Shannon here: Donna Schlachter shares the inspiration for her latest Historical Romance, Hollow Hearts. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for a print copy (US only) or ebook. Deadline: Sept 10th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Donna:
Readers often ask where I get my ideas, and that’s a tough question. Many times, as in the case of Hollow Hearts, it’s a little here, a little there.
First, the location. I found it, in the form of “Simpson’s Hollow”, near “Simpson’s Gulch”, along the Green River. In researching that location, I learned that right along the river there, the ground was soft enough for a cemetery and many wagon trains heading west stopped off there and buried their dead. As you can imagine, crossing the prairies and the rugged landscape, often the soil was rocky, or clay, or simply not deep enough.
Next, the storyline. It’s a well-known fact that unattached women in the 1860s had few options apart from marriage, and there were far more men in the West than women. It wasn’t unusual for a widow to receive one or more offers of marriage on the way from their dead husband’s funeral.
Having these ideas in hand, I created my heroine. I needed a strong name and found it by asking my newsletter subscribers, choosing Edith. While she had few resources except the covered wagon over her head—wait a minute. Take that away. Now what?
I then turned to my hero. Since this is part of the Pony Express series, he should work for the Express. Stationmaster. Easy. But the station wasn’t only about the Express. Wagon trains and stagecoaches came through, too. A recalcitrant horse, a kick to the arm—now he needs help.
The story came fairly easily after that. Like any good romance, there are two other men vying for her attention—or should I say, two men. Albert, the stationmaster, has sworn off women, given he’s been jilted by two. He’s not looking to wed. But these men are particularly loathsome—each for a different reason.
As you can imagine, a grieving widow and a man who doesn’t trust women will end up creating sparks. And find themselves drawn to—and then thrust away from—each other. But to find out the ending, you’ll need to read the book.
Question for Readers: Have you ever read a book about the Pony Express? What do you enjoy most about them?
About Donna: A hybrid author, Donna writes squeaky clean historical and contemporary suspense. She has been published more than 50 times in books; is a member of several writer’s groups; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, traveling extensively for both, and is an avid oil painter.
Stay connected so you learn about new releases, preorders, and presales, as well as check out featured authors, book reviews, and a little corner of peace. Plus: Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter! Donna’s Website
About Hollow Hearts (Book 2 – Hearts of the Pony Express series:
Middle-aged widow Edith Cooper walks away from the cemetery along the Green River near Simpson’s Hollow, Utah Territory. Away from the husband buried there this morning. Away from their plans and dreams for their future. Along the way, two men offer their hand in marriage. For her protection, one says. For his children’s sake, says the second. Were any of these reasons enough to marry? She must choose one. But which?
Albert Whitt, stationmaster of the Pony Express Station, loves his independent life. Twice stood up by women, he takes the only course that ensures no more rejection: stay clear of them. But when he learns that the stoic Widow Cooper is considering two proposals from men not worthy of lacing her boots, he must do something. But what?
Can Edith and Albert find a new beginning in the midst of tragedy, or will they choose the most convenient path—alone?
Can’t wait for the drawing? Worried you won’t win? Interested in Donna’s other titles?
Get your copy/copies now!
Come back Sept 2nd for Sherri Stewart!