#ChocLitSaturdays Author Guest Post featuring Liz Harris on how Wyoming stole her romantic heart!

Posted Saturday, 31 May, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , 3 Comments

Guest Post by ParajunkeeLiz Harris

Proposed Topic: You have a certain flair for writing Western Romance set on American shores, specifically within the heart of Wyoming! What is it about our Western state nestled into the Rockies which draws you back time and again to  stir our emotions and set a Romance afire in this particular location?

One of my earlier ChocLitUK novels to have consumed and readily enjoyed was A Bargain Struck by Liz Harris! I had selected it to read initially as it has been a bit too long since I’ve dipped back into my Western roots and read a novel set in the Old West about a couple living on the frontier! I have always been drawn into stories about the Old West, especially sagas of those who forged West from the East during the height of the pioneer days, as much as soaking into a novel about a working ranch with a heap of cowboys wrangling cattle or horses alike! I love the freshness of the air and the adventure of the spirit of the West woven into the backdrop of the stories! The West is not like any other place in the United States, as it is one of those unique locales where you can draw in a deep breath and feel as though you have stepped into a new place entirely!

I’ve lived off the recollection and memories of my Mum, and my grandparents for most of my life as they were the ones in the family who were able to spend the most time exploring that part of the country! The lushness of the wild bits of the forest against the untame portions of the rock outcroppings of the Rockies themselves always left a sense of wonder inside me! Of course, being a girl who was a budding horsewoman in her younger years did stoke and stir the appeal as well! Once you’ve gained the pleasure of being in the saddle, astride a horse and appreciate the connection between the rider and the mount, there is no going back! Dreaming about riding on the open ranges is enough to ache for a ride similar to those seen in the film Flicka. I still get a hitching of excitement inside me when I find new writers who write about the West in a way that is tangible, real, honest, and a strong representation of where it is set. When I read A Bargain Struck I knew I had found a Romance writer who was writing after my own heart’s tug and pull to go there one day in person!

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A Western Heart by Liz Harris

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

}: How Liz Harris

found a passion for Wyoming! :{

Photo Credit: Liz Harris, taken whilst on a research trip to Wyoming
Photo Credit: Liz Harris,
taken whilst on a research trip to Wyoming



A Choc Lit Lite novella, published as an e-book in May 2014

First of all, many thanks for inviting me to be a guest on #ChocLitSaturdays, Jorie. I’m very much looking forward to meeting you and others this Saturday afternoon, 31st May.

There seems to be a common theme in some of my books: A Bargain Struck is set in Wyoming 1887, A Western Heart in Wyoming 1880, and Golden Tiger, the novel I’m writing at present, in Wyoming in the 1870s and early 1880s.

Why am I so fascinated by Wyoming, you might wonder.

Is it because they were streaks ahead of the rest of the US in the rights they gave to women and I appreciate this?

For example, women were given the right to vote in 1869, making Wyoming Territory the first in the US to do so. Women served on juries in Wyoming from 1870, and in the same year, a female court bailiff was appointed, and also the first female justice of the peace in the US. In 1924, Wyoming became the first state to elect a female governor. Owing to its civil-rights history, the nickname of Wyoming is ‘The Equality State’, and the official state motto is ‘Equal Rights’. Is that the reason, you might ask.

No, that isn’t why I’ve set several novels in Wyoming.

I’ve done so because I’ve always loved the history of the American West and because I had such a fabulous time when I visited Wyoming in 2012. Wyoming is the heart of an historical period that’s so romantic, so exciting, so inspiring.

As a child I used to dream that I was a pioneer who’d travelled west in a covered wagon and was living on a homestead, surrounded by horses and a host of other animals. When I grew up, the dream slightly changed: I was still in the American West and I’d arrived on a wagon, but I was riding into a glorious sunset, a tanned, handsome cowboy at my side.

A Bargain Struck by Liz HarrisThe American West was an inevitable choice of background when I decided to write a historical romantic novel, and A Bargain Struck was born.  Connor (yes, tanned and handsome) is looking for a wife to help on his homestead, look after his young daughter Bridget and provide him with an heir, whereas Ellen is just looking for somewhere to call home after a tragedy in her life.

When Ellen arrives, it’s clear she hasn’t been entirely honest with Connor, but for reasons of his own, he goes ahead with what is a business agreement – one that was pretty commonplace at that time – and marries her. I set A Bargain Struck in the Savery area, 100 miles south of the railroad, in the shadow of the beautiful Sierra Madre mountains. For A Western Heart, I wrote about two ranches north of the Overland Trail. My story is about the rivalry of two sisters, and finding one’s heart’s desire.

