to imagine what he must have looked like the last few years.

“He’d take one monthly in the summer. He didn’t like to pay for a bath at the bath house. Many prefer the cold water of the river to the dirty water someone else has been sittin’ in.” He lowered the coat back into the box. “Your pa used the river so it was only during the warmer weather that he took a bath.”

She didn’t want to touch the nasty garment, but she had to see if there was anything in the pockets or perhaps sewn inside the lining. Holding her hand out, she waited for Mr. Corum to make up his mind about handing it over.

“You sure you want to touch this?” he asked.

She nodded even though she didn’t want to. But she had no choice. He held the coat out and she grabbed it with one hand. She pushed her hands into the gritty pockets and came up with nothing but dirty fingers. Holding her breath, she turned the coat inside out and felt the lining around the cuffs and hem of the coat.

“What are you looking for?” Mr. Corum asked.

She glanced into the box and didn’t see anything else. Dropping the coat back in the box, she folded her hands into her lap. They had to stink as bad as the coat.

“Mr. Corum, I’ll be returning to Morgan’s Crossing with you.”

Amazon buy link:


Paty officeAbout the author:

Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. She not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it. All Paty’s work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet another story.

You can learn more about Paty at:

her blog; Writing into the Sunset

her website;


Newsletter: Paty’s Prattle:



2 thoughts on “Issac: Letters of Fate by Paty Jager

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *