Wednesday, June 11, 2014

TOUCHED BY FIRE, By Lorrie Farrelly

Touched by fire was Oliver Wendell Holmes’ description of the three million men – many of them scarcely more than boys – who fought in the War Between the States. Over 600,000 of them would die; nearly all those who survived found their lives changed forever. At the war’s end, veterans poured into the west; some sought adventure, some sought fortune, some wanted only to outrun their demons and find a reason to go on living. Most could scarcely remember peace; many had no choice but to try to start over.

I’ve always been interested in the Civil War, and I love Westerns. Sorting through a box of old family papers, I came across two documents I’d never seen before. One was a parole pass, and the other, an oath of allegiance. Both had been signed in 1865 by my great-grandfather, William McClain, who had fought in Georgia Infantry. In signing, he swore he would never again bear arms against the United States, and he would abide by all new laws, including the emancipation of slaves. In return, he could go home as a paroled prisoner of war – assuming he still had any home.

I stared at that young man’s signature for a long time. I had so many questions: Why had he fought for a new country founded on terrible injustice? Had he feared for his home and family? Had he expected excitement and glory? And what had he felt as he signed those papers? Humiliation? Bitterness? Exhaustion? Relief? What would he make of his life now?

These questions were the inspiration for my Western historical romance TERMS OF SURRENDER. A Readers’ Favorite 5 Star novel and an Orange Rose Award finalist, it’s the story of former Confederate cavalry Captain Michael Cantrell, a young man who has lost everyone and everything he loved. He roams the Western frontier, seeking peace and new purpose to his life. When a violent encounter in Wyoming Territory lands him in the middle of Annie Devlin's war, Cantrell chooses to make a stand with the young rancher, testing the limits of his courage – and his passion.

Michael and Annie’s family became so important to me that I had to continue their story. The second
novel in the series, TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT, is set in 1885. Annie’s younger brother, Rob Devlin, now a widowed physician with a young daughter, boards a train bound through the Wyoming wilderness. When a fellow passenger, Tess Rutledge, suddenly collapses, Rob’s skills save her life. But in caring for her, he is drawn into her life-and-death flight from a brutal man who is determined never to let her go. Rob and Tess have a chance for a future together – if they survive.

In the final novel in the trilogy, TERMS OF TEMPTATION, Michael and Annie Cantrell’s headstrong daughter, Kinley, strains the patience – and the restraint – of Deputy Game Warden Bram Killoran. He’s wanted Kinley since the day he first saw her outside the Paradise Saloon – backing a burly drunk three times her size up against a hitching rail and giving him a truly inspired and colorful upbraiding for mistreating his horse. Kinley’s determination to defend herself and the animals she loves will make her Bram’s unlikely ally. They are irresistibly drawn to one another, but when her passion and spirit clash with his tangled conflict of duty and desire, not only their hearts will be in danger, but their very lives as well.

“A delight to read...The way Farrelly writes her characters makes quite an amazing page-turner!"
D. Pinzon, Readers' Favorite

“Evocative and compelling ... Readers can expect to find humor, violence, gritty action, and exquisitely-wrought tension throughout ... For readers who seek more depth and layers in their stories."
D. Donovan, reviewing for Midwest Book Review

“Reads like an epic novel. A historical romance that providestwist of supernatural flair.
B. Casto, Readers' Favorite

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