Writing historical fiction brings me delight on many levels.
The process of discovery is one of the things I enjoy most about writing fiction. Yes, it can be great fun getting to know a cast of characters and discovering their story. But deepening my knowledge and understanding of history also brings me delight.
While doing the research for Prairie Song, Book 1 in my Hearts Seeking Home Series, I discovered some new vocabulary words Are you ready to test your knowledge of the terms from the Oregon Trail? (more…)
The end of the American Civil War reopened the floodgates for humanity headed west. Men and women hungered for land and business opportunities to help them rebuild their war-torn lives and families.
Wagon train companies were typically a ragtag group of pioneers–families and individuals–fleeing their past, headed for a brighter future. Or so they hoped. A captain was usually hired to guide the caravan safely across rivers and the prairie, and over mountains to their destination of promise.
Prairie Song, the first book in the Hearts Seeking Home Series, chronicles the overland journey of the westbound Boone’s Lick Wagon Train Company setting out on The Oregon Trail from Saint Charles, Missouri, in the spring of 1866. Here is a peek at the roster and some of the characters who are provisioning farm wagons and a Connestoga, selling off property, and saying goodbye to friends and loved ones for the Oregon Trail. (more…)
I didn’t write this post from my home office. I was traveling, which required that I pack for another state, a higher elevation, and cooler temperatures. Before I left home, piles of clothes, shoes, and sweatshirts lie on the bed awaiting their fate, vying for room in a suitcase already spoken for by toiletries, a blow dryer, and a makeup case.
I awarded flat space to crucial outfits, the nooks and crannies to necessities like a sun hat, umbrella, and tennis shoes (since the impatients behind me in the airport security line would rather I quickly slip in and out of slides or flip flops, not concerned with the added weight and bulk in my suitcase).
Once the first stacks of necessities had made the cut, I pulled out a second suitcase. Now you know why I prefer to fly Southwest—two bags and a carry-on fly free. A big bonus when you don’t have the time or inclination to scrutinize every piece of cloth and plastic in your stacks on the bed, and a true gift to those of us who like options.
The above scenario is one of the reasons some family members find it amusing that I’m writing historical fiction, specifically, a wagon train series. (more…)
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What would drive people from the familiar into the unknown? What would cause men to venture into a harsh wilderness, leaving their families behind? Or uprooting them?
For the Israelites, it was captivity in Egypt and the hope of freedom in a Promised Land that drove them from the prison they’d known for generations.
In the early 1840s, emigrants from the Eastern United States began traveling overland by covered wagon to escape grief, persecution, and poverty. Driven by desperation, curiosity, and greed, several hundred thousand people sold the bulk of their possessions, bid family and friends adieu, provisioned a covered wagon and took bold or timid steps toward what they hoped would be their promised land. A land of boundless opportunity. They’d heard stories of the wide open spaces, big forests, rivers and streams teeming with fish, flowers that bloomed all year, and abundant land for farming. Developing cities ripe for businesses. Gold, silver, and copper sat ready to be mined.
That is the backdrop for the Boone’s Lick Wagon Train Company in Prairie Song, Book 1 in my new Hearts Seeking Home Series. The women in the Saint Charles Quilting Circle—from The Quilted Heart novellas—have been devastated by the War Between the States. From the youngest to the oldest, they’ve lost brothers, sons, husbands, and fathers. Not only were their plans changed, they were crushed under the heavy weight of endings, some gradual and some abrupt. But their faith is anchored in a faithful God. Fresh starts await them on the horizon.
Carrying their friendships in their hearts, some of the women will travel west to rebuild their lives, in search of home. (more…)