I love to write rich, deep stories about complex characters that have both inner and outer struggles. Living in the new frontier in Colorado in the 1870s presented so many difficult challenges. In my research into the founding of Union Colony (the name given to the town of Greeley by the first colonists), I learned that the decade of the ’70s was brutal. Some of the worst blizzards took place during that time, and nearly every year plagues of locusts destroyed every plant within miles.
Greeley’s early residents relied heavily on their plots of land that they farmed, and they stepped up in faith to do something many people around them said would be impossible: turn the desert into productive farmland.
To do this, they had to build ditches (water flumes) to transport water from the Platte river uphill twenty miles! And, needless to say, they didn’t have the tech we have today.
There is so much to admire and learn from those who left the comfort of their homes back east to venture into the unknown and dangerous. In all the novels I write in this series, I’m ever mindful of the courage and determination my characters must show to carve out a life on the Front Range.
I hope, as you read these novels, that you will get a glimpse of that life and be in awe of the spirit those early settlers showed. At the same time, I try to bring out some of the dark side of that time, for my characters live in a place that once was occupied by thousands of Native Americans who were either wiped out by the diseases the settlers brought or were killed or relocated to reservations, essentially ripping them from their way of life.
While I don’t intend to use my novels as a political platform, I think we all, being one human family on earth, need to be aware of our tainted past and the cruelties humans have committed, in order to learn from them, gain compassion, and ensure we don’t repeat the injustices done to others. I believe reading novels that show both the good and bad, the admirable and the shameful, of humans helps us stop and think about our own place in our world and in our time.
In Colorado Promise, readers are made aware of the lingering tensions and racism the whites had toward the “Red Man.” By making Sarah Banks and her two half-breed sons prominent characters in my novels, I made a way to explore these issues and challenges. Sadly, we stiff face these same issues in our world today.
So, it’s always a challenge to write a great romance set in a time long past and capture the feel of the times. An author writing historicals has to put herself in her characters’ shoes (or moccasins) and imagine just what a day in that life might feel like.
While we may tend to romanticize living in a past era, I for one am grateful for them many comforts and technological and medical advances that make life enjoyable. I hope that by reading of the difficulties my characters have to face without all these modern comforts, you’ll garner some deep respect and admiration for those who faced their circumstances with dignity and courage–and be inspired by them!
If you haven’t had a chance to get Colorado Promise yet, you can buy it in print or as a Kindle ebook HERE.
And I would be super grateful if you would post a review on Amazon for any and all the books you read in my series.
Here is the link to leave a review for Colorado Promise.
I’d love to hear from you! What did you like best in Colorado Promise? Do you have a favorite scene? A favorite character? Which character would you like to see in future novels?