BLOOD TO RUBIES
was published on September 19, 2023, and quickly became an Amazon bestseller. Within months it has won many awards, including BOOK OF THE YEAR, from the American Writing Awards, and BEST DEBUT, BEST LITERARY, BEST WESTERN & BEST MULTICULTURAL in other awards. And BLOOD TO RUBIES has also been critically acclaimed by many New York Times bestselling authors.
(See ENDORSEMENTS & LITERARY AWARDS)
BLOOD TO RUBIES VIDEO
For sound, please click the note icon in the bottom right of the video.
NYT bestselling authors are raving!
Debut novel BLOOD TO RUBIES
BLOOD TO RUBIES is available wherever books are sold. See links below to order.
Read more about the author and her critically acclaimed debut novel here:
ABOUT BLOOD TO RUBIES
Blood to Rubies is a sweeping western saga about the cataclysm between Manifest Destiny and native Indian sovereignty, telescoped through the intimate stories and photographs of frontier photographer, Frederick Cortland. Frederick grows up in St. Joseph, Missouri, the starting point for westering pioneers. Steeped in the tales of Lewis and Clark, he thirsts for adventure, to see the wilderness and Indians in the flesh. To escape the Civil War draft, he joins a wagon train on the Oregon Trail and photographs pioneers, Indians, and frontier life. He chronicles, too, the lurid underbelly of humanity, freak shows, hangings, death, soiled doves and the Oriental slave trade. He begins to feel more a voyeur than a photographer.
In the Bitterroot Mountains, he spies a naked Irish immigrant woman, Sorrel Lanning, in a lake and secretly photographs her. Frederick settles in nearby Spotted Horse, Idaho, and starts a photography business. He becomes obsessed with Sorrel and keeps her clandestine photographs in a secret Chinese box.
He befriends the local Nez Perce and their venerated young leader, Chief Joseph. Strangely, Frederick's role as photographer—and his guilt as a voyeur—become pathological. He witnesses the lives of both Sorrel and the Nez Perce tribe unravel in tortuous irony. He feels complicit in their fates, with devastating consequences.
NOVEL APPROACH TO HISTORICAL FICTION
And here is extra perk for readers: Because my main character is a frontier photographer, each chapter opens with a spectacular archival photograph that mirrors Frederick’s adventures. Many of these photographs have been unearthed from deep long hidden archives and have never been seen by the public.
DRUM ROLL: BIG NEWS!
After querying many literary agents, I got a HUGE break. I signed with a top literary agencies in the country: Trident Media. Trident represents Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award and Booker Award winners. AND, they are a leading agency for books-to-film!! My lifelong dream to become a novelist got a big step closer.
MY POPULAR HISTORY BLOG, NOTES FROM THE FRONTIER
Several years ago, I created an historical blog called NotesfromtheFrontier.com to generate interest in my work. In two years time, my blog grew to more than 100,000 readers. I've posted more than 400 deeply-researched and photo-rich blogs on NotesfromtheFrontier.com or on the FB site by that name. My most popular post, "Stagecoach Mary," has been viewed by a MILLION readers with more than 10,000 likes. You can also visit NotesfromtheFrontier.com and its FB page to read history and back stories related to my upcoming novel.
SOME BIG BUMPS ALONG THE WAY
Like the westering pioneers and Native Americans who suffered on the frontier and like many of you, I've had some trials along the way. Mine weren't grizzly bears, venomous snakes, cholera, burning teepees or covered wagons, or horrific war wounds. But I did have a heart attack (probably due to kidney failure I was unknowingly born with) and then, very recently (December 8, 2022) a kidney transplant. And, let me tell you, neither are for sissies!
To add injury to insult, I was born with horrific allergies to horses, dogs, cats, cows, anything with fur and all that I loved. (My allergies were probably caused by my undiagnosed kidney dysfunction.) I went through life with tortuous itchy dermatitis because NO WAY was I going to give up horses, dogs, cats or Nature. So, when I wrote about pioneers and Indians struggling on the frontier, I appreciated at least a little what they must have gone through.
I was luckier than most kidney patients but the road was still rocky. My two sisters volunteered to donate their kidneys only to discover that they had the same congenital kidney disease I had (but not nearly so bad--they will be OK with 50% kidney function). Then my nephew volunteered his kidney and was an incredible 5 out of 6 match!! But he had a terrible accident while being a Good Samaritan and lost his leg. (He, too, will be OK.) My husband, Evan, had already been told he could not donate by another hospital but, after talking to a new hospital, adopting a healthy diet and exercise, we got some great news!
THEN, AFTER A DARK STORM, TWO MIRACLES FELL FROM THE SKY
On October 12, 2022, the dark clouds opened up and miracles showered down upon me like gold dust. That day, my husband, Evan Jones, was approved as my kidney donor after his Herculean efforts. AND, I got a publisher for the book I had worked on half my life. Neither was an easy road.
On December 8, 2023, my donor husband and I both went into surgery at Aurora St. Luke's in Milwaukee--one of the best kidney transplant programs in the country--and he gave me a his left kidney. (Miraculously, he recovered so quickly and was in such good shape, he was released the next day!)
I can never thank my wonderful family enough for being so generous and selfless. I am truly blessed! And I was blessed doubly to have the greatest medical team in the world at St. Luke's in Milwaukee.♥︎ I can tell you, don't ever give up on miracles. They DO happen!
I have been given a new life. Now I am healing from my kidney transplant and can experience my grandchildren growing up. And see my debut novel published, my life dream and passion.
See TV & media media coverage of our story and learn more about kidney failure and how you can detect it and prevent it here:
JOIN ME FOR A WILD RIDE
If you love history (especially of the American West and Native Americans), if you love historical fiction, if you love Nature and horses and all critters, and--most of all--if you love strong women, you'll love my book. Please join me on my journey. And hang onto your hat! It’s sure to be a wild ride. Now, giddyup!