Spoiler alert! Read this after you've read A Life Restored.

A Life Restored - Author's Note

I hope you enjoyed reading Thomas and Caroline’s story.  I can identify with them both—wanting to be better, do better, and eventually realizing, I can never hope to do this on my own.  I love how each of them comes to that realization.

Like the other books in this series, my goal was to share an interesting and gripping story with some historical facts.  One of my favorite facts in this book was the story of how Margaret McCormick met and married her husband, Richard McCormick.  You may have recognized Richard from the first book as the first Secretary of Territory for Arizona.  He was traveling by steamboat from San Francisco to New York when he met Margaret.  He was smitten instantly.  Despite her family’s protests, Margaret, who previously detested the idea of marriage, became Richard’s wife within six months of meeting him.  From her journals, we learn that the couple was very much in love.  Richard brought her to Prescott in the middle of November of 1865. 

Margaret quickly became a member of the community and lived somewhat unconventionally for a society woman.  She was known to enjoy a ride in the countryside at a moment’s whim.  She was well loved by the town and she bore responsibility for making the Governor’s Mansion a home.

 

For fun, I snuck in a brief appearance of Cowboy Mollie.  She was a wild woman whose reputation was pretty much what Caroline described.  She was a drunk, a gambler, and tended to be less than faithful to her husband.  There’s several rumors about which prominent men she had been married to at one time or another.  Regardless, she didn’t stay tied down.  When I needed someone to rescue Thomas after his accident, she came to mind as the only one who might be crazy enough to be out in a blizzard.

The blizzard described in the winter of 1865-66 is true.  Many called it the Tobacco Famine because supply freighters were unable to deliver supplies to town because of the snow and subsequent quick warm up.  Several historical accounts cited that many residents reused their coffee grounds for four or more months.  Sugar supplies dried up.  But the most sacred supply was the tobacco.  It became a commodity that men traded other valuables for.

The stagecoaches used in Arizona during this timeframe were called Celerity stages.  Some referred to them as the Butterfield or Overland stage.  They were rougher to ride in than the iconic Concord.  Most of the time they were pulled by mules and not horses, due to the rough terrain.

I hope you enjoyed the surprise story of Betty and Ben.  So many fans have asked for their story that I did not want to disappoint them.

Karen Baney