God’s Providence, A Sprained Ankle, and German Emigration in Texas (part 1)

My life has been filled with surprises lately–not all welcome ones either, like a sprained  ankle. 

The ICRS conference this week was the perfect time to launch River North Fiction, Moody Publisher’s new line. We didn’t receive the necessary legal approval to use our logo until late, so tight timing threatened to derail our plans. At the last minute–I mean VERY last minute–we completed our cute press  packets and shipped them overnight to the convention hotel with 15 minutes to spare.

I was all set. Flights were made. Check. Hotel reservations made. Check. Last-minute meetings with agents, authors and press contacts made and confirmed. Check and check. Bags packed. Check. One quart-sized ziplock bag filled with travel-sized containers of my favorite lotions, hair products, and cosmetics ready for security. Check, check and double check.

My husband and I kissed goodbye at O’Hare airport and I was officially launched on my trip to Atlanta with every hope for a successful convention.

Or so it would seem.

Unscathed through ticketing and security, I set off for the gate. With time for breakfast, I planned to fly out in the morning, drop my bags at the hotel and arrive  on the convention floor in plenty of time to make my first meeting just after lunch. The airline staff announced the boarding for the first set of passengers. They began to assemble at the counter in an organized fashion. And they stood there. Waiting. Without warning the sun dimmed; the skies grew dark; lighting cracked so loudly it was audible over the hum of jet engines; cosmic force winds drove pelting water against the windows. The plane outside at the end of the gangplank disappeared. Then the gangplank vanished and with it so did my hopes of flying out of Chicago.

Almost as fast as it arrived the storm subsided. The gangplank and plane became visible once more but the force of the storm changed the course of the day. My flight was canceled; long lines quickly formed once again around the ticket counter. I lost all hope of flying out by 3:00pm. The whole day was spent standing in line trying to get a flight out and canceling and rescheduling the meetings it took days to arrange. Tomorrow I would try again.

 Things were definitely off to a rough start.

 So too for one of our heroines in the new fiction series Texas Trails, about Texas history in the 1800’s and five generations of a family named Morgan.

 In the first title, Lone Star Trail, Wande Fleischer, along with her parents and siblings left their home in Germany. All they had was a cart full of their belongings and hope. Hope for a new start. Hope for promised land free for then to farm. Hope for marriage to Wande’s fiancé who traveled before her to establish their home. Hope for all their children to have a prosperous future.

 However, in 1845, Wande was greeted in Victoria, Texas with torrential rain. Her beloved sister perished the first few days after landing. Now their cart was stuck in the middle of the dirt road as she sunk knee deep in mud and fought the temptation to raise her fist in defiance to the God who brought them there and the wagon that passed without helping.

 Jud Morgan had no interest in helping any of the German immigrants flooding the countryside. Not even if they looked rather helpless with their belongings strewn all over the road. He wished they would go back to where they came from.  He wanted nothing to do with them.

 However, Jud’s compassionate mother took pity on the Fleischer family and offered them a place to stay–leaving Jud to face his fear, anger, and prejudice.

 A good rain can also bring in some unexpected blessings along with a change of plans including a sprained ankle. More on Tuesday.


In honor of our Texas Trails Series coming out in August I took to Twitter and Facebok to figure out what the ideal Southern dessert is and I decided to make a traditional peach cobbler. It was a hit here at the office! I put it out and less than 30 minutes later the dish was clean! I have now been reassured by one coworker that they will eat anything I bake. I am a recipe kind of girl when it comes to baking. There is too much of a science involved for me to take any detours.

I used a recipe from Paula Deen the Southern Belle herself Paula’s Peach Cobbler . For those of you who know Ms. Deen, there is no need to fear the amount of butter in this recipe. I would say it qualifies as average. The trickiest part of this dessert was defnitely the peeling of the peaches. It was worth it though for their sweet juiciness as opposed to canned peaches. I truly feel that the fresh peaches made all the difference in the world for this cobbler. The other key that Paula stresses is being sure to use self-rising flour. She is right, don’t even mess around with anything other than the self-rising in this recipe. We will branch out as this six book series is released and maybe try a chili, barbecue sauce, baked beans, oh, cornbread, technically we can do anything. Send us your thoughts on a great Texas recipe we should try out as we continue to discuss the Texas Trails Series


  1. Brittany, I wish I had seen this earlier! How well you summarized Lone Star Trail. Peach cobbler was a perfect desert to try (You probably remember it in Lone Star)

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