When You Are Near
By Tracie Peterson
After her father’s death, Lizzy Brookstone, a trick rider in the all-female Brookstone Wild West Extravaganza, wants nothing more than to quit her role as the star of the show and live a quiet life on her family’s ranch. But returning home would bring Wesley DeShazer, the ranch’s foreman and the man who broke her heart, back into her life. In addition, the Brookstones’ new manager fears that Lizzy’s departure could doom the already cash-strapped show.
Hope grows in Lizzy during a stopover at Fleming Farm. Ella Fleming not only has a natural talent for trick riding and could easily replace Lizzy, but she’s eager to join the show to flee a forced betrothal. However, while there, one of the show’s wranglers is killed in a manner Lizzy finds suspicious. And during her escape from the farm, Ella stumbles across a secret that could affect all of their lives, as well as the future of the Brookstone Extravaganza.
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About the Author
Tracie Peterson (www.traciepeterson.com) is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.
Guest Post from Tracie
Introducing…When You Are Near!
I’m excited about the new Brookstone Brides series and had so much fun researching for the various characters and locations. This is a story about a fictional Wild West show with all female performers. Prior to the rodeos we see today, the Wild West shows traveled throughout America and Europe to entertain people and give city dwellers a taste of what the American frontier was like. At least their version.
Buffalo Bill Cody was famous for his shows, which brought Native Americans and their culture into the world of people who might otherwise never have even seen an “Indian.” Pawnee Bill was another entertainer who sought to keep these shows alive.
For the fictional show in my novels, I wanted to focus on three female characters who became a part of the Brookstone Wild West Extravaganza for varying reasons. Lizzy Brookstone is the heroine in book one, When You Are Near, and as the daughter of one of the show’s owners, she has enjoyed a starring role as a trick rider.
For research I went to Pueblo, Colorado to the ranch of Karen Vold, a famous trick rider and rodeo star. Linda Scholtz, a famed trick rider, was teaching a clinic there along with Karen at the Red Top Ranch Trickriding School.
These are two remarkable Christian trick riders who have long worked to keep the sport alive. I spent three days getting to know them and what they do and learned so much. And just to prove that we weren’t all work and no play, I thought I’d share my attempt at trick riding. What I won’t do for research!
The series will have three books, as usual, and each book will focus on a different lady and her skills. Mary is a trick shooter like Annie Oakley, and Ella is a Roman rider who stands on the backs of two horses for her part in the act. It was so interesting learning about each of these types of performers, and I hope you’ll get a chance to read all three and enjoy the stories of the Brookstone Wild West Extravaganza.
When You Are Near by Tracie Peterson takes us back to 1900. Lizzy Brookstone is a trick rider for the Brookstone Wild West Extravaganza. Her heart has not been in it since the death of her father earlier in the year. Lizzy and her mother promised her father that they would finish out the year before heading home to their ranch. Oliver Brookstone, Lizzy’s uncle, has been managing the show alone, but his brother’s death has affected him as well. It turns out that the show is not doing well financially, and Oliver sold part of the show to Henry Adler who has sent his son, Jason to help turn around the business. Jason is attracted Lizzy (and makes sure she knows it) who does nothing to encourage him. Lizzy’s heart still belongs to Wesley DeShazer, their ranch foreman, who hurt her when he married another woman. Wes has been widowed for two years, but he avoided her on the ranch and when they met, he treated her like a sister. Is Lizzy ready to open her heart to another?
Ella Fleming has been promised to Jefferson Spiby by her father and they are to be married at Christmas. Ella has no wish to marry Spiby who has a violent reputation, a known womanizer and is twice her age. With Lizzy’s help, Ella stows away aboard their private train. Ella will be twenty-one in January and then her father cannot force her to marry. While at the ranch, Lizzy trains Ella to be a trick rider in the show. Ella is grateful for the Brookstone’s help which makes her feel guilty for the information she is concealing from them. Ella is worried what will happen when she reveals her secret.
Mary Reichert is devastated by the death of her brother, August. She refuses to believe that his death was accidental. The details do not add up considering August’s experience with horses. Mary, a sharpshooter, returns to the show to get answers and justice for her brother. Lizzy, Ella and Mary become close friends while training over the winter. They are determined to keep Ella safe from her domineering father, help Mary get the answers she seeks regarding her brother’s death and help make the Brookstone Wild West Extravaganza profitable once again. Come along to Montana for trick riding, sharpshooting, horses, friendship, love and adventure in When You Are Near.
When You Are Near is the first book in the new Brookstone Brides series. I thought it was well-written story with strong female characters. The pacing is just right for this story (not too fast nor too slow). Lizzy Brookstone is a clever and determined woman who can do tricks on horses (wow). Her father’s death has hit her hard and her heart is no longer in the show. Plus, she is now twenty-eight and the tricks are beginning to take their toll on her body. Unfortunately, Lizzy is the shows main attraction. The show would not last without her unless she can find someone else to fill her saddle. After seeing how her father’s death affected her mother, Lizzy is afraid to let her love someone that completely. The author included historical details that enhance the story. The Christian elements are woven into the story beautifully and I appreciated the Bible verses included. One of my favorite phrases was “God guides us through our sorrows”. I completely understood what Lizzy was going through since I lost my father three years ago. What Lizzy needs to realize is that God is always there for us. I enjoyed the adventure and action in this story. There are characters for readers to love and root for as well as those we will love to dislike. Tracie Peterson crafted wonderful characters for this series. I like that there is a mixture of people from an English gentleman to a horse wrangler. It was interesting to learn what went into to running a wild west show. When You Are Near has love, loss, faith, friendship, family, justice and God. I am eager to read the next Brookstone Brides novel.
Wherever You Go (featuring Mary) will be out on June 4 and What Comes My Way (featuring Ella) on October 1. To celebrate her tour, Tracie is giving away a grand prize of When You Are Near, Tracie’s A $25 Barnes and Noble Gift card, and the three books in The Heart of Alaska series and three other winners will receive a copy of When You Are Near. Be sure to comment on the blog stops (schedule below) for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click here to enter. Thank you for stopping by today and reading my review. I will return tomorrow to feature The Hidden Corpse by Debra Sennefelder as part of the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. It is the second book in A Food Blogger Mystery series. I hope you have a blessed day. Take care and Happy Reading!
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