WIDOW 1881 is the first book in the Flats Junction series.

The Short Story



A pregnant widow.

The last Sioux in town.

A half-breed grocer.

An immigrant doctor.

When very carefully proper widow Jane Weber discovers she’s pregnant, she escapes eastern society and 1880’s Boston life to work as a housekeeper in the Dakota Territories. Though Jane secretly researches and assures her new employer that she’s hearty and strong, the rigors of the prairie and the rawness of the people in Flats Junction are more defined than she expects. She must live with the enigmatic Widow Hawks (the last Sioux in town), and attempts to run a household, pick up nursing, and befriend the town’s half-breed grocer. Life in the territories is both simple and difficult, and tries Jane’s character in many more ways than merely learning to survive in the pioneer west. Will her pregnancy prove too much? Will she marry the cowboy who courts her? Or will her wall of lies and glassy cage of respectability shatter?

Learn more by checking out the Widow Media Kit.


“Ms. Dahmen has managed to capture the essence of the time period and the heart of the woman brave enough to find her own way in this thoroughly enjoyable and engrossing novel. Don’t miss it!”

Lesley Kagen, New York Times bestselling author of The Mutual Admiration Society and Whistling in the Dark.


“Sara Dahmen has done something most writers can only hope for. She’s created a character whose inner strength, her unyielding sense of honor, just might be her undoing. Widow is a breathtaking journey through the interior landscape of a woman whose head has accepted her fate, but whose heart and quiet passions have other ideas.”

Scott Wilbanks, award-winning author of The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster. 


It’s easy to write flowery prose; spare language in which every word pulls its weight is much harder. More difficult still is using such prose to paint a picture of rough-and-tumble frontier life while avoiding cliché and giving the reader a viable sense of a bygone era in which life was slower-paced and values meant something. Ms. Dahmen does all this in spades and it’s easy to see why this book won the Grand Prize in the Laramie Awards for Western Fiction.

Nicole Evelina, multi-award winning author, including an IndieB.R.A.G. Medallion.


Author Sara Dahmen has clearly researched the era, vernacular and settings of her richly complex story. She brings into focus the joys and deprivations of life on the American frontier, the rigid proprieties that pertained in relations between the sexes, and the cutting edge of racial hatred that rankled towards the local displaced and marginalized American Indians. She sheds light on fascinating small details of everyday life in 1881—cookery, clothing and medical care. Dahmen also conveys a keen awareness of the sometimes desperate needs of a woman’s heart, as her heroine wavers between her unexpected passion for Patrick and the possibility of a respectable, but unexciting, match with someone else. Captivating and vividly portrayed, “Widow 1881 ” is a delightful read that is refreshing and original as it is entertaining.

Chanticleer Book Reviews

Want copies?

For bulk orders, email flatsjunctionpub@gmail.com.