Prairie Magic Recap
Prairie Magic takes place in the charming but rundown fictional ghost town of Buffalo Grass, South Dakota. Here, beautiful Hope Hanson, equestrian and wise woman, was recovering from tragedy. Two-and-a-half years earlier, her husband Charlie and two of her four children, Lars and Charity, were killed in a terrible car accident. Also lost in the crash were their little doggie Lawny, and prized stallion Thor and his two colts, Tyr and Odin.
The death of the studs put the Hansons’ horse breeding program in grave danger as the last of Thor’s frozen semen had been used to impregnate their fabulous mare, Freya, Tyr and Odin’s mother. Her foal, hopefully a stud colt, would be their last chance to continue their breeding operation.
The Hanson family’s best friends and neighbors were world-famous octogenarian Tokada Good Elk and his wife, celebrated healer Mansi. Their two Pintos—feisty mare Pocahontas and energetic gelding Geronimo—starred in Tokada’s inspirational riding demonstrations. The Good Elks nurtured Hope and her two surviving kids, Lars’s twin, Leif, and Charity’s twin, Faith, through their mourning period.
Unfortunately, conditions worsened when their jealous ranching neighbor formed Roger and Company, an investment group composed of him, his brother-in-law Erik Nelson, realtor Dan the Man and banker Rod Peabody. Their secret mission was to capitalize on the widow’s misfortune by forcing an underhanded short sale of her ranch, Home on the Range—including her equine facility, Valhalla. State-of-the-art upgrades had been constructed just before Charlie’s tragic death. Shaky finances due to th tragedy left the family deep in debt and behind in bank loans.
In an attempt to keep her head above water, Hope focused her attention on her How the West is One booth at the January Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo. There, she would sell western wear, Norwegian sweaters, rustic furniture, and tack and jewelry in an effort to raise enough money to catch up on payments. Her mother, New Age guru Grace, suspected something was wrong and dedicated herself to helping in any way she could.
At that same time, as fate would have it, Dr. Victor Garcia of Miami, Florida received a frantic phone call from his son, Julio, who, in the throes of a spectacular failure to launch, had been “detained” after “misunderstanding” in Montana. Victor was a silent investor in his son’s real estate ventures. A recent partnership his son had made with Roger and Company would require Victor to step in and close on a deal in South Dakota. Julio’s business partner, Blake Collins, who was suffering from late-stage cancer, contributed to the cause by attracting mysterious new investors who were wealthy from North Dakota oil wells. During his short stint in jail, Julio befriended his tattooed cellmate, Wolfgang, a stained-glass artist with real estate plans of his own.
Although less than thrilled about the spontaneous jaunt to a small Old West town in the dead of winter, Victor dutifully carried out his son’s request. Much to his surprise, the mundane task quickly morphed into a marvelous adventure when he met cowboy millionaires Andy and Zach and traveled on a private jet with the Good Elks’ adopted son, Patwin and his rodeo buddies. During his brief five-day stay, he galloped a horse across an open meadow, enjoyed Mansi’s spa treatment and delivered Freya’s twin colts, Sun and Moon. Above all, he fell in love with exquisite Hope. By the end of his short journey, he and Julio had saved Hope's ranch and resurrected her family’s dream of creating the perfect Old West family vacation.
During Victor’s stay, Erik Jr. (EJ), son of Erik and his vexatious wife Patrice, was hospitalized with serious injuries after a rodeo accident. At that same time, Roger was being treated for injuries following his riding mishap with Rebel, the impressive gelding and namesake of the second book in the series.
Reflection brought about by his failing marriage led Erik to soften his judgmental attitude toward the Hansons and Good Elks. During an emergency business meeting when Julio announced his plans to take over Roger and Company’s ill-fated plans, Erik surprised both families by confessing his involvement in switching blood alcohol reports at the car crash site in a scheme to accuse Hope’s late husband of drunk driving. The misuse of his position as sheriff to benefit his own interests resulted in a prison sentence and public outrage.
On the last morning of his visit, Victor called his flamboyant travel agent, Christopher Columbus, to confirm his flight home. While on hold, Victor watched Hope and her family as they interacted at the breakfast table. Enchanted by the beautiful scene, he decided to secretly book a flight to return just a few days later. Although their relationship was brand new, Victor was willing to rearrange his entire life to be with Hope.
In the final part of the story, Liz Carrington of Boston, Massachusetts, enjoyed the fruits of our heroes’ labor by taking her husband Jonathan and their three sons on the Family Circle Adventure Tours, a six-stop RV trip through the Old West. During the Carringtons’ stint in South Dakota, Liz left her family at the Prairie Magic resort swimming pool. Finally alone, she looked forward to shopping and browsing in the New Age town of Buffalo Grass. After spending a few hours with our favorite characters in their unique establishments, she became enthused and inspired. While climbing onto her four-wheeler, Wild and Free #18, she spied a statue of an Indian on horseback. Who is he? she wondered about the majestic rider. He must be important, she decided as she continued to ponder the significance of the striking piece of art. Before turning her handlebars to traverse the rustic trail back to camp, she made a special vow to get a closer look at the impressive monument when she returned for her spa appointment the next day.
What adventures await our characters next in the Wild, Wild West? Read all about it in Rebel. But be warned—it’s going to be a wild ride! Yee-haw!