Folks, I am…Fit. To. Be. Tied! Cookie even had to fetch the smellin’ salts case I get the vapors. Today ‘round the campfire we have Elaine Levine and her get this….Wyoming cowboys (insert wild hoots and hollers) from Defiance!! I’m havin’ a time just drawin’ air!
And like bringin’ these fine cowboys wasn’t enough, Elaine provided a great article on why she set the MEN OF DEFIANCE series in Wyoming and the real life inspirations for the town of Defiance and it’s location in Wyoming! So keep on readin’ cause it’s a real treat! (Though settin’ your stories in Wyomin’ just makes sense to me)! )
Then to put an extra spoonful of sugar in your coffee, she’s givin’ away a paperback copy of Logan’s story…LOGAN’S OUTLAW!! So for the price of just a comment one lucky reader is walkin’ away with a whole lotta cowboy!
Cookie’s Disclaimer: I’m sorry but due to the cost of sendin’ the Pony Express overseas (the horses don’t care for the long distance swim) the drawin’ is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.
But please come on in and chat with us a spell no matter where y’all are from we love to hear from ya!!
Now let’s get to what y’all are here for…THE MEN OF DEFIANCE!
Running from a brutal past to the father she’s never met, Rachel Douglas must rely on the survival skills of the hard-edged gunman her father sends to guide her across the rugged terrain of the Dakota Territory. But Sager’s got another plan and a blood debt to settle.
Time doesn’t always heal all wounds. Sometimes it takes a little vengeance.
KIRSTEN’S THOUGHTS: I bought RACHEL AND THE HIRED GUN as an impulse, since Elaine was a new author to me. Oh WOW, did that impulse pay off in a BIG way! This book has it all: family feuds, vengeance, rustling, gunfights, and most importantly a hero and heroine you will LOVE, I mean L-O-V-E!! And it all begins with a wolf attack, so there’s no beating around the bush with the action. Elaine Levine does a superior job of making all of this come together without making it cliché, but she weaves the plot and characters together into a story you will treasure.
Rachel is such an emotionally strong character and so tender and sweet she’s exactly what Sager needs, and what her father, Old Jack, and her father’s enemies the Taggerts need, as well. Rachel is coming from an abusive situation with hopes of finding a new life and peace on her father’s ranch, and build a relationship with her estranged father. She’s soon faced with the reality that she’s only wanted as a pawn by both families in their feud. But I think it’s her gentle spirit and her unwavering faith and love for Sager that makes her such a remarkable woman. But don’t get me wrong, Rachel’s no pushover she has the courage needed to survive in the vast Dakota Territory and when push comes to shove she’ll fight side by side with Sager to see their livelihood protected.
Sager is a hero that transfixes you from his first appearance, when he’s on the page his presence commands the attention of other characters and the readers. His muddied past and hurts have set him on the trail to vengeance, but his honor and Rachel’s sweetness alter his course. Sager is a man caught between two worlds, both as a man raised by Shoshone’s and living the white world, and a man desiring revenge, but desiring Rachel and the peace she brings more.
You’ll be roped in from page one to the end and then want to turn around and start at page one all over again…But there’s more men from Defiance to meet so keep reading.
Virginia financier Julian McCaid has put his troubled past behind him. His plans for the future don’t include Audrey Sheridan, the extraordinary frontier woman he met just once, but it’s because of her that he’s come to the Dakota Territory to investigate problems at his ranch. And it’s all the more surprising when he discovers she isn’t the innocent he believed. Now nothing but her complete surrender will purge her from his soul.
If it weren’t for the children she cares for in her makeshift orphanage, Audrey would have left Defiance long ago. Now the sheriff is blackmailing her to distract the man who might derail his corrupt schemes, a man who can offer Audrey not just protection, but a passion bold enough to make them claim their place in this harsh and beautiful land.
KIRSTEN’S THOUGHTS: I instantly bought AUDREY AND THE MAVERICK after finishing RACHEL AND THE HIRED GUN for a good story, and I got GREAT! Julian is an outsider and a sheep rancher and in Dakota Territory both of those things cause trouble, but in a corrupt town they could get you killed. Again Elaine Levine pens a great Western full of action and more importantly bringing together two great characters. Julian and Audrey are a bit more high-spirited than Rachel and Sager and their relationship starts like a prairie fire fueled by a wild wind.
