Novel Title: Disrupted
Time Setting: 1870
Genre: Historical Fiction
Minimum Word Goal: 90,000
Locations: White Pine, Montana Territory; Pontiac, Michigan
Main Characters: Ezra MacAskill, Gwendolen Devereux
Ezra was born the ninth child and sixth son of thirteen children to a cooper and his wife who emigrated to Pennsylvania from Scotland in 1831. He was the first of the children his parents had in the US who lived beyond his first year, which led to him being rather doted on by his mother, something that annoyed his father and led to his father giving him a rougher treatment.
When he was twelve his mother died in a wagon accident; her passing took a toll on Ezra and his father, who put Ezra and his four younger siblings in the care of their oldest sister and her husband.
Subsequently, when he was sixteen, his father died, mostly from depression at the loss of his wife. At that time Ezra decided to strike out on his own. Within a year he met a fetching young woman in Ohio. He worked for her father for three years while waiting for her to be of marriageable age.
Once they were married the young couple set out west, but the rigours of travel were hard on his wife and their efforts to start a family. As a result, she convinced Ezra to stop in Illinois for a time, in which they were able to have a son.
Ezra, not wanting to sit still, then moved his family again and got them as far as Missouri before she got him to stop again and they had another son. At Ezra's insistence they moved on again rather shortly, although she had conceived again, and got as far as Independence, Missouri before she miscarried and developed an infection which claimed her life.
After taking her body back to Ohio to be buried in the family plot per her request, Ezra returned to Independence to join a wagon train bound for Oregon.
In Nebraska, however, his younger son fell ill, forcing him to leave the train. His son was saved through medical intervention and Ezra found that he himself had developed an unexpected affection toward the doctor's daughter.
They were married shortly and after that set out westward again, joining a different Oregon-bound train. While they were travelling his new wife conceived and successfully carried the child despite their continued travel.
As her delivery date and winter neared they stopped off in Butte, Montana Territory, so that she could have a safe delivery. They both found Montana to be liable, however, and planned to seek a homestead there in the spring.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck again as Ezra's wife lost too much blood while bringing their daughter into the world, leaving Ezra twice widowed with two boisterous young sons and an infant daughter.
After his daughter gained enough strength, Ezra set out from Butte and found a suitable homestead near the town of White Pine; there he buried his second wife — per her request — and got work at a nearby ranch.
He hasn't sought a wife since, but has instead raised his children on his own, save the help of a fellow hand's wife.
Gwendolen was born the youngest daughter and second youngest child of six children to a wool milling and carriage manufacturing magnate and his wife who are among some of the elite millionaires in Pontiac.
As such, she has received a good education and has been bred to be a proper young woman who spends her days in social engagements, obeys her parents implicitly, and hardly has to lift a finger.
Recently her parents have arranged to have her married to a handsome widower who owns a profitable grist-milling business and has been sought after by many women since his wife's unfortunate demise.
Even though he's twice her age and she doesn't really harbour that terribly much affection for him, like a good daughter, Gwendolen intends to do as her parents wish and marry him, taking solace in the fact that he is not in the least boring, like her sister's husbands are.
Novel begins on March 1.