Monday, July 25, 2011

Anna Kathryn Lanier: Salvation Bride

This week Romancing The West features Anna Kathryn Lanier, author of Salvation Bride, a story featuring a heroine who is a doctor in post-Civil War Texas.

Title: Salvation Bride
Buy Links: Amazon * B&N Nook * Fictionwise
The Wild Rose Press

About Salvation Bride

The hot dusty town of Salvation, Texas has more than its share of secrets in 1873 when Laura Ashton's stage rolls into town. Sheriff David Slade has no idea what baggage his mail-order bride is bringing into his life. Throw in the nightmares from his Civil War days and he's got more than courting to contend with. Laura's a woman ahead of her time, a woman trained in medicine. And she's got a will that could move mountains. Unfortunately, the only mountains in Salvation are in Sheriff Slade's memory. Can the determined doctor heal his pain, or will the dark secret in her past turn up to steal his Salvation Bride?

See the end of this interview for details

RTW: Other than Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, there weren't many lady doctors in the frontier. Why did Laura want to be a doctor and where did she receive her training?

AKL: There were probably more female doctors in the West than in the East, for several reasons. One, the west was more open to change than the east. Second, when the only doctor in 200 miles is female, well, by golly, you just might allow her to remove that bullet. Laura became a doctor because her uncle, the person who rescued her from an orphanage, was a doctor. He trained her as his assistant and after his death, she moved to Texas, taking her training with her.

RTW: She's also a mail-order bride. I love mail-order bride stories and I know others do, too. What do you think is so intriguing about this scenario?

AKL: I think it’s the unknown that attracts people to the story. It’s a great adventure and no one, neither the groom, the bride nor the reader truly knows what they are going to find at the end of the day. In Salvation Bride, I set the story up so that the couple has to marry the day they meet. That forces them to find answers to their problems. She just can’t get up and leave town because it didn’t work out.

RTW: The Civil War was brutal and gives storytellers lots of fodder for angst. Without giving out any spoilers, can you talk about David's backstory?

AKL: As a good Southerner, David joins the Confederate Army. He was taken prisoner and spent part of the war in a POW camp. He has a lot of nightmares to overcome, from the camp and what happened at home while he was gone, and Laura might be the person to help heal him, if only he’d let her.

RTW: Research is an author's best friend but sometimes it can overtake the story. How do you balance researching with the actual writing?

AKL: Well, for one thing, if you wrote what actually happened, people wouldn’t believe you. For example, I was reading a diary of a woman who traveled west on a wagon train. The men were hunting while traveling during the day. A young boy’s gun failed to fire and he tossed it into the wagon. The wagon then hit a rut. A man several yards away fell to the ground. At first, they thought he’d shot himself, but his gun was cold. They finally realized that the gun in the wagon had gone off when it hit the rut. I really want to use that in a story sometime….but will anyone believe it?

It is hard to get carried away with research, but you just have to know how much to put into the story and what you just need to know in your head to write the scene.

RTW: Please introduce the events leading up to your excerpt.

AKL: Laura has arrived in Salvation, Texas thinking she’ll have a few months to get to know her husband-to-be before they wed, but upon arrival, she learns they must marry that evening because the preacher changed his circuit route. David misunderstands her reaction to the news, thinking it’s because she’s afraid of bedding a stranger, so he promises her ‘no sex.’ What follows below is their wedding ceremony, just hours after they met in person.

Excerpt of Salvation Bride
A stir at the back of the room caught his attention. His bride stood in the doorway clutching a bouquet of wild flowers. His breath seized in his chest and his gut tightened. Had he really told her he wouldn’t bed her?

He thought her pretty before, but now, with her dark-gold hair pulled atop her head, ringlets framing her freshly-scrubbed face, and dressed in a gown of light blue, she was beautiful. And in a few minutes she’d legally be his.