Audrey is high-spirited, proud and desperate to save her family from the crooked sheriff and his men who have destroyed the town of Defiance. Though she is in a tough spot I admired her grit, and her love for her brother and the children she’s taken in as her own. Like many women in the West, she does what needs to be done to care for her own, while risking her heart to love a man whose plan for his life is destined to keep them apart. I think in this Audrey illustrates the character of the West, to risk everything for a dream.
Julian is a man who never truly felt like he fit in, anywhere, and is hoping to start a new legacy thinking it will bring him the esteem he desires. But unfortunately this plan and his passion for Audrey don’t meld and he has to decide which legacy is more important…blood lines or love. Julian is brave and possessive, and willing to fight for what’s his. Like Levine’s other heroes he also has a quick wit and charm as smooth as good whiskey.
Then you add in the children, who add a lot to the story and actually help us see a very different side to Julian and Audrey than they show at other times adding a new dynamic to these characters, and a bit of fun.
To Leah Morgan’s mind, the last thing her hometown of Defiance needs is another gunman stalking its dusty streets, especially one as sweet-talking and fine-looking as Jace Gage. Despite her warnings, the infuriating man seems determined to meddle in her life and risk his own, all for a town that can’t be saved and a heart she locked away long ago.
Professional bounty hunter Jace Gage has cleaned up plenty of corrupt towns in his lifetime, and he knows he can handle whatever Defiance’s thugs have to offer. But the town’s most lawful citizen is another story. Beautiful, willful and exasperating at every turn, Leah is the one person capable of bringing the ruthless gunslinger to his knees, and capturing his desire with a single kiss.
KIRSTEN’S THOUGHTS: Jace Gage is brought to Defiance in AUDREY AND THE MAVERICK and you can’t wait to find out more about this man they call the Avenger…And he does not disappoint.
Leah is fierce, hot-tempered, self-sufficient and only a man like Jace is strong enough to hold on tight until the heart she thought was dead starts beating again. Leah has witnessed some of the worst atrocities people can do to one another, and she has lost hope that anyone or anything can change the evil hanging over her town. As secrets are revealed Leah must come to terms with everything that’s revealed and accept the love, acceptance and hope in the future Jace offers.
Jace saunters onto the pages calm, cool, and caring less rather he lives or dies. War, death and years of hunting evil have almost drained any misguided belief in human goodness Jace had. In Leah he sees his chance to hang up his guns and find peace, but first he has to convince her. Jace has a very dry humor that I caught myself laughing out loud at remarks delivered without a hint of emotion. But Jace is loaded for bear and he’s determined to clean up the town of Defiance and when Jace is determined action ensues and the job is done. Leah learns this applies to his heart, as well.
Leah and Jace are two strong-willed individuals and they clash on streets of Defiance, but their hearts being every bit as strong as their wills means neither stands a chance of escaping their love.
Sarah Hawkins survived capture by the Sioux, but after her escape she faced public scorn. Now, she’ll do anything to start over, and the small town of Defiance promises the anonymity and security she needs. Before she melts into the shadows, though, it’s her mission to put a great injustice to rights, and that means jeopardizing her safety once more. But this time, she’s not alone.
Without meaning to, Sarah has fallen under the protection of Logan Taggert, a rough-and-tumble trader unused to caring for others – and yet unable to ignore the tempting, tenacious woman’s plight. Though she refuses to trust him, Logan won’t leave her side, keeping her one step ahead of danger…even as she takes hold of the very thing he never thought he’d risk: his heart.
KIRSTEN’S THOUGHTS: This story is ACE-HIGH, WHOO DOGIES, SIX GUNS BLAZEN…Well it’s just a must read! It is heartrending, beautiful, and really some parts are so tender make sure you have tissue at hand. It also has plenty of gun fire, danger and good ol’ Wyoming action to get your blood pumping.
Sarah has to rank right up there in the all-time favorite heroines chart. She is so misused, abused and scorned, but she refuses to let it all crush her. There are just no words for what this woman has endured and yet she has such grace, strength, and such a kind heart she instantly threads her way into yours. There are times, as she heals through Logan’s patience and care that you are almost verbally cheering her on. There are moments of bitterness, as there should be, but even then she doesn’t hold onto it or let it consume her she fights against it and for the new life she wants with Logan.
And who wouldn’t want to fight for Logan Taggert? First, before I get into his amazing relationship with Sarah, I have to mention I love his occupation. As a trader, Logan is able to give the reader insight into the Sioux culture, and it was such a beautiful way to weave the Sioux way of life into a story to show both the good and bad in both the Sioux and White cultures and to be able to expose Sarah to the best of both worlds when she’d only seen the worst.
