Welcome Laura Ashwood and a Give Away!

Hi Everyone! My name is Laura Ashwood and I’m writing to you from the chilly state of Minnesota. Having grown up in North Dakota/Minnesota I am no stranger to the occasional winter blizzard, but I’ve thankfully never been through anything like the Schoolhouse Blizzard of 1888.

In January, 1888, a massive cold air mass with a spread of over 780 miles, moved into the United States from Canada. The temperature on the front end of the cold front in some places dropped from above freezing to -20°F in just hours. The storm was extremely fast moving. It entered Montana in the early morning hours of January 12, swept through Dakota Territory and was in Nebraska by mid-afternoon of that same day. Because of the warm spell preceding the storm and the swiftness with which it moved, most people were ill prepared. In just minutes, the strong winds and powdery snow made for zero visibility. The combination of bitter cold temperatures and high winds resulted in a death toll of 235. 

Another massive blizzard struck Easter Sunday, April 13, 1873, which began as a pleasant day in southeast Nebraska. That afternoon, rain moved in and temperatures began to drop. During the night, the wind picked up and by morning eighteen inches of heavy, wet snow had fallen. The storm raged for two more days, finally abating on Wednesday, April 17. Drifts as high as 20 feet had accumulated in some areas. Many people perished, including a woman with an infant that died just feet from her home, along with thousands of head of livestock.

So, why am I telling you about blizzards that happened over one hundred years ago? It’s because I’m part of a multi-author series called The Blizzard Brides. This series is loosely based on both of those blizzards. What happens when nearly all the men in town get killed during a blizzard? What are the women to do? This group of talented authors takes that question to task, each story following the journey of one of the women as she begins to rebuild her life.

This is my second historical romance. One of the things I strive for when I write historical is to make sure that I get as much accurate detail for the time period as I can. In my story, A Groom for Ruby, Cullen Parker has a dark past before he ends up in Last Chance. I got to research such things as train robberies, stagecoach robberies, gold mines, and place like Dodge City and San Francisco. Much of that research doesn’t make it into the book, but I love being able to work in some of that information.

In this book, Cullen is making his way back to Dakota Territory, hoping to get a job at the Homestake Mine in Lead. The Homestake Mine was a real working gold mine during that time period. It was actually the largest, deepest mine of its type in the United States. It was operational until 2001, and two of my uncles worked there in 1950’s and 1960s. So, not only did I get to add a bit of reality to my fiction – I was able to make it personal.

Do you like it when authors do little things like that? Do you want to know about it?

I’d love to give away a copy of A Groom for Ruby, as well as a copy of my first historical, An Agent for Clarissa, which is part of the Pinkerton Matchmaker series.

Please stop by my website, and if you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll get a free copy of Snowflakes & Second Chances, a contemporary novelette. I’d love to connect with you on Facebook or Instagram, and you can find inspiration boards for all my books on my Pinterest.


Buy A Groom for Ruby on AMAZON

+ posts

54 thoughts on “Welcome Laura Ashwood and a Give Away!”

  1. I do like realistic, historical details. And if an author has some personal experience or connections that enter in, so much the better.

    • Agreed, and I find it to be much more interesting that any history I ever learned in school too.

    • It is a great concept, Christine Sterling is the mastermind behind it. I hope you get a chance to read them too. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Thanks for stopping Teresa, I agree. Character quirks are fun to try to come up with, but also very challenging to make authentic.

  2. Yes, I do like to read books that have accurate history details in them. I also enjoy when the author adds in personal details.

  3. I do enjoy books that have historical details in them. Also to know that part of your family worked in the gold minds was very interesting. Looking forward to reading your books.

  4. Good Morning Laura! I love it when authors incorporate their personal connection to the story. Your novel sounds fascinating!

  5. Welcome. This is cool about the blizzards. I love learning history like this. I really love it when an author works real history into her books. Yes I really love it when an author will use parts from her past in books also. Makes the book seem more personal as well as historical. I have been enjoying the Pinkerton series. Would love to read your books.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

    • Hi Lori, thanks for the feedback. The Pinkerton series was great fun to write in and my story in that series is loosely based on an actual Pinkerton case! I hope you can check them out!

  6. I was captivated with your fascinating post today. I have experienced many blizzards since I lived in the Great White North for many years. Your novel sounds memorable and the personal details add a great deal to the story.

    • Hi Ellie, we sure don’t get the blizzards we used to, do we? I can’t imagine having lived through the one we based the series on. How scary, especially when there was no electricity or communications systems. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  7. I enjoyed learning about your life, and your writing. Historicals with personal details are always unforgettable since they are meaningful and real treasures to enjoy.

    • Hi Sharon, thank you for the feedback. It makes the story more fun for me too, to be able to find a personal way to connect with it. 🙂

  8. I do like hearing about historical facts and places, mixed with an author’s imagination! How neat that you could include things you knew personally from your family history!!

    • Thank you Trudy! Being able to find a way to connect with the research and then work it into the story is so much fun! Being a research geek helps too. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. I’m excited for the blizzard brides! My mom was always interested in those famous blizzards and would read me stories, when I was growing up, of the accounts of so many people who survived. I will need to gift her these books now! I love when personal experience and knowledge is in the stories – it makes them more real.

    • Hi Susan, that is so awesome that you knew about them already! I realize I’m partial, but the series is really good. I hope she, and you, enjoy it!

  10. I do like it when authors put some true facts into their stories and make it seem more personable. I like to learn things as well as read a good story.

  11. I love learning about actual historical events and how things were truly done in the past when I read historical fiction. Your research and personal/family connections adds authenticity to your books. I appreciate that so much.

    • Hi Roxanne, thank you! I appreciate that you notice those things. It makes the time spent researching worth it.

  12. Hello Laura Your books sounds amazing as I love reading about the history in a book Thank you for this amazing post Can’t wait to read Love the cover!

    • Hi Sarah, thank you! and yes, the cover designer did a fabulous job on the covers for this series. I have another coming out in July and can’t wait to get the cover.

  13. Yes, I do like it when authors do this, it makes it even more interesting to me, I love historical fiction and I like it when real facts are in them also, and how awesome and special or the authors this must be to add some personal touches to it. Have a Great weekend and stay safe.

    • Hi Alicia, thank you! And yes, it does make the book more special to me when I can make a personal connection to it. I hope you have a great weekend as well <3

  14. Love these types of reads not only do you get facts about historical places and add to it the authors ideas of their own, this sounds like something I would enjoy!

  15. Laura, thank you for the interesting post and giveaway. It adds so much to a story when an author does good research and incorporates that information into the story. If there is personal information added, it adds even more authenticity. As a reader, if you have been to the area where it is set or experienced something similar, it becomes even more real. I have been caught in 3 blizzards, but the last was likely much like the ones you described. In 1982, we were moving from northern NY to Colorado Springs. When we were in Iowa it hit and luckily we had car trouble. We pulled off the interstate and it was closed shortly thereafter. Nothing moved for 4 days and with wind chill it got down to 100 below 0. It was definitely something that anyone without shelter could not have survived. Even in a modern motel (not the best, but the only room left at the exit) the snow blew in around the door and it never got above 55.

    • Oh wow!! That’s quite an experience! Thank you for sharing! That’s scary. We hit an ice storm when we were moving to Indiana when I was a kid and I remember we had to crawl from the truck to the motel because it was so windy and the icy was so slick it was impossible to walk. Thanks for stopping by today! 🙂

Comments are closed.