Thursday, September 3, 2009

Special Guests: Characters from the new novel "Rocky Mountain Oasis"

Rocky Mountain Oasis
Lynnette Bonner

(Leave a comment after the post, and you will be entered to win a free e-copy of the book!)

Today, I’m fortunate to have as guests on the blog, several characters from the novel Rocky Mountain Oasis, author Lynnette Bonner’s debut release from OakTara Publishing. First, here’s a hint at what the story is all about:

Brooke Marie Baker, eighteen, has been sent west as a mail-order bride. As the stage nears Greer's Ferry, where she is to meet the man she's pledged to marry, she tries to swallow the lump of nervousness in her throat. Can it be any worse than living with Uncle Jackson...or Hank? She wonders. All men are the same, aren't they? But with her parents and sister dead, she has no choice.
Sky Jordan, a rancher, holds a single yellow daisy in his hand as he watches the ferry cross the river. Ever since he'd found out his surly cousin, Jason, had sent for a mail-order bride, his mind and heart had been ill at ease. No woman deserves to be left with the likes of Jason. But now he questions his own plans to claim the bride for himself. Why am I drawn to this woman I don't even know?

Brooke, Sky, Jason, and the rest of you; welcome to The Secret Lives of Characters. If you gents don’t mind, I’ll begin with the lady first.

Hello, Brooke; and welcome. Your story sounds amazing; fraught with peril, adventure and romance.

We are first introduced to you in the story as you are traveling to Idaho Territory (and about to make a dangerous river crossing on the stage). Up until the moment you found yourself heading west as a mail-order bride, what was your most profound regret?

The loss of my daughter. There were other regrets, but I’d have to say that was the biggest one.

Why did you feel compelled to go west as a mail order bride? I mean, even though your Uncle Jackson sent you away, didn’t you ever consider just running off and making a life for yourself on your own?

Yes, I thought of that often, just never followed through on it. I guess I was so used to being told what to do that it was just easier to stay with the wagon train. Now, I’m ever so glad I did. I’d never have met Sky if I had left to settle somewhere else.

Based on your experience with your father, Uncle Jackson, and Hank, you said, “all men are the same”, yet you cared about your first impression on the man who'd be waiting for you at the end of the stage line, and you seemed resigned to your fate. Why is that?

Well, I wouldn’t say before I met him that I cared what he would be like other than to wonder what kind of abuse I would have to put up with. And I was nervous to meet him. I suppose I was resigned to my fate because I didn’t know what else to do. There really aren’t a lot of safe options for a single woman out west.

What made you decide to tell your story? Is there anything you hope to accomplish by telling it?

I hope that other women will discover the hope that I discovered. A relationship with Jesus changed my life and I know it can change other’s lives too.

May we ask how you and Lynnette are alike or how you are different?

Lynnette and I are not much alike. Lynnette has never experienced abuse in her life. But she knew what the answer for women like me was, and she wanted to point us all in that direction.

Now it’s your turn, Sky. First, I like to note that you and your cousin Jason seem about as different as two cousins could be. Can you tell us a little about your background – how each of you grew up? (I see you’ve been in the area about 5 years. Where were you before that?)

Jason and I are a lot more alike than it would first appear. Jason’s parents both died when he was young. He was the one who found his mother’s body when he was just 8 years old. Our grandmother Jordan raised him and his sister after that. We both grew up in a little town called Shiloh, Oregon. But when Jason moved back to Idaho, I knew he needed some family near him to remind him what his roots were, so I followed.

I have kind of a three part question. Part one: have you always been so impetuous? I mean, jumping in to try and rescue—and marry!--a woman you don’t even know from your surly cousin. That’s pretty extreme.

No, I’m not generally an impetuous guy. But it was the thought of my childhood girl, Victoria, marrying someone like Jason was at the time, that put me into action. That and a rather large nudge from my friend Jed. At first, I didn’t intend on marrying her, but Jed was the one who made me see there were no other good options for her.

I see. Well, it’ll be interesting to find out more about Jed’s nudging and your own past in the story. Part two of this question is this: can you tell us about any other times in your life that you might have done anything even half so impetuous and heroic? And part 3 of this question: what about you makes you act this way?

Ahh, well, working in law enforcement, there were a few times when I had to do some quick thinking to resolve a situation without too many people getting hurt.

I honestly have no idea why I acted the way I did, other than I just didn’t want to see any woman stepping into a relationship with Jason at that time. Of course things are different now.

Brooke has had her trust broken a lot. Do you think she can overcome that stigma?

Yeah, I think she can. But once trust has been broken, it’s a hard thing to restore. But I thank God for bringing her into my life. I can’t imagine it without her.

What do you consider to be the most important event in your life leading up to the day you heard Jason talking about getting a mail-order sweetheart?

I guess I’d have to say the day that Jason and I sat together at Gram’s table and gave our hearts to the Lord.

We have several other guest characters here, enjoying Sky’s and Brooke’s interview. Have any of you considered sharing more of your own stories with Lynnette?

(A man on the side raises a finger.)

Jason here, I guess I can take that one. Lynnette and I just finished up writing a little more of my life. You’ll be able to read my story in early 2010.


Order your copy of Rocky Mountain Oasis at your favorite bookstore or online!

Read an excerpt from the story at


Lisa Lickel said...

Oh, I say, this is fun! My cat Carranza, from Gold Standard, got an interview once, and I had to say something like one of the characters in another place, but this is great, Naomi! Good for you. And I'm trying to get a book with OakTara, so I'd especially love to read RMO.

K.M. Weiland said...

I love this! So much fun!

Mary Allen said...

This is a fantastic idea and a great way to generate interest in the book. I enjoyed it very much.

Patricia said...

I enjoyed this interview perspective. And yes, the book sounds very interesting. I think every woman wonders what it would have been like to be a mail order bride. pgrau dot ggi at gmail dot com

Sylvia said...

This was a very fun way to become acquainted with the characters of Rocky Mountain Oasis. An unusual touch! Well done!!

Lynnette Bonner said...

Lisa, Katie, Mary, Patricia and Sylvia thanks for stopping by to read what Brooke and Sky were talking about. :)

NMusch said...

Thanks for dropping by, everyone; and for all the lovely comments. I really appreciate the feedback and interest!

My guests next week all hale from a little town in Pennsylvania who tell a story in Cindy Woodsmall's "The Hope of Refuge"

Lynnette Bonner said...

Hello, Everyone, Just dropping back in to congratulate Patricia who was the winner of the book. I'll get that sent off to you right away, Patricia. Hope you enjoy it! :)