. . . Aleksandra is alone and running to prevent her father’s killer from discovering their family secret. Disguised as a Pony Express rider in 1860’s Utah Territory, she winds up in even deeper trouble when she rides full speed into the Paiute Indian War.
. . . Can she and Xavier, her Californio boss, escape the Indians on the warpath, as well as evade the man who's already killed Aleksandra's father—and set his sights on her?
Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome Lizzie Tremayne and Aleksandra Lekarski from Lizzie's latest release, a historical romance, A Long Trail Rolling. First up is Aleksandra.
Where are you from? I was born in Vienna, but my family ran to the United States when I was just an infant. We ended up trapping in the wilderness of Utah Territory, where I live now.
Tell us a bit about A Long Trail Rolling.It's the story where I meet the love of my life, nearly lose my life, and get to do something no girl has ever done before, ride the Pony Express!
What did you think the first time you saw Xavier? Wow...chocolate brown eyes, deeply tanned Latino visage, gorgeous smile, and what a hunk.
That's a mouthful. And your second thought? Well...I...sort of...drew my shashka [Cossack short, hiltless sword] and held it to his throat?
Interesting. Was it love at first sight? I think it was, but then my training to protect my family's secret kicked in. I'm a bit slow on the uptake sometimes, and it took some time for me to realize he was really the man of my dreams.
What do you like most about him? It would have to be the way he holds me when I think the world's going to end, and murmurs love words in Spanish...he's incredibly sexy. Did you know, 'te quiero', in Español, means both 'I love you', and 'I want you'? That's how close they're linked to a Latino.
How would you describe Xavier? Well, my sexy Latino lover is strong, sensitive, and loves me to bits, despite my stroppy temper and reluctance to let anyone else have any say. You should hear how he talks to frightened horses, and rides. He does have a few issues with trust...well, a lot of them...and a history of abuse from his stepfather, who he thought was his father until just recently.
How would he describe you? I've heard him say I'm lovely, an unparalleled rider, smart probably because I speak five languages and do math in my head, sensitive, generous to a fault, and a lot of fun. But...he'd also say I'm opinionated, bossy, inclined to always want to do things my own way, and difficult to get to know.
What made you choose teaching as a career? When the Pony Express shut down because the Pah-Ute Indians burned down most of the stations for over a hundred miles and I could no longer masquerade as a boy and ride for them, Xavier and I went to Virginia City and got married. Since the Pony wasn't running, my choices were to teach, work in a livery stable--which didn't impress Xavier--or clean house. Guess what won?
What is your biggest fear? That someone will discover our family's secret and give it to the tsar of Russia, and he will use it to run over all of Europe, and then Papa's death was for naught.
How do you relax? I like to lay back in Xavier's arms and be cuddled and kissed...and other things.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? We didn't have many books out there in Utah Territory but it would have to be Vanessa March in Airs Above the Ground by Mary Stewart. The book wasn't written when I was alive, but a little time travel let me read it. Vanessa's a classy, feisty veterinarian with real heart. She's great under pressure and I adore her.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Papa told me again and again to never get excited in a fight. If I kept breathing, my brain would keep me alive. It's worked, so far. Thanks, Papa!
Thank you for giving us your time, Alexandra. We'd now like to talk to Lizzie.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? That would have to be Airs Above the Ground, combining a great heroine (I like the same things about her that Aleksandra does), veterinary medicine (my dream from seven years old) and the Lipizzaner horses, (also my dream from even earlier). This was the first Historical Romantic Suspense I ever read, and at a young age. I seem to see her in most of my heroines! I've been hooked on Historical Romantic Suspense ever since. Phillipa Gregory's books have taught me a lot of history and I love her way with words and her ability to make the history live. Diana Gabaldon combines many genres in her work. She's shown me I can write the books in my heart that cross genres and get away with it.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? Possibly this wasn't an actual single event, but it was a relationship. A man I adored had 'attachment issues' from abuse in his young life. As much as I wanted to try to 'fix' him, I learned it was something I couldn't do. He had to want it enough to make the changes that could have let him be happier in his life. Xavier, however, had no such choice. As my character, I could encourage him to look at his issues for what they were. I could use my bit of control freak on this poor fictional character to make him fix himself. He'll still have trouble with it through this book, and in other books in the series, but he's genuinely trying to get better and face his fears. He's winning. It was Xavier's major issue in the story, so it impacted it by becoming his Achilles heel.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I'm my own publisher. It's called Blue Mist Publishing. I've pitched to several publishers and agents. Most have requested, but in reviewing my submissions, decided they didn't know where to place the story, as it crossed genres. As a publisher might have encouraged, I've entered plenty of contests. I have won some, placed in others, and put the ribbons on my cover. In the course of all this, my writing's improved, and I will continue to work on my craft till my dying day.
