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I’m happy to have Donna Schlachter visiting with us again today to share about her latest release! A Prickly Affair is a novella in Barbour’s new A Bouquet of Brides Collection. Before we visit with Donna, let’s take a look at A Prickly Affair.
Lily Duncan—“Cactus Lil” to friend and foe alike—is as prickly as her name implies, and she likes it that way. Arizona in 1885 is a land as harsh as the moon, but Lil, born and raised near Cave Creek, feels at one with the sand, rocks, and giant saguaros. She loves living in the desert, and is happiest on her own on her small cattle ranch near Cave Creek, Arizona. Although she’s never been in love before, she pens romantic short stories for a magazine under her pen name of Daisy Duncan.
Peter Golding has never been west of the Mississippi, but a tender young woman named Daisy who writes of love and relationships intrigues him. Through reading her powerful descriptions of what love should be, Daisy’s stories have captured a part of his heart.
When Peter’s uncle sends him to find Miss Daisy Duncan and bring her back to New York City, Peter decides to take matters a step further and bring her back as his bride—surely then his uncle will be impressed with her. But when he arrives, he quickly realizes that Miss Lily Duncan is no shrinking violet waiting to be rescued. In fact, she has to rescue him several times.
Cactus Lil finds her heart torn between this stranger from the east and her desire for independence. If she surrenders to her feelings, will she be forced to do his bidding? When she finds a telegram from her editor telling Peter to bring her back or lose his job, she believes his attentions to be self-serving. Will Peter choose her or his job? And will she decide to surrender her heart or send him packing—again?
Welcome back, Donna! Do you have a favorite character from A Prickly Affair? Why is this character your favorite?
I really like Cactus Lil because she is strong and independent—or so she thinks—but she also recognizes something is missing in her life. I think we’re all a little bit like that—at least, I am!
Perhaps those of us who aren’t know someone who is. 😉 Why did you choose this particular setting, and have you been there?
I chose this setting because it’s in the area where my dad and step-mother—who I dearly loved—were married, and where their ashes are scattered together. I’ve been there several times, and loved the area, and knew I wanted to write a story set there.
It sounds like a special place! Did you do any traveling for research? If so, could you tell us about it?
I travel a lot for research. It started with my first novella set along the Pony Express Trail, and because I wasn’t certain where it would be set, I’ve driven along a good portion of it between St. Joseph, Missouri and Salt Lake City, Utah. I discovered a love for history, for history museums, and for regional stories and legends during that time, and so every trip is now somehow a research trip.
What do you hope your readers take away from A Prickly Affair?
I hope my readers take away a sense of love from a God who is way bigger than our mistakes, and I also hope they see how a little misunderstanding can become a huge wall between people.
That’s very true! Do you have a favorite or “life” verse? Why is that one important to you?
Jeremiah 29:11 is my life verse: for I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future. That verse is important because it was one of the first ones the Lord led me to when I returned to him almost 20 years ago. This verse speaks so loudly to me about how we serve a God of second and third and fourth chances—if I were a cat, I would be on life number 8 right now ☺–and I’ve seen God take the worst of circumstances and turn them around.
A sweet reminder that He does have a plan, even when we aren’t walking in it at the time. Thanks for taking the time to share with us, Donna!
Your turn! Psalms 46:10 has been on my mind a lot recently, with that reminder to be still, to take time to quiet my mind and focus on Him. Is there a particular verse on which you have been reflecting?
More about Donna:
Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a hybrid publisher who has published a number of books under her pen name and under her own name. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters In Crime; facilitates a local critique group, and teaches writing classes and courses. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.
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A Bouquet of Brides Collection Giveaway:
Donna has graciously offered to give away a paperback copy of A Bouquet of Brides Collection. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.