The next book in the “Claim” series

I didn’t set out to be a multi-book author. I thought once I’d written Proving Her Claim, I’d have the writing bug out of my system. But then the Lone Tree Claim story waited to be told.

Like Proving Her Claim, a fact or, more accurately, a museum exhibit inspired this book. Several years ago, the South Dakota Ag Heritage Museum presented a retrospective: The Unspun Tale: Sheep in South Dakota.

The exhibit drew me in with this statement: Sheep for the money; Cattle for the prestige. Sheep, after all, provide two paychecks: wool and mutton. It was those hardy sheep that often helped farmers and ranchers make ends meet. The more I learned, I discovered that women often managed the sheep while the menfolk rode herd on the cattle. There was another story to tell about women homesteaders.

That’s the basis for the next book in the “Claim” series. Lone Tree Claim is the story of a woman from Chicago who moves west to start a new life. Here’s a synopsis:

Like many Americans, Civil War widow Katie Rose Kelly was determined to build a new life for herself after the devastation of war. She was drawn to the Dakota frontier, where she claimed 160 acres and became a sheepherder.

But that was just the beginning of her journey.

As a woman alone on the wide-open Dakota frontier, she fought nature as well as powerful cattle ranchers who saw sheep as competition for valuable grazing lands. With grit and determination, Katie built a new life, fostered new friendships, and kindled new love.

While this historical fiction book could be categorized as a Western romance, there’s a strong storyline about the friendship and support that women offer one another. I’ll write more about that in a future blog.

I hope you’ll check back in a few weeks for more information about Lone Tree Claim: On the Dakota Frontier.