Shannon here: Linda Shenton Matchett shares the inspiration for her latest Historical Romance, Gold Rush Bride Hannah. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for an Advanced Reader’s Copy ebook edition. Deadline: April 17th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Linda:
Most folks know about the California Gold Rush that started in 1848 when John Marshall found gold while constructing a lumber mill for John Sutter. Despite Mr. Sutter’s attempts to keep the discovery a secret, news leaked out, and it wasn’t long before more than 300,000 people from the U.S. and around the world showed up to find their fortune.
But have you heard about the Georgia Gold Rush that occurred two decades earlier? According to several online sources, no one knows which version of the original find is accurate. Stories vary from a man and his slave finding gold in Duke’s Creek, Georgia while others claim a North Carolina prospector unearthed the precious mineral at Ward’s Creek near Dahlonega. One tale claims that a man found gold on his birthday while walking along a deer path.
Whatever the truth, it wasn’t long before northern Georgia was overrun with thousands of men and women hoping to strike it rich. You read correctly. Women arrived to pan for gold in an attempt to find their fortune. Others came as wives and remained to work the claims after losing their husbands. Conditions were crude, and the area remote, with lawmen few and far between. Most of the ladies knew how to fire a gun and hunt for food, but they also had to be brave enough to scare off potential claim jumpers.
The population in the area exploded, but much of the gold-producing land was held by the Cherokees. Tensions between the natives and encroaching miners ran high until President Jackson authorized the Indian Removal Act of 1830. This led to the forced migration of the Native Americans, later called the Trail of Tears. More than one million dollars in gold was sent to the Philadelphia mint between 1830 and 1837. By the 1840s, the gold was nearly played out, so news of the California strike was music to their miners’ ears.
In Gold Rush Bride: Hannah, Hannah Lauman is widowed under suspicious circumstances. The men in town think she needs to head back home to mama or get herself another husband. She’s not interested in either solution. Then a friend of her husband’s shows up to keep a promise he made to her husband, but she wonders if Jess is only interested in her new-found wealth. But when a series of incidents occur that put her in danger, she realizes his skill with a gun might come in handy after all.
After serving in the War of 1812, Jess Vogel returned to Tennessee to take over the family farm. Years pass, and he’s comfortable with his bachelor’s life. When a letter arrives from his former platoon mate about being in danger, he rushes to Georgia to discover his friend is dead, but the man’s widow refuses to leave. She’s as beautiful as she is unconventional, wearing dungarees to work the claim, but it’s her feisty spirit and intelligence that make him question his plans to remain single.
About Linda: Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. She a volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Linda was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historical places all her life. She is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.
About the book – Gold Rush Bride Hannah:
Recently widowed, she’s doesn’t need another man in her life. He’s not looking for a wife. But when danger thrusts them together, will they change their minds…and hearts?
Hannah Lauman’s husband has been murdered, but rather than grief, she feels…relief. She decides to remain in Georgia to work their gold claim, but a series of incidents make it clear someone wants her gone…dead or alive. Is a chance at being a woman of means and independence worth risking her life?
Jess Vogel never breaks a promise, so when he receives a letter from a former platoon mate about being in danger, he drops everything to help his old friend. Unfortunately, he arrives just in time for the funeral. Can he convince the man’s widow he’s there for her protection not for her money?
Gold Rush Bride: Hannah is the first book in the exciting new series Gold Rush Brides. Steeped in romance, intrigue, and history, the story will keep you turning pages long into the night.
Can’t wait for the drawing? Worried you won’t win? Ger your copy now!
Question for Readers: Would you uproot yourself to move thousands of miles to search for gold?
Come back April 9th for Debbi Migit!