The first seventeen years and three months of my life were so ordinary they would not be worth the telling. And last May when I came home from high school in Spokane to help Ma, I thought fate had yanked me back to Mica Creek and I would be stuck there on the farm, helping out one more time, one more time until I was buried in the Mica Creek cemetery alongside my brother Henry. I had prayed that I would find a way to get out of Mica Creek. I forgot to stipulate that I would like to get out of Mica Creek without the constant company of my mother and by some means other than my own two feet.

But then, briefly, I was famous. I had my picture in The New York World twice: my before picture in a black silk dress with leg-o’-mutton sleeves; and my after picture in an ankle-baring skirt and brandishing a gun and dagger. Because of the way our adventure ended, we couldn’t talk about it afterward. But I kept my journal. Sometimes, late at night when I was still awake, I would rummage through to the bottom of my hope chest and find my journal. I would read it and remind myself of the one year in my life that was not ordinary.

Excerpt© 2011 Carole Estby Dagg

About the book:

In 1896, Clara Estby and her mother Helga packed small satchels with first-aid supplies, compass and maps, canteens, pistol, and a curling iron. They headed east along the railroad tracks, planning to walk over 4,000 miles from their farm near Spokane, Washington to New York City in time to win a $10,000 bet. Battling blizzard and flash flood and meeting the whole range of Victorian society from hobos to the next President of the United States, they were out to win that bet—and prove what women alone could do. The book is based on the true story of the author’s great-aunt and great-grandmother.

What people are saying:

“The journey in itself is amazing, but Dagg’s tender portrayal of a mother and daughter who learn to appreciate and forgive each other makes it unforgettable.”–Starred review, Publishers Weekly

“Readers will enjoy the feminist adventures…”–Kirkus

Released: April 4, 2011

About the author:

Carole Estby Dagg is a former librarian who spent fifteen years reading six million words of background material, writing, and revising her first book,The Year We Were Famous. Under the supervision of a bossy cat, she writes in Everett, Washington, and a converted woodshed on San Juan Island. You can visit her at


Carole has been kind enough to contribute some bookmarks and a miniature The Year We Were Famous notepad for a giveaway!

To enter simply leave a comment on this post.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower of this site (just click “Join this site”) or a follower on Twitter [+1 entry each].

-Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

The contest is open in the US and Canada and ends on May 11th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!