Books by Sandra Dallas
New York Times best-selling author SANDRA DALLAS, the author of 16 adult novels, five middle-grade novels, and 10 non-fiction books, was dubbed “a quintessential American voice” by Jane Smiley, in Vogue Magazine. Sandra’s novels with their themes of loyalty, friendship, and human dignity have been translated into a dozen foreign languages and have been optioned for films.
Lutie, an artist in the advertising department of a downtown Denver store, comes home to discover her sister, Helen, standing over a dead man, a knife in her hand. The dead man is the abusive father of a little girl the sisters took in after her mother died of the flu.
Set against a background of an epidemic that feels all too familiar, Little Souls is a compelling tale of sisterhood and of the sacrifices people make to protect those they love most.
“If you are an adventuresome young woman of high moral character and fine health, are you willing to travel to California in search of a good husband?”
It's February 1852, and all around Chicago Maggie sees the postings soliciting "eligible women" to travel to the gold mines of Goosetown.
The Patchwork Bride
Ellen is putting the finishing touches on a wedding quilt made from scraps of old dresses when the bride-to-be unexpectedly arrives and announces she’s calling off the marriage. With the tending of June’s uncertain heart in mind, Ellen tells her the story of Nell, a Kansas-born woman who goes to the High Plains of New Mexico Territory in 1898 in search of a husband.
The Last Midwife
It is 1880, and Gracy Brookens is the only midwife in a small Colorado mining town, where she has delivered hundreds, maybe thousands, of babies in her lifetime. She is a gifted and important resource for the women of her hardscrabble community, a position earned through wisdom and trust. But everything changes when a baby is found dead…and the evidence points to Gracy as the killer.
A Quilt For Christmas
The Civil War, 1864: Eliza Spooner’s husband, Will, has joined the Kansas Volunteers to fight for the Union. Confident that he will return home, Eliza helps pass the time by making a special quilt to keep Will warm during his winter months. When the unthinkable happens, she takes in a woman and child who have been left alone and made vulnerable by the war.
It’s the spring of 1885 when wealthy New York socialite Beret Osmundsen first sets foot in a Denver police station. Just days before, she received the terrible news of the death of her estranged younger sister Lillie. The telegram from her aunt and uncle was brief, stating only that Lillie had passed away suddenly and there was no need for Beret to make the long trip west.
In 1856, the Church of Latter-day Saints
conceived the idea of bringing impoverished converts from Europe to Iowa, where they would be fitted with handcarts instead of ox-drawn wagons. The emigrants would pull and push the carts the 1,300 miles to Salt Lake City. The carts cost a fraction of the price of wagons, and emigrants would not have the care of oxen or mules.
The Bride’s House
The Bride’s House follows the lives of three women who live in an elegant Victorian mansion, in Georgetown Colorado. Young Nealie Bent arrives in Georgetown in 1880 to work as a hired girl and dreams of living in the Bride’s House with Will Spaulding, a wealthy mining engineer from the East, who takes her to the theater and to the town’s finest restaurant. Will is not the only one who pursues Nealie.
Whiter Than Snow
Whiter Than Snow opens in 1920 on a spring afternoon in Swandyke,a small town near Colorado’s Tenmile Range. Just moments after four o’clock, a large split of snow separates from Jubilee Mountain high above the tiny hamlet and hurtles down the rocky slope, sweeping up everything in its path including nine young children who are walking home from school. But only four children survive.
Prayers for Sale
In 1936, Hennie Comfort, eighty-six, meets Nit Spindle, seventeen, just as the old woman learns she must leave the Colorado mountains that have been her home for seventy years. Nit has lost her baby, and Hennie takes the girl under her wing. The harsh conditions of life that Hennie and Nit have suffered create an instant bond, and an unlikely friendship is formed, one in which the darkest memories are confessed.
During World War II, a family finds life turned upside-down when the government opens a Japanese internment camp in their small Colorado town. After a young girl is murdered, all eyes turn to the newcomers. Rennie has just turned thirteen, and until this time, life has been predictable and fair. But the winds of change are coming.
