|Photo by Michal Klajban|
Lizzi Tremayne is the author a western historical adventure novel, the first in a planned series. She makes her home on the North Island of New Zealand where she’s finally allowed herself to indulge in her passion to write. Learn more about her and her books at her website.
It happened on the way to St Cath’s Faire, an SCA reenactment event, last Sunday near Clevedon.
It became a massive change in the direction of one of the novels in The Long Trails Quadrilogy, Book 3, called A Sea of Green Unfolding.
It came to me while I drove past the Waihou River. Back in the day, say in the day of this saga, which makes it about 1863, it was called the River Thames by Captain Cook. He first landed his longboat up this wild river there on the eastern coast of the North Island of New Zealand.
In my Landcruiser, I drove past Cook’s landing site, through Netherton, Ngatea, on and on through the Hauraki Plains. Plains they might be now, but back then, they were a massive Kahakatea swamp. "Progress" led to their being channeled, drained, clear-cut logged and turned into farms, so now all that's left is a massive flat plain of grass and dairy cows, with enough remains of the underlying peat bogs to keep the farmers' fence posts wobbly, no matter what they do about it.
Just after the new motorway portion of SH2 began, I took the road less travelled, the old SH2, then up Lyon’s Road, past Paparimu, through Hunua, heading for my event at Clevedon.
As I passed the sign for Hunua Falls, though, it drew me. I’d never seen the falls, but I promised myself I’d find them on the way home….. because I knew they needed to be in the story… in a big way.
Wow… They took my breath away.
I found the Hunua Falls, buried deep in what would have been the “vast untrodden Hunuas” in 1863, if it were in a book by Jack Lasenby. They are nothing less than awesome… and as of that day, will play a big part in the climactic scenes of the novel.
While I was in Clevedon, I “accidentally” met someone who could answer many of my questions. Out on a walk in the forest there, I met a woman who’s lived there for the past 50 years… and she was… at a meeting of the local historical society the previous night….
Now, I don’t really think there’s such a thing as coincidence anymore… Just the Universe looking after me… And hopefully you, my reader!
A Long Trail Rolling
She didn’t expect to become a target, but she is one now!
It might have been the mare that did it, stopping dead in her tracks, nearly dropping Aleksandra over her shoulder, or maybe it was the flies that buzzed around the blood pooling beneath the butchered man in the Pony Express station doorway. Whichever it was, it got her full attention.
Seventeen year old Aleksandra, trained in the Cossack arts from infancy by her father, finds herself alone and running to prevent her Pa’s killer from obtaining a secret coveted by the Russian Czar, one which could alter the forces of power in Europe. Disguised as a Pony Express rider in 1860’s Utah Territory, she finds herself in even deeper trouble when she rides full speed into the middle of the Indian Paiute Wars. Her Californio boss Xavier has a strength to match her own, but can they overcome their differences before the ever-increasing odds overtake them?
A Long Trail Rolling is the first novel in The Long Trail Quadrilogy of historical adventure sagas following Aleksandra and Xavier from the wilderness of 1860 Utah to Colonial New Zealand.