THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR and the Santa Fe Trail

banner 2Good Morning (or afternnon or evening)!

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.

page4h[1]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.imagesCAPJEZR1

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:

images[7]“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.

AngelAndTheWarrior-The-CoverAs I’ve said above, THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR is being released on April 1, 2014.  For now, all pre-orders are on sale — and a sale of the book for almost a song, I think.

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.

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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 for all contest rules.

57 thoughts on “THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR and the Santa Fe Trail”

  1. The very best of luck in your new location. That is quite a move!

    The Santa Fe trail is a facinating subject. It played such a vital part in our history.

  2. The passages are so vivid.

    Your move sounds exhausting, but exciting too.


  3. Karen,

    I can’t wait to read “The Angel and the Warrior” and would love to win one of your books.

    Meanwhile, what a fascinating post. The imagery is vivid. And because of your post, I’ve added Land of Enchantment” to my TBR list.


  4. Hi Kay, Wow how exciting for us all to have a new novel to read. It looks like I need to catch up. Best wishes and I miss not coming her but I lost everything on my computer and had to have it redone. Smiles its so good to see you.


  5. We only moved about 45 minutes away and that was hard enough. I can’t imagine moving from one coast to another. I can’t wait to read “The Angel and the Warrior”.

  6. Thanks for sharing those memoirs, they’re lyrical and somehow sad.
    I’ll look forward to reading Angel when it comes out.

  7. The description is so vivid. It’s almost like being there. I can’t wait to read your new book. Good luck with the rest of your move.

  8. Great description. You can clearly paint a picture in your head from those words. I am in love with the whole “Old West” time period.
    Best wishes as you make the giant move from coast to coast. May it all go smoothly.

  9. I am looking forward to reading THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR .Have a wonderful week.I enjoy reading your books.

  10. Thank you for the wonderful Giveway. I look forward to reading The Angel and the Warrior! I would love to win one of your books!

  11. first i hope you have a save move i now it hard to move with livestock but happy trial to you but the book you have is great color i love the burp i read and then the dress is great

  12. best of luck on the move!!! That sounds like a great road trip idea though 🙂 definitely going to have mark that down on the “list” of stuff to do!

  13. My husband and I have taken many driving trips in the US but I am not sure if we followed the Santa Fe trail or not. I often wondered though when we were crossing the country how people did it in covered wagons. We used to be out in the middle of no where but there always seemed to be a hotel close by. What did these people in the wagons do for days on end. I always wondered how they went so long without showering.
    Can’s wait to read The Angel and the Warrior.

  14. The Santa Fe Trail was such an important part of the early settlement of the Southwest and the Mexican War in 1846 but it is not something that is taught in schools today like the Oregon Trail is. Although I have traveled through Kansas,Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle I’m not sure where the Santa Fe Trail was actually located. It ended in Santa Fe but where did it begin?

  15. Years ago my family did a big move… I remember I had the cat, 3 birds, my rat, a small tank of fish, myself and my sister in my car… it was quite a trip…

  16. I have lived all my life within 10 miles of my birthplace. When I moved from my childhood home to my home with my new husband I took a couple of suitcases. Now I would really have to dispose of excesses to make a move.

    Often when we travel through the western part of northern Nebraska, I look out over the sandhills and wonder at the hardships faced by those traveling across them in covered wagons. It is easy to see that it would have been difficult.
    The endless grass and blowing sand to say nothing of the dangers of rattlesnakes and other creatures must have been daunting.

    Looking forward as usual to your book.

  17. Hi Alisa!

    Thanks so much! You know, you really won’t regret getting that book. She loved the trail so much — and felt so free on the trail, that she came to travel it often. Fascinating story.

  18. Hi Nance!

    It is so good to see you here. Computers…can’t live with them…anymore it seems you can’t live without them… That’s something that you had to have everything redone. Sigh…

  19. Hi Dawn!

    You really put your finger on it, I think. Much of her work carries a saddness to it — the saddness that it was all disappearing, I think. She really did come to love the old trail.

  20. Ah, Jessica!

    Thank you so much for your compliment and your well wishes. I’ll just knock on wood, also, as I do so hope it all goes smoothly also.

  21. Hi Debbie!

    Thank you so much! Perhaps you might be able to review it — I did go to your gravatar photo and read your story. If you would like to review it, just let me know. : )

  22. Hi Disiree!

    You know you’re the first to mention her dress — and you’re right — but that particular cover, I think, is quite spectacular — one the the very best, I think. : )

  23. Hi llona!

    Yes, it really was a gem to find. You sound as if you do research, also. Do you? I must admit that the research is really one of the best parts of writing…

  24. Hi Mary!

    Oh, you’re gonna fall in love with the Santa Fe Trail. It’s the only book I’ve done about the trail, but it meant so much to this country and it’s just teaming with history.

  25. Hi Judy!

    Yes, it’s a trip really worth while. Imagine, if you can no TV, and straight adventure ahead of you. If you read that book, you’ll see that each day was an adventure. She really did grow to love the trail and made the trip often.

  26. Hi Hilltop Wife!

    It always started around in Leavenworth, if memory serves me correctly. It might have been Independence, but I think Independence was the starting place of the Oregon trail. I do believe it was Fort Leavenworth.

  27. Hi Connie J!

    Yes, I do believe you’re right. I think it’s why they were really insistent on having guides. Those things are quite daunting even today, with all our modern equipment.

    And yes, it is quite a move!

  28. Beautiful passage! You have such away with your words. I remember that part of Kansas I used to go to when I was just a child but 40 years ago there where only corn and wheat fields but no buffalo. I would love to win your book!

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