What project[s] are you working on now? Right now I'm in the final edits of The Hills of Gold Unchanging. In this sequel to A Long Trail Rolling, Aleksandra and Xavier’s saga continues over the Utah Pony Express Trail, through the mining camps of 1860’s Nevada and California, the Sacramento floods and Old San Fran to Xavier's Rancho de las Pulgas. As the Civil War rages, secessionists menace California. Embroiled in the Confederates' fight to drag the new state from the Union and make it their own, can Aleks and Xavier survive? The secessionists mean business. No one will stand in their way—and live. It will be released 18 February 2017.
What's up next for you? I'll finally get to finish A Sea of Green Unfolding. In the story, tragedy strikes in Aleksandra and Xavier’s newly-found paradise on their California Rancho de las Pulgas. Von Tempsky invites them on a journey to a new life in peaceful New Zealand, but change is in the wind. When they reach Aotearoa, they disembark into a turbulent wilderness—where the wars between the European settlers and the local Māori have only just begun. It will be released 1 May 2017.
Lizzie brought an excerpt for us:
Lookout Pass, she reminded herself as she neared the summit. Glancing north to the distant white tops of the Onaqui Mountains, she swallowed hard as she thought again of her papa and the fossil he'd fossicked for her from its rocky ledges.
The spotted pony broke into a lope over the crest of the hill and began the mile-long descent. Aleksandra's thoughts filled with memories, she was absentmindedly fingering the fossil inside the medicine bag hung about her neck when she felt the first arrow whiz past her head.
Her heart stopped in its tracks and she flung herself to the left side of the Palouse's neck in a Cossack hang, lying flat against his side.
'Yah! Yah! Let's go, Scout!' she shouted, throwing the reins at him.
He needed little urging to run full tilt down the steep and treacherously rocky trail as the yells of Indian warriors echoed through the narrow valley. The arrows came hard and fast from the southwest, screaming like a mad bunch of hornets.
Smart. Her lips curved in the hint of a wry grin.
The Indians had placed themselves between the trail and the setting sun, so Aleksandra couldn't see her attackers in the glimpses she stole, from beneath Scout's neck, of the world whizzing past. With the ground only three feet from her head, the scent of sage filled her nostrils when Scout crashed through a clump of brush. Briefly considering letting go of one of her death-grip holds onto the racing horse to pull a gun from her holster, something akin to suicide, she tightened her lip in a grimace and stayed put, trusting far more in the Palouse's speed and handiness to save them.
Knowing her weight hanging off to one side had to put him off his best, she tried to stay out of his way, keeping as still as possible, tucked down on the side of the skidding and leaping beast. Praying the cinch would hold, she sent fervent thanks to the pony selectors for their choice of horses.
How I'd love to have my bow and arrows, but I only need to get us through to Doc Faust at Rush—
The Palouse interrupted her musings as he threw up his head and reared, angrily trumpeting and shaking his head for a moment, nearly dropping Aleksandra, then resumed his headlong rush down the hill. When he carried on, she heard whistling sounds with every breath and turned her face forward to see where the noise was coming from.
Then she saw the arrow.
To learn more about Lizzie Tremayne, go to:Lizzi's Website
Amazon Author Page
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See your options on my website: digital – paper – hardcover – large print – handmade leather bound - signed
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