Writing the West Member Anne Schroeder has a new book out, WALK THE PROMISE ROAD, a western historical romance by Prairie Rose Publishing in ebook and paperback.
Anne grew up in Newbury Park, CA, on a long country road where her family farmed for five generations, some wealthy, others picking rocks from their farms and struggling to make a living. Their stories made her into a history buff and writer. She wrote of her experiences in BRANCHES ON THE CONEJO. She and her husband moved to Grants Pass, OR in 2012, in search of new places to explore. They have three grown children and two grandchildren. Her day is filled with feeding dogs and chickens, research, and writing. When not writing, she travels the west with her husband. She says she is a Christian and a frustrated artist. After graduating from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA, with a B.S. in Social Science, she worked in banking and owned a small business for twenty years. She is past-president of Women Writing the West, a Willa Literary Chair, and judge for the Western Writers of America Short Fiction Award.
Before writing her current book, she walked many stretches of the Plains, crumbled the soil, collected plants, rode in a Prairie Schooner, and made a time-line of events. In all, she collected over twenty reference books on her subject matter.
Research takes about a year. Writing the book takes another year. She's a part of every book she writes and lives in her heroine's life. WALK THE PROMISED ROAD is a single title book. She, also writes series.
Mary Rogers has lost everything---or so she believes. Her cousin, Phillip, is Oregon bound to meet up with his fiancée who is waiting for him.
Mary's plan is simple. They already share a last name; they will pose as husband and wife. Mary promises it will be their secret. When Luke Sayer, their half-Indian trail scout begins to spend evenings at their fireside, other travelers notice the obvious mutual attraction between him and Mary. Though Mary denies it, she struggles to keep her promise without bringing harm to either her dear cousin, Phillip, who has risked everything for her---or to Luke, the love of her life. Mary's grit and determination will see her through the hardships and sorrows she encounters, but Luke's love will give her hope for the future as the WALK THE PROMISE ROAD
March 4, 1848. My whole world has ended. How I shall bear up, God alone knows. Mama, Papa, Toby---all gone with the fever. My only hope is that I shall be next. Oh, glorious childhood, over. How shall I fill this void when my heart is broken?
Thud. . .thud. . .thud. The dirt clods rebounding off three fresh graves claimed the attention of a young woman as she fought the wind whipping her skirts into a sodden mass. Each bite of the shovel resonated in the pain pounding in her eyes; each hollow thud shamed the wind howling overhead. Beneath the naked branches of a giant elm, a pair of burly Irish gravediggers eyed her uncertainly then doffed their caps and waited, arms pressed against the hickory handles of
The wind carried a muffled shout. "Mary, come on."
Her cousin Philip waited impatiently, his hands struggling to hold the mare as it struggled against its traces. When crashing thunder followed, a second later, the mare reared; its eyes wild and fear-crazed. In a stupor, Mary Rodgers watched Philip wrap his silk scarf around the horse's eyes and murmur in its ear, calming it. A fat raindrop fell on her outstretched hand and she walked blindly toward the buggy, her skirts twisting in the gathering wind.
"Mary, there's nothing you can do for them now. They're gone. Let the men finish." Phillip reached to support her, tenderness belying his harsh words.
Mary peered over her shoulder at the gravediggers and focused her tear-swollen eyes on her cousin. "Oh, Phillip, I've been so selfish. I didn't think. They'll get soaked and it'll be all my fault." It was hard to know whose soaking she cried for: her mother's, her father's, Toby's or the men's.
Anne's newsletter if available at http://anneschroederauthor.com