Posts Tagged ‘pioneer writer’

Linda Hubalek, Featured Quilter

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog

Gosh, it’s exciting to be a featured quilter today on My Quilt Place! (Okay, so I just probably got randomly picked out of the 3451 quilters, but hey, it still made my day…or maybe they DO LIKE my posts…)

Historical fiction books about pioneer women by Linda HubalekSo to celebrate I just posted a special promotion for the historical fiction books on my Linda Hubalek website. Put promotion code QUILT in the shopping cart when you order any of my paperback books and you’ll can get 20% off your total book order, PLUS I’ll autograph your books and mail them free to you. The code is good until Aug. 21st, and you’re welcome to pass the code on to your friends and family.

Or if you prefer to read my Trail of Thread series on your Kindle orNook, I have them on special at $3.99 each.

So for whatever the reason, enjoy some great books about pioneer women at a discount. Hey, it’s Friday and they “like” me!

Many thanks from the Kansas Prairie!
Linda Hubalek

Planting Dreams in Kansas Heat

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, Planting Dreams book series

Planting Dreams book by Linda K. HubalekToday I’m thinking of those Swedish immigrant’s first summer in Kansas as our heat index is way over 100+ degrees again- like it has been for the whole month.

The women would have been wearing long-sleeved dresses, lots of yards of material, and sweat. Of course they’d be very sunburned if they weren’t covering all their skin….

Living in a handmade hole in the ground or flimsy wooden shack with a dirt floor…with mice, flies, snakes, ticks. No air conditioning. Just hope for a breeze.

Tired sweaty little kids…who hopefully are not sick…

Thirsty? How far do they need to walk to find water…which is probably scooped into a bucket directly out of a river or creek until they got a well dug.

Hungry? Where to find it, catch it, keep it safe to eat without a way to keep it below 40 degrees?

I know generations have grown up without air conditioning (as did I as a child) but it makes me real glad for modern times…and makes me admire the pioneer women that had to suffer through their first summer of Kansas heat. I think it would have been so different compared to a mild Swedish summer they would have been used to.

So you be cool today with climate controlled air, an iced drink, cold food, and hopefully doing an indoor activity.

Think about those first pioneer women and Kansas heat by reading the Planting Dreams series instead!

Planting Dreams: 
A Swedish Immigrant’s Journey to America, 1868-1869

Drought has scorched the farmland of Sweden and there is no harvest to feed families or livestock. Taxes are due and there is little money to pay them.

But there is a ship sailing for America, where the government is giving land to anyone who wants to claim a homestead.

So begins the migration out of Sweden to a new life on the Great Plains of America.

Can you imagine what life would have been like once they got to their new destination?

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A Cup of Tea with a Trail of Thread

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in about Trail of Thread book series, Blog

Pioneer woman's story by Linda K. Hubalek.Talk, gossip, laughter or tears—with a cup of tea or coffee—has been a comfort and need for women in any century.

These days it is easy for us to brew a quick cup of a hot drink, and hardly stop the flow of conversation. Even if it is just a cup of hot water heated up in the microware with a tea bag thrown in…it takes less than two minutes.

Back in the pioneer days—depending on if you were traveling or on the homestead—you’d have to gather the wood, start the fire, go outside to a well or creek to draw up a bucket of water, put an enamel pot over the fire to heat up the water, roast and grind the coffee beans, etc (sigh) before even thinking of savoring that hot cup of brew.

Thimble of Soil, Book 2 in the Trail of Thread book series.The time consuming work of getting meals—or even an afternoon cup of coffee on the trail—was very evident when I was researching and writing my Trail of Thread series.

For example, Deborah and John Pieratt, featured in the Trail of Thread, the first book of the Trail of Thread series left Kentucky in 1854 when the Territory of Kansas was formed. They were part of the thousands of families that packed wagons and headed east for the promise of a new life. They had to gather wood for a fire for every cup of hot drink they made for three months. I’m sure conversations with other women they met along the trail were welcomed, but short, due to the groups moving on every day.

Thimble of Soil, the second book in the series, features Margaret Ralston Kennedy. She was a widow who moved with eight of her thirteen children from Ohio to the Territory Kansas in 1855. She was dedicated to the cause of the North, and helped with the Underground Railroad in both Ohio and Kansas. Did she brew and secretly give hot drinks to people hiding under her watch? Did Margaret have a chance to ask where her visitors were from let alone where they were headed?

