Message From The Author

Author's Message

So Wide The Sky

When I first saw the photograph, it sent chills up my spine. It was of a proper Victorian lady in a lace-trimmed gown. Her hair was tied back in ringlets-and her face had been tattooed by the Indians.

The woman was Olive Oatman. She had been taken by the Apache in 1851. After five years of captivity she was returned to her family indelibly marked by her experiences. Olive's image haunted me, and I couldn't help wondering about her fate. That is how So Wide the Sky-the story of a another tattooed captive-came to be.

Like Olive Oatman, Cassandra Morgan was captured by the Indians and marked as a slave. Now nine years later, Cassie is being returned to a fort on the Wyoming frontier, thrust into the lives of two very different men. One is dashing cavalry captain Drew Reynolds, Cassie's first love. Though he knows Cass is no longer the innocent girl he cherished, Drew feels honor bound to marry her. The other is the army's mixed-blood scout, Lone Hunter Jalbert. Hunter knows what courage it takes to live between two worlds, yet he yearns to share Cassandra's destiny.

In writing So Wide the Sky, I set out to tell a story of tragedy and rebirth, of courage and love, of family and belonging. I don't know if Olive Oatman got her happy ending, but I made sure Cassandra Morgan did. I hope you enjoy her story.

I am running a contest to celebrate So Wide the Sky's publication. If you are one of the first 100 readers to tell me what Cassie got on her first visit to the Sutler's store, you will receive the same thing by return mail. Please send the answer, your name and address, and the address of the store where you bought the book to: P.O. Box 260052, St. Louis, Missouri 63126.

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