THE LAWMAN’S REDEMPTION – in stores now!

If you’ve noticed I haven’t been on the blog schedule lately, you’re right.  I’ve taken a back seat at Petticoats & Pistols to let my Filly sisters run the show so that I can concentrate on another project, but rest assured I haven’t left Wildflower Junction.  Nosirree!  I’ve been right here, keeping a close eye on the corral to make sure the other Fillies behave themselves.  And by golly, they’ve been doing great!

With Tracy Garrett taking the day off while she’s in Orlando at the RWA Conference, I’ve jumped into her slot to let you all know THE LAWMAN’S REDEMPTION is finally on the shelves.  Yee-haw!

Here’s a quick blurb:

Jack Hollister had always wanted to be a lawman, but the night he’s forced to kill his outlaw father in self-defense, he tosses aside his badge and turns cowboy.  He seeks refuge at the Wells Cattle Company, but he’s haunted by his father’s dying wish – to find the man who betrayed him and his gang.

Grace Reilly nurtures a simmering hate for the lawman she believes killed her lawless mother.  She vows revenge, but her respectable life in the east is shattered by scandal.  First, she must travel west to find the answers she needs to save her best friend and all they’d worked for, never dreaming she’d find Jack, too . . ..

Together, Jack and Grace learn love and forgiveness as they encounter the man who’s determined to destroy them—unless they can destroy him first.

Now, we’ve talked about trilogies before and how popular they tend to be with readers.  Well, THE LAWMAN’S REDEMPTION wraps up my Wells Cattle Company trilogy by giving Jack Hollister his own story.   You might recall Trey Wells, owner of the prestigious WCC, started things rolling last May in THE CATTLEMAN’S UNSUITABLE WIFE.  Mick Vasco picked up the reins in THE CATTLEMAN’S CHRISTMAS BRIDE, released in October in a Christmas anthology I shared with Elizabeth Lane, entitled COWBOY CHRISTMAS.  Jack came on stage in that story, and I’m hoping you’ll love him as much as I do in this latest one when he’s forced to do something he’s not sure he wants to do.  Of course, he needs the help of a certain Lady in Blue to succeed.

As with pretty much all of the books I’ve written, these stories involve real-life historical characters.  In the first book of the trilogy, I introduced the astute businessman, Paris Gibson, who is credited with being the driving force behind the growth and establishment of Great Falls, Montana.  (Anyone from Great Falls out there?)  In THE LAWMAN’S REDEMPTION, I bring Louis David Riel on stage.

Without giving anything away, Riel was born Metis—an ethnic mix of French-Canadian, Scottish, English, and various Indian descent.  As a young man, he fought the Canadian government to protect Metis rights and eventually considered himself a divinely chosen prophet for his people. He was exiled and suffered a mental breakdown, eventually being confined to an asylum.  After a slow recovery and promising to lead a quiet life, he was released, only to become involved in more political strife.   The Canadian government considered him an insane traitor and eventually executed him.  Today, after much reconsideration of his deeds, he is now a folk hero in that country, a freedom fighter who devoted his life to protecting his people and their land.

Do you enjoy reading about true historical figures and events in fiction?  Do you approve of an author’s poetic license to construe history to fit her story?  What is your favorite thing about trilogies?

Jump into the discussion, and you’ll be eligible to receive one of two copies of THE LAWMAN’S REDEMPTION!

–“The romance captures the imagination and had me furiously turning those pages.  A keeper.”

**5 Spurs – Love Western Romances

   Buy from Amazon!

Pam Crooks
Pam has written 14 western romances, most with Harlequin Historicals. She has recently re-released four titles by ebook, individually and in a boxed set titled IN THE ARMS OF A COWBOY. More releases are HER MOTHER'S KILLER, a romantic suspense, and THE SPYGLASS PROJECT, Book One of her new Secret Six series, historical suspense set in the 1920s! THE BREWER'S DAUGHTER, Book Two. Next up - KISSES LIKE WINE, Book Three!
Updated: July 26, 2010 — 7:31 pm


  1. Hi Pam great post! Your new book sounds fabulous and I would love to read it! I do approve of authors to construe history to fit their books after all most books we read are fiction. As far as trilogies go I love them! I love to go on and visit the characters that I have read about in other books. I love finding out what happens to them and where there life went. Sometime when you finish a book you don’t want the story to end and with the trilogies to story goes on. So bring them on!

  2. Glad to see you here, Pam.

    The easy answer is that trilogies build a sense of anticipation for characters you discover in the first book. How often have I hoped a character would get their own book and it doesn’t happen? So to find out they get their own story after learning about them in the first, and often second, is wonderful. But trilogies are often wonderful because you know there is an end as well to the story, rather than wondering if you have missed a book in a series or if there is going to be more in the future.

