Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I love writing both historical novels and suspense, so I think my favorite is historical suspense. The Blacksmith’s Bravery and other books in the Ladies’ Shooting Club series have some mystery or suspense in them. Another example of this genre is my recent book The Crimson Cipher, set in 1915. They let me bring together romance, history, and suspense in a blend that’s fun to write and exciting to read.
If you didn’t live in the part of the country where you do, where would you live?
Probably back in Maine, my home state. I lived there most of my life. I recently moved to Kentucky, and I love it here, but if I hadn’t made the move, no doubt I’d still be back in the frozen north.
What foreign country would you like to visit and why?
I love traveling, but right now I’d most like to revisit England. I was privileged to go there when I was in college. It was a wonderful experience, and now it would be even more special, because my daughter Megan (who authored the Mainely Mysteries series with me) now lives there.
Describe what you think would be the most romantic vacation you could take.
A trip with someone I love to an exotic setting and no glitches in travel.
Yeah, those glitches can really kill the romance. Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?
I’m thinking about setting one here in Kentucky.
What is the main theme of this novel?
Acceptance and forgiveness play a big part in The Blacksmith’s Bravery. Griffin must accept Vashti as she is, as well as his nephew and himself. Vashti needs to forgive Griffin’s blunders and her own past.
Vashti Edwards works at the Spur & Saddle in Fergus, Idaho. By age twelve, Vashti was orphaned and working her way west in saloons. In Fergus, she’s found new hope in Christian friends from The Ladies Shooting Club and an employer who turned her saloon into a restaurant. But money’s tight, and Vashti tries to get the job she’s dreamed of—as a stagecoach driver. Griffin Bane, local blacksmith, is overseeing the stagecoach line and admits he needs more help. But can a woman—even one known to be a good markswoman—handle the challenges and dangers on the trail? And can he brave the beautiful distraction she makes riding alongside him?
Please give us the first page of the book. (Lena, this is not page one, but it’s an excerpt from chapter one.) Works for me.
Vashti scurried behind the serving counter that had been made out of the old bar. She poured two glasses of water. Bitsy paused beside her on her way into the kitchen to give Augie the Nashes’ order.
“Before it gets busy, could you run across and see if Griffin’s got the ticket office open yet? I don’t want to get there at the last minute and not have my ticket.”
“Yes’m.” Vashti delivered the water glasses with a smile to the Nashes and ducked out the door and across the street.
She hiked up her skirt and ran past the emporium and across the alley to the stagecoach office. The big blacksmith had shed his apron and was tacking a notice to the wall beside the door.
“Mr. Bane, Miss Bitsy sent me for her ticket to Boise again.” Vashti halted beside him, panting.
He looked up. “Oh, sure. Just a second.” He hammered a final tack into the poster and went inside. “You got the money?”
“Yes.” Vashti stared at the notice he’d posted.
Help wanted—stage coach drivers, blacksmith, livery stable hands. Inquire within.
She pulled in a deep breath, squared her shoulders, and stepped inside. Griffin sat at the desk, fumbling at the ticket book with his big hands.
“You said she’s going through to Boise?”
“That’s right. On business. Taking the two o’clock.”
Griffin wrote in the book and tore out the ticket. “Three dollars and six bits.”
Vashti handed over the money Bitsy had given her that morning. “I noticed that poster you put up.”
“Uh huh.” Griffin gave her the ticket. He put the ticket book in a drawer and in the process knocked his pen off the desk. He bent to retrieve it.
“It says you’re hiring.”
He sat up and squinted at her. “That’s right. I need some more manpower.”
She ignored the “man” part and plunged on. “Mr. Bane, I’d love the chance to drive. I learned how when I was kid, and I’ve always been good with horses. I know I could do the job.”
His jaw dropped.
“If you’ll give me a chance, I can take the stage through. I know I can, easy as pie.”
Griffin stood and stared down at her with such a thunderous expression that Vashti faltered to a stop and waited.
“You want to drive?”
He threw back his head and laughed.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is: http://www.susanpagedavis.com/
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Thank you, Susan, for spending this time with us.
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