Setting for Paradise on the Horizon

The Doukhobors, one of Canada’s largest immigration groups were from Russia.They were a strange religious sect to many people.  They were peaceful, refused to fight but were excellent farmers.  They were certainly a great group to settle  the prairies of Canada.  Then one day at the beginning of the 1900’s Canada’s hostile plains defeated them.  Nearly half calling themselves ‘Sons of Freedom‘ went marching, mostly naked in the cool spring searching for Utopia. My heroine, Natasha – a Russian Princess, escapes from Russia with the Doukhobors.

Researching further I discovered Canada was fighting in the Boer War in South Africa.  British Kitchener decided to appease the people complaining in England he would use any and all examples of abuse and severely punish any soldier, Canadian or English charged with atrocities, true or not.  My hero  – a Canadian soldier – is one of those wrongly charged.

Disowned by his family and friends he goes out west.  He first hires himself out as a guard to stop the Sons of Freedom before they freeze to death.  He discovers that a Reverend Barr is starting up a colony on the Saskatchewan/Alberta border.  Until he can clear his name, as Barr wants only good English stock in his colony, Luke becomes a farmer.  He knows nothing of farming but helps Natasha escape the Doukhobors knowing she does, thinking she is a Doukhobor.

All these incidents tied together so well – true incidents, my story Paradise on the Horizon, was created.

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Teaser Trailer on Paradise on the Horizon

Lies and Conflict

“Stepan is my nephew. He would never hurt his aunt.”  Katya interrupted, her voice rising hysterically.  “I’m not going with Boris. He’s going with those Spirit Wrestlers.  Why the Czar was just saying how much trouble those people are causing…”

“They won’t even fight.”  Prince Alexander snorted “And what use would Stepan have for you?  All you’re good for is spending money, Cheri.  Will you stop being so selfish?  Tashya is only fifteen.  She needs you.”

“But the Doukhobors are peasants.”

“Enough.”  Alexander stood and nodded towards the huge man standing in the doorway.  “Take them, Boris, and guard Tashya.”

Hardships in a new world

     “Since it’s obvious you have no money, sweetheart or clothes for that matter, just how are you planning on getting on the train?”  Laughter edged his words.

“I’m sorry. I believe I do need help.”  Inside her heart was sinking. Her leaving the Doukhobors wouldn’t harm this man, even slightly.  Yet it meant everything to her.

“Did they mistreat you?”  Luke asked, compassion filling his eyes.  They certainly didn’t look cold now, she realized with surprise.  “I saw some pictures, in the newspapers back East.  They had women hooked up to plows, like horses. Did you plow fields, like a horse?”

“If that were all they made me do, I’d be happy.”  Natasha swallowed, wishing she hadn’t set the bottle of wine back on the table.  She needed another drink.

Unlikely relationship

     “Are soldiers in Canada better than a Princess?”

“Better than?”  Luke shook his head, puzzled.  “You lost me somewhere, sweetheart.  I think anyone might be better than a Russian Princess.”

“Why?”  Natasha blinked back her shock.  So, he did think he was too good for even a Russian Princess.  What an odd idea.

“The decadence and atrocities that go on with those Russian aristocrats are notorious.  They don’t treat people like you very well so I’ve heard so why would you care?”  Luke’s voice was puzzled as he stared at her.

Reality

“Natasha,” Luke began hesitantly.  She deserved to know the truth.  “I love another woman.”

“You don’t belong here.  Go to her.”  Standing abruptly, Natasha stomped over to the shelf and yanked down their tin plates.  Slamming them down to the table, she showed her hurt like a banner.

Luke wanted to take her back into his arms and soothe the hurt away.  He only wanted to touch her again and that thought was painful. His need for Natasha was gut-wrenching. He could understand her anger.  He was angry himself.

From escaping Russia to running from the Doukhobors (a peculiar religious sect) to fighting for the love of a man who loved another, follow Luke and Natasha’s story in

Paradise on the Horizon