Eagle Designs
Vickie McDonough

Vickie McDonough is an award-winning author of twenty-four books and novellas. Her books have won the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, Texas Gold, the ACFW Noble Theme contest, and she has been a multi-year finalist in ACFW’s BOTY/Carol Awards. She was voted Third Favorite Author in the Heartsong Presents Annual Readers Contest in 2009. Vickie is the author of the fun and feisty Texas Boardinghouse Brides series from Barbour Publishing. She has also authored two books in the Texas Trails: A Morgan Family series, in which she partners with Susan Page Davis and Darlene Franklin to write a six-book series that spans fifty years of the Morgan family. Also, next year brings the release of a new series from Guidepost/Summerside: Pioneer Promises, set in 1870s Kansas.

Genre Happenings

Texas Trails - A Morgan Family Series

Texas Trails

The Texas Revolution began with the first shot fired on October 2, 1835, in Gonzales and ended just six months later with the Texan victory at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. This year Texas celebrates the 175 anniversary of the Texas Revolution, so it’s timely that the first three books in the Texas Trails: A Morgan Family Series release this fall.

Why have romance stories set in Texas remained popular over the years? Maybe because Texas embodies the American spirit—that underdog-won’t-be-beat mentality. Or maybe it’s the ever popular cowboy element. Cowboys were true heroes who lived by a code: work hard, respect women, protect children, and fight for God and country. But maybe the real reason we love Texas stories is that America is a country populated by pioneers, from the early Pilgrims to today’s immigrants. Texas’s early pioneers faced some of the most difficult hardships. They came to a hot, dry land where both Indians and Mexicans battled to keep them away. Some died for their dream, but many survived and prospered—and those are the stories we love to read.

When my agent, Chip McGregor, approached me about doing a series with two other fiction authors, I eagerly agreed. I had worked with award-winning author Susan Page Davis on several projects before and was excited to work with her again. I knew fellow Oklahoman Darlene Franklin from ACFW and had worked with her on a novella collection, but I’d never written a trade fiction series with other authors before.

Susan, Darlene, and I brainstormed different ideas and finally settled on a historical series set in Texas, featuring different members of a fictional family that also incorporated different aspects of Texas history. Our proposal was for a six-book series, with each author writing two books.

With the framework established, we each researched different historical events in Texas and selected the ones that most interested us. One Website that was especially informative was www.texasbob.com. It has a timeline (http://www.texasbob.com/timeline/index.php) that I used to choose the period I wanted to write about and to find historical tidbits for my stories.

We went round and round, discussing different possibilities for our stories. Once the dust settled and the three of us dialogued about the topics that most interested us, we selected the following historical elements to include in our books:

Lone Star Trail by Darlene Franklin—1845: Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels purchases the land that will become New Braunfels, and Texas enters the union as the twenty-eighth state

Captive Trail by Susan Page Davis—1857: Congress authorizes the Butterfield Mail and Stage Line. Also ongoing stories of white children captured by Indians

Long Trail Home by Vickie McDonough—1865: Reconstruction following the War Between the States, together with a fictional school for blind children set in Waco, which was based on the Texas Blind Asylum that was located in Austin.

A Ranger’s Trail by Darlene Franklin—1874: John B. Jones is commissioned a major in the Texas Rangers’ Frontier Battalion (reinstituted after the end of the War Between the States); the “Hoo Doo” War erupts in Mason County (range war and blood feud).

Cowgirl’s Trail, by Susan Page Davis—1883: The first cowboy strike in Texas begins in the Panhandle.

End of the Trail, by Vickie McDonough—1896: Ranching, cattle, oil, and a stunt to wreck two trains in Crush, Texas (near Waco), which results in the deaths of two spectators.

All three writers of this series are award-winning authors with a total of more than sixty Christian romances written. Susan Page Davis is a recent immigrant to Kentucky. Darlene moved to Oklahoma several years ago after living in Colorado for two decades, and Vickie McDonough is an Oklahoma native and lived there her whole life, except for one year when she lived on a kibbutz in Israel.

Kudos go to the Moody Publisher Art Department for their beautiful cover designs.

Here is a bit more in-depth information about the first three books in the Texas Trails Series:

Lone Star TrailLone Star Trail by Darlene Franklin—Judson (Jud) Morgan’s father died for Texas’s freedom during the war for independence. So when the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas (the Verein) attempts to colonize a New Germany in his country, he takes a stand against them.

After Wande Fleischer’s fiancé marries someone else, the young fraulein determines to make a new life for herself in Texas. With the help of Jud’s sister Marion, Wande learns English and becomes a trusted friend to the Morgan family.

As much as Jud dislikes the German invasion, he can’t help admiring Wande. She is sweet and cheerful as she serves the Lord and all those around her. Can the rancher put aside his prejudice to forge a new future? Through Jud and Wande, we learn the powerful lessons of forgiveness and reconciliation among a diverse community of believers.

Captive Trail by Susan Page Davis—Taabe Waipu has run awayCaptive Trail from her Comanche village and is fleeing south in Texas on a horse she stole from a dowry left outside her family’s teepee. The horse has an accident and she is left on foot, injured and exhausted. She staggers onto a road near Fort Chadbourne and collapses.

On one of the first runs through Texas, Butterfield Overland Mail Company driver Ned Bright carries two Ursuline nuns returning to their mission station. They come across a woman who is nearly dead from exposure and dehydration and take her to the mission.

With some detective work, Ned discovers Taabe Waipu’s identity. He plans to unite her with her family, but the Comanche have other ideas, and the two end up defending the mission station. Through Taabe and Ned we learn the true meaning of healing and restoration amid seemingly powerless situations.

Long Trail HomeLong Trail Home by Vickie McDonough—When Riley Morgan returns home after fighting in the War Between the States, he is excited to see his parents and fiancée again. But he soon learns that his parents are dead and the woman he loved is married. He takes a job at the Wilcox School for the blind just to get by. He keeps his heart closed off, but a pretty blind woman, Annie, threatens to steal it. When a greedy man tries to close the school, Riley and Annie band together to fight him, and they fall in love.

But when Riley learns the truth about Annie, he prepares to leave the school that has become his home and the woman who has melted his heart. Will he change his mind and find the love he craves? Or will stubbornness deprive him from the woman he needs? Through painful circumstances, Riley and Annie learn that the loving and sovereign hand of God cannot be thwarted.

Texas Trails is a six-book series about four generations of the Morgan family living, fighting, and thriving amid a turbulent Texas history spanning from 1845 to 1896. Although a series, each book can be read on its own. If you’d like more information about this exciting series, visit the Texas Trails Website: www.texastrailsfiction.com.

The first three books are available for pre-sale online now.

Release Dates: Lone Star Trail, September 1, 2011
Captive Trial, October 1, 2011
Long Trail Home, November 1, 2011
A Ranger’s Trail, February 1, 2012
Cowgirl Trail, April 1, 2012
End of the Trail, June 1, 2012

I hope you will fall in love with Texas and the Morgan family as you travel the trail of hardship, romance, and faith in this exciting and endearing series.