I have this young friend I met online. I’m old enough to be her, ahem, older sister….born when I was a teenager.
It’s amazing how we can have a chemistry with people we’ve only met through a computer screen. Angela Christina Archer and I hit it off from the start. I have to give credit where credit is due. For the book cover of my novel, Whit’s End, I had an image in my mind of a woman walking away, but everything I found looked too boring. I contacted Angela and asked if she had any thoughts for me. She is the one who gave me the idea for the cracked wedding frame and the split shot combining the two on my cover. I get many compliments on that cover, which I don’t think I would’ve thought of doing if not for her.
Angela’s historical romance novels catapult me back in time, where I actually feel as if I’m living in those days. I don’t know how she does it, because my WIP takes place in the 1960’s where facts are readily attainable through videos and pictures. Her novels go back to all different periods with gripping romance tales weaved into the cultures of those days.
She explains below, how she has done it with her latest novel, A Road Paved in Copper (I also love her titles. The excerpt near the bottom will hook you).
A Road Paved in Copper
Angela Christina Archer
Long Valley Press
First and foremost, I’d like to thank Lori for allowing me the chance to take over her blog today! While I haven’t officially met her in person (I’d like to change that sometime in the near future over some good Chicago pizza—we can have one cheat day on our diets, right?), the Lori I’ve come to know over the computer through her blog and knowing her on Facebook is quite the amazing person! I’m so glad that she found my blog a few years ago and decided to give me a chance by following me.
Okay, enough with the gushy stuff. Today, I thought it would be fun to dive into a bit of history behind my latest novel, A Road Paved in Copper. Writing historicals isn’t always fun. There is quite a bit of research that goes into them, so if you pick a boring time period, it’s going to drain you. I always try to pick the time periods that interest me the most. I’m not into Regency, and while I love Outlander (Oh, Jamie. Yum!), I don’t think I’d fare too well in that era too. Sure, I’ve stepped all the way back to 1692 during the Salem Witch Trials with my third novel, When the Black Roses Grow, but I have to admit that that novel gave me grief from the day I started it, and I even shelved it three times without plans to finish it. Talk about research! Oh, and don’t even get me started on the dialect.
But back to my point! I tend to stick with time periods that I not only would love to live in, but love to study about. I suppose I got it from my dad. Who, by the way, was the one who lit the light bulb, so to speak, for A Road Paved in Copper. Anyone who knows my dad knows he likes to tell stories. One afternoon while visiting my parents, he started telling me this story about the woman who founded a small town in Nevada (my home state) that sits between Tonopah and Hawthorn called Mina. Her name was Fermina Sarras.
After 1900, rich discovers in Tonopah and Goldfield had transformed Nevada’s mining landscape. Investors scoured the state, hoping to cash in on the next bonanza, and Fermina’s claims attracted a lot of attention. She became a regional celebrity who paved the way for woman miners and was also nicknamed Nevada’s “Copper Queen” because of her talent for finding copper.
I think the best part of her life story was her travels to San Francisco. She spent her whole life not only mining, but traveling back and forth from the desert to the city, and the surrounding towns. Once she would gather large sums of money, she would ride to another town or the city and blow her fortune on fancy hotels, fine dining, and hoards of younger men. As soon as the money was gone, she would say, “I guess I better get back to the desert.” She’d return to her mines, don her overalls, and take to the hills again.
So as you can see, she was a great woman to inspire the heroine of a story. Ava was, by far, my strongest character. While the others have always had to play a more reserved role, Ava could do anything she wanted. And boy, did she ever.
Here is what some are saying about the novel:
“This female lead is a bad ass! LOVE her!!”
“A particular feature of this novel which was rather clever was that it managed to twist your initial assumptions and expectations of both the main character, and even the setting of the book itself.”
“The ability of the author to provide us a glimpse into two such distinct worlds is truly commendable.”
“It all comes together though for an unbelievably intense ending that left me a mess of tears.”
“What a lovely PROPER book; intriguing, engaging, consuming and lovely to read. Just like books should be. The characters are well rounded and because of that they feel real and human. This is the first book I’ve read by Angela Christina Archer and I thoroughly enjoyed it, would definitely recommend it if you’d like to read a book that has substance as apposed to the fluff you get now.”
