Thanks for having me here, Anna! It’s always a pleasure to talk about romance and history.
People say “Everything happens for a reason.” I’m not sure about that, but I do know there is a cause and effect to everything. Would that be the same thing? It fascinates me that while a carefully thought-out, strategic decision can effect change, how also, an impulsive act or a moment’s hesitation can change the course of a life, a town, a country…and history.
In my new release, Dance With a Cowboy, that’s what happens to Garrett. He hesitates, and his life and the lives of those he’s closest to, change in a flash. Dance With a Cowboy takes place in Julian, California – a town I’ve renamed Clear Springs for my fictional story. Julian is near and dear to my heart.
After the Civil War, with no job opportunities in Georgia, Mike Julian, his brother and Bailey cousins, struck out for the West. They worked their way across the country hoping to find work on the much talked about railroad coming to San Diego. However, on arrival they found that with northerner Alonzo Horton, the “Father of San Diego” in charge, employment for displaced southerners was difficult. They headed back to Arizona to find work.
On the way they stopped to rest in the mountains sixty miles east of San Diego. They unhitched their animals and let them graze on the thick meadow grass and drink from a nearby stream. While he relaxed, Drue Bailey took in the pleasant view of the ocean to the west and the surrounding mountain peaks. Wild game – deer, quail, turkey, and rabbit—was plentiful. He decided he wasn’t going any further. The others couldn’t convince him otherwise and so they stayed too. They built a cabin and homesteaded, making plans through the winter of what they would grow in the spring. They planted a field of barley on the exact spot where the future town of Julian would stand. Before long, Mike Julian found a nugget of gold in the creek running near the cabin.
Word of the gold got out and soon others arrived. The Julians and Baileys hired a surveyor to plot out a town. Drue named the town Julian in honor of Mike because Mike was considered the handsomest man in town and a favorite of the ladies. Drue also thought ‘Julian’ a more pleasant-sounding name for a town than Bailey. The gold rush in San Diego’s back country lasted ten years before the gold started to peter out.
So, you might say, the course of southern California’s history changed because a man stopped to rest and then refused to budge.
In Dance With a Cowboy— It is rancher Garrett Sheridan’s duty to look out for his brother’s widow and daughter when they return to Clear Springs. However, falling for Kathleen isn’t an option—not with the secrets between them. It would take a Christmas miracle…and he doesn’t believe in miracles anymore.
Dance With a Cowboy is part of the Wild West Christmas anthology by Harlequin Historical, released on October 1, 2014. My next full-length book, The Gunslinger & the Heiress, set in early San Diego, is due out January 1, 2015.
Bio: From her first breath, Kathryn Albright has had a passion for stories that honor the goodness in people. She combines her love of history and her love of a good story to write novels of inspiration, endurance, and hope. Visit her at www.kathrynalbright.com, on Facebook , Twitter, or Goodreads.
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