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Goodbye, Belvidere: A Hundred and Sixty Acres



The dance floor had been built quickly under the starry South Dakota night sky. The musicians were locals, and they didn’t sound half bad. The cowboys and the young ladies in 1898 loved dances, and at this gathering, CJ Crezner discovered that the most beautiful blue-eyed blonde he ever met was from his home state of Missouri. He doubted Deborah Lynn had ever been denied any request, and he was captivated by her in minutes. Ride with history as Carl John Crezner discovers an unexpected fondness for the prairie’s capricious whims. At the turn of the century, the open range is disappearing, promises of railroads are on the horizon, and homesteaders are listening to the lure of free land.

Changing times are coming, and cattlemen are becoming resigned to the dubious promises of progress. CJ has his own set of problems. He is a minister with a rich heritage of men in his family who preach the Word of God with passion and flare. CJ is filled with doubt about his capabilities, and heads north on a cattle drive to put as much distance between him and the waiting church back in Missouri as possible. Will his Grandfather disown him, or can beautiful Deborah Lynn persuade him to follow his family’s wishes?

About the book

Goodbye, Belvidere, A Hundred and Sixty Acres is the first book in this series. I wanted to give a glimpse into the lives of the immigrants who settled on their government issued 160 acres in my area, and who are also my ancestors. At the same time, I wanted to show what the cattlemen who came here much earlier felt as they watched their way of life disappear. I needed an unbiased observer, and he came in the form of a long, lanky minister’s son, CJ Crezner. Taking real events from our past, and weaving a storyline with fictional characters has made me stretch and grow—-and spend delightful hours researching. Readers in this area have enjoyed seeing familiar family names appear, and the families themselves have been gracious in letting me use their ancestors in the series.

Joyce Wheeler


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