Category Archives: My Heart Lies Here

A Story of the Ludlow Massacre

Praise for My Heart Lies Here

What Readers Are Saying about MY HEART LIES HERE

The sky above Berwind Canyon

The sky above Berwind Canyon

Just started your book, can hardly put it down.

Penny Ann H.

 I loved your book.

Sheila K.

 It’s well written, engaging, and a delight to read. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Excellent job!

Elodji. M.

I would like to recommend your book to our book club to read next year.

Doris S.

I also wanted to tell you that I read your book and really enjoyed it. I always judge a well written book by whether or not I can see it taking place in my mind as I read. I could definitely “see” your words as I read and I loved your characters and I even thought about who I would pick to play them in a movie. I enjoyed your mix of Scottish and Greek cultures and language. It was amazing to realize that the events you wrote about really did occur in our Colorado history and to read about what incredible hardships those people endured. I thought it was great and can’t wait to read your next creation.

Kathryn B.

 I love your descriptions and really felt as if I was in the mining camps while reading. This story would make a great movie!

Candy P.

Excellent!  I could not put it down, and felt like I was part of the story. 

Susan M.


About the Book

 My Heart Lies Here

BookCoverImageIn 1913, the United Mine Workers of America led a strike against John D. Rockefeller’s Colorado Fuel & Iron Company that would end in war.  In this novel of the Ludlow Massacre, a young woman learns the true value of love and sacrifice and what it means to be an American.

Coming of age in the hardscrabble coal camp of Berwind, Colorado, Christian Scott is caught in a web of divided loyalties. Torn between her dedication to her brother, Alex, who stubbornly clings to his proud Scottish heritage, and her love of Pearl, a spirited and irreverent orphan whose flight from abuse and poverty lands her on the Scotts’ doorstep, she experiences heartbreak when the two become enemies. At the same time, she secretly joins with a passionate Greek man on a dangerous course of resistance against the coal company and the brutal Colorado National Guard that threatens to destroy everything–and everyone–she loves.

About the Author

LAURIE MARR WASMUND grew up on a cattle ranch in the great American West. A teacher, editor, researcher, and writer, she has published short fiction in literary journals and articles on Colorado history in popular magazines. Currently a college instructor, she lives on the eastern plains of Colorado with her husband.

lost ranch books announces the publication of My Heart Lies Here


Dear Reader,

The first offering will be My Heart Lies Here, a novel of the Ludlow Massacre, which happened in Colorado in 1914. The Ludlow Massacre has fascinated me for decades, and the plight of the immigrant American–especially those from the eastern European nations–has always resonated with me. I’ve often wondered how it feels to leave one’s home, one’s family, and one’s culture and move to a place where the language, customs and political structures are vastly different.

Looking down Berwind Canyon
Looking down Berwind Canyon

Not everyone who came to America found success, and not everyone was welcomed to our great melting pot. In fact, a startling number of “third-wave” immigrants, who came to America sometimes in the late 1890s and 1900s, returned to their native lands. My Heart Lies Here addresses the sometimes confusing message of freedom that is promised to all who live in the United States, but is not always realized.

The coal mines of Colorado attracted a variety of immigrants seeking fortune and a home. In my novel, I chose to portray Scottish and Greek immigrants. The Scottish characters, Alex and Christian Scott, resemble my own family’s ancestors; in fact, Alexander Scott was the name of both my great-grandfather and my great-great-grandfather, both of whom settled in Colorado. Alex and Christian’s transition to America is relatively easy and painless–they speak English, their customs, literature and religious beliefs are similar to their American counterparts.

My primary Greek character, Theo Sky (as he is known at the beginning of the novel), endures far greater difficulties in coming to America. Without knowledge of the English language, he and his countrymen are cast into ignorance. They are distrusted–even disliked–among their the other men in the mines, and their religious practices are never acknowledged in the coal mining camps. They struggle to understand the American system and to become part of it.

I chose to look at the Greek experience mostly because of Zeese Papanikolas’ book, Buried Unsung. The book is a powerful and detailed source that reads like a novel itself. However, I added into my Greek characters’ adventures stories that I had learned from the oral histories of the time and from an Italian miner, Joe Bonacquista, and his wife. Their nationalities may differ, but the recollections of oppression, resentment, and inequity sound very similar. Ironically, the Greek economic crisis helped me to imagine the speech patterns of my Greek character; I paid close attention to NPR interviews with Greek citizens and goverment spokespeople!

In future blogs, I’ll be discussing some of the creative decisions I’ve made in my writing, the writing process itself, and the history that surrounds my works. I hope you enjoy reading My Heart Lies Here as much a I enjoyed writing it.