About Me

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I started writing seriously while I was raising a family and working full time. Somehow, I managed to carve out time to write, a little at a time. For me, researching the history behind the stories was as engrossing as writing the stories themselves. I put my writing away when my daughters were teenagers, but after they were grown and I had retired, I pulled out the old manuscripts, rewrote, researched some more and edited - and edited again. Recently, I've been able to publish my first two novels: Fighting Chance, A Novel of the Wyoming Territory and River Song, A Romance of the Missouri. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have enjoyed the process of writing!

Friday, April 29, 2011

River Song, a Romance of the Missouri

Photo - Murphy Library,
University of Wisconsin

I'm happy to announce the publication of my second novel. It is now available on Amazon Kindle.

I hope you enjoy it.  Feel free to comment on this book, I'd love to have your feedback. Below I've given a short description:
Missouri was deeply divided during the Civil War. Although it  was a slave-holding state, it did not secede from the Union.  Missouri sent men to both the Union and the Confederate armies.  Both flags contained a star for the state.  Guerrilla warfare and raids made under the guise of war, pitted neighbor against neighbor and blurred the line between soldiers and brigands. 
But Lydia McKenzie, a soldier’s daughter, knew the difference.  She saw her only brother killed by marauders attacking the family homestead.  For Lydia, overwhelming grief turns to anger and a half-formed plan to find the man who led the attack, a man named Anderson. When she discovers that he is headed up the Missouri River to the newly discovered gold fields of Montana, she decides to follow him.
As luck would have it, her cousin, an Indian agent, is about to leave St. Louis by steamboat to deliver annuities, promised by treaty to a band of Sioux upriver.  Lydia persuades Ned to let her go with him, on the pretext of visiting some old Army friends of her parents, stationed at Fort Randolph, on the upper Missouri. 
When we first meet Lydia, she is walking into the Prairie Belle Café and Tavern, a somewhat disreputable establishment near the levee in St. Louis.  After a few minutes, a fight breaks out in the tavern behind the café.  A steamboat captain rushes to intervene and protect his crew.  As he passes her table, Lydia hands him a bullwhip that she pulls out of her carpetbag. 

"Here," she said, handing it to him briskly. "Use this. It's more effective for what you need to accomplish in there. I imagine you know how to use it.” She certainly hadn't meant to get involved in this, and wondered why in the world she had. Then she met his eyes.  Yes, this man would certainly know how to use a bullwhip.

And, so begins her journey up the “vast, wild” Missouri River.

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