Where there’s a Will …

Thank you, good friend Janet Gover, for tagging me to take part in this fun series of blog postings, and Hello, Australian readers and writers of rural romance, and others. If this is your first visit to my blog, Welcome!

Today I plan to introduce you to lean, athletic, gorgeous rancher Will Hyde, one of the stars of A Western Heart, but before I do so, a word about Janet.

Not only is Janet a good friend, but she’s also the fabulous author of books that are a must-read for those who love the romance of the outback and rural life. Janet grew up surrounded by books in the tiny Australian bush town where she lived. There wasn’t a lot to do except read and ride her ponies, so not surprisingly, since she writes from the heart and from her experience, rural Australia and horses feature strongly in her writing – oh, yes, and dishy men, too!

Janet’s latest novel, Flight to Coorah Creek, is the first in a series of Coorah Creek novels. To learn more about Janet and her books, check out her website here. And if you missed her introduction to Dan Mitchell, the hero of her second Coorah Creek novel, click here.


Right, back to my latest book, A Western Heart, a novella set in Wyoming 1880.

Will Hyde and Rose McKinley, the older son and the older daughter of successful neighbouring ranches which sprawl across rolling hills and lush green fields, have grown up like brother and sister, knowing that one day they’ll marry and thereby unite their two ranches.

Their families and friends know this, too. And impatient to see the marriage take place, they’re starting to wonder aloud, and with increasing frequency, why Will and Rose’s engagement hasn’t yet been announced. Rose, too, has started to wonder why. She knows Will loves her and she knows she loves him, so there’s nothing can stop them marrying.

Or is there?


That was a brief introduction to the book. Now to get down to the lovely business of introducing you to Will.

1.) What is the name of your character?

Will Hyde. The Hyde Ranch will be his one day, but rather than stand back and merely supervise his men, he’s out there working with them at every available opportunity, his sleeves rolled up, the brim of his hat low over his eyes.

A strong man, not given to many words, but with a great sense of humour, Will’s a man a woman can rely on, a man who will make her feel protected and safe.

2.) Is he fictional or a historic person? 

Fictional. He stepped out of my head, into my heart and on to the page. I hope very much that readers will fall for him big time in the way that I have. BUT he’s also historical. He’s a rugged man living in the American West, not a modern, twenty-first century man.

3.) When and where is the story set? 

Wyoming 1880. I’ve stayed on a working ranch in Wyoming and walked the fields that Will and Rose will have walked. Not in 1880, though! A little more recently than that.


Ranch land in Wyoming, US

A town like Hope










4.) What should we know about him/her?

Ranching is in his blood, and he would like to see the Hyde and McKinley Ranches unite just as much as would the two sets of parents, but not at any cost. Will knows that Rose McKinley likes him – indeed, loves him as a brother – but he’s not a man to settle for liking, or for being loved as a brother: he’s a man with the potential for passion in his heart, and he’ll only wed a woman if he’s sure she loves him as a man.

5.) What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?

Not ‘what’, but ‘who’.

Nate Galloway. Lean, good-looking Nate Galloway, with the way of the world about him, walks into Rose’s life and …  Hmm. I think I ought to stop there to avoid a spoiler.


Cora McKinley, Rose’s sister. While Rose was drifting through life on a cloud of self-blindness and complacency, Cora had been growing into a beautiful young woman. A beautiful young woman with her eye on Will, the answer to every woman’s dream. Was spirited Cora the type to sit back and do nothing about her growing feeling for Will? I’ll let you, dear reader, guess the answer.

6.) What is the personal goal of the character?

To run the family ranch to the best of his ability. To wed a woman who loves him in the way a woman should love the man she wants to marry.

7.) Can we read more about A Western Heart?

Definitely. You will find more about it in this website, and it can be bought here.

AND NOW it’s over to two of my writer friends, Christine Stovell and Angela Britnell, both of whom write about fab men in rugged locations. They’ve agreed to be tagged and will be telling all next week.

A little about Chris. Setting off with her husband in a vintage wooden boat – how romantic is that! – Chris sailed from a sleepy seaside resort on the east coast of England halfway round Britain. She’s now on dry land and lives on the beautiful West Wales coast, where long-distance running, rather than sailing, helps her plan her plots, such as for her romantic novella, Only True in Fairy Tales.




