Welcome! Without further ado, I’m delighted to welcome bestselling author, Elle James.
Hideout At Whiskey Gulch by Elle James delves into some important issues of the day. Sex trafficking and the cruelness of Coyotes (not the four-legged kind) are highlighted through the eyes of riveting characters.
The hero, Matthew Hennessey, is a former Marine Corps Recon man who now owns an auto repair shop and is half owner of Whiskey Gulch Ranch. Matthew, along with the heroine, Aubrey Blanchard, a divorcee and a home health nurse, work together to find a missing child. The backstory of both is fascinating, considering they have so much in common: starting over, painful pasts and an ice-cold murder case. Their attraction is instant and undeniable.
Matt’s is trying to find who killed his mother four years ago in a field near her home. He recently found out who is father was, inheriting half of Whiskey Gulch Ranch with his stepbrother. Aubrey has recently moved to the area. Several years ago, her young daughter was kidnapped from the family’s front yard. She had only turned her back for one minute for her child to vanish. Her husband blamed her, and the marriage fell apart.
Fast-forward to today, when Aubrey, renting the cottage inherited by Matt, heard knocking on her window. A woman begged Aubrey to help her find her children, lost in the woods behind the house. They found the baby, but not the young daughter, Isabella. As they continued the search, the mother got shot by coyotes, so Aubrey grabbed the baby and ran. Flagging Matt down on the road, he helped her by transporting Aubrey and baby to the Whiskey Gulch Ranch. Matt and Aubrey enlisted the help of the Sheriff to find the young girl. They need to discover who took Isabella and where they are keeping her. Time is wasting away, and Aubrey is more tortured remembering her own kidnapped young child. Can they find little Isabella in time to keep her out of the hands of men that deal in evil?
This book has an intense story with captivating characters. Readers will have a gamut of emotions from sadness to anger.
Elise Cooper: You explore some very gripping issues?
Elle James: The issue of human trafficking is a huge problem, not only in third world countries but here in the US. People who pay coyotes to get them across the border often sell them into the sex trade. They treat them more like cattle than people. I thought this is a relevant subject that I wanted to address. I remember when I was in the Air Force Reserves, we had annual briefings and were told to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
EC: The coyotes are inhumane?
EJ: They are driven strictly by money and greed. They could not care if the people are mistreated or die. It is horrible what is happening, and many people are not aware of it.
EC: You dedicated the book to your late mother and children?
EJ: My mother passed away in January 2020. It wasn’t long after she passed that I started writing this book. My father had passed about a year earlier, March 2019. With my parents’ passing, I realized how short life can be. I thought how my children and parents were my friends. I find peace and joy with my children and want to be with them as much as possible. I recognized no one is guaranteed tomorrow so they must make the most of today.
EC: How would you describe the hero Matt?
EJ: The town bad boy who makes good. He was bullied as a child because his mother was a prostitute. Once he was able enough to fight back, people did not mess with him. He took the ability to fight into the military. He came back to find his mother’s killer, because of his fond memories of her. He knew what she did was because of hard times and to put food on the table. Overall, he is driven, sarcastic, curious, and has a huge heart that he tries to hide.
EC: There are military tidbits in the book?
EJ: He found a family to rely on and survive. I was a part of the military, eleven years as an army reservist, and nine years as an air force reservist. I was trained in survival, escape, evasion, and combat training. I know how chaotic combat can be. There is this instant bonding because everyone relies on each other, having each other’s back.
EC: How would you describe Aubrey?
EJ: She is still mourning her daughter who was kidnapped and killed. Her husband blamed her, and their marriage fell apart. She came to Whiskey Gulch to start over and wants to redeem herself by finding the lost little girl. The mother in me wrote Aubrey’s character. I found her story to be heart-wrenching. I understand her guilt because my mother went outside for a minute and my dress caught on fire as a child. I know that my mother felt guilty and was remorseful over what happened to me. Overall, I think Aubrey is courageous, stubborn, determined, very caring, and trying to figure out who she is.
EC: Can you give a heads up about your next books?
EJ: Book three of the series comes out in April 2022 and the other three in the series will also be out that year. I also have romantic series that I independently self-publish. I am a hybrid author. I enjoy being able to take control and the fact I am kept very busy. I am starting a new sequel series, “The Brotherhood Protectors,’ whose heroes are former military and cowboys with the setting in Colorado. Another series I self-publish is “Delta Force Strong” which features active-duty characters. It has a lot more battle scenes.
If you liked this interview
The town’s former bad boy is helping the law
When ex-marine Matt Hennessey rescues Aubrey Blanchard and her baby from would-be kidnappers their attraction is instant and undeniable. But as they search for the baby’s abducted sister, a human trafficking cartel threatens their lives. Can they bring down the vengeful criminals who don’t forgive… and never forget?