When I saw Caroline’s suggestions about interesting research for BY CLEAR WATER a chuckle bubbled up inside me, because the research for this book got totally out of hand. I lost myself on the southern route the Texas Argonauts took from Texas to California during the gold rush (the trail Leslyn and Matt traveled in the story), became intrigued with folk medicine, the seismic activity on the California coast, Spanish Land Grants, and the growth of the railroad in the late nineteenth century, etc. WONDERFUL INFORMATION!
AND THEN came the day to listen to one of my longtime critique partners. She nicely, but firmly said that at least three chapters needed to be deleted and only bits and pieces of all that WONDERFUL research should be woven into the story only when needed and even then, sparely. She patiently reminded I was writing fiction – Romance Fiction. Alas, I knew she was right. I set to work, grumbling about what excellent information I was cutting out of the story.
I promise only a smidgen of that research is mentioned in the book and ONLY when it relates to Leslyn and Matt’s love story, their adventures and misadventures.
About BY CLEAR WATER
Tragedy leaves Leslyn Reed alone in the middle of unsettled New Mexico territory. Disguised as a boy, she works her way to California as a trail hand, intending to claim her family’s property in the little town of Concepción. Little does she know the journey to her destiny has only just begun and she’s already claimed something much more valuable than land.
Matt Yeats is the mighty heir to Hacienda Hermosa. While leading one last trail drive, hoping to come to terms with decisions for his future, disaster strikes. If not for a young boy who’s barely strong enough to saddle a horse, he would have never survived. Les’s gift for healing not only spares his life, but changes it forever.
Devastation and heartbreak transform an awkward naïve girl into a woman of courage and perseverance. Her compassion and determination enrich the lives of those around her, earning her the whole of Matt’s heart and a lifetime at his side.
Love rises above all barriers!
Neva Brown, a retired secondary teacher/administrator, now enjoys the challenge of writing romance novels.
Neva spent most of her life on West Texas ranches and uses that culture and environment in many of her stories. She and her husband now live at Rio Concho West in San Angelo, Texas. They enjoy visits from their two sons and their families, are always delighted to hear from old friends, and are amazed at how well they have adjusted to ‘city’ living.
Neva loves to hear from her readers. She can be reached at email@example.com
Silence, then whispers of La Angel Blanca made her pause as she tied her disheveled hair back with a strip of petticoat.
It suddenly dawned on her that her blond hair and pale skin made her different. An old saying from the mountains of Tennessee popped in her head—you stand out like a fly in a pan of clabber among these people with shiny black hair and honey-brown skin. She looked at Concha. “I’m no angel. I ran from the earthquake just as scared as everyone else.”
Concha smiled. “You are the white angel to them. We prayed for help and you came and helped us in our time of need.”
Leslyn turned back to work, but not before noticing how filthy she was—white angel, my foot.
The salvaging of worldly goods and tending the wounded created a state of confusion and noise. Near noon, she looked up in alarm. The noise had suddenly died down to hushed whispers.
A well-dressed man on horseback picked his way through the rubble with care and approached the crowd near the low-burning fire. …. She rose from the side of her patient with a dagger clenched in her hand. Her blood-crusted dress hung stiffly from her shoulders. Smears of filth stained her face and arms.
Fearing the worst, she gripped the dagger mutely and stared at the newcomer. She would not go back to Señor Fernando’s estate. In cold resolve, she vowed to use the dagger on anybody who tried to make her.