Last week, the final installment in my Teton Romance Trilogy, Teton Sunset, was released. As you might guess, the books are set in the area we know today as Grand Teton National Park. The mountain range known as the Grand Tetons and their surrounding land became a national park in 1929.
While I spend a great deal of time researching the locations and history I write about, and staying true to the descriptions of the land, I used actual dates and events loosely while writing these story. While Teton Sunset takes place in 1855, the first expedition came to the Tetons in 1860, and Jackson Valley wasn’t actually inhabited by white settlers until 1887.
The first white man to see the jagged peaks of the Tetons is believed to be John Colter, who was a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. On their return trip down the Missouri River in 1807, Colter left the expedition with a couple of trappers and headed back into the wilderness. He spent several years trapping in the Rocky Mountains, eventually ending up in the valley at the base of the Tetons, which was later named Jackson’s Hole after trapper Davey Jackson. The name of the valley has been shortened to Jackson Hole. French-Canadian trappers soon found their way into the region, and they gave the Tetons the colorful name “le trois tetons”, meaning “the three breasts.” The Shoshone Indians who inhabited the area called the mountains Teewinots, which means “many pinnacles.”
For several decades, trappers, Indians, traders, and outlaws passed through the valley, but the first permanent settlers didn’t arrive until 1887. The area, due to its high altitude, wasn’t suited for farming, but was ideal for grazing cattle.
In 1859, Captain William Raynolds led an expedition into the Yellowstone Region of Montana and Wyoming to find out about the area’s potential for agricultural and mineral resources, and to map the region. The expedition included noted naturalist/geologist Ferdinand Hayden, and guided by legendary mountain man, Jim Bridger. Due to bad weather, the expedition never made it into the region that would later become Yellowstone National Park, but ended up further south in the Tetons. Due to the start of the Civil War, Captain Raynolds didn’t publish his report and research until 1867. Ferdinand Hayden would, in 1872, lead a government-funded expedition into Yellowstone, carving the way for the creation of the first national park.
To find out more about Grand Teton National Park, and national parks in general, please visit the National Park Service website at www.nps.gov
Teton Sunset Blurb
Life for Lucas Walker is a constant adventure, a daily game to be won in the vast Teton wilderness. Facing every challenge head-on, he values the freedom to go where he wants, when he wants, and without attachments to any one person.
She is known to the native people of the land as Ghost Woman. Hiding from a terrifying past, she has lived alone and under conditions too harsh for even the hardiest men. Trusting another person is something she can’t do. Forced to put her life in the hands of a man who dares her to confront everything from which she’s tried to escape, she struggles to protect the walls she has built around her identity . . . and her heart.
Brought together through life or death situations, Lucas and his unwilling charge find themselves fighting dangers only found in the untamed mountains. Their battle for survival teaches them the ultimate lesson in how to trust and love someone. When the past catches up to them, they discover that the heart can't always be protected; sometimes the only way to be safe is to open it.
“I’m not going with you,” Tori said again when he advanced on her with that same dark scowl on his face. Wordlessly, he moved past her into the cabin, and Tori turned to follow him.
Lucas rummaged through the pile of clothes at the foot of her bunk, and shoved several articles into a leather pouch draped around his shoulder.
“What are you doing?” Tori demanded, and rushed to his side.
Lucas continued shoving shirts into the bag. “Packing,” he grumbled. “I’m taking you down off this mountain.”
Tori reached into the pouch and pulled several shirts from it, tossing them on the other side of the bed.
“Like hell you are Walker. You can’t tell me what to do.”
“Is there anything else you want to bring?” Lucas glanced around the cabin as if she wasn’t even there.
“No, because I’m not leaving.” Tori moved in front of him, her hands on her hips. She glared up at him. “Get out of my cabin, Walker.”
Finally, he looked down at her.
“If there’s nothing else, I guess we’re ready to go.” He nodded in satisfaction. Before she had a chance to comprehend his intent, Lucas bent forward and grabbed her around the knees, then tossed her over his shoulder. The air left her lungs, and a sharp pain jabbed through her injury.
“Put me down, you lout,” she screeched, and pounded her fists against his back. “Walker, put me down this instant. You have no right to take me away from here.”
Ignoring her tirade, Lucas moved out of the cabin, pulling the door shut behind him. He strode to his horse, and unceremoniously dumped her into the saddle. Before she could squirm off the prancing animal’s back, Lucas swung up behind her, and wrapped a steely arm around her waist.
“You can’t do this, Walker,” she growled between clenched teeth, grabbing at his arm to try and dislodge his hold on her. He wouldn’t budge, much like the shackles she’d worn in her prison cell back in St. Louis.
“I think I just did,” he whispered in her ear, and nudged his horse forward.
Tori gritted her teeth. Anger flooded her like nothing ever had. How could she have, even for a second, thought that Lucas Walker was a trustworthy man?
“You’d better sleep with one eye open from hereon, Walker,” she grumbled.
“Oh, I plan to.” His lips lingered against her ear, and despite all the anger that welled up in her, a shiver ran down her spine, and it wasn’t due to fear of this man.
“I haven’t had both eyes closed since I came to this cabin, Tori.”
Peggy L Henderson is a laboratory technologist by night, and best-selling western historical and time travel romance author of the Yellowstone Romance Series, Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series, and Teton Romance Trilogy. When she’s not writing about Yellowstone, the Tetons, or the old west, she’s out hiking the trails, spending time with her family and pets, or catching up on much-needed sleep. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart. Along with her husband and two sons, she makes her home in Southern California.