For Release Jan. 27, 2017

LAMPASAS’S GOLDEN AGE THE SETTING FOR WESTERN

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVEL BY

BESTSELLING TEXAS AUTHOR

Austin, TX – She’s a Lady Pinkerton. He’s the outlaw ex-lover, who can blow her cover. The sparks fly in Lampasas, Texas (1883,) when these star-crossed lovers reunite, waging a battle of wits and wiles in the new romantic Western whodunit, Devil in Texas, by national bestselling author, Adrienne deWolfe.

“When I started writing Devil in Texas,” deWolfe said,I didn’t know where to set the political campaign, which serves as the story’s backdrop. Then I stumbled across some fascinating research about Lampasas, conducted by Preservation Lampasas, Inc. (PLI). At the time, I’d never heard of the town; I had to hunt for it on a map!

“But the more I read about Lampasas, the more I was inspired by its rich history!” deWolfe continued. “For instance, I needed a suitably sinister subplot. When I learned that Lampasas was a hotbed of politically active sodbusters, I created ‘vigilante grangers.’ In my novel, Devil in Texas (Book 1, Lady Law & The Gunslinger Series,) they’re prowling the Grand Park Hotel and trying to assassinate a state senator, who hires the gunslinger-hero as his bodyguard.”

Lampasas’s legacy as the “Saratoga of the South” also inspired deWolfe,who will be speaking during Author Fest at Lampasas Public Library on Saturday, Jan. 28.  DeWolfe wrote several pivotal scenes in a fictional bathhouse, including a floating poker game and a seduction. “Every Romance novel has to have a seduction!” dewolfe explained, laughing.

Even though she writes Romance novels, deWolfe confesses she’s a sucker for action scenes: her Western-set novels are riddled with them. “When I laid eyes on Lampasas’s public square, I just had to set an old-west shootout on the rooftops (while the courthouse was under construction.) Then I got really creative and invented a covert Lady Pinkerton training center on the outskirts of Silk Stocking Row.”

DeWolfe praises PLI for doing a phenomenal job of documenting the city’s history. “I attribute many of my ‘eureka moments for my plot to the research conducted by LPI volunteers,” deWolfe said. “Their website let me turn Devil in Texas into a snapshot of Lampasas’s Golden Age.”

Midwest Book Review praised Devil in Texas: “Western romance at its best. Anything but predictable… Devil in Texas (is) a spicy, revealing read that ups the ante in the Western romance genre and immerses readers in a special blend of political intrigue and mystery. Especially recommended for readers seeking…a feisty, take-charge heroine.”

Affaire de Coeur wrote, “Adrienne deWolfe serves up a dose of pure fun. Fans of Westerns should get this one!”

Learn more about the series at LadyLawAndTheGunslinger.com. Watch the action-packed Book Trailer

Based in Austin, Adrienne 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 published Devil in Texas and its sequel, Dance to the Devil’s Tune, which continues the wild-west adventures of the Lady Pinkerton and her outlaw lover. See the book trailer for Dance to the Devil’s Tune.  

Learn more about Author Fest at the Lampasas Public Library on Jan. 28.

Excerpt

DEVIL IN TEXAS

Book 1, Lady Law & the Gunslinger

By Adrienne deWolfe

Reaching for his six-shooter, Cass waved his 17-year-old sidekick to safety and poked his head around the corner. A bearded figure in a sack suit was climbing through the window. Apparently, they’d caught a thief breaking into the hotel.

Cass marveled at the irony. All his life, he’d wanted to be a Ranger, to fight for right and make the world a safe place for little kiddies to play. Even though that dream had been derailed when he turned vigilante, Cass’s altruistic side couldn’t let some desperado barge into the building and loot innocent folks.

Stepping into the moonlight, he confronted the burglar.

“What’s the matter, mister? Stairs aren’t enough exercise? “

The thief went rigid.

“Hands,” Cass barked, cocking his .45.

Slowly, reluctantly, the burglar spread his gloves in the universal sign of surrender.

“I’ll frisk him,” Collie volunteered, lurching forward in his widow’s weeds, the matched pair of cantaloupes in his corset thumping together.

Cass wanted to wallop the kid for such a lousy stakeout disguise. “Confound it, Birdie, is that how your mama taught a lady to behave?”

The burglar chuckled. The sound was low and husky, reminding Cass of whiskey, scarlet, and sin all rolled into one.

“Looks like Birdie found Admiral Farragut’s lost torpedoes.”

“Mind your manners, cockroach,” Cass growled. “You’re talking to a lady.”

Straight white teeth flashed in the thief’s graying beard. “Somebody’s got his facts all tangled.”

Cass’s brow furrowed. Something about that voice wasn’t right. For one thing, it wasn’t scratchy enough to be old. For another, it reminded him poignantly of Sadie.

Cass cursed himself. Now wasn’t the time to get distracted by grief. Sadie had betrayed him. She’d told the Rangers about his murder warrant. After a hurt like that, Cass shouldn’t have cared that the golden-eyed hellion had vanished in a fire.

But no matter how he tried, he couldn’t stop thinking about those long-lost days of star-gazing, berry-picking, and sharing secrets in the hayloft with Sadie. A yawning emptiness consumed his soul. The nights had lost their thrill because he could never love, war, and make up again with the Devil’s Red-Haired Daughter.

He dragged his thoughts back to his prisoner. “What’s that bulge under your coat?”

The ghost of a dimple peeked beneath the thief’s derby. “The usual.”

“Want to be more specific?”

“See for yourself.”

Cass frowned. This conversation was familiar—macabrely familiar. But his memory had to do with Sadie and a skimpy negligee that had nearly stopped his heart.

“Take off your hat,” he commanded suspiciously.

Another saucy dimple peeked. “You want it? Come and get it, hotshot.”

Cass’s patience was rapidly unraveling. Defying knives, blinding powder, and whatever else the thief might throw, Cass stalked closer. A tepid breeze stirred the draperies. The masculine scents of leather and horse wafted past his nose, along with the feminine fragrance of rosehips.

Sadie’s favorite tea.

Now Cass was close enough to notice anomalies beneath the burglar’s bowler: a mustache that was just a hair off balance. Lips that were pink and kissably soft.

Cass’s brain told his senses they were liars, but his heart couldn’t give up the hope. With a shaking hand, he knocked off the thief’s hat.

Eyes as hot as golden brands burned into his.

In the next instant, a boot sent his gun flying. A second drop-kick plowed into his midsection.

“Son of a—” Cass stumbled to his knees, winded.

Collie reached for his revolver.

“No!” Cass tackled the boy. They hit the carpet in a tangle of limbs and lace.

“That’s Sadie!”

“Are you loco? Sadie’s dead!”

They flopped like a couple of beached whales, Cass’s spurs shredding the boy’s petticoats. Sadie glanced over her shoulder, that wicked dimple flirting with her lips. One last smirk for his embarrassment. One last sigh for all that might have been.

Then, with an audacious wink, she fled.

Book Description

DEVIL IN TEXAS

Book 1, Lady Law & the Gunslinger

By Adrienne deWolfe

Pinkerton Agent Sadie Michelson poses as a casino singer to investigate a Texas Senator. Before she can cozy up to her quarry, she must get past his bodyguard, William Cassidy, her long-lost lover.

An outlaw seeking redemption, Cass was lured to Texas by the promise of a Ranger badge. But he hasn’t forgotten the sassy siren, who toyed with his heart. When Sadie proposes a truce, Cass suspects she’s hiding something.

With assassins dogging their heels, Cass and Sadie uncover a murder conspiracy in the senate. To stay alive, they must do the one thing they’re dead set against: trust each other.

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