You can learn more about Chris and all her books by clicking here.

And now a little about Angela. Angela was born and brought up in England, but later travelled extensively with her American husband before they settled in Tennessee. She learned to love books at any early age and now loves writing them too. Her latest is a romantic novella, set in a stunning location – Cornwall. Celtic Love Knot is set in the small Cornish village of St. Agnes. Learn more about this, and Angela’s many other novels, by clicking here.

So – Chris and Angela– over to you. I’m very much looking forward to reading your blogs next Thursday.


  • Kirsty Ferry:

    I love the fact you were inspired by the ranch you visited. That really helps authors like yourself bring characters like Will and Rose to life.

    • Liz:

      Many thanks, Kirsty. The trip to Wyoming was really inspirational. I went there during the writing of A Bargain Struck, and it’s impossible to describe the feeling that comes over you when you’re walking where your characters will have walked. I found that I couldn’t leave Wyoming in my head, hence I gave birth to A Western Heart, and am now writing another historical novel set in Wyoming.

  • Thank you, Liz for inviting me to join you and for your lovely introduction. I’ve had the great pleasure of reading both Flight to Coorah Creek (which made me cry!) and A Western Heart which was a delicious short read set in a time and place which Liz describes so well. Celtic Love Knot is a treat in store, and who can resist a Cornish location?

    • Liz:

      I’m very much looking forward to reading what you and Angela have to say next week, Chris. You know how much I loved Only True in Fairy Tales as I’ve already told you that, and I now can’t wait to read Angela’s Celtic Love Knot. These short reads are perfect for the only time of day in which I can read – when I go to bed.

  • I’m so pleased you’ve written another story set in Wyoming, Liz, because I loved A Bargain Struck so much.
    Lovely to hear about your main character too – and in such a gorgeous location. xx

    • Liz:

      Thank you for your comment, Berni, and for your kind words about A Bargain Struck. Yes, it is a glorious location, and I look forward to going again one day. I haven’t been to Monument Valley in Utah yet, though, and I’m sure I’ll really like that, too, when I do. I remember your photos from there last year – it’s just the sort of landscape I love.

  • Great to meet Will. I really enjoyed A Bargain Struck – these outdoor men – you gotta love ’em. J X

  • Great post, Liz – really whetted my appetite for A Western Heart. I’ve never been to Wyoming and can’t wait to read about it, and Will and Rose too.

    • Liz:

      You really must go one day, Clare.

      In parts, it’s like stepping back into another world – a world that’s full of romance (if you can forget about the downside of the 1800s – the outdoor privy, the lack of running water, the lack of electricity and the lack of a host of time-saving domestic appliances…). 🙂

  • I loved a Western Heart and enjoyed reading more about the story behind the story! I’d better get over my jet lag quickly and write something for next week 🙂

    • Liz:

      I’m very much looking forward to reading what you write, Angela. I’m a sucker for anything set in Cornwall, which is so ruggedly beautiful.

  • Zana:

    Sounds fabulous, Liz and looking forward to reading more about Wyoming. I’ve always adored westerns.

    • Liz:

      Many thanks for your comment, Zana. I used to go to the cinema with my father when I was young and we’d watch westerns together. I’ve always loved that period since then, and I studied it when I was living in California. I look forward to returning to Wyoming, and also to seeing more of Colorado in the future than I’ve yet seen.

      I also want to explore the Australian outback in a way that I wasn’t able to do on my recent visit to Australia – there’s very much the same feel there as in the American West.

  • Will certainly sounds like the ‘strong, silent’ type… I’m looking forward to reading A Western Heart after those intriguing snippets about the book.

    • Liz:

      Your taste in men and mine must be the same, Jane! I hope you enjoy the novella when the time comes. 🙂

  • Liv:

    Looking forward to making Will’s acquaintance, Liz – and wouldn’t it be great if there was a Western revival. I’d love to see re-runs of some of those Westerns I watched when growing up. There was a magic about the ‘wild west’.

    • Liz:

      What a brilliant idea, Liv! |I do hope that someone who can make things happen picks up on that soon. There’d be a market for watching them – you only have to look at how many people read novels set in the American West.

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