To save the family’s Ohio farm, Meg’s father has arranged her marriage to a wealthy Denver man. When they marry, her new husband will send the money to her father to pay off the bank. Meg decides she must honor her father’s wishes, so she sets out alone on the wagon train journey with her six-year-old orphaned niece to meet her fiancé.
Will Mr. O’Sullivan accept Eliza? Meg worries. When she becomes attracted to the wagon master, she starts to wonder if she really wants to marry a man she’s never met?
http://tinyurl.com/86vb4ko - Amazon Link
http://tinyurl.com/78f6n27 - Kindle Version
And Now, Some Advice from Mary Montague Sikes:
Always Keep a Notebook Handy
Always keep a notebook with you because you never know when you’ll come across something remarkable you can use later on in an article or a story. That’s a piece of advice I like to give writers. In my own writing studio, I have dozens of little notebooks and artist sketchbooks filled with information from journeys taken over the years.
One of my black hardcover notebooks is from a journey we took into rugged mountainous areas of Colorado where we discovered a section of old gold mines in Idaho Springs. Inside the Phoenix Gold Mine, a veteran miner entertained us with colorful tales from pioneer times. The day we visited, he was having trouble with his left arm which he said was injured when he was struck by lightning inside the mine a few weeks earlier. He believed this was a message from God showing him where a vein of gold was located. Not long after the lightning strike, a rich pocket of gold ore was located where it hit. What he told us that day filled my notebook and provided an entertaining chapter for my book, Hotels to Remember. It also supplied me with a little background into mining in the West where not only gold but also silver were found in the early days of the pioneers. The talkative miner gave me a piece of gold ore that day that I still have on display in a cabinet. It’s a reminder of the importance of artifacts and other memorabilia to a writer.
Several years ago when we were visiting charming little communities in the Colorado mountains, I came across several books documenting the early days of the settlement of the territory. Although I had misgivings at the time, I bought two of the books, including one with diaries of women settlers. They’ve provided a wealth of knowledge to supplement all those little notebooks that line my book shelves.
As I wrote my latest book, A Rainbow for Christmas, I referred many times to my Colorado notebooks, artist sketchbook, and my book of dairies written by the “covered wagon women.” I’ve learned to treasure my notebooks and to be on the lookout for local books that contain a wealth of research information.
Keep lots of notebooks. That’s wonderful advice for writers.
About Mary Montague Sikes:
Growing up in the historic city of Fredericksburg, VA, Mary Montague Sikes was surrounded by old buildings and stories of the nation’s founding fathers. Virginia’s history fascinated her and so did the challenges of those who left the comforts of the established colonies to head west on wagon trains. When she discovered the diaries of the brave women who endured great hardships to cross the plains, she was fascinated and knew that one day a bit of their stories would surface in one of her novels. That book turned out to be A Rainbow for Christmas, published in 2011. This young adult novel is her first historical book. Her other novels include the “Passenger to Paradise” books, Hearts Across Forever, Eagle Rising, Secrets by the Sea, Night Watch, and Jungle Jeopardy. She is author of a mystery/suspense e-book, Dangerous Hearts. She has written five non-fiction books, including Hotels to Remember, a coffee table book featuring her art, photography, and stories. All her novels have kindle versions.
Sikes is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. Following her love of art, she studied painting and sculpture at the College of William and Mary and earned a MFA in painting from Virginia Commonwealth University. A freelance writer and photographer as well as book author, Sikes presents programs for art, writing, and civic organizations. For the past 14 years, she has taught art part-time at West Point (Virginia) Elementary School.
For more information about her books and art, visit http://marymontaguesikes.blogspot.com/.
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