Timeless Tuesday: What was Happening in 1860?

The novel that I am working on is set in 1860. That is the year the Pony Express began. How did it begin?

William H. Russell, one of a trio of men who had a freighting company known as Russell, Majors, and Waddell created the Pony Express. They were business partners in Missouri. They had a lot of experience hauling cargo and passengers. They took an interest in government mail contracts as they already offered a stagecoach service that provided mail between the Missouri River and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Russell was convinced that a horse relay, a Pony Express would be a money-making endeavor. His partners, William, B. Waddell and Alexander Majors were not so sure. Without the approval of his partners, William Russell committed to opening the express mail service on the central overland route in April 1860.

So the three partners started a new company, the Central Overland California & Pike’s Peak Express Company (C.O.C. & P.P.). This was the official name of the Pony Express. The company had just 67 days to hire riders, station keepers, and mail handlers, and to buy horses, food, and other supplies and distribute them to stations along the route. Some of the stations weren’t even built or located yet.

However, homes stations were established every 75 to 100 miles. These homes stations would house riders between runs. Smaller relay stations were established every 10 to 15 miles to provide riders with fresh horses.

Many of the stations were upgraded from existing stagecoach stations, while some had to be built from scratch. They began with 86 stations but expanded to 147 stations by mid-1861.

Alexander Majors organized the route into five divisions, numbered east to west. The first leg of the route ran from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Fort Kearny, Nebraska Territory on the Platte River.

This is the leg of the journey that my main male character has a part in.

An Interview with Author, Jodie Wolfe

Jodie Wolfe

I recently had the opportunity to interview author, Jodie Wolfe. She writes Christian Historical Romance novels. She has a new book that will release on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2020.

Q: How long have you been a published author, and how long did it take you to publish your first book?

I’ve been a published author since May of 2016. My first book was indie published, and I wrote it earlier that year.

Q: You have quite a few books published and available on Amazon: a two-book series–series title, “Twins and Needles”; an anthology entitled “Let Love Spring: A Historical Spring Collection”; a Christmas anthology entitled “The Hope of Christmas”; and “To Claim Her Heart” which came out in 2018. You also have a nonfiction title: “Mrs. Wigglesworth’s Essential Guide to Proper Etiquette and Manners of Refined Society”. What was your first published book, and what led you to write the nonfiction Mrs. Wigglesworth book?

My first published book was Hearts Tightly Knit.

Mrs. Wigglesworth’s Essential Guide to Proper Etiquette and Manners of Refined Society came about because her sayings are at the beginning of each chapter in my book, To Claim Her Heart. Readers so enjoyed these quips that I decided to offer an ebook with more of them.

Q: Your fiction stories are historical fiction. What led you to decide to write this particular genre?

My love for historical fiction developed as a little girl, reading and watching Little House on the Prairie.

Q: I read and reviewed, your last release, “To Claim Her Heart”. I enjoyed that story. You create such interesting characters that draw your readers into the story and keep them reading. You also include some great historical facts about the places you write about. I enjoyed reading about the “runs” in order to purchase property in “To Claim Her Heart”. That story was set in 1893. Your upcoming release, “Taming Julia” is set in 1875. What is it about the 1800s that inspires you to write about that time period?

I love that time period – the styles of clothing, the simplistic life, as well as so many things were being discovered, created, etc.

Q: Also, both “To Claim Her Heart” and the upcoming “Taming Julia” are set in the Old West. What is it about the Old West that draws you to write about it?

Part comes from those Laura Ingalls Wilder books, and also part developed years ago when my in-laws were living in the country and my father-in-law was the pastor of a tiny church. I had the opportunity to visit many areas of interest that spurred ideas for stories.

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a writer and what gave you that desire?

My desire to be a writer happened in grade school after a school assignment to write a poem. I wrote about my absolute favorite thing at the time – Snoopy. Soon after I was creating little stories… I was hooked and knew I wanted to be a writer.

Q: You are a member of both ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and RWA (Romance Writers of America). Can you tell us a little about these organizations and why you find it valuable to be a member of these groups?

Each organization has something special to offer. ACFW is a great network for learning about current trends in publishing, encouragement, courses, etc. As for RWA, my main reason to be a part of that is because of the group within RWA – Faith, Hope, & Love https://www.faithhopelove-rwa.org/. They are a great resource for asking questions, providing support and ideas, etc. I recently joined Compel Training https://compeltraining.com/home-member/ through Proverbs 31 Ministry. They provide weekly teachings, online support/learning groups, critique groups, etc. Each of these groups has been helpful in my writing journey.

Q: Your new book, “Taming Julia”, will release on Friday, February 14, 2019. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

Here’s the back cover blurb:

In 1875, Kansas bachelor Drew Montgomery’s sole desire is to serve God, but his congregation’s ultimatum that he marry or leave, forces him to advertise for a wife by proxy.

Jules Walker strides into Drew’s life wearing breeches and toting a gun and saddle–more cowboy than bride. After years on the trail, she’s not exactly wife material, but she longs for home and family, and will do anything to ensure Drew never discovers what she really is.

Q: Your female characters are strong and independent. Why do you choose to write them in this way? Do you base your female characters on yourself?

I think those type of characters are fun and provide lots of opportunities for struggles and conflict within the story. As for basing the characters on myself, there’s always a tiny bit of me in each one, but I don’t know that I would call myself strong and independent. 🙂

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

While the majority of the story takes place in Kansas, there’s a portion that is set in Texas. I had the pleasure of visiting my husband’s aunt and uncle a couple years ago to see the area they helped me write about. We had the chance to go on private property and view the spot I wrote about that causes bad memories for Jules. I’ll let it at that so I don’t ruin the story for you. 🙂

Thanks for having me here today, Kelly.

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You’re welcome. Thank you for being here and giving readers a little glimpse into you’re writing life and your wonderful stories. I look forward to reading “Taming Julia”.

Q: Where can readers find you and connect with you online?

Website: https://www.jodiewolfe.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jodie-Wolfe-553400191384913

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JodieAWolfe

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/JodieAWolfe

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15220520.Jodie_Wolfe

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jodie-Wolfe/e/B01EAWOHXO/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Purchase Links for Taming Julia:

https://www.amazon.com/Taming-Julia-Jodie-Wolfe-ebook/dp/B083L8MDD5/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=taming+julia&qid=1578503989&sr=8-1

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/taming-julia-jodie-wolfe/1136004491?ean=9781522302711

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Be sure to get your copy of “Taming Julia” on February 14th. I will be reading it soon and will post a book review here on my blog.

What Have I Been Reading Lately?

I suppose some of you may be missing my book reviews.  I know it’s been quite a while since I’ve done one because I have been reading books in the genre I am trying to write in hopes to help me with my scene setting.

Therefore, I have been reading a lot of Love Inspired Historical Fiction books and other Historical books about the old west.  Some of the titles I recently finished are:

The Love Inspireds:
Wagon Train Reunion by Linda Ford
The Runaway Bride by Moelle Marchand
Hill Country Cattleman by Laurie Kingery

Other Historical Fiction:
Heart of Gold by Robin Lee Hatcher

I enjoyed each of these stories and if you like romance stories of cowboys in the old west, you would enjoy them as well.

I’m not sure when I will get back to doing book reviews because my main focus is writing my novel, and now I have begun to read the Love Comes Softly and Prairie Legacy series by Janette Oke.  These are older books but are still great stories of the old west as well, and so I continue to read for help with my writing.

Do you like old west stories involving romance with cowboys?