The Story Behind The Green Dress — Liz Tolsma

Today I’m happy to welcome author Liz Tolsma as she shares the story behind The Green Dress.

Becky, the acquisition’s editor at Barbour Publishing and the inspiration for the True Colors Crime series, was the one who found this true crime and asked for someone to write about it. When I started reading what happened to the Robinson family, I couldn’t believe what I read. How could eight members of one family die in the manner in which they did? Why did it take the authorities so long to discover the culprit?

Usually, I try to avoid using historical characters in my books. I’m afraid I’m going to get the characterization wrong and offend my readers. This book, however, left me no choice but to use mostly historical characters. With the exception of the heroine, Harriet Peters, and the hero, Michael Wheaton, and a few minor characters, everyone in the book is drawn from real life. This was a real challenge for me. By reading the transcript of the trial for the villain, I did manage to get an idea of what some of the characters were like. 

There was very little information on this string of crimes. No one has written a full-length book about it. When I searched Wikipedia and several crime blogs, I found a good deal of the information to be incorrect. That meant that I had to fill in a good deal of the details with my imagination. To me, that’s the best part of writing. 

For the spiritual thread, I drew on my own faith walk. With death surrounding her, Harriet is afraid of dying. She isn’t sure she’s good enough to get into heaven. She must walk through the valley of the shadow, put aside her fear, and trust in Christ’s saving work alone.

ABOUT THE BOOK

When Harriet Peters came to Boston in 1882, the Robinson family took her in like one of their own, and Harriet became closer to Lizzie Robinson than her own siblings. Now, four years later, Lizzie is deathly sick, failing quickly just like several others in her family have done over the past few years. How can so many in one family die from the same mysterious illness? Harriet doesn’t have answers, but she is determined to help the family, bringing in a new-to-the-neighborhood doctor, Michael Wheaton.

As Harriet and Michael close in on the answer, putting their own lives at risk, can the cause be found before anyone else dies?

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Green-Dress-True-Colors-ebook/dp/B081GJN448/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-green-dress-liz-tolsma/1133754931?ean=9781643524757

Christianbook.com: https://www.christianbook.com/the-green-dress-liz-tolsma/9781643524757/pd/524757?product_redirect=1&search_term=The%20Green%20Dre&Ntt=524757&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP

About Liz:

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a U.S. Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her blog, The Story behind the Story, at www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), and Pinterest. She is also a regular contributor to the Midwest Almanac blog.

 

 

 

 

Prairie Roses Collection Book 7 Kate: Meet the Villains and Learn the History – with Giveaway

One tip every writer is encouraged to follow through on is to create a villain worthy of the hero and heroine. In Kate, I created two villains, one fictional, and one based in fact.

Clem, the owner of the saloon and the pimp for the saloon girls who work for him, is a bully. He runs his bar and his brothel with an iron glove, which he uses liberally to keep drunks, deadbeats, and floozies in line. Mess with Clem, and he messes with you.

He makes his money in two ways: he waters down the rotgut, and he buys women. Most of his girls are immigrants from Ireland and other impoverished countries where families cannot afford to raise their children. Kate’s mother came to America with the promise of a good job, only to find herself indebted to Clem for her passage, her clothing, and then her room and board, as well as lost work when she falls pregnant with Kate. When her mother dies, she still owes Clem money, at least according to him, and he expects Kate to step into her mother’s place. However, Kate has other ideas. Dreams planted in her heart and mind by her mother, of living somewhere wide open and free.

The other villain is Lame Johnny, the leader of the stagecoach robbery gang. A lot has been written about him, including that his early attempts to live a righteous life were thwarted because of a deformity caused when he was young that gave him a permanent limp. At one time, he worked for the Homestake Mine, and it’s supposed that he knew the schedule and route of the stagecoach carrying gold and gold products to the bank in Deadwood.

As with most crimes, there are conflicting reports about exactly what happened during the stagecoach robbery, but what is known for sure is that Lame Johnny and several others escaped and hid out in the Badlands.

In Kate, Tom, the hero, helps the law locate two bandits. When Johnny hears about this, he vows revenge, and comes after Tom. Without spoiling the ending, suffice it to say Tom and Kate live another day, and the epilogue wraps up Johnny’s change of heart.

Whether Johnny managed to spend any of the loot in real life is not known. He was later captured, but on his way to Deadwood to stand trial, vigilantes hijack the stage, haul him out, and hang him from the nearest tree. A bad end to a bad man. Although my story makes him out to be slightly better, he still faces the same end.

