Wearing the picture of your beloved close to your heart is the epitome of romance, one of the reasons lockets have been around since at least the 16th century. During the Victorian era, lockets reached new heights of popularity. Prince Albert bestowed on his bride a bracelet from which eight lockets dangled, each filled with strands of hair from one of their children. Each day after her husband’s death, Queen Victoria wore a locket containing his photo.
Hills of Nevermore, the first novel in MONTANA GOLD, is a western historical romance series set during the Victorian era in the West. In the story opening, young widow America Reed loses a cherished locket that holds the key to her hidden shame. Her frantic search results in her wagon train going on without her. America’s urgent need to catch up finds a surprising champion. What happens next challenges America’s beliefs and gives a different perspective of the Old West.
To celebrate the release of Hills of Nevermore, it seems fitting to give away an antique locket similar to the one America loses in the opening scene. Enter for your chance to win here.
For a limited time, those who purchase Hills of Nevermore will also receive a free digital copy of Hearts Reunited, a western historical romance novella written by award-winning novelist Miralee Ferrell. The offer ends soon, so claim it today.
Curious? Read the first two chapters of the book for free: Sample Hills of Nevermore.
Can a young widow hide her secret shame from the Irish circuit preacher bent on helping her survive?
In an Idaho Territory boom town, America Liberty Reed overhears circuit preacher Shane Hayes try to persuade a hotel owner to close his saloon on Sunday. Shane lands face-down in the mud for his trouble, and there’s talk of shooting him. America intervenes and finds herself in an unexpectedly personal conversation with the blue-eyed preacher. Certain she has angered God in the past, she shies away from Shane.
Addie Martin, another widow, invites America to help in her cook tent in Virginia City, the new mining town. Even with Addie’s teenage son helping with America’s baby, life is hard. Shane urges America to depart for a more civilized location. Neither Shane’s persuasions nor road agents, murder, sickness, or vigilante violence can sway America. Loyalty and ambition hold her fast until dire circumstances force her to confront everything she believes about herself, Shane, and God.
Based on actual historical events during a time of unrest in America, Hills of Nevermore explores faith, love, and courage in the wild west.
Idaho Territory, May, 1863
America watched her wagon train shrink steadily in the distance, dust billowing in its wake. How could it have traveled so far in such a short time? Oh, why hadn’t she let someone know she’d needed to stop? Her friend Addie, taking a turn holding America’s baby, might not look for her unless Liberty woke and cried for her mother. Bill Baker, driving her oxen for a spell out of kindness, wouldn’t notice her absence for some time.
“I can’t have lost it!” Tears blurred the trail beneath America’s feet. She’d been a fool to wear the locket Kyle had given her. She should have kept it stashed away. When she’d felt her necklace’s chain break, she’d stopped walking at once. Why couldn’t she find it? If she didn’t come across the locket soon, she’d have to leave it behind. Catching up to the wagon train would take some doing even now, and every passing moment carried her baby, only three months old, farther away.
A meadowlark trilled, the song a sharp accent against the deeper thud of hooves.
A shiver ran down her spine. She jerked her gaze upward.
A spotted pony pranced on the path. The rider on the horse’s back watched her from dark eyes. Beneath the quillwork adorning the brave’s chest, his skin gleamed the color of robust tea. A black stripe of paint slashed across the bridge of his nose. Two tight braids fell to the sash that bound fringed leggings at the waist. Strips of cloth crisscrossed a wide forehead, and feathers fanned sideways behind his head.
A group of Indians on ponies clustered beside him. One of them called out, laughing.
The brave held up his hand for silence.
Wisps of hair escaped America’s bonnet, stinging her eyes. She clawed them away with a trembling hand. One thought crashed into another, beating to the rhythm of her wild pulse. Could she outrun them? No. What would they do to her once they caught her? Horrible.
Janalyn Voigt’s lifelong love of storytelling began in childhood when she dreamed up her own bedtime stories. She grew into a precocious reader, a pastime she credits with teaching her to write. Janalyn trained formally with Christian Writers Guild. Today she is a multi-genre author and is represented by Wordserve Literary. Learn more about Janalyn, read the first chapters of her books, subscribe to her e-letter, and join her reader clubs at http://janalynvoigt.com.