In American history, the terms west and frontier often have the same meaning—both referred to the region beyond the settled regions of the country. By the late 1600s, the settled areas had spread north and south along the Appalachians; later, west of the Mississippi, clear to the Pacific. Spurred by the explorations of Lewis and Clark in the early 1800s, the westward movement was one of the most exciting and dramatic periods in American history. The west beckoned gold-diggers and homesteaders dreaming of a new and better life, abundant land and opportunity, a place where class distinctions were less evident than in the East.

For purposes of genre fiction, western romances are generally set after 1850, from San Francisco to Texas, from endless prairies to high mountain valleys. Western romances have long been a staple of the romance genre, populated by spirited characters such as outlaws and renegades, suffragettes and schoolmarms, cowboys and ranchers fighting the odds, the elements and each other.

Other wonderful writers who have set their stories in the West are:

www.susankaylaw.com
www.lorraineheath.com
www.home.earthlink.net/~rachellemorgan

Happy reading, Samantha James

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