Stitch of Courage, Book 3 in the Trail of Thread book series by Linda K. Hubalek.Orphaned Maggie Kennedy, portrayed in Stitch of Courage, the last book in the series, followed her brothers to Kansas looking for a better life as the states fought out the history of the Civil War. Again, think of the work it took to make a cup of coffee behind the battle lines, and how welcomed a normal conversation with someone from home would have been.

This series, written in the form of letters the women have written back home to loved ones portray the life and times of that generation. I wish I could have a cup of tea with one of my ancestors to get to know her, and her way of life.

I imagine there would be talk, gossip, laughter, and tears—with that cup of tea…


Books, Books the Magical Fruit Interview about Linda Hubalek

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in about Trail of Thread book series, Blog, Butter in the Well book series

I enjoy book bloggers  interview questions, because they really come up with some good ones. Here’s some of my answers from a recent blog site called “Books, Books the Magical Fruit.” The blogger read and reviewed the book Trail of Thread too.

(Want to review or blog about my books for your blog? Please send me an email!)
Pioneer Writer, Linda K. Hubalek

Describe your book in five words or less.

Endearing Kansas pioneer women stories.

How did the ideas for your books come to you?

I started writing books in 1992 when my husband was transferred to California for a two-year engineering project. I was homesick for the Midwest and started writing about the Swedish immigrant woman that homesteaded our family farm.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What’s the easiest?

Hardest part? Getting started and staying focused. Easiest? I love the research and reading about that time period that my books are set in.

What’s next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

Currently I’m working on my fourth book series, the Kansas Quilter, featuring my great grandmother Kizzie (Hamman) Pieratt. Born in 1874, Kizzie grew up in a large family in the Flint Hills of Kansas. She married Ira Pieratt in 1894 and had eight children over a twenty-year span.

The Pieratt family was featured in my Trail of Thread series, so the Kansas Quilter series will continue their original story into the next generation of characters.

Kizzie was known for her quilting. I’m sure at first it was a necessity to keep her brood warm, but she also completed quilts for other people for an income. As I research and write this series I’m taking a closer look at the family quilts that my great grandmother made during her ninety-seven years.

I’ll piece together Kizzie’s stories and photos and post them in my blog and in the finished books. Look for the first book, tentatively titled Tying the Knot in the late fall of 2011.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

All my series have been based on real people, places and the events that went on during their lifetime. It’s a good way to get the research and story started, and it has become my chosen genre.

What’s it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book’s release date?

That’s what keeps me pumped up, knowing that someone out there appreciates the research and time put into writing my books. And it means I’ve touched their hearts with my words, and maybe lead them to understand the lives of their own ancestors too.

What is one question that you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

What does your family think of you writing books? Of course my family is proud that I’m a published author, but also proud of the ancestors and farms featured in my series. My parents still live on the original farm portrayed in my first series, Butter in the Well. Because I put township maps in the books (and the roads are still the same) they know when a reader has found their farm. A car slowly drives by to look at the old house and barn featured in the series.

Where can readers find you and your books?

Go through my website, to find all the links for ebooks and print books.

Review for Trail of Thread: I have to say this was a wonderful book – Little House for grown-ups. The letters tell the story of leaving for the unknown prairie and what goes on. I found each letter more enticing than the last to see where the journey would take them. I like that there are quilts that help tell the story also. The patterns are part of what goes on and the materials used are always relevant to the purpose of the quilt.

I would definitely like to learn more about what goes on once they arrive. I see this as being a wonderful series of books. Write on!- Reviewer Sue Fitzpatrick

Rose of Sharon Quilt

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in about Trail of Thread book series, Blog

Prairie Wild Rose

One of my passions is flowers, especially the prairie flowers that grow on their own in pastures, just blooming for themselves. My college degree was in horticulture and I spent many years in the flower and plant research industry before “returning to the prairie” myself with my living and writing.

Wild flowers have grown across the Kansas prairie and the Great Plains of North America since the start of time. Dots of color from the prairie plants wave with the green sea of grass during spring and summer. Their seed pods turn color in the fall and disperse their seeds to start another cycle of colorful and useful flowers.

Pioneer women used the prairie flowers as an inspiration for their quilt patterns, and I’ve mentioned them in my historical fiction writing.

