Tag Archives: Wyoming

Romancing The 8–Dreams of Gold

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Here are eight paragraphs from the opening scene of my western historical novella set in 1870s Wyoming, Dreams Of Gold:

‘“Hey, driver.” He shot a glance at the top seat. What the hell? A slender, yellow feather bobbed above the driver’s seat. He set a boot on the wheel hub and levered himself up for a better look. On the near side of the seat slumped the stage’s regular driver, Pete McGinnis, blood staining the right side of his shirt. Quinn stretched to lay a hand on the young man’s chest. Relief shot through him when he felt a shallow rise with each labored breath. Alive, but struggling.

Twisting to his left, he scanned the nearby storefronts and spotted a young boy scratching a stick in the dirt. “Hey, Billy. Run and fetch the doctor.” From a vest pocket, he pulled out a coin and flipped it at the boy’s feet. “Hurry now.”

As soon as the boy started off, Quinn turned back to the coach. “Ma’am?” The female now leaned against the back of the seat—head still down, stiff arms extended. “Miss?” He reached a hand over her fists and pulled on the reins. Under his touch, her arms trembled, but her fists remained clenched. Was the woman deaf? He hopped down and jogged around the back of the coach, glancing through the window at empty bench seats.

With a hand braced on the side of the coach, he set the brake. “Miss, release the reins.” He gently pried open the young woman’s gloved fists so he could tie off the reins. Under the hat brim, her eyes were squeezed shut, and he feared she might be injured, too.

“Are you hurt, ma’am?” He glanced over her slim figure clothed in a dark green jacket and skirt. Lean legs outlined by the dusty skirt and a rounded bosom moving in quick rhythm woke heat in his gut. At the inexplicable reaction, he clenched his jaw. Assessing possible injuries was part of his duty, but ogling a defenseless lady was not.

Had she fainted? He slid a finger under her chin and lifted. Her skin was as smooth as silk. Light brown lashes lay against creamy cheeks dusted with freckles. “Ma’am?”

She moaned, and her eyelids fluttered and then opened. “Are we safe? Did I drive us to a town?”

Hers were the greenest eyes he’d ever seen. Jade…that was the color. The intensity of her gaze hit him like a roundhouse punch straight to his chest. “You’re in Bull City, ma’am. I’m Sheriff Riley. Can you tell me what happened?”

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Character Interview from Dearest Darling

Sit on down and enjoy meeting Daniel Saunders, the hero of Dearest Darling, the latest western historical by Andrea Downing.

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

Howdy, Miz Carroll-Bradd, and thank you so much for inviting me here today—or for asking Andrea to send me on over.  My name’s Daniel Saunders and I appear in Miz Downing’s new book, Dearest Darling.  I’m not quite sure what other basics you might be wantin’—and I don’t want to be rude, but I have a ranch to run so am gonna have to be brief here.  Left my stock and have my neighbor, Jamie Jenkins, looking after it…

Where were you raised? 

In New York City, believe it or not.  But I came west to Wyoming when I was just over age twenty.

Did you attend college? 

Ha! Well.  No, I didn’t and I’m not goin’ to say much more on that subject for fear of givin’ too much of Andrea’s story away.  I would’ve liked to attend college but…you’ll have to read the book to find out why I didn’t go.

Are you athletic? 

Ma’am, you work cattle and run a ranch some eighteen hours a day, you’ve got to be more than what y’all call ‘athletic.’   What the hell’s ‘athletic’ mean anyway?  Muscular?  It takes more than ‘athletic’ to sit a horse and swing a loop, believe me.

Did you always want to be a rancher?

No, ma’am.  The thought never even crossed my mind until…well, if I tell y’all Andrea will string me up, so I better stay hushed on the matter.  I actually thought at one stage I might be a lawyer and go into practice with my friend.  That would’ve been a mistake.

What do you like most about ranching? 

Being my own boss and not having to deal with the liars, cheats and scoundrels of this world.  Then again, I also appreciate being outside most of the day in the beautiful scenery of the Tetons.  Have you been? 

What are your reading tastes? 

Quite honestly, I read just about anything I can lay my hands on.  Most nights I’m too damn tired to read and haven’t got much time the rest of the day,’cept of course in the winter months.  Hated Hawthorne in school but I do like that Mark Twain as he calls himself.  Funny man.

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you? 

Shoot, come on now, Miz Carroll-Bradd.  You’re asking that of a man whose story is built ‘round the fact he sent tickets to one mail order bride and another woman shows up in her place?  Can anything crazier than that happen to a person?  I ask you…

Look, I’ve enjoyed this little chat of ours, and I do greatly appreciate you havin’ me here and tryin’ to get all these good folks to read my story, but I really do have to get back to the ranch.  I’ll stop in every so often to say howdy to all your kind guests.  Y’all come by and visit now, ya hear!

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BLURB:

Stuck in a life of servitude to her penny-pinching brother, Emily Darling longs for a more exciting existence. When a packet with travel tickets, meant for one Ethel Darton, accidentally lands on her doormat, Emily sees a chance for escape. Having turned down the dreary suitors that have come her way, is it possible a new existence also offers a different kind of man?

Daniel Saunders has carved out a life for himself in Wyoming—a life missing one thing: a wife. Having scrimped and saved to bring his mail-order bride from New York, he is outraged to find in her stead a runaway fraud. Even worse, the impostor is the sister of his old enemy.

But people are not always as they seem, and sometimes the heart knows more than the head.

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©nathandehartphotography-andreadowning copy

BIO:

Andrea Downing likes to say that when she decided to do a Masters Degree, she made the mistake of turning left out of New York, where she was born,  instead of right to the west, and ended up in the UK.   She eventually married there, raising a beautiful daughter and staying for longer than she cares to admit.  Teaching, editing a poetry magazine, writing travel articles, and a short stint in Nigeria filled those years until in 2008 she returned to NYC.  She now divides her time between the city and the shore, and often trades the canyons of New York for the wide open spaces of Wyoming.  Family vacations are often out west and, to date, she and her daughter have been to some 20 ranches throughout the west.

Loveland, her first book, was a finalist for Best American Historical at the 2013 RONE Awards.  Lawless Love, a short story, part of The Wild Rose Press ‘Lawmen and Outlaws’ series, was a finalist for Best Historical Novella at the 2014 RONE Awards.   Dearest Darling, a novella, is part of The Wild Rose Press ‘Love Letters’ series, and comes out Oct. 8th and Dances of the Heart, another full length novel, comes out in the next few months.

Links to Social Media:  WEBSITE AND BLOG:  http://andreadowning.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/writerAndreaDowning

Twitter:  @andidowning  https://twitter.com/AndiDowning

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6446229.Andrea_Downing

Linkedin:  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=124888740&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:  http://www.amazon.com/Andrea-Downing/e/B008MQ0NXS/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0