Thursday, April 4, 2024

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome back, Donna Schlachter!

Hearts of Midway – by Donna Schlachter

Coming up with another romantic mystery set along the Pony Express Trail has been a lot of fun, because every story requires research—and maybe a road trip. I love visiting places I write about. There is nothing like standing, in this case, in the middle of a field of prairie grass, listening to the Red Wing Blackbirds call to each other. Trip over the wagon wheel ruts. Imagine what this patch of land looked like a hundred and fifty-plus years ago. Before the train, that splits this vast acreage in two came through. Before the road carrying thousands of passengers at unimagined speeds for the time. Before the telephone and electric lines were there.

If you look on a map of Nebraska, you won’t find Midway Station. That’s because it is not, and has never been, a hamlet, village, town, or city. Midway Station was one of the stops along the Pony Express route, which ran—and still exists in many areas—from St. Joseph, Missouri to San Francisco, California.

However, if you’ve ever passed near or through Gothenburg, Nebraska, you might well have seen the
Photo: Pixabay/Mike
cabin called Midway Station. It is one of the few original stations that remains at its original location. Much more famous, perhaps, is the Sam Machette station in the city of Gothenburg, which was moved in 1931 and turned into a museum in the mid-1950s which attracts more than thirty thousand visitors each year.

If you’ve read anything about the Pony Express, you know that a series of stations were set up to service the riders. Some legs of the route between stations were less than ten miles, particularly if the landscape was tough to traverse. A rider would leave his home station, riding all day and sometimes late into the night, changing horses and gathering mail at each station, until he reached the next home station, usually around a hundred and fifty miles away.

Midway Station, near the town of Gothenburg, Nebraska, wasn’t a home station, but it offered the riders and townsfolk the opportunity to meet and mingle at times. The next romantic mystery, which is set at this station and the surrounding area, will include missing horses, a missing Pony Express rider, a sheriff’s daughter with a nose for mystery and a penchant for wearing trousers, and a Pony Express rider with a secret. You won’t want to miss it. 

The book releases in August, but is available for pre-order here: and you can check out the rest of the series at:

About Donna:

A hybrid author, Donna writes squeaky-clean historical and contemporary suspense. She has been published more than 60 times in books; is a member of several writers' groups; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, traveling extensively for both, and is an avid oil painter. She is taking all the information she’s learned along the way about the writing and publishing process, and is coaching committed career writers. Learn more at Check out her coaching group on FB:

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