Sunday, May 23, 2010
I’m not proud of this, Lena, but I’m pretty sure it was so I could say I was too busy to dust and vacuum.
Sounds like a good reason to me. If you weren’t an author, what would be your dream job?
When I was a kid, I always wanted to build roads. I was just on a new interstate on-ramp in Omaha, Nebraska, the other day and it’s really amazing, the swooping, the merging, moving all that traffic smoothing (well, except for rush hour. . .and wrecks. . .and getting lost. . .but otherwise smoothly). I think I was influenced at an impressionable age by seeing my first overpass. I just remember comparing it to the Appian Way in Rome (what year do kids study that in school—and YES it was history, even back when I was in school—shut up) and thinking, “This will last forever. I’d love to be part of building something that lasted forever.” And now, when I think of that, and think of my books, well, you know, they’ll last forever. Maybe it’s part of the Christian heart to believe in and long for eternal things.
If you could have lived at another time in history, what would it be and why?
Oh, I’d definitely live NOW, unless you forced me. I’m just not kidding myself about how much I love air conditioning and a nice, tidy furnace in the winter. It was a hard business surviving pre-penicillin, pre-electricity.
What place in the United States have you not visited that you would like to?
I’ve got a good sized bucket list. I’d like to see where the Columbia River flows out into the Pacific. I’d love to see the leaves turn in New England and see all those historical buildings in Massachusetts. I’ve never been to Washington D.C. I’m not so much drawn to big cities though, but I’d make an exception for D.C. and maybe Philadelphia. I’d like to float down the Mississippi on a paddle wheel boat (with air conditioning of course). I’d like to stay one night at the Del Coronado Hotel in San Diego. I’ve heard it’s stunning and the beaches are fantastic. I’d love to spend time in the Rocky Mountains, I’ve done it enough to know I want more. And I’d love to see Alaska, I wish I could see the Northern Lights.
My husband spent fifteen months in Alaska before we met, and he doesn't remember seeing them. How about a foreign country you hope to visit?
I’m not so drawn to foreign countries, what interests me is ancient things. To that end, I’d like to see old, moldering castles in England and the Coliseum in Rome. I’d like to see pyramids in Egypt and those pyramids in Mexico, too. Machu Picchu, is that what it’s called?
Yeah, in Peru. I have friends who have been there. What lesson has the Lord taught you recently?
I need to relax and let my mind go to what has touched me about the Lord lately. I think what I’m realizing more and more as I grow is that God is interested in our souls. I see people suffer and die. I see bad things happen to good people, and I don’t understand how God can stay back and let things happen. But when I remember that God’s focus is our souls, we see everything differently. When I’m reading the Bible, I try and remember that Jesus was all about bringing souls to the Lord. If he healed someone, there was a purpose behind it greater than making someone well. He was establishing Himself as One who had the authority to forgive sins. Or He was drawing people to Him so they’d heard what He had to say. I just don’t think God is focused on us physically and if you read the Bible with that in mind, it very often gives you a whole different impression of what Jesus means.
Tell us about the featured book?
She doesn't really need saving, but Wade doesn't let that stop him. And she hasn't actually cut him yet so he thinks she'd coming around.
Wade's been trying to rescue women who are doing fine on their own since Cassie Dawson didn't need saving in Montana Rose. Now he's picked the toughest woman he's ever met to protect.
Glowing Sun might end up marrying him out of pure respect for his persistence. . .she can’t get rid of him anyway.
And while Glowing Sun is trying to adjust to a different world, Cassie Dawson is taking lessons on how to be tough from Belle Tanner.
Red may not survive.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Montana Territory – 1877—Spring
Psalm 27:1a - The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?
Gunfire jerked Wade Sawyer awake.
His feet hit the floor before he made a conscious decision to move.
Grabbing his rifle mounted over the door, he rammed his back to the wall, jacked a shell into the chamber and listened.
Another shot fired, then another. The volley went on and on. Many guns blazing. Even as he figured that out, he realized the gunfire wasn’t close.
Wade yanked the shack’s door open. In the heavy woods and the dim light of approaching dawn, there wasn’t much to see, but he knew the ruckus wasn’t aimed at him.
It had another target and from the direction of the sound he knew what. . .or rather who.
Glowing Sun. And her village.
Already dressed because he slept in his clothes, he yanked his boots on. Snagging his heavily lined buckskin coat off the peg on the wall, he dashed toward his horse, yanking the jacket on while he ran.
Living in a meadow Wade had penned off, his chestnut gelding had his head up, alerted by the shooting, staring toward the noise. Wade lassoed the horse and had leather slapped onto the animal within two minutes. Wade swung up and slid his rifle into the boot of the saddle. Letting loose a yell that’d make a rebel soldier proud, Wade kicked his horse and charged toward death.
