by Heather Long
Heather Long is our guest this week on Romancing The West. Yep, another Texan. At a young age, she enjoyed Harlequin romances that her grandmother read to her, so she was hooked early.
RTW: Welcome, Heather! First of all, please tell us about your book.
HL: Cody Morning Star left his family behind and planned to die; the wolf shifter’s animal half mourned the only love he thought they would ever know. But Kid’s problems kept Cody going, kept Cody following him and when they saved the gypsy princess Mariska. Mariska’s tempestuousness proved far more alluring than Cody’s grief, but the three of them must confront individual truths or risk losing everything.
See deets at the bottom of this article
RTW: What aspect of life in the Old West intrigues you the most? Did you work that into Brave Are the Lonely?
HL: The Old West was a difficult time, when surviving required a heroic amount of effort every single day. Communication over long distances took time, travel took time and you had to care for your horses better than you care for yourself or you were on your own. Those are all aspects that filter into my work.
RTW: If you lived in the Old West, what modern convenience would you miss the most?
HL: Running water.
|Heather Long, author|
RTW: Are there any common errors in western historical romances that bug you?
HL: I don’t mind errors or anachronisms believe it or not. I think of every book as a window into what could have been. Historical accuracy is great, but sometimes I want to know what could have been...not what was.
RTW: Why is Cody perfect for Mariska?
HL: Cody is stubborn, but he’s also loyal. He was raised with his brothers and sister, he knows the value of family. Once he pledges to someone, he never walks away, he never gives up and he will defend them to his dying breath. He and Mariska clash a great deal when they first meet, but she also brings out in him the more romantic side.
RTW: Please set up the excerpt you have for us today.
HL: This excerpt comes from the beginning of the book when Cody is still in his wolf form. He’s not been willing to turn human since leaving Texas. But his devotion to pack keeps him on his feet, pushing forward.
Excerpt of Brave Are the Lonely by Heather Long
Cody followed the curve of the wash trail Kid rode. The faint scent of water, rabbit, scrub brush and mice tickled his nose. The smaller animals went quiet in his passage and he left them be. He wasn’t hungry. Kid’s words echoed in his ears.
His turn to hunt.
The wolf’s mouth fell open, tongue lolling in the wind, sampling the air. He was ever watchful for the dangerous scent of man. Luckily, they were traveling upwind, which brought the scents to him. He would know they were there long before they appeared. Kid was safe for the time being, which meant Cody could roam.
The young man’s frequent visits to every hovel they came across left the wolf bewildered. He refused to follow him to closely, the smell of unwashed bodies, cooking food and strangeness overwhelming. But he never strayed far.
He’d ambushed one angry husband who came after Kid at their first town and frightened off another at the third town. Kid’s insatiable appetites for female companionship didn’t make him discriminating. They’d even spent one rainy night at a remote farmhouse. Cody in the barn with the horses while Kid seduced the absent farmer’s daughter. At least she didn’t have a husband.
The wolf understood the husband’s anger, the rage at Kid’s philandering. But Kid was pack. That meant Cody would protect him.
A long escarpment of rocky outcroppings beckoned. The sun-drenched stone would be warm in the air that turned progressively chilly the further west and higher up they went. Kid said they’d be in the mountains soon, but the distant peaks were closer than Kid believed. Cody grew up on a mountain, one didn’t have to go higher to find the colder air.
Home flashed through his mind. The scents of the lake, the rich pines, firs and cedars were fresh to his tongue. A familiar flame haired female splashing in the icy cold lake, heating the water at the edges until the boys could frolic there as well.
The howl tore out of his throat before he could stop it, hard, long and keening. Scarlett chose another. Cody understood that. She was happy. The man was happy for her.
The wolf missed her.
The land went silent around him, what few critters that hadn’t scrambled out of his way huddled quietly, sure that the end was near. Cody ignored them all. He’d caught the scent of deer the night before. He wanted venison, sick of rabbit, squirrel, grouse and fish. The wolf wouldn’t bother with it all, but Kid said it was his turn.
He would take care of his pack.
RTW: Great opening hook! Where can we buy this book?
RTW: What are you cooking up for us next?
HL: Currently I’m working on my paranormal romance for Siren, but I will have the third book in the Fevered Hearts series, Micah & Mrs. Miller out in the fall. Where Cody’s story was very much the lone drifter, Micah is the affable rancher who may find himself pushed too far.
RTW: More good books to look forward to! Anything else you’d like to add?
HL: Writing Marshal of Hel Dorado was a dream for me and it became a wonderful exodus into the possible past, mingling actual history with paranormal elements. Brave Are the Lonely took me a step further down that rabbit hole and I can’t wait to go see my boys again.
Heather's Surprise!It’s my birthday today and I want to give you a present for my 40th! I’m giving away an eCopy of Brave are the Lonely, just leave a comment with your name and why you like westerns to be entered!
Happy Birthday, Heather, and thanks for spending your special day with RTW!
PLEASE leave your email address with your comment or else we have to draw another name. Last week, the first two names drawn had to be eliminated because they left no contact information.
Drawing will be held April 7th at 9pm Pacific Time.