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The Dear Author Intro Interview & Giveaway: Caroline Fyffe, author...

Head of a vast cattle drive, determined to prove himself to his older half-brothers, Luke McCutcheon doesn't imagine baby-sitting will do much for his reputation, but-’well, he delivered that baby, and as her mama doesn't have even a horse to pull her wagon, it's clear someone needs to step up.   But Faith Brown considers being the victim of desperate circumstances a strictly temporary condition, and with her secrets hot on her heels, she isn't so sure about trusting anyone but herself as her hero.   We're giving away a set of Caroline's first two books, both Westerns, so leave a comment for a chance to win.

Opening line:

An eerie   keening echoed through the trees.   Luke McCutcheon straightened in the saddle, and his filly's ears flicked forward, then back.

Caroline Fyffe, author of Montana DawnWhat were the original "triggers" or inspiration points for Montana Dawn?

Big family.   After writing about Chase and Jessie and the two children in a small cabin [in Where the Wind Blows], I craved a big family setting and all the tomfoolery that goes along with it.   Also, sibling love. I come from a family of five girls and we all were, and still are, very close. I wanted to incorporate that. And lastly, I adore cattle drive stories.   The show Rawhide was a favorite of mine.
A six-word memoir for your protagonist:

Great heart + steely will = fierce passion

Your favorite line, moment, or scene in the book:

This is a hard question because I have several scenes that I love.   I guess if I had to pick, it's a conversation between my hero, Luke McCutcheon, and his mother.   I don't want to give anything away, but when something is perceived one way and in reality it's proven different, and a whole new set of beliefs are opened up, that's exciting to me.   Luke's beliefs are shattered and he's set free, giving him, and the story, a new direction.

Luke and Faith are both tough survivors, true examples of the frontier spirit.   But let's say you had to put them in another time and place.   What would you choose for them?

Ha, that's funny. I think I'd like to see Luke handle Regency England.   I know Faith would adapt easily, but Luke might have to do some wrangling to be able to fit in.   Once done, I think he'd definitely make a debonair and dashing Duke.

The river crossing scene is particularly vivid one, and I also enjoyed how Ward Brown, the villain, performs a very heroic deed at this point in the story.

When I began the scene I didn't know ultimately how it would turn out.   I kind of went with the flow, so to speak.   I pictured myself as a girl and how we used to swim our horses bareback in the river on a hot day.   The power the horses have to exert while swimming is indescribable.   We'd have to really cling onto the mane to keep from being swept off.   I wondered what it would be like to have to actually fight that power to stay alive.   And because I'm a horse lover, I had no idea until I got into the scene, and things became more precarious for Luke, that things would go so wrong for Chiquita.   And pertaining to Ward-I had to give him at least a couple good qualities. (His good looks being the other.) Few of us are either all good or all bad.

It's nice seeing Luke's close relationship with his headstrong sister Charity.   Tell us what bonds those two in particular, and is Charity a character you see yourself writing about more in the future?

Absolutely!   I'm writing about Charity right now in the sequel to MONTANA DAWN.   She teams up with John, the McCutcheon brother who has just gotten his college degree and medical license and is going to Rio Wells, Texas.   Charity's unique relationship with Luke, and with each of her brothers, really, stems from her soft heart and need to protect.   She works to cover her softness by trying to be just one of the men, and works hard to prove that she is no different from them.   This often leads her into trouble.

The book has a fairly large cast, starting with the McCutcheon clan itself and branching out from there.   Who's your favorite secondary character?

ACK!   I don't know.   I guess if I have to pick it would be Roady.   I fashioned him after a training assistant (although he spells his name Roadie) who used to help me with my horse when I was taking cutting lessons in California, many moons ago.   He was just so down to earth and kind and westerney, I had to make him Luke's best friend.   And that's saying something because Luke also has three wonderful brothers.   I also love Chance.   I had no idea he was going to fall in love with Faith.   He just endeared himself to me-’and her.   I've always liked the sensitive shy type.   LOL

Number of manuscripts you wrote before your first book, Where the Wind Blows sold:

From the time I started writing until I sold, I completed three and a half manuscripts. Where the Wind Blows was my first and Montana Dawn my second.   Then I wrote a contemporary woman's fiction, which was so much fun to write.   I'm not sure what to do with that just yet, but I had this story I had to tell.   The manuscript I finished recently is a Historical Christian fiction-..I'm all over the genre board.