Now for Logan as a man. Be still my heart. I first met Logan in Rachel and Sager’s story and I genuinely liked him in that story, but I NEVER would have imagined the difference years and becoming his own man could make. Like Sarah he has wounds in his past that could have made him bitter and hard, but instead he chose to become a successful businessman and a leader both White and Indian cultures respect. His care and thoughtfulness for Sarah are so kind and expose a tender heart. But his ability to remain calm and sure in extremely dangerous situations and to take care of business in those situations leaves no doubt of his bravery and strength.
Seriously, I’m even getting a bit choked up thinking of some of the melt your heart words he speaks to Sarah and the way he works with her as a team to bring her out of the shadows. Just read the book folks, before I breakdown right here on the blog!
Elaine Levine’s MEN OF DEFIANCE series is an auto-buy for me. I don’t even have to read the description before clicking purchase. She knows Wyoming and her characters reflect the land and history she writes about so well you think they might be in the history books. Her stories are gritty and real. Buy one and you’ll be hooked.
ELAINE, WYOMING, AND THE MEN OF DEFIANCE…
What a fun blog Kirsten has started! If you haven’t had a chance to wander through her Wagons West blog, grab a cup of coffee and sit down for an entertaining read of Wyoming’s historical places and people.
There’s something seductive about Wyoming. I once read a quote (I wish I could remember the source) that said, “I could tell you the truth about Wyoming, but I’d have to lie to do it.” I thought that was the perfect way to explain Wyoming. The space is so big, it’s hard to grasp. It’s green and lush in some places and arid like Mars in others. There are so few people in Wyoming—urbanization has lagged behind most of the country. I don’t know why. I don’t care. I love that it is just the way it is.
The wind is a persistent presence—sometimes as a sweet breeze, sometimes in gale force. It sounds different crossing a wide-open prairie of short grass than it does circling the edges of an isolated dwelling. It whines around a cabin, but sings across a field. You can stand anywhere in the state and hear whispers of the people whose lives passed through that spot.
Wyoming is full of surprising places, like the town of Ten Sleep. My husband and I took a trip up there a few years ago. We were coming up from Colorado. After several hours of empty, flat prairie, we crossed the Big Horn Mountains, through a breathtakingly steep ravine, down into the town. The ravine seemed to pop out of nowhere. After the blistering heat of the prairie, the ravine and the town were cool and green like an oasis.
19th Century Wyoming was an exciting place, full of interesting people and dangerous events. Heartbreaks and triumphs. Towns started and died in short spans of time, supporting the needs of the various trails west, gold rushes, and railroads. Times of such chaotic upheaval bring out the best and worst in people—and they make for a fabulous backdrop for Western Romance.
All of the Men of Defiance stories are set in a fictional town called, Defiance that looks something like South Pass City but is located near present-day Centennial at the foot of the Medicine Bow Mountains. I’ve had a blast following the lives of the characters in this series. Every time I write one story, new characters pop up who need their own story told. I’ll be releasing the next in the series late spring 2013. It’s Chayton’s story, tentatively titled AGNES AND THE RENEGADE. After that comes DULCIE AND THE BANDIT. I’m sure the sheriff in LOGAN’S OUTLAW will have his own story—he just hasn’t told me what it is yet.
I’ll be giving away a print copy of LOGAN’S OUTLAW today. Feel free to visit my website at www.ElaineLevine.com to get updates on the series and my next releases!
Kirsten—thanks so much for featuring my series and letting me make a visit to your site!
WHOOEEE, folks!! Ms. Levine sure does know her Wyoming! The first clue bein’ she mentioned the wind. ;o) I always enjoy hearin’ about and seein’ the places authors use for inspiration and setting. It helps bring their stories to life.
And a Big Ol’ Thanks for mentionin’ the Wagons West posts! Me and Cookie we love travelin’ over the place we call home are glad to share it with the less fortunate who weren’t born and bred in big beautiful Wyoming. )
Now don’t pack up yer bedrolls and head out, yet. Come on and jaw a bit. The coffee’s just gettin’ thick enough to use as tar, so pour a cup and tell us what ya think of the Men of Defiance. If you’ve been to Wyomin’ …Where? What did ya think? A comment gets yer name in Cookie’s hat…once he gets that coon he caught for supper out.