    History…that is a tough one for me. I have no problems at all with historical characters mixing it up with fictional characters. I mistakenly typed “fictual” before I caught it. But ya know, that isn’t a bad made up word for author imagination on how historic characters would act in a given time and place. I loved Johnny Tremain for the way it made history come alive for me…and that book has probably set my feelings in place over lo these many years. Just finished My Name is Mary Sutter about a midwife who becomes a surgeon during the Civil War, a book with lots of historical heavyweights dropping in and it felt seamless.

    But I tend to stay away from fictualizations of the greats in history as the main focus of a book. Maybe it is because I love to read vibrant biographies and am satisfied. Maybe I just can’t let go of the “real” so it is not as much of an escape for me. Not sure.

    Thanks for a thought provoking post!

    Peace, Julie

  3. I prefer historical figures in non-fiction books with accurate details, but a little bit of it in a fiction book won’t turn me away, so I guess I approve of an author’s poetic licence; besides, it IS fiction.
    As for trilogies, I’m not a huge fan. I have the memory of a pinhead, so I end up reading a book and going back to check details in the earlier book/s (I’m anal that way). I prefer stand-alone books so I don’t feel like I have to look things up when something “rings a bell”. That being said, I still read trilogies (go figure), so I guess my favorite thing would be reading the last book in the series.

  4. I love reading this type of book,cant put them down once I start,thanks for the great post

  5. Trilogies give you familiar characters to identify with at the start of the story. It helps me connect. I believe an author has all the poetic license she needs to use real historical people in her stories. Rock on Pam! Can’t wait to read your book.

  6. welcome back around pam 🙂
    your new book sounds great and the cover is quite lovely!

    i L-O-V-E trilogies!! i hate when a good story comes to an end and that’s it…i love knowing i get to “hang out” with characters i love again and again 🙂

    as far as mixing history with fiction….hmmmm
    it is fiction after all…but then i might get a false idea that i know something about history when it actually was altered for a story, lol
    i guess i would prefer if main events stayed true to history and perhaps the little stuff was filled in as needed….aw heck…who am i kidding..i wouldn’t know the difference anyhow 🙂

  7. WOW The Lawman’s Redemption Jack and Grace’s story sounds very emotional. I can’t imagine killing your own father and then dealing with how that would eat at your soul. Grace is dealing wit revenge …powerful stuff!!

    I don’t mind a reference to real people in fictional stories. I remember the movie Little Big Man with Dustin Hoffman (in the 70’s) which centered around his experience with General Custer and the the Battle at Little Big Horn. I remember enjoying it and finding it fascinating.

    I don’t mind the author using poetic license while writing a fictional story. I do like to have a footnote at the end of the story explaining what they changed.

    Trilogies are fine. But please don’t repeat the whole stories of what came before. I like the familiarity. You feel like you are part of the family and the setting.

  8. Hi, Pam! Thank you for a very interesting post and intriguing question! Congratulations on “THE LAWMAN’S REDEMPTION” and your “Wells Cattle Company” trilogy–terrific characters and story lines : )

    I love history, and that is one of the reasons that I have been a lifelong reader of historical romance. I know that some readers state that they want a romance, not a history lesson, but I think the two go hand-in-hand. The setting of the book, the era, culture, social mores, religious beliefs, fashion, art and literature of the times all affect the way the characters would develop as people. Therefore, they are very important elements of the story line details. I appreciate the amount of research and love of subject an author invests into a well-written historical romance. I love to drink coffee while I read, and for me, the added historical details are the cream and sugar in my coffee : )

  9. I enjoy series books as long as each entry is worthy of its own space and not just a weak extension of the orginal story concept. Trilogies are the perfect size for series, and four well-written books can also make a great series. Beyond that number and the creative process and quality control has to really be sharp. Trilogies can allow certain characters to develop through the first two books before they become fully-fleshed in the final book, and that can be very rewarding for the reader.

  10. Wow! What great answers this morning! I love reading the varied opinions about how our stories affect you, our readers.

    Well put, Quilt Lady, when you said with trilogies, the story goes on. For us, the authors, we want the story and the characters to go on, too. Sometimes, it’s just too hard to set them free!

  11. Hi, Julie! You gave us all a great perspective. And you’re right–‘fictual’ is the perfect word! Love it. 🙂 I totally agree with you about not giving a true historical figure the main focus. What’s the point? If a reader wanted that, she’d be better off to read the biography and get the truth. It’s much more fun to make the historical figure a secondary character to give the book flavor. Besides, it’s the hero and heroine that we *really* want to read about it, isn’t it?

    Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Good morning, Laney4! Interesting how those details are so important to you, so much that you have to go back and double-check! It can’t be easy when books are spread months apart, can it?