Length of time from your decision to write for publication to the "sold" call:

Twelve years from beginning to "sold," with four years off in the middle.   So a total of eight serious years.   I owe my friend and fellow equine photographer and journalist, Cheryl Magoteaux, for getting me back on track.

Your oddest or most reliable writing ritual/habit:

If I'm having a hard time finishing a scene I'll go back and switch the POV.   It's not hard to do and gets the story moving right along.

Writing advice you're glad you followed:

Write every day.   Even if it's only a page.   You'll be amazed at how much you'll get done by just sitting down.

Three sources of inspiration for you:

Prayer, friends and a good book!

Your paying job(s) pre- and post-publication:

I've been an equine photographer for the past twenty years. (http://www.carolinefyffephoto.com)      After winning the Golden Heart in 1999, I gave up shooting my own shows (it's a lot of travel) to be able to spend more time with my family and writing.   I still did ranch calls, worked for publications and shot at the world shows for another photographer.

Your favorite book when you were 10 years old:

The Seventh Man by Max Brand.

An author or book you recommend again and again:

Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte.

One commenter will receive copies of both of Caroline's books, so chime in below!

77 Comments

  1. Sabrina
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 04:32:32

    I love Westerns and I am in dire need of something to read for mornings like today where I woke up at 5am for absolutely NO reason and can’t go back to sleep!

  2. alexa
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 04:54:15

    I love Westerns and horses and I’d love to give this book a go.

  3. Pat T.
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 05:03:57

    I love westerns too. Thank you Ms. Fyffe for helping to keep this genre from disappearing. I’d love to read your books.

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    Nov 24, 2010 @ 05:10:22

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  5. Danielle D
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 05:17:00

    I love Westerns and I can’t wait to read this book!

  6. ms bookjunkie
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 06:39:20

    *makes note of interesting-sounding books*

  7. TaraR
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 07:28:44

    I am not a habitual reader of Western Romances, so this seems like a good place to start…

  8. Ammy Belle
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 07:37:50

    Great interview! I, too, would love to see how Luke would handle Regency England … lol

    Thanks for the interview and the generous giveaway!

    apereiraorama @ gmail.com

  9. jayhjay
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 08:05:02

    I have been getting into western romances and these sound great. Thanks!

  10. Val
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 08:17:23

    I’m not much of a western reader and I don’t keep up with the authors as well as those in some other genres. So thanks for providing a rec – I needed one!

  11. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 08:32:54

    Hi, Sabrina! I hear you about waking up and not being able to get back to sleep. It's so frustrating. Well, it is if you're not in a good book, like you said. So happy to hear that you love Westerns. I do too. Western movies also. Every time a new one debuts I practically run to the theater. And I watch old ones while on the treadmill. Guess I was born too late. LOL

    Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 08:39:25

    Thanks so much, Alexa, for stopping by and reading about MONTANA DAWN. I do appreciate it. And it's great to hear that you're a fan of western fiction also….

    Good luck in the drawing!

  13. Susan Laura
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 08:45:50

    I love good storytelling and “Where the Wind Blows” was a wonderful book. Looking forward to your next story, Caroline!

  14. Hannah
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 08:55:31

    I also enjoy historical Westerns and am always looking for more to read.

  15. Susan
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 09:04:23

    I love westerns–always want to read a good one!

  16. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 09:08:30

    Good morning, Pat T! Happy you stopped by. It's super to connect with other western lovers—warms the heart. The American West is the backbone on which this country was built. Love it!

    Have a fantastic Thanksgiving tomorrow. Are you hosting or traveling?

  17. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 09:11:36

    Oh, BTW!! I’m having a BIG CHOCOLATE GIVEAWAY to anyone interested in winning books and LOTS of chocolate. It’s on my website at http://www.carolinefyffe.com

    Ends in December so be sure to check it out!!

