As my husband and I make our move from one coast to another (literally), I am reminded of what it feels like to live out of boxes. This is one of the biggest moves I’ve ever made, I think. Not because I have never moved from one coast to another, but rather because we are moving our family from one coast to another, including not only us, but all of our animals, also. This is a first for us.
But one of the good things about the move is that I’ve had to look at most every book I have as I put them back onto bookshelves and I ran across a book called “Land of Enchantment,” which are the memoirs of Marian Russell — along the Santa Fe Trail. The new book that’s being released on April 1st, THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR, is set on the Santa Fe Trail. When I was researching this book, I drove across Kansas and took note of many of the landscapes along the Santa Fe Trail, and though the land has changed, it gave me a good idea of what the this part of our country might have looked like at this time period in our history. Because THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR is coming out so soon, I thought I’d write a little from Marian Russell’s book, “Land of Enchantment.” These are her memoirs from this book. If you can, imagine yourself back in the 1850?s — traveling the Santa Fe Trail:
“Minute impressions flash before me; the sun-bonnetted women, the woolen-trousered men, little mother in her flounced gingham, brother Will walking in long strides by our driver, voices of the lonely and homeless singing around blazing campfires. Because I was the youngest, I may today be the only one left of that band to tell of the old, old, trail that, like a rainbow, led us westward.
Doesn’t that bring the trail vividly to mind? But let’s continue with Marian Russell’s impressions:
“Our trail often led among herds of buffalo so numerous that at times we were afraid. The vast open country that is gone from us forever rippled like a silver sea in the sunshine. Tunning across that sea of grass were the buffalo trails; narrow parths worn deep into the earth. They were seldom more than eight inches across, and always ran north and south. A buffalo is a wise animal and knows instinctively that water flows eastward away from the Rocky Mountains and that the nearest way to running water was always north or south..”
I love these impressions. When I was doing research for THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR, I read and reread this book. Let’s read a little more:
“Scattered along the buffalo trails were the buffalo wallows, small lagoons of rain water. They were like turquoise beads strung on the dark-brown string. The buffalo wallows, they told us, were made by buffalo bulls fighting. They would put their heads together and slowly walk round and round making a depression that caught the rain water.”
And before I leave the subject, here’s another passage: “I remember so clearly the beauty of the earth, and how, as we bore westward, the deer and the antelope bounded away from us. There were miles and miles of buffalo grass, blue lagoons and blood-red sunsets and, once in a while, a little sod house on the lonely prairie — home of some hunter or trapper.”
Marian certainly had a way of bringing her experiences clearly to mind, didn’t she? So tell me, have you ever driven the Santa Fe Trail in this modern day and age? It was at one time considered a desert — so interesting because in today’s world, it is a far cry from desert.
Below, please find the link to pre-order this book.
And today I am giving away another one of my free e-books in celebration of the release of this book. So come on in and leave a message. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
Please refer to https://petticoatsandpistols.com/sweepstakesrules for all contest rules.