by Karen Michelle Nutt
Romancing The West welcomes Karen Michelle Nutt who resides in California with her husband, three fascinating children, and houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chihuahua/Yorkshire terrier is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer. Her Book, Lost in the Mist of Time, was nominated for New Books Review Spotlight Best Fantasy Book of the Year Award 2006. A Twist of Fate was a nominee for Best Time Travel P.E.A.R.L. Award for 2008. Creighton Manor won Honorable Mention P.E.A.R.L. Award 2009. Her new passion is creating book covers for Western Trail Blazers and Rebecca J. Vickery Publishing. In her spare time, she reviews books for PNR-Paranormal Romance Reviews.
Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, historical or time travel, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love. Visit Karen at her website or stop by her blog for Monday interviews, chats, and contests.
RTW: Thanks for dropping by, Karen! To start us off, please tell us about the book you're featuring this week.
KMN: Storm Riders isn’t your typical western. It is a western steampunk tale that takes the readers back in time to a small town called Bodie. Bodie is a mining town with a bad reputation. Ace McTavish is accused of murdering his brother and niece. Samantha Skelley and her Storm Rider partner, Denny Randeli, are in Bodie to fix a rift in time, which so happens to be Ace’s death. Samantha and Denny are there to save Ace, but the outlaw doesn’t make it easy. There are some downright bad guys, romance and an adventure readers will hopefully enjoy.
Yes! Karen has a contest!
To one lucky winner, Karen's giving away a $10 Amazon gift certificate.
See details below.
RTW: Why do you write Westerns? What aspect of life in the Old West intrigues you the most? Did you work that into Storm Riders?
|Right: Karen Michelle Nut, author|
Left: Jack, special assistant & boss
KMN: Why do I write Westerns? I blame it on the popular westerns in the '70s. Alias Smith and Jones was my first interest in the western genre. I was fascinated with the lovable outlaws who were trying to go straight. I was only nine when it first aired and I had a big crush on Pete Duel. I wanted to know more about the west and ordered books at school from the Scholastic book club. The Ghost of Dibble Hollow by May Nickerson Wallace had the western theme with outlaws, ghosts and good mystery for a nine year old to fall in love with. Of course Little House on the Prairie caught my interest and How the West was Won, starring Bruce Boxleitner, who played Luke Macahan, was another.
To add to my growing western obsession, my family lived near Knott’s Berry Farm where Walter Knott created an authentic Ghost Town. When I was a teenager worked there for a time. With my first paycheck, I bought a cowboy hat. I loved that hat. Lol. Knott’s Berry Farm also sold mini-books on outlaws and lawmen of the west. I still have those books today.
I’ve written a few stories with a western theme to them. Wanted (outlaw wanting to go straight), Storm Riders (outlaws, adventure and romance) and At the Stroke of midnight (Western TV star of the '70s and a woman who travels back in time to save him). All three tales were motivated by my love of those early westerns.
RTW: If a person who had never read a Western (any sub-genre) asked you for a recommendation, what novel or movie would you recommend and why? What did the author do to bring the story alive for you? KMN: How the West Was Won by Louis L’Amour. Louis L’Amour brings the old west alive with vivid accounts of hardship for both men and woman of that era. You see how they survived and struggled to have a happy life.
Storm Riders (Excerpt)
by Karen Michelle Nutt
The hangman’s hand pressed the lever and the prisoner dropped. At the same time a shot rang out, severing the rope before it could constrict around McTavish’s neck and break it.
Her horse tensed, but she stroked his neck and leaned forward. “You’re fine, boy. Stay with me.” People screamed and ducked. Deputy Goodman who stood at the foot of the stairs drew his gun, looking for the man responsible for the interruption.
He kept the patrons hopping with shots flying over their heads. Deputy Chester couldn’t leave the scaffold, the way the bullets flew at his feet, making him dance a jig.
Bless you, Denny Randeli.
Samantha didn’t waste time and rammed her feet into the horse’s flank, sending them flying forward through the crowd of scrambling people. McTavish looked stunned, but he was already working to free his hands.
“Need some help, cowboy.” She tipped back her hat and smiled. She pulled her knife out and he stumbled back. “Don’t be stupid. Let me cut the ropes.”
“Who are ye, lass?” His thick Scottish brogue laced his words.
“I’m the woman who’s going to save your arse. Now turn around and let me cut you free.”
He didn’t hesitate now, whirling around and giving her his backside. A nice backside, too, but now wasn’t the time to admire it. Keeping the horse steady, she leaned down and slashed the binds free from his hands. She shoved the knife back in its holder and offered her hand.
He turned to stare at her. In the bright of day, his eyes stood out like clear green gems with no other pigment clouding the color.
“Come on.” She thrust out her gloved hand.
His grip was firm as he swung up behind her.
“Hold on,” she told him. “Hiyah!” The horse bolted at the command and her sudden slam of her boot heel against its flank. She maneuvered around the scrambling crowd with ease and jumped over obstacles in her way.
“St. Brigid in Heaven, you’re an angel.” McTavish clung to her, his hands around her waist—warm and large, the heat from him sent a strange feeling to the pit of her stomach.
She shook her head. It was the thrill of the escape, not how McTavish felt against her. She tried to convince herself with no avail.
“Do you have the package?” Denny’s voice echoed in her ear, making her focus.
“Got him and we’re on the right trail to lose anyone who follows. We’ll stop at the first hideout and see if there’s trouble. If it looks clear, we’ll meet you back at the safe house tonight.
“Be safe,” Denny told her.
“Back at you.”
“Who are ye talkin’ to, darlin’?” McTavish leaned his head next to hers, his breath whispering against her cheek.
“None of your concern, cowboy. Just keep holding on. We have a rough ride ahead of us if we want to cover our tracks.”
She thought she heard him chuckle. “Oh, doonae fash yerself. I willnae let go.”
RTW: Great excerpt--we want more! So what’s next?
KMN: I’m working on a few WIP- the second book of Storm Riders. Storm Riders is slated to be a trilogy. I’m also working on a vampire/werewolf/necromancer Urban Fantasy tale and the third book in the Warriors for the Light series (Fallen Angels). I just finished Twilight’s Eternal Embrace (a historical vampire fantasy tale) and am ready to submit for publication.
In August, Magic of the Loch will be released with The Wild Rose Press. This is a shape shifter mystery with a new twist on the Loch Ness Monster legend.
RTW: Anything else you’d like to add?
KMN: I want to thank you Jacquie for having me here today. Readers, I also want to thank you for your kind words and continue support.
Win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate!
Now for the Contest question: If you could travel back in time to a western town, where would you go and why? Was there someone there you wanted to meet?
Drawing will be held May 6 at 9pm Pacific Time. Your email address must be included to be eligible! Otherwise, we can't contact you and we'll have to draw another winner.