  18. Jennifer Estep
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 09:12:03

    Don’t enter me in the drawing as I actually have these books already. I bought them for my mom (we both love westerns), and she enjoyed them very much. I’m looking forward to reading them as well.

  19. Kim
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 09:22:02

    Since publishers mostly buy regencies now-a-days, it’s been ages since I’ve read a western. Hopefully, publishers will start bracnching out.

  20. Virginia C
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 09:25:20

    Hi, Caroline! Your books sound wonderful : ) Historical Western Romance is my favorite genre. I love westerns of all kinds. Being a Southerner, I also love Civil War romances and stories set in the South. However, for me, nothing beats a western in its purest form. By that, I mean a stalwart cowboy and his lady, the land, and the life. When a cowboy truly loves, he loves with all his heart, forever. His woman is as cherished as his values, his “cowboy code of honor”. Not always in words, but in deep, deep feelings. Feelings as true as the blue of a Texas bluebonnet.

  21. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 09:40:14

    Hi, Danielle! I'm so happy to meet you and all these other western loving cowgirls. Very fun.

    Thanks for stopping by and have a fantastic holiday. Read on!

  22. caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 09:42:04

    Ms bookjunkie-’thanks for taking note!! Appreciate it!

  23. LoriK
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 09:50:20

    I also love Westerns and would be thrilled to win these. They sound wonderful.

  24. Jenny E.
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 10:09:50

    Cool, will definitely check these out! Westerns rule

  25. Juliette
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 10:17:36

    Sign me up:)

  26. LibrarianLizy
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 10:23:05

    I’ve only read one historical western, but I really liked it and think I would like to read more. This story, and it’s sequel, sounds appealing.

  27. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 10:58:38

    TaraR-’Hello. Thanks for stopping by. Being you're new to Western Romance let me be one of the first to give you a warm welcome. I'd be interested to hear how you like the genre after you read a few……Happy Turkey Day! ((:^>

  28. Christine Rimmer
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 11:10:41

    Just chiming in with a Wahoo, Caroline! Talent and persistence win the day every time!

  29. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 11:22:06

    Thanks, Ammy. Glad you enjoyed it. Luke and the rest of his brothers might cause a bit of a scene, I think. I just never know what they’ll do next….. ….. cowboys!

    Good luck!

  30. cheryl c.
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 11:22:38

    I really enjoy historical westerns, and WHERE THE WIND BLOWS was a wonderful story with unforgettable characters. I look forward to reading this next one.

  31. LSUReader
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 11:38:25

    Your book sounds great. And your favorite scene is a conversation the hero has with his mother? Awwwww. Count me in, please. Thanks for visiting.

  32. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 11:51:53

    Jayhjay…Good to hear you're a new reader to Western's, too. Every reader is important. Thanks and good luck!

  33. Julie
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 12:14:33

    Ah, I haven’t read a good western in a while! Thanks for the chance to win. :)

  34. Katherine
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 12:17:01

    I am just dipping my toe into the Western genre. These books sound great. I’d love to try them out.
    (Love the fact that you write about what you know – always cool.)

  35. JenM
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 12:20:56

    I’m somewhat hit or miss on Westerns. When they are good, though, I really enjoy them. I think I read an excerpt of this book somewhere and it sounded like something I’d like. Best wishes with your books.

  36. Has
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 12:51:18

    I love Westerns – and this sounds like something I would really enjoy. Count me in!

  37. Cybercliper
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 13:09:04

    I’m a huge western fan of both books and movies. I fell in love with a young, gorgeous cowboy from Rawhide reruns – Clint Eastwood – wasn’t he the most handsome guy! I grew up reading my grandpa’s paperbacks and they were mostly Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour.

  38. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 13:48:56

    I'm happy to help, Val!
    Take care.

  39. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 13:51:43

    Thanks for the flowers on WHERE THE WIND BLOWS, Susan. One never tires of hearing that. LOL Hope you like the next one just as well.

    Have a happy Thanksgiving!

  40. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 14:04:08

    Hello, Hannah and Susan. Great to hear you're both western fans too! I appreciate you reading about MONTANA DAWN and leaving a comment. Good luck in the drawing….

