Sunday, July 7, 2013

Guest Post w/ Jennifer Zane--The Wild West...

Desperate to escape a fiancé who plans to marry, then murder her for her wealth, Margaret Atwater runs West as a mail-order bride. Freedom seems to be within her grasp until her stage coach is robbed and the driver killed. Her life is spared, only to be taken and sold to a brothel. Now she's a high dollar ante for the brothel owner, and the only eyewitness to cold-blooded murder.

Colorado sheriff, Grant Masterson, is looking for a killer, not a woman. When a round of cards turns into a high-stakes game for the life and future of the lovely and innocent Miss Margaret Atwater, he must win. Grant isn't prepared for the danger and chaos that haunts his prize. Outlaws are trying to kill her. The brothel owner wants her back. And a man from her past is willing to do anything to reclaim what he lost. Will bullets and brawn be enough to save her?

The Wild West-- More Than Mountains

I live in the West. I've lived in both Montana and in Colorado. I love the mountains. If I'm asked the question- “Beach or mountains?” I say mountains. I love how summer is almost a treat in some mountain areas; it's so short that the flowers, grasses and plants are so spectacular because they've earned that right surviving a harsh winter.

The West isn't all mountains, however. Half of Colorado is plains. More than half of Montana, the same. Sweeping grasslands that change colors in amazing ways as the sun sets. I LOVE the prairie. Driving through the west (and I'm not limiting this statement to specific states), I think the plains and grasslands get overlooked.

My book, The Lady And The Lawman, is set in Colorado, but in a tiny town on the open prairie. No trees, no mountains, except in the far distance. The unrelenting heat, the dangers of flash flooding, the sweeping winds all belong to the prairie.
Sporadic gunfire continued in the background as she dug her heels into the horse’s flank again, pushing him harder. Wind made tears come to her eyes and slide down her cheeks. It was difficult to hear if someone followed, her horse’s hooves charging over the flat terrain blocked out everything around her. She looked over her shoulder as hair whipped into her eyes, and saw no pursuers in the darkness.

Slowing after a few minutes, listening to the night, she allowed time for the animal to rest. All was quiet except for the rustling of the grass against the wind and the howl of a wild animal she guessed to be a coyote on the prowl. She patted the horse’s sweaty flank in gratitude at their narrow escape.
All that you can hear on the plains is the rustling of the grass, moved by an unseen wind. I hope you enjoy The Lady And The Lawman as much as I enjoyed writing it.

~Jennifer Zane

Have any comment or questions for Jennifer?
Do you have a favorite Wild West read?

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