Guest Post from author Susan Page Davis

Genres: Christian Fiction, Christian Historical Fiction, Romance

The Blacksmith’s Bravery, Book 3 in Susan Page Davis’s historical romance series, The Ladies’ Shooting Club, releases November 1.

By age twelve, Vashti Edwards was orphaned and working her way west in saloons. Life in Fergus, Idaho, has given her new hope in Christian friends from The Ladies Shooting Club and an employer who turned her saloon into a restaurant. But money’s tight, and Vashti tries to get the job she’s dreamed of—as a stagecoach driver. Griffin Bane, local blacksmith, is overseeing the stagecoach line and admits he needs more help. But can a woman—even one known to be a good markswoman—handle the challenges and dangers on the trail? And can he brave the beautiful distraction she makes riding alongside him?

Readers have come to love the fictional town of Fergus, Idaho, and the feisty women who lived there in the 1880s. Vashti is one of several saloon girls who found acceptance and sisterhood in the shooting club begun by Gertrude Dooley, the gunsmith’s sister, and Libby Adams, storekeeper. These women began a tradition of defending their families, friends, and property, and this story is no exception.

Vashti and her boss, Griffin, turn to the Ladies’ Shooting Club of Fergus for extra gun power when the stagecoach line is targeted by robbers. Members willing to defend the passengers and mail can ride the Fergus-to-Boise route for free. Throw a little unforeseen mayhem and romance, and you’ll find this journey unforgettable.

Susan says:
Researching the times and the setting for this series took me into new territory. Though I’ve lived in Oregon and visited Idaho several times, I’d never been to the Owyhee Valley. With my daughter, who lives in Idaho, and my husband, I drove high into the mountains to visit the old mining country and the seasonal ghost town of Silver City.

One of the many things that struck me as we wound our way up and up and up the trail was how inaccessible it was. Nowadays a small population inhabits Silver City in the summer, but the roads aren’t cleared in winter. It’s hard to imagine the mine owners keeping those roads open year round, or a stagecoach rolling safely up those grades—or down them on ice and snow, with no guardrails. The people who pioneered in places like the Idaho mountains were tougher than we are, that’s for sure.

Seeing actual artifacts from Silver City also inspired some parts of the stories. A lot of items have been removed from the town and put in a museum a few miles away, to preserve them. Seeing an actual treasure box from a period stagecoach made Vashti’s job more real to me. Clothing, school desks, tools and hundreds of other items people used in the old days sucked me back more than a hundred years.

Would I like to live in the mining country? I don’t think so. But visiting it was wonderful. I hope you’ll find the same delight in my town of Fergus and will cheer Vashti on as she earns the right to drive a six-horse hitch and faces down a terror from the past.
The Blacksmith’s Bravery is presented by Barbour Publishing, ISBN 978-1-60260-796-5. It’s available in many stores and online from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Christian Book Distributors, among others. Other books in the series are The Sheriff’s Surrender and The Gunsmith’s Gallantry.

My next books, coming in January, are Pieces of the Past, a cozy mystery from Guideposts (#6 in their Patchwork Mysteries series, which features books by several authors) and Alaska Weddings, an anthology containing all three of my contemporary romances set in Alaska, from Barbour Publishing.

I hope you’ll visit my website at: to see my other books and enter my monthly drawing. And now I’m going back in time to work on another book—the first in a prairie series coming out next year. Look for The Lady’s Maid in October, and you’ll find English ladies braving the Oregon Trail.

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  • So far I’ve only had the pleasure of reading The Crimson Cipher, but my goodness was that a fabulous read! Through that book, I’m a definitely Susan Page Davis fan. 😉

    I do really love this cover!

  • Thanks, Margaret! I’ve loved all of my Ladies’ Shooting Club series covers. The women have real personality. Even though Vashti never would have worn that dress while driving the stagecoach, it tells a lot about her.

