My Loving Vigil Keeping

To Della Ander’s relatives, it seems like an absurd whim when the young educator accepts a contract to teach in Winter Quarters, a coal mining camp near Scofield, Utah. After all, she lives with a socially prominent family in Salt Lake City. Why teach in a place as hard as a coal mining camp, even if the Winter Quarters mines have an enviable reputation for safety?

It’s no whim to Della. She yearns to reconnect with the life she knew as a child, before tragedy yanked her from a home equal parts ramshackle and loving. But when disaster strikes, what the teacher learns in Winter Quarters will change her life forever, and her heart.

Based around the true events of the Scofield Mine Disaster of 1900, this suspenseful new romance from award-winning and bestselling author Carla Kelly is sure to please longtime fans and new readers alike. Thrilling and heartfelt, it’s a must-read.

Product Details
Title: My Loving Vigil Keeping
Author: Carla Kelly
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 400
Dimensions: 4.25 x 7
ISBN: 9781599558974
Vendor: Cedar Fort, Inc.
Imprint: Bonneville
Release Date: 2012-08-14
Price: $9.99
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17 thoughts on “My Loving Vigil Keeping

  1. Carla, I had to email and let you know that I just finished My Loving Vigil Keeping and was blown away. As usual, you write the way I’d like to be able to write. I was so moved, and while I knew darn well that Owen must have survived the mine disaster, for a few pages there I was right with Della and Angharad mourning his death and the death of so many of his friends. When I finished the book (much relieved that Owen has seen the sense in becoming a carpenter!) I read your afterword and was fascinated by the historical bits and pieces you provided about the real people who survived the tragedy. I even went to FamilySearch and did some census lookups. (Yes, I am a genealogist. I’m even a Family History Center staff member.) While I don’t have any coal miner ancestors (yet), my sister-in-law’s family comes from Pittsburgh, and one of her ancestors first became a lawyer, then a 49er, before coming back home and supporting his family as a “coal measurer,” a job description I don’t quite understand. Do you, with your recent research on the subject, know exactly what a coal measurer would do?

    I would also love to know how many of the people in the book were historical figures. I attempted to look up Sam Auerbach, for instance, but couldn’t find any evidence that he really existed, as much as I loved him in the book. Emil Isgreen, on the other hand, is right there in the census. (Did you know that you can pull up a census list for everyone in the entire community on FamilySearch? I didn’t know until I tried it for Scofield, Carbon, Utah. Who knew that a 19th century Welsh family would name a kid Talisien?) Looking at the actual census pages must be even more fascinating. Alas, I have only one line that might go back to Wales that I know of so far.

    Then I went to my bookshelf (your books take up one whole shelf in a pretty wide case) and picked up Borrowed Light and Enduring Light. Not crazy about most of what I’ve read in LDS fiction, I have been putting off reading them. My loss – I adored both of them. I have puffed off all three books on All About Romance’s message boards. Now I am off to read Marriage of Mercy, which has also been on my to-be-read mountain for awhile now.

    I loved the picture of Boo, and your stories of his bad habits. (I too have a cat who hides – albeit under the bed – when people visit.) Aren’t Siamese mixes fun? I have had two, and when Streaky the Supercat goes to kitty heaven, I plan to do my best to find another one. They have so much character! Streaky, however, would probably revert in the presence of another cat, and wouldn’t cuddle with me anymore.

    Any thoughts about further sequels starring Della or Julia? Angharad would
    probably make a great heroine. I would read them!

    Kari in California (one of your biggest fans)

  2. Thank you Carla for writing “My Loving Vigil Keeping.” My grandfather and his fathers before him all worked in coal mines in Wales. You captured the thinking of Welsh miners. They were hard-working, honest men who were proud of their jobs as miners, but had great distaste for the dangers of the mines, and the loss of so many lives. On the other hand, when Maggie Thatcher closed the coal mines, there was a cry of foul, for as much as they disliked their dangerous jobs, they disliked unemployment even more.

    I think you might be pleased to know that I teach Welsh at Brigham Young University, and we have a Welsh choir. The language is growing right here in Utah. Great measures have been taken in Wales to insure the language doesn’t die like other Celtic languages have. Road signs appear in English and Welsh, government employees are required to be bi-lingual, and students must learn Welsh in the elementary grades. It is a beautiful language.

    An old Welsh saying states: “To be born Welsh is to be born privileged. Not with a silver spoon in your mouth, but with music in your heart and poetry in your soul.” You have captured that essence in your book, “My Loving Vigil Keeping.” Thank you.

  3. I loved the book My Loving Virgil Keeping. I really enjoyed how you used the LDS religion without making it preachy….I will recommend this book to anyone who will listen..

