Writers are asked all the time, “Where do you come up with your ideas?” Of course the smart-aleck in me wants to reply, “OH, you know, the big book of ideas.” But the wiser self always wins out and I tell them the “what-if?” game I play.
In Cantrell’s Bride I played the “what-if” game. What-if a woman came to Colorado to be a mail-order bride? What-if she was hiding from someone? What-if it was a murderer of a U.S. Senator? What-if her new husband had a friend who was a mountain man who helped save her from the murderer?
That’s when Micah Turner walked onto the page. Micah is the hero of Turner’s Vision, my second American historical romance just released. He’s big. He’s blond. He’s from Georgia, so he has a lovely southern accent and believes in honor above all else.
I fell in love with the movie Jeremiah Johnson when I was a teen. Honestly, has anyone ever looked so sexily shaggy as Robert Redford did in that role? Of course, the fact that I researched Jim Bridger the same year for a history project might’ve had something to do with my fascination with Johnson in that movie. Something about a man who wanted to travel into the wilderness to carve out their own world and live how they wanted, appealed to me.
Now, because of that paper I wrote I knew Jim Bridger had died in 1881, and that at the age of 77 was one of the last living mountain men. This was a problem, because that was the year I set up my first book in which Micah appears. Taking literary license let me go ahead and make Micah a latter day mountain man. He would’ve missed the boom days of trapping.
The next problem I had was, if Micah wasn’t one of the original mountain men why would he choose to live in the mountains, isolated from almost everyone but his old trapping partner? Both men served in the Civil War and came west afterward. They’d started trapping and tried their hands at mining. Nathan Cantrell went on to start a farm, but Micah retreated further into the mountains. Why?
What-if something in his past haunted him? If so, why would he leave his mountain sanctuary and head east?
What-if Micah has the gift of premonition? What-if those premonitions were accompanied by visions if it pertained to someone close to him? What if in Cantrell’s Bride, he learns there is a conspiracy much larger than the murder of a senator? What if one of the visions is of a much-loved sister in trouble? What if another vision was of a woman he’d never met, but was investigating the murder conspiracy?
Now, I had my mountain man coming out of his comfort zone to rescue two women. Sort of “a fish out of water” story.
Micah Turner’s visions have brought him down from his Colorado mountain refuge to the nation’s capital in search of his lost sister. Her disappearance may have something to do with the murder of a senator and a beautiful woman who is also haunting his visions.
Claudia Davis spent most of her life in fear. Now she has the chance to put her past behind her and help discover who is behind the senator’s murder. When a giant man approaches her one night with a letter from her friend who’d witnessed the murder she must decide if she can put her fears aside and trust the stranger.
As the pair work together to solve the murder they discover a deeper plot, one that has its roots buried in Micah’s past. Can they fight for justice and their love? Or will Micah’s visions of blood and death be fulfilled?
Not only does Micah’s past drive him out of the mountains to Washington D.C., but eventually back to the Rocky Mountains, where he discovers that sometimes dealing with betrayal and guilt in your past is the only way to have a future.
[Find out more at http://suzanneferrell.com/books/turners-vision/ ]
What-if you had to leave your home and travel into the wilderness, would you survive? Do you like “fish out of water” stories?
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