The War & the West Series

Click on the cover image to read an excerpt from each story.

 


An Uncivilized Yankee

 

She’s a lightning rod for trouble . . .

Orphaned and forced to flee from an abusive cousin, Estella Anderson finds an unexpected haven with her soldier uncle, as a Healer on General J.E.B. Stuart’s staff. Life in the Army of Northern Virginia’s cavalry is not easy, nor is it safe, but a young woman completely on her own is even more at risk.

. . . and very much alone. . .

As if her home troubles weren’t enough, Star believes she is cursed. Every man who has promised to watch over her has died, with her precognitive dreams warning her each time. So she tries to push away anyone who offers to help her, anyone she cares for, lest they too end up dead. She stays with her uncle because she has no other choice, no other place of refuge, but she fears for his life.

. . . until the War changes everything.

But then she discovers an unlikely friend in Travis Black, the Yankee scout who rode to her rescue, and became a prisoner of war as a result. Her curse, her cousin, her own independent streak: they may have finally met their match in the stubborn young man who promises to protect her, no matter the cost.

 

 

Bittersweet Days

 

Home…

Home for Estella and Danica Anderson has always been Woodhaven, their family estate in Virginia. But after four years of bloody conflict, will there be anything left of the home they once knew?

In the spring of 1866, Star and her Yankee husband, Travis Black, along with Danica and Travis’s brother Robert, travel from Gettysburg down to Woodhaven. They plan to restore what has been destroyed and to begin a new life there.

But in the process of rebuilding, they discover much about themselves and each other, revelations that are bittersweet in many ways . . .

 

A bridge story between An Uncivilized Yankee and A Great Wide Nowhere.

 

 

A Great Wide Nowhere

 

A man of reason . . .
Captain Robert Black can find a logical, rational explanation for everything. Everything, that is, except his uncanny ability as a Finder … and the feelings he has for the tiny red‑haired spark of a girl that is Danica Anderson. But though he loves her, he swears he will never ask her to share his life out West. Life on the frontier is hell for a woman, and Danica has already been through hell once.

A girl with dreams . . .
From the night they first met, Dani has loved the cool, quiet Yankee captain who quite literally swept her off her feet. But she believes the chance of him ever returning her affection is as remote as her chance of ever again walking unaided. When Rob unexpectedly sweeps her off her feet once more, she promises to go anywhere and face anything with him.

An untamed frontier . . .
Anywhere turns out to be Fort Sanders, an Indian‑threatened post in the middle of nowhere; anything is the life of hardship and pain that the other Army wives call “the glittering misery.” And Rob and Danica soon learn that survival out here takes not only strength and courage, but also the willingness to embrace personal Talents and a world that can’t be explained.

 

Farewell and Goodbye

 

Spring 1873
Fort Ellis, near Bozeman, Montana Territory . . .

Unlike most of the men he serves with, Lieutenant James Steele doesn’t consider Fort Ellis a hardship posting at all. His position in the cavalry is a good one. His son, Jonathan, is with him and maturing into a smart, steady, and responsible young man. And with the Blacks—Rob, Danica, and little Katja—he has found a place to belong and people who believe in him, accept him, and love him, despite his flaws and failings. He has everything he needs here.

For the first time in his life, he has a place that his heart calls home.

But for generations, the Steeles have been known for several things: their uncanny eyesight; their charm, good nature, and loyalty; their bravery that defies common sense . . . and their inability to attain a happy ending. Just when he thought he might escape that fate, Jim finds himself facing the most painful choice he could imagine: to give up the very things that have made his life worth living, or risk destroying them all.

How much would you sacrifice for the sake of those you love?

 

A bridge story between A Great Wide Nowhere and The Slow Trail Home.

 

The Slow Trail Home

 

“You come back, ’kay? Promise?”

“I promise.”

Katja Black was just five when she waved farewell to the Steeles as they left Fort Ellis. That was a decade ago. Kat has since matured into a lovely flame-haired Fire-Caller like her mother, while remaining as logical and self-controlled as her father. But despite her practical, rational view of life and her cool exterior, Kat still holds on to the secret hope that someday Jonathan Steele will return for her.

Then, while visiting family in Texas, Kat’s orderly life becomes a nightmare when a madman bent on revenge abducts her from the train carrying her home. She manages to escape and flees into the deadly Pecos River valley, only to find refuge in the strangest place imaginable—a cattle drive heading up the Pecos Trail.

***

Jon Steele doesn’t hate his life as a cowboy. He just wishes it weren’t so dang lonely. Between his occupation, his Fae blood, and a family curse, he’s spent most of the past ten years with nothing but the wind and the sky and thousands of stinkin’ cows for company. He misses the Blacks something fierce, especially the gap-toothed little girl who used to follow him everywhere. The last thing he expected was to stumble across her down here in Texas, fleeing the very same ghost who still haunts his own dreams.

***

Trailing cattle is a dangerous job to begin with, but it soon becomes all too clear that most of the trouble the herd encounters is man-made: Kat is still being hunted. And when their shared nightmare becomes reality, Kat and Jon must tap their hidden strengths, and the strength they draw from being together, in order to survive.

Although Fire comes at her call and Water obeys his command, it is the strength of their bond that must sustain them if they are to find their way safely home again.

But will it be enough?

 

Roots & Branches

 

A brand-new, ongoing project, Roots and Branches is a series of stories focused around each member of the younger generation of the two Black families (except Katja, since she already has her own book).

The stories will be divided by family.

Travis and Starla’s children:

  • Josie. Be Careful What You Wish For
  • Will

  • Jeb
  • Samantha

Robert and Danica’s children:

  • Katja. The Slow Trail Home
  • Sandy
  • Ellis
  • Logan and Lewis
  • Maggie

These tales will be available to readers as they are written. Once all are written, they’ll be collected into a published book of companion stories and removed from this site.

What’s the catch? Only members can read the full story. But signing up is free, easy, and painless. Plus, membership gives access not only to the unpublished stories, but also to other background information such as family trees, maps and houseplans, biographical sketches, and more (found under the Explore section of this website).

Sign up here.

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