Independent Publisher Book Awards Semi-Finalist, 2005The Bend in the River
Orphaned by the sudden deaths of her parents in 1877, seventeen year-old Emma Jorden has to abandon her Kansas home to fend for herself. Lost on the featureless prairie and near death she is rescued by Shea Hawkshadow, a half-breed Cheyenne warrior. Following an impulsive love affair, Emma and Shea marry. When the consequences of their unconventional marriage spark ridicule then quickly escalate to attempted murder, they risk a journey across the western frontier. However, many trials await the couple in their search for a life free from persecution. Emma masks her increasingly fragile emotional state until years of repression exact a dreadful toll. She battles to unearth the innermost causes of her instability hindered by the lack of humane treatment for mental illnesses in the 19th Century. Emma's transformation from a guileless girl into a complex woman with an unflinching will to survive is remarkable and moving. The Bend in the River is an absorbing saga of savagery, love, secrets, and healing.
The Bend in the River (ISBN 9780971466708) is Gibbs' debut novel. It was a hit with reviewers and readers and also a semi-finalist in the 2005 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY). Her second, The Widow of Port Seaton (ISBN 9780971466715), was praised for its rich historical details and moving love story.
Her newest offering is The Coachman (ISBN 9780971466722), 2017, a Distinguished Favorite of the 2017 Independent Press Awards for Historical Fiction.