In 1899, Ruby Fortune, a former Wild West performer known as "Girl Wonder," is forced to make a difficult choice: kill her abusive husband or continue to live with his abuse. She chooses to shoot him, and now she is a single mother of four boys. She moves back to her hometown of Jericho, an end-of-the-world mining town north of Tucson, and opens a roadside inn to make ends meet.
The inn is frequented by a motley crew of drifters, grifters, con men, and prostitutes. Ruby's affair with an African American miner puts her life and livelihood at risk, but she can't let him go. When a trio of disparate characters—her dead husband's sister, a vindictive shopkeeper, and the local mine owner she once swindled—threaten to ruin her, Ruby must face the consequences of her choices. But as always, she does what she needs to in order to provide for herself and her sons.
Set against the breathtaking beauty of Arizona's Sonoran Desert, Hardland is a story of survival, resilience, and female empowerment. Ruby Fortune is a tough, fast-talking, shoot-from-the-hip heroine who refuses to be a victim. She is a force to be reckoned with, and she will do whatever it takes to protect her family.