Friday, January 28, 2022

A Wealth of Information in Your Backyard

With my most recent novella, A Christmas Tree for Trudel, I wanted to set it near where I live in the southern California mountains. As I started researching, I realized I had the perfect resource at hand. Years earlier, a visit to a local museum introduced me to the wealth of information offered by local historical societies. In my particular case, a year’s membership in the group also earned me a copy of Saga of the San Bernardinos. The book details events in the county from 1769 to 1930 with two epilogues written in 1971 and 1984.

In relating the history of the largest county geographical in the state, the author included:

  • ·         Early plats of land ownership
  • ·         Original names of towns
  • ·         Distances between locations
  • ·         Names of settlers (from which can be construed general ethnic groups)
  • ·         Types of businesses
  • ·         Unusual weather occurrences
  • ·         Exceptional events
  • ·         Transportation and years introduced
  • ·         Costs of goods and services

As I wrote, I had the sense of detailing events in a more personal way about characters who might have been found amongst the builders of the community. If you’re a lover of history, be sure to seek out what local historical societies, and by extension local museums, have to offer.

Blurb for A Christmas for Trudel, book 12 in Mail-Order Brides’ First Christmas multi-author series

1890, Bear Valley, CA

Rancher Gibson Bartleigh travels to Pine Knot to investigate how his younger brother was swindled out of his mining claim. He finds the suspect, businessman Bernard Heinrik, at a poker table and squares off opposite him. Gib goads the man into betting big, staking the mining claim and then ends up with the winning hand and retrieves the deed. Goal achieved, he heads back to the hotel, planning how he’ll leave in the morning and arrive triumphant in Redlands at the family home in time for holiday festivities.

Mail-order bride Trudel Andersen traveled from Los Angeles to Pine Knot to meet up with her fiancĂ©, Mister Heinrik, with whom she’s been corresponding for several months. But he’s a day overdue in meeting her. She waits in the hotel lobby with her lace-making materials and her little dog, Butterscotch. Released from the orphanage two months earlier, Trudel has been on her own and terrified she will always be so.

When Gibson realizes he’s the cause for the lovely lady’s misfortune, he’s stuck with a dilemma. If he confesses what he did, he’ll have to offer the woman a ride back to where she came from. Propriety demands they marry, and both agree it’s only for the duration of the trip. But will forced proximity deepen the relationship into something more?

Amazon link  

I love to hear what you have discovered at a museum in your city. An ecopy of A Christmas for Trudel will be awarded on January 31st at noon to one commenter drawn at random.

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