Basing a fictional story on real history can be tricky. The time and setting have to be the same, but details related to where the real life characters go and what they do can be adjusted. I found this story so compelling because of the aftermath of the robbery, which included outlaws trying to spend the gold and then getting caught, as well as the fact that most of the loot was recovered. The largest ingot, weighing in at over 16 ounces, was never found. Some accounts wonder if it was ever in the stage. Perhaps it was stolen before it ever got on board. Or maybe one of the guards took it. Or could be it never existed, and the mine simply collected the insurance. We will likely never know.

Leave a comment, and I will randomly choose the winner of a print (US only) or digital copy of Kate.

And, if you’d like a copy of a cookbook Kate could have used along the trail, containing recipes that can be prepared on a wood stove, over a fire, or in a Dutch oven, email me: donna AT Historythrutheages DOT com

About Kate:

A prostitute’s daughter, an outlaw’s brother, and a stagecoach robbery—can anything good come out of Deadwood?

Kate Benton, daughter of a saloon floozy, runs away days before her official introduction into that sordid life, straight into the arms of Tom McBride, fleeing from his outlaw brother’s past. Can these two young people, damaged and labeled by life experiences, tear down the walls of guilt and mistrust that separate them? Will they allow God to change them forever from the inside out? Or are they destined to remain alone forever?

https://www.amazon.com/Kate-Prairie-Roses-Collection-Book-ebook/dp/B084VTBGF2

About Donna:

Donna writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, and has been published more than 30 times in novellas, full-length novels, and non-fiction books. She is a member of ACFW, Writers on the Rock, SinC, Pikes Peak Writers, and CAN; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests.

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DonnaschlachterAuthor

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DonnaSchlachter

Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2gZATjm

What Can Be Online University: online courses on the craft of writing: https://what-can-be-online-institute.teachable.com/

Etsy online shop of original artwork, book folding art, and gift items : https://www.etsy.com/shop/Dare2DreamUS?ref=search_shop_redirect

May 2020 New Releases

May 2020 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Children’s:

The Edge of Everywhen by A.S. Mackey — Begin with an ancient, mysterious, self-aware book. Add two heartbroken children, reeling from the loss of their mother. Mix in a cantankerous aunt, dreams that see the future, and a father trying to make his way home and you get “The Edge of Everywhen,” a captivating tale of loss, hope, revelation, and unexplained mystery. “The Edge of Everywhen” is a book-lover’s book, a story of intrigue in which two children embark upon a life-changing journey of faith. (Middle Grade from B & H Publishing)

Contemporary Romance:

A Mother’s Homecoming by Lisa Carter — Charmed by the two-year-old twins in her toddler tumbling class, Maggie Arledge is shocked to learn they’re the children she gave up for adoption. And when Bridger Hollingsworth—the uncle caring for the boys—needs an emergency nanny, she fits the bill. But with sparks flying between her and Bridger, can she let herself get attached…and risk exposing secrets from her past? (Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Love is in the Air by Tanya Eavenson, Candee Fick, Kathleen Friesen, Laura V. Hilton, and Kathleen Rouser — This collection of five brand new Christian romances is sure to send your heart soaring. Journey from Canada to Georgia and Colorado to Paris by way of Michigan as these couples find love is in the air. All they had to do was look up. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

The Trouble With Love by Toni Shiloh — I, Holiday Brown, have it all. A platinum record. Multi-million dollar home in Manhattan that I share with my two best friends. Life is looking fantastic until my roommate’s brother decides to bunk in our guestroom while his house gets renovated. W. Emmett Bell has always been the bane of my existence. He’s annoying, stubborn, a know it all, and just might be the most gorgeous man I’ve ever laid eyes on. But I refuse to fall for him. But when his sister’s threatened by a stalker, dynamics change. His unwavering faith isn’t quite as self-righteous as I’d always thought, and maybe he has a good side I’ve overlooked all these years. Or maybe it’s all too much trouble. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish by Bethany Turner — Hadley Beckett became the star of the Culinary Channel following hot-tempered celebrity chef Max Cavanagh’s public fall from grace. But when Max returns, career in shambles, his only chance for redemption is to work alongside the beloved host of “At Home with Hadley.” Will these two polar opposites burn down the kitchen—or fall in love? (Contemporary Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Stay with Me by Becky Wade — When acclaimed Bible study author Genevieve Woodward receives an anonymous letter referencing her parents’ past, she returns to her hometown in the Blue Ridge mountains to chase down her family’s secret. However, it’s Genevieve’s own secret that catches up to her when Sam Turner, owner of an historic farm, uncovers the source of shame she’s worked so hard to hide. (Contemporary Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

General:

