Thursday, August 24, 2017

Sarah's Secret: A Western Tale of Betrayal and Forgiveness by Beverly Scott

Sarah's Secret: A Western Tale of Betrayal and Forgiveness by Beverly Scott

Publication Date: January 31, 2017
eBook & Paperback; 306 Pages
Word Project Press

Genre: Fiction/Historical/Western

Follow the paths of Sarah and Will (or Sam) as they tell their stories of trust, secrets, and betrayal on the frontier in the old West. Their pioneer spirit helped to fuel the expansion into the Western territories of the United States. The two are historically on their separate journeys, yet they remain intimately connected. Through the fictionalized Western frontier tale of Sam and Sarah, the author, Beverly Scott, was inspired to reveal rumored secrets from her family history.

In 1878, Will is on the run after killing a man in a barroom gunfight. He escapes the Texas Rangers by joining a cattle drive as a cook headed to Dodge City. He struggles with the dilemma of saving his life or attempting to return to his pregnant wife and five children. Just when he thinks he might be able to return home, he is confronted by a bounty hunter who captures him and plans to return him to Fort Worth, Texas to be hanged.

Although Will changes his name to Sam, he remains an irresponsible, lonely and untrustworthy man on the dodge from the law who abandons the women he loves. He ultimately seeks redemption and marries Sarah.

In 1911, Sarah, a pioneer woman and widow with five children struggles to find the inner strength to overcome betrayal, loneliness, fears, and self-doubt. Her husband, Sam, thirty years her senior, died with a mysterious and defiant declaration, “I won’t answer!”. Despite poverty and a crippling illness, she draws on her pioneer spirit to hold her family together and return to Nebraska to be near her parents and siblings.

When Sarah returns to Nebraska she receives staggering news which complicates her efforts to support her children. She is shocked, angry and emotionally devastated. Since she is attempting to establish herself in the community as a teacher, she believes she must keep her secret even from her own family. Will Sarah find forgiveness in her heart and the resolve to accept her new life alone?

Praise for Sarah's Secret

“In the flash of one moment, the trajectory of a man’s life and of those who loved and depended on him changes forever. The developing plot draws the reader in as we wait to see how this one action reaches into and impacts the lives of future generations. Set against the backdrop of a post-Civil War nation, when thousands headed west to escape their past, disappear into the horizon, and remake themselves, this biography is a rich study of pioneer ethos and the risks faced every day. The women touched by this man, who kept his secrets close, are heroines of courage, steadfastness and goodness. Beverly Scott is an author who has a way of painting word pictures that make you feel like you are a part of the story as it unfolds towards the discovery of his devastating secrets.” -Patricia and Craig Neal, co-founders, Heartland Inc.

“Using the plain spoken language of the women and men who scratched out life on the hard scrabble plains in the early days of this young country Bev Scott crafts a sharp picture of the violence and the love that shaped the middle of this nation. Every river crossing, each spring planting reveals the conflicts inside the characters and their struggle to survive in contested territories.” -Jewell Gomez, Author, The Gilda Stories

Amazon | IndieBound

My Review:
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love the old west and I love doing genealogy and discovering my own family. I really loved how this story played out, especially since bits and pieces actually is about Beverly Scott's own family. You follow 2 stories in the book Will or Sam after he changes his name and Sarah. Sam and Sarah are married and have 5 children. Sam is sick and dies shortly into the book and leaves Sarah alone with the kids. Sarah decides to move back home to Nebraska to her family. She goes through a lot, but is strong and muddles through. The one thing in the book is before Sam dies he mumbles something about a secret. I was dying to know that secret. I new it had to be important and huge part of the story. I was right. I won't tell you what it is though. I will tell you I will be looking for more books by Beverly Scott. 

About the Author

Bev specialized in serving executives and managers as a leadership coach and organizational consultant for over thirty-five years. She taught organization psychology and founded The 3rd Act, a program whose mission supports positive aging. As she grew into her own third act, she started a genealogical journey to uncover the details of her grandparents’ lives. She concluded that the story needed to be told as fiction using the known facts as her framework.

“Sarah’s Secret: A Western Tale of Betrayal and Forgiveness,” Bev’s debut novel, is the culmination of her long-held desire tell the family story and confirm the whispered story about her grandfather.

Bev previously focused on publishing non-fiction work, including the second edition of “Consulting on the Inside,” which she co-authored with Kim Barnes, published in 2011. She has written numerous professional articles and contributed to “70 Things to Do When You Turn 70,” edited by Ronnie Sellers and Mark Chimsky. Bev blogs on several sites, including her own, “The Writing Life” on

Bev enjoys traveling, visiting with friends, reading and spending time with her grandsons. She lives with her spouse in San Francisco.