  4. Hi Carla, I have just finished reading your book, “My Loving Vigil Keeping” and I loved it! I not only loved the beautiful story but for me it was like reading my family history. My maiden name is Wycherly. My grandfather and grandmother Wycherly were married in Winter Quarters in September 1904. My grandmother, Annie Lloyd’s family came from Wales. My father, was born in Hiawatha, Carbon County, Utah and I was born in Price, Carbon County, Utah. My father’s oldest brother, Lenard Reese Wycherly was killed in the Sunnyside mine explosion of May 9, 1945. My grandfather Daniel Oscar Wycherly was a Mine Boss for one of the mines. I remember when I was 4 or 5 years old going to visit grandma and grandpa Wycherly in I think Hiawatha and driving under the Tiple. My family a and I were living in Sunnyside at the time. Another interesting point is that Annie Lloyd, grandma Wycherly, and her sisters and brothers were left orphans. The youngest child, David, I think, was taken in by the Parmley family. He was never legally adopted by them but did take their last name. This story will always be very special to me. Thank you so much for writing this beautiful story. I’ve read two other books of yours and have enjoyed them very much.

    Madelyn in Idaho Falls

    • Madelyn, please get back to me. Sorry I’m so slow in answering this, but I haven’t been looking at this website. My email address is I had been wondering about the David Parmley that you mention. I knew the Parmleys didn’t have a son by that name, but he was a Wycherly! Wow. I have a David Parmley story that really makes me laugh.

  5. I laughed out loud when I saw how you incorporated a reference to Enduting light into My Loving Vigil Keeping. However, is the reference to the secretary who falls in love with her boss one of yours?

    When is a sequel to either Enduring Light or My Loving Vigil Keeping coming out, PLEASE? I need them.

  6. This book was so well written! The characters were very real. I have a whole new level of appreciation for those in the mining community. I look forward to reading more of your novels.

    • Thanks, Carol. You’d be amazed how many bookclubs and libraries have asked me to talk about that book. And I’ve given so many Scofield Cemetery talks that I’ve lost count. I love “my guys.”

  7. I just finished reading My Loving Vigil Keeping and it is by far the best of the four of your books I have read to this point (Enduring Light, Borrowed Light and Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand). As a native of Sanpete County this story intrigued me from when I first realized it was based just out of Schofield. My family used to go to Schofield every 4th of July to watch the fireworks over the lake and being that close I had no idea the tragedy that had happened there.
    I must say I finished this book at 1:15 A.M. in my house here in Manti, Utah (your favorite place in Utah if I read right) and immediately I wanted to get in my car and take the couple hour drive to Schofield to visit the cemetary and learn all I could (I am a history fan – and this was an unrealistic idea at the time). I do plan to eventually go up and visit Schofield again and maybe get the chance to see where so many were buried. As with Kari above I too cried with Della and Angharad supposing that not all novels could end in happily ever after (especially one based on a true story) and I nearly fainted with Della as she came upon Owen in the kitchen. Such a sweet moment to know she still had her chance to say yes and I believe Owen’s prayers were answered that way on purpose and that anyone could receive such a resounding answer to save their lives (I know it can happen as it has happened for me). I also would love to know who all were real characters from your book as opposed to fictional characters. I was really surprised to learn in your Afterword the ones that were mentioned that had lived then. I eventually went to bed last night after laying awake for a long time thinking about how I have lived just down in the valley from Schofield for most of my life and never knew (maybe didn’t realize) that tragedy had happened.
    I mentioned above that I love learning historical things and I plan to search the Winter Quarters Mine and see what else I can learn about it just as I have been led to research so many historical happenings throughout the years that I have read historical novels.
    Thank you so much for touching my heart and making me realize how very lucky we are today and how lucky I am.
    Jamie Ann Johnson
    P.S. Maybe I will one day run upon an ancestor (in FamilySearch) from that area as I know somewhere in time I did have relatives that lived there or close to there.

    • Jamie Ann, I’m sorry to be slow slow to respond, but the website reply feature was just activated. I think the whole point of Owen not being dead – well, I can’t kill off a hero. I had a hard enough time with Richard Evans’ death, even though he really did die. I think of him often, and visit Scofield regularly. Owen’ dilemma is so often our own: yes, we want the lord’s will, as long as it coincides with ours. Such is the human dilemma, eh?

  8. Hi Carla,

    I’ve read every one of your books and own most of them. What a treasure you are!

    I only buy books that I know I’ll reread, and I’ve read most of yours twice. THANK YOU!

  9. My husband and I both love your books. Sometimes we share and sometimes I hurry and sneak and read a chapter or two while he’s busy doing other stuff. It’s not like there aren’t any other books in the house. We have a pretty good selection.

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