Jill Marie Landis asks: What Did It Take To Be a Lawman in the Old West?


Today we welcome Jill Marie Landis back to Wildflower Junction!  Jill Marie is the NYT extended and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels. She’s the winner of the RWA Rita Award, the Golden Heart and Golden Medallion and a seven time Rita Finalist. She lives in Hawaii with her husband where she spends her days writing when she’s not sunning or dancing the hula.

What did it take to be a lawmen in the Old West? Tjohn-wayne-as-sheriffhe requirements were slim to none. The local butcher wold do, but everyday citizens often proved too amiable to do much good, or too busy holding down their day jobs to be effective. Sometimes, much as they wanted to uphold the law, they simply didn’t have the disposition. Wild western towns that required a firm hand to back up the badge sometimes resorted to hiring a known gunman, figuring he knew how best to handle men of his ilk. All they could do was hope he could keep shady characters who threatened the hard won peace in line.

THE ACCIDENTAL LAWMAN, my latest release from Steeple Hill, is a western romance about a man who is a most unlikely hero and sheriff. Hank Larson isn’t a lawman by trade. He’s a writer. He’s educated, intelligent, and should have known better than to let the townsfolk of Glory, Texas, railroad him into the job of sheriff. But Hank is also a man of accidentallawmanhonor and though he didn’t want the position, he ends up with it and is sworn to do his duty and uphold the law.

Hank foolishly thought he could start a newspaper in a town where there is no news. A town as quiet as Mayberry. Nothing much ever happens in Glory, at least that’s what everyone assured him–no headline making events, anyway. Of course, the day he walked into the bank to see about a loan and ended up foiling a robbery wasn’t a day like any other.

That’s the day he literally ran into Amelia Hawthorne, the town healer and apothecary. When the gunman intent on cleaning out the bank trips over the two of them, Hank wrestled him into submission. The situation gets carried away and despite his protests, the good folk of Glory decide Hank is just the man to be their first sheriff.

Amelia is just the kind of woman who can heal Hank’s wounded heart–a heart full of grief after the death of his late wife. It’s not long before Hank sees the fine qualities in Miss Hawthorne, but when he begins to fall for Amelia, complications set in. He might not be a man of faith, but he’s a man of his word. He’s sworn to bring in the outlaw gang terrorizing the county, even though Amelia’s brother is one of them. He promises her that he’ll do all he can to bring her brother in without harming him–but is it a promise he can keep?

THE ACCIDENTAL LAWMAN is a story of love despite the odds, of commitment, honor, of promises made, and above all, the power of forgiveness. The tale is set in the town of Glory, Texas, the fictional town where I also set last year’s release, HOMECOMING. A few of the characters from the first book make a cameo in THE ACCIDENTAL LAWMAN. If you haven’t read HOMECOMING, you can still order a copy from your local bookseller or Amazon. com.

It was great to be here at Petticoats and Pistols again. I can’t believe a year has come and gone already. it seems I just penned my last blog for this great gathering of Western writers. Good luck to the readers and the Petticoat gals. Thank you so much for letting me say my piece again!

I’ll be awarding autographed copies of THE ACCIDENTAL LAWMAN to two lucky winners who leave a comment.
Let me know the title of the most memorable western romance you’ve ever read and why you like reading them.

Many thanks for sharing your time with me.
Best wishes and keep reading!
Jill Marie

Available now from Amazon!

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35 thoughts on “Jill Marie Landis asks: What Did It Take To Be a Lawman in the Old West?”

  1. Good Morning. Sounds like a wonderful story.

    My most memorable would have to be Cheryl St. Johns “Sweet Annie”. It is a wonderful heart warming story.

    Wow, why do I like to read romance westerns, I haven’t a clue. They are addictive. I have shelfs of backlog mysteries waiting “Jonathan Kellerman, Dean Koontz, etc.) but can’t seem to put down the romance westerns. Maybe I need an intervention. (lol).

    Have a Great Day and God Bless!

  2. I love western romances because I live in cowboy country where there are rodeos, trail rides, brandings, ranches, etc. The Old West holds an appeal in that the way of life was more easy going as far as working, socializing, etc. Although one was always on the ready for a shoot out or thug to come riding in. It was an exciting time of new discoveries also.
    The best book would be Paty Jager’s Marshal in Petticoats.

  3. Hi Jill! Welcome back to P&P! I’ve read and loved many of your books and am looking forward to this one. It sounds wonderful.

    I have a mile-long list of favorite western romances, but there’s a clear “No. 1.” It’s THE OUTSIDER by Penelope Williamson. I love that story. Not only is the writing lyrical and passionate, the ending is a perfect coming together of love, justice and forgiveness.

