Thursday, June 5, 2014

Walls for the Wind - Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56

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I've been interested in "orphan trains" for a long time. That's the name given a supervised welfare program that transported orphaned children from the crowded cities of the East Coast of the U.S. to the Midwest and beyond. The trains ran from the 1850s to the 1920s. So when I read this book's synopsis and saw that these trains were integral to the plot, I had to read it.

WALLS FOR THE WIND tells the story of a young woman (Kit Calhoun) who helps run an orphanage in New York City. She is given the task of accompanying groups of children on orphan trains to the Midwest. However, her story takes her even farther from her familiar home - to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Read my review on Amazon:  HERE.

The book begins with a prologue:

BOOK BEGINNING:
Cheyenne, Dakota Territory, January 1868
      Panic bloomed, threatening to choke Kit as she gasped for breath. Where could she be, the small girl brought all the way out to the wilds of Wyoming from New York City? So certain she could make the best decisions for the little golden-haired girl, Kit had gone against her own upbringing as well as the stern advice of those older and wiser in order to make this journey west. Now here was her little family plunked down in the raw boomtown of Cheyenne, and she had lost not only her own direction but also the child entrusted to her care.

FRIDAY 56 (from 56% on my Kindle):
      A group of four long-haired Indians walked in on silent feet. Any rebuke died on Kit's lips. She sucked in a breath. Her eyes widened and her jaw dropped. No one else in the depot was aware yet of the danger.

Genre: Western Historical Novel
Length: 221 Pages
Amazon Link: Walls for the Wind
Other Books by Alethea Williams: Amazon Author Page

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51 comments:

  1. This sounds really good Sandy! The fear is palpable in that excerpt!

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    1. Thank you, Jacquie! I hope you enjoy the book if you pick up a copy.

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  2. What a great excerpt. I love historical fiction and although we didn't have orphan trains in the UK there were various other schemes must have been just as terrifying for the children involved.

    http://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com

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    1. It's always fun to me to learn about a subject through the pages of a novel. This story is fascinating.

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    2. Thanks for the comments, Cleo and Sandra. I was hooked on the concept of orphan trains as soon as I read about them in 2001.

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  3. Such a fascinating subject. I read Orphan Train earlier this year and now want to read this novel.

    My Friday post: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2014/06/friday-focus-friday-56-book-beginnings.html

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    1. I read Orphan Train too (an excellent book!) and that's one reason I was interested in Walls for the Wind. It's a good story too.

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    2. I have not had time to read Orphan Train yet, but it is on my TBR list. If you pick up a copy of Walls for the Wind, I hope you enjoy my orphan train story.

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  4. Great excerpts! I don't know very much about the orphan trains and this sounds like it'd be a great book to learn a little bit more about them! The writer does a fantastic job of showing both fear and dread. I definitely want to read more.

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    1. The book was nicely written and the characters had depth. I especially enjoyed the scenes that described transporting the children on the trains. Fascinating.

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    2. Hi Katherine. Try this page from the National Orphan Complex for further reading on the history of the orphan trains and some personal accounts. It is really fascinating reading. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. The history of the orphan trains really is incredibly interesting because it also brings a lot of emotion to a narrative. The Beginning really throws you straight into the story, doesn't it! And then the F56 does nothing to release that tension. Great choice. Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great weekend!
    My BB
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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    1. I enjoy books that are either about real incidents or include real happenings in them. Walls for the Wind is an engrossing story.

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    2. Hi Juli,
      I hope you have a great Monday, and that you enjoy Walls for the Wind if you pick up a copy. Thanks for commenting!

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  6. I, too, love anything about the orphan trains...and the welfare of children. Thanks for sharing! Here's mine: “THE STORIES WE TELL”


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    1. Thank you for stopping by to say "hi."

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    2. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Laurel-Rain. The Stories We tell sounds like a great read.

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  7. This sounds really interesting. I'd like to know more about these orphan trains. Have a happy weekend.
    My Friday 56

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    1. Hi. Thanks for stopping by. If you want to know more about orphan trains, visit the National Orphan Train Complex and Museum website at http://orphantraindepot.org/

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  8. Wonderful beginning and great 56!!