    • Barbour is getting better and better with their covers these days (well most of the CHF pubs are)! I love learning a bit and having a cover that shows insight to the character. It drives me batty when a character is described as having golden hair or something and then the cover shows a brunette. I think those bits are important.

      • Oh, I know! I had one cover that showed the hero, cleanshaven, when in the story he clearly had a beard. And then there was my very first book, where the heroine was riding sidesaddle on the cover (something she never did in the story) and had her legs on the wrong side of the horse! I think the covers have improved vastly.

  • Oh wow! I love this series so it’s cool to learn a little bit about the research that Susan did. I think you’ll like the series if you give it a try Margaret. I haven’t read this one yet but the others were excellent. 🙂

    • Thanks! I think I definitely will… let me find that TBR pile…

  • This whole series has been excellent so far, and I’ve been itching to read The Blacksmith’s Bravery! 🙂

  • This was interesting. I’ve never read this series, but I so enjoy hearing about the research.

  • Joy

    Cool! I’ve only read The Sheriff’s Surrender so far but I really enjoyed it and plan to read the rest. And your new historical series sounds great, too. 😀

  • Hey Sue!

    Don’t you just love research trips?!

    For anyone who hasn’t read The Ladies Shooting Club series, don’t delay. They are excellent historicals. Sue knows how to do her research.

  • Sounds like a great book! I’ve read one of the Shooting Club books and loved it. This was a wonderful interview. I loved hearing about the research you did – especially finding all the objects and how that made the character’s job more real for you. Thanks! :o)

  • I’ve only read the first book in this series so far but hope to read the others soon. How fun it must be to get to go places for research. 🙂

  • Thank you all! Doing the research is one of the best parts of the writing for me. I don’t always get to travel, but when I do it’s extra special. The Idaho trip was wonderful. Of course, I have some super cute grandchildren there, and it’s doubly rewarding to do research and get to squeeze them. Vickie, I’ll bet you’re up to your ears in research right now for your next book. Hi, Christy–nice to see you here. This is a great group. I didn’t mention The Crimson Cipher (my July book) in this post, but it has a code puzzle in it that you can solve to enter a contest from Summerside to win books from them, and the contest ends Nov. 1. If you like historicals and puzzles you will like that book, too.

    • Susan, Thank you so much for guest posting today! This was pure delight! “The Crimson Cipher” is an awesome book. 🙂

  • I have to read this book I loved the other two and wondering what happens to a couple of people in the final book. is it out now? Will have to see when it gets to Australia or wait till I can do an order. Just saw its not here yet. I love the Crimson Cipher also.

    • I’m not sure where the differences for pub distribution are, but in the US it comes out in November 2010. So soon!! 🙂

      • Oh cool I am hoping to go to Hawaii late Jan so may pick it up there. it takes about 2 months to get here.

  • @ Susan is that pink dress from the cover still around? I would love it! It would make a great Halloween costume! I’m just kidding! 😛

    XOXO~ Renee

  • Ha, ha, Renee! You’d look great in it. Okay, here’s the truth: when I turned in my art sheet for this cover, I asked them to put her in the “boy clothes” she wears while driving, but they didn’t like that idea. I guess they wanted the readers to know she’s a woman, even if the passengers didn’t.

    • @Susan-Page-Davis Personally, I love the dress she’s wearing. And somehow, she fits the mental image I had of Vashti from the first two books.

      I started on this one today…20 pages in, and I can already tell it’s gonna be great! 🙂

  • @steelergirl83 if you want it to alert people directly to your reply use their full username in this case @Susan-Page-Davis

    BTW – usernames cannot be changed. Annoying I know, but sorry! But right now, I think you’re using your own log in and not logged in right? Since it’s linking back to your blog instead of profile. Which is cool too, I think it will still let you to “mentions”.

  • @Margaret Chind LOL I’m just trying this whole “mention” thing out I’ve never done it before! Thanks for the tip. 🙂

    @Susan-Page-Davis I think a girl in a fancy dress toting a shotgun is more of an attention grabber than a girl in pants would be but a girl in pants would have been a cute cover too.