Welcome Guest – Erin Johnson

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I’ve always been interested in history and did a lot of research on the West while I was writing the Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes (Cengage, 2012). I also spent time in Arizona after my father moved to a ghost town near the Mexican border, and I was fascinated by the area around Tombstone, where much of the WANTED series is set.

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In the first book in the series, Grace and the Guiltless, Grace is the lone survivor after outlaws massacre her family. She risks her reputation by entering the notorious Bird Cage Theater to report the crime to the sheriff:

Clouds of smoke enveloped Grace. Like the black, acrid smoke from the burning cabin that still clung to her pores and clothes, the sweetish cigar smoke and the sharper scent of burning tobacco from hand-rolled cigarettes suffocated her. Raucous laughter, the tinkle of a piano, and the clink of glasses pulsed through the room. The infamous alcoves, or bird cages, some with their red velvet curtains drawn, perched overhead like rows of fancy packages.

Her eyes stinging from the haze, Grace squinted to find the sheriff. So many black frock coats blurred into an indistinguishable mass…

WantedGraceandtheGuiltless_smDisentangling herself from pawing hands as she crosses the room, Grace irritates the sheriff by separating him from the painted lady keeping him company.

The heavyset man frowned at her. “So, what can I do for you, Miss —”

“Grace Milton, sir. Yesterday my parents . . . my whole family . . .” Grace’s tongue tripped over the words. If she said them aloud, it would make it real. But if she didn’t, those killers would get away with what they had done. “Elijah Hale and his gang . . . they shot my pa, and-and…”

The sheriff’s face paled at the mention of Hale’s name, but he leaned back in his chair and steepled his fingers, though his hands shook slightly. “Mr. Hale is well known in these parts as a respectable man.”

Respectable man? A picture imprinted itself on Grace’s mind – Hale smiling, his gun pointed straight at her father’s heart.

The sheriff pulled a cigar from his vest pocket and rolled it between his fingers, avoiding her eyes.

Her Cold Revenge 9781630790073 web“Did you hear me? Hale killed my pa. And my ma, and my—”

The sheriff chomped down on the cigar, twisted, and then spat the end into the nearby spittoon. The wad hit the brass with a wet ringing sound. “Any witnesses?”

“Me,” Grace choked out.

Sheriff Behan lit his cigar and blew a puff of smoke in Grace’s direction. “Not sure your word,” he said, his gaze raking her disheveled appearance, “would stand up against Hale’s.” He waved his cigar in a dismissive circle. “You bring me some proof, and I’ll consider looking into it.”

A white-hot volcano of rage erupted in Grace’s stomach. Did that badge glinting at her from across the table mean anything at all?

“My family’s dead in the ground.” She sucked in air to control the tremor in her voice. “I dug their graves myself.” She held out her blistered and bloodied hands. “Is that proof enough for you?”

Something flickered in the sheriff’s eyes. Pity maybe? But he quickly shuttered it. “That’s a sad story Miss Milton, but people die every day.” His voice loaded with fake sympathy, he continued, “Lots of Injuns ’round here. Renegade soldiers. Hermits. Even coyotes. Understandable you’d be a mite mixed up following such a tragedy. You being hysterical and all.”

Wanted_GraceBk2“I. Am. Not. Hysterical.” Grace spat out each word. Furious, yes. Hysterical, no. Although he was rapidly pushing her in that direction. She’d get no help from this snake.

As Grace suspects, the sheriff is in cahoots with the gang, so she trains as a bounty hunter to singlehandedly track down the criminals. One reviewer calls her the “Katniss of the Wild West.” But when Grace falls for Joe, a?rugged range rider, can she give up her independence to take on a partner?

In book 2, Her Cold Revenge, Grace must prove her skills and stop a train robbery masterminded by the outlaws who slaughtered her family. And as she slowly opens her heart to both Joe and the Ndeh tribe, who take her in, her heartache begins to heal. Yet she’s still torn between revenge and love.

“Every second had me on the edge of my seat…”

“I’ve never been so moved by a book. You honesty made me cry…”

The books in the WANTED series came out in the UK first, and then in the U.S., with different covers.

Scuppernong readingFeast on Fiction

 Erin Johnson grew up watching classic western movies with her father, which fueled her lifelong love of horseback riding. She’s always dreamed of being a fierce-talking cowgirl, but writing about one seemed like the next best thing. She loves traveling, painting, and teaching, and she writes under several pseudonyms for both children and adults.