    I’m always, always amazed by writers who can have their trilogies out back-to-back in subsequent months. How DO they write so fast? But that’s the perfect set-up for a detail-oriented person like you. 🙂

    I appreciate you stopping by to chat!

  13. Hello, Vickie and Jeannene! You’re in for the book drawings. Thanks!

    Hey, Tabitha! I had to smile at your comment about not knowing the difference between fact or fiction. That’s usually me, too, but you can bet your sweet bippy there would be someone out there who *would* know. That’s why we walk a fine line when we pull true history into fiction. We have to be careful not to depict the figures in a bad light or put them into a situation that simply would not be feasible or smart for them *or* the time period. 🙂

  14. Good morning, Laurie G. Good point about not repeating all that happened in previous books. Each one should stand alone, with only details woven in. Not always easy to do, but usually only a sentence or two should suffice, if the author does her job right.

  15. Great responses, Virginia C. Wow! I appreciate your thoughts and time.

    I, too, don’t want a history lesson. Eek. That’s almost the kiss of death in a romance where all we really want to read about is the hero and the heroine’s love story. The trick is to weave the setting, customs, fashions, etc. so smoothly that the reader doesn’t even realize she’s getting a bit of a history lesson.

    You’re in the drawing!

  16. I like the incorporation of real historical people and events into stories. I prefer the author keep as close to the facts as possible. We get little enough accurate history as it is. Little tweeks that help things fit into your story are OK, but lets keep the basic facts accurate.
    I enjoy trilogies. I like the opportunity they give to develope characters more fully and to carry story lines further. It is nice to have the opportunity to follow characters after their story has been told and see how they are doing.
    Nice to have you back at the Junction. Hope you are having a good summer and are staying cool. Good luck with the release of THE LAWMAN’S REDEMPTION. I look forward to reading it.

  17. I like trilogies if all the books are published together rather than a year apart.

  18. New book looks fabulous! Congrats.
    I used to get frustrated when I would read a book that was based on a true story…only to go read more about it and find that…that is not the way it a happened…at all! I think the first one that upset me was Christy by Catherine Marshall. In real life Christy married the preacher…although in the book they imply that Christy married the Doctor. (which was a much more romantic way to go with the story anyway). I was so disappointed when I discovered that she married the preacher. Oh well… Now I just shrug my shoulders and enjoy a good read. =)

    I love trilogies. I like that you can learn what happened to characters from the first book and second book. Always fun to see them happily married, having children, etc. I hate it when they leave me hanging…and wondering what is going to happen to them. Will they be ok? I seriously have lost SLEEP over books that have left me hanging… For example, Liz Curtis Higgs newest book, “Here Burns My Candle”…OH my gosh! What is going to happen? And I have to stress about her until December to find out what happens to her! And then…I’ll have to wait after that book to find out how it ENDS! EEEKKK!!!

  19. I’ve got to get this book, Pam. It sounds great.
    I love setting books in shoulder to shoulder with true historical characters.

    I think history should be taught this way in school, though fiction. Anyone who’s read Gone with the Wind knows more about the Civil War than a person who’s read extensively in text books, I’ll bet.

  20. Hi Pam. Congratulations on your new book. Sounds great. I love trilogies. You get to read the stories of secondary characters that were introduced in previous books and you get to see what happens with characters after their featured book.
    I don’t mind if an author takes poetic license when regarding historical figures. It is more about the romance for me than staying true to history.

  21. I love reading historical fiction books.

  22. Woo-hoo, love having you back, Pam! I’ve missed my Filly sister’s blogs. “The Lawman’s Redemption” looks great. Love the guy on the cover! He’s just how a handsome hunk of cowboy should look. I’ve got to snatch up a copy before they’re gone.

    I think if a writer arranges historical fact to suit the story he/she should write a note at the end explaining. I really don’t mind as long as the explanation and reasons are there. And I love it when writers add real historical figures to their story. Makes the story really real to me.

    Wishing you bushels and bushels of success in not only your writing life but your personal life as well.

  23. Congrats, Pam! Awesome book. Yes, I do like to see real historical characters appear in historical novels…and shows, too. I loved it when Walt Whitman and George Custer appeared in Dr. Quinn episodes.

    Poor Riel,though, being confined to an asylum. They were horrific places. oxox

  24. Congratulations, Pam! I really enjoyed Trey Wells’ story and am looking forward to getting my hands on this one. And Louis Riel is one of my favourite historical figures, a fascinating, complex man who cared deeply for his people. Hope you’re having a great summer!

  25. Love the whole trilogy thing! I fall in love with many characters and I love knowing that I can learn more about them. I also love it when a minor character gets his or her own book because a peek at their lives leaves me wanting more.