  4. I love western because they are ordinary people just living their lives and finding love in spite.

    I have many favorites but the one that comes to mind first is “One True Cowboy,” by Janette Kenney.

  5. Hi Jill!

    Welcome back to P&P. We’re so happy to have you visit again. This is great.

    As for the most memorable western romance I’ve read…that’s hard. Linda Lael Miller writes some pretty awesome books. Her “Man From Stone Creek” and also “One Wish” are some of the very best I’ve come across. Both stories sure tug at the heart strings.

    Congratulations on the new release! The title hooked me. I love stories where either the hero or heroine gets pushed into something they didn’t really plan to do.

    Wishing you lots of success! 🙂

  6. I can’t wait! I tried to order your new book from eharlequin last week, but it wasn’t available yet 🙁 so I ordered it from amazon.

    Sherry – I’m humbled and amazed that Sweet Annie is your most memorable book. Thank you, thank you!

  7. I enjoy reading western romances because I think the characters appreciate life and what they have so much more than we do today. One of my favorites is The Tenderfoot Bride by Cheryl St. John.

  8. Most memorable of all time?

    Wow, not that easy to pick. The first one that came to my mind is Angel Creek by Linda Howard. Also Julie Garwood’s Come the Spring.

    I’m a huge Louis L’Amour fan. The Sackett Brand may be my favorite. Can anyone remember that? An army of gunfighters chasing Tell Sackett through the mountains and a whole lotta Sacketts come riding to his rescue.

    Loved it.

  9. Cheryl you are very welcome. You have alot of books that I have enjoyed.

    Wow, Linda you should talk about memorable books.
    The Knight on the Texas Plains and The Cowboy Who Came Calling are pretty awesome. You are correct on Linda Lael her westerns are a must.

    If fact I could pick a favorite from all the Fillies here.

    Maureen McKade has really good (Don’t want to use awesome too much) Westerns.

    I have read some great stories by an author by the name of Connie Harwell, there were only a few and I can not seem to find out what happened to her. Check out her books if you can find them.

    Shouldn’t get me started on westerns and cowboys, before you know it I will be naming all the authors I have ever read.

    I shouldn’t be allowed on this website, I keep finding new authors to follow. I now have all Winnie Griggs books added to my shelf and Victoria Blyin, my sister discovered you in my book “The Magic of Christmas”, she asked if I had anymore of your books. Sorry to say I didn’t but have them and read them all except for your newest one.

  10. Hi Sherry! It’s always a joy to know that readers have enjoyed my books. It’s hard to believe, but I’m finishing up #11, including my Harlequin Historicals and my Love Inspired Historicals.

    I was honored to be included in “The Magic of Christmas.” Being in a book with Cheryl and Carolyn Davidson was a dream come true : )

  11. I have too many favorites to pick. My favorite is generally the one I’m reading at the time. The one I just finished was A Claim of Her Own by Stephanie Grace Whitson. Deadwood, SD. during the gold rush.

    I loved Jane Kirkpatrick’s “Kinship and Courage” series. Those were good.

  12. Jill, welcome back to P&P! We’re so glad to have you join us again.

    The Accidental Gunman just went on my tbr list. As to my most memorable book – probably Lorraine Heath’s Texas Destiny. Talk about a wounded hero.

  13. Hello, Jill,

    I love westerns for a lot of reasons. They have strong, resilient heroes who also know how to treat a lady. Ladies who know when not to be too ladylike. Magnificent settings. Lots of action. And, in the end, the good guy wins. I find all those things satisfying.

    Most memorable westerns? Riders of the Purple Sage and its sequel, The Rainbow Trail, by Zane Grey. Lassiter and his lady made a great, passionate couple, and both had a lot of internal angst to overcome. I read them so long ago, but they stayed in my mind.

  14. There are so many westerns that I have enjoyed but which one to choose as a standout for me… ANGEL by Johanna Lindsey… I love this story, I enjoy every step the hero takes to get his HEA!

  15. Hi Jill! Liked your post and the book sounds very good! I had to think hard about my most memorable western… I have to pick two series:
    The Lawless Women trilogy by Cheryl Anne Porter and The Sisters of The Lone Star by Joan Johnston. But I remember several really good westerns by Elaine Coffman, Merline Lovelace, Cheryl St. John and Jodi Thomas too! Plus many others!

  16. I read westerns because I love cowboys.
    My favorite is Linda Lael Miller’s Man From Stone Creek.

  17. Hi,
    This would be my first western novel. I would like to win it to see how I like it. No I can’t name one I’ve read and why I like it.
    Thank you.

  18. Hi, Jill! I’m still relatively new to reading westerns, and it was Stacey Kayne’s Mustang Wild that got me hooked. I loved her hero *and* heroine–she was a strong woman in her own right, and she was a great match for the hero.

