by Lisa Wingate
Paperback, 384 pages
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.
Lisa Wingate is a journalist, inspirational speaker, reviewer for the New York Journal of Books, and the author of over twenty novels. Her novels combine elements of history, romance, mystery, and women’s fiction with nuggets of Southern culture, from the sublime to the humorous. She is a seven-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol award nominee, a Christy Award nominee, an Oklahoma Book Award finalist, a Christianity Today Book Award nominee, an Inspy Award nominee, and a two-time Carol Award winner. Her works have been selected for Booklist’s Top Ten List in 2012 and in 2013. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others, as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life.
Tell us about the setting! Why Wildwood Creek?
There’s a bit of me in the setting, of course. I love Texas. I love its history of an independent past. I love that many small towns still claim an ethnic affiliation to various countries in Europe. I also love the fact that Texans are famous for their bold hearts, brash personalities, and tall tales. Storytellers abound here and the tale of Wildwood is the sort of story you might hear being passed around. There is also, undoubtedly, a bit of my own hidden dream in Allie’s opportunity to join the historical reenactment — to go back in time. The idea fascinates me. I think I’d love to do it, but the reality probably is that after a few days without air conditioning, a microwave, and hot showers, I’d probably be ready to go home again.
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