May 25, 2010

Anna and the Hired Gun - Waterbrook, Releases June 15

I’ve been a fan of all things western for as long as I can recall. However, my fascination with John Henry “Doc” Holliday began in 2007 when longtime friend and fellow Waterbrook author Tracey Bateman convinced me to slip away from the International Christian Retail Show and take a taxi down to Peachtree Street and the Margaret Mitchell House.

There, in the front parlor of the historic home, I first heard the details of the story behind the story of Gone With the Wind. The tale of Ashley and Melanie becomes all the more poignant when set against the backdrop of the truth of the real-life family members that Margaret Mitchell used as models. The character of Ashley Wilkes was inspired by Doc, her cousin by marriage, while Melanie was based on Margaret’s third cousin (and Doc’s first cousin) Mattie “Sister Melanie” Holliday.

Because the church refused marriage to first cousins, Doc and Mattie’s love was not to be. Doc went out West, some say as much to heal his heart after the loss of Mattie as to heal the lungs that had been scarred by the disease that ravaged them.

Word eventually reached Doc that Mattie had joined a convent. Throughout the remainder of Doc’s life, he wrote letters to Mattie. Upon Mattie’s death, those letters were burned by a family member so no record of what Doc and Melanie shared remains.

It is in this void of information that I set Anna Finch and the Hired Gun (Waterbrook/June 2010). While I made every attempt to check every detail against the known history of the outlaw dentist, there are also gaps in time where Doc is unaccounted for. In addition, there are instances where only a second (or possibly third) man could have committed the crimes for which Doc Holliday was accused.

Like Anna Finch, I hope you find Doc Holliday unforgettable.

I'm excited to tell you that up next in the Women of the West series is the tale of Charlotte Beck. Readers came to know Charlotte as Daniel Beck's darling daughter and Gennie Cooper's worst nightmare in The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper (Waterbrook/June 2009), currently a finalist in Romance Writers of America's RITA competition. She's tamed her wild ways a bit for her appearance in Anna Finch and the Hired Gun, but can she keep her penchant for petty larceny under control?

Here's a teaser for Charlotte's story, title TBA:

From pampered princess to bartered bride, Charlotte Beck’s plan to relieve her best friend Augusta "Gussie" Miller of the duty to wed is a smashing success.

Unfortunately, now Lord Evan Hambly, second son of the Earl of Farnsworth and the jilted groom, is insisting Charlotte join him in a mutually beneficial ruse that will allow Charlotte her freedom while bolstering the Viscout Hambly's family fortunes. Their marriage of convenience soon becomes quite inconvenient when the starry-eyed astronomer falls in love with the bride who has stolen not only his heart but his pocket watch.

Did I mention there are connections to the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, a mysterious comet, and Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West Show? So sit back and read Anna Finch and the Hired Gun knowing the adventure will continue next year when Charlotte's tale debuts in June 2011. A bit of insider knowledge: I've been informed by my editor that the phrase Marriage of Inconvenience may be included in the title.

Until then, happy trails, readers! I'll see you out west!

The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper 
Available Now
Recipient of 4.5 Stars from Romantic Times Magazine! 

Anna Finch and the Hired Gun 
Coming June 2010
Recipient of 4 Stars from Romantic Times Magazine!
When an aspiring reporter and 
a Pinkerton detective get tangled in Doc Holliday’s story—
and each other—sparks can’t help but fly.
Despite her father’s attempts to marry her off, Anna Finch dreams of becoming a reporter. A chance encounter with legendary gunslinger Doc Holliday gives her the opportunity of a lifetime, but Pinkerton agent Jeb Sanders is about to ruin everything.
Though her father hired Jeb to keep her out of mischief, Anna’s inconvenient attraction to her hired gun only multiplies her troubles. She doesn’t realize Jeb has a score to settle with Doc Holliday, or that her association with the famous outlaw will affect more than just her marriage prospects. Between her father’s desperation to see her wed and Jeb shadowing her every move, getting the story and fulfilling her journalistic ambition just got far more complicated than she ever imagined.


Brenda said...

What an awesome book! I would love to read it!


dancealert at aol dot com

Stephen & Janet Bly said...

We enjoyed your article and the background of Doc Holladay's influence on your novel very much.

Carla Gade said...

Kathleen, how much fun! It's great to see your love of the west shining through in your novels. And congrats on finaling in the Rita.