    I like the sounds of your latest–I enjoy stories where the hero isn’t going out trying to be one, but sometimes stumbles into it because of the strength of his character.

  19. Hi Jill, love your books. I have 2 special favorites. The first one is Janet Dailey’s Calder series. I think that is one of the best series I have ever read. I have read them all at least twice. The second one would be any western by Linda Lael Miller. I love all of her books.

  20. Hello Jill,

    Your books sound like the type I love reading. Would love to be considered to win one of the copies. Have a great day.

  21. For me, Stacey Kayne’s Mustang Wild and Wanted by Pam Crooks are two of the most memorable western romances.

  22. Hi Jill! I love the cover of your latest inspirational for Steeple Hill. I was just glancing at an article about mating different types of romance. Do you think a chicklit Western is a good idea? GRIN
    Don’t include me in the drawing–not because I don’t want it but because I would like it to go to someone who hasn’t read your books yet.
    Happy Weekend!

  23. 🙂 I think one of my fav westers would have to be “Simple Jess.” Love a good western romance…hot cowboys and lawmen…and naughty desperados!

    Fantastic post Jill!

  24. Hi, My favorite western is usually the one I am currently reading. I’ve loved all of Cheryl St.John’s books and don’t know if I could name just one.
    I love westerns and especially lawman stories because my grandfather was a lawman in a small town here in Nebraska during prohibition and earlier. I loved listening to his stories. True he didn’t ride a horse but he carried a gun and metered out punishment fairly and honestly, making many admire him.

  25. 🙂 Totally not trying to suck up, but I really enjoyed “Last Chance” by you. Such a sweet and entertaining story. I loved it!

    Glad to see you here today Ms. Landis and looking forward to your newest book.

  26. Hi Jill, your books sound like great reads! I love reading western romance’s. One that comes to mind to me, that has stayed with me is Rachel and the Hired Gun by Leline Levine, this was her debut book but it was a fantastic read, its on my keeper shelf!

    Thanks for sharing your books with us.

  27. I haven’t been reading them that long, so I’m very behind in the genre, but my favorites are Lorraine Heath’s “Texas” trilogy. It’s so heartbeaking and the characters are all so noble and valiant. But happy endings, of course. I also really like Fair is the Rose by Meagan McKinney, which is very dramatic.

  28. The most memorable Western romance I ever read? That is a hard one. There have been so many good ones. If I had time I’d dig through my shelves. I can remember a great story about a man who was falsely charged with rape and run out of town. He makes beautiful furniture. He saves a woman from a bear, but her family warns him off. He is never cleared of the charge, but she discovers he is innocent. She stands by him and they marry even though her family still refuses to accept him. Rats, now I really need to find that book and reread it!

  29. I’ve been digging through my boxes and bookshelves looking for that book, but can’t find it. Did find another one of my favorites. I love anthologies and have kept most that I have read. There is one story that keeps coming back to me at odd times like the book in my previous post (which I’d actually been thinking of it the past few days for no reason.)
    This second story grabbed my heart. It is the story of a woman captured by indians who has blanked her memory of the horrors she experienced. I’m sitting here rereading it and can’t put it down – again. The anthology is THREE MOTHERS AND A CRADLE and the story is CRADLE SONG. As you already know, the author is Jill Marie Landis. This is one of the first anthologies I purchased. This story is one of my favorites and the reason I’ve kept the book. This poor woman’s plight broke my heart. Nicely done!

  30. I grew up in the 60’s so I was raised on TV shows set in the Wild,Wild West. Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Big Valley and Rawhide just to name a few. I enjoy westerns!

    My favorite is the book that started my love of ROMANCE and westerns! Lavyrle Spencer’s Forgiving! A story about a woman who heads West to take over the printing of her father’s newspaper and the resulting confrontation with The Sheriff! and the majority of the town’s people who don’t think it’s woman’s work!

  31. Congrats on the new book, Jill! It sounds great! My favorite book is Always To Remember by Lorraine Heath. It packs such an emotional punch and actually made me misty-eyed. It’s the rare book that does that.

  32. I grew up reading westerns by Louis L Amour and his book Conagher was probably one of the best romantic westerns I’ve read. It depicted the west and the relationships between men and women the way it probably was.
    I have really enjoyed reading the romance novelists books too. I liked the early western of Sandra Brown-Sunset Embrace ( I think that was the title) and the current books of Patrice Michelle and Stacey Kayne.
    I would like more westerns to be written but they seem to be tucked away in the back of the bookstores.
    Looking forward to reading yours, Jill

  33. Wow! Thank you to all of you! Some great recommendations and compliments, too. I’m so glad there are still so many readers who like westerns out there!
    Aloha to you all and congrats to the winners!

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