eturning to the Colorado ranch managed by her uncle, Lady Alexandra Calthorpe has little idea of how the experience will alter the future her father has in mind for her. Headstrong and willful, Alex learns to lasso more than the corral fence post as she tries to emulate the lives of the cowpunchers around her and cross the divide from the strictures of Victorian English society to the freedom of the American west. Having overcome a disastrous marriage in England, and with a burgeoning art career in New York, she tries to reconcile her desire for independence with her love for top hand Jesse Makepeace. But when the brutal winter of 1886/7 blows in killing most of the ranch herd, Alex sees the life she had hoped for on the open range changed forever
Targeted Age Group:
As with all historical writing, it is adamant that you do your research and get everything correct, including the language. I live with the Etymological Dictionary to be sure that words and phrases were in use at the time. And, of course, there are details about ranching and the landscape and so on that have to be spot on. Loveland includes the disastrous winter of 1886 when some ranches lost as much as 75% of their herd. Details like that make it more than just another western romance.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
As I say in my author interview, keep plodding on and take criticism and rejection as free education. Learn to use the criticism that you believe in and forget the rest.
Andrea Downing likes to say that when she decided to do a Masters Degree, she made the mistake of turning left out of New York instead of right to the west, and ended up in the UK. She eventually married there, raising a beautiful daughter and staying for longer than she cares to admit. Teaching, editing a poetry magazine, writing travel articles, and a short stint in Nigeria filled those years until in 2008 she returned to NYC. She now divides her time between the city and the shore and often trades the canyons of New York for the wide open spaces of Wyoming. Loveland, her first book, was a finalist for Best American Historical at the 2013 RONE Awards. Lawless Love, a short story, came out Sept. 4th as part of The Wild Rose Press ‘Lawmen and Outlaws’ series. Three more books are in various stages of progress!
After living in Britain for most of my life, I returned to New York, the city of my birth. I was reading a history of the American Jerome sisters–Jenny Jerome was Winston Churchill’s mother–and discovered one of the other sisters was married to Morton Frewen who had a ranch on the Powder River, WY. Further investigations led me to discover the numerous ranches owned by British aristocrats and so…LOVELAND was born.