Here’s a quote from my Trail of Thread book:

“Ann has quilts tops and quilts of her own along. It’s customary to make a baker’s dozen of quilt tops for a young woman’s dower chest. When the wedding is about to take place, the neighborhood women get together and help finish them. Ann has gone ahead and quilted three of them since she’s nearing the spinster age, but she saved her appliqued Rose of Sharon top for her wedding bed, just in case she’s proposed to yet.”

Think of the ideas and color schemes the pioneer women would have seen as they walked along the trails. And, they would have varied from state to state and the time of year. I think it would help the walk to concentrate on the beauty of nature and how it could be used in a future quilt.

Harvesting Faith

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, Planting Dreams book series

Photo by Linda K. HubalekCombines are running full blast to get the wheat harvested before the next storm blows into the state. Rain is good for the row crops (milo, corn, and soybeans are grown in our area), but not when you need to get the wheat harvested.

Not only must the combines manuver through the field without being stuck in mud, big trucks must drive next to the combine in the field while the wheat seed is augured out of the combine bin into the truck’s bed.

Then what happens to this grain? The loaded truck drives to a nearby grain elevator to unload the wheat, and then back to the field for the next load. Eventually semi-trucks will move the wheat from the storage elevators to rail cars or ships to travel where it will be used. This Kansas wheat might be in your next loaf of bread or bowl of pasta, whether you live in the United States or overseas.

It takes a lot of hard and fast work—and faith—that you’ll get the wheat cut while it’s at the right ripe stage. Hail can break the straw stems so that it can’t be cut, or continuing rain can cause the wheat seed to sprout while the plants are still standing, and ruin it.

Farming is always a gamble but it seems to be intensified during wheat harvest. No forty-hour weeks now. The combine is running continually until the straw is too tough to cut—which could be anywhere from 6 pm to 1 am. During the downtime (early mornings) machinery needs to be repaired and maintained, besides whatever else needs to be done on the farm.

Uprooting their families and moving to Kansas was a gamble for the Swedish immigrants too, just like wheat harvest. The Planting Dreams series (with Harvesting Faith being the third book) is dedicated to the people that homesteaded on the Kansas prairie to make their living by farming.

After 142 years from my immigrant ancestor’s arrival, my family is still farming and harvesting wheat today.

Welcome Summer

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, Butter in the Well book series, Planting Dreams book series

Festival in Little Sweden USA- Lindsborg, KansasIt’s felt like summer for over a month with our high temperatures and Kansas winds sweeping across the Plains, but now it’s officially here. Thunderstorms are part of the season and they have already been a mainstay this month too. Luckily we’ve had rain, but no damage in our area.

Our little community of Lindsborg, Kansas (known as Little Sweden USA) celebrated the start of summer this last weekend with our 40th annual Midsummer’s Day Festival. The Smoky Valley region of Kansas was settled by Swedish immigrants in 1869 and the heritage of the original homesteaders is still honored in our area today.

Saturday’s celebration included the raising of the maypole, dancing, food, and heritage exhibit booths. We had a heck of a storm with hail, wind, and rain the night before, but Saturday was perfect weather for the festival.

I often wondered while researching and writing both the Butter in the Well and Planting Dreams series what the Swedish immigrants thought of their first full-blown thunderstorm while out in the middle of the Kansas prairie. It’s quite a sight as the clouds mushroom in the big sky and then grows black as it barrels toward you. That’s when a dugout would have been a good place to be….

Välkommen Till Kansas sommar!

Great review from Tina "The Book Lady"

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in about Trail of Thread book series, Blog

The Trail of Thread book series got a great review from Tina, “The Book Lady” on the Family and Literacy and You website today.

Pioneer woman's story by Linda K. Hubalek.“I thoroughly enjoyed Deborah’s story as she and her family traveled to their new home in the Kansas Territory. Written as a series of letters from Deborah to her stepmother who raised Deborah and her siblings you learn about the trials she and her family went through during the journey to their new home in the new Kansas territory in 1854. Deborah shares everything in her letters – her emotions, her triumphs, her worries and sorrow as another family loses everything they own (can you imagine?).

