With the anniversary of the 1889 Oklahoma Land Run falling tomorrow, April 22nd, and the upcoming June release of the Barbour 3-in-1 of this series, called LAND RUN BRIDES, I wanted to repost how it came about.
I loved writing this series. Guthrie, OK is just down the highway from where I live and it was so much fun doing research there. The historic downtown area is a National Historic Landmark and it is like walking back in time to stroll up and down its streets. The idea for the series was born doing just that.
It didn’t take long to come up with all kinds of ideas on what might have happened in this town that grew almost overnight into the Territorial Capitol and then the first state Capitol.
Settlers came from all over to turn this town into one that equaled those back East in what it offered its’ citizens. There were restaurants, and all kinds of businesses.
From the very beginning, there were theaters and opera houses, hotels and boarding houses and streets of lovely homes–and many of these still exist, preserved to bring the past to life.
First up was I’D SOONER HAVE LOVE, a story of two of the first settlers in the area and how they fell in love with each other and their new city.
Unable to give her husband children, Faith Anderson watched his love change to disappointment before he died in a riding accident. She’s determined never to marry again, and instead plans to build a new life in Guthrie, Oklahoma along with thousands of other settlers who have rushed to the area.
But that was before she met Gabe Logan, a man whose simple presence maker her heart race and whose kindness to others begins to warm her heart–in spite of her best efforts to remain cold. Gabe himself has secrets in his past that he’s convinced will keep any self-respecting woman from wanting to marry him. But that doesn’t stop his traitorous heart from falling for Faith.
If the past were different, Gabe and Faith would sooner have love. Will they let their fear of disappointment and rejection keep them from accepting the love God has placed in their paths?
That story led me to want to tell Faith’s brother’s story in SOONER SUNRISE about two lonely hearts who long for each other.
Once Ben Thompson finds out that the Sam Carter he saved from a burning tent is really a lovely young woman named Samantha, a tiny spark of love is ignited between them. But Sam is determined to keep it from growing into a flame. She has a past she’s running from and she’s determined never to trust her heart to a man. Not even one as dependable as Ben.
Ben is just as determined to convince Sam that God Brought them together for a reason. Just as she’s beginning to believe that might be true, her past catches up with her and she’s ready to run again. Can Ben convince Sam that he and his family will not hold her accountable for the rumors spreading against her? She’d bring more hurt to them by leaving than any rumor ever could. Will she run or stay and fight for the love they both long for?
But Guthrie wasn’t the only place settled during the land rush. Oklahoma City grew at a rapid pace and two decades later, in SOONER SUNSET, this family finds the town it helped to settle is in a battle to keep the capital right where it is. Charity Logan likes her life just as it is. She has the best of both worlds, living and working in Guthrie during the week and spending her weekends in Oklahoma City with her parents most weekends. She’s always prided herself on hr ability to make decisions–but that was before the governor’s campaign to move Oklahoma’s capital from her hometown to the city. And it was before she met Luke Johnson, a reporter she’s falling in love with but can’t find it in herself to trust.
From the moment Luke meets Charity, he is drawn to her inner and outer beauty. Luke’s career as a reporter working for one of Oklahoma’s influential newspapers has been his top priority, and he’s never before been interested in courting a woman–until Charity. But no matter what he does to prove his love, Luke knows something is holding Charity back.
How will Charity find the courage to trust in the midst of an uncertain world? As the sunset appears to be falling on the first Sooner capital, will Luke and Charity find a hope to unite them as they face a new day?
If you’d like a copy of all three stories together in one book, look for it to come out in June of this year. It is now available for pre-order in print or e-book at most online bookstores.