McKade publishes historic romance
Rye Forrester rides into a dusty Texas town to meet the widow of the man whose death he'd caused. Passing by the cemetery, he sees a young woman and daughter standing beside the fresh grave of the woman's father. He learns it's Dulcie McDaniel, t...
Rye Forrester rides into a dusty Texas town to meet the widow of the man whose death he'd caused. Passing by the cemetery, he sees a young woman and daughter standing beside the fresh grave of the woman's father. He learns it's Dulcie McDaniel, the woman he is seeking.
After finding directions to her farm, the former soldier is greeted by Dulcie with a shotgun.
"My name's Rye Forrester and I'm looking for a job ma'am." With that introduction, two wounded souls begin their journey of healing and love in Maureen McKade's newest historical romance.
McKade is the pen name for Maureen Webster of Gladstone. She published "A Reason to Believe" as the second in a trilogy about the Forrester brothers.
"Rye is a man who thought he'd lost everything and lost his self-respect," said McKade. "He needs to atone for his sins. He goes to work for Dulcie, but he does not tell her about his past."
Although suspicious and embittered, Dulcie agrees to hire him.
"He respects her and also finds her attractive, where she does not because she's raised by a drunken father and a drunken husband," said McKade.
"They are both very flawed characters because of their past. I try to give my characters a lot of challenges. The romance is there, but it's not the center focus, because I'm dealing with characters, their conflicts and what's happening to them," she said.
In a subplot, the heroine's father was hanged for a murder he did not commit.
"The whole town was probably involved in the lynching, and there's a code of silence about it," she said.
McKade prefers writing about the American West because the people had grit and determination to keep a roof over their heads and enough food for the next meal.
"It was such an arena for good and evil. They become larger than life when they are challenged and use every strength they have in order to survive," she said.
McKade did extensive research in Texas of life in 1866 before writing the book.
"Dulcie had a garden. How did she preserve the vegetables? How would she have brought in the crops. What did the settlers plant in Texas?" she said.
"I let the characters take the reins and follow them. I have a general plot idea and things happen," she said.
Even as Rye and Dulcie have an attraction for one another, McKade doesn't make it too easy on the characters.
"There are still secrets that have to be bared and forgiveness that needs to be granted before Rye and Dulcie can find their happily-ever-after," she said.
At the end, Rye is reunited with his brother Creede and his wife Laurel. Their story was told in "A Reason to Live."
McKade is currently making edits for the final book in the triology titled "A Reason to Sin." It tells the story of the third brother Slater Forrester, who meets saloon hurdy-gurdy girl Rebecca Colfax. That book is due out April 15.
McKade said the books need not be read in sequence.
"The characters from previous books don't come until the end. Basically, the books stand alone," she said.
McKade's fans live throughout the world, including England, Australia, Germany and Belgium.
"I'm actually getting more male readers. I grew up on Louie L'Amour, but I've added the romance," she said.
McKade grew up in a small Minnesota farming community. She taught middle school science until her husband joined the U.S. Air Force. She held various jobs until settling on writing. She lives with her husband, Alan Webster, on a 40-acre farm near Gladstone.
McKade writes for the Berkeley Publishing Group, a division of the Penguin Group. To learn more about author, see the Web site: www.maureenmckade.com .