Rose McKinley, the daughter of a successful ranch owner, and Will Hyde, the heir to a neighbouring ranch, (yes, tanned and handsome again), have grown up like brother and sister. It’s understood by their family and friends that one day they’ll marry and unite their two ranches. Rose is certain that nothing will stop that from happening. But then a handsome stranger rides in.

As for Golden Tiger … No, it’s too soon to talk about that yet.

I look forward to talking some more on Saturday, both generally and about my books and those written by others, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to say hello beforehand. Thank you, Jorie.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comAuthor Connections:

 Personal Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Converse via: #ABargainStruck, #AWesternHeart, & #ChocLit

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The pleasure is all mine, Ms. Harris! I have been wanting to host you on my blog ever since I read A Bargain Struck, which pre-dates when I complimented my blog feature of #ChocLitSaturdays with the happy chatterment of the twitterverse chat hosted through Twubs! Saturdays have become a fond day for me, and I appreciate that you not only took the time to explain why Wyoming draws you into its embrace in literary pursuits, but that you will be with us as we converse about the topic as well lateron this morning!

Of all the tidbits of information my Mum and grandparents shared with me about the West and about Wyoming specifically, I do not recollect they knew about it being rich in Civil Rights nor on the forefront of Women’s Rights! Two causes that I advocate for myself, and am happy to have found a state that I find inspiring from the point of view of being in awe of its natural beauty, has such a wonderful legacy to impart in other ways! I loved how your dream as a child shifted perspectives as you grew older, but how you kept a bit of who you were then in the dream you have now! We apparently grew up with similar dreams, as I was always darting off into a Western saga of some sort, including reading a healthy amount of horse dramas which included The Black Stallion series, The Saddle Club, and the Throroughbred series. I did not even realise it was called ‘Cowboy Fiction’ for the romance novels set in and around life on the larger ranches which involved the horsemen I loved to read about so much as I grew older.

As far as living on the frontier itself or near the prairies, I have to thank Little House on the Prairie both the book series and the television series for making me question whether or not I could handle life in the 1800s frontier! There were aspects of it that I still appreciate now such as the self-sufficiency of raising your own fruit and veg to curating the love of old world arts and crafts! I especially would be keen to learn how to can and preserve properly as well!

You have me most curious now about reading A Western Heart, but alas, I will have to await either this novella to be placed inside of a collection in a print copy or tucked into a future release of yours as a ‘bonus’ extra surprise! As I know sometimes e-novellas can be printed into forthcoming releases by authors I enjoy reading! Ooh! Is it me, or was I the only one hoping for a kernel of insight into Golden Tiger? The name alone eludes to so many different avenues of where you could take the story, I am properly intrigued without knowing which direction to ponder! Alas! It will simply be my ‘next Liz Harris read’ to eagerly await and happily celebrate once it’s released! OR at the very least within the nearing of publication and can be spoken about outside of its whispering origins!

How wicked then, that we each have such a deep appreciation for Western Romance!?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This Author Guest Post is courtesy of ChocLitUK,

ChocLitUK Reviewercheck out my upcoming bookish event and mark your calendars!

Previously I reviewed “A Bargain Struck

& coming up next is “The Road Back” by Liz Harris.

This Guest Feature has an accompanying chat today | Join us!?

#ChocLitSaturdays Twitter Chat & Blog Feature of Jorie Loves A Story
#ChocLitSaturdays Twitter Chat & Blog Feature of Jorie Loves A Story

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

And, here is a bit of news I found whilst preparing this Guest Feature today, as a wicked round of Congratulations is long since overdue on my behalf:

{SOURCES: Author photograph, Book Covers for “A Western Heart” & “A Bargain Struck”, as well as the cowboy picture were provided by Liz Harris and were used by permission. Guest Post badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. #ChocLitSaturdays Twitter Chat Badge created by Jorie in PicMonkey. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded from codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Saturday, 31 May, 2014 by jorielov in 19th Century, American Old West, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight of E-Book (ahead of POD/print edition), Bookish Discussions, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Romance Fiction

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3 responses to “#ChocLitSaturdays Author Guest Post featuring Liz Harris on how Wyoming stole her romantic heart!

  1. Just last night my parents watched the “Aerial America” show on the Smithsonian Channel and the episode just happened to be Wyoming! I missed that one (great show), but they said it was gorgeous! :)

    http: //www. smithsonianchannel. com/sc/web/series/ 701/aerial-america/3400228/ wyoming
    (remove spaces in link)

    • I would have loved to have seen that show, writerside up, but we don’t get it in the UK, unfortunately.

      There are few programmes, if any, on Wyoming here It’s a shame as there are areas of great beauty in the State. Perhaps my favourite stretch of the road was from Rawlins to Lander. I loved the rock formations and colours.

      Thank you for commenting :-)

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