Blog: https://lje1.wordpress.com/erin-johnson/

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/story/16791791-grace-and-the-guiltless

https://www.wattpad.com/story/38198225-her-cold-revenge

Buy links: G&G https://www.amazon.com/Grace-Guiltless-Wanted-Erin-Johnson/dp/163079001X/?tag=pettpist-20

HCR: https://www.amazon.com/Cold-Revenge-Wanted-Erin-Johnson/dp/1630790079/?tag=pettpist-20

Giveaway! : Erin has a great giveaway with two separate winners!  For a chance to win, leave a comment for Erin and you’ll be entered.  One winner will receive a copy of Grace & the Guiltless and the second winner will receive a copy of the recipe book, Feast on Fiction!

Guest Blogger
Updated: August 2, 2016 — 11:57 am

36 Comments

  1. Wow, what a gripping excerpt! Thank you for sharing with us today, I will have to check them out.

    1. Thanks so much, Susan. Glad you enjoyed it! Hope you like the books.

  2. Wow, what excitement! When I was a teen I lived in Arizona. I lived In Yuma, AZ and Chino Valley,AZ. Now for an eastern girl like myself to move to Arizona I found it fascinating to live there. I would love to read Grace’s story because I know she has quite one to tell!

    1. How fun to meet someone from AZ! It is so different from the East. They each have their own kind of beauty. Hope you enjoy Grace’s story!

  3. Great excerpt! Y have to check it out.

    1. Thanks, Debra. Glad you enjoyed it. Hope you’ll enjoy the books.

  4. I enjoyed the excerpt. Looking forward to reading the book.

    1. So glad you enjoyed it, Estella! I hope you’ll like the book as well.

  5. Wonderful feature and giveaway. thanks for this excerpt.

    1. Thanks, Pearl. And thank you for stopping by to comment. I appreciate it.

  6. History always fascinates me – I enjoyed the excerpts – thanks.

    1. I love history too. I enjoy learning about life in the past. So glad you liked the excerpts!

  7. We took a road trip to Tombstone and Bisby. This area was fascinating, historic and unforgettable. Your book is enthralling.

    1. Very cool about your trip, Anne. Both Bisbee and Tombstone are fascinating places & part of the series also takes place in Bisbee. Glad you think the book is enthralling! Thanks for letting me know.

  8. Thanks for this extremely interesting post and the excerpt. History is extraordinary and always gripping.

    1. History is definitely fascinating — so many wonderful tales that can be told. Thanks for stopping by, Ellie!

  9. The West has captivated my interest and your excerpt as well. Thanks.

  10. So glad it captured your interest, Elaina! I find the Wild West fascinating and enjoy writing about that time in history.

  11. The old west will always hold my interest.

    1. Mine too, Kim! Thanks for stopping by!

  12. When does the next book in the series come out?

    PS — Don’t enter me in the giveaway. I have my ow copy. 🙂

  13. What a fascinating discussion! I love reading how others approach research. (You don’t need to enter me in giveaway either) thank you for sharing your wisdom!

    1. Thanks, Bobbi! I know you do an amazing amount of historical research for your books.

  14. You are quite talented!
    This sounds like a wonderful book! Thank you for sharing about these books.

    1. Thanks, Elaine! So nice to see you here!

  15. I love this series! The books are great reads! No need to enter me in the giveaway as I live overseas.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Rebecca! It’s wonderful to know you liked my books.

  16. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. You’re welcome, Melanie! And thank you for stopping by! Happy trails!

  17. How does one fight a corrupt law in your town. They enforce the rules and can ignore what they wish. Thank you for the excerpt which shows just what she is up against. Going “over their heads” is one of the few options. For a woman, that was not an easy task. It will be interesting to see how you have your heroine handle the situation. The title of the third book, GRACE ALONE, does not bode well for her. This sounds like an intriguing series to read.

    1. So true, Patricia. If you know you can’t trust the law, who can you trust? And for a woman during those times, it was doubly hard because they had so little power. Grace had to take justice into her own hands and do the sheriff’s job. Hope you enjoy reading the books.

  18. Erin- Looks like we enjoy the same interest in the Wild West, cowboy, indians & cowgirls that get what they want in the long run. Women had a hard time back in those days & if the law wouldn’t help you had to rely on yourself or a awesome help mate. Enjoyed your blog & chance to win one of your books. Will put them on my TBR list.

  19. Wow! The excerpt has me wanting to read more. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  20. Great excerpts from this exciting series. I always enjoyed watching the old westerns, too, and love that now there is a strong girl hero to stand up to the bad guys. Nice post!

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