When Lady Alexandra Calthorpe arrives at the Colorado ranch managed by her uncle, she has little idea of how the experience will alter the future her father has in mind for her. Headstrong and willful, Alex learns to lasso more than the corral fence post as she tries to emulate the lives of the cowpunchers around her and cross the divide from the strictures of Victorian English society to the freedom of the American west. Having overcome a disastrous marriage in England, and with a burgeoning art career in New York, she tries to reconcile her desire for independence with her love for top hand Jesse Makepeace. But when the brutal winter of 1886 blows in killing most of the ranch herd, Alex sees the life she had hoped for on the open range changed forever.
Targeted Audience: Adult
Andrea Downing likes to say that when she decided to do a Masters Degree, she made the mistake of turning left out of New York instead of right to the west, and ended up in the UK. She eventually married there, raising a beautiful daughter and staying for longer than she cares to admit. Teaching, editing a poetry magazine, writing travel articles, and a short stint in Nigeria filled those years until in 2008 she returned to NYC. She now divides her time between the city and the shore and often trades the canyons of New York for the wide open spaces of Wyoming. Loveland, her first book, was a finalist for Best American Historical at the 2013 RONE Awards. Lawless Love, a short story, part of The Wild Rose Press ‘Lawmen and Outlaws’ series, was a finalist for Best Historical Novella at the RONE Awards. Dearest Darling, a novella, is part of The Wild Rose Press Love Letters series, and comes out Oct. 8th and Dances of the Heart,, another full length novel, comes out in the next few months.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I’ve spent most of my life in England but, in 2008, returned to the city of my birth, New York. I always had a deep interest in the American west and family vacations were often spent on ranches; to date, my daughter and I have visited about 20 or so throughout the west. When I returned to America I was reading a biography of the Jerome sisters; Jenny Jerome was Winston Churchill’s mother, but her sister Clara was married to Moreton Frewen, who owned one of the first ranches on the Powder River in Wyoming. One thing led to another and my research began into the British in the west. It turned out there were numerous cattle ranches in the mid to late 1800s owned by British companies, more able to get funds than Americans in the post Civil War years. Most of the Brits who came out were lesser aristocrats, on allowances, or remittances, from their fathers or older brothers who had inherited titles. This gave rise to the name, ‘remittance man’—and gave me the idea for my book, Loveland.
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