Within Golden Bands by Norma Gail — Newly married Bonny MacDonell finds the transition from American college professor to Scottish sheep farmer’s wife more difficult than she expected. When her miracle pregnancy ends in a devastating miscarriage, she fears her husband’s reaction will hurt more than the loss of their child. But Kieran never shows up at the hospital. When found, he is beaten and unconscious. The only memory of his attacker is the words, “Get off my land.” Reeling from the threat to her husband and the loss of their child, Bonny struggles to hold her marriage together. When faith in love is not enough, where do you turn? (Contemporary, Independently Published)

The Society of Second Chances by Deborah Raney — The Society of Second Chances faces a real challenge, as they try to uncover a way to help Harmoni Branaham—a young woman just released from prison. (Women’s Fiction from Guideposts Publications)

Unveiling the Past by Kim Vogel Sawyer — Newlywed cold-case detectives Sean Eagle and Meghan DeFord struggle between past wounds and their desire for a family when one of them takes on a case involving parental abandonment. (Women’s Fiction from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])

Historical:

Moondrop Miracle by Jennifer Lamont Leo — Chicago, 1928. Pampered socialite Connie Shepherd lives the kind of glossy life other women read about in the society pages. Engaged to a handsome financier, she spends her days and nights in a dizzying social round. When eccentric Aunt Pearl, an amateur chemist, offers her an unusual wedding present—the formula for a home-brewed skin tonic—Connie laughs it off. But when the Great Depression flings her privileged world into chaos and rocks her marriage to the core, will Aunt Pearl’s strange gift provide the key to survival for Connie and her baby? (Historical from Mountain Majesty Media)

Tranquility Point by Pamela S. Meyers — Hannah’s life couldn’t be sweeter—a marriage proposal and law school. Then the Great War intrudes and everything sours. (Historical from Mantle Rock Publishing)

Historical Romance:

A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberly Duffy — A driven entomologist travels to India in an attempt to win a coveted scholarship and save her late father’s scientific journal. But in this enchanting land, she discovers that there are some things more important than success. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Rocky Mountain Redemption by Lisa J. Flickinger — Fleeing a broken engagement, Isabelle Franklin joins her aunt to feed a camp of lumberjacks in the Rocky Mountains. She doesn’t expect to fall for camp foreman Charles Bailey, nicknamed “Preach,” who is struggling between his hard past and his newfound faith. When the ghosts from her past return to haunt her, the choices she will make change the course of her life forever—and that of the man she’s come to love. (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)

Pretending to Wed by Melissa Jagears — It’s a match made in heaven…as long as they don’t fall in love! The ranch Nolan Key has spent decades working for, even lost a leg for, is now his—or at least it should be. But an absurd clause in his father’s will means he’s in danger of losing the place to his lazy, undeserving cousin. Nolan finds himself scrambling to save his home—by proposing marriage to the town laundress. Corinne Stillwater’s hands have betrayed her. Numb from hours of doing the same work over and over, her hands will only heal, according to the town doctor, if she gives up the laundry and marries. But she’s been stung repeatedly by love before, so that is one remedy she can’t swallow. When Nolan offers Corinne a marriage in name only, how can she refuse? Such a partnership could give them the security they seek, but what if the ranch isn’t as secure as they believe, and their lives—and dreams—aren’t quite as compatible as they thought? (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

The Sinner in Mississippi by D.L. Lane — The story of Mississippi Singletary, born to a fearful mother and an abusive father in a rundown shack outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Historical Romance from By Faith Publishing)

The Mechanic & The MD by Linda Shenton Matchett — Woman mechanic Doris Strealer has a hard time finding love until she joins the Red Cross Motor Corps and comes face to face with her past in the form of Van Toppel, an old classmate. On the brink of a successful career as a surgeon, Van’s plans crumble when he’s drafted and assigned to an evacuation hospital in England, the last place he expects to run into a former schoolmate. The gangly tomboy who was four years behind him in high school has transformed into a statuesque beauty, but a broken engagement in college leaves him with no desire to risk his heart ever again. Will the hazards of war make or break a romance between this unlikely couple? (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)

Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey by Abigail Wilson — In this new Regency romance, Elizabeth knows she must protect her heart from the charm of her new husband, Lord Torrington. She is not, however, prepared to protect her life. (Historical Mystery from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Romantic Suspense:

