During the Gold Rush
Dallis’s Main Characters and Setting
Below are my main characters in a series of related novels that I’m working on with Lynn Winchester, Kari Trumbo, Heather Blanton, Danica Favorite, and Mimi Milan. All of our characters are part of a fictitious town that began during the California Gold Rush. Although I provided photos of my characters, I also added their eye color since it’s difficult to tell in some of the images.
Cover Copy for Sweeten the Swindler
To swindle a swindler is Jake’s idea of the ultimate revenge. His nemesis conned away his brother’s miner hat blueprints. In turn, Jake plans to woo his enemy’s bookish niece and then convince her to buy enough shares in Jake’s railroad ponzi scheme to bankrupt the miner hat business. Jake’s Trojan horse is a four-pound carnival trick dog.
Maxine Sweeten is a math whizz at keeping her uncle’s accounts on Pasley Miner’s Hats and dabbling in the stock market. She loves all God’s creatures.
When Jake brings Maxine the supposedly lame-legged terrier, she can’t help but soften toward the rugged stranger with his own emotional wounds that shadow his eyes. Once she realizes Jake is out to ruin both her and her uncle, she’s determined to discover why. His reasons open up a whole new bundle of trouble. What’s more, she must find a way to heal not only creatures from the forest, but Jake’s wild heart.
Image from: Bound by Bond
Sweeten the Swindler
Unnerving silver-blue eyes. Or ice-blue eyes.
Blessings, California is a fictional town created by the fictional character known as Atherton Winslet in 1848 as the first stirrings of “GOLD!” rang out from Sierra Nevada. It is two hours northwest of Coloma (by wagon) and was established as a shanty town. Over the years, as more gold miners arrived, it grew to accommodate larger buildings, businesses, and public roads. As of 1850, there are no trains or stations. There is a large creek running to the west of town. The creek is surrounded by groves of redwoods. The town is situated in a man made clearing. To build homes and other businesses, trees must be cleared, but tents can be erected until the homes can be built.
(Can be in stories but only as secondary/foundation characters. Cannot add to their characterization.)
Atherton Winslet – Founder – owns 5 claims. Came to California to strike it rich and did! He founded Blessings in the hopes of growing a legacy in the mountains of California. Long white hair, long white beard, missing teeth. Jolly yet hardworking man. Wizened and wise. Lives in a two-room log house at the edge of town. Will eventually grow as more of his family moves to town from back east. Married to Millie Winslet, daughter of a Boston butcher. Long blonde hair, thin, snappish yet kind to those she loves. Blue eyes, glasses. Best cook in town. They have one estranged son, William. They have three daughters. One married, two single.
Pete Jones – Retired Army Col. hired by Winslet to protect his claims. Will eventually become the sheriff. Tall, broad shouldered, dark hair, hazel eyes, sharp shooter. Lives in a single room cabin in the clearing beneath the largest claim. Will eventually move into the town once the town begins to grow. (Will be the hero of The Blessed Bride.)
Eleanor Baines – Saloon Owner. Dyed red hair, brown eyes, short and plump. Witty, sharp-tongued, and wary of men. Refuses to bring in working girls because she can’t stomach the prostitution business. Came to California with her husband who was a drunken abuser. He died, leaving her enough gold to build a small building and start the saloon, which is a single
room building made of clapboard. Will eventually grow as the town does.
Ellis Mosier – Mercantile owner. Came west with Atherton. Didn’t strike it rich but took a loan from Atherton to build a small store. Married to Bethany (Beth) Mosier. Long brown hair, brown eyes, hardworking and kind. Four children (3 sons, 1 daughter) who help in the family business by travelling for supplies, running the store, and making goods to sell.
Reverend Crandall Billings – Circuit preacher. Comes to town once every three months to perform weddings, funerals, and a month of Sunday services. Stays in a shanty just outside of the one room chapel – Blessings Baptist Chapel.