Author shares mystery, suspense in new family saga

Special to Civitas Media

LONDON — This week marks the nationwide release of “The Missouri Trail,” an absorbing new novel by author Jan Sparkman.

In “The Missouri Trail,” Hope returns to Kentucky to attend her grandmother’s funeral and to confront the mystery that has been haunting her, but her odyssey to unravel the secrets of the past only brings up more questions. What are the aunts hiding? Do the cousins know more than they say they do? And why does her step-cousin, Marty, insist on talking about forgiveness?

As the truth unfolds, Hope is forced to address her parents’ culpability and her own spiritual deficit. She draws strength from a legacy left her by Grandma Lily — the journal of Hope’s great-great-grandmother Mary’s 1860 wagon journey to southwestern Missouri, where her husband will find work in the lead mines. The journal becomes a road map that points Hope in a new direction and helps her make sense of Marty’s wise words.

Published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, the book is available through bookstores nationwide, from the publisher at, or by visiting or

Sparkman’s published works include three novels, three books of nonfiction, a collection of short stories and a book of poetry as well as magazine articles and hundreds of newspaper columns. She lives in London, Kentucky, where she facilitates a writers’ group now in its 15th year.

Special to Civitas Media

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