    Here is my Book Beginning post!!

    AND

    Here is my Friday 56 post!!

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    1. I love the Book Beginning and Friday 56 concept. A great way to introduce new work. Thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

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  9. Had never heard of this. I love learning something new, especially in a good storyline. Bring it!

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    1. It amazes me that this program actually existed. This book is a good way to learn about orphan trains while enjoying a story. Thanks for stopping by, Mary.

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    2. Thank you so much for the encouragement, Mary! And thanks for stopping by.

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  10. I don't usually read historicals, but when I do I enjoy westerns and this one sounds really interesting.

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    1. Hi Yvonne. Thanks for stopping by and for commenting. I hope you enjoy Walls for the Wind if you pick up a copy.

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  11. What a hooking introduction! I am such a sucker for drama, action and all things historical. I love that it has to do with orphans; thank you for sharing this! Have a wonderful weekend :)

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    1. The author's descriptions of the settings make you feel like you're right there. Her characters feel real too. Since you like all things historical, I'm sure you'll enjoy this book.

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    2. Thanks for stopping by, Claudia! And thank you for the nice promotion, Sandra! I hope everyone who reads my orphan train novel likes Walls for the Wind.

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  12. Great picks Sandra! I won't pick up a historical read on my own but this one tempts me :)
    My BB and 56 post is located Here

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    1. Hi Fiza/ I hope if you follow through and pick up a copy of Walls for the Wind that you enjoy the story.

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  13. I will definitely look into this. Great post, Sandra... Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for taking a look at the post, and for commenting!

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  14. Sounds intriguing. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Cassie. I hope these snippets pique your interest in Walls for the Wind. Thanks for stopping by.

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  15. Love both the beginning and page 56. Thanks for visiting.

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    1. Lovely to see you here, JC. Thanks for commenting; I'm glad you liked the snippets.

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  16. Great snippets, though my native heritage itched at the innuendo in the 56. I just had to remind myself it is true to the time.
    Happy weekend!

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    1. Yes, it was true of the times, and I apologize if I offended you by posting this snippet. Actually, the Native Americans in the book are portrayed as being peaceful, including the ones in this scene, and Kit came to respect and not fear them.

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    2. Hi, thanks for stopping by. If you get a chance to read the book, you will see that the Indians were Pawnee, wearing blue Army scout coats, and they were amusing themselves by putting one over on the gullible Eastern travelers stuck in the train station. This scene was based on historic fact, and I enjoyed writing it. If you pick up a copy, I hope you enjoy reading it!

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  17. This sounds fascinating. I love learning about history through fiction.
    Here's mine - http://fuonlyknew.com/2014/06/07/the-friday-56-23-deriks-bane-a-wyndham-werewolf-tale/

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    1. Hi Laura. Nice to meet up with you again; you reviewed my first book, Willow Vale, when it came out. Your Friday 56 sounds great! Thanks for stopping by.

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  18. I'd only recently heard of orphan trains, they weren't part of my history classes. I can feel her terror in those teasers, good choices.

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    1. I didn't know anything about orphan trains when I started writing Walls for the Wind, way back in 2000-2001. Since then the subject has just exploded in historical fiction. It's amazing to me that over 250,000 children were placed out by the orphan trains up until the 1920s and that fact was mostly ignored until recently.

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  19. The lines for Friday 56 seem a bit controversial, but I'm thinking that's the way people thought at the time. I would read this one.

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    1. There were Native Americans on both sides of the great Western migration of European immigrants. In this scene, these are Pawnee Indians in the employ of the United States Army, based on a historical incident. In another scene, there are Arapaho Indians, as an afternoon diversion, watching the railroad contractors work at unloading a train. Also based on a historical account. Natives today don't seem to have a problem as long as they are portrayed accurately and not as a caricature.

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  20. The things we learn through historical fiction. I think this is fascinating.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, and for commenting.

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  21. Sandra, thanks so much for featuring Walls for the Wind here on Writing With a Texas Twang. What wonderful feedback! I'm glad to have caught up with your Friday 56, and sorry to have missed this on the 5th; I was at a writers conference.

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