Since I was born and raised in Oklahoma and I am a member of the Osage Indian Nation, I love to write stories about my home state. I have been a published author for 28 years and I’ve written ninety-six books. (To be more accurate there are ninety-nine. The first three didn’t sell early in my career.) Thirty-eight of the books were set in Oklahoma as contemporaries and historicals.
Thumbing through an Oklahoma history book is a font of ideas for stories. First, there was the removal of the Five Civilized Tribes and the Plains Indians from their homes to reservations that were supposed to belong to Native Americans forever and ever. And guess what? Uncle Sam broke that promise, along with dozens of others.) Then came several Land Runs for free property. Now what, I ask you, could possibly go wrong while settlers lined up to race for the perfect piece of land?) Then somebody had the bright idea to have Land Lotteries. (Again, trouble waiting to happen? You betcha.) ~~~
You can imagine the possibilities of story lines in the Oklahoma Panhandle, known as No Man’s Land. (Gee, I bet no bad guys would hide out there to rob whoever was foolish enough to travel through the bandit-infested area.) Then of course, we had the Twin Territories—Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory—the places were jumping alive with settlers, shop owners, cardsharps, and all varieties of outlaws waiting to thicken a plot.
In LADY RENEGADE, the November Western Historical from Harlequin, I combined my favorite settings—The Osage Nation of Indian Territory in the 1880s—with one of my favorite heroes—a lawman. U.S. Deputy Marshal Gideon Fox is half-Osage, cynical and hard-nosed. If Lorelei Russell, who was falsely accused of murdering the man who proposed to her, would have known what Gideon was like she would still be hiding out in the Oklahoma Hills. Yet, she went to him for help to clear her name and he arrested her! Gideon presumes Lori shot the poor man because he refused to marry her and now it’s her word against a dead man. Well, except for the witnesses who didn’t see the actual shooting, just saw Lori hightail it away and presumed the worst.
Gideon plans to take Lori to the “Hanging Judge” in Fort Smith—until snipers try to shoot Lori a couple of times. Then the bushwhackers shoot at Gideon and he begins to wonder if the lady outlaw, who looks like an angel and fires his blood more ways than he can count, is telling the truth. Together Gideon and Lori fight their fierce attraction and solve the murder—while trying to keep from getting their heads blown off. ~~~
I hope you’ll enjoy this fast-paced adventure with a clash of wills and a whodunit. And if you are looking for a setting for your own book, think Oklahoma! Why heck, they even made a musical about it so it’s gotta be good.
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