Welcome to the blog tour and giveaway for Chasing the Wind by Paula Scott, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
About the Book
As California comes to statehood amidst the madness of the gold rush, Isabella Vasquez must wed a buckskin-clad American who wins her in a card game. Though their union is passionate, Isabella soon finds herself abandoned in a brothel, where she rises to fame as a singer known as the Bluebird. Yet because of her Indian blood, the Bluebird will always be bought and sold in the white man’s world. When more is demanded of the Bluebird than just singing, Isabella flees to Fort Ross in search of her Russian father and her own race of people. Peter Brondi has battled Indians all his life. The last thing he wants is a half-Indian wife. While taming the West with Kit Carson and John C. Fremont, Peter has fought the Mexican War and lost his beloved fiancée, Maggie, to his half-Indian brother, Paul. To satisfy his father’s dying wish, Peter vows to find his brother and put an end to the hate that’s between them. But when history repeats itself and Paul steals Isabella away, Peter must come to terms with his past and the animosity he holds against all Indians, including his half-brother and the wife he has forsaken.
*Chasing the Wind is the final story in the sweeping saga of California Rising, a tale of love, betrayal, and the ties that bind brothers together and California to the nation.
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About The Author
Paula began her writing career as a civilian contracted to write for the United States Air Force’s newspaper and magazines. Later, she wrote feature stories for a daily California newspaper. A fifth generation Californian, Paula’s great great grandmother came to California in a covered wagon and married a California farmer. Paula’s family has been farming ever since. Paula works on her family’s farm, writes historical fiction, and blogs about life, love, and farming at psbicknell.com
Paula Scott is giving away a signed print copy of Chasing the Wind! (US Only) Void where prohibited by law. Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
While writing my final California Rising novel, I spent the past year buried in research books. One man dominated my days. Kit Carson. I based my hero, Peter Brondi, on him.
Kit Carson became my friend. When I first began researching for Chasing the Wind, I deemed Carson a heartless killer. He was known as the greatest Indian fighter of all time. Responsible for the deaths of thousands of Indians, Carson helped slaughter the peaceful California Indians along the Sacramento River during the Bear Flag Revolt. He killed Californios and Mexicans alike. He had so much blood on his hands. But the more I read about Carson, the more I developed compassion for this man determined to protect his family and see his nation win the West.
The Californios called Carson, El Lobo, the wolf. They feared Carson more than any other man. A quiet, soft-spoken Missourian of smallish stature and sharp blue eyes, Carson never learned to read. This embarrassed him. He wanted California for the Union and was a hero of the Mexican War. Above all, Carson was a patriot. He loved his nation. I have no idea if he loved the Lord, but Carson did value religion.
In his early thirties, he left the Presbyterian Church to join the Catholic Church in order to marry 14-year-old Josefa Jaramillo, the daughter of a wealthy and prominent Mexican couple in Taos, New Mexico. This may sound strange to us today, but grown men married girls in those days due to the fact that men established themselves before starting their families and girls were considered adults at an early age. Women regularly died in childbirth. Most folks did not live to be old. It was a different time with different social norms. I was very aware of this while crafting my story. I wanted to stay true to history, while not stirring up the sensibilities of modern-day readers.
Isabella my heroine is a teenager in my story, but I never outright reveal her age. Peter is in his late twenties. This was about Carson’s age when he married his first wife, an Arapaho Indian girl named Singing Grass. It was rumored Carson gained his first whiff of fame in the gun battle he fought with another mountain man to win the beautiful Singing Grass’s hand. I envisioned Peter and Isabella’s love story out of the ashes of Carson’s youthful love for Singing Grass, who died soon after giving him two daughters, only one girl lived.
Carson’s second wife, a Cheyenne woman, divorced him within a year. No children came from that brief wedlock. Carson then took his little daughter back to Missouri and left her with his family. His greatest desire for his daughter was schooling. He wanted more than anything for his child to learn to read. For the next eight years, Carson split his time between St. Louis with his daughter and his trapping duties in Taos, New Mexico. During this time, he married the captivating Josefa and had eight more children. When Josefa died at 40 years old, after complications from having their last child, Carson was devastated. A month later, in his 58th year, he followed his beloved Josefa to the grave.