The Platte River Waltz, Orphans in the Storm

| March 7, 2016


The Platte River Waltz, Orphans in the Storm

Before the Old West was born

Set in a panorama of the American West as its portrait is first being painted, The Platte River Waltz is the initial stroke in the unfolding of Josh Bonner’s tale. In 1848, only seventeen years old, on the Oregon Trail and suddenly orphaned, Josh begins a journey through the unsettled frontier of a wild continent. Just making first acquaintance with manhood, he quickly finds his future linked to Elizabeth Hampton, a coquette from his old hometown. Together they resolve to venture into an uncertain and dangerous future. Accompanied by Jubilee, an escaped slave, Josh and Elizabeth join the Metzger wagon train of Missouri emigrants led by a voyageur scout and a town constable turned captain. The couple commences a lusty exploration of the lands they pass and of each other.

The scout is the first to recognize the mettle of Josh Bonner, taking the novitiate under his wing. Others in the party, a missionary couple, an adventurous sawbones, and a clan of farmers, quickly recognize the newcomers as a formidable alliance that drives the expedition across the wild prairie. The land, the weather, and human frailty threaten, but cannot daunt their resolve. Populated with compelling characters, colorful dialog, intriguing subplots, and thrilling encounters The Platte River Waltz explores a period of American history largely bypassed by contemporary historical fiction.

“I have to say that this was one of the best books I have read in the past year. A few minutes ago I ordered Vol.2, and cannot wait to start reading it. I’m surprised a book this good was self-published..”

–review on Amazon–

“Wow! what a story. Not just another Oregon Trail crossing. A must read for all who enjoy a great love story, adventure, and more adventure.”

–review on Amazon–

“What a wonderful and superbly written account of a journey West!

I was completely absorbed by the remarkable characters and sweeping landscapes- caught so brilliantly by the magnificent writing and plotting!

A winner!!!”

–as reviewed on—

“The author has painted a rich landscape onto which he has thrown an diverse group of characters to bring us the start of what promises to be a remarkable series.”

–Amazon, UK–

Orphans in the Storm introduces the reader to Josh and Elizabeth , their companions and the settings. After a mishap at a river crossing damages one of their wagons, Josh and Elizabeth remain by the crossing to make repairs. Nature takes its course and the true relationship of the couple begins. Josh and Elizabeth, their trysting discovered, bend to the will of the combined trains but not before Elizabeth tests her will against the emigrants.

The Bonners and their companions venture on from Chimney Rock towards Fort Laramie. Water runs short and forces a change of route, an arduous trek into the hills. Arriving at the fort, the party rests and recharges. Some unsavory characters are encountered. Shortly after arriving, some of their horses are stolen and the scout leads a party, including Josh, in pursuit. Orphans in the Storm concludes with the departure from Fort Laramie as the emigrants enter the Black Hills.

Orphans in the Storm is the first of two volumes. The Platte River Waltz continues in The Growler Brigade.

The language and vernacular of the mid-1800s is used throughout and some references might be considered offensive but are incorporated for historical fidelity. The content is for the mature audience. Not recommended for young readers.


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