My foremothers came West in the nineteenth century not because they thirsted for adventure, but because they wanted decent lives for themselves and their children. They were desperate, and poor, and they met drought, winter, poor land, and evil.
I grew up on their true stories. I am their daughter, (great-great and great-) granddaughter. They inspire me, and through their stories and stories of people like them, they will inspire you, too.
They prevailed. They are us.
My BooksStories of courageous people struggling to establish public safety where there was no code of law:
The Devil in the BottleDecember 2011. Over three days in March 1864, Joseph A. (Jack) Slade challenges the Vigilantes for the rule of Alder Gulch. How they meet that challenge is the story of The Devil in the Bottle.
Gold Under Ice Finalist, 2011 Spur Award for Best Long Novel from the Western Writers of America.
God’s Thunderbolt: the Vigilantes of Montana Winner, 2009 Spur Award for Best First Novel from the Western Writers of America.
Before coming home to Montana, where I switched to writing historical fiction set in Montana, I wrote three nonfiction books:
Wordsworth’s Gardens (Top Ten Finalist in the Washington State Book Awards for 2002)
The Backyard Sanctuary Garden (1999)
Brother Crow, Sister Corn: Traditional American Indian Gardening (1997)
Currently, I’m at work on my fourth novel about the Montana Vigilantes. I didn’t set out to write a series about them, but their story isn’t finished yet.
I live with my husband in the Flathead Valley of Northwest Montana, where I can see the towering Swan Range, a chain of mountains that begins at the southern border of Glacier National Park. When not writing, I hike the mountains or the Park, which the Blackfeet Indians call the “Backbone of the World.” I also love to ride or just be with Gus, my 21-year-old horse. He teaches me about his species and about myself.