I’m thrilled to have D’Ann Lindun visiting my blog today to talk about her romantic suspense novel, Wild Horses.
Welcome, D’Ann. Tell us a little about yourself.
Falling in love with romance novels the summer before sixth grade, I never thought about writing one until many years later when I took a how-to class at my local college. I was hooked! I began writing and never looked back. Romance appeals to me because there’s just something so satisfying about writing a book guaranteed to have a happy ending. My particular favorites usually feature cowboys and the women who love them. This is probably because I draw inspiration from the area where I live, Western Colorado, with my husband of twenty-nine years and our daughter. Composites of our small farm, herd of horses, five Australian shepherds, a Queensland heeler, eight ducks and cats of every shape and color often show up in my stories!
Where did the inspiration come from to write this book?
When I was a kid, I read a book about a woman named Annie Bronn Johnston, later nicknamed Wild Horse Annie. Wild Horse Annie’s was the inspiring story of one woman who made a massive change in the life of the American mustang. Always a horse lover, Annie became involved in the cause of the horses when she was driving behind a truck bound for a slaughterhouse, and saw blood dripping from the truck.
Sickened, she took the mustang’s cause to schools, ranchers, politicians…anyone who would listen. In September of 1959, a law named in her honor was passed banning capturing wild horses from federal land. This law became the Wild Horse Annie act.
Annie Bronn Johnston continued her campaign until President Richard Nixon signed the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. This act prohibited capture, injury, or disturbance of wild horses and burros and for their transfer to suitable areas when populations became too large.
Unfortunately, this law has not been followed, but that would be a dissertation, not a blog post.
I never forgot Wild Horse Annie, and her bravery was part of what inspired my book, Wild Horses. Like Annie Bronn Johnston before him, Martin Castillo is determined to save the American mustang running wild on the Apache-Sitgreave national forest from round-ups and slaughter.
Blurb: Her family ranch outside of Payson, Arizona, is the last place Castaña Castillo thought she’d ever see again. But when her mustang activist brother goes missing, Castaña returns home to lead the search. Years of bad blood between local law enforcement and the Castillo men lead Castaña to believe the local cops won’t put out much effort to locate her brother. Especially since they think he murdered two federal wildlife agents.
Disgraced FBI agent Jake Breton needs to bring in Martin Castillo to redeem himself and resurrect his career. Falling in love with someone related to the suspect is the last thing he can afford to do. The last time he followed his heart, and not his head, it nearly cost him his life.
Danger, adventure, and death push Jake and Castaña together. Will they learn to trust each other and leave their pasts behind?
What harm was there in confiding in him? He would leave in the morning. Maybe he’d even be useful as someone to bounce ideas off. God knew she didn’t have an exact plan. There were thousands of acres to search. Maybe Jake had bumped into him out there, or at least had an idea where to look. “No one seems to know where Martin went, or why. He doesn’t get along with the sheriff in town and I doubt they’d lift a finger to look for him.”
“Why’s that?” He sounded interested, but not judgmental.
“Because my father and brother didn’t always follow the rules,” she admitted in a rush of honesty. What was she saying? Her father had never followed any rules. Ramone Castillo had lived life the way he saw fit, with no thought to society’s restrictions or conventions. If he wanted to ignore his wife, he did. If he wanted to pretend his daughter didn’t exist, he did. He hadn’t given a rat’s ass about being arrested time and again for interfering with the government. His stints in jail hadn’t changed him one bit. If anything, they only made him more determined to do what he wanted.
“What did they do that the sheriff didn’t like?” Jake asked.
“My dad thought he was above the law,” she told him. “He was arrested countless times for sabotaging the BLM agents who oversee the wild horse herds. And Martin was just as determined as Pop to save the horses.”
“Save them from what?”
A wave of old bitterness flooded her as she remembered the way her father and brother shut her and Mama out of their lives. “They worship wild horses more than anything. Both my father and brother have made it their life’s work to save the mustangs from slaughter. Government interference enrages—enraged—them. In their opinion, the wild horses should be free. Some of their methods have been . . . extreme.”
“But isn’t it true that if the government doesn’t step in and remove some of the horses won’t they overpopulate the area and starve to death?” He used the same argument she herself had on more than one occasion with Pop and Martin. But an outsider preaching about mustangs annoyed her all the same.
Thanks so much for spending time with me today, D’Ann.