Standoff (Natchez Trace Park Rangers) by Patricia Bradley — The Natchez Trace National Parkway stretches 444 miles from Nashville to Natchez, the oldest town on the Mississippi River. It’s the perfect road for a relaxed pleasure drive. Unfortunately for park ranger Luke Fereday, lately it’s being used to move drugs. Sent to Natchez to infiltrate the organization at the center of the drug ring, Luke arrives too late to a stakeout and discovers the body of his friend, park ranger John Danvers. John’s daughter Brooke is determined to investigate her father’s murder, but things are more complicated than they first appear, and Brooke soon finds herself the target of a killer who will do anything to silence her. Luke will have his hands full keeping her safe. But who’s going to keep him safe when he realizes he’s falling–hard–for the daughter of the man he failed to save? (Romantic Suspense from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Untraceable Evidence by Sharee Stover — Someone’s after a deadly weapon…and only she can stop them. It’s undercover ATF agent Randee Jareau’s job to make sure the government’s 3-D printed “ghost gun” doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. So when someone goes after scientist Ace Steele, she must protect him…before she loses the undetectable weapon and its creator. But with a mole inside Ace’s company and everyone a suspect, this assignment could become Randee’s last. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Medieval Fantasy:

The Story Hunter by Lindsay A. Franklin — In this epic conclusion to The Weaver Trilogy, Tanwen and the Corsyth weavers must rescue the queen and rid Tir of the Master once and for all, but the success of their hunt depends upon an ally no one trusts, and the fate of the kingdom rests in the hands of a volatile, shattered girl. (Medieval Fantasy from Enclave Publishing)

Suspense:

Purgatory, A Progeny’s Quest by T. M. Brown — A teenage girl arrives in Shiloh seeking to reconnect with her estranged mother, the only remaining family member she has ever known, only to learn she too has died, but she learns of family she never knew about. All the while a limo with a dark past arrives in town along with unwanted interest by a stranger that puts lives at risk. (Thriller from Southern Fried Karma LLC/Hearthstone Press)

Young Adult:

You’re Brilliant by Julie Arduini — Amazing things happen when a group of high school students and women discover they are more than competent. (Young Adult from Surrendered Scribe Media)

 

 

Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:

Lost Down Deep by Sara Davidson, Romantic Suspense
Son of Mary by R.S. Ingermanson, Biblical
Then There Was You by D. L. Lane, Romantic Suspense
Love’s Silver Bullet by Julie Lessman, Historical Romance
Tug of War by Brenda C. Poulos, Thriller/Suspense
The Scholar’s Quest: The Way by Brad Rucker, Adventure
Illusions by Jennifer Sienes, General Contemporary
The Lost Lieutenant by Erica Vetsch, Historical Romance
A Beautiful Arrangement by Beth Wiseman, Amish Romance

Prairie Roses Collection Book 7 “Kate”: Visit the Setting and Explore the Theme ( + Giveaway )

Two key aspects of a story which are often overlooked are the setting and the theme. In many cases, the setting can become like a character in the book. If this same story was told in a different time period or place, it would be different. The theme encapsulates ultimately what the story is about. Not its plot, but its core meaning.

Kate begins in Fort Laramie, Wyoming Territory, in September 1878. This is important for several reasons: wagon trains with emigrants from the Prairies heading west often began here; the city was at a major crossroads of trails, so there were more choices on which destination to choose; the city was big enough to supply wagon trains of all sizes; although the Westward migration had slowed by 1878, wagon trains continued west into the 1920s; and it was a direct run from Deadwood, Dakota Territory to Fort Laramie.

The Oregon Trail to Oregon City, California, remained open late in the year, and although most wagon trains departed in the late spring, giving six weeks of warm and dry weather, it’s possible a train left in September. The train in my story is a small one by comparison, comprising only seven wagons. Some trains could be as large as 200 wagons. However, the couple-only requirement of the train leader would keep the numbers small, as would his strong Christian morals and insistence on observing a day of rest each week, and of holding weekly church services.

The theme of this story is that we may be victims of our past through no fault of our own, but that doesn’t mean we are prisoners of what happened to us. So many folks struggle with overcoming their childhood, bad marriages, poor choices, and outright attacks from others. I wanted to tell a story with two characters desperately seeking a new start in life, a second chance, and they learn that comes only through a resurrected life in Jesus Christ.

Since no two people’s stories are the same, I chose characters with unlikely backgrounds. The daughter of a prostitute, and the brother of a stagecoach robber, aren’t likely to be people readers live next-door to. Giving my characters diverse and unusual pasts might help readers understand that there is nothing that surprises God, nothing that He can’t overcome, and no sin too great that He can’t use us.

This story has basically the same theme all my stories do: that God offers us second, and third, and fourth chances to find our way to Him. I know this for a fact. If I was a cat, I’d be borrowing another life from the pampered kitty in the high rise down the street

Leave a comment, and I will randomly choose the winner of a print (US only) or digital copy of Kate.