  41. Judy G.
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 14:09:25

    I wasn’t a western fan until I read Caroline’s book Montana Sky. It’s got romance and family and adventure. I highly recommend it!

  42. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 14:11:05

    @Jennifer Estep: Cool, Jennifer. So happy your mother liked them! Actually, I've had several people tell me they bought them for their moms. LOL Men seem to enjoy them too. So, that's a plus.

    Thanks so much for letting me know!

  43. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 14:15:44

    I like how you think, Kim!! Can you please call all the publishers and let them know. LOL Just kidding. But, truthfully, it's so nice and encouraging to hear you'd like to see more. Thank you!!

  44. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 14:23:26

    Virginia-’so well said! Are you a writer, too? If not, you should be. I also love the Civil War books and think back fondly when I first read John Jake's The Kent Family Chronicles and The North and South Trilogy! Super good. How many books were there? Eight I think? Wow, really loved them….

  45. Sara Reinke
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 15:21:03

    The book is gorgeous, Caroline! Your cover really grabbed me from the first time I saw it. Westerns are my grandfather’s favorite genre (and he’s been known to read at least a dozen romances in one sitting, too!), so I’m going to try and get a copy of yours for a Christmas gift. :) (I wish we had another LRW meeting between now and the holidays so I could snag an autograph for it, too, LOL) -I hope you and your family have a warm, safe and wonderful holiday season.

    Sara

  46. Lobo
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 15:27:42

    I haven’t read a good western romance for quite a while and these books sounds interesting. So I’m in :)

  47. orannia
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 15:31:11

    Few of us are either all good or all bad.

    Exactly. I love a villain that makes me experience snippets of self-doubt as to his evilness :)

    It must be from lack of sleep, but I’m kind of confused as to who the hero is in this book. I thought it was Luke, but then I read this in the interview:

    I also love Chance. I had no idea he was going to fall in love with Faith. He just endeared himself to me-’and her.

    Could you clarify please?

    All teh best for the release. Oh, and please don’t include me in the giveaway – I live a bit too far away :)

  48. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 16:05:49

    Hi, LoriK~~Glad you stopped by. Good luck in the drawing!

  49. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 16:08:19

    Jenny E. — I love your enthusiasm!

  50. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 16:11:02

    You're signed up, Juliette. May the Good Luck Fairy smile on you…..! LOL

  51. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 16:15:03

    Hi, LibrarianLizy, thanks for joining in today. Only one historical western? I'd love for my books to be number two and number three. But, only if you let me know how you liked them…..

    Take care and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  52. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 16:26:47

    Hi, Christine! Thanks for stopping by. I don't know about talent, but persistent-’YES! LOL That was when my critique group with Susan Crosby was once a week. Those were great times and something I looked forward to sooo much!

    Have a blessed Thanksgiving and I hope to see you at an upcoming conference!!

  53. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 16:45:44

    Thanks, Cheryl c.! I'm VERY happy to hear you liked Chase and Jessie from WHERE THE WIND BLOWS. I appreciate hearing that more than you know. I hope you'll let me know if you liked MONTANA DAWN just as well.

    Wishing you a wonderful holiday!

  54. Caroline
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 16:53:25

    LOL-’LSUReader-’You have a point! That did sound strange for a romance. But, the scene is a pivotal point for Luke, whom I love, and with it he finds freedom and is able to go after Faith.

    Be assured you're in the drawing. Have a good Thanksgiving!

  55. Brenda Chan
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 22:08:41

    Sounds lovely :) I’ve not read much westerns. This seems like a good place to jump back in!

  56. Bella F.
    Nov 25, 2010 @ 01:49:52

    you know? Ive just realized Ive not yet read a western! But these sound like a great place to start, especially since I know there’s a romance I can look forward to:)

  57. Carol Wong
    Nov 25, 2010 @ 08:43:20

    Westerns are great,and this one has a cattle drive. I loved watching cattle drives on TV. Think that I would be casting the book for a movie as I read it.
    LOL

    Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

  58. Caroline
    Nov 25, 2010 @ 09:12:48

    You're welcome, Julie. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  59. Caroline
    Nov 25, 2010 @ 09:19:14

    Hi, Katherine~~When I first started writing that was one thing my critique partners always harped on. Personal experience makes everything so much easier and faster, and much more interesting. I hope you will give my books a try and then let me know what you think!

