Erica Vetsch is a transplanted Kansan now residing in Minnesota. She loves history and romance, and is blessed to be able to combine the two by writing historical romances. Whenever she’s not immersed in fictional worlds, she’s the company bookkeeper for the family lumber business, mother of two, wife to a man who is her total opposite and soul-mate, and avid museum patron.
Stories from History
by Erica Vetsch
Often I am asked where my story ideas come from. The answer is…all over! Anything can be the germ of a story idea, but for me, often it is reading about an historical event. This month I have a novella releasing as part of The Homestead Brides Collection, and the idea for my story A Palace on the Plains came from reading an account of The Easter Blizzard of 1873.
Imagine you’re a new homesteader on the prairie, your house is a soddy, or a shanty, or a dugout, and it’s Easter Sunday. The weather is pleasant all morning, then along about noon, everything grows eerily still. (As a native Kansan, I can tell you, when everything grows still on the prairie, you’re in for a ding-dong storm!) Then, in a rare weather phenomenon, two fronts clash overhead. The temperature drops dozens of degrees in minutes, and the skies open up. Torrential rain turns to hail, sleet, and then to snow. Heavy, wet snow at first, then stinging, sand-scouring snow that piles up and blows and fills the air so thickly you can’t see five feet ahead. That’s what happened to these brave homesteaders in south-central Nebraska in April of 1873.
From noon on Sunday to noon on Wednesday the winds blew, snow piled up, and people suffered. Houses were destroyed under the weight of the snow, windows broke, roofs were torn off, people were stranded and lost. The storm took a disastrous toll on rural Nebraska, largely because people were unprepared for the ferocity, and unsuspecting because of the mild winter that preceded it.
Reading about this historic event, I couldn’t help but wonder what it must’ve been like to endure it. What if I had been there? What if I was caught out in it? What if someone I loved was caught in the storm?
And that’s where A Palace on the Plains was born, in those “What if?” questions. My heroine is a city girl, a seamstress newly arrived to prepare a trousseau and wedding garments for a frontier bride, and my hero is a widower with two children and little patience for a fancy eastern miss who is as out of place in his sod house as a pansy in a pea-patch. When they’re caught together in the Easter Blizzard, they both have to face some hard, cold truths.
My story is only one of nine in this collection, penned by some fabulous authors. We’re in the midst of a blog tour and awesome giveaway. Stop by http://coffeecupsandcamisoles.blogspot.com/ and enter to win a Homestead Brides-themed gift basket that includes a copy of the book signed by all nine authors!
Through nine historical romance adventures, readers will journey along with individuals who are ready to stake a claim and plant their dreams on a piece of the great American plains. While fighting land disputes, helping neighbors, and tackling the challenges of nature the homesteaders are placed in the path of other dreamers with whom romance sparks. And God has His hand in orchestrating each unique meeting.
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Links where you can purchase The Homestead Brides Collection:
Thanks for joining us, Erica. This sounds like a GREAT book, and I look forward to reading it.