A big Wildflower welcome to Leigh Greenwood and his new release, Heart of a Texan.
Leigh is giving away one copy of Heart of a Texan today, so don’t mosey on without leaving a comment.
I think the main reason I love writing a series is that I don’t have to say goodbye to my characters. After spending six months to a year creating these people, I become very attached to them. I know the story of their falling in love and overcoming obstacles to a happy ending is complete, but their lives together are just starting. I want to know that they remain in love with each other. I want to know that they have families of their own. I want them to become part of a larger family. In a way, I want to create a small world of my own.
My first series, Seven Brides, was about a family of seven brothers who fought with each other but who faced the world with a united front. My second series, The Cowboys, was about a group of angry and rebellious orphans who fought against trusting anyone enough to become part of a cobbled together family. I enjoyed building families through trust and love, but I wanted something different with my third series.
I remembered reading a book about Moseby’s raiders, a cavalry troop that harassed Union Army lines in the Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War. What if one of the troop betrayed the others? Wouldn’t the survivors want to bring the traitor to justice? So I had a series tied together by seven men determined on revenge.
The next problem to solve was a villain clever enough to remain free for seven books and a reason for the men to get on with their lives rather that become obsessed with revenge. Protection of the Union and Reconstruction governments accomplished the first, and falling in love the second.
I had one final problem to solve. Who was going to do him in? If it was to be one of the heroes, it really ought to be all of them. But the only way that could happen would be to take a leaf out of Agatha Christie’s book and have all of them shoot him after he was dead. I didn’t like that anymore than I liked having one of the heroines shoot him. I could devise a situation where the last hero had to kill him to protect the heroine, but I didn’t like that, either. Somehow I wanted everyone involved but no one person to do it. Well, that seemed like an unsolvable conundrum until an idea occurred to me. I hope you agree that I made the right choice.
I decided Nate Dolan would be the last man still pursuing Laveau diViere because his brother had died as a result of Laveau’s treachery. Since Nate had devoted his life to bringing Laveau to justice, I had to find a way to stop him long enough to fall in love. Shooting him seemed like a good way as long as it was the heroine who did it. Of course she didn’t mean to – or did she? Nate wasn’t easy to convince, especially when the doctor said he was too wounded to move and that Roberta had to be his nurse. Neither one was happy about that. But like any good romance, nothing stays the same forever.
I’ve always liked writing westerns. I suppose it goes back to the early days when I listened to The Cisco Kid on the radio and spent the 50s watching every cowboy show on television. It was easy for a kid to tell the good guys from the bad. The bad guys always wore black. The good guys wore a white hat, sang, and always got the girl. Like every boy in my neighborhood, I played cowboys and Indians all summer. My neighbor was the only kid whose parents could buy him a gun, hat, and holster, so he always got to be the cowboy. I always wanted to be the hero. Creating cowboy heroes is even more fun. They get to do things I never could.
We have numberless genuine heroes like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, Daniel Boone and Davie Crockett, but none of them stir the imagination like the image of the cowboy facing the unknown dangers of the West with nothing but his rifle, his horse, and his indomitable will to succeed. It’s one of those iconic images that somehow never loses its ability to stir the emotions. In a way the cowboy invokes the spirit of the people who settled this great country, people who overcame great odds in facing the unknown in search of their destiny.
It stirs the imagination of the writer as well. Can you imagine looking out over the plains and seeing nothing but grass – a thousand miles of it? Or a herd of buffalo so vast it reaches from horizon to horizon? Rivers to cross with no bridges, mountains to cross without roads, trees thicker than a man is tall? In such a world, anything is possible. Facing danger and evil on all sides, the only restraints on the hero are those he imposes on himself. It’s the perfect setting for a man who holds to the best in himself while confronting the worst in others. What writer could resist such a character?
HEART OF A TEXAN BY LEIGH GREENWOOD B IN STORES NOVEMBER 2012
“A breathtaking Western romance.” —Romance Reviews on Texas Pride
In The Wrong Place…
Roberta didn’t mean to hurt anyone. But the night the masked bandits raided her ranch, it was hard to tell friend from foe. She didn’t know Nate Dolan was only trying to help when she shot him in the chest. And when he offers to help her catch the culprits, she only feels guiltier. The absolute least she can do is nurse the rugged cowboy back to health…
With All The Right Moves…
Nate has been on the vengeance trail so long, he nearly forgot what a real home looked like. And Roberta is mighty fine incentive to stay put for a while C even if she has a stubborn streak as wide as the great state of Texas. She might be convinced she’s healing the wound in his chest, but neither of them known she’s also soothing the hurt in his heart.
“Entertaining high-stakes adventure.” —Booklist on Texas Pride
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Leigh Greenwood is the author of the popular Seven Brides, Cowboy, and Night Riders series. The proud father of three grown children, Leigh resides in Charlotte, NC. He never intended to be a writer, but found it hard to ignore the people in his head, and the only way to get them out was to write. Visit www.leigh-greenwood.com.