Barbara Fleming

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author, historian, coloradan
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Reviews of Journeying

Purchase Journeying at The Readers Cove, other place or Amazon.com

Review by Romance Reviews Today

Review by Patricia Stotley

Review by Armchair Interviews

Interview with Linda M. Faulkner

 

Review by Romance Reviews Today

JOURNEYING – Barbara Fleming
Five Star
ISBN: 978-1-59414-790-6
August 2009
Western Historical

Colorado – 1872

Hannah Morris escapes a marriage arranged by her abusive stepfather to join the man she wants to marry, Lucas Bowman. She knows her involvement with a Black man would never be accepted in Cincinnati. She joins Lucas in St. Louis, and they leave with a wagon train going west. Even in the West, Hannah finds many against her marriage, many who hold Lucas as a lesser man because of his color, even though he is a doctor trained in France. One night, sensing danger, Lucas insists they leave the wagon train and travel alone. They stumble upon an abandon claim when their horse throws a shoe.

Hannah shows great courage, both in her convictions and physically in her memoirs of life on the high plains of northern Colorado. Lucas is learned, an excellent doctor deserving of respect; something he is unlikely to obtain even on the American frontier.

Told in a series of journal entries, JOURNEYING is a frank insight into pioneer women, their hard work, endurance, and loving hearts. While an interesting and true-to-life historical with great characters, the diary format mitigated the immediacy of the drama for me. Events and dangers were always in the past or coming in the foreseeable future. Hannah’s character carries the story of JOURNEYING. The friendships she builds with other women and her faith in the future hold her steadfast through the unhappy times with Lucas and with her life. The story also shows the hatred mankind carries for those unlike themselves, and the vulnerability of those who were not white men. Surely a message worth reading.

Robin Lee
Romance Reviews Today

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Review by Patricia Stotley

Monday, July 27, 2009

Colorado Author -- Barbara Fleming

Northern Colorado historian and author, Barbara Fleming, will soon see her first historical novel in print. Journeying is the story of Hannah Morris and her soon-to-be husband, a bi-racial physician, who head for California with a wagon train but are forced to change their plans. They settle for homesteading on the Colorado prairie.

Hannah is running from the marriage her stepfather has arranged for her, and both are fleeing the ongoing racial tensions of post Civil War Ohio. Although the story is full of danger, tension, and heartache, it is gently told with an emphasis on Hannah's growth from headstrong, inexperienced girl to a woman capable of facing adversity with courage and strength.

I asked Barbara to tell me how long she's been writing fiction, and whether she has other manuscripts in the works:

"I started writing fiction about 20 years ago, when were were living in Denver. I joined the Denver Woman's Press Club, found a critique group, and started working on a novel that grew out of my experiences as a print journalist."

Barbara said that novel is still waiting for her revision. In the meantime, she had a couple of short stories published, and wrote Journeying, to be released in hardcover by Five Star on August 31, 2009.

"With the help of my critique group and my writing partner, I am working on a novel based on what happened when a relative of mine went to meet the father she never knew."

More known for her local history works, including Fort Collins: A Pictorial History and the recently published Fort Collins: The Miller Photographs, written with Malcolm McNeill, Barbara has other novels in the works as well. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to read an advance review copy of Journeying, and I look forward to reading more Barbara Fleming fiction.

Patricia Stotley

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Review by Armchair Interviews

Journeying

by Barbara Fleming

Published by Five Star (August release)

Reviewed by Shawn Remfrey

The year is 1872, and everything is different than it is today. To escape a marriage she does not want, Hannah Morris sneaks away in the middle of the night to journey west, where she will be free to be with the man she loves. Her love, Lucas, is a black doctor. Due to time, station, and skin color, they cannot be together in Ohio.

Heading out west proves to be more difficult than Hannah had originally imagined. The trip is hard enough for other couples, but having a travel companion with dark-colored skin makes it much tougher for Hannah and Lucas, since tempers are still riding high after the Civil War.
Barbara Fleming did extensive research on her ancestors and those of the Colorado foothills before writing this book, and it shows. The fictional characters of Hannah and Lucas, as well as all the others, are created so well that they are entirely realistic. Not only do you believe they actually lived in the 1800s and traveled west, but you believe you’re right there with them. I learned more about the late 1800s reading this book than I did throughout my years at school.

Barbara presents everything in such a way that you just soak it right in and crave more.
This book reminded me a lot of “Little House on the Prairie,” but with more drama and romance. You really get a glimpse of what law enforcement and families were like in Colorado at the time. The romance between Lucas and Hannah is enchanting. Being the underdogs, you can’t help but root for them throughout the entire story.

