Judy is giving away a free autographed copy of Under Starry Skies, randomly selected from those who leave a comment with their email address so she can contact the winner for his/her shipping address.
INTERVIEWING ANTI-HERO EMMA MCNEIL
from Under Starry Skies
by Judy Ann Davis
Emma McNeil, Maria and Abigail O’Donnell’s aunt, was gracious enough to answer a few questions about her anti-hero role in UNDER STARRY SKIES and her life in the Colorado Territory in 1875.
Rumor has it, Mrs. McNeil, you married Henry, your second husband, after your first husband, a miller, drowned in his own millpond. Is that true?
–“Why, yes, it’s true. I’m sad to say, my first husband wasn’t really missed since he was a stingy quarrelsome man. Even though my second husband, Henry McNeil, could squeeze the number five off the face of a nickel, he did permit me to purchase new dresses and other fine baubles.”
So Henry was rather thrifty as well?
–“Well, to be fair, he was not as parsimonious as my first husband. But Henry, God rest his soul, was far too generous and tolerant of wretched souls who couldn’t afford to buy a meal at the Inn. Yet, he would get angry when I ran up my accounts around Golden at the millinery shop and local store. Odd, isn’t it that he would give free food and drink to hungry families in the area when he knew they couldn’t pay, yet reprimand me when I bought a few new hats, shoes or parasols? And he wasn’t terribly fond of me parading around town in my new finery. But how else would the paupers and less fortunate know what cultured folks wore?
Do you shoot, Mrs. O’Neil? Or ride a horse or drive a carriage?
–“No, no, and NO! Heavens forbid. Why on earth would I want to act like an indigent settler or common farmhand? I have hired help to provide those services, including a housekeeper and cook.”
What did you think of your nieces, Maria and Abigail O’Donnell?
–“I warned Henry that they would be charity cases and cause only more work and trouble. He didn’t listen. They’re brazen little hussies. It’s rumored Maria is teaching an Indian to read; and Abigail, manager of the Inn, is selling imported Canadian and French whiskey and wine! And if that isn’t enough, those silly young ladies have somehow managed to take in a horrid hungry puppy and are expecting me to give them a daily pan of milk from one of my cows to feed the little ravenous beast. ”
I hear that “The Bonnie Blue Flag” is one of your favorite songs.
–“’Like patriots of old we’ll fight, our heritage to save.’ Young people today have no idea about the importance of customs, traditions and birthright. Why, young women out here ride astride, carry guns, drink whiskey, own their own businesses, and disrespect their elders. Henry knew I wanted to return to Georgia and a more civilized life than the Colorado Territory could offer, but he kept refusing to move.”
Did you kill your first husband?
–“I shall overlook your boldness and impertinence by refusing to answer such an improper and insulting question.”
Did you kill your second husband?
–“My, what a brash young person you are! I think this interview is finished!”
Title: Under Starry Skies
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date Published: May 2014
Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense
Word Count: 81,000
Hired as the town’s school teacher, Maria O’Donnell and her sister Abigail arrive in the Colorado Territory in 1875, only to find the uncle they were to stay with has been murdered.
Rancher Tye Ashmore is content with life until he meets quiet and beautiful Maria. He falls in love at first sight, but her reluctance to jeopardize her teaching position by accepting his marriage proposal only makes him more determined to make her part of his life.
When their lives are threatened by gunshots and a gunnysack of dangerous wildlife, Tye believes he is the target of an unknown enemy. Not until Maria receives written threats urging her to leave does she realize she might be the target instead of the handsome rancher.
With the help of Tye, Abigail, and a wily Indian called Two Bears, Maria works to uncover her uncle’s killer and put aside her fears. But will she discover happiness and true love under Colorado’s starry skies?
Tye rolled up into a crouch, reset his hat, and faced Maria. “Listen, I have an idea. I’m going to take you farther back into the forest, hide you, and then I’m going down the mountain a bit in search of my horse.”
“You’re going to abandon me, Tydall Ashmore?”
He winced, his expression was almost apologetic. “No, I’m going to leave you for a few minutes. I promise I’ll return.”
“No, take me with you. Please.” Icy fear glistened in her eyes.
He raised his hand and caressed the side of her face with his knuckles. “You have to trust me, Maria, if we’re going to get back down this mountain alive.”
Judy Ann Davis writes both historical and contemporary romantic suspense as well as short stories.
She began her career in writing as a copy and continuity writer for radio and television. Many of her short stories have appeared in various literary and small magazines, and anthologies, and have received numerous awards.
When Judy Ann isn’t behind a computer, you can find her looking for anything humorous to make her laugh or swinging a golf club, where the chuckles are few.
She is a member of Pennwriters, Inc. and Romance Writers of America.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Judy-Ann-Davis/e/B006GXN502/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4353662.Judy_Ann_Davis