I’ve always loved to write. I was the kid in school who “got” Shakespeare and who grabbed the edge of my seat when the teacher announced a new, extensive writing assignment (while everyone else groaned and prayed for a cataclysmic disaster). Yet I was surrounded by a family who had “real” jobs, and writing fiction didn’t seem awful enough to qualify. Then one night I was sitting by myself, staring up at the stars and the satellites gliding by, and I asked God, “What am I supposed to do with my life?” I heard his voice beside me—“You’re supposed to be a writer.”
What is the hardest part after the book is published?Right now I work fulltime as a professional manuscript editor and ghostwriter to fund my fiction-writing obsession. Once my first novel published, then I also had to promote, and I had to write the next novel, and promote it, and write the next novel, and promote it, all the while editing and ghostwriting fulltime (and I’m also a single mom of three teens whom I homeschool). The hardest part is keeping all the plates spinning. Thank God for a sense of humor!
How are your inspirational Historical Romances different from other titles out there?Readers have exclaimed over my unique writing style, and I love that. My novels will carry you back in time to the far reaches of the American West, place you into the saddle of a running horse, and slip you into the cool water of a purling river on a sweltering summer night. I write that you may experience it all firsthand as if you are there, the stories unfolding around you, woven throughout with bold, unforgettable characters and plenty of romance. I write that readers may live the adventure—and I throw in a lot of conflict and action. On my bookmarks for The Sierra Chronicles trilogy, I sum up the three books this way: “An impossible love. An impossible dream. Against impossible odds. But with God, all things are possible….” My novels are vivid, alive, passionate, daring, and adventurous.
What are you working on right now?I’m getting ready to write the first book in my second trilogy, which takes place in the Wind River Mountains, in Wyoming. Lots of anticipation here, waiting to see it come to life. =)
What other books of yours are coming out soon?The Sierra Chronicles book two, Hope’s Promise, just released, and book three, Faith’s Reward, hits the shelves in January 2011. You should see the cover—it is SO gorgeous! If you have a sec, visit http://www.tammybarley.com/Bookshelf.html and have a gander. (You can also view the book trailers for The Sierra Chronicles book one, Love’s Rescue, and book two, Hope’s Promise.)
What movie most impacted you as a kid? Why?Rocky. I love stories of characters believing in themselves, and believing in the gifts God gave them, and doing the impossible.
Tell us about your story. Give us, first, the best thirty-word description, then the longer paragraph version.
The Sierra Chronicles book two, Hope’s Promise
Mini-blurb: While trying to prove their unconditional love for each other, the Bennetts must defend against attacks, overwhelming doubts, and an unknown force that threatens to destroy all they hold dear.
Jake Bennett is finally wed to the love of his life, Jessica Hale—but he isn’t convinced she won’t leave him. Life is a constant struggle for the Bennetts as they battle drought and live in fear of raids on Southerners, and he is not sure that Jess knew what she was getting herself into when she married him.
Jess, however, despairs for another reason—she is unable to conceive a child.
While trying to prove their unconditional love for each other, the Bennetts must defend against attacks on the Paiutes, the doubts that haunt them both, and an unknown force that threatens to destroy all they hold dear. Together, they must stand in faith through betrayal, barrenness, and a very real threat, trusting that God will reward their hopes for a better future.
Introduce your story with the first page of HOPE'S PROMISE.Chapter One
Western Nevada Territory
“Would you care to rest awhile, Jess?”
Withholding a smile, Jess leaned forward in the saddle as her horse clamored beside Jake’s to the top of the rocky bank. When the ground leveled out, she glanced at the progress of the small herd of Thoroughbred stallions close behind, then tossed a lightly accusing gaze to her husband.
“Rest awhile? Are you coddling me, Bennett?”
In the shadow of his hat brim, Jake’s whisky-brown eyes sparkled at her as he grinned the crooked grin she loved. “No, ma’am, I wouldn’t dare.” He nodded sagely to Taggart and Diaz, the hired men with bandanas pulled up against the rising dust, who wrangled on the opposite side of the herd. “But the boys haven’t stood on their own feet twice since sunup, and they’re looking peaked.”
“Peaked?” Jess looked to the burly, orange-haired Irishman and the sinewy, born-in-the-saddle Spaniard and burst out laughing. “Those two wouldn’t walk to their dinner plates if they could ride!”
The sleek, long-limbed Thoroughbreds continued, heads bobbing, toward the mountains, whistled on by the two cattlemen. From her position riding flank, Jess took in the beauty of white nose blazes and white socks flashing amid the bays, chestnuts, and blacks, framed by the red earth and green pines of the Sierra Nevadas.
They were going home.
Where can we find you on the web?I’m at http://www.tammybarley.com/index.html (Scroll down--I also maintain a list of most CBA Western and Prairie Romance authors and their new and upcoming releases, and link to their Web sites.)
Thank you so much, AJ!
In 1863, the War Between the States is dividing more than a nation. To escape the conflict, Jessica Hale and her family flee their Kentucky home and head for Nevada Territory. Her brother, Ambrose, committed to the Confederates, rejoins his Kentucky militia and is disowned by his father. But the worst is yet to come.
A Heroic Kidnapper
Then Unionists presume the family to be Confederate sympathizers, they set a devastating fire to their home. All alone and then “kidnapped” by cattleman Jake Bennett, Jessica is taken to a ranch deep in the Sierra Nevada wilderness. Can she overcome her resentment toward Jake for failing to save her family?
The Depths of Love
When Jake launches a plan to help Jessica’s brother escape from prison camp, she sees him for the honest, good-hearted Christian man that he is and now knows the depth of his love for her. Through the lingering smoke and smoldering ashes from her ruined home and murdered family, will Jessica see a future with Jake?
Coming in 2011 is the third entry in The Sierra Chronicles from Whitaker House.
Springtime brings trials of a different kind—the snowmelt causes the ranch to thrive so much that Jake must sell off the last of their cattle to make room for their horses and the young foals to be born. In the meantime, Jess endeavors to recover her rightful inheritance, which mysteriously disappeared from the bank. When she discovers a link between the banker and a group of murderous Unionists, who continue to target Southerners even though the war is over, Jake launches an undercover investigation.
The conspiracy runs deeper and wider than either of them could have imagined. Jess must put her life—and the life of her unborn child—at risk to stop the ringleader and save the lives of many others. Yet, Jess refuses to give up hope in the God she serves—a God of love who often provides above and beyond our greatest dreams. Coming January 2011!