The school ma’rm–a favorite character in frontier-prairie stories–is my new heroine Miss Ellen Thurston in The Baby Bequest. My editor was not too excited about my ideas at first because it’s not the usual frontier story.
My heroine is a well educated lady of quality in a frontier setting.
And my hero is an unusual character, a German immigrant.
We forget that non-English European immigrants had to overcome a great deal of prejudice in America. Germans were called “Dutch,” a corruption of what Germans call themselves, Deutsche, pronounced “Doit-cha.”
But my editor let me go with this unusual hero and heroine and in the end, she liked the story. (Let’s hope that’s a common reaction.) 🙂
If you read the first book in my “Wilderness Brides” series, Their Frontier Family, you have met Ellen. She visited her cousin who lives in Pepin, WI, (on the eastern shore of the northern Mississippi River) in 1870.
That’s the event that stirs the pot, so to speak. Ellen is committed to keeping the child and raising him. But the community is set against her, their maidenly schoolteacher, doing so. Schoolteachers aren’t married and definitely don’t have children–what will people think!
The hero Kurt Lang also considers it a bad idea, but because he is raising his teen-aged brother and seven-year-old nephew by himself. He understands that single parenthood is a difficult road.
And Ellen doesn’t have to only deal with negative popular opposition, her family which she left behind in Galena, IL, keeps popping in and dragging Ellen back into dealing with family issues. Wait till you read about Alice, Ellen’s sister in law, a real piece of work.
So this isn’t a frontier story of wagon trains, bank robbers, pony soldiers, etc. This is a story of people in a small town confronted by an unusual situation and how it all works out–for the best.
Blurb for The Baby Bequest.
Schoolteacher Ellen Thurston never expected to find love in Pepin, Wisconsin. But the moment she discovers a baby boy outside her door, it’s love at first sight. While the townsfolk don’t approve of Ellen as a single mother, what worries her most are her feelings for the handsome farmer who defends her decision to keep the child.?
Ellen is far above the reach of a German immigrant like Kurt Lang. Especially one weighted with responsibility. Kurt knows how hard it is to raise a child alone, but he will do whatever it takes to help make Ellen’s dream of a family come true.
Now for your opinions–
I admit I’ve always wanted to write a story about a woman finding a baby on her doorstep. It’s intriguing, isn’t it? Have you ever thought about it? Have you ever read another secret baby or unknown baby story that you enjoyed? Please share. Would you like to find a baby on your doorstep?
Also Miss Ellen Thurston is from Galena IL. What president was from Galena? I’ll be happy to give away a copy of The Baby Bequest to a commenter.