1864 Denver, Colorado.
Determined to prove she is capable of running her father's freighting business, Claire Stewart must compete against a wealthy businessman who wants to bring her down.
Two Wolves, half Cheyenne, scouts for the U. S. Army. He is determined to prove that white men have been committing raids against their own kind in order to fuel the fires of hatred of Colorado citizens against the Cheyenne. When he rescues Claire from just such an attack, he is struck by her fiery independence and youthful beauty. Most of all, he admires her brave attempt to save her father’s business and to help Two Wolves prove that her attack was by white men, led by the very businessman who is her competitor.
Through events that keep forcing these two together and cause Two Wolves to risk his life in Claire’s defense more than once, a bond develops that turns into a steamy attraction between a tiny, red-headed young white woman and a powerful, brave, handsome Indian warrior. This attraction leads to a hot, forbidden romance that develops into a memorable “against-all-odds” love story.
Set against the true history of atrocities committed by the Colorado militia against peaceful Cheyenne, CAPTURE MY HEART brings to light the struggle of the southern Cheyenne to survive amid more and more white settlement; and it shows the courage of Indians and certain brave whites alike in trying to keep the peace during one of the most difficult periods in Colorado history.
Excerpt from CAPTURE MY HEART:
Claire tripped and rolled down a hill, landing against a tree trunk. She got right back up and started running again. She’d always heard how keen the instincts of Indians were. Maybe the big Indian who was part of those who’d attacked her had seen her shadowy figure head for the woods. She could almost feel his big knife in her back. She struggled not to yell out when pine cones and pine needles poked the bottoms of her feet. She kept running, hoping whoever was after her didn’t realize she’d fallen down the hill. Maybe he would go in a different direction.
She found a place where there was softer grass and her feet made less of a rustling noise. She ran faster, not sure when or if she should stop. She would just run until she had no breath left in her, then pray she wouldn’t be found. All her plans ended abruptly when to her horror someone grabbed her. A big hand clamped over her mouth, stifling her screams as a strong arm wrapped around her from behind, pinning her arms to her sides. She struggled wildly as whoever it was wrestled her face-down to the ground and lay on top of her. She closed her eyes against pine needles that poked at her face.
“Lie still!” He gripped her tighter, kept his hand around her mouth. “Do not scream! It is I! Two Wolves! He will hear us if you do not lie still!”
Who would hear them? Was Two Wolves the one who’d been chasing her? She wiggled and tried to scream again.
“Ho-shuh!” He gripped her tighter, kept his hand around her mouth. “I cannot help you if you give us away! I will not hurt you!”
Claire was so worn out that all the fight went out of her. She wanted to believe him, that he truly didn’t mean her harm. His weight was beginning to crush the breath out of her.
“Do not move!” he whispered. “I am going to let go of you. I have to kill him.”
Kill who? The other Indian? What if he failed? She’d be doomed. Maybe she was doomed either way. She fought tears of terror.
“Promise you will make no noise,” Two Wolves told her. “And do not leave this place if I let go of you.” He gave her a slight jerk. “Promise me!”
Claire relaxed. She felt some of his long hair fall over the side of her face, felt his strength, and strangely, felt a sudden comfort in the way he held her. Slowly he moved his hand from her mouth. He stayed on top of her for a moment, spoke again into her ear.
“I am going to let go of you. Pay no attention to what you hear. Do not move from this place. Do you understand?”
Claire heard someone coming, the sound of heavy footfall somewhere nearby. “Yes,” she whispered.
Suddenly, Two Wolves left her. She lay frozen in place, heard someone running. Then she heard a grunting sound, several thuds, a man crying out, and what sounded like a chopping sound. Moments later someone came back to where she lay and jerked her up.
Rosanne Bittner has been writing over 35 years. In 2017 she will have three books published, CAPTURE MY HEART in March from Amazon; THE LAST OUTLAW (the 4th in her Outlaw series) in September from Sourcebooks; and A CHICK-A-DEE CHRISTMAS, part of an anthology titled CHRISTMAS IN A COWBOY’S ARMS in October from Sourcebooks. That brings Rosanne’s total of published books to 65, with more to come!
Rosanne has won numerous writing awards and is a USA Today best seller. She loves American history and it’s all she writes about, all books based on real events and locations and most about the American West of the 1800’s, a topic she absolutely loves and researches faithfully. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the mid-Michigan chapter of RWA, Women Writing the West, several historical societies, and is president of a local charity organization in southwest Michigan. She has been married to Larry Bittner for nearly 52 years and has two sons and three grandsons. Besides writing, Rosanne helps run a family business and donates time to writing workshops and giving talks to clubs and organizations. Be sure to visit her web site at www.rosannebittner.com, where you can also link into Rosanne’s blog site and join her Street Team, where you can win prizes! She will be at the Romantic Times conference in Atlanta May 2-7 and looks forward to meeting many of her faithful readers there.
E.E.: Do you write while listening to music?
Rosanne: OH, MY YES! The words just come pouring out if I have the right music playing. I have “mood” music for all kinds of stories, but mostly lots of Native American drumming/dancing, and also the theme music from some of the big, classic westerns. My favorite theme music for straight westerns is the theme song from THE BIG COUNTRY. For Indian books it’s DANCES WITH WOLVES and also drumming/dancing music by Oliver Shanti, especially “Circle of Life,” and “Well Balanced.”
E.E.: If you couldn’t be a writer any more, what would you do?
Rosanne: I don’t even want to talk about that. I will write till I die, God willing.
E.E.: Which of your characters would you invite to dinner if you could?