    Have a great Thanksgiving! Eat a lot…..

  60. Caroline
    Nov 25, 2010 @ 09:20:43

    Thanks for the good wishes, JenM!

  61. Caroline
    Nov 25, 2010 @ 09:24:39

    Good morning, Cybercliper! You sound a lot like me. LOL If it wasn't Rawhide it was Bonanza, Gun Smoke or High Chaparral. Loved them all!

    Thanks for stopping in and giving us a glimpse at what makes you tick. Yay for Westerns!

    Have a great day….

  62. Caroline
    Nov 25, 2010 @ 09:27:52

    Hey, Judy G! Happy Thanksgiving! I'm thankful for wonderful friends like you and for your great recommendation. I' m thrilled you liked MONTANA DAWN!! Hugs!!

  63. Caroline
    Nov 25, 2010 @ 09:33:37

    Hi there, Sara, thanks so much for coming by to say hello and for the flowers on the cover of MONTANA DAWN! I'm partial to it, too…..

    Your grandfather sounds like a great guy-’keeping all us authors in work. LOL I'd love to sign a book for him. Just let me know and we can meet up. Hugs to you and your family on this Thanksgiving day~~<3

  64. Leni
    Nov 25, 2010 @ 10:07:02

  65. ClaudiGC
    Nov 25, 2010 @ 14:52:45

    The premise of your book sounds great! I have to check it out. Love the cover, btw!

  66. Victoria Zumbrum
    Nov 25, 2010 @ 17:26:44

  67. Pam Hager
    Nov 25, 2010 @ 19:30:06

    I haven’t read a western in ages. Would love to read this.

  68. Caroline
    Nov 26, 2010 @ 09:38:40

    Orannia, Hello! Luke is the hero but Chance is one of the cowboys on the cattle drive that takes a fancy to Faith and her new infant and falls in love himself. Actually, most of the trail hands do. LOL On the other hand, Faith only has eyes for Luke. I hope this clears up your question….

    And thank you for your good wishes!

  69. caroline
    Nov 26, 2010 @ 09:41:19

    Great, Lobo. The more the merrier! Hope your Thanksgiving was nice…

  70. Caroline
    Nov 26, 2010 @ 09:43:37

    Hi Brenda,
    Well, I' hope you'll jump back in with mine. Thanks for stopping in and leaving a comment. Good luck!

  71. Caroline
    Nov 26, 2010 @ 09:55:37

    Bella…no western historiacals? Oh, my! LOL I'd be thrilled if one of mine was your first, to say the least….

    Thanks so much for stopping by.

  72. Caroline
    Nov 26, 2010 @ 10:00:17

    Carol, you're a cattle drive fan too! Cool. Horse drive, cattle drive…doesn't matter to me as long as they're going somewhere. Actually, the cattle drive was really fun to write, too.

    Hope your Thanksgiving was great! xoxo

  73. Caroline
    Nov 27, 2010 @ 12:23:54

    Thanks for your interest, Leni! I love family stories also. So much to uncover!

  74. Caroline
    Nov 27, 2010 @ 12:25:43

    ClaudiGC-’I'm happy to hear you love the cover! I think they did a fantastic job….hugs!

  75. Caroline
    Nov 27, 2010 @ 12:27:30

    Thanks, Victoria and Pam. You’re both entered and good luck!

  76. Penny Tuttle
    Nov 28, 2010 @ 21:35:41

    Sounds like a great read for a snowy easter Oregon winter’s day. Please enter my name in the drawing.

  77. Jane
    Nov 30, 2010 @ 14:30:25

    HANNAH, you are the winner of Caroline’s debut books, Where the Wind Blows and Montana Dawn. Contact Alyson H. at DAIntroInterview AT gmail DOT com with your post info. Congratulations!

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