My latest historic fiction, The Doctor’s Wife, is the story of Amelia Anton, a teacher who leaves Germany in 1845 on an immigrant ship bound for Texas. After the death at sea of the child she is hired to tutor, her employer abandons her. Amelia quickly accepts the marriage proposal of the much-respected shipboard physician, Joseph Stein, only to discover that he is not the husband she expected.
Dr. Stein takes Amelia to the temporary settlement on Matagorda Bay where hundreds of disease-ridden Germans huddle in tents—stranded during the Mexican-American War—waiting for wagons to transport them inland. This story of heartache, betrayal, and business success of Amelia and Dr. Stein is woven into the struggle of the Germans who choose to remain on that barren shell beach and create the burgeoning seaport of Indianola. The village flourishes as the jumping off place for dreamers heading to the California gold fields. The U.S. Army, destined for military posts as far west as El Paso, land personnel and equipment at the piers stretching into the shallow bay. Hundreds of freighters from the mines in Chihuahua, Mexico, haul silver to the port for shipment to the mint in New Orleans.
The Doctor’s Wife is a prequel to Stein House, my award-winning historic fiction that continues the story of Amelia and Dr. Stein as they welcome Amelia’s sister Helga and her family to Indianola in 1853. The family saga–tragedy of slavery and yellow fever, alcoholism and murder and the choices presented by the Civil War and Reconstruction–continues until the final storm turns Indianola into a ghost town.
The Doctor’s Wife is ready on Amazon for pre-orders in softcover and e-book. If you prefer a signed copy, I will have books available starting the week of May 16.