Natchez, Mississippi, in 1933 is a place suspended in time. The silver and china are still dented and cracked from Yankee invaders. And the houses have names…and memories. Nora Bondurant is running away—from her husband’s death, from his secrets, and from the ghosts that dog her every step. When she receives a telegram informing her that she has an inheritance, Nora suddenly has somewhere to run to.
The Chili Queen
Even though life has been hard on Addie French, all her protective instincts emerge when she meets a friendless young woman on a train from Kansas to New Mexico. Emma Roby’s brother is seeing her off to marry a man she has never met. And Emma seems like a lost soul to Addie—someone who needs Addie’s savvy and wary eye.
Alice Bullock is a young newlywed whose husband, Charlie, has just joined the Union Army, leaving her on his Iowa farm with only his formidable mother for company. Alice writes lively letters to her sister filled with accounts of local quilting bees, the rigors of farm life, and the customs of small-town America. But no town is too small for intrigue and treachery.
The Diary of Mattie Spenser
No one is more surprised than Mattie Spenser herself when Luke Spenser, considered the great catch of their small Iowa town, asks her to marry him. Less than a month later, they are off in a covered wagon to build a home on the Colorado frontier. Mattie’s only company is a slightly mysterious husband and her private journal, in which she records the joys and frustrations of frontier life.
The Persian Pickle Club
It is the 1930s, and hard times have hit Harveyville, Kansas, where the crops are burning up and there’s not a job to be found. For Queenie Bean, a young farm wife, a highlight of each week is the gathering of the Persian Pickle Club, a group of local ladies dedicated to improving their minds, exchanging gossip, and putting their quilting skills to good use.
Buster Midnight’s Cafe
Effa Commander is no spring chicken, but her spirit shines and her smart mouth still puts fools to shame. The fool in question is a gossip hound writing a scurrilous account of her beloved friends who, though departed, remain the most celebrated citizens of Butte, Montana.
Middle-grade Novels by Sandra Dallas
Life in 1880 Tenmile, Colorado, isn't easy. But it's all that 12-year-old Sissy Carlson knows. She's lived here her whole life, watching her father, the local doctor, tend to the town's citizens. And while the mountain setting is gorgeous, Tenmile is a rough gold mining town. It often feels like there's just a thin line between life and death.
In 1933, what's left of the Turner family–twelve-year-old Hallie and her two brothers--finds itself driving the back roads of rural America. The children have been swept up into a new migratory way of life. America is facing two devastating crises: the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Hundreds of thousands of people in cities across the country have lost jobs.
Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky
Tomi Itano,12, is a second-generation Japanese American who lives in California with her family on their strawberry farm. Although her parents came from Japan and her grandparents still live there, Tomi considers herself an American. She doesn’t speak Japanese and has never been to Japan.
In 1910, after losing their farm in Iowa, the Martin family moves to Mingo, Colorado, to start anew. The U.S. government offers 320 acres of land free to homesteaders. All they have to do is live on the land for five years and farm it. So twelve-year-old Belle Martin, along with her mother and six siblings, moves west to join her father.
The Quilt Walk
It’s 1864, and Thomas Hatchett has just told his family they will move west. He’ll sell the farm, buy a covered wagon, and load it with construction supplies. Pa plans to build a business block in the frontier town of Golden, Colorado. There is no place in the wagon for trunks of clothes, so Ma and their daughter, Emmy Blue, must put on their dresses, one on top of the other, and wear them all the way to Golden.
Non-Fiction Books by Sandra Dallas
The Quilt That Walked
Take a journey back in time and across America’s prairies. Preserving a unique slice of the history of the American West, Sandra Dallas recreates the arduous westward trail for women settling the emerging mining and farm communities of Colorado Territory.
Colorado Ghost Towns and Mining Camps
Prospectors lured to the West in hopes of striking it rich settled a thousand towns in the Colorado mountains. The cry of “Gold!” or “Silver!” or a few flecks of color in a tin cup sent them to remote, often inhospitable locations to search for the precious metals.