Message From The Author

Author's Message

A Place Called Home

I think it started with Fess Parker. He played Davy Crockett in the Disney movie, and at eight, I was in love. What self-respecting female wouldn't have fallen for such a bold adventurer? Someone who was a soft-spoken crack shot, someone who rescued women and fought off Indians-someone who looked so good in buckskins....

I think my interest in telling stories of the American frontier is part of that Fess Parker/Davy Crockett legacy. Certainly it had a bearing on the books I wrote as Elizabeth Kary, and that same fascination seems to be showing up in the stories I am telling for Avon as Elizabeth Grayson.

In A PLACE CALLED HOME, I wanted to focus on the kind of woman who would follow a frontiersman west. She should be strong and independent and tough. She should be able to ride and shoot, to plow fields and build cabins, to defend her family from danger.

She certainly shouldn't be a woman like Livi Talbot. Livi grew up a pampered daughter of Virginia's aristocracy. She'd never cooked a meal or milked a cow until David Talbot married her. She'd never had to contend with anyone like David's wild, half-breed best friend, Reid Campbell. Nor was she prepared to learn that David's dream was to move to the wilds of Kentucky.

Yet move they do. And when David is murdered on the trail, Livi is left alone in the wilderness- pregnant, with two children to care for, and nothing to cling to but the tattered remnants of her husband's dream.

She's not prepared for what lies ahead- not the family demands, her new home in Kentucky, nor the love of a man she thought she hated. Yet there is more to Livi than she knows. There is everything a frontierswoman should be; everything a frontiersman could want.

Penelope Williamson, author of Heart Of The West, writes of Livi: "You will weep for her, cheer for her, and you will never forget her." I only hope you feel the same once you've shared Livi's life in A PLACE CALLED HOME.

Here an excerpt:

Once they were ready, she walked alone to the top of the rise, to where the bones of David Talbot would lie for all eternity. Bending beside her husband's grave, she lay a small bouquet of pussy willow on the mound of earth. It was too early in the year for there to be flowers blooming in the woods, but the soft, gray buds had burst thought their winter coats. The graceful branches seemed the right offering for David somehow; they suited his optimism, his tenderness.

I love you, David. I'll always love you. I won't let the children forget you. Nor will I forget.

There was so much more she wished she could say, so many questions she needed to ask. She wanted to pour out her frustration and fear, demand assurances, assuage her guilt. But David was no longer there with her.

Slowly she made her way to where her son and daughter waited. Tad handed her the reins to Nancy, her docile buttermilk mare. He helped her mount and arrange herself as comfortably as possible on the slippery leather sidesaddle. He slung Cissy up behind her.

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