“Suspicion ain’t proof, unless you’re married.”
Gunpowder Tea, an explosive mix of murder, mayhem, humor and love.
Margaret Brownley's story brings this mix to a simmer and lets it brew as the reader takes the tumultuous journey with Miranda, a Pinkerton Agent, and Jeremy, a Wells Fargo detective. The book is wonderful and such a pleasure to read, and even re-read again...and again. The little saying at each chapter added more charm to the book: such as, "Sign outside private detective's door: In God we trust; all others will be treated as suspects" or the one that made me chuckle: "Outlaws are so prevalent in some western towns you can walk form one end to the next without leaving the scene of the crime".
But the story doesn't stop at the surface of love and justice, it goes deeper into our own hearts as we realize that we, too, can be blind about the truth before us. Readers will not be disappointed with this book.
Here's more about Margaret Brownley:
Your novel is Gunpowder Tea--tell us a little about it.
MB~ Pinkerton detective Miranda Hunt (working undercover as Annie Beckman) is determined to track down the notorious Phantom who’s been terrorizing the area for more than a year. To that end she watches ranch hand Jeremy Taggert like a hawk. Not only is he the handsomest man she ever laid eyes on, but she’s convinced he’s the Phantom. Little does she know that he’s a Wells Fargo agent also working undercover and equally suspicious of her. Needless to say, the two of them are working at cross-purposes and that’s when the fun begins.
How did the idea and/or inspiration of writing this book come about?
MB~ After reading about Kate Warne who worked for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency from 1856 to her death in 1868, I knew I had to write about a female detective. A master of disguise, Kate helped save president-elect Abraham Lincoln from an assassination attempt on the train to Washington by having him pose as her invalid brother. Kate was the perfect role model for my heroine and I had a blast writing her story.
**how interesting is that! I will have to find more books or stories about Kate Warne now~DS***
Your book has a strong faith element. How natural was this to write about?
MB~ If it doesn’t come natural I delete it because I know it’s probably preachy. Sometimes I think we take religion too seriously. God has a great sense of humor, so why shouldn’t we? My detective heroine has a code name for everyone including God, which causes some interesting predicaments. Faith is more powerful when it shines through character action and change.
What do you hope readers take away from this book?
MB~ I hope readers finish the book with a smile on their faces and maybe a little more hope in their hearts.
Who is your favorite character?
MB~ I love the heroine Miranda Hunt, and I particularly like the chemistry between her and Jeremy. It is so much fun. I also have a special feeling for Eleanor Walker, owner of the Last Chance Ranch. We first meet her in book one (all three books in the series stand alone and don’t have to be read in any sort of order).She’s a tough old bird and it was fun peeling away her many layers. Readers who wrote to ask about her will be happy to know she does get a happy ending.
What’s your favorite and least favorite part about being a writer?
MB~ My favorite part is when the writing comes easy. It doesn’t always, of course. Sometimes writing is like chiseling words out of rock, but when the words flow and the story begins to take shape, that’s heaven. The least favorite part? Deadlines!
What advice would you have for writers hoping to follow in your footsteps?
MB~ You really have to enjoy each step of the journey or you won’t survive the publishing business. Surround yourself with a support group and celebrate every success. Celebrate when you finish a chapter; enter a contest; pop a query in the mail; or sign up for a writing workshop. This is what kept me going the five years it took me to sell my first book and it will keep you going, too.
Other than writing, what else occupies your time?
MB~ I chase bad guys, rob stagecoaches, hold up trains and break out of jails. Wait! My characters do that, not me.
I live a much boring life. I love to read and my husband and I travel in our RV. I’m also a Boy Scout merit badge counselor and of course, our grandkiddies keep us hopping.
***I think all us authors live our characters life...at least in our head. :-) ***
Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this—except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction."
Margaret wasn’t sure that was true, but she wasn’t about to take chances. She’s now a New York Times bestselling author with more than 30 novels to her credit including her current Brides of Last Chance Ranch series. Also look for her work in the following recently released or soon to be released collections A Bride for All Seasons, A Log Cabin Christmas and A Pioneer Christmas. Not bad for someone who flunked 8th grade English. Just don’t ask her to diagram a sentence.
Thanks Margaret! And could I ever get a copy of your Grisham-style newsletter? :-)
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