Marie Owen yearns for a loving husband, but Colorado Territory is long on rough characters and short on fitting suitors, so a future of spinsterhood seems more likely than wedded bliss. Her best friend says cowboy Bill Henry is a likely candidate, but Marie knows her class-conscious father would not allow such a pairing. When she challenges her father to find her a suitable husband before she becomes a spinster, he arranges a match with a neighbor’s son. Then Marie discovers Tom Morgan would be an unloving, abusive mate and his mother holds a grudge against the Owen family. Marie’s mounting despair at the prospect of being trapped in such a dismal marriage drives her into the arms of a sweet-talking predator, landing her in unimaginable dangers.
This fourth book in the Owen Family Saga is infused with potent heart and intense grit.
Appetite whetted? Ready for more? Here’s author Marsha Ward with our six signature questions:
1. What was the first romance novel you ever read?
That’s a hard question, because I’m not a spring chicken! Although it’s possible it could have been something by Barbara Cartland, I’m going to go with Mistress of Mellyn, by Victoria Holt, whose real name was Eleanor Hibbert. She wrote under EIGHT pen names. I do so love Gothic romance novels. I read them for a long time before branching out to other kinds of romances. While I understand the need for sexual tension in novels, I appreciate “clean” or “sweet” novels over those with explicit sexual depictions. Perhaps that’s why I tend to read novels with complex mixtures of romance, suspense, and mystery mixed together.
2. Your house is on fire–which five romance novels do you grab on your way out?
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, which fueled my love of the Civil War time period; Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, because it demonstrates the unnamed protagonist’s growth; One for the Money by Janet Evanovich, just because it’s fun; All’s Fair in Love, War, and High School by Janette Rallison, for the young person still inside me; and Dangerous Favor by Joyce DiPastena, because Joyce just plain writes a thrilling romance.
3. What is your secret passion?
I’m not so sure how passionate people would think this is, but not having to get dressed in the morning is high on my list of things to do . . . or NOT do. I adore being able to write books dressed in my pajamas.
4. Why do you write romance?
I think I do it because there are twin streaks of optimism and romanticism in my soul, and what is more optimistic than a happy ending to a romantic story?
5. Is there anything in your book that comes from personal experience?
Three things come to mind: Someone in my family had a brush with a con artist. I’ve used characteristics of that personality type in one of the players in Spinster’s Folly. Besides that, because I married later than my peers, I know what it is like to yearn for a family of your own. Perhaps Marie Owen’s feelings of desperation stem from my own hard knocks against reality. Finally, I came from a family with seven children. I think that having experienced living among so many people gives richness to my portrayals of the Owen family.
6. What is your favorite kind of tea and how do you drink it?
I like peppermint tea. It seems to calm me when I need solace or just a period of quiet time, so I’ll whip out a teabag, heat the water, and try to relax for a while to get my balance back.
Marsha Ward is an award-winning poet, writer and editor whose published work includes four novels (so far) in The Owen Family Saga: The Man from Shenandoah, Ride to Raton, Trail of Storms, and Spinster’s Folly; and over 900 articles, columns, poems and short stories. She also is a workshop presenter and writing teacher. Marsha’s website is at http://marshaward.com. She blogs at “Writer in the Pines” http://marshaward.blogspot.com and “The Characters in Marsha’s Head” http://charactersinmarshashead.blogspot.com. Find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authormarshaward.
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