My friend Josie Malone has a paranormal mainstream western romance soon to be released by Book Stand. She is my guest blogger today, so she can tell you all about it–and what she has to say about the color of horses. Here is the link to Josie’s website, so you can learn more about this real life cowgirl and the books she writes. Happy trails, Naomi
Thanks for the invite. A Woman’s Place will be out April 3rd and it was a fun book to write since it was a spin-off of the first book I did for BookStrand, A Man’s World. In that historical western romance, Trace Burdette masqueraded as a man, fooling everyone but new neighbor, ruggedly handsome Zebadiah Prescott. With their love on the line, they had to deal with the past and the outlaw who killed her grandfather and stalked her. By the time that A Woman’s Place begins, Trace and Zeb have been married for just over six months when renegades rob the bank she owns in the town of Junction City.
So, our hero, Rad Morgan, the marshal of Junction City sets off to capture the miscreants. Along the way, he meets his match, and Iraqi War veteran/homicide detective Beth Chambers takes no prisoners. She’ll fit right into 1888 Washington Territory. Of course, I had to figure out how to get a woman from 2012 to the Old West and why she was even there, but that was part of the adventure and the paranormal elements kept escalating. Much to Rad’s initial dismay, Beth and Trace become fast friends.
This week has been a busy one, between all of the family responsibilities, working the farm, substitute teaching and doing copy edits on A Woman’s Place. I received the book cover and was thrilled that the heroine matched what I had written. However, her Arabian stallion was a very light gray, almost white, not the steel gray that I had in mind when I did the book. So, during copy edits, I spent a lot of time fixing Tigger’s color so he matched the horse on the cover. I know I’m fussy but over the years, I’ve seen quite a few books where the models looked nothing like the hero or heroine the writer created. I like to be able to see the characters so I want them to match the text.
Of course, tying the cover and the book together all started for me when I sold my first young adult novel twenty-plus years ago. It was a story about a girl dealing with her father’s Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In the story, she hugged her dad a lot so when the editor suggested that as a cover idea, I was all for it. Imagine my shock when my author copies arrived and the girl looked more like a woman than a thirteen-year-old and the “dad” she hugged might have been ten years older than she was. While I tried to deal with that, the middle-grade kids who were buying the book pointed out the engagement ring on the third finger of her left hand.
While I worked on the copy-edits for A Woman’s Place, I thought about the way I teach colors of horses to the kids who come to camp. Gray is considered one of the most common colors. A gray horse can be dark or light gray. They often start out almost black and slowly lighten over the years. The difference between a true black horse and a gray is that the black won’t have any white hairs mixed into the coat. A dark gray will have those white hairs and may be called a “blue-roan.” The best way to tell if the horse is gray or white is to look at the nose, around the ears, the lower legs and the forelock, mane and tail. If there are any gray hairs mixed in, the horse is gray.
And that was Tigger, Beth’s horse. Now, he’s almost a white Arabian – which works because everybody knows the hero or in this case the heroine rides a white horse as she heads off to save the day!
A Woman’s Place BLURB:
Trailing a serial killer, Homicide Detective Beth Chambers is thrust into 1888 Washington Territory where she encounters injured Rad Morgan, a ruggedly handsome marshal who believes A Woman’s Place is behind her man. Now, Beth must save Rad’s life, apprehend the killer, and prove herself capable as a law officer.
Former soldier and survivor of Andersonville Prison Camp, Marshal Rad Morgan faces his toughest challenge in Beth Chambers, a determined woman from the future who’s never learned “her place.” But when he is shot and left for dead, he must put himself in Beth’s hands if they both want to survive.
Can these two headstrong people put their pride aside and work together to find the deadly killer and stop him before he destroys this world and their future? As they fight for justice, love helps them discover A Woman’s Place is what and where she chooses to make it.