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.