Welcome to our Saturday Spotlight, here on Alternative-Read.com – Today we are really pleased to welcome back bestselling author, B.J. Daniels
Restless Hearts by B. J. Daniels is the first in a new series and it starts off with a home run. This story has a great murder mystery, some western romance, and family conflict.
The plot begins with the heroine, private investigator Blaze McClintock, returning home. She is asked by the Judge who set her on the right path to help her estranged father who is accused of murdering a neighboring rancher. As the investigation takes hold she realizes something is amiss and that her father might actually be innocent. The judge also asks investigator Jake Horn to help Blaze, which reunites them.
Jake and Blaze are in conflict against many in the town who hate her father for raising buffalo (bison) instead of cattle. This will remind readers of the tension between the farmers and cattle ranchers or sheep ranchers versus cattle ranchers. Because her dad has plenty of enemies, the suspect list grows larger and larger. To make matters worse, whoever is the killer wants to put an end to the investigation by killing Blaze and Jake.
In addition to having to deal with her father being accused of murder, Blaze realizes there is still chemistry between herself and her ex, Jake. But they both have to overcome the wall that Blaze has built around her. Unlike most romances this one has Jake wanting a total commitment that includes marriage, while Blaze wants to just feel the passion again.
This novel has a suspenseful plot with a mystery, and a tightly-woven edge of your seat tension. Daniels will keep readers guessing until the very last pages. She expertly weaves into the mystery the romance.
Elise Cooper: How did you get the idea for the story?
B.J. Daniels: When I was a featured reporter in Montana I interviewed a judge. He was someone no one could predict and people were a little afraid of him. I thought his personality would make a great story and tie together the three books in the series. The judge in each book had rescued some children who felt they owed him. In the third book, he gets a happy ending.
EC: There is a lot of detail about buffalo (bison)?
BJD: Up here where I live there is a current battle between beef and bison. South of us there is a group trying to bring the buffalo back. It reminded me of when the farmers and sheep raisers had a huge battle with the cattle ranchers. I think some cattle ranchers are afraid their cattle will get the buffalo disease brucellosis that buffalo carry. I put in the book how many signs speak in not so nice ways about the buffalo ranchers. People do not realize that bison have done a lot of good. The way they eat the grass allows it to grow back and help the grazing. In the book I have this quote, “Bison have more protein, more iron, more of the good fatty acids and less fat, less cholesterol, and fewer calories,” not to mention all the vitamins they contain.
EC: How would you describe Blaze?
BJD: Prickly, gun shy, stubborn, had abandonment issues, and a wild spirit. After she lost her mother she blamed her father and became estranged from him. Because of her background she built walls. I contrast her with her friend, both are in an abusive relationship. Blaze gets out of it and does not look back, while her friend made excuses.
EC: How would you describe Jake?
BJD: A typical cowboy. He knows what he wants and goes after it. He is sweet, protective, and tries to right wrongs.
EC: How would you describe the relationship?
BJD: At first Blaze does not trust Jake. There was always passion between them. I wrote this story to have the guy come after the girl, who happens to be afraid of making a commitment. Jake respects Blaze and is honorable toward her.
EC: How would you describe Saddlebutte, the town?
BJD: The town is small, isolated, and close knit. I based it on the town I live in.
EC: How would you describe the relationship between Blaze and her dad?
BJD: At first, she was angry with him because she blamed him for her mother leaving. She idolized him as a young girl, but then it turned to hate, and now to love. When she came back she thought she would let him face the consequences for his behavior. Yet, the more she investigates the more she starts seeing him in a different light. Blaze thought of him as stubborn, obstinate, opinionated, but mostly strong and intelligent.
EC: You always have a part about Montana?
BJD: This time I wrote about the Hutterites. They are wonderful people who are from Montana, North Dakota, and Canada. I try to make Montana another character in my books. I put in this quote, “Hutterites lived communally, all working for the good of the colony. They didn’t vote, they didn’t join the military and, while the men drove new vehicles and the best farm machinery that money could buy, they tried to hang on to the old ways. The women wore dresses and cooked, cleaned, and sewed. The men wore suspenders and worked the fields. They tried to maintain their independence and culture.”
EC: A shout out about your next book?
BJD: It is a case of mistaken identity that starts out with a kidnapping. Someone was at some place they should not have been and was involved in something they should not have. One of the characters was also saved by the judge. It comes out in March.
He’s fighting for a second chance with his first love…before it’s too late.
The last time PI Blaze McClintock was on her family’s ranch, she left in handcuffs. She vowed then to never go home again…until her estranged father is accused of murder. He’s not a good man—this entire Montana town knows that. But Blaze believes her father is innocent and she’ll do anything to prove it, even ask the one man who broke her heart for help—the only man in town who’s on her side.
No matter how hard he tried, Jake Horn could never forget Blaze. As teenagers, their passion ignited, leaving destruction in their wake. Now, years later, it’s obvious little has changed. But as they work together to unravel what really happened that night, a dangerous secret threatens to separate them for good. This time, though, Jake won’t let Blaze go without a fight—even if it means risking his own life.
Restless Hearts (Montana Justice Book 1) by B.J. Daniels
Book Beginnings / First Chapter First Paragraph / Tuesday Teaser!
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