I’m happy to welcome back Wild Rose Press author Julie Howard. Today, Julie shares her author journey and new release, The Three Widows of Wylder.
Thank you, Joanne, for hosting me today! This is a lucky day for me because my eighth book, The Three Widows of Wylder, releases today.
I never thought I’d have eight books out. My dream was to someday have one published. My journey to becoming a novelist was both long and short. My childhood dream was to be a novelist and I was always creating stories and jotting down plot and character notes. I majored in journalism in college and was a newspaper reporter, columnist and editor for a number of years. This was a great training ground as I learned quite a bit about human behavior during the stories I reported on (motivations), how different people speak (dialogue), and understanding what made an interesting story (plot). For a few years, I worked in marketing before I realized time was growing short for realizing that old childhood dream.
In my forties, I quit work and started writing my first novel. I learned writing fiction was very different than nonfiction. While I had the technical abilities, I still had a lot to learn. I took a few classes, attended conferences, and read a number of books on writing fiction. I spent a few years researching and writing a historical fiction novel and then, mentally exhausted by that effort, decided to write a mystery to clear my mind. That book, Crime and Paradise, was picked up by The Wild Rose Press.
What seemed like an immediate success to those around me was actually the culmination of years of work putting the building blocks in place. I’ve stayed with the same publisher for seven subsequent titles and am now working on my next novel. Finally, after all these years, I’m living my childhood dream.
Three women. Three terrible secrets.
Three women on the run.
After the death of her husband, Clara flees a hanging judge and seeks refuge with her brother in Wylder, Wyoming.
With secrets of her own and good reasons to flee, spoiled and vain Mary Rose joins Clara on the trek to Wyoming. Surely a suitable man exists somewhere.
Emma is a mystery. A crack shot and expert horsewoman, her harrowing past seeps out in a steady drip. She’s on the run from something, but what?
After the three women descend on Wylder, a budding romance leads to exposure of their pasts. As disaster looms, will any of them escape?
Emma stood, legs apart, one hand on the pistol at her hip. The covered wagon was the type used years ago by pioneers, before trains tamed the prairie, and they still lumbered across areas where tracks hadn’t been laid. Two women sat side-by-side, too focused on their argument to yet notice the camp they entered. Their one horse, overmatched by the heavy wagon, was damp with sweat, its mouth flecked with froth.
“We should have stayed on the main road.” The peevish one appeared much younger, curly gold hair topped by a large straw hat. She wore a light-yellow dress with lace at her wrists and throat, a perfectly inadequate outfit for travel. “Someone could have provided directions.”
The older woman had finely-drawn features, a few strands of gray threaded through her dark, uncovered hair. Dressed in sensible blue calico, she gripped the reins too tight and the poor horse gave a pathetic shake of its head. “The whole point was to avoid people,” she sniped.
Emma strode forward and seized the reins. “For God’s sake, you’re killing him.”
The two women gaped as though at an apparition. The horse, released from harsh hands, lowered its head and halted. Its sides heaved as flies drank at its sweaty flanks.
“Whomever let you two fools handle a horse should be whipped.” Tempted to dispatch the women to hell for their cruelty, Emma rested her hand on the pistol’s handle.
They two travelers spoke in tandem. “Who are you?” and “How dare you call me a fool.”
As Emma crooned into in the horse’s ear, her expert fingers undid the buckles at its shoulders and haunches. By the time the older of the two women climbed to the ground, the horse was unhitched and Emma led it to the creek.
“That’s our horse,” cried the one in yellow. “Clara, what is that insane girl doing? She’s stealing him.”
Emma halted, shoulders stiff. She turned and pointed the pistol at the one with lace at her throat. “I’m no horse thief.” She cocked the hammer. “Apologize.”
Author Bio and Links
Julie Howard is the author of the Wild Crime mystery series and Spirited Quest paranormal mystery series. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. She is a member of the Idaho Writers Guild and editor of the Potato Soup Journal.
When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time outdoors cycling, walking or gardening. A fifth generation Californian, she now lives in Idaho.