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Catching up with Suzanne Lilly

Gold Rush Girl
Suzanne Lilly

Catching up with Suzanne Lilly is no easy feat. We managed to—at long last! Here’s a bit about this awesome author and guess what?

She’s provided us with three excerpts from her latest book! How exciting to hear from this talented writer and to get a few samples of her work.

Gold Rush Girl

When Lucinda Martin York arrives in California at the beginning of the gold rush, she is alone and destitute, but holding fast to her dream of becoming one of the first women doctors. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to achieve her goal.

George Arnold has a dream of his own, one he left his family and friends behind to pursue, one that will make him a key investor in California’s golden future. He’s willing to sacrifice everything for his goal.

Although their dreams are divergent, Lucinda and George team together for survival in the mining town of Diggers Flat. They grow close as they deal with thieves, fire, and tragedy, but in the end, it is their very dreams that may tear them apart.

About Suzanne Lilly

Suzanne Lilly is a teacher and a writer who occasionally takes time off to zipline in Alaska, teach in China, and traipse around Rome. She writes sweet stories with a splash of suspense, a flash of the unexplained, a dash of romance, and always a happy ending.

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What reviewers are saying about Suzanne Lilly’s books

This is ultimately the coolest YA book I've ever read. You don't have to be a teen to love this book! —LAS YA Reviews Long and Short Reviews, about Shades of the Future

The story had me smiling all the way through. It's sweet, touching, a bit scary and nerve-wracking and ultimately satisfying. The romance is sweet, and this is a book that could be read and enjoyed by readers from the mid-teens on up. —Books in the Hall, about Untellable

Find Suzanne Lilly online at these sites:

Amazon Author page

Author website

Excerpts from Gold Rush Girl

Excerpt # 1

Lucinda snuck upstairs to her room to get the water pitcher. A walk to the well to draw water would clear her head. After pulling the water, she stopped under a large pomegranate tree that still had fruit. She picked one and carefully peeled away the skin. Rinsing the seeds in the water bucket, she tasted them one at a time.

“My, these are delicious. Wouldn’t Cinnamon love some of these?” She spoke her thoughts aloud.

“I think she would.”

Lucinda jumped at the sound of George’s voice. “You scared me like a cat the farmer catches in the henhouse.” She licked the red juice from her fingers. “Do you think Mrs. Henriod suspects anything?”

“She may. We need to be careful. She gave you some long, hard looks.”

Lucinda handed George a portion of the pomegranate, and they ate the seeds in companionable silence, savoring the rare fruit treat. Lucinda tried to wash the red juice stains from her fingers and lips with a handkerchief, but the stains were too stubborn.

“Red lips become you.” He reached out and ran his thumb over her lips.

Heat rose in Lucinda’s face as she wiped the wet handkerchief across it, pushing his hand away.

“As do red cheeks.”

“Stop, George.” She whispered so no one nearby would hear them. “You know this can’t go anywhere. I have my plans and you have yours.”

Excerpt # 2

William Rich banged his rock on the table until his face turned red. “Order! I said order!” He pointed a finger at the miner. “You, sir, are out of order. Sit down immediately.”

The miner huffed and sat down. He glared at Jake.

“You choose to refuse our offer of repayment, then?” The alcalde addressed Jake.

“I’m not repayin’ nothin’.”

“In that case, Jacob Crumwell, your sentence will be twenty-five lashes with the riata followed by a brand of the letter T on your cheek.”

Jake’s face turned ashen and his eyes widened. His cocky demeanor vanished. A few of the jurors smiled and nodded their approval.

“After your punishment, you’ll leave Diggers Flat and never return. Every town you enter will know you to be a thief by the brand on your cheek.”

Jake leaned forward until his chains were taut. He shouted at the alcalde. “You can’t do that to me!”

“No, I won’t be doing it to you. I’ll let the jury members who choose to do so give you the twenty-five lashes. Mr. Willis, who owns the stable, will do the branding.”

He banged his rock once more to indicate the trial had ended.

The men in the crowd roared their approval. The alcalde didn’t stay to watch the lashings and neither did Lucinda. It was terrible enough to hear his screams from the lashes and the branding.

That night, Lucinda went back to the stable. Jake lay slumped on the ground, facedown, still chained to the log post. The miner guarding him was fast asleep in the doorway on a bed of hay.

Jake opened his eyes when she sat down beside him. “Did you come to finish me off, witch?”

“No, I came to save your life.” She opened her herb chest. “Without proper care of these wounds, you’ll surely die.”

He snorted. “Then let me die.”

“As reprehensible as your actions are, I can’t stand by and watch a man suffer. Now lay still while I take care of the lash marks.”

He didn’t have the strength to protest. Lucinda spread a healing salve on his cuts and covered them with a muslin cloth. She then applied joe pye weed to his burn. She tied a small bundle with a piece of yarn and laid it on the ground next to him.

“Keep putting this on your face and it will heal faster.”

In the moonlight, Lucinda thought she saw his eyebrows knit in confusion. “Why are you doing this for me?” he asked.

Excerpt # 3

“Get him inside the house,” Lucinda told the men around her. “Lay him on the table and bring a lantern.”

The inside of the cabin was rudimentary at best. The darkness would have been like midnight if it hadn’t been for the fire in the stone hearth. “Hold the lantern by his arm, please,” she directed George. She lifted the bandage, and as she did, blood gushed out. She clamped down on the bandage again.

“Quickly, John. Tear those rags into strips. I need to cut off his bleeding so I can see the injury.” Lucinda tied a strip over his upper arm and twisted it with a wooden spoon to tighten it. Charles didn’t move or respond.

“Did someone give him something for the pain?”

“We gave him a slug of whiskey, on account of his complaining so much,” John said.

“I gave him some, too,” another miner added.

“Good to know,” Lucinda lifted the bandage again. She inspected the deep gash where Charles had cut his forearm. It was a clean, straight cut, easy to repair. Someone handed her a rag soaked in warm water and she laid it over the cut while she readied her darning needle and thread.

The air inside the cabin thickened with the body heat of too many men in too small a space. “I’m going to need everyone out of here except John and George.”

The miners stepped outside to wait.

Lucinda sent a prayer of thanks to her mother as she slipped the needle under the flap of skin on Charles’s arm. All those hours of sewing practice would come in handy now. She made a loop and sewed the next stitch through the loop, closing the first corner of the wound. John dabbed the cut with the wet rag, keeping it clean while she stitched.

Fifteen stitches later, sweat dripped off her forehead and the muslin she used to bind her breasts was soaked. She laid some tea tree leaves over the wound and wrapped a fresh rag around his arm. Last, she released the tourniquet. Charles still slept, his breathing shallow but steady.

Lucinda stepped outside and held her arms out as George poured water over them to wash off the blood.

“How is he doc?” The sound of doc rang sweetly in her ears.

“I’m not a doctor, and he’s going to be fine. As long as he hasn’t lost too much blood, he should be up and about in a day or two.”

The miners whooped and clapped each other on the back.

Where can you get Gold Rush Girl?

Available now in print and eBook formats from Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and independent bookstores.