AMERICAN HISTORICAL NOVELS discussion

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Welcome Terry Collins!

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message 1: by Rebecca, Champagne Widows, 2021 (new)

Rebecca Rosenberg (rebeccarosenberg) | 270 comments Mod
Tell us more about Vast Horizons, an American Family Odyssey!


message 2: by Terry (new)

Terry Collins | 27 comments "Vast Horizons, an American Family Odyssey" is a short novel, or novella, tracing a family's journey from 1838 to 1853, touching on the Trail of Tears, the Mexican War, and the Oregon Trail; including an obscure event known as "The Lost Wagon Train of 1853". Most of the named characters were real people and the dates, places, and events were historical, as near as I could determine, though the personalities and dialogue are my own creation. I was inspired to write this as I uncovered an interesting story about some of my ancestors. This is my first and only novel at this point.


message 3: by Rebecca, Champagne Widows, 2021 (new)

Rebecca Rosenberg (rebeccarosenberg) | 270 comments Mod
Hi TERRY! Thanks for sharing. Can you open a new topic under your file and share your back cover blurb?


message 5: by Terry (new)

Terry Collins | 27 comments 1838, Lieutenant John Lowry Kline serves with a military escort leading deported Cherokees from Tennessee to northwestern Arkansas. Following which he starts a family and moves to southwestern Missouri. After the Mexican War and a few personal tragedies, he and his kin set out along the Oregon Trail to build a better life in the Pacific Northwest.

The wide open spaces of the West open up before them as they doggedly press on, constantly on the lookout for water, grass, or fuel. As the wagons roll over vast prairies, mountains, and deserts, death stocks among the roofs of canvas. But Kline's resourcefulness and the strength of his family carry them to the upper reaches of the Willamette River, in Oregon's Cascade Mountains.

Based on real people and real events, this inspiring family saga touches on the Trail of Tears, the Mexican War, and the Oregon Trail and is stitched together with romance, humor, and the seemingly limitless fortitude required to navigate such an arduous existence. Witness the trials and times of this era through the prism of one family, as they make their contribution to the Manifest Destiny of the United States.


message 6: by Beverly (new)

Beverly Hi Terry,
Sounds very interesting. I relate to the connection of searching your own family to writing the novel. I traveled that same route with mine, "Sarah's Secret". I am very intrigued by the lost wagon train. I want to add to my "to read" list.


message 7: by Terry (new)

Terry Collins | 27 comments Hi Beverly. I would like to read your book, Sarah's Secret. Is it available on Amazon? My great great grandfather, the lead character in my novel, passed a scrapbook down through my family, though he didn't say much about his family's journey west; I discovered about his involvement with The Lost Wagon Train from other sources. Tell me more about your book , Sarah's Secret, and how you were inspired to write it.


message 8: by Beverly (new)

Beverly Terry, Thanks for asking. I was inspired to write Sarah's Secret after doing family genealogy and finding that my grandfather was still a mystery...i couldn't find information about a significant portion of his life. What I knew of the story was intriguing so I decided to fictionalize it and create what was missing. Sarah's Secret is the result. The two protagonists are Sarah, left a widow with five children after her husband dies who was 30 years older than she was; and Sam, who before he met Sarah was on the run and kept his earlier life a secret from Sarah. As Sarah struggles with loneliness, poverty and a crippling illness she discovers the devastating truth.
And yes, it is on Amazon. Also available through Indie Bound and Draft2Digital.


message 9: by Terry (new)

Terry Collins | 27 comments Sounds very interesting. I'd like to see how you capture the mystery of Sam's past, and also how you portray that period in history.


message 10: by Rebecca, Champagne Widows, 2021 (new)

Rebecca Rosenberg (rebeccarosenberg) | 270 comments Mod
Very interesting story, Terry! Thanks for sharing!


message 11: by Beverly (new)

Beverly Terry wrote: "Sounds very interesting. I'd like to see how you capture the mystery of Sam's past, and also how you portray that period in history."
I began the book writing about Sarah at the time of Sam's death in 1911. Handling the mystery of Sam's past was initially a struggle. I tried several options. Ultimately I took the reader back to Sam's life in 1878 and brought the reader into his life before he met Sarah. I think it works, at least that is the feedback I have received. The book is in 3 parts, Sarah at Sam's death and her wagon trip back to Nebraska from New Mexico with her 5 children, Sam on the run beginning in 1878 through his proposal to Sarah, and then Sarah struggling in Nebraska not only with poverty and her illness but also with the devastation of learning about Sam's life which he never shared with her. I hope you have a chance to read it. If you do, I would love to hear your feedback.


message 12: by Terry (new)

Terry Collins | 27 comments I just ordered your book on Amazon, and look forward to reading it.


message 13: by Beverly (new)

Beverly That is great Terry! Thank you.


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