David recited his vows, his bride standing tall beside him, her head coming to his shoulder. She spoke in a clear, strong voice, only faltering once at “to love, honor, and obey.” Did she feel the weight of the lie as much as he did? She glanced at him when she stumbled, her gray eyes shimmering with tears she blinked away.

“With this ring, I thee wed.” He slipped the gold band he’d purchased through the mercantile onto her slender finger. It was a half-size too big. She clenched her hand into a fist and stared at the ring, then glanced at him, a smile on her face.
“You may kiss your bride,” the preacher said.

David leaned down and brushed a light, dry kiss onto her lips. Desire shot to his groin at the butterfly touch. He stepped away from his wife before she suspected he would be hard pressed to keep his promise not to bed her.

The small crowd of guests rushed forward to greet the newlyweds. The ladies hugged them. The men pumped his hand, whispered lurid comments and winked before moving on to kiss his bride on the cheek and to wish her luck in taming him.

Laura gave a shaky smile as she thanked them. He took her hand in his and squeezed.

“It’ll be alright,” he whispered.

She nodded. “I suppose so, Sheriff. What choice do we have but to do our best to make the other happy?”

RTW: What else do you have for us? Please mention your other books.

AKL: I have one other historical out right now, a short story set in Victorian England, TEMPT ME TWICE. I also have three contemporary westerns out: The Priceless Gift, it’s a sequel to A Gift Beyond All Measure, and a sort of sequel to Salvation Bride, as the hero is the descendant of Laura and David, A Cowboy's Dream. More information on all these stories can be found at my website.

RTW: Anything else you'd like to mention?

In August, I’ll be presenting an online class Pioneering Women of the West at Hearts Through History’s campus.  (See details below, in the contest information.)

I have a blog, as well. On Mondays, I have a guest author, on Wednesdays I post a recipe, and on occasion, I post something about a historical event or person. I also give away monthly prizes. I hope you’ll stop by and say hi sometime. .

Thanks for having me, Jacquie!

And now for the contest information. :)

Anna Kathryn is giving away a copy of Salvation Bride, a best-selling ebook from The Wild Rose Press, to one lucky commenter. Another lucky person will win free registration for her August workshop:

Pioneering Women of the West.
August 1-31, 2011

The West was discovered by men looking for adventure and fortune. But it was civilized by women who brought families, schools, churches, and stability to the area.

In Pioneering Women of the West, you'll learn about the western movement, the treacherous journey hundreds of thousands people took and of the lives of specific women who helped shape the West, intentionally or not. Some women went looking for a better life; others followed their man into the wilderness.

There will be three lectures a week, with time for questions and answers and additional research on the participants' part.

Drawing for both prizes will be held at 10pm Central Time on Saturday, July 30. 

One Romancing The West Follower will receive a $25 Amazon gift certificate.  Drawing for that is July 31 at 10pm Pacific Time.


  1. Oh Yes, I was a big fan of the Dr. Quinn show! I love westerns and books about women in situations they are not usually in (woman doctor in the old west!)and I like the mail order bride angle also. I'm a big book fan and would love a copy of Salvation Bride.


  2. I've read all Anna'a books (so I don't need to be entered in the drawing for SB), they're wonderful! And so is she...always willing to lend a hand anywhere she can!!

  3. Loved the interview and the excerpt! I'm a sucker for the western hero, especially in the 19th century. Strong heroines are the only ones who can tame him. I know I'll enjoy reading Salvation Bride.

    Best of luck.

  4. Hi, Liz. Thanks for stopping by. I probably shouldn't admit to this, but I never watched Dr. Quinn. I've heard it's a great show and I should look for it in reruns. I think the west opened a lot of opportunities to women that they didn't have in the east. They were much more able to do the 'unusal' in the west and though it was still tough on them, there was still more freedom.

    Aw, Tess. Thanks! I think you're wonderful, too.

    Hi, Jannine. Thanks for the comments. David had a really hard time in the war and on the home front, he needs the love a good woman to help him overcome his past, and I think Laura is the woman to do that!

