Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Texan's Honor (Heart of a Hero #2) by Shelley Gray Q&A, Review and Giveawy

About Shelley

I live in southern Ohio with my husband, two teenagers, and two dogs. My days are filled with busy activities like most any other mom and housewife. But I also love to write books.

Each morning, after my kids go off to school, I sit at my desk, look out my window, and dream of other places. The hours fly by as I make up people and places and drink way too much coffee.

Writing for Avon Inspire has truly been a dream come true. Being able to spend my days in my make-believe world of the Brenneman Bed and Breakfast is a true blessing. I have enjoyed getting to know more about the Amish culture and tapping into my faith as I show each character’s progression toward a personal relationship with our Lord.

Before becoming a full time writer, I taught elementary school in Texas, Arizona, and Colorado. A job transfer to Ohio led my husband to encourage me to finally give writing a try. After all, I had notebooks full of made up stories.

I’ll never forget that first book I typed in our unfinished basement. It was exciting to make up a story, but also very scary. I was also so embarrassed, sure someone would come out of the woodwork and point out that I wasn’t a ‘real’ writer. But I persevered, and sold my third manuscript.

Things have changed a bit. Now I have a real office of my own. (think old guest bedroom!) My walls are painted pink, and more than a couple of book covers decorate my walls. But my days are still the same. I wake up, dream about other people, and do my best to type out stories.

Q&A with Shelley

What made you choose to write the series in this particular era?

I used to watch those old black and white western movies with my dad. I loved the good guys/the bad guys, and the heroines who were always in trouble! Since I grew up in Texas, writing historical westerns is a good fit for me, too. I live in Ohio now, so any chance I can get to go back to Texas makes me happy!

Why did you choose Christian Historical Fiction over Fantasy, Science Fiction or other genres?

Though I read just about any genre, I am a romance writer. That’s my favorite genre, and it’s the one I’m most comfortable in. I enjoy writing about my faith as well. For a Texan’s Honor, where so many of the characters had done lots of dangerous and ‘bad’ things, I loved showing how God’s word can help each of us.

Can you tell just a little about the next book in this series and when will it be published?

The next book, after A Texan’s Honor, is the last book in the trilogy, A Texan’s Choice. It’s Scout Proffitt’s story. Scout is a secondary character in A Texan’s Honor, and the younger, ‘missing’ brother of Clayton Proffitt, my very honorable hero from A Texan’s Promise. In A Texan’s Choice, Scout arrives at a ranch he won in a poker game to find Rosalie living on it. She’s got absolutely no where to go, and Scout is forced to offer her shelter. On the ranch, Scout is given a taste of what his life could be like if he dares to put his past behind him. But since he’s a notorious outlaw, it’s a difficult thing to do. I believe A Texan’s Choice will be out this fall.


Tell us something about yourself we might not know.

Well, one thing most people are surprised to find out about me is that I’m a pretty terrible housekeeper. I’d always rather be writing, or cooking. Or shopping…watching tv. I also have a little dachshund named Suzy that I’m very fond of. I keep threatening to go get a couple more wiener dogs…I’d like my own little barking herd. 

Do you have a muse?   Any special place that helps to get your writing juices flowing?

I am so thankful to have several contracts, which means that I’m almost constantly on deadlines. That seems to do the trick! I also have an office in our basement. It has no windows. I go down there every morning, and don’t stop writing until I get my page count done for the day.

What is choice of drink iced tea, hot tea, coffee black or w/cream, soda, etc.?

For most of the day, I drink coffee with creamer. But I am very fond of Diet Coke in a glass with ice. 

Are you more into blogging, tweeting or into Facebook?

Good question! I haven’t started ‘tweeting’ yet. I guess I like blogging the best, though I do enjoy Facebook. But all of that always comes after writing. I’d rather write than do just about anything else.

Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: March 1st 2012 by Abingdon Press
ISBN 1426714637 (ISBN13: 9781426714634)
series Heart of a Hero #2

About book:

Texas, 1874. Years ago, Will McMillan had fought in the open, next to his Captain, Clayton Proffitt. Now he’s waging another war undercover, pretending to be a member of the notorious Walton Gang. But when a hostage situation goes awry and an innocent woman is in the middle of the fray, Will knows he must protect her no matter what happens. Even if his cover is blown. Even if they risk being killed by his gang or by the lawmen on their trail. Even if the woman he’s risking everything for will never love him back.

My Thoughts

Will McMillan jumps a train with the Walton Gang with the intent to rob the train. They emptied the train of it's passengers with the exception of a few men and one woman. They normally would not have held a woman hostage but it was too late to set her free. Will did not like the idea of keeping the woman. She was being man handled by one of the gang when Will stepped in and removed her to another car out of harms way. The young woman was frightened almost to the point of hysterics. Things go wrong with the hold up and the gang start killing the men hostages. Will decided he needed to get this woman off the train and away from the gang.

There is another character in this book whom seems like a Billy the Kid type. He shows that even though he is a hired killer he has a tenderness about him. He does what he can to help Will get the woman off the train. 

This is an adventurous story with secrets, love, faith and honor. Will's character is quite the gentleman bandit. The young woman puts her trust in this stranger in hopes of staying alive. She later can't seem to help the fact that she is developing feelings for Will. 

When is it lie not a lie?  How would that hamper ones budding relationship?  You will have to read the book to find out.

I highly recommend this book.

I have rated this book a 5 out of 5.

Disclosure: I was provided a digital copy of this book from Abingdon Press via Netgalley.

 I was in no way compensated for this review it is my own opinion.

Giveaway 2/29-3/6:

Winner will be announce 3/7/2012.

Shelley has provided a copy of A Texan's Honor to giveaway.  

