The Fillies give a big welcome to Janice Cole Hopkins. She’s a long-time P&P follower and a lover of history as well as historical western romance. Janice writes her own books many of which are series! Now that’s a big Yee-Haw!
As wagon trains began making the trek west, more of the West opened to settlers. The midwestern states were once the frontier to be settled. However, the discovery of gold in California and the rich, fertile land in Oregon brought larger numbers.
To help protect the pioneers against hostile Indians and to give them a trading post along the way, forts were built. Forts Laramie, Bridger, and Hall in what is now Wyoming were constructed of logs, mostly cottonwood. Fort Kearney in Nebraska was built using adobe, sod, logs, and boards. Fort Boise in Idaho first used adobe. Travelers were excited to visit a fort and break the austere, often monotonous life on the trail. Yet, they found the prices outrageous because it cost to transport the goods there.
In my new release, A Few Bumps in the Road, Judith Johnson takes her younger brother and travels along a portion of the Oregon Trail to Kansas as a mail-order bride after their parents die. She meets her intended and his brother at Fort Ferguson, a fictitious fort based on most of the others I researched. Her husband, although handsome and charming, turns out to be a womanizer and has a drinking problem. Judith is determined to make her marriage work, however, and she keeps telling herself her situation could be worse. At least Calvin’s older brother is stable and responsible, providing a home for all of them on the farm. But farm life on the prairie can be hard in 1850, and Calvin’s attitude makes the struggles even worse. But she knew one thing. After the harsh conditions on the Oregon Trail, she never planned to go back, and she hadn’t even gone all the way to Oregon like most of the others were doing.
Although A Few Bumps in the Road is part of the Idioms & Clichés series, like all my books, it can also be read as a standalone. These books are loosely connected by one family’s generations. It is available in print, Audible, and Kindle.
Here’s an excerpt:
Judith’s eyes began to sweep around the fort when she saw a tall man striding their way. Despite his long steps he didn’t appear to be in any hurry to get there.
Mr. Davis took a few steps forward to meet him and extended his hand. Robbie followed Mr. Davis, so Judith did too.
“Good to see you again,” Mr. Davis said. “Allow me to present to you Miss Judith Johnson and her brother Robert, better known as Robbie. Miss Johnson, this is Matthew Miller.”
A momentary flash of surprise flickered over Matthew’s face, but he tipped his hat and nodded. “A pleasure, Miss. Welcome, Robbie. I hope you both will be very happy here.”
She looked around wondering where Calvin could be. She didn’t see another man who fit what she knew of her fiancé.
“Cal woke up not feeling well and needed some extra time. He sent me on out to meet you, but he should be coming along soon.” Matthew must have seen her search.
“I hope nothing’s wrong.”
“No, we came into the fort yesterday evening. Cal woke up with a headache and queasy stomach this morning.”
Judith’s worry deepened, but she didn’t say anything.
“Come and we’ll go over to the building they use for a church. Cal will meet us there.”
You can read more of A Few Bumps in the Road in the Amazon sample and get more information by clicking here.
If anyone would like a free code for an Audible copy for A Few Bumps in the Road, message me on Facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (You must have the free Audible account activated to redeem the code.)
For a chance to win a Kindle copy of A Few Bumps in the Road, what do you think would be ONE of the biggest hazards to living on the Kansas frontier in 1850?