You can connect with Bev on Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon, and Goodreads.

Interview with Beverly Scott

  1. What is your favorite part of this book and why?

The ending is my favorite part of “Sarah’s Secret”.  I was able to create an opportunity for Sarah to find forgiveness in her heart.  The hurt and anger Sarah experienced when she discovered how Sam had betrayed her would have left her a bitter and resentful woman.  Since the character Sarah is inspired by my paternal grandmother who was a gentle and loving woman, who I believed was able to find forgiveness, I wanted to offer Sarah a similar opportunity.  

  1. If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

I would like to spend the day riding a horse across the prairie with Sam.  I would ask him to tell me stories from his life and the characters he has met.  I would ask him to teach me about the geography and the weather on the prairie as well as the native flowers and animals.
  1. If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?

This is a very tough question.  I decided I wanted my choice to be a woman author.  That took me back to my childhood reading of Louisa May Alcott and Willa Cather.  I remembered how much I enjoyed Jean Auel’s series.  I thought about more contemporary authors such as Elizabeth Gilbert or Isabel Allende.  I thought of many other books, those read very recently and those read many years ago.  I have finally settled on Geraldine Brooks, “The People of the Book”

Geraldine Brooks is an excellent writer, recognized with many significant awards.  In “The People of The Book”, the secrets of the priceless and beautiful Sarajevo Haggadah are revealed through the artifacts found in the binding.  The reader is carried from the present effort to salvage the book back to its creation.  In the historical journey back in time, the reader is immersed in stories of exile, inquisition and Anti-Semitism.  It is a complex and riveting historical saga.  I would be very proud, were I the author.

  1. Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

I heard family rumors about my grandfather at a family reunion about twenty-five years ago. I was intrigued and wanted to learn more.  When my career wound down, I began a genealogy search at the National Archives since my grandfather was a Civil War Veteran.  As I sorted through the yellowed pages of forms, correspondence and depositions, I discovered he was born in Indiana in 1840 as John Howard, (we knew him as Harvey Depew or H.D.) and the rumor was true!  He had another family.
I continued my genealogy journey searching the US Census.  He and his family were listed in the 1870 Census in Texas but he was missing in the 1880 census.  Going back to the Archive documents, I found clues:  his wife Harriet stated he left her destitute with her sixth child in 1878 when he went into town for a load of corn and never returned; H.D. claimed he worked cattle and that he had been a cook.  Since 1878 was at the peak of the long-horn cattle drives from Texas to Kansas, perhaps he joined a cattle drive.  However, there was no record of him in Texas or Kansas.  He literally disappeared in 1878.  

I found him under his new name in 1890 in Wyoming. He had filed a land claim.  There, he met and married my grandmother, the local school teacher.  With so little information about my mysterious grandfather, I concluded the story needed to be fiction.  I used the bones of the story I had uncovered but the emotions, motivations and dialogue are from my imagination.  I filled in the context and historical background of the story.   The section focused on the character based on my grandfather is almost totally created from my imagination.

  1. What made you want to become a writer?

I have never had a goal to become a writer.  I always had another goal in mind.  In my career as an organization and leadership consultant, I wrote non-fiction articles to address issues identified by my clients.  When I left my corporate role as an internal consultant to launch my own consulting practice, I realized that others wanted to learn from my experience of how to be successful as an internal consultant. The two editions of, “Consulting on the Inside”, were written to meet that need.

I had a long-held desire to learn more about my family ancestry.  I wanted to write the family story for members of my family.  As I mentioned above, when I could not fill in the gaps of my grandfather’s life, I concluded the story would need to be fiction.  My goal was to tell a story that my family would enjoy.  

I have become a writer but not with the intent to become one.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 14
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, August 15
Guest Post at History From a Woman's Perspective
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Wednesday, August 16
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, August 17
Review at WS Momma Readers Nook

Friday, August 18
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog

Monday, August 21
Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, August 22
Review at A Holland Reads

Thursday, August 24
Review & Interview at T's Stuff
Review & Interview at Books and Benches

Monday, August 28
Feature at A Literary Vacation

Tuesday, August 29
Review at Book Nerd
Feature at Mello & June, It's a Book Thang!

Wednesday, August 30
Review at Linda's Book Obsession

Friday, September 1
Review at Creating Herstory

Monday, September 4
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of Sarah's Secret! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 4th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Sarah's Secret by Beverly Scott

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