No one would ever imagine a fresh-faced young woman could be robbing stage bandits of their ill-gotten fortunes. But Jennie Jones is desperate to save her family's ranch from foreclosure. And the risks seem worth it, until her upright new ranch hand offers a glimpse of how much is really at stake.
Former bounty hunter Caleb Johnson is ready for a new, clean start. With a woman like Jennie, he could build a future there in Utah territory. But only if his gentle faith can guide her in a choice between the land she's fought so hard to save and a future by his side.
I am so excited to be welcoming author Stacy Henrie to my blog today. Her brand new book Lady Outlaw is out this month from Love Inspired Historical. And what a fun post she has for us, as the heroine in the book interviews the author!
Lady Outlaw heroine, Jennie Jones, interviews author Stacy Henrie.
I sit on the second porch step of the two-story, frame house. The sky overhead is a cloudless blue and the mountains on both sides of the valley are green. The day is warm but not unpleasant. A horse and rider grind to a halt in front of me, and I cough at the dust. Jennie Jones slips off her horse Dandy. She removes her cowboy hat, revealing red hair, and wipes the sleeve of her blouse across her forehead.
Me: We said after lunch, right?
Jennie: I’m sorry I’m late. I was tied up.
Me: (Raising my eyebrows) Nothing to do with breaking the law?
Jennie: (Brown eyes sparkling with mischief) Not this time, Stacy. I was checking on my cows. We’ve had problems with cattle rustlers in the past. You should ride back out there with me and see our range for yourself.
Me: (Studying my hands) No, that’s okay. I’ve never had a real positive horse-back riding experience. In all honesty, and I mean no offense, I’m not a big animal-lover. Except for maybe cats and bunnies.
Jennie: Thank goodness, you didn’t give me just a pet cat or bunny. (Rubbing Dandy’s nose affectionately) You can’t really get along out here in the West without a good horse. And Dandy’s the best.
Me: (Smiling) Can’t perform your outlawing ways without a horse either.
Jennie: About that … (sitting beside me on the porch steps) where did you come up with the idea of me robbing stage bandits?
Me: I knew I wanted a female outlaw as a heroine, but originally, I was going to have you rob trains or stagecoaches yourself to save your ranch.
Jennie: I’m relieved you changed it. After hearing Caleb’s story of saving a stagecoach, I think dealing with stage bandits sounds less dangerous.
Me: Minus, the uh … wound on your arm.
Jennie: (Fingering her left sleeve) Yes, that was one robbery I didn’t escape from unscathed.
Me: My dad actually suggested you take already stolen money from stage bandits. I liked the idea. It fit with the female Robin Hood image I wanted to create and it helped garner more sympathy for you, since you were raised in a religious home.
Jennie: I don’t know how many other outlaws deal with the prickings of conscious I’ve had.
Me: Probably more than we know—at least in the beginning. There are other Old West outlaws who were raised in God-fearing homes, but most of them never stopped their lives of crime. Unlike you. That’s something I admire about you, Jennie. You have a lot of courage, more than I do.
Jennie: We could put that to the test and get you up on Dandy right now.
Me: Except look at the time. I really ought to be going. My kids will be needing me, which means writing time is over. Thanks for the interview.
Jennie: (Giving me a hug) I appreciate you telling my story and bringing Caleb into my life.
Me: Thank you for giving me such a fun story to tell!