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Today we are really pleased to welcome back bestselling author, B.J. Daniels
Ambush Before Sunrise, the third book in the Montana Legacy series, and Heart of Gold, the third book of the Montana Justice series by B. J. Daniels are more suspense than romance. Both these books have the Daniels imprint, readers are taken on a thrilling roller coaster ride.
Heart of Gold has the same theme as the other two books in the series. Judge WT Landusky ran a boot camp for troubled teens to give them a second chance. Charlie Farmington met William “Shep” Shepherd at the camp when both needed direction in their life. They broke the camp rules as they became involved romantically. But as their term ended Charlie made a painful decision to leave Shep, even though her heart was broken.
Now fifteen years later, Shep has his life on the right track after serving in the military and is currently a math teacher. He has been sent by the Judge to help Charlie, because someone is trying to harm her. The danger has something to do with the death of her late step-sister Lindy. But now she sees her or a ghost-like figure on the streets of Montana. With Shep at her side they are trying to find out who is after Charlie and who is this “ghost” of Lindy.
Ambush Before Sunrise brings back the Cardwell family. The book opens with JoRay “Jinx” McCallahan getting a restraining order against her ex-husband T. D. Sharp. He refuses to sign the divorce papers until she gives him half the ranch. He is hoping to bankrupt Jinx, forcing her to sell the ranch, by making sure no wranglers will work for her to get the cattle to the mountain pasture. Angus and Brick Caldwell Savage, twin brothers and their cousin, Ella Caldwell, have been sent by Dana Caldwell Savage, a friend to Jinx’s late mother, to help her. Jinx fears T. D. will follow the cattle drive up the mountain and cause trouble. Little does Jinx and those hired know how much trouble is ahead, including putting their lives in danger.
As with all Daniels’ books these two have an emotional story that puts readers on the edge of their seats.
Elise Cooper: Why the Judge in the Montana Justice series book, Heart of Gold?
B. J. Daniels: In Montana I was a newspaper reporter for over twenty years. I met Judge Lesley, an old cantankerous person who most lawyers were afraid of. He did his own thing. For example, a couple who wanted a divorce would be told they were not going to be granted it and instead must go to marriage counseling. I thought what if there was someone like the Judge who would give teenagers coming before him a second chance by sending them to his boot camp.
EC: What about the Montana Legacy Series book, Ambush Before Sunrise?
BJD: When I was a child I lived in the same area this series takes place. My parents told of this gun found in a well. Instead of a gun, I had bones in the well. The series basically started in 2005 and it was my first hit. Now, I have gone back and am writing the children of the Caldwell ranch.
EC: Horoscopes are checked by Charlie?
BJD: I check mine every morning just like Charlie. We both do it to see how our day will go. We are both Capricorns.
EC: How would you describe Charlie?
BJD: Flaky, talented, somewhat strong, and someone who had an odd childhood. Before her step-sister was killed she was rebellious and adventurous. Afterward, she became vulnerable and fearful. She has guilt over her sister’s death. I think the way she was treated after her father died had an impact on her life. I did not think of the Cinderella story before you mentioned it, but it definitely has an evil step-sister.
EC: How would you describe Shep?
BJD: Easy-going, tough, and cuddly. I made him a math teacher because I wanted a different type of hero. He is a cowboy who used his math skills to logically connect the dots to find answers.
EC: You gave the Judge a romantic interest?
BJD: Why not! I wanted someone who he would acquiesce to. The impression he gives off is a cranky old man, which he is really not. He also appears careful, yet his girlfriend, Meg, takes him by storm. She is a breath of fresh air with a completely different personality than the Judge. In the relationship he is not in charge. She basically knocks him off balance. I would like to believe people in their sixties can find love and are not so cynical.
EC: What about the other book, Ambush Before Sunrise, where divorce plays a role?
BJD: I have been married and divorced. I know what it is like to feel failure. One bad choice could make someone lose everything. I would describe Jinx as someone who is not a quitter, knows what she wants, is independent and strong. She is more like me than Charlie.
EC: How would you describe Angus?
BJD: Steady as a rock. He has a twin, but is much more dependable, solid, and strong.
EC: Both these books have women ranchers?
BJD: There are a lot of them up here. They are super strong. Since the ranches are miles from a town they are also self-sufficient.
EC: What about the ex-husband T.D.?
BJD: He is super lazy and married for money/power. He gave up nothing for the marriage. He is a drinker, abuser, a bully, cocky, and bitter. Not a good guy.
EC: What about your next books?
BJD: In the “Montana Legacy series,” the emphasis will be on the other twin, Brick. It is titled Double Action Deputy. In it he matures after being shot and decides he wants to be a Deputy. As he is walking down a street a woman collapses in front of him with duct tape all over her. He becomes involved, finding out who she is and who kidnapped her. The investigation has him working with a homicide detective. But she is on leave trying to find out who killed her sister’s baby. The cases come together because the kidnapped woman was the nanny of the baby.
In December I have a stand-alone, Out Of The Storm. It is based on my Uncle Ted’s death. He was killed in a Texas disaster. A boat caught on fire and blew up that caused many to die including my uncle. My aunt never believed he was dead and thought his disappearance was due to amnesia.
If you liked this interview
He’s riding straight into danger.
Wrangler Angus Savage has come to Wyoming to help Jinx McCallahan get her cattle to high country. He’s signed on for the dangerous drive, eager to reconnect with the woman he knew when they were kids. Now in the wilderness the no-nonsense cowboy and the strong-willed rancher must navigate the trail’s many hazards – like her treacherous ex who wants her back…or dead.
Contains mature themes.