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.
I was wrong.
Like Proving Her Claim, my next book was inspired by a fact or, more accurately, a museum exhibit. 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. I thought about that and the more I learned, I found that women often managed the sheep while the menfolk rode herd on the cattle. I had another story to tell about women homesteaders.
That’s the basis for my new “Claim” book scheduled for publication this fall. 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.