You’re flustered and in a rush. Stop. Take a sip of your favorite Starbucks drink and imagine it’s 1850. You are comfortable in your home in Boston. Women are protected. You have your women friends, sisters, mothers, aunts around you. Life is good.
And then Harry, your husband, comes home from the store where he works. He has a wild look in his eye. No, not that wild look! He’s got a map in his hands. A piece of paper with words you may or may not be able to read depending on your status and upbringing.
Back to Happy Harry. He’s excited. His hands are trembling. (Remember, it’s not that wild look.) He sits down at his desk, scribbles out figures, and jumps out of the chair. “We can go.”
“To Oregon. No more working in a dark store. I can farm my own land. Realize my dream.”
You don’t want to go. Why leave? You have your friends. Family. Status.
Handsome Harry rushes to you, sweeps you off your feet, and yes, now he has that look in his eye. “Together, we’ll conquer a new land. Adam and Eve in a faraway paradise.” And he smothers your words of protest with a kiss.
Ah, well, you never could resist his kisses.
On top of that, you are soon in the chaos of fifty wagons. Some of your fellow travelers are new arrivals to the United States and their different languages add to the chaos. What’s more, men are everywhere, and you are not used to being around other men. But now you are seemingly in the trenches with dirty, smelly, men.
Speaking of smelly, soon after you start on the trail, odors assault your dainty senses. What’s worse – you own them. Oh, the disgrace. It doesn’t take long into the journey and you are walking behind the wagon, suffering long hot days of slow miles and stinging flies.
You wince and cry when a shriek erupts from a wagon behind. A small child has been run over by the big wheels. Or cholera has claimed another life to be buried along the trail with the graves of those who died from other wagon trains that passed by years ago. You wonder if you or your husband will be next.
Water becomes scarce, the sun blazes, and the dust chokes what little air is left. Maybe you cringe at the small kick of the little one letting you know that yes, you are with child. You can only pray you’ll reach Oregon before it comes.
Then you top the majestic mountains and see the green valleys. Your breath whooshes. You look east. Miles and miles of wagon ruts mark the land. Badges of honor to those who made the sacrifice. You look at your hands. Worn and callused. But you are strong. The little one inside you is strong too.
You gaze at Harry. He’s no longer the pale storekeeper. His body is sculpted bronze sinew forged out of the hard county. His eyes mirror the excitement and adventure you feel. Together you will tame a wild land, make a new life, and help build a new state. You realize you are home. You are a pioneer.
Now you’re back in the 21st century. It’s not really that bad. Take another sip of your drink and then whisper a quiet thank you to those brave women who made the trek west and civilized this nation.
Don’t forget them, draw on their courage, and go after
Golden Dreams blurb
Sometimes you have to go through your past to reach your dreams.
The civil war ends, leaving, Katy Gilbreth with nothing but a wounded heart and scarred face. Vowing not to give up, she sets her sights on California where she can get away from the hauntings of her past and start over in a land full of golden dreams. With her faith shattered and hopes fading, Katy trusts no man yet needs one to take her west.
Revelation Tarver has left California and is traveling east. He’s called to preach. A hard thing to do with a reputation as a fast gun. Going to reconcile with his father in Virginia, he believes he can outrun his past. Then he has those visions of asking a woman to marry him, but he definitely has no plans to fall in love again. Until he stops for supplies in a nowhere town and sees the woman in his dreams. Because of her past, Rev shuts his heart to Katy. After all, he’s been called by the Lord to preach, and he is headed east.
Until a killer, land grant, and a tornado throw them together on the California trail. Katy and Rev embark on a journey where their dreams collide as they face the wild land, a wicked outlaw, and their own pasts.
Leave a comment to get your name in the hat for either Liberty Belle (which is available now) or Golden Dreams when it comes out in April.