You're absolutely right,
It does take a lot of people. For this book I'd have to travel back in time to
1852 when Kate Warne asked Allan Pinkerton to hire her. I've never been able to
find out why a young widow would want to be a detective—especially at that time
in history—but I'll always be grateful to her for being the inspiration behind
my Undercover Ladies series.
I also have to mention my wonderful agent, Natasha Kern, who knew my idea would make a great series even before I did. Also, on hand all through the birthing process was my editor Annie Tipton whose sharp eye and thoughtful suggestions always makes a book better. Also, I can't forget to mention the whole Barbour support team.
I also have to mention my readers. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be writing.
Oh yes, we love our readers. If you teach or speak. What’s coming up on your calendar?
I usually have speaking engagements lined up for the year but other than being on a panel at the Cowboy Festival in Newhall I'm taking a break. I've got too many books to write.
That’s a wonderful reason not to have a full speaking schedule. If you had to completely start over in another place, where would you move, and why?
It would take an act of congress to move me out of
California. I love the
weather. Also I love that in less than an hour's time I can travel to the
ocean, the mountains, the desert, or countryside. Nope, not moving.
If you could only tell aspiring novelists one thing, what would it be?
Make your readers use their senses. Give them something to see, hear, taste, or smell in every paragraph.
You’ve been asked to be in charge of a celebrity cruise. Who would you ask to take part, and why? (AS in what program, singers, etc. [it doesn’t have to be writing related])
I'd probably invite the entire cast of Dancing With The Stars and they'd have to teach everyone aboard ship the Argentine Tango. Yep, even my non-dancing husband.
In a nutshell: Maggie Michaels is sent to
as an undercover mail order bride to track down the notorious Whistle-Stop
Bandit. With the clock ticking, she has to prove the suspect guilty before the
wedding—or she could end up as his wife! Arizona Territory
Sounds wonderful. Please give us the first page of the book.
Maggie Taylor spotted the thief the moment she stepped off the Southern-Pacific train and onto the open air platform.
As a Pinkerton operative, she'd dealt with her share of pickpockets through the years, but this one put the profession to shame. The man made no attempt to be discreet; he simply bumped into a male passenger and walked away with the man's gold watch.
Normally, Maggie wouldn't hesitate to go after the culprit, but today she had bigger fish to fry. Chasing after a third rate thief could jeopardize months of hard work and careful preparation and she couldn't take the chance.
It was only after he targeted a young mother with three small children that Maggie changed her mind. The man had to be stopped.
Threading her way through the crowd, she reached the woman ahead of the thief and picked up the drawstring handbag carelessly left next to a carpetbag.
"Your purse, ma'am. There are thieves around. Better keep an eye on it."
The harried mother took the bag from her. She looked no older than nineteen or twenty. "Thank you," she murmured as if thieves were the least of her problems.
Satisfied that the pickpocket's latest attempt at debauchery had been thwarted, Maggie pushed him from her mind and swung her gaze over the crowd. Never before had a new assignment filled her with such anxiety. But then again, never had she attempted such a daring venture.
Would she recognize the suspect on sight?
According to Pinkerton files, Garrett Thomas stood six feet tall, was thirty-five years of age, and had dark hair and blue eyes. His one outstanding feature was a scar along the side of his face—a war wound. He was also extremely clever. Some said even lucky. A suspected thief and murderer, Thomas had endured the Battle of Gettysburg and a year in the
rebel prison— an impressive record of survival by anyone's standards.
Though he was suspected of committing a daring train robbery, his most notable achievement was evading Pinkerton's best detectives for nearly two years. We'll see how long your luck holds out this time, Mr. Thomas. Eventually even a cat runs out of lives.
After checking that her feathered hat was angled just right, she pushed a strand of auburn hair behind her ear and smoothed the bun at her nape. Her wardrobe had been chosen with utmost care and her demeanor meticulously polished.
The goal was to look fashionable but not ostentatious; to act domesticated without appearing dull. At all times she had to be charming, well-spoken and industrious. In matters of politics, religion and finances she must take care not to express a contrary view as she was often inclined to do. In other words, she had to look and act like a woman that any man would be proud, indeed anxious, to wed.
Given her somewhat opinionated and independent spirit, curtailing her impulsive nature would be her greatest challenge. She couldn't afford to do or say anything without careful consideration of the consequences. Not this time.
Not only did she have to make a fine impression but one that would throw no suspicion her way. "Dazzle Thomas with your charm and good looks," Mr. Pinkerton had said. "He won't suspect a thing."
In her current state, she'd be lucky to dazzle a horsefly. She was hot and she was hungry and more than anything, travel-weary.
I can’t wait until my copy arrives. Your books go to the top of my to-be-read list. Where can we find you on the Internet?
If you had lived during the 1800s, under what circumstances would you have considered being a mail order bride or, for that matter a Pinkerton detective?
A very interesting question, Margaret. Thank you for sharing this new book with us. I can't wait to see how my readers answer this question.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Undercover Bride - Christianbook.com
Undercover Bride: (Undercover Ladies) - Amazon
Undercover Bride (Undercover Ladies Book 2) - Kindle
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