  5. BTW, blogger really doesn't like me....I do not understand its problem, but it doesn't let me post using my blogger account, so I have to go with my AIM account. I have no idea what's up with that!

  6. This is funny to me....just now I got a google alert for Anna Kathryn Lanier. It's telling me that Salvation Bride is available at Barnes and Noble for the nook. LOL. Really, I find that ironic, since I just happen to be posting about the story today. I know it's out for Kindle, too, but since google was kind enough to send me the link, here's thre one for the nook:

    Oh, what the heck, I looked it up for the Kindle, which took all of 5 seconds:

    You can wait until I draw for a winner before you buy it, if you want. LOL

  7. Thank you for the interview. The story about the gun does seem kind of far fetched, but I'd totally use it! Or something akin to that. Poor kid.

    melorabrock {at} gmail {dot} com

  8. I too loved Dr. Quinn (esp. the first couple of seasons) and I love mail order bride stories;) This is my favorite era to read and write about. I'm a Civil War re-enactor and have learned at lot by "living" the research. I also love watching the History Channel when they have Civil War based info. They've done a couple of great ones on prison camps -- both Union and Confederate.
    Fingers crossed that I win! LOL

  9. Female doctors are fun to read an write. Thank you for the wonderful interview ladies.

  10. Hi, Melora, Jennifer and Paty. Thanks for stopping by.

    Melora, the gun story was in The Diary of Sarah Raymond Herndon "Days on the Road."

    Jennifer, I would have loved to be a re-enactor. Well, I guess I still could be, but that always seemed like such a fun thing to do.

    Yes, Paty has a book out about a female doctor, don't you? You have one about a female sheriff, I know that.

  11. Melinda, thanks for stopping by today! We're in for a big treat when your article on women doctors is published on Thursday. :)

  12. This was an enjoyable and informative post, Jacquie and Anna. I do love mail-order bride stories.

  13. Hi, Gerri. Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Hi, Gerri. Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Anna,

    I love Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. What a wonderful TV show that was.

    I enjoy reading about men and women who ventured west. They had to be courageous. I'm not sure I would have been brave enough. lol

    I just saw Mail Order Bride starring Daphne Zuniga not too long ago on the Hallmark Channel. I Tivo'd it just because of the title. lol I do love tales where the hero and heroine are still learning they like each other before they actually fall in love.

    I wish you the very best with your book.

    I'm sure enjoying your posts here, but it's right dangerous when I want to buy everyone's book. lol

  16. LOL, Karen. I know what you mean. We have so many talented author friends--we'd go broke if we bought half the books. But we can help out by spreading the word. :)

  17. Hi, Karen. Thanks for stopping by. I liked "Sarah, Plain and Tall." I think Hallmark did that book, too, but maybe not. I need to find the book and re-read it. If I remember correctly, she was a mailorder bride.

  18. Anna-
    I'll have to check out Plain and Tall. Gotta love the Hallmark channel.

    Jacquie-- I'll definitely spread the word. :)

  19. Karen, let me correct what I said, the book Sarah, Plain and Tall is by Patricia MacLachlan and just now looking it up at Barnes and Noble, I see it's a children's book. But I do know it was a made-for-tv movie. Glenn Close stars as Sarah and Christopher Walken as the man looking for a bride. And Hallmark did do the movie!

  20. Anna,

    Thanks for letting me know. Man, this must be an old one. If Glen Close is the mail order bride. lol

  21. Intriguing post, Anna Kathryn, and lovely contest.

    Jacquie, love your blogsite.

  22. Your excerpt was intriguing. I forwarded it to some friends who would also love to discover your writing. Very well crafted.

  23. Hi, Caroline and June. Thanks for stopping by. June, what a sweet thing to say. Thanks for the support.

  24. Hi, Caroline and June. Thanks for stopping by. June, what a sweet thing to say. Thanks for the support.

  25. Thanks, everyone, for stopping by today. :)


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