by Callie Hutton
Romancing The West welcomes author Callie Hutton this week! Callie has been making up stories since elementary school, and putting pen to paper gave her a way to turn off the voices in her head. Writing has always been her passion, and she’s authored several romance novels, with an emphasis on the American West, both historical and contemporary.
Oklahoma is where she hangs her hat with her husband, two young adult children, and three dogs. You can catch her hanging out at Facebook, Twitter- @CallieHutton, and her home base. Stop by sometime and say hello.
RTW: Tell us about your featured book, Emma's Journey.
CH: Emma Thorpe did not want to leave her life in Indiana to travel to Oregon on a wagon train, but her husband, Peter, had other ideas. Barely three weeks into the trip, Peter is killed, and Emma is shocked that the wagon master won’t let her return home.
Wagon Scout Davis Cooper has decided this would be his last scouting trip, he intends to obtain land in the new Oregon territory, find a wife, and start a family.
When the Wagon Master orders Emma and Davis to marry, she rebels, but eventually comes to realize she can’t go it alone, no matter how stubborn she is. But nothing will make her give up her dream to return home.
Can Davis change her mind, and have the life he’s always wanted with his unexpected wife?
$25 Gift Card
RTW: Why do you write Westerns? What aspect of life in the Old West intrigues you the most? Did you work that into Emma’s Journey?
CH: I think what intrigues me the most about the Old West was how strong and courageous the men and women were who ventured forth to start a new life. In Emma’s Journey, she starts out anything but strong and courageous, and that’s part of her journey.
|Callie Hutton, author|
RTW: If you lived in 1851, what would you visit first? Is there something you’ve been curious about that you can’t find in your research sources?
CH: If I were zapped back in time (I would love to be), the first thing I would be anxious to investigate is all the clothes and furniture that fills museums that look so old. I’d like to see what they looked like when they were brand new. I’d love to visit a mercantile and other stores of the period, as well as a ‘typical’ home.
RTW: Same here. An afternoon in a mercantile would sure be an education! 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?
CH: There are so many. I particularly loved Leigh Greenwood’s westerns. I think his characters were so well developed you felt like you knew them. I also loved Legend by Jude Deveraux. That fascinated me with how the ‘past’ looked one way, and then another way on a second visit. The story itself was unique in that one. Of course, Sandra Brown’s Sunset Embrace and Another Dawn, although she says on her website she has no intention of re-writing the ending of Another Dawn. I think she upset quite few fans with that one. But I loved them both.
RTW: Why must Emma take this particular story journey? What does she have to prove? How does Davis affect her journey?
CH: Although Emma is a married woman, she never really grew up. This trip brings her, kicking and screaming, from childhood to adulthood. And Davis is the one dragging her the entire way.
RTW: Give us a little taste, please!
CH: In this scene Davis and Emma are now married (against her wishes), and they must cross a river. She’s terrified.
by Callie Hutton
Four wagons had already crossed when Emma and Davis’s turn arrived. One wagon had overturned, causing precious supplies to float down river. Even now she could see barrels and boxes floating away. The occupants and their somewhat bruised wagon had made it safety to the other side, however.
Emma climbed up onto the seat, her whole body shaking with fear. She swiped at the sweat gathered on her brow, then gripped her middle. Dear God, she couldn’t do this.
“You ready, darlin’?” Davis reached for her cold hand and squeezed “Trust me, Emma.”
He grabbed the reins, his full concentration on the animals that would lead them across. They started into the river and hit a bump, swaying the wagon. A jolt of fear sped through her. Her eyes grew wide as the animal’s front hoofs hit the swirling, rapid coursing water. Before she could even think about it, she jumped off the wagon seat, splashing in the water, and ran back to shore.
“Emma!” Shouting a spew of curses, Davis pulled up on the oxen, but once in the water, they refused to stop. Having no choice, he continued across the river, trying his best to concentrate on keeping the animals from panicking as they went deeper into the water. By the time he reached the other side, muscles he didn’t know he owned burned with the strain of holding the animals tight. Moving his wagon up off the bank, he stopped the oxen and hopped off the seat.
“Davis, you better get that wife of yours under control.” Ezra stomped behind him. “Now whaddya gonna do with her over there, and you over here?”
"I’m going back for her on a horse.” He stalked over to several riders on horses guiding the emigrants from the rider. Davis nodded to Nate. “I’d appreciate the use of your horse, Hale.”
“I can go back for her, Davis.”
“Don’t make me drag you off that animal.” He growled.
After mounting the horse Nate had reluctantly vacated, Davis splashed back into the river and returned to the other side.
Emma's Journey is available at Amazon
RTW: What’s next? Is Emma’s Journey a part of a series?
CH: Not really part of a series, but the Nate mentioned above is the protagonist from my already published book, An Angel in the Mail. I currently have two books under contract, a contemporary western, and a Regency. My current WIP is a time travel to 1872 Kansas.
RTW: Anything else you’d like to add?
CH: I want to thank you for having me here this week. It’s always fun visiting Romancing the West.
Win a $25 Gift Card!
One lucky commenter will win a
$25 gift card
to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble
In addition, if the winner has not yet read
An Angel in the Mail
Callie will send an autographed copy as well.
Drawing will be held Saturday, February 23rd at 9pm Pacific Time. Please be sure to include your email address in your comment!