And, if you’d like a copy of a cookbook Kate could have used along the trail, containing recipes that can be prepared on a wood stove, over a fire, or in a Dutch oven, email me: donna AT Historythrutheages DOT com

About Kate:

A prostitute’s daughter, an outlaw’s brother, and a stagecoach robbery—can anything good come out of Deadwood?

Kate Benton, daughter of a saloon floozy, runs away days before her official introduction into that sordid life, straight into the arms of Tom McBride, fleeing from his outlaw brother’s past. Can these two young people, damaged and labeled by life experiences, tear down the walls of guilt and mistrust that separate them? Will they allow God to change them forever from the inside out? Or are they destined to remain alone forever?

https://www.amazon.com/Kate-Prairie-Roses-Collection-Book-ebook/dp/B084VTBGF2

About Donna:

Donna writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, and has been published more than 30 times in novellas, full-length novels, and non-fiction books. She is a member of ACFW, Writers on the Rock, SinC, Pikes Peak Writers, and CAN; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests.

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DonnaschlachterAuthor

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DonnaSchlachter

Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2gZATjm

What Can Be Online University: online courses on the craft of writing: https://what-can-be-online-institute.teachable.com/

Etsy online shop of original artwork, book folding art, and gift items : https://www.etsy.com/shop/Dare2DreamUS?ref=search_shop_redirect

Travel West in a Covered Wagon — Vicariously! ( + Giveaway )

Several years ago, hubby and I visited a museum that offered a virtual Covered Wagon ride. We sat inside a wagon bed, and looked ahead of us where the driver and oxen or horses would normally reside. Then a short film played about the wagon going down over the river bank and across a fat-flowing river. The wagon bed we sat in rocked and rolled according to the view on the video, and about the only thing missing was we didn’t get dunked.

That was a lot of fun, and gave me a whole new insight into the struggles and hardships faced by westward emigrants. Sometimes the stories we read tend to gloss over the deprivations we now take for granted: a hole in the ground for a privy; food cooked over a fire; little privacy; dust, dirt, smoke, and sweat everywhere; lack of medical care; close quarters for months on end.

But if you can’t go to a museum to experience the realities of life on the trail, you can get the next-best thing: read a book. Allow your imagination to run wild—or not, if you prefer a touch more civilization—as you travel alongside the half million or so folks of all ages, classes, and colors who headed westward.

The “Prairie Rose Collection” released last year with four titles, and returns this year with the next three. Each stand-alone book tells the tale of a young woman traveling west for many different reasons: fleeing an arranged marriage; in search of employment; running from a mistake in their past; looking for a husband; seeking her fortune in California—each lass has their own reason as well as their own story to tell.

My contribution this year, Kate, is based in a real-life stagecoach robbery that happened in Deadwood, South Dakota Territory, and my hero was one of the bandits, forced into a life of thievery in order to save his brother’s life. My heroine is running from the brothel where she was raised to avoid being made into a saloon girl following her mother’s death.

Books from last year are available right now, and Kate is available for preorder, too: https://www.amazon.com/Kate-Prairie-Roses-Collection-Book-ebook/dp/B084VTBGF2

Leave a comment, and we will randomly select a winner to receive a print (US only) or digital copy of Kate.

About Kate:

A prostitute’s daughter, an outlaw’s brother, and a stagecoach robbery—can anything good come out of Deadwood?

Kate Benton, daughter of a saloon floozy, runs away days before her official introduction into that sordid life, straight into the arms of Tom McBride, fleeing from his outlaw brother’s past. Can these two young people, damaged and labeled by life experiences, tear down the walls of guilt and mistrust that separate them? Will they allow God to change them forever from the inside out? Or are they destined to remain alone forever?

 

About Donna:

Donna writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, and has been published more than 30 times in novellas, full-length novels, and non-fiction books. She is a member of ACFW, Writers on the Rock, SinC, Pikes Peak Writers, and CAN; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests.

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DonnaschlachterAuthor

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DonnaSchlachter

Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2gZATjm

What Can Be Online University: online courses on the craft of writing: https://what-can-be-online-institute.teachable.com/

Etsy online shop of original artwork, book folding art, and gift items : https://www.etsy.com/shop/Dare2DreamUS?ref=search_shop_redirect

 

Prairie Rose Collection — Patricia PacJac Carroll

Today I’m happy to welcome author Patricia PacJac Carroll as she shares about her new book, Susan.

Susan traveled to Missouri as a mail-order bride. Not that she was leaving anything behind, but she wasn’t sure what she was walking into. When she arrives at the broken-down hotel, she learns that Dan, the man she was to marry, is dead. Then finds out that he’s left her a wagon and supplies to travel to Oregon.

