Beneath the Covers
A Romance Column

2018 Past Columns
Archive
Rogue Gunslinger & Rugged Defender and Hard Rustler by B. J. Daniels

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B J Daniels: Interview & Reviews of The Clementine Sisters Series by Elise Cooper

(Hard Rustler #1; Gunslinger #2; Rugged Defender #3)

Rogue Gunslinger and Rugged Defender, the second and third books of the Clementine Sisters series by B. J. Daniels blends a great plot, setting, and characters. People cannot imagine how this author can improve, but each book in this series keeps getting better.

In Rogue Gunslinger, T.J. Clementine is a mystery author that is being stalked. Receiving mail from one particular fan escalates into threats because she is not following their writing advice. Hoping to escape from possible danger she travels to her childhood home to be with her other two sisters in Whitehorse Montana. Coincidentally she again meets in Montana, the man, Silas Walker, who either saved her or pushed her into an on-coming truck while in New York City Deciding to investigate Silas, she realizes he protected her, and that as a former policeman he can help her find the culprit. This loner and mountain man becomes not only her savior, but they form a bond while trying to keep each other safe.

For Daniels, T. J. is most like her. “There is some of us in our characters even if we do not like to believe it. In Rogue Gunslinger, I got into what it is like to be a writer, including all the demands. I have often told my agent I just want to write books but was told that is not possible. TJ and myself are not fond of social media. I have said, ‘the day I quit it will be because of social media.’ If someone reads a book and likes it that is when readers go looking for the author. In high school, I was a day dreamer as she is. Sometimes the story feels real to life for me. For example, I moved things around in a town to represent how I saw it. When I visit there, some things seem out of place. TJ and I had writing choose us with our characters taking on a life of their own.”


AMAZON
3 in 1: Hard Rustler\Rogue Gunslinger\Rugged Defender
Harlequin
Sept/Oct 2018
Romantic Suspense - Western
9781335526649

The next book of the series, Rugged Defender, focuses on the third sister, Chloe. She lost her job as an investigative reporter. Now in Montana for the holidays she decides that sitting around is not for her. Realizing that a high school classmate, Justin Calhoun, left in disgrace with many unanswered questions about his brother’s death, she searches out the truth. Chloe and Justin decide to team up to find out what happened to his brother, having their lives threatened in the process.

“I love writing about Montana. I live in the prairie and just as with the town of Whitehorse you can see the Little Rockies in the distance. I weave in the real life of the small town. We don’t even have stop lights and the nearest Target is three hours away. People love to dance and often go to bars to do it. It is also true that guys wear jeans almost any place including weddings, funerals, and churches. I once wrote ‘a guy wearing a suit is either an undertaker or a lawyer.’ I describe in the books as I see Montana with ‘the wild prairie, the endless sky, the wide-open places… The peace and quiet. Not one siren to be heard. No traffic. No honking taxis. No loud music from the apartment next door.’”

As a recap, the first book in the story, Hard Rustler, begins with a city gal, Annabelle (Annie) Clementine, traveling back to her home town of Whitehorse Montana. After high school, she decided to escape the monotony to become a famous model, leaving her love interest, Dawson, behind. Now, thirteen years later, she is back to sell her late grandmother’s house and to get out of town as soon as possible. Confronted by someone who wants to find something in that house she realizes her life is in danger. Annie and Dawson must sort out the mystery and determine what her grandmother was hiding.

Daniels noted, “I understand how Annabelle wants to do something with her life, a desire to succeed. This happens a lot with Montana children who leave to get a job but often come home to raise their children. In this story, she comes home with her tail between her legs. I think at the beginning of the story she is a snob, arrogant, and determined. Later those qualities come out as spunky, strong, and a risk-taker.”

These books are about estranged sisters coming to terms with the past and making amends. It’s a love story and a mystery, with a lot of suspense. Each sister in their own way are strong independent women who know themselves and end up knowing what they want out of life.



AMAZON
Harlequin Intrigue
August 21, 2018/ ISBN 1335526587
Romantic Suspense - Western

Hard Rustler
Whitehorse, Montana: The Clementine Sisters # 1

Reviewed by Elise Cooper

Hard Rustler by bestselling author B. J. Daniels brings to life the Montana countryside in her latest novel. Readers will enjoy the characters, setting, and mystery. The plot is a modern-day version of past Westerns.

The setting is very important, and Daniels based it when “I moved to Montana from Texas at the age of five. I write what I see and know about. The Western way of life is all I have ever known. It is a much simpler way of life. We now live in a small town where most people are rancher cowboys. As in the story, it is isolated, with the closest Target Store three hours away. Someone can be driving either sixty miles south or north and they will not see anybody all day. In the book, there is a scene like that where Annabelle had run out of gas, and she feels completely alone and secluded. This is all true to life. I always have food and a blanket in the car in case it breaks down because cell phones do not work here.”

The story begins with a city gal, Annabelle (Annie) Clementine, traveling back to her home town of Whitehorse Montana. After high school, she decided to escape the monotony to become a famous model, leaving her love interest behind. Now, thirteen years later, she is back to sell her late grandmother’s house and to get out of town as soon as possible. The one problem, she is destitute with no money and seems to depend on her ex-boyfriend, Dawson Rogers, to rescue her. He helps by bailing her out, so her car is not repossessed, siphoning off the gas, and saving her life. It seems someone wants to find something in her grandmother’s house that has been hidden for years and is willing to kill for an answer. Annie and Dawson must sort out the mystery and determine what her grandmother was hiding.

Daniels wrote Annabelle as “someone who wants to do something with her life, a desire to succeed. This happens a lot with Montana children who leave to get a job but often come home to raise their children. In this story, she comes home with her tail between her legs. I think at the beginning of the story she is a snob, arrogant, and determined. Later those qualities come out as spunky, strong, and a risk-taker. She and Dawson at first appear to be opposites. She has a driving ambition, and he is satisfied with the simpler things in life. After being high school lovers, he knew he had to let her go and sensed she had this restless streak. This is why he did not fight more for her to stay. When she came back, she started to realize what was important in life. She had sowed her oats.”

As with most westerns boy meets girl, boy loses the girl, and the boy gets the girl. This novel has that and more, inputting modern day issues into a suspenseful mystery.



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