Before I ever dreamed I’d pick up a pen again, my family took a vacation to Kansas to visit my brother and his family. We visited Abilene one afternoon. I learned a bit about the history of that wild western town … enough that I wanted to know more.
My sister-in-law has family ties to Abilene—another reason for my fascination. In fact, one of her ancestors was a friend of Wild Bill Hickok, who was marshal of Abilene in 1871, the year after our story. In 1870, Marshal Tom Smith insisted that the cowboys be disarmed. Storekeepers, saloon-keepers, and hotel owners were asked to post a sign and collect the guns of their customers. Marshal Smith knew what he was doing. He made the town a safer place. Sadly, he was killed later that year.
Stuart Henry’s Conquering Our Great American Plains was a great resource for my story. Henry lived in Abilene from 1868-1872 as a boy. I love finding treasures like this author’s book that allow me to take my readers back to 1870 Abilene, Kansas. What a gift.
When my editor approached me about writing a cowboy story set in the West, it did not take long for my imagination to take me back to Abilene. Who’d have guessed that a family vacation that took place before I decided to pursue a writing career would lead to a story?
I hope you enjoy traveling back to the Wild West with me as much as I love taking you there.
–Sandra Merville Hart, from the Author’s Note in the book
This book is a collection of four novellas by Jennifer Uhlarik, Linda W. Yezak, Sandra Merville Hart, and Cindy Ervin Huff.
Sandra’s story in the collection is called Trail’s End. Here’s a bit about the story:
Trail’s End Blurb
Wade Chadwick has no money until his boss’s cattle sell, so he takes a kitchen job at Abby’s Home Cooking. The beautiful and prickly owner adds spice to his workday. Abby Cox hires the down-and-out cowboy even though the word cowboy leaves a bad taste in her mouth. Just as she’s ready to trust Wade with her heart, money starts to disappear … and so does her brother.
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