In my previous article; First Footsteps of Western Expansion, I described the process I took creating my historical romance Wilted Dandelions. How I needed to know that every detail, every mile which Rachael and Jonathan traveled was as close to authentic as humanly possible for a writer of the 21st century. Little did my husband and I know what we were getting ourselves into when we decided to follow the route I described in Wilted Dandelions …
My husband and I were at one of the Western Historical Trails Center, when an old newspaper clipping caught my attention. Harold of the Newport Times wrote back in 1846, “Might as well attempt to march an army to the moon as to march overland to Oregon.” That article was written ten years after Narcissa and Jonathan’s trip.
Everything went fine for my husband and me until we drove through a dust storm in Nebraska, then we lost our cell phone connection in Wyoming, and the red light on the dashboard of our car blinked, “low fuel”. There were no gas stations in sight!
If this wasn’t enough to get us worried just a little, what I thought was a lovely white puffy cloud turned out to be snow flurries that soon covered the steep mountain side. We could only pray that our little Ford fusion was capable of hugging the steep icy and snow-covered pavement. One slip would land us upon a rocky precipice and into the gaping abyss beneath us. I glanced down at our road map. The tiny black print I had missed earlier stood out like a neon light “Wyoming back way may not be suitable for travel during inclement weather.” We safely made it to our destination. However; the experience is imprinted upon our minds forever.
I admire the bravery of these first missionaries who left the comfort of their professions and homes to ‘march to the moon’, believing in God and their Savior, Jesus. These missionaries did not come for wealth or adventure. They sacrificed their lives in order to preach the Holy Bible and Christ’s salvation message to those who were ignorant of Satan’s abyss.
The publication of Wilted Dandelions and the book signings in Michigan, Missouri, and Kansas, brought another unexpected surprise to me that ignited my passions again. Rachael and Jonathan were no longer fictitious characters. They were as real as was their over 200-year-old story about the Second Great Awakening and our nation’s history. A story about a woman seeking God’s plan for her life, yes a woman on a mission who met her destiny, in spite of difficulties, and learned through her experiences how God doesn’t create coincidences, He designs possibilities!
Note: I will be selling copies of Wilted Dandelions at the Local Author’s fair at the Warren Civic Center Library from 12 to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 7. I hope to see you!