The Trail of Thread series is a set of 3 books and is the story of the author’s mother’s ancestors. Very well researched (she includes the Bibliography in the back of the book) and well written it’s easy to image the sheer amount of work Deborah went through to prepare for the journey, from sewing the canvas for the wagon top, making sure it was waterproof, packing the wagons, deciding what to take, what to leave behind and more. You’ll also “feel” the emotions of wondering and planning in case something happens to your family. Will everyone survive the trip?

The book is a quick very enjoyable read and you’ll definitely want to read the 2nd and 3rd books in this series. Imagine the Little House on the Prairie books but written from an adults perspective. Share these books with your family. Read them aloud and talk about what it would be like to ride in a covered wagon, to walk across the states instead of taking a 10 hour car ride to get where you want to go. These books would also be great for kids that need to write a report for history class – the research and the writing will help them prepare for a top notch report. They’re perfect for everyone age 9 – 99!”

When Family History Inspires You to Write Fiction

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in about Trail of Thread book series, Blog

In 1990 my husband had a two-year engineering project that required us to move to the San Francisco area. I sold my wholesale horticulture business because it wasn’t something I could maintain from out of state.

Searching for what I wanted to do while in California, I decided to look into my ancestors past as a project to work on. I researched and found my family’s history, not only the important dates of their lives, but also their stories.

What I realized is that all my ancestors traveled from other places to settle in Kansas when the territory opened up in 1854, or shortly after the Civil War when land was available to homestead. They were from European countries, leaving family, community and the life they knew behind to start a new and hopefully better life In America.

The history that my family just happened into, because of the state and nation’s situation, inspired me to write the Trail of Thread series. To give them a personal feel, I wrote the stories in the form of letters sent back home to loved ones.

For example my ancestors Deborah and John Pieratt (with six children along), featured in the first book of the Trail of Thread series left Kentucky in 1854 when the Territory of Kansas was formed. They were part of the thousands of families that packed wagons and headed west for the promise of a new life. My mother, uncle and I actually drove their trip—by car in a few days—to see what they would have seen in person.

Thimble of Soil, the second book in the series, features a great aunt Margaret Ralston Kennedy. She was a widow who moved with eight of her thirteen children from Ohio to the Territory Kansas in 1855. I found out by research that she helped with the Underground Railroad in both Ohio and Kansas!

Orphaned Maggie Kennedy, my ancestor portrayed in Stitch of Courage, the last book in the series, followed her brothers to Kansas as the states fought out the history of the Civil War. She found love with Deborah Pieratt’s son and gave birth to the great grandfather I knew.

Not only did this information give me a look into my ancestors’ life and times, it inspired me to write books to give readers a “slice of life” of my ancestors, and all people that lived through this time period.

I hope you’ll read the Trail of Thread series to get an insight into your family’s history too.

Planning a Move in 1854

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in about Trail of Thread book series, Blog

Pretend your husband—or father—decided to leave the home you’ve always known and you’ll be traveling through several states to a new territory he heard about. It’s the nineteenth century and you may not even a paper map to guide your family to this new free land—but he is determined to start a new farm in some wild land behold civilization.

My ancestors, John and Deborah Pieratt—with six young children along—left Kentucky in 1854 to move to the new Territory of Kansas. Their journey was the basis of my book Trail of Thread, which was written in the form of letters that Deborah wrote and mailed back to family in Kentucky. Deborah describes what she saw, and what their family experienced on their three-month journey.

The family had to carefully plan first so they would be prepared for the journey, and for the wilderness land they would eventually homestead on.

Pretend you want to prepare for this journey as a class or family project.

What—and how—do you pack in the four by ten foot wagon for a family of eight? (And what do you need for your trip to begin with?!) How much weight can the wagon hold and the oxen (or horses or mules) pull?

How long will the trip take? What will be your route? What roads (or rough trails) will you use and what towns will you be traveling through?

How will you cross rivers with your wagon? Is there any rough terrain along the way that may make the trip hard and dangerous?

How much food should you pack? How do you keep it from spoiling?

When you’re done researching the trip preparation and route, look for stories from old newspaper clippings of what was going on in the Territory of Kansas during 1854-1865. The Pieratts settled in an area and time frame known as the Bleeding Kansas conflicts due to the tension mounting about the slavery issue that exploded into the Civil War. (You can read more about these conflicts and how it affected the family by reading the rest of the Trail of Thread series, Thimble of Soil and Stitch of Courage.)

I brought the Pieratt’s story to life in the pages of Trail of Thread. Now can you plan your own trip in 1854?