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Arizona Territory, 1885:
On the way to Mexico, terror strikes Charles Whiting, his family, and friends. Rumors claim Geronimo and his murderous band lie in wait along the road they will travel. With their lives at stake, Charles switches the wagon train to the route across the Apache reservation. No way will the renegades return to the place they fled. Or will they?
Relying as much on faith and prayer as on his firearms and courage, Charles guides the wagons homeward. But the way is long and winding, and who knows what lurks around the bend.
Some legacies can get you killed.
During the 1892 La Ascensión riot, Mormon colonist Charles Whiting and Mexican Arturo Rodríguez, who live on opposite sides of the Casas Grandes River, lead supporters of the government until soldiers arrive and capture the revoltosos. Five years later, their sons become classmates.
Frank Whiting is excited for sixth grade to start, except his teacher wants him to befriend the new Mexican kid who doesn’t want to be there. Tomás Rodríguez despises anything that looks or sounds American, but his father insists he attend the school where everyone speaks English. Despite their differences, the boys’ friendship grows—and so does the danger they each are in.
The revoltosos are back after five years in prison. Are any of them bent on getting revenge? If so, which ones have Frank and Tomás in their sights, and to what lengths will they go to make sure the boys’ fathers have paid in full?
Legacy of an Uprising is the first book in the Neighbors Across the River Trilogy where Mormon colonists and Mexicans work at living peacefully side by side. But soon, forces beyond their control will inflame Mexican passions, and cries will ring out for violent revolution.
My grandfather grew-up in the Mormon colony of Colonia Diaz and told exciting stories, some with characters named Geronimo and Pancho Villa. Perhaps those tales sparked my love of history and historical fiction, but I’m also the curious sort and love doing research to discover details that enrich the fictional stories I write.
While studying the history of the colonies, I wondered what put them in the middle of the Mexican Revolution that toppled Porfirio Diaz from power. After that, one thing led to another, and soon my question spawned a trilogy to explain the answers.
Legacy of an Uprising, my first novel in the Neighbors Across the River Trilogy, earned me the Emerging Author Praiseworthy Award in Historical Fiction from LDSPMA in 2021. I’m now at work on the trilogy’s second novel and a novella about the founding of the Mormon colonies.
My husband and I live in Central California. We wish we lived closer to all our four children and nine grandchildren, an impossibility since they live in far-flung places.