Forced into a journey that she wants no part of, Sarah Marshall suddenly finds herself not just taking care of her sick aunt, but the focus of what is shaping up to be a major family feud as three brothers all vie for her hand in marriage.
Q: WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS WRITING WHISPERS ON THE PRAIRIE?
I wanted to create a loving Christian family with three adult sons who ran a stage stop. The sons are the heroes for the three books in my Pioneer Promises series, so it’s crucial that they are likable and heroic. I also wanted to show readers that no matter how bad things are, God is always there to help them through the rough times.
Q: HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHICH STORY TO WRITE?
It varies, but with my Pioneer Promises series, I knew that I wanted to write a series set in Kansas. My husband and I took a trip to Kansas and visited a number of historical sites. One of the places we visited was the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Historic Farm. The 1850’s era house the Mahaffies lived in is still there, as well as an ice house, and several other buildings. I fell in love with the Mahaffie’s story and knew that I wanted to write about a stage stop on the Santa Fe Trail. And Whispers on the Prairie was born.
Q: WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES FROM THE STORY WHERE YOU DREW ELEMENTS FROM REAL LIFE?
One of the things that intrigued me about Mahaffie’s Stage Stop was that instead of serving meals to the stage passengers in their home, they served them in their basement, which was a long, narrow room with its own entrance. It enabled the Mahaffies to maintain the privacy and security of their home- while servicing their stage clients in a cool, comfortable environment. The Harper family in my book has the same kind of set-up. Also, many people from the city caught the vision to travel the Santa Fe Trail to the lesser populated frontier. This happens to my heroine’s uncle, who has also been her guardian. He insists she go alone to help assist her aunt, and my heroine finds herself a reluctant pioneer.
Q: WHICH CHARACTER IN WHISPERS ON THE PRAIRIE SURPRISED YOU MOST?
It was some of the secondary characters that really surprised me. I didn’t expect Ma Harper to become as much of a mentor to Sarah, my heroine, as she did. Also, Aaron’s children, Corrie and Toby, were fun and added quite a bit of humor to the book.
Q: WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
I’ve finished Call of the Prairie, book two in my series, and I’m waiting for the edits to come back. In the mean time, I’ve started book 3, Song of the Prairie. Both books release next year. I’m also working on edits for a Love Inspired Suspense, tentatively titled Attack on Angelfire.