Shannon here: Linda Shenton Matchett shares the inspiration behind her latest Historical Romance, Gold Rush Bride: Caroline. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for an Advanced Reader’s Copy ebook edition. Deadline: July 17th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Linda:
Pike’s Peak or Bust
In April, I visited and shared about the Georgia gold rush, an event often overshadowed by the California rush, and the setting for Gold Rush Bride Hannah. When I was searching for a subsequent rush to feature Hannah’s daughter, I stumbled on another forgotten rush that occurred in the Pike’s Peak region of the Kansas Territory. That’s right. Pike’s Peak was originally part of Kansas, but that’s another post for another time.
The more than 100,000 men and women who flocked to western Kansas in 1859 were called Fifty-Niners, although the boom lasted for decades. Hundreds of mines were created and millions of ounces of gold flakes were discovered. Mimicking the California rush, the rapid population growth led to the creation of the Colorado Territory in 1861 and resulting statehood in 1876.
Once I determined the location of my story, I had to figure out why Hannah’s daughter, Caroline, would want to leave home and trek nearly a thousand miles to seek her fortune. I wanted her journey to be about more than adventure. My husband and I brainstormed ideas talking psychological scars that might prompt a person to run away from their situation. A few days later, I saw a tabloid cover that denigrated an aging movie star for her disappearing looks. I decided to give Caroline physical scars so I could address the lies too many women and girls believe about their appearance: that they are unattractive.
My male protagonist’s scars are not visible, but are just as damaging. Losing his parents to a freak flood and reduced to stealing to survive, his sense of unworthiness starts early and builds with each experience.
Although neither is looking for a relationship and each insists they are better on their own, events prove them wrong. It is only after banding together to fight the evil out to get them, they begin to heal.
And isn’t that often the way of it? God sends us friends to edify and encourage us, whether or not we ask Him for help. I had challenges as a teen and young adult, but was fortunate to find a church youth group that accepted me. Built me up. Supported me. Showed me God’s love that stripped away the lies I believed about myself. He can do the same for you.
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. Learn more & connect:
About the book – Gold Rush Bride Caroline:
She thinks he’s high-handed and out for her gold. He thinks she’s difficult and money-hungry. Will they discover that love is the true treasure?
Scarred in a childhood accident, Caroline Vogel has yet to find a man willing to marry her, so she heads to the Pike’s Peak goldfields to pan enough ore to become a woman of means. When she and the handsome assistant trail boss hit it off, she begins to hope her future may not be spent alone. Then she catches wind of dark secrets from the man’s past, and she’s not sure what or who to believe.
Orphaned as a teenager, Oliver Llewellyn stole to survive, then used his skills for the army during the war. Nowadays, he applies his knowledge to catch dangerous thieves for the Pinkerton Agency, so guarding a young woman during a wagon train journey should be easy. But he didn’t count on the fact she’d angered a man bent on revenge. He also didn’t count on losing his heart.
Can’t wait for the drawing? Worried you won’t win?
Get your copy now! Goldrush Bride: Caroline – Amazon
Question for Readers: Do you have a good friend; someone who has been there through thick and thin? Tell us about your friend.
Come back July 13th for Melanie Campbell!