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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Blog Tour: "Colorado Silver, Colorado Gold" by Terry Irene Blain (Guest Post/Spotlight)


Welcome to our Blog Tour stop on "Colorado Silver, Colorado Gold" by Terry Irene Blain. Brought to you by the lovely ladies at Innovative Online Book Tours. Here you can read a guest post from the author, the book's synopsis, and the authors bio.


My Ideas from Researching the Story
I admit it.  I love doing the research for writing my historical romances.  When I decided to set my story in Durango, I called a bookstore in Durango and ask for their recommendation of a book on the history of Durango.  With the background and history in mind, I chose the time and came up with the characters for my story.
In the 1880s the smelters were the major industry in Durango and Wells Fargo shipped the refined gold and other minerals from the competing smelters.  One of the hints from the many workshops I've taken is that readers like to learn, so show them something they didn't know.  As you can imagine, this appeals to the teacher in me.
So what did I learn from researching for Colorado Silver, Colorado Gold?  I researched about smelters in the 1880s.  This gave my hero, Wes, a chance to do a little showing off to the heroine, Julie, demonstrating a small scale method of refining silver or using mercury (don't try this a home!) and wet leather.
But the best thing I found (again from something mentioned in a workshop) are the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps.  From 1867 to 2007 the Sanborn Company made detailed maps of thousands of cities though out the country.  These maps were for the purpose of estimating the cost of fire insurance.  Using these maps for Durango, couples with the history book, I had a complete 'floor plan' of the city.
The maps show gas line, water mains, and everything else that might be of interest to an insurance company.  All the streets are labeled, along with all the sidewalks.  All the lots with buildings noted.  Not only what materials the building is made of, but what kind of business it housed.  I had this map of Durango taped to the wall while I wrote the story.  The visual map of the city also gave me incidents of the story.  The way Wes describes the whole block of saloons are right there on the map.  And there really was a Tiffany's Drug Store with a soda fountain, which gave me a chance for Wes to buy Julie a sarsaparilla (and, of course, to flire).  The map of Durango is rolled up and put away, so maybe someday I can give a workshop on setting, and tell other writers about this terrifice research idea.
 
Colorado Silver, Colorado Gold
by: Terry Irene Blain

Blurb: To protect her sister, Juliette Lawson stole documents and fled west. Now Wes Westmoreland, undercover lawman, threatens both her plan and her heart.
Synopsis: Socialite Juliette Lawson fled west from Philadelphia on a train and in disguise. In Colorado she’d be safe; she’d take work with her uncle at the Rio d'Oro, his smelting operation. Her actions back east had been wrong, but to protect her pregnant sister from scandal she would have done anything. Then she met a man as hungry for answers as she was for independence. A handsome, honorable man. For him, she wished the truth was hers to tell.
From the first, Wes Westmoreland knew he couldn’t trust her. Having grown up in the saloons and brothels of San Francisco, he saw trust, like love, as a luxury an undercover lawman couldn’t afford. Not on a job like this one, not with gold involved. This woman dressed as a widow was clearly hiding something; he’d felt it the moment they touched. But he’d felt other things too, stirrings in his heart, and for the first time ever, he saw riches worth the peril.


Terry Irene Blain
Bio: Terry Irene Blain was lucky enough to grow up in a large Mid-western family with a rich oral tradition. As a child she heard stories of ancestors’ adventures with Indians, wildlife, weather and frontier life in general, so she naturally gravitated to the study of history and completed a BA and MA then taught the subject at the college level. Married to a sailor, now retired, she’s had the chance to live in various parts of the U.S. and has traveled to Hong Kong, Australia, England and Scotland.

“My degrees and my teaching experience make me a natural to write historical romance. Writing historical romance gives me the opportunity to pass on stories of who we are and where we come from while exploring the relationship between men and women. What could be more exciting than that?”

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