All you need to do is make a comment about the Q&A and the book.  Also with this comment leave your email address so we can contact you if you are the winner.

Follow me by Linky Follower or GFC . Leave the name you are using to follow.  Also leave your email address again with a comment about which you followed.

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  1. Shelley, What inspired you to write about 1800's Texas? Love your books and would love to read this one. LeAnn Mooneyham

  2. When did your love for writing begin? Jessica Vass

  3. LeAnn, I grew up watching old westerns with my dad. Those old movies really inspired a love of western romances for me! There's danger! Bad guys! Anything can happen! I enjoy writing these Texas books in between my Amish titles. They give me a nice change of pace.

  4. Jessica, I actually started writing during my last years of teaching sixth grade. I used to write for fun during my lunch hour.

  5. I, too, am fascinated with the old west culture and love watching sappy, sitting on your seat, westerns! but, reading them is also great cause then I can conjure up my own image of the characters. Thanks,Shelley, for keeping the stories coming :)

  6. I enjoyed the interview. I am not a very good housekeeper. Pink is my favorite color and I love Diet coke. So Shelley and I have lots in common.
    My name is Angela and my email address is:
    Thank You!

  7. Kim, thanks for leaving a comment! Glad to meet another fan of westerns!

  8. Angela,

    Glad to know I'm not the only one who would rather be reading instead of cleaning! Enjoy your day!

  9. Great interview, very interesting, and it sounds like a great book too!


  10. I am a GFC Follower, wfnren or Wendy Newcomb.


  11. I love Brennamin's Series! I've read all them except for the latest one! I have a long-haired mini dachshund named Samsom! They are so funny! Your new series sound very exciting, looking forward to reading them! Happy writing!

  12. Shelly, I enjoyed reading the interview. Sounds like a book I'd really get into. I think Will and the pretty woman will finally get together. At what age did you start writing? Glad you are from TX. Maybe you can come to one of our Libraries or Bookstores one day for a book signing. At Pasadena, next door to HOU.
    I hope to win this book. Maxie Anderson ( )

  13. Such a fun interview, and Shelley's book sounds like an intriguing read.(Love the cover!) As a wife and mother forever struggling to carve out essential writing time, it's inspirational to read how well Shelley has succeeding in doing this very thing herself -- and even better, is so clearly enjoying it!

    wrddreamer (at) comcast (dot) net

  14. I love this genre! I am excited to read this one. I love the time setting of the 1800's.

  15. I think I know a little more about Shelly Gray now, I love the little weiner dogs too, we have had a couple in our lives..
    love to read your stories and look forward to this new one, nice cover.thanks for sharing today.
    Paula O(

  16. I agree with Shelley, deadlines are great motivation for getting things done. I never started my papers early in college - much preferred to wait until the deadline was looming so that I wouldn't waste time when writing. :-) Looking forward to reading this series! Hopefully I can find the first one easily. My library doesn't have them. :(
    kentiapalm a g mail address

  17. I enjoy reading your novels very much, but am especially looking forward to reading a western one.

  18. I love the old west and cannot wait to read this book. Hope I win. Rose

  19. I love your books and would be honored to win a book from your site. Thanks for the opportunity.

  20. My favorite show was The Lone Ranger and the Sisco Kid! Horses were my main draw to the shows but I did like the actors too.

  21. I loved the fact that you admitted you are not a good housekeeper and that you would prefer writing instead. I am so glad--as your fan--to admit that I am glad you prefer to write novels!!! I have loved the novels you have written about the Amish. This would be a wonderful opportunity to read a novel outside of that domain, but one that is still Christian and a romance. Thanks again for writing such great and entertaining books!!!
    Kristin J (keithkrisjagerataoldotcom)

  22. What started you start writing the good books?Would love to win any book that u have wrote,Thank Shelly

  23. What a relief to discover another person who doesn't like housecleaning. What a waste of time when there are so many good books to read.

  24. Enjoyed reading your interview! I just love stories about the west and would love to win this book!!! Thank you so much!

  25. I'd love to win this book. Thanks "Memaw" and Shelley.
    SF at

  26. Thanks to everyone who took the time to write a comment! I hope all of y'all will enjoy my western series. : )

  27. I've been wanting to read this book, so it was great seeing it here. I have to say that without even reading book one, I'm really looking forward to book two, it sounds great!

  28. I am so excited to read this book! It's amazing that shelley can write westerns as well as amish books isn't it? Glad she spent so much time watching those westerns with her dad! :D
    Christina Zimmerman

  29. Linky Follower- Cassandra (The Book & Movie Dimension Blogger)

    Great review. Will in A Texan's Honors sound so kind for trying to save the woman. The premise for the novel really seems intriguing from the review.
    5 out 5, huh?
    Pretty good.

    Thank you for the book giveaway.

    (at) yahoo (dot) com

  30. I love Shelley's Amish fiction but it nice to see her "branching out" so to speak. My sister has a wiener dog and so do my folks. I'm a terrible housekeeper too. I have to be " in the mood" to clean and that doesn't happen often. Take care and Happy Spring!! kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

  31. Follow you with Linky. Kristie Donelson. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

  32. I couldn't find a link on Shelley's website for a newsletter but I signed up for your newsletter. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

  33. Shelley, I love all your Amish fiction stories. I am looking forward to reading your new Western. I expect a few twists and turns with your hero and heroine!
    Maria Kulscar

  34. This looks like a great book- love the cover. I know we are not suppose to judge a book by its cover, but I love a cover that instantly draws me in and makes me ask questions like- "whose the guy with the gorgeous eyes?" and What's up with the train and where's it going?, etc... Very well done!! Thanks for the great giveaway for a great looking book ;)