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Victoria Ventris Shea

November 2022 978-1-7356316-3-9


Inlanders of the Pacific Northwest are resilient during Prohibition, making moonshine or riding the rails or dancing for money or smuggling liquor across the Canadian border. Some go to prison or are shot and killed. The lucky ones have the thrill and distraction of falling in love.

Be inspired by the optimism, ingenuity, and perseverance of everyday people. The struggle from farm and a sod house to flapper fun, dance halls, drinking houses and serenades on Loon Lake, Washington, where a lake cabin is built in 1928 that becomes the author’s sanctuary.  A combination of memoir, family history and fiction based on oral legend.


Ida had been attracted to his daring, mischievous, wide-eyed enthusiasm for the future. “What’s the worst that could happen?” he would ask and distract her with a squeeze, a kiss or a twirl before she could answer. It had felt like his attitude could overcome anything, that they would always be happy together though she wasn’t entirely sure that she could trust him. When the bottom dropped out of the wheat industry, he thought of his family’s old moonshine recipe called Perseverance. He had all that wheat, and a little shine could take the sting out of hard times.

Walking unescorted into the Marie Antoinette Ballroom at the Davenport Hotel as if she owned the place, fringe whipping with her walk, she thought about the thrill of a clean, handsome man holding out his hand to lead her onto the dancefloor. No one would ever question her presence on a dancefloor. It was her home.

At the Cambridge Idaho Fair, with borrowed chaps and spurs, Joe willed his twelve-year-old body to relax into the saddle of a small Appaloosa born to buck. It was a hot day. He said a quick prayer, “Please Lord, keep me whole,” and wiped his damp hand on his shirt before wrapping it with the rope that would become his anchor. He leaned back, lifted his heels above the horse’s shoulders keeping the spurs turned inward and raised his left hand in the air.

First jump out of the chute, the horse stiffened his front legs and kicked his back legs to the moon, fully extended. It bucked left and right, and twirled around, kicking like crazy. Joe rode the beat, could feel the beginning of each move, predicted the action. Eight seconds seemed a long time, the horn sounded, Joe reached out to the pick-up man and dismounted just as his horse turned and kicked once more, cracking Joe’s leg. 


Outstanding historical novel that weaves the experiences of its memorable characters with intriguing factual historical detail. It includes many moving scenes and is a wonderful celebration of the fortitude of those who lived during the era covered. Highly recommended. -- Edith Wairimu, Readers’ Favorite

Shea is one heck of a storyteller! Vivid character building and seamless dialog, a story packed with love, endurance and faith. So much more positive than the other stories of this time period. You’ll love it. –A. O’Mohondro, Phoenix, AR

A good historical time and tale not often told in the mainstream historical novel. –Pacific Northwest Writers Association