Rosanne: JAKE HARKNER, of course, from my Outlaw books! If you read the books, you don’t need to ask why! In fact, it would be cool to have him and ZEKE MONROE from my Savage Destiny books come together and listen to them talk. These two men are very much alike.
E.E.: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
Rosanne: Just being published at all is so satisfying. When I started writing I told editors that I would never be a one-book wonder – that I was here to stay and they could depend on me to write many other books. That was 65 books ago. Dreams fulfilled are numerous writing awards and being published in hard cover – also becoming a USA Today bestseller and being published world-wide.
E.E.: What’s the first book you remember reading?
Rosanne: A LANTERN IN HER HAND. I of course read lots of Nancy Drew when I was very young, but as a teen I read A LANTERN IN HER HAND by Bess Streeter Aldrich – a story about a young woman who follows her husband to Nebraska when there was virtually nothing there. She gave up all her own dreams for her husband, suffered terrific loneliness and hardship but never complained. By the end of the story their farm in the middle of nowhere was absorbed by settlement and their house was part of a town. This book epitomizes what fascinates me most about the settling of America – the speed at which it happened, and how fast open, desolate country became the seat for huge cities, railroads, industry and highways. A LANTERN IN HER HAND is such a touching story and so well depicts what being part of settling America was like for a woman – and in the end it so beautifully describes the feelings of a grandmother. Best little story I’ve ever read.
E.E.: What’s the first story I remember writing?
Rosanne: As a child it was “Mr. and Mrs. Quack,” about a male and female duck who were in love. The male duck was shot down by hunters but he finds his way back to his “wife.” Yes, even at the age of 10 I was writing romance!!
E.E.: A playlist I would recommend for those reading my books?
Rosanne: For CAPTURE MY HEART, the book featured in this event, I would recommend the sound track from DANCES WITH WOLVES. For my Outlaw books, it would be THE BIG COUNTRY.
E.E.: What turns me off like nothing else?
Rosanne: Well, if you are talking about writing, it would be gratuitous sex and the ugly, blatant naming of body parts just for sensation, sex just for sex with no deep, true love involved. I’ve read books where the heroine’s only goal is to “get laid.” No, thanks. One book I read started out with the woman voraciously performing oral sex and it had no meaning. She was just jacking the guy off for the thrill of it. Yuck. Needless to say, I didn’t finish the book. No interest. No good story behind the sex. I also hate “formula” writing, where I can see by the second or third page what is going to happen and I can see that the story will be full of “teaser” love scenes where they “almost” consummate their desire and then back away. If the characters are in love, I say, “get to it!” I absolutely adore deep lovemaking between a man and woman who are desperately, faithfully, totally in love. And I don’t need to carry them all the way through the book before they realize it. I also love family sagas and love stories/sex scenes between older couples who have been together for many years and have clung to one another through the dangers and tribulations of settling America. My number one goal in writing sex is that it is never gratuitous and is always beautiful and has deep meaning.
E.E.: Your favorite movie of all time?
Rosanne: That’s a hard one. I think it would have to be QUIGLEY, DOWN UNDER (Tom Selleck) and maybe PALE RIDER (Clint Eastwood). And I can’t leave out THE BIG COUNTRY (Greggory Peck and Charlton Heston). I also love THE SHOOTIST because it was John Wayne’s last movie and it was about a gunfighter dying of cancer – and John Wayne WAS dying of cancer at the time. Such a touching movie. I cry every time I watch it. LIBERTY VALANCE is also a great John Wayne movie.
E.E.: My most rewarding publishing moment?
Rosanne: When my new editor at Sourcebooks asked me to write a sequel to OUTLAW HEARTS. I had been wanting to write a sequel for over 20 years but couldn’t get a publisher to take one. I am so totally in love with Jake Harkner. The sequel was DO NOT FORSAKE ME, and it became a nominee by Romantic Times as “Best Western Romance” for 2015! Since then I have written a third and fourth book to the series and would like to write a fifth book.
E.E.: Do I put myself in the heroine’s role when I’m writing?
Rosanne: YOU BET! My heroine doesn’t do anything I wouldn’t do, and I like to think I’m as strong as they are and that I can love as fully as they do. And I sure don’t mind going to bed with the hero!
E.E.: Is writing – or is it storytelling – that’s easiest for me?
Rosanne: BOTH. My first agent told me way back when I first started writing that though I might not be the most literary writer, I am, above all, a prolific story-teller. I love action and dialogue. I never use an outline. I pick a time frame/specific event in American history, and I get my fictitious characters involved … and off I go! I just start a story and let it take me where it will. I get to know the characters as I write them, and I outline as I write so that I remember what happened in each chapter, remember events and character’s names and descriptions, but I never start out with a synopsis or outline. I LOVE TO WRITE. It has never felt like work for me and I never suffer writer’s block. I hardly know what to do with myself when I’m between books. I just finished my three books for 2017 and am going nuts waiting to hear from my agent what idea I should work on next. I think I’ll just start writing one of the three books I have in mind and go from there. Even if a book isn’t sold, I write it anyway just to have another book “under my belt” ready to sell.
E.E.: What is my favorite scene in my current book?
Rosanne: In CAPTURE MY HEART my favorite scene would have to be when Two Wolves and Claire make love for the first time. Two Wolves knows exactly how to put a virgin at ease. I can’t imagine a woman exists who wouldn’t want this gorgeous hunk of man in her bed. (I’m smiling.)
Today, Rosanne will give away a preorder copy of Christmas in a Cowboy's Arms and The Last Outlaw, which comes out this fall. Just leave a comment and enter the rafflecopter:
Rosanne: This is my first Indian/white romance since around 2004, in spite of writing many such books in my earlier years of writing, when Indian romance was the hottest seller on the market. Would you like to see more Indian romances on the market again?