Updated: Aug 6
Illegal immigrants have been straggling up from the southern deserts, over the eastern mountains, and down from Oregon. Texas has been lost. What are Californios to do as the newly-arrived Americans ignore Mexican laws, Norteños clash with the Surteños, and hostile Indians raid ranchos? Into this turmoil wonders a young Irish dreamer, escaping his past, seeking a bit of land, true love and God’s Will. How will he maneuver his way through this confusion? At Sutter’s Fort an Irish American girl, surrounded by wild beards and buckskin, worries about her future. How can one fulfill one’s dreams in the chaos of California?
We have been researching and writing this historical novel for several years and are revising it, hoping to publish in the fall or 2019.
Would appreciate any suggestions from you regarding the title, what you like least in the books you read, and what you like best. If you know anyone who is a fan of historical fiction or the history of California, please send them here. We would like your input. We will be blogging about the characters, even publishing a "prequel" on this site.
What are some of your favorite historical novels?
Aaaagghh. . . thought we had finished the most wonderful, exciting, thrilling, blah, blah, blah historical novel of early California. But after letting it rest a while, we noted it could use some improvement. So, my friends, we have been revising and revising and revising. We thank our readers at Villa Valencia for their insightful suggestions. We have joined the Southern Orange County Critique group, and have learned so much! We have read articles after articles on "deep POV", story structure, increasing tension, etc., etc., The question now is will we ever FINISH the wonderful, exciting, thrilling work of art? Stand by!
DID YOU KNOW?
Although the Donner Party is usually thought of as the first group to bring wagons over the Sierras (and get caught in the snow), the Stephens/Murphy/Townsend party managed it during the winter of 1844-45. They left Council Bluffs with 50 members and arrived at Sutter’s Fort with 52—two little girls were born on the way! They also were held up by snow in the Sierras, but managed to get a little lower than the Donner Party did two years later. An advance party was sent to ask Sutter for help. Meanwhile they set up a camp for the women and children, with dried oxen for meat, and two men to guard and hunt. The rest of the men went to get assistance from Sutter. The “heroine” of VIVA CALIFORNIA is fictional, and we placed her in the advance group that first left to get help. But Sutter was busy gathering and training men to fight for the governor of Alta California against a group of rebels and wouldn’t aid the new settlers. You can relive these times in VIVA CALIFORNIA!