by Linda LaRoque
This week, Romancing The West features Linda LaRoque and her May release, A Love of His Own. A little about her: Linda LaRoque is a Texas girl, but the first time she got on a horse, it tossed her in the road dislocating her right shoulder. Forty years passed before she got on another, but it was older, slower, and she was wiser. Plus, her students looked on and it was important to save face.
A retired teacher who loves West Texas, its flora and fauna, and its people, Linda’s stories paint pictures of life, love, and learning set against the raw landscape of ranches and rural communities in Texas and the Midwest. She is a member of RWA, her local chapter of HOTRWA, NTRWA and Texas Mountain Trail Writers.
RTW: Welcome, Linda. Thanks for joining us this week!
LL: Jacquie, thank you for having me here on Romancing the West. You have a beautiful and interesting blog with loads of fascinating people and topics. I’m pleased to have this opportunity to share my upcoming release with your readers.
RTW: Thank you! I'm amazed at the talented authors willing to come and share with us, and I'm glad you're with us, too! So why do you write Westerns? What aspect of life in the Old West intrigues you the most? Did you work that into A Love of His Own?
LL: As a young girl, I day dreamed about living in the Old West and wondered if I’d be a farmer’s wife or a dance hall girl like Miss Kittie on Gunsmoke. Of course, I didn’t have a clue what those ladies did other than wear pretty clothes and serve drinks.
In high school and college I enjoyed history and read extensively, historical novels being one of my favorites. The first story I remember reading about the Old West was Jubilee Trail by Gwen Bristow. From then on I was hooked on the time period.
On the aspects that intrigue me, I have to say most everything—the clothing styles, the home furnishings, customs and speech, and the unity of some small communities.
In my upcoming release, A Love of His Own, I tried to make every aspect as authentic as possible—from the clothing to how to drive a team of mules. RTW: If you lived in 1892, what would you visit first? Is there something you’ve been curious about that you can’t find in your research sources?
|Linda LaRoque, author|
LL: A Love of His Own is the third story in this time travel series and is set in 1892 Prairie, Texas in the Texas Panhandle. I’d want to ride a train and sleep in a sleeper car, visit a mercantile, try on a pair of the original Levi’s, and try to cook on one of those wood stoves.
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?
LL: Oh boy, that’s a hard one. I’d have to stay Jubilee Trail by Gwen Bristow and How the West Was Won by Louis L’Amour. Both authors showed the hardships and the struggles experienced by both men and women when traveling across the country, settling the land, surviving, and building a happy life.
RTW: Why must Bull Dawson take this particular story journey? What does he have to prove? How does Dipsey affect his journey?
LL: My hero, Buford “Bull” Dawson, is determined to travel back in time and live out his days with his daughter’s family. There is nothing left for him in the future. He’s been a widower for close to thirty years.
He sets his sights on the widow Dipsey Thackson, a woman shunned by the community because of her past. His goal is to marry her and have a love of his own.
RTW: Now that you have us intrigued, please set up the excerpt for us.
LL: Bull Dawson, New York lawyer, mourns the loss of his daughter, who disappeared from a cabin in Fredericksburg, Texas four years ago. A history book found in his office safe leads him to believe she traveled back in time to 1888 Prairie, Texas. He's determined that if she can time travel, he can too. Life will be different, probably hard, but practicing law can't be so difficult back in the Old West.
Widow Dipsey Thackson scratches out a living for herself and her young son on their farm. Shunned by the locals, she keeps to herself. When a man appears in her wheat field one day, life changes for the better. Then her brother-in-law arrives, claiming the farm is his and threatening Dipsey and her son. She fears for both their means of survival and their safety.
Her dilemma will take more than a knowledge of the law, but Bull vows to do his best to protect her and her boy.
A Love Of His Own (Excerpt)
by Linda LaRoque
Copyright © 2012 Linda LaRoque
Dipsey walked back to the wagon and placed a foot onto the spoke of the front wheel to climb into the wagon. A snorting sound from behind her made her pause. Grabbing her rifle from under the seat, she whirled and peered into the field of winter wheat gently waving in the cool morning air. Sunlight glanced off the stalks giving the field a slight iridescence, but no movement caught her attention.
The noise stopped, then resumed with a loud bleating resonance. If she didn’t know better, she’d think Thomas was asleep in the wheat field, but she’d buried her husband two years past. Who trespassed on her land?
Rifle cocked, she stepped in the direction of the snoring. Thomas always said she could sneak up on Satan himself. She hoped her skill served her well today.
Lying on her precious wheat, breaking the stalks flat and making it useless, was a big, burly man. Wrapped in someone’s finely stitched quilt, he had a brown felt hat over his eyes. One arm lay across his chest, the other cradled a new-fangled model Winchester, so new the shine hadn’t yet worn off.
She snatched the rifle from his arm. The dang fool didn’t open his eyes. Dipsey thumped him on the shoulder with the butt of his weapon. He farted and rolled to his side exposing a muscled butt and legs encased in denims. She stumbled back a few steps. Disgusting man!
RTW: Hahaha! Good one and we'll be waiting impatiently to read the rest! So what’s next? Is A Love Of His Own a part of a series?
LL: A Law of Her Own and A Marshal of Her Own are the first two stories in this series. I think A Love of His Own will be the last story and I’ll move on to something else, probably another series. I have a Paranormal Romantic Suspense set along old Route 66 with an editor now. It involves a woman on the run, a recovering ex Albuquerque police detective, a ghost, and a set of missing Zuni prayer fetishes. My latest work-in-progress is another time travel set in Waco, Texas in 1890. My first time travel, My Heart Will Find Yours, is also set in Waco in 1880. I grew up in Waco and we moved back to the area in 2002. I love researching local history and am having loads of fun with this new project.
RTW: And you have a...
LL: I’d like invite your readers to enter the contest I’m having on my blog to celebrate the release of A Love of His Own. I’m giving away a Brighton heart box of chocolates charm. If you read the story when it comes out May 16th, you’ll recognize the significance of the charm.
And TWO chances to win a Free Book
right here at RTW
At the end of the week, on April 27th, I’ll give away two PDF copies of my books—two winners. Just leave a comment to be entered in the drawing. The winners can view my website and pick which book they’d like.
Small print: Please leave your email address or we'll have to draw another winner. Drawing will be held April 27th, 9pm Pacific Time.