Montana Promises: More Western Than Romance

Montana Promises (1)Montana Promises is the first in the “Montana Series” by Velda Brotherton and was recently republished. Tressie Majors is left alone in a soddie on the vast great plains after the death of her mother in childbirth. She has no idea where her father might be. Struck by gold fever he abandoned his family and set out for the gold fields of Montana Territory. She wants only to find him and let him know how much she hates him for leaving her and her mother alone and vulnerable. As she buries her mother and the child, she sees a horse and rider approaching in the distance. Perhaps this is her way out.

by Velda Brotherton

This book originally was my very first publication. Intended to be a western, I was told by a western editor that it needed to be turned into a romance because of the female protagonist. So that’s what I did, and it came out from Topaz in 1994. The publication happened so quickly I walked around in a daze for months. In fact, it was chosen at the last minute when another author failed to meet her deadline and a space opened up. The manuscript was lying on my editors desk, she’d read it once as a romance. The original cover was computer generated. It featured Steve Sandalis, the Topaz Man. I would later meet him at a Romantic Times Conference. He was a bit shy and very charming. Attending that first conference was a culture shock, but I recovered nicely.

My editor told me later that I’d kept my hero and heroine apart for too much of the book, and I wasn’t to do it again. We laughed about that later, but I was more careful with the books that followed. I was accustomed to writing westerns, and turning one into a romance challenged me. I still feel my books are more western than romances.

Two more Montana books follow this one. The next, Montana Dreams, features Ben Poole, who visited with Rose in chapter fifteen of this book. His adventures are tied up with the railroads that are beginning to criss-cross the west.

We are told, as authors, to write what we know. I disagree with that. I say, write about what we want to know. And that’s what I did when I wrote this trilogy that takes place in the Big Sky country of Montana. All my life I’d wanted to go to Montana. My Dad would go hunting in Wyoming and Montana once every year and I’d beg him to let me go along. But in those days, girls didn’t do such manly things.

Once I began this series, I visited Montana every day in my research, and later the actual writing. I dug deeply into Montana’s culture, the flora and fauna of the countryside, and traveled from one small town to another.
new Velda One day after a couple of the books were published, I was pleased to receive a phone call from a lady in California who said she was raised in Montana and when she read my books she felt as if she’d gone home. I couldn’t have received better praise.

Several years later, I was able to visit Montana and Wyoming, and when we went to the preserved ghost town of Virginia City, felt as if I were going home myself. I knew this place, where Reed and Tressie spent so much time.

To check out my books, go to Amazon or my website.

Velda Brotherton has a long career in historical writing, both fiction and nonfiction. Her love of history and the west is responsible for the publication of 15 books and novels since 1994. But she’s not about ready to stop there. When the mid-list crisis hit big city publishers, she turned first to writing regional nonfiction, then began to look at the growing popularity of E Books as a source for the books that continued to flow from her busy mind. Those voices simply won’t shut up, and so she finds them a hSad Songs cover 4ome.

A need to continue to write and submit her work, soon led to publishers in the growing field of E books. Within a matter of months, she placed a western historical romance, Stone Heart’s Woman, with The Wild Rose Press, an award winning E Book publisher; then a mainstream paranormal, Wolf Song, was accepted by SynergE Books. A much grittier book set in the Ozarks, A Savage Grace, about a demon gone rogue and a woman who tames him, is under consideration by another E Book publisher. Recently Wilda’s Outlaw: The Victorians was published in both E book and print by The Wild Rose Press. She is now producing audio books through ACX from her Kindle published books. Montana Promises came out in audio May 8, 2013, read by Jeff Justus. She also uploaded a novella, The Legend of the Rose to Kindle that same month.

Velda signed two more contracts in May, 2013, one with Wild Rose Press for Once There Were Sad Songs, a women’s fiction, another with Oak Tree Press for a mystery, The Purloined Skull.

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Heidi, thanks so much for allowing me to be a guest on your blog.

  2. Velda is remarkable. I loved what she said about “Writing what you WANT to know,” not what you do know. The colorful West is a Candyland of inspiration for creative fiction writers. Research can often tell you more than native sons and daughters in any region. I hope the “Western” category soon gets lost in the promotional tags– and is just accepted as ‘Historical adventure.”. Most of them defy genre, anyway–salted liberally with romance, mystery, and action.,

    cj

    • Oh, absolutely–from your fingers to God’s ears! “Western” just isn’t descriptive enough anymore!

  3. CJ, I thoroughly agree with your post about westerns as a part of our storytelling past, Thanks so much for the comment.


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