What is it about cowboys and horses and rugged individualism that brings readers back to Westerns again and again? Their popularity may wax and wane, but the stories of cowboys and the West are constants in the fiction world that might see the rise and fall of vampires, wizards and fantasy. (I’m not criticizing—I’m a huge fan of the Harry Potter and Twilight series.) The Western is always there, like a patient, mild horse, waiting for us to come back. And we do.
Even now, I’m often drawn to contemporary feature articles and photos about the vast rangelands on the east side of the Oregon Cascades. Cowboying, though diminished by time, is still alive and well over there, and those vast, wide-open spaces make up a majority of the state’s area. The entire West is huge compared to places in the East. Here we think nothing of getting in the car and driving 25 or 30 miles to have lunch with a friend. Imagine doing that on horseback or in a buckboard with no cell phone, no nearby help, and only your wits and survival instincts to rely on in case of a catastrophe like a horse breaking a leg or a wagon wheel coming off. Those are the characters I write about.
For my latest release, Home By Morning, I updated the period a bit. It takes place during the Spanish influenza epidemic and World War I. Although many cities were bustling places of commerce and modern conveniences, the majority of the US was still agricultural, and the town I created for my backdrop has a mix of both. A few people actually have telephones but most do not. There is a car or two but original, four-legged horsepower is still the primary means of transportation. For my heroine, Jessica, who has lived in New York for a few years, this return to a slower pace of life is a welcome change.
Dr. Jessica Layton returns from the East to her hometown for a visit, only to find the Spanish influenza has arrived as well. Although she has not planned to stay more than a few days, with no other physician in Powell Springs she feels compelled by duty and loyalty to care for the people she’s known since childhood.
Believing Jessica abandoned him for her career in medicine, horse breeder Cole Braddock has been half-heartedly courting her sister. Jess sees Cole as a fickle and faithless, and yet neither can ignore the heat that still sizzles between them, or recognize the duplicity that drove them apart.
Want to know what happens next? This book is available in both e-book and paperback from Amazon.com.
I’LL GIVE AWAY A KINDLE E-COPY TO THE FIRST TEN (10) PEOPLE WHO SEND ME AN EMAIL AT ALEXIS@ALEXISHARRINGTON.COM.