Mastodon The Writing Desk: Blog Tour Excerpt: Katharine’s Remarkable Road Trip, by Gail Ward Olmsted

13 June 2024

Blog Tour Excerpt: Katharine’s Remarkable Road Trip, by Gail Ward Olmsted

Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

In the fall of 1907, Katharine decides to drive from Newport, Rhode Island to her new home in Jackson, New Hampshire. Despite the concerns of her family and friends that at the age of 77 she lacks the stamina for the nearly 300-mile journey, Katharine sets out alone. 

Excerpt on Kathgerine's work as a volunteer nurse on a floating hospital ship during the Civil War

It was a most exciting time. Exciting, dirty, loud, and frightening, if I am being honest. On my very first day on board, I was responsible for 250 men, their first day as well, most of them suffering from typhoid. The men with high fevers were the most difficult to help, moaning and incoherent. I gave them brandy and water and if they could eat, bread and butter with tea. 
    We took care of their diets, dressed their wounds, and comforted them. Mornings were a special challenge, as they all needed to be washed and given breakfast before the doctors made their rounds. Oh, and when they did.... They would open the wounds, apply ointments and liniment, and then replace the bandages.
    I admit that for the first few days, I sat with my fingers in my ears, trying to block out the sounds. If I allowed myself to be drawn back to those days, I could clearly recall the cries of pain, loneliness and despair from the wounded and dying men. 
    I eventually grew accustomed to the noise and chaos but I could never become numb to it either. Mrs. Griffin, the senior woman on the ship, had given me this advice, and I never forgot it. ‘You must work past the horror of all that we see and hear day after day, but you must never become immune to it, either. It is what will inspire you to give your very best to these brave men every day of your service.’

Gail Ward Olmsted 

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About the Author

Gail Ward Olmsted was a marketing executive and a college professor before she began writing fiction on a full time basis. A trip to Sedona, AZ inspired her first novel Jeep Tour. Three more novels followed before she began Landscape of a Marriage, a biographical work of fiction featuring landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, a distant cousin of her husband’s, and his wife Mary. After penning a pair of contemporary novels featuring a disgraced attorney seeking a career comeback (Miranda Writes, Miranda Nights) she is back to writing historical fiction featuring an incredible woman with an amazing story. Watch for Katharine's Remarkable Road Trip on June 13th. For more information, please visit her website and find her on Facebook and Twitter @gwolmsted

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