John, Dan’s friend, helps her and takes her to the wagon train where the wagon master suggests she marry as he doesn’t like to have unmarried women on his wagon trains. He points out John to her.

Susan figures she didn’t know Dan much better than John and agrees to marry him. After John cleans up, and she changes into her wedding dress, the wagon master begins the wedding. John says his, I do. Susan is just about to seal the marriage with her, I do, when a gunshot shatters the peace

A stranger steps forward and claims the wagon as his.

Susan is faced with a decision.

You’ll enjoy this clean and wholesome story of people on the journey of their lives. A gentle historical western romance combines choices, fun, and faith as their stories unfold along the Oregon Trail.

ABOUT PATRICIA:

Patricia PacJac Carroll  ~  I am blessed beyond my imagination, and I get to do what I love ~ write stories. I write Christian Historical Western Romances with some fun and faith and always a happily-ever-after. 

 

 

Debut Day — Caryl McAdoo ( + Giveaway )

Today I’m happy to welcome author Caryl McAdoo as she shares about her new book, Lilah. Read through to the end to find out how you can enter her giveaway.

It’s DEBUT DAY and SOMEONE’s Turning SEVENTY!

So, how could a body be so mad at someone she loved so much?

Lilah kicked a rock onto the grave, then hurried over, kneeled beside it, and lifted the stone from the bare mound. She thought to toss it far away then changed her mind and slipped it into her skirt pocket where she rubbed its cool smoothness.

Tears welled, but she didn’t want to cry.

Lord knew she’d cried a bucketful the past six months. She swiped her cheeks.

“Why did you have to die?”

“It’s time, baby. Come on; we’re ready.”

Ready? Ready for what? To ruin her life? She turned. Her mother walked toward her, looking as happy as a simpleton to be leaving.

How could she be so callous? So unconcerned?

“Please, Lilah, let’s not rile him. He’s hoping to make twenty miles today. Come on, baby. I’ve loaded your carpet bag into the wagon.”

If only she had a choice. She filled her lungs.
One glorious day not so far into the future, she would. But on that most horrible of days, destiny forced her to do what they wanted—leave the only home she’d ever known and head off for a place none of them knew much about.

 

. . . And thus begins the passage of fifteen-year-old Lilah, a daddy’s girl who daddy just died; and his evil brother has already forced her mother to marry! She hated him! Stupid Uncle Stepfather! The girl’s whole purpose focuses on getting away from the man.

My reader’s Journey has only just begun, too. In 2018, my husband Ron and I decided to pack a bag and go drive the Oregon / California Trail. It was an amazing trip as we stopped at most every museum along the way and traveled the same terrain as the thousands who made the trek almost two hundred years ago to settle the west.

I believe that research makes this story all the more awesome as it takes readers along on the historic trek to the Pacific Northwest. I hope you’ll all enjoy LILAH, and as always, I’m praying my story gives God glory!

BUY LINK: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084VTVRXD

Jacket Copy for LILAH :
How can death, betrayal, a rash proposal, and revenge lead to romance?

An abusive controller compels reluctant travelers westward. To flee her abusive stepfather, Lilah proposes marriage to the wagon train scout, which only leaves Padraig thinking she’s a bit soft in the head. It’s 1855. Come join the journey along the Oregon Trail with Captain Cumby. Wagon Ho!

Oh, and I’m the one turning SEVENTY today! I came into the world on May 3, 1950. Oh, how the world has changed in my lifetime! It would seem like more than any other generation before with practically all knowledge at my fingertips! But it’s been wisdom I’ve sought above knowledge!

I’m glad to be living my golden years with a complete trust in God which ends all fear and worry, providing perfect peace. If you don’t know such peace, if you haven’t met the Way, the Truth, and the Life, please contact me and let me introduce you to the only One Who can fill the emptiness in your heart.

GIVEAWAY: I’d like to bless one of Donna’s readers today by offering REMI, another Prairie Roses story, book 2, as my gift. Please comment with whether you would like to go on a wagon train for over two thousand miles? Like Remi did? Like Lilah did?

 

ABOUT CARYL:

Award-winning hybrid author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory. Her best-selling novels have garnered over 1000 5-Star reviews, attesting to the Father’s favor. Readers love her Historical Christian romance family sagas best, but she also writes Christian contemporary romance, Biblical fiction, and for young adults and mid-grade booklovers. They count Caryl’s characters as family or very close friends. The prolific writer loves singing the new songs He gives her almost as much as penning tales—hear a few at YouTube! Married to Ron over fifty years, she shares four children and nineteen grandsugars. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.


