Being a survivor often depends upon your mental state. You can die if you decide that that’s what you’re going to do, but some people survive impossible odds.


When my husband was a Boy Scout back in the early 1950s, he and another Boy Scout accompanied their scout leader carrying trout fingerlings into the Cascade Mountains to “seed” the lakes. This involved backpacking gallons of water filled with the baby trout along miles of forest trails. If the lake wasn’t named, they got to name it as well as seed it.

He mentioned that on one trip they came across a man who had broken his leg into multiple fractures. The man was pulling himself along the trail and asked them how far it was to the trailhead where he had left his car. He was miles away but was cheerful and determined to make it. When they returned, he was much further along the trail and they helped him the rest of the way.

A Different Experience…

On the very same trip they were hiking in to another lake and came across a man who was lying beside the trail with a broken leg. It was not nearly as serious as the first man’s injuries, but this man had given up and was waiting to die. He was only a quarter of a mile from the trailhead, but refused to take a stout stick for a cane and try to make it on his own. They went on to the lake, then returned. The man was still in the same spot, so the scout leader told him he would send help—and left him there.

It was a lesson my husband never forgot. This was before his family moved to Alaska when he was twelve years old.

Many people who survived the Holocaust lived long afterwards, to see their children and grandchildren. Today, we have people in China who are being persecuted to the point of death in the labor camps there. The survivors tell stories of horror and torture, yet we have people in the U.S. living in freedom who think they can’t make it if things get tough.

Many of my books are about survival. In Courage Dares, the hero convinces the heroine that she is a survivor. The Toughest Man in the Territory and The Luckiest Man in the West, feature heroes and heroines work together to cross the wilderness. In Dangerous Heritage, the danger is from modern-day kidnappers.Courage Dares

Courage Dares is on sale this coming Friday.