Friday, January 6, 2012

Author, Marie Higgins Asks...

Western town – or not?

From this description, would you think you were reading about the Wild West?

The early settlers wasted no time. August Nelson planted cottonwood saplings and Joseph F. Doxford even organized a martial band. A temporary bowery was built. Early in 1865 about 100 more families arrived. In February 1865 the first schoolhouse was built; the first teacher in the school was Hans P. Miller. A fort was started in the fall of 1865; each man who owned a city lot was required to build one rod (16.5 feet) of wall.

In 1864 Nelson Higgins was selected as temporary president of the settlement. In 1865 Black Hawk and his band of Indians took ninety head of stock, killing two settlers. Other attacks followed. Three settlers, Jens Peter Petersen, his wife Amalia, and Mary Smith were killed by Indians on 21 March 1867; this became a deciding factor in the evacuation of the settlement, which was completed by April. In 1871 many of the former settlers returned and took up their old homesteads. By July 1872 there were 150 families in the area.

The town this above article describes even talked about springs and fertile (rich) soil for planting. This town has a dry stretch of plains…even has the cactus and tumbleweed that go along with it. If you were reading a story like this, would you think it was in the Wild West? 

Would you think you were reading a western if the hero in the story talked like this:

“How do you feel, Summer?
The soft baritone voice rumbling in his chest seemed oddly familiar. Summer frowned and took a second peek at his hair and his mouth. He gave her a full smile. Awareness tugged at her memory and a large knot formed in the pit of her stomach. When recognition came, it struck like a thick piece of wood right between her eyes. She jerked, moving off the comfortable nest she had made of his chest.
“Jesse Slade?”
A crafty smile claimed his face. “The one and only, darlin’.”
She widened her eyes. “Darlin’? I’m not now, nor will I ever be your darling, Jesse Slade.” She couldn’t believe her rotten luck. She fought to move from his grasp, batting his hands away. “Get your hands off me.”
“Be still Summer, or—”
“Let me go,” she demanded.
“Tarnation, Summer.” His hands moved to her waist. “You’re as slippery as a wet weasel.”
“Quit touching me and put me down.”
Although he tried to hold onto her, she managed to slither from the horse.
“Of all the confounded foolish female stunts.” He pulled the horse to a halt and dismounted.
The moment her feet touched the ground, dizziness overtook her and she plopped down on her bottom. When Jesse reached for her, she slapped at his hands.
She glanced up at him from her undignified position and clenched her teeth. “You. Of all people, it had to be you.” Holding onto a stirrup, she pulled herself to her feet and gazed into the heavens. “Why Lord? Why me?”
“There’s no need to get your feathers ruffled.” Jesse looked at the blood oozing from her shoulder wound. “Look what you’ve done. You’re bleedin’ again.”
She glanced at her injury. It was worse than she thought, but she’d die before admitting it to him. She was not riding into town perched on Jesse’s lap for the whole town to see.
“It’s just a scratch.” She lifted her skirts, grabbed an edge of her petticoat, and ripped off a piece. It was bad enough that he had to rescue her, but why did he have to look so handsome? This certainly wasn’t the skinny, ill-tempered Jesse Slade she remembered. Well, the ill-tempered part still fit.
Jesse stood by the horse, arms folded across his chest as he tapped his foot. Summer brought up the strip of fabric between her free hand and chin and awkwardly fashioned it around her shoulder. Her head pounded worse than ever. She kept on, but the makeshift bandage tore apart. Out the corner of her eye, a self-assured grin stretched across Jesse’s mouth.
“Oh!” She stomped her foot, causing another burst of pain in her head.
“Would you like some help?”
Jesse gave her a grin she’d liked to slap right off his face. She knew he enjoyed every second of her struggle, but she just couldn’t ask the arrogant no-good for help.
“’Course, I’d have to touch you,” he said, needling her.

Well…I’ll tell you where my story, Heart of a Hero takes place. RICHFIELD, UTAH. No, do not adjust your computer screen, you read correctly. UTAH!

So, why am I a guest blogger on “Cowboy Kisses”? Because my hero is a cowboy. He’s a US Deputy Marshal. He rides a horse and does everything a western cowboy does – except live in the West. Although my story takes place in Richfield, Utah, you wouldn’t know this wasn’t a western town. While growing up, my uncle lived in Richfield. He, his wife, and daughters lived their (and some still do!). And…they all have an accent! I honestly thought my uncle, aunt, and cousins had lived in Texas. lol

Regardless of the location, my story reads like a western… 1880’s.

There's a new hero in town . . .

When Summer Bennett returns to Richfield after a five-year stint at her aunt’s finishing school, she discovers a lot has changed. Her father has suffered a crippling injury, and Summer is desperate to get the money to pay for surgery that could allow him to walk again. She hears of a reward offered for the capture of a cunning gang of bank robbers, and her years of etiquette training fall by the dusty roadside.

What Summer doesn’t count on in her quest to capture the bandits is the competition from her family’s longtime friend, Jesse Slade. Now a deputy marshal and local hero, Jesse keeps thwarting Summer’s plans, just like he did when she wore pigtails. She would like nothing more than to use Jesse’s head for a slingshot target, but soon Summer finds her aim shifting from his head to his heart. Problem is, Jesse is engaged to her sister Violet.

For seven years, little Summer Bennett was the burr under Jesse’s saddle. Now he feels a different irritation as Summer is always on his mind—whether he wants her to be or not. But Summer’s father expects him to marry Violet, and he won’t let him down. So why does Jesse find himself encouraging Summer’s attentions, and why do sparks fly every time they are together?

My book is available for Kindle & Nook readers – or at your local store.
Kindle link –

About the Author:
Marie Higgins is a multi-published author of romance; from refined bad-boy heroes who makes your heart melt to the feisty heroines who somehow manage to love them regardless of their faults. Visit her website / blog to discover more about her –


Marie Higgins said...

Ginger, thanks for having me as a guest today! You're awesome!

Danielle Thorne said...

Great excerpt. Loved the historical details in the clipping.

Anna del C. Dye said...

I would have to say yes to the picture and then...Who is the hunk on the top?
Just kidding. :) Great piece ladies.
Anna del C. Dye
Author of "The Silent Warrior Trilogy"

Paty Jager said...

Fun post and if that's not western I'll eat my hat. ;)