There is a mystery in Wildwood Creek’s history, a mystery that affects Allie’s present…
by Lisa Wingate
Paperback, 384 pages
February 4th 2014 by Bethany House Publishers
Allie Kirkland has never been one to take wild risks. But when she’s offered a costuming assistant’s job on a docudrama in the hills near Moses Lake, she jumps at the chance. She’s always dreamed of following in her director-father’s footsteps, and the reenactment of the legendary frontier settlement of Wildwood is a first step. The family expectations will have to wait.
But in 1861, the real Wildwood held dangerous realities. Town founder Harland Delevan held helpless residents, including young Irish schoolteacher Bonnie Rose, in an iron grip. Mysterious disappearances led to myths and legends still retold in the folk songs of Chinquapin Peaks. Eventually, the entire site was found abandoned.
When strange connections surface between Allie and the teacher who disappeared over a century ago, everyone in Wildwood, including Allie’s handsome neighbor on the film set, Blake Fulton, seems to be hiding secrets, and Allie doesn’t know who she can trust. If she can’t find the answers in time, history may repeat itself . . . with the most unthinkable results.
How did you develop the initial story idea/plot line for this book?
The story is a combination of folk legend, historical fact, and wild flight of fancy. I like to think of it as part historical, part contemporary, part romance, part adventure, and part drama. The idea began spinning itself in my head after a chance encounter with a roadside monument. I’d tell you about the monument, but… well… that would spoil the story. Suffice to say that it commemorates a sad and much-debated chapter of Civil War history in Texas. Many people outside Texas aren’t even aware that the state was part of the Confederacy, or that the issue was hotly debated among Texans as the conflict heated up to the east.
I have always been a lover of history, and having grown up in the era of sweeping western movies, I’m especially fond of the history of the American frontier. I’m a sucker for roadside monuments, Small-town museums, the foundations of old homesteads, historical markers, and old graveyards. Standing over the time-worn headstones of child graves — sometimes several in the same family — I’ve often felt the connection to the human side of the past, to the mothers of those children, whose grief at times must have been overwhelming. It’s impossible not to wonder, from the safer vantage point of a modern life, if I could have endured what those pioneer women endured? If I were in the shoes of my ancestors, would I have the metal to survive?
That sense of wondering is part of Wildwood Creek. A 150 year old mystery lies hidden beneath Moses Lake in the story. Though the locals have long shared tall tales and legends of Wildwood, a town in which the citizenry suddenly vanished near the beginning of the war, no one knows what really happened. But as Allie accepts a position among the cast of a docudrama set to reenact the last days of Wildwood, a summer drought (yes, we had one of those in real life as I was writing the book) is closing in and the secrets of Wildwood are about to rise to the surface.
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Print copy of Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate
Handmade-by-author Prayer Box with notepads
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