LINKS:
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Caryl-McAdoo/e/B00E963CFG

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/caryl-mcadoo?follow=true

Website: http://www.CarylMcAdoo.com    

Newsletter: http://carylmcadoo.com/sign-up-to-the-caryler/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_1hQx6UZbWi3OYwmKKxh6Q

(Hear Caryl sing her New Songs!)

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CarylMcAdoo.author

 

Free Recipe Book for Campers

And for those who like to cook outdoors.

I compiled this book while researching cooking over an open fire, as Becky would have done in Double Jeopardy and Kate would have done in the book by her name, Kate.

Lots of folks have asked for it on our various Facebook events, so here it is if you’re interested. Receipe handout

Singer Castle — Susan G. Mathis

Today I’m happy to welcome author Susan G. Mathis as she shares about Singer Castle and her book, Devyn’s Dilemma.

Singer Castle was originally called “The Towers,” and Frederick Bourne affectionately dubbed it his “hunting lodge.” Now named “Singer Castle” it’s set on Dark Island, one of the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence River. It’s the only fully completed and existing castle of the Thousand Islands Gilded Age era. The castle can be toured from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and you can even spend the night there! I’ve toured the castle several times but still haven’t seen it all. One day, I hope to spend the night there.

Frederick Bourne, a New York resident, self-made millionaire, and the fifth president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company (thus the name “Singer Castle”), bought the seven-acre island and contracted Ernest Flagg, a famous architect of the time, to design the magnificent castle to surprise his wife and children. Flagg chose to design it much like the English castle in Sir Walter Scott’s book, Woodstock, complete with eight fireplaces, eight bathrooms, dungeons, secret passageways, a piazza, a portrait of King Charles II that can be opened to spy on guests, and more.

Construction began in 1903, but to support such a massive stone castle, Bourne bought nearby Oak Island and a plot of land in Canada to bring tons of granite to the island over water and the winter ice to build up the island. Two years later the 28-room, four-story castle was a wonder to behold.

Three towers/turrets, secret panels and passageways, massive stone arches, and the dungeon add mystery to the place. The island also includes three boathouses (one that houses a powerhouse), and an icehouse.

The castle is completely furnished with furnishings, a library full of books, dozens of sewing machines, period dishware, and all kinds of cool stuff from that era, most of which were actually there during the Bournes’ ownership and residence. Medieval weapons and suites of armor complete the castle’s ambiance.

Want to add this to your bucket list? Check out more here: https://www.singercastle.com

Check out Devyn’s Dilemma, Book 2 of the Thousand Islands Gilded Age series

You can experience this wonder yourself and/or read about it in my latest novel, Devyn’s Dilemma.

1910, Thousand Islands, New York. Others may consider The Towers castle on Dark Island an enchanting summer retreat, but to Devyn McKenna, it’s a prison. Yet as she works as a maid for Frederick Bourne, former president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, her life blossoms under the kindness of his family and fascinating entrepreneurs such as J.P. Morgan, Thomas Lipton, and Captain Vanderbilt. But more than anything, the growing friendship of Mr. Bourne’s valet, Brice McBride, begins to pry away the painful layers that conceal Devyn’s heart.

Brice is drawn to the mysterious Devyn even though he’s certain she’s hiding a secret, one far more dangerous than the clues they find in The Towers that hint of a treasure on the island. When Devyn is accused of stealing Bourne’s investment in Vanderbilt’s New York City subway expansion, he might not be able to protect her.

 

ABOUT SUSAN G. MATHIS

Susan G Mathis is an award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Her first two books of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, Devyn’s Dilemma and Katelyn’s Choice are available now, and she’s working on book three. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise are also available. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more.

Susan is also a published author of two premarital books with her husband, Dale, two children’s picture books, stories in a dozen compilations, and hundreds of published articles. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs, enjoys traveling globally with her wonderful husband, Dale, and relishes each time she gets to see or Skype with her four granddaughters.

Lighthouse Publishing: https://shoplpc.com/devyns-dilemma

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Devyns-Dilemma-Thousand-Islands-Gilded/dp/1645262731

Website: www.SusanGMathis.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanGMathis

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@SusanGMathis

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susangmathis

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/susangmathisaut

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6044608.Susan_G_Mathis

Excerpt from Devyn’s Dilemma by Susan G. Mathis

Today I’m happy to welcome author Susan G. Mathis as she shares an excerpt from her novel, Devyn’s Dilemma.

