Hi, Anna Kathryn and friends! Thanks so much for inviting me to share my excitement about the upcoming publication of my first book. Harvest of Dreams is a Western historical romance coming out October 22nd from The Wild Rose Press. The story is set in the small northwest Missouri river town of Weston just after the end of the Civil War and features a pregnant young widow and a security agent for the Overland Stage Company.
I grew up in Kansas City, just south of Weston, and my lifelong love of history made this setting a natural fit for me. Weston is a charming town with antebellum buildings still dotting the landscape, so I was able to soak up inspiration walking the streets my characters walked, past the houses they might have lived in. Local farmers still grow tobacco as they have since 1840 and operate apple orchards, like my heroine, Lisa McAllister.
The most prominent citizen of Weston in the mid-nineteenth century was Benjamin Holladay. Originally from Kentucky, he was a shrewd entrepreneur who opened a tavern and a hotel, as well as starting the McCormick Distilling Company, which still operates today. In 1861, he won a postal contract for mail service to Salt Lake City and established the Overland Stage Company. The following year, he acquired the Pony Express Company. Like many boom-and-bust businessmen, Holladay amassed great wealth only to lose it all in the Panic of 1873, but he left an indelible stamp on the small community of Weston.
I’ve really enjoyed sharing a little of the background of my story with you. Here’s a blurb for Harvest of Dreams:
Alone on her farm in the middle of a blizzard, young widow Lisa McAllister labors to give birth to her first child. Help arrives in the strong hands of a stranger wearing a six-gun. Lisa has no reason to trust this man who makes a living by violence, even if he is on the right side of the law. Men and their guns have already claimed the lives of her father, brother, and husband, and she’s determined to protect her son at any cost.
Jared Tanner, a security agent for the stagecoach, has been on his own since he was twelve. Against his better judgment, his feelings of protectiveness toward Lisa and her baby turn to something deeper, and he is tempted by the possibility of a family of his own. Can their tender new love survive when an act of ultimate violence threatens to tear them apart?
Please visit my website at http://www.alisonhenderson.com/ for more information about me and my books, and watch for Harvest of Dreams, coming October 22nd from The Wild Rose Press. Thanks again!