My only complaint with this book is that I would have enjoyed a little more sizzle. It was a good book, a good read, but it lacked that something extra that made it amazing.
Armchair Interviews says: Thorough research made this Regency historical romance most interesting.

From our armchair to yours...

Armchair Interviews

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Interview with Linda M. Faulkner

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Author Interview with BARBARA FLEMING


Barbara Fleming is a native of Colorado and has always been interested in history. Her careers have included being a mother, journalist, teacher, and writer. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with her husband and cat.
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Tell us about your career as a journalist. How did you make the jump from Journalism to Historical Fiction?

History has always fascinated me. In college, I wanted to become a history professor but was discouraged from that career, which seemed at the time to be for men only. I kept my interest in history throughout a career as a newspaper editor, then an English teacher, and finally a training coordinator for the EPA. Journalism is a marvelous foundation for fiction; through the stories I wrote and the people I interviewed, I gained a wealth of knowledge and ideas. Teaching, I encountered every imaginable aspect of human behavior, and while with the government I was able to travel to new places. All of this becomes fodder for fiction.

You’re a native of Colorado and have written two books centering around Fort Collins, Colorado. Tell us why that area is so fascinating to you.

Fort Collins started as a small Army outpost during the Indian uprisings in the 1860s. The early history of the area is full of drama. To me, history is the stories of the people who lived it. They were real, flesh-and-blood individuals even as you and I, and on the edge of the Wild West they lived exciting lives. For years, I wrote a column on local history for a weekly newspaper, and I wasn’t even close to running out of material.

Who is your favorite author and why do you like his/her work?

I grew up with Louisa May Alcott and have never lost my love of her writing. She brings people to life in her books in a way I only wish I could achieve. Her characters are flawed, lovable human beings struggling through life as we all do, and from the time I was young I wanted to be a writer like her.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer?

Going from the terse, concise style of journalism to the more descriptive, flowing, sometimes contemplative style of fiction was difficult for me. It took a long time. It also took time to advance from “that’s what really happened” to crafting stories with dramatic impact that use reality as a catalyst.

Journeying is your most recent novel. Tell us about it and where we can buy it.

Journeying is the story of a young woman, Hannah Bowman, who emigrates west with the man she loves, a bi-racial physician, son of a slave. In 1872 they travel from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Colorado Territory, where they establish a homestead. On the way west in a wagon train, Hannah begins a journal that becomes her companion and dear friend; she continues to confide in her journal until 1881, when a dramatic event that threatens to end in tragedy disrupts the Bowman family’s lives. Over a century later, her great-granddaughter finds the journal and solves some of the mysteries Hannah did not reveal. It is available through The Reader’s Cove (www.thereaderscove.com) in Fort Collins, and at the Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com web sites.

What are you working on now and when/where do you expect it to be available?

I have written three other novels but have not yet sought publishers for them. The one in progress now is called Charlie, the story of a teenaged girl who sets out on a quest to find the father she has never met. This book began as the fictionalizing of something that happened in my family, but it turned into another story altogether.

Writers, especially new writers, are always looking for tips and helpful information. What is the single most important “tip” you can give to a new writer?

For all the years I have been writing, I have shared my work with fellow writers I respect. I believe that finding a critique group that works for the writer is the single most important step a new writer—or any writer—can take. On my web site, www.authorBarbaraFleming.com, I post “Thoughts on Writing” each month, discussing various aspects of being a writer.

What writers organizations claim you as a member? Tell us about the personal/professional benefits of networking with other writers.

I am a member of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and while I lived in Denver was a member of the Denver Women’s Press Club. The benefits of networking with other writers are immeasurable—contacts, sales tactics, bolstering of the ego (that can sometimes get pretty battered while you are trying to sell your work), and the comradeship of others who are doing what you love to do. The conversations alone are worth the membership fees.

Do you have any upcoming book signings or appearances? If so, give us all the details.

I will be at The Reader’s Cove, 1001 East Harmony Road, and at Bookends on Lemay Avenue, both in Fort Collins, in September, and at the authors’ corner at the Fort Collins Senior Center’s Holiday Market in November. I was featured on fellow author Patricia Stoltey’s Author Monday blog in July and hope to meet with a couple of local book clubs to discuss my book.

Here’s your opportunity to tell us anything else you care to share.

I cannot imagine not writing. It is as much a part of my daily routine as eating and sleeping; it is essential to my well-being. In that way, I believe, all writers connect. We write, whether our work gets noticed or not, because we must. We write for the love of the words and the stories, and we live in hope that readers will enjoy the fruits of our efforts. Thanks for the opportunity to express these thoughts.

What are the addresses of your website(s) and blog(s)?

My web site is www.authorBarbaraFleming.com.

Linda M. Faulkner

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