!!!TODAY is the release of Prairie Song!!!
Hearts Seeking Home book 1
by Mona Hodgson
My fascination with journeys inside and out, the Old West, and wagon trains. I was a big fan of the TV show, Wagon Train and Little House on the Prairie.
The draft, six weeks. With the full editing process, nearly three months.
Hmm. I value all of my characters for different reasons. But forced to pick favorites, I'd have to say Anna and Boney. Anna's journey was an especially difficult one on so many levels that endeared her to me. And, Boney, well, he's my tried and true sidekick character that first showed up in my Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series, who serves as a voice of reason and offers comic relief.
That no matter the circumstances of our journey, God is with us, Sovereign, and trustworthy.
The Boone's Lick Wagon Train Company launches from St. Charles, Missouri, a quaint and historical riverside community I visited in 1999. Captivated by its charm, I knew I wanted to write stories set there. St. Charles also serves as the setting for The Quilted Heart novellas (Dandelions on the Wind, Bending Toward the Sun, and Ripples Along the Shore).
Sometimes I name my characters after someone I know or have read about in history. Other times, I choose the names from The Writer's Digest Character Naming Sourcebook by Sherrilyn Kenyon or Baby Names Around the World by Bruce Lansky. I maintain a list of historical and ethnic names to draw from. In the late 1800's, Boney Hughes drove a hack up on in Jerome, Arizona. Anna was the name of a pioneer women I read about in a journal. And Pemberton (Hattie's last name) came from my mother's family.
For many reasons, Prairie Song was the most difficult story to write
and taught me a valuable lesson about stoic pride. I wrote about it (or will write about it) in a blog post at www.monahodgson.com. [Link will be added when available]
A favorite Bible verse and the key verse for Prairie Song is Joshua 1:9.
do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
Married forty-one years to her leading man, Mona from Arizona lives in the Southwest where trees have arms instead of branches and salsa is a staple. When Mona Hodgson isn't writing or speaking, she's playing Wii games with her Arizona grandson, spending time with her mom, picnicking, texting her sisters, or chatting on Skype with her grandchildren in Africa.
Mona Hodgson is the author of nearly 40 books, historical novels for adults and children's books. Her children's books include bestseller, Bedtime in the Southwest, six desert and princess Zonderkidz I Can Read books, Real Girls of the Bible: A 31-Day Devotional, and her six I Wonder books. Mona's writing credits also include several hundred articles, poems and short stories, which have appeared in 50 different publications. Mona is a speaker for women's groups, Christian women's retreats, book clubs and reading groups, schools, and conferences for writers and librarians.
Though it means saying goodbye to the beloved friends and spiritual mentors of her St. Charles, Missouri quilting circle, Anna Goben is certain that she needs to enlist her family in the Boones Lick Company wagon train. The loss of her beloved brother in the Civil War has paralyzed her mother and grandfather in a malaise of grief and depression and Anna is convinced that only a fresh start in the Promised Land of California can bring her family back to her. Although the unknown perils of the trail west loom, Anna’s commitment to caring for her loved ones leaves no room for fear—or even loving someone new.
During the five-month journey, trail hand Caleb Reger plans to keep a low profile as he watches over the band of travelers. Guarding secrets about his past and avoiding God’s calling on his life, Caleb wants to steer as far from Anna as she does him, but she proves to be just as he assessed her from the beginning— independent, beautiful trouble.
Led by a pillar of hope, the group faces rough terrain that begins to take a toll on their spirits. Will the wilderness of suffering lead them astray, or will the gentle song of love that echoes across the prairie turn their hearts toward God’s grace and the promise of a new home?
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