Highlighting Historical Romance: Dorothy A Bell
We’re pleased to present an interview with the author.
CW: Please tell us about the historical background for your book.
Baker City and Sumpter, Oregon experienced a big gold rush after the Civil War years. The famous lost Blue Bucket mine is in the Blue Mountains somewhere waiting to be rediscovered. Gold miners prevail to this day. There really is a Dance Hall Road. It’s located outside of Baker City, Oregon, out in the middle of nowhere in a landscape of sagebrush, boulders and dust. The road doesn’t go anywhere, it ends and there are no buildings to give one a hint of how it got its name. The wagon trains came very close to where I set my story. Also, Basque sheepherders were prevalent, running enormous herds of sheep to graze in this area for years. There are many hot springs.
CW: Why do you write historical romance?
I love to mix fact and fiction. Pepper in a bit of truth about circumstance and environment, and plop fictional characters down into that environment—bring to life another time, an another era.
CW: What is your favorite historical period and why?
I love the late 1800’s. There’s a big change on the horizon, trains, industry, politics, the world is getting smaller with travel and communications. Not everyone can keep up.
CW: Did you base your characters on real people?
No. I would never attempt to do that. I’m a story teller, story tellers deviate.
CW: What is your favorite scene in this book?
The court room scene near the end of the book. Petra and Buck expose the villains in a tricky courtroom maneuver. It’s beautiful when justice is served.
CW: What was the hardest scene to write and why?
I struggled with Petra’s perspective. She’s vulnerable, but I didn’t want her to be fragile. It was a very fine line to hold to—she has a silent, quiet strength about her that doesn’t match her appearance.
Buck Hoyt runs a whore house in the back end of nowhere. Scruffy and cantankerous, he hauls in the whores in the spring and sends them packing in the fall. In winter, Buck, a dedicated recluse, reads, writes and grows his hair.
But this winter, Petra Yurvasi, and her new born son impose on his solitude. Now shaved and shorn, Buck’s only purpose is to please and protect his woman and her child. Can he keep them safe from the evil brothers that want her silenced forever? If they face the evil together, they have a chance.
All brain function came to a standstill—she’d chucked a big old cog right in the spokes of his brain. When the wheels started churning, Buck burst out laughing—which set little Gabriel off to howling again.
When he could focus, Petra had stopped laughing. As a matter of fact, she appeared to be, once again, disgusted.
“There, you see how stupid, how naive I can be. Mr. Hoyt, how can I trust any of my perceptions—my feelings. I really don’t blame you for not telling me about your business. You were absolutely right—I probably would’ve run off and gotten myself, and Gabriel, killed.
“I am disappointed, though. You’ve been kind to me, but I wish you were in some other kind of business. I can’t stay, of course. I could never trust myself, or my position, in your house. I think I’d always fear another woman would come along and replace me as your favorite…concubine.”
Her words cut off his laughter. He didn’t care for her logic. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“I would never be certain I wasn’t just another…hen…prostitute—you know…exchangeable.”
“Petra, God damn it. Get this through your head, you are not—and never will be, a prostitute. You’re going to be my wife, for God’s sake. And no wife of mine is going to take up prostitution. Do you understand me? I’m out of the business. I ended the business the second I brought you into the house.”
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About the Author
Hello, Dorothy A. Bell here. I’m an author of western and contemporary romances with Freya’s Bower Publishing. Born in southern Iowa, I moved to Oregon’s Willamette Valley at the age of eleven with my parents and a sister. I married a boy I first encountered in the sixth grade, and we’ve been married for fifty years.
While our two children were in school, I started to write Regency Romances to entertain herself. As a facilitator of a writer’s critique group for several years, I learned a lot from fellow writers. I took writing courses at a community college. The real education, I discovered is in submitting work to publishers, editors and agents, and getting feedback.
Laid low for nearly twenty-five years with arthritis, forced to use a battery-powered cart, I took up aquatic exercise and became an instructor. I retired after eighteen years of instructing, and now I go to the pool and do my own thing. After two surgeries to replace my knees, I went to work on herself and lost eighty-five pounds.
I live in Oregon’s Willamette Valley with my husband Mike, a long-haired dachshund named Hector—Heck for short—and Rocky, a big, angora tuxedo cat. I enjoy gardening and landscaping, making pickles and relish from my homegrown cucumbers, and salsa from my homegrown tomatoes.