The shots kept ringing, echoing from the Flathead village high on the mountain top.
His horse was game and terror goaded Wade to risk the treacherous trails at break neck pace.
But it was too far.
Racing up a deer trail, he knew, no matter how fast he rode and how much he risked, he’d be too late. He was already too late when the shooting started.
The hail of bullets ended. Wade galloped on. The weapons falling silence only made Wade more sure that whatever damage was being done, was over. In the gray of dawn, that silence ate at him, only interrupted by his horse’s thundering hoof beats. He reached the base of the rise surrounding the Flathead village and he tore up the mountainside.
A horse sky-lined itself, a masked rider atop it. A struggling woman thrown over his lap, screamed, clawing, kicking. A blonde woman, dressed in Indian garb, her hair catching the rising sun.
Screaming as only Glowing Sun could scream. She was still alive. Wade felt a wash of relief mixed with rage and terror as he goaded his horse forward. He could rescue her. Save her. He was in time.
Wade closed the distance, his horse blowing hard as it galloped up the rugged hillside, hoofs thundering. Still a long upward quarter of a mile away, Wade wasn’t close enough yet to open fire. Afraid he’d hit Glowing Sun, Wade drew his rifle and carefully fired over the man’s head.
At the instant he pulled the trigger, three masked riders topped the hill, riding at full speed.
Wade’s bullet slammed the first one backward. The man shouted. His horse reared. A splash of bright red bloomed on the man’s shirt. Grabbing at the saddle horn, the outlaw showed great skill by keeping his seat. But he lost control of his mount and plowed into the horse bearing Glowing Sun and her abductor.
Shocked and sickened to have shot a man, Wade grimly raced on toward Glowing Sun.
The masked man just behind the one Wade had wounded swung his gun at Wade in a way that struck Wade as awkward or somehow wrong. The shooter hesitated, then without firing a shot, abandoned the fight, whirled and race his horse back the way he’s come.
The third man, skinny, but beyond that unrecognizable behind his kerchief, turned to face Wade’s gunfire. The instant he saw Wade he turned coyote like the other outlaw and ran, leaving his wounded friend and the man who had Glowing Sun behind.
Glowing Sun gave an impossible twist of her body and an ear splitting shriek. She kicked herself over backward, landing a bare foot in the man’s face. He must have yanked on the reins because the horse reared, neighing and fighting the bit, skidding and spinning. As the horse threatened to go over backward, the man threw himself to the ground.
Glowing Sun went with him, screaming but not with fear or pain. It sounded like fury, killing mean rage. And it sounded strong. Wade prayed she hadn’t been hurt.
Wade, still galloping full ahead up the long slope, leveled his rifle one-handed and fired again, even higher this time.
The man Wade had shot gained control of his horse, wheeled and dashed after the other bandits.
The fallen man leapt to his feet, still holding onto Glowing Sun. Then Wade realized the masked man wasn’t holding her, he was fighting her off.
Shouting Flathead words Wade didn’t understand, she had one hand jammed into the man’s throat as she slashed with her knife.
With the sharp smack of his backhand on Glowing Sun’s face, the man broke her grip. Her blade slashed, catching a flare of light from the first beams of the rising sun, cutting the man across his arm and chest. The outlaw yowled in pain.
Staggering back, Glowing Sun screamed an Indian battle cry and dove at him. She caught his kerchief and pulled it down. Then her fingers slipped. She fell and slid down the steep hillside on her back.
Wade fired again, his horse thundering forward.
Stay alive. Stay alive.
He’d be there in seconds. But one bullet, one slash of a blade could rob the world—and Wade—of Glowing Sun’s courage and beauty and indomitable spirit.
The outlaw jerked his gun free and shot at Wade. There was no blast. The gun jammed or was empty. Wade thought of the volley of gunfire that had awakened him and suspected the man had emptied his gun already.
Fury twisting his face, the man, his mask dangling around his neck, gave Wade one wild look. Wade saw his face plainly. Blood poured over his thick, black beard and down the front of his heavy sheepskin coat. The outlaw snatched up his horse’s reins, threw himself into the saddle and, in two leaping stride, his horse vanished over the rim, following the other outlaws into the Flathead valley.
Wade reined hard as he reached Glowing Sun. His horse nearly sat down as it slid to a stop. Wade swung to the ground and raced to Glowing Sun’s side. Blood soaked the front of her dress, coated her hands. She jumped to her feet as he got there.
“Where are you hurt?” Frantic, Wade tried to force her onto the ground.
She fought to stay on her feet and slashed the knife.
He only ducked in time because he knew her so well.
I can hardly wait until my book comes. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Petticoats & Pistols
Thank you, Mary, for spending another interesting time with us.
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