Devyn’s Dilemma, book two of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, just came out April 3, 2020. It’s a story set in 1910, in the mysterious Towers Castle on Dark Island in the Thousand Islands, New York.

While others may consider The Towers castle on Dark Island an enchanting summer retreat, to Devyn McKenna, it’s a prison. Yet as she works as a maid for Frederick Bourne, former president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, her life blossoms under the kindness of his family and fascinating entrepreneurs such as J.P. Morgan, Thomas Lipton, and Captain Vanderbilt. But more than anything, the growing friendship of Mr. Bourne’s valet, Brice McBride, begins to pry away the painful layers that conceal Devyn’s heart.

Brice is drawn to the mysterious Devyn even though he’s certain she’s hiding a secret, one far more dangerous than the clues they find in The Towers that hint of a treasure on the island. When Devyn is accused of stealing Bourne’s investment in Vanderbilt’s New York City subway expansion, he might not be able to protect her.

Here’s an excerpt to whet your interest:

Devyn took one step into the entryway and stopped dead in her tracks. “And he deceived me about this being a hunting lodge. I had no idea it was so grand.”

Brice laughed, his voice deep and comforting. “Aye, and I am to give you a tour. I was with the Bournes when they first viewed this place, and they reacted the same way as you. Mrs. Bourne was entirely overcome, though their primary home on Long Island, called Indian Neck Hall, is far grander.” He allowed Devyn to take in the large stone fireplace, massive granite pillars, carved stone arches, and vaulted ceiling before continuing. “This is the Great Hall where we receive our guests. And look at these infinity mirrors.” He led her to the center of the room and pointed to the mirror over the fireplace.

“Oh my! It seems to go on forever.” She snapped her head around to see a duplicate mirror on the opposite side of the room that created the illusion. “Amazing.”

He grinned and motioned her on to what looked like a hall closet. “And over here is the wine vault. It holds an excellent collection.”

“And suits of armor?” Devyn quirked a brow as she glanced at the armor standing at attention and then turned back at her tour guide.

“Aye, this room makes quite an impression for first-time guests, don’t you think? The Bournes love to delight everyone who visits them.” Brice set down Devyn’s carpetbag and continued his tour of the lower level. He led her past the kitchen, gesturing toward it. “You’ll see the kitchen soon enough. Everyone is reelin’ just now preparing for a dinner party tonight, so we won’t disturb them. But you’ll be pleased to know it’s a fully equipped, modern kitchen with indoor plumbing, a gigantic range, a dumbwaiter, and a servant call box.”

She liked his slight brogue that spoke of his Irishness. He rubbed his clean-shaven chin, apparently debating with himself where to take her next. He was a head taller than her, his short hair neatly parted down the middle. His strong features made him appear rather aristocratic. But those eyes …

“This is the east wing where some of the servants reside, and the laundry is there too. You’ll explore that another time.” Brice touched her arm to turn her around, sending a shiver through her. He motioned her down the hall. “Are you cold? The castle can be chilly at times.”

“I’m fine, thank you.” She scurried past the kitchen and back into the Great Hall, where she hoped to catch her breath. His presence, his voice caused her heart to race.

Brice caught up with her. “Another fascinating detail about The Towers is that you’ll find several secret passageways throughout the castle.”

“I’m sorry, I just can’t get over my shock. Falan told me none of this.” Devyn rested her hand on her chest.

“Aye, well, let’s finish touring the ground level, shall we?” Brice didn’t wait for her to answer but led her once again back through the Great Hall to the other side of the fireplace. “Here’s the library and billiard room, and over there …” He pointed to the left of a huge granite fireplace. “There’s a hidden switch in the bookcase panel that opens a secret passageway so we servants can move from room to room without disturbing anyone.”

Devyn grinned so wide that her lips felt dry and taut. She loved secrets and hidden places—and books. She loved to read and discover faraway places and marvelous stories. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad here, after all.

ABOUT SUSAN G. MATHIS

Susan G Mathis is an award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Her first two books of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, Devyn’s Dilemma and Katelyn’s Choice are available now, and she’s working on book three. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise are also available. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more.

Susan is also a published author of two premarital books with her husband, Dale, two children’s picture books, stories in a dozen compilations, and hundreds of published articles. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs, enjoys traveling globally with her wonderful husband, Dale, and relishes each time she gets to see or Skype with her four granddaughters.

Lighthouse Publishing: https://shoplpc.com/devyns-dilemma

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Devyns-Dilemma-Thousand-Islands-Gilded/dp/1645262731

Website: www.SusanGMathis.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanGMathis

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@SusanGMathis

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susangmathis

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/susangmathisaut

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6044608.Susan_G_Mathis