Thank you so much for stopping by today and joining me here! And, again, thank you to Lori for hosting me!
Growing up in Nevada, reading was always a pastime that took second place to trail riding and showing horses. When she did find the time in her youth to curl up with a book, she found enjoyment in the Saddle Club Series, the Sweet Valley High series, and the classics of Anne of Green Gables, The Box Car Children, and Little House on the Prairie. Although, writing always piqued her curiosity, it wasn’t until September 2009 that she worked up the courage to put her passion to paper and started her debut novel.
When she’s not writing, Angela spends her days from dawn to dusk as a stay at home, homeschooling mom. She also works in her garden and takes care of her many farm animals, as well as loves to bake and cook from scratch. She doesn’t show horses anymore, but she still loves to trail ride her paint horse, Honky, as well as enjoys teaching her daughters how to ride their horses, Sunny and Cowboy.
Armed with her six-shooter, Ava De La Vega dips the pen into the inkwell and etches her name on the Esmeralda County tax record book. A formidable force, that’s what her peers have called her. The woman in a man’s world, what did she know of mining ore, silver, and copper? Plenty. And it’s this knowledge that makes her of the richest miners in Nevada in 1903. Of course, it also makes her a target.
Traveling back and forth from Tonopah, Nevada and San Francisco, Ava blazes the trail from the dirt and grime of her mines to the fanciest hotel rooms, enjoying the finest wines, the most decadent meals, and the company of attractive young men.
Unfortunately, for Ava, she doesn’t see Craig Harrison coming.
A miner from the snowy Klondike, Craig has traveled from the harsh Canadian mountains down to city streets of San Francisco. Not looking for work, he’s happy with the comfortable life away from the deep mines, the dirt, and the ever sought-after gold.
Unfortunately, for Craig, he doesn’t see Ava coming.
I lifted my glass and sipped the wine again, clicking my tongue as I set it back down. I knew the back and forth game about to occur between us, a battle of wits, a battle of landowners.
I fought to protect my land.
He fought to steal it.
“Is that the stance you are going to take, then?” I asked. “That you know nothing of the recent attack on my homestead?”
“Well, when one isn’t involved then usually they know nothing of the events that transpired.”
“That is what I said, isn’t it?” He paused for a moment as if to exaggerate his defense. “Billy Jack and his men haven’t worked for me in over two years. I have no more control over that man than you do. What he does is his own business. I know nothing of his actions, nor do I order him to do my bidding anymore.”
“I highly doubt that.”
“You know, one shouldn’t hold onto resentment and anger when it comes to the past.”
“I don’t hold concern over what happened all those years ago anymore, and I haven’t for a long time.”
The smirk on his lips told me that a rebuttal sat on his tongue, and yet, he didn’t utter a word. Ah yes, another method of denial—silence—as if to say how dare I come at him with this. Did I not know who he was? Did I not know what he was capable of?
I did know, though.
It was he, who didn’t know what I was capable of doing.
“Is there anything else I can do for you today, Ava?” he finally asked. Indifference breathed through the tone of every word.
“I beg your pardon?”
“I’m rather busy and, quite frankly, I do not wish to waste any more of my time speaking with you if you are only going to accuse me of actions I know nothing about.”
“I know you calculated the attack on my homestead.”
He slightly shook his head. “As I told you before, I didn’t.”
“I know you did.”
“But you can’t prove it.”
I rose to my feet and yanked dozens of red satchels from my handbag, dangling them in my fingers for a few minutes before I tossed them on the table. A few of them fell open and coins rolled from the material, dropping to the floor with a few clangs.
Walter scrutinized the bags, but didn’t move an inch. A detail he hadn’t seen coming. A detail that pinned him to the crime. Evidence he couldn’t refute and that condemned him as though he was there that day.
“I’m sorry to inform you that you lost all of your men in the attack,” I continued. “I know you ordered the attack on my homestead.”
I stepped forward until I stood next to him. I leaned down, my face inches from his, and my hot breath whispered against his skin.
“And if you plan another one, I promise that I’ll gun you down myself.”