    Historical characters and events often send me researching what really happened, so I love them in fiction.

    Must look for your book. Looking gorward to reading it soon.

  26. I read historicals to escape to another time and place. If there are major departures from the facts (or if someting is factual but seems too bizarre to be true) I appreciate notes at the end revealng that. Otherwise, things taking place that seem unlikely for that time and place distract from the story and send me fact checking. I expect a certain amount of license with use of real persons, but they had better not say or do something totally out of character.
    I am very loyal to heroines and authors so I look forward to a series. Its like a little guarantee that I will enjoy the next book. I expect some continuation of the stories of the original characters. Similar settings and titles do not make a series for me. I want each book to be strong enough to stand alone and wrap up the major plot lines, so that I am not left hanging in suspense until the next book is published. I’m going to buy the next one anyway, please don’t torment me with a cliffhanger.

  27. What better way to learn history than in historical romances – no dry facts but information embedded in wonderful stories. And for me trilogies are just right – not too short and not too long but just right 🙂

  28. The story sounds great, and the cover is fabulous!

  29. I want to read this book… your characters sound wonderful… love the cover!
    As for historical characters in a fictional book… I enjoy seeing a piece of history added into a book, it shows us how the author’s story would fit into that time period… give us a taste of what has been!

  30. Hi Pam, Enjoyed your blog very much. I was fascinated by the term: Metis. Have never heard of that. (Not more research). Anyway when research finds real historical characters who seem bigger than life, why not put their likeness into your story—-if it fits. But also put a disclaimer at the end to explain who this person was and how he/she made your story more plausible. Now I have to read your book to learn more. See what you did????? Thanks.

  31. How fun to see so many familiar names! Gosh, I miss blogging with our P & P friends!

    I’m keeping track of each one of you for the drawing!!!

  32. Jennie, of course you would know about Louis David Riel. You’re probably aware of the controversy surrounding him, at least until he was vindicated. I see where they’ve even built a monument to him now. He really had to work hard for that honor, didn’t he? LOL.

    Thank you for enjoying Trey Wells’ story in THE CATTLEMAN’S UNSUITABLE WIFE. You’ll get to see Trey and Zurina again in THE LAWMAN’S REDEMPTION!

  33. Big wave to my Filly sisters–Mary, Linda, Tanya, and Cheryl!! Thanks for stopping by!

    Tanya, you’re so right about those asylums being nasty places! –shudder–

    Mary, there’s something about fiction that just sticks with you, doesn’t it? Gone With the Wind was such a great visual experience. Hey, they should make our books into movies!! Now wouldn’t THAT be cool?!

  34. Great cover, Pam! An eager to read your new book. I believe writing historicals with real historical characters can be very tricky. In “Give Me a Texan” I wrote Bat Masterson as a character in a scene, but before I did, I read two books and a ton of articles on him, paying particular attention to mannerisms and the words he used in real accounts. I had to really study him to get into his thinking, so I could write him like I thought he’d react. But, then I love research. I’m ordering your new book right now! Congrats on a fantastic RT review, too!

  35. I just finished reading The Lawman’s Redemption. I loved all three books. I’m looking forward to your next one. Thank you for the enjoyment I get from reading your books.

  36. I really enjoy trilogies because you usually get to see what happens to the original people in the later books. Kind of like an epilogue only longer. It’s always nice too for supporting characters in the earlier books to get their own stories. I do enjoy reading books with historical figures and it doesn’t bother me that authors use poetic license on their stories.

  37. I enjoy reading stories with real people in them or indirectly referred in the text.
    Events or situaions that really happened make for a richer story.
    Trilogys are alright if you can find all of the books close together. I don’t like to read the first one and then have to wait a long time to read the next one.

  38. My favortie part of trilogies is that they usually allow any lose ends to be drawn together. So many times you read a book that has a secondary character that you really want to learn their story but never get there. Trilogies would allow for some of those characters to come forward.

    I also enjoy historicals that have real people in them. It brings the story more alive to me.

    Many blessings today!

  39. Hi, Pam,

    Your book sounds great!

    I do like real life characters in my fiction and don’t mind if the author takes a bit of poetic license with the historical details. I know I’m reading fiction, after all. 🙂

    I enjoy trilogies because I get a chance to re-visit characters I’ve liked, and to see secondary characters I enjoyed get their own stories.

  40. Hey, Phyliss! I don’t know if I’m as thorough as you are in researching a true historical figure, but I do love to get lost in the learning. It’s way easier to read what someone else has written than to do my own writing. 🙂

    So many great comments and perspectives today. I loved each and every one! I’m off to draw my winners . . .

  41. Thanks for sharing your serious thoughts. I ought to admit that I imagine you nailed it on this one.

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