From the award-winning author of Eliza Waite comes a gripping tale of adventure and survival based on the true story of the ill-fated Donner Party on their 2,200-mile trek on the Oregon–California Trail from 1846 to ’47.
Nineteen-year-old Ada Weeks confronts danger and calamity along the hazard-filled journey to California. After a fateful decision that delays the overlanders more than a month, she—along with eighty-one other members of the Donner Party—finds herself stranded at Truckee Lake on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, stuck there for the entirety of a despairing, blizzard-filled winter. Forced to eat shoe leather and blankets to survive, will Ada be able to battle the elements—and her own demons—as she envisions a new life in California?
Researched with impeccable detail and filled with imagery as wide as the western prairie, Answer Creek blends history and hearsay in an unforgettable story of challenging the limits of human endurance and experiencing the triumphant power of love.
Answer Creek was published in May 2020, by She Writes Press and is available as an audiobook.
Independent Publisher Book Award
2021 West-Mountain Best Regional Fiction, Winner
Next Gen Indie Book Award
2021 Best Second Novel Winner
New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards
2021 Fiction Historical Other Winner
Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award
WILLA Literary Award
2020 Finalist, Historical Fiction
Arizona Authors Association
2020 Literary Contest Winner, Fiction
“…a triumphant retelling of a mythic American tragedy.”
Laurel Davis Huber, Author of Langum Prize for American Historical Fiction winner The Velveteen Daughter
“So well researched, one can almost feel the cold of winter and the stifling pain inflicted upon the heart and soul of these courageous pioneers.”
K. S. Jones, Award-‐winning author of Shadow of the Hawk
“With faultlessly authentic period detail and relentless, riveting twists of fate, Answer Creek puts the reader right on the Oregon-‐California Trail in every sensory and emotional aspect imaginable. This compassionate but utterly realistic telling of the story gently crushes the sensationalized versions and releases something that feels much closer to truth. Ada is hope personified—it takes wing, soars, crashes—and survives.”
Ellen Notbohm, Award-‐winning author of The River by Starlight