Sara Dahmen

Wine & Children

Published 2016

Published by Coppersmith Publishing LLP

ISBN 978-0998266114




Wine.  Need one say more?

Wine is supposed to drown out most sorrows, but Charlotte Paggo has more to forget than her recent divorce.  Taking sabbatical from work to meander through California’s vineyards in an attempt to rebuild her sense of self, Charlie inadvertently meets Sam, an old vague acquaintance.  He’s built a simple lifestyle for himself since his own divorce, which includes a budding garagiste wine making hobby and his two pre-teen sons, but the two quickly bond over their common interests and, of course, the grapes.

Neither Sam nor Charlie have any illusions about what it might take to make a relationship work out, and with all the entanglements of Sam’s children, romance is complicated further.  Issues surface, from ex-spouses, the ‘birds and bees’ chat, and medical emergencies.  Underlying everything is the stroke of Charlie’s insecurities that stem from her irrevocable infertility.

Non-Fiction Work: An Education in Cookware



Additional Manuscripts in the Works:


Becoming Doctor Kinney

Smith: A Novel

Before Flats Junction

A pregnant widow. 

The last Sioux in town. 

A half-breed grocer. 

An immigrant doctor. 

Everyone in Flats Junction must carve their place and their purpose in the last years of the Wild West while navigating the conventions and suffocating expectations of the 1880’s amid the prejudice against the Native Americans.  In the final months before the Dakota Territories joined the Union, settlers poured in and the Native Americas were forced out.  Newly widowed newcomer Jane Weber finds herself
befriending the last Blackfoot Sioux in Flats Junction and managing a mercurial friendship with the town’s grocer.  Through it all, she must settle into a new life on the prairie and learn to understand her employer: Doctor Kinney himself.


Coming in 2017!

This book is available at Book World in Mequon, WI

and at the Historical Blue Heron Shop in Port Washington WI,

Craft Books in Port Washington WI

and Rustic Palate in Cedarburg, WI

as well as Mitzi's Books in Rapid City, SD, The Bookstore of Gloucester in Gloucester, MA, and Village Books in Fairhaven in Fairhaven, WA,

and on Amazon for in paperback or Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook and Smashwords.

Read the Internationally Award Winning book! 

GRAND PRIZE Winner of the Laramie Award for Historical Fiction!





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, “Doctor Kinney’s Housekeeper, ” is a delightful read that is refreshing and original as it is entertaining. - Chanticleer Book Reviews


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.

Click HERE to read the full review.


What I loved most about Sara Dahmen’s fiction is the unexpected seems to emerge from every page. Here’s how it goes: Widow (Jane) loses husband from a marriage of convenience and she finds herself pregnant and in need of work. She’s hired by an Irish doctor (Patrick) in the West as his housekeeper. (Hence the title: Dr. Kinney’s Housekeeper.) She arrives and is set to live with a Native American widow. The woman, Widow Hawks/Esther, is estranged from her daughter (who happens to have her eye on Dr. Kinney–the daughter, not the widow.)
If you’re feeling a love triangle coming on, you’re correct! And it’s brilliantly written where the reader is rooting for Dr. Kinney and Jane, but aware that Kate (Widow Hawk’s estranged daughter) could end up being a good match for the doctor, too.
The story weaves together beautifully and the characters stuck with me well after the book ended. - Romance Chicks Review


Available as paperback & ebook

Doctor Kinney's Housekeeper

Published 2014

Published by Coppersmith Publishing LLP

ISBN 9780998266107




Manuscript for

Medicineman