A Name of Her Own (2002)
Every Fixed Star (2003)
Hold Tight the Thread (2004)



The first expedition west after Lewis and Clark returned from their historic journey included 60 men, one woman, her husband and two little boys.  That woman was Marie Dorion, an Iowa Indian woman who spent five weeks on the journey with Sacagawea.  Both were married to French Canadian men, both pregnant and both affiliated with white, male fur trapping expeditions.  They must have had something to talk about. 


A Name of Her Own

Based on the life of Marie Dorion, the first mother to cross the Rocky Mountains and remain in the Northwest, A Name of Her Own is the fictionalized adventure account of a real woman’s fight to settle in a new landscape, survive in a nation at war, protect her sons and raise them well and, despite an abusive, alcoholic husband, keep her marriage together.
On the journey, Marie meets up with the famous Lewis and Clark interpreter, Sacagawea. Both are Indian women married to mixed-blood men of French Canadian and Indian descent, both are pregnant, both traveled with expeditions led by white men, and both are raising sons in a white world.
Together, the women forge a friendship that will strengthen and uphold Marie long after they part, even as she faces the greatest crisis of her life, and as she fights for her family’s very survival with the courage and gritty determination that can only be fueled by a mother’s love.

An Oregon Book Award finalist and a Booksense 76 Bestseller for Independent Bookstores nation-wide.


Every Fixed Star

Following the family tragedy, the great battle for survival, and the test of faith described in A Name of Her Own, Marie relocates her family to the Pacific Northwest territory’s Okanogan settlement. The year is 1814 and, as is customary of her life out West, Marie faces constant challenges simply to keep her children clothed and fed.
Through it all, Marie is tempted to believe that she doesn’t deserve God’s love in the everyday places. When blessings arrive, she struggles to accept them, fearing they will be followed by more difficult challenges. But ultimately, the threads of past friendships and their prayers, a faithful love, and her own service to others all lead her to God’s gift of a full and abundant life. 


Hold Tight the Thread

Their Lives Were Woven by Wars and Wilderness Places, and Tied by the Peace of Family and Faith.
As the 1840s bring conflict to the Pacific Northwest’s rugged Columbia Country, new challenges face Marie Dorion Venier Toupin: the wife, mother, and Ioway Indian woman who crossed the Rocky Mountains with the Astor Expedition, the first big fur trapping expedition after Lewis and Clark’s. On French Prairie in the newly forming Oregon Territory, Marie strives to meet the needs of her conflict-ridden neighbors: British settlers and Americans, missionaries and disease-stricken natives, fur trappers and French Canadian farming families, and the surviving natives of the region.
At the same time, as a mother, Marie must weave together the threads of an unraveling family. One daughter compares and judges as she seeks to find her place; another reaches for elusive evidence of her mother’s love. Marie’s memories are threatened with the emergence of a figure from the past. In the midst of this turmoil, Marie discovers an empowering spiritual truth: Unconditional love can shed light on even the darkest places in the heart.



Praise for Jane Kirkpatrick's Tender Ties Historical Series

“Well known for her poetic prose as well as her historical accuracy, Kirkpatrick’s stories tug at a reader’s heartstrings, and build bridges from character to reader.” --Roundup Magazine, Western Writers of America

“The historically accurate details are woven with care, and the characters are fully imagined.” --The Denver Post 

“Kirkpatrick’s meticulously researched narrative ensnares the reader in the drama of unfolding historical events, events that transformed a nation.” --Herald-Journal, Spartanburg, South Carolina

“Jane Kirkpatrick has…created her own genre of fiction.”–Statesman Journal

"A complex novel with strong characterization and an authentic Native American voice." -Romantic Times, Four-Star Review

"In combining historical authenticity with an exceptional ability to render poetic the thoughts of her characters, Kirkpatrick achieves a novel that enchants as it educates." - Publisher's Weekly



The Lewis and Clark Expedition Pocket Compass used in background at the top of the page is from The National Museum of American History | Smithsonian Institute collection.
"In the spring of 1803, Meriwether Lewis began to purchase scientific and mathematical instruments for a pending expedition into the northwestern region of North America. Among the items he purchased from Philadelphia instrument maker Thomas Whitney were three pocket compasses for $2.50 each, and this silver-plated pocket compass for $5. It has a mahogany box, a silver-plated brass rim that is graduated to degrees and numbered in quadrants from north and south, a paper dial, two small brass sight vanes, and a leather carrying case. Whether Lewis purchased the silver compass for himself or intended it as a special gesture for William Clark is not known."


Writer's Recollections

These books taught me about Divine research! Out of the blue while researching for the book I received an e-mail from Nancy Noble, a genealogist who’d been helping a descendant of that first journey after Lewis and Clark returned. She had a letter that was the first mention of John Paul Toupin as a camp boy which told me that might have been where Marie met the man who became her third husband.
Every Fixed Star, book two, led me to a chaplain at a hospital, a descendant of the mission family who brought the first printing press from the Hawaiian Islands to the Nez Perce Indians. Then,  at our goddaughter's wedding, I sat next to the a descendant of the missionary couple who brought the printing press.

click on title to order

name  Fixed Star

hold tight 






*Book Sense® is the national marketing program developed by ABA in 2000 to strengthen the competitive position of independent storefront booksellers.