Under the Lucky Bat Books imprint, Widow Creek will launch shortly. This is my second novel featuring Sheriff Etoile Miller and Starhawk but with new characters and, what I think, is an awesome story.
Widow Creek is an incredible story of bravery and adventure as Mariah Hardwick Penngrove takes on the wild frontier of California by herself in 1849.
Hidden for nearly 170 years, Mariah’s journal is uncovered. Historical sleuths, Sheriff Etoile Miller and Starhawk, try to find a link between the riveting tale of this undaunted woman and three weather-worn boulders on a remote hillside below Hasten Peak. From its pages, the story of Mariah begins to unfold about her days at Widow Creek and the adventure she was determined to take. Intrigued, Etoile and Starhawk try to piece together what happened to her after the journal ends.
Through her words, they come to know Mariah Hardwick Penngrove, who arrives in a wagon train in Remington River, California, in 1849 with grief and daring in her heart. Newly widowed, she lost a husband on the trail but developed a backbone. Refusing to return to the safety of her parents, she instead forges on to her goal of reaching “the beyond” described by Meriwether Lewis, holding tight to her mother’s copy of The Journals of Lewis and Clark, for comfort and inspiration.
One look at Hasten Peak, snow-capped and dominating the landscape, tells Mariah she has found her “beyond”. However, Mariah’s notion of the wilderness and untouched horizons is turned upside down when she becomes embroiled in a land dispute between the bandit, Pajaro Mendonca, and Po Fong, Chinatown madam and leader of a notorious tong. Entrenched in a conflict she never wanted and in a wilderness unknown, Mariah finds that decisions are not so straightforward and trust is a shadowy business.