Austin, TX – Writing a series of whodunits was the last thing on the mind of national bestselling Historical Romance author, Adrienne deWolfe, until her computer crashed – and got stolen from the repair shop.
“I was struggling to write my first fantasy when my hard drive blew up,” deWolfe recalled. “The night before the meltdown, I actually had a dream that the manuscript would never get published. Does that make me psychic?”
DeWolfe, who lives in and writes about Texas, can joke now, but she said the loss of a manuscript is every writer’s worst nightmare. “There must have been some Higher Plan for me, because my publisher contacted me two days later, asking me to write a Western. From the ashes of that lost fantasy rose my favorite heroine: a fiery-haired, gun-slinging ex-bawd with a Pinkerton badge.”
DeWolfe’s fictional firecracker, Sadie Michelson, stars in a new series of Western Whodunits, Lady Law & The Gunslinger. Book 1,Devil in Texas,pits the cagey, street-smart Sadie against her ex-lover, “Coyote Cass,” a smooth-talking gunslinger, who’s working for the enemy. The sparks fly when these star-crossed lovers reunite, waging a battle of wits and wiles that ranges from Galveston’s seamy red-light district to the glittering health resorts of the “Saratoga of the South” (Lampasas) in 1883.
“Sadie’s a hoot,” deWolfe said. “She has a temper, and she’s not afraid to use it! But what I really love about Sadie is she’s courageous and resourceful — a female action hero that modern women can cheer for. She leaps out of a burning building; she demonstrates steely nerve when bullets are whizzing past her ears; she battles armed foes, who vastly outnumber her, so she can rescue a kidnapped child.
“But to make Sadie really interesting,” deWolfe said, “I turned her into Cass’s long-lost love, the one woman he has never been able to forget — even though he thinks she betrayed him to the Rangers.”
So what happened to that computer?
“It remains one of life’s Great Mysteries,” deWolfe said. “Of course, I like to think the rust-bucket is now giving the thief the same misery my hardware used to give me.“ (See post, Help! My Printer Has a Poltergeist.)“Yes, losing a 400-page manuscript was traumatic,” deWolfe admitted. “I was able to recover from the shock — and the pain — of losing something so precious because I’m a life-long student of Attitudinal Healing, and the program gave me the skills to cope with grief. It also helped me see that I could turn tragedy into a story of triumph and perseverance — the kind of story that should be recorded for readers.
“Whenever I write, I keep in mind that the writer-reader relationship is extremely intimate,” deWolfe explained. “When a reader chooses to immerse herself in my fictional world, she’s giving me a direct connection to her emotions. I want her to be entertained, of course, but even more importantly, I want her to feel inspired and empowered by the women in my novels. That’s why I make a conscious effort to write strong, independent heroines.
“And that’s why I try so hard to walk-the-talk in my own life,” deWolfe continued. “During the computer debacle, when I was on the verge of an emotional meltdown, I stopped the ranting, took a deep breath, and asked myself, ‘What would Sadie do — besides blow off the thief’s head?’
“The answer wasn’t, ‘She’d crumble,’” deWolfe continued. “I knew the best way to deal with my loss was to create something new, to get back in the ‘writing saddle.’ Little did I know, Sadie had a bombshell waiting for me!”
Sadie, who works undercover as a casino singer, refused to exit the stage meekly at the end of the book, deWolfe explained. “Like any self-respecting diva, Sadie demanded an encore performance. I realized Devil in Texas couldn’t be written as a straight Historical Romance, as I’d originally planned. Sadie needed me to figure out a way – and fast – to continue her love affair with Cass in a series of Romantic Suspense novels. And who can blame her? Cass would be a handful to tame in just one book!”
Devil in Texas received high praise from national bestselling Western Romance author, Barbara Ankrum: “Adrienne deWolfe has done it again with a rousing adventure that’s sure to please any lover of Western novels. Deftly weaving rich characters with a sublimely unique plot, Devil in Texas is the perfect blend of laugh-out-loud storytelling and heartfelt emotion. DeWolfe delivers a deliciously wicked pair of star-crossed lovers, a Texas-Ranger whodunit, and a rascally raccoon, named Vandy, who will steal your heart. Honestly, I couldn’t put it down!”
DeWolfe’s writing has also been praised by USA Today bestselling author, Julie Ortolon: “Adrienne deWolfe never ceases to delight. Her spunky heroine’s and sexy heroes offer an exciting read every time. The subtle levels and dimensions deWolfe gives her stories and her characters are an added bonus to an entertaining tale. She is a true storyteller for anyone who enjoys something above the ordinary.”
Based in Austin, Texas, deWolfe is the recipient of 48 writing awards, including the Best Historical Romance of the Year. She has written novels for Bantam Books and Avon Books, in addition to ePublishing Works, which is publishing Devil in Texas. The novel is available in print and ebook formats. For more information, visitLadyLawandTheGunslinger.com,where you can read an excerpt. See a picture show about the series.