Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Character Interview: Deputy Wyoming State Game Warden Bram Killoran from TERMS OF TEMPTATION by Lorrie Farrelly

1. Where are you from? Did you have a happy childhood?
I was born right here in Wyoming, on a pitiful patch of mud my Pa called a farm. When I was about eight, Fred Dunlevy, a hunting outfitter out of Jackson, took me in to help out around his place. Felt sorry for me, I guess. Still, I didn’t care why Fred took me in, long as it got me away from Pa. The old man had a pretty powerful affection for the bottle, but not much for my Ma or me. At least, not so’s I ever noticed. And it got worse after Ma was gone.
Fred was a good man, though, and he treated me right. He taught me to cipher, and he gave me decent food, clothes, and books to read, even helped me figure out the hard words. I recall his favorites were The Deerslayer and Huckleberry Finn. Said those were real crackerjacks, and that Fenimore Cooper fella knew how to spin a fine yarn about those old-time frontiersmen.
Fred told me Mark Twain was a caution, but also a right perspicacious kind of fella who had a way of seein’ the truth about folks, even when they were tryin’ to hide it. I reckon he was right about that, ’cause those were darn good stories. I must’ve read ’em over five or six times, anyway.
When Fred got it in his head that I needed a little extra civilizing, he’d send me over to the schoolhouse in Jackson. Truth to tell, I didn’t mind. I liked school. I liked it a lot. But most times it wouldn’t be too long before Pa got wind of me showing up regular at the schoolhouse, and sooner or later, he’d wander into town to fetch me home, sayin’ he missed me and that he was gonna mend his ways this time for sure.
’Course, soon as we got back to that sorry mud hole of his, he started drinking hard again and hollering that I was a dang shirker who wasn’t worth a fig. Being drunk never seemed to slow him down or make him any less mean. Oh, I got better at gettin’ away from him as I got older, but he still had a sneaky way of springin’ on you when weren’t looking.
Time went on, I realized Pa couldn’t even stand himself. Reckon that might’ve been why he drank so much. But while I was up at Fred’s, he wouldn’t let the old man anywhere near me, told him to get off the property before Fred had him stuffed for mounting.  I could count on Fred, and I figured I was safe with him.  
2. Where do you live now and what do you do for a living? Is there something you'd rather be doing?
I’ve got a place down in Lander, but I ain’t there much. Since being appointed Deputy Game Warden, I stay pretty much on the move throughout the territory. Maybe because I was always trying to keep one step ahead of Pa when I was a kid, I became a restless sort of man, more at home outside than in. I reckon I ain’t cut out to stay tethered in one place, to be a rancher or a farmer or a storekeeper. But, see, being a game warden’s a footloose kinda job. It suits me. Truth is, I ain’t a man any girl should ever set her heart on. I can’t see myself ever gettin’ married. I’d just purely hate bein’ tethered, you see. I reckon if I ever did take a wife, she’d just find me to be one dang disappointment after another.
3. What's going on in your life right now?
Chief Warden’s had me spreadin’ the word about the new Fish and Game laws. Illegal hunting and trapping has just about taken down our whole population of pronghorns, bighorns, and elk, along with nearly every kind of fur-bearing critter and game animal you can think of. Even trout are getting mighty scarce here about. Far as I’m concerned, every dang poacher in Wyoming oughta be locked up and the keys melted down for scrap. I hope those no-account varmints are listenin’, so’s they can consider their sorry selves informed. I’ve got a job to do, seeing wildlife and livestock both thrive in this state, and I aim to do it.
4. Is there someone special in your life?
 Seems I can’t get my mind off one Miss Kinley Cantrell.  Though I swear, that infuriating little bit of a thing is more trouble than a spitting bag of bobcats. One minute she makes me want to tear out my hair, and the next, danged if I don’t want to tear off every last bit of clothing she’s wearing. Thing is, I owe her my honor and my protection, but how am I ever gonna live the settled, confined life she’s bound to expect of me? I reckon I gotta figure it all out pretty soon, since my life – and more importantly, Kinley’s – depend on it.
5. How did you meet? What's his/her family like?
Well, I was down in Crowheart one day, outside the general store. I’d just loaded up ol’ Dan, my pack horse,  with a load of provisions, when I heard this fracas start up over at the Paradise Saloon. Crazy thing was, the person carrying on the loudest was a girl.
She couldn’t have been  more than eighteen or nineteen and was hardly bigger than a minute, but she had this big, drunken galoot three times her size backed up against the hitching rail. She was hollering at him about his pitiful horse, which looked like it hadn’t been fed in a week, and she had a mighty colorful way of hollering, too, if you ask me.
She was sure working up a head of steam. She called that sodden fool a lump-brained, neck-oiled, no-account, disgraceful excuse for a man, and I reckon she was right.
But when that fella finally figured out she was insulting him, he took after her. I started running, got halfway across the street, aiming to set him straight, when another fella strode right up and laid him out flat with one good hard clip to the jaw.
Turned out the fella who stepped in was her brother. Next thing I knew, she was making him unsaddle that poor, mangy nag while she stood there stroking the sorry critter’s neck.  I could only hear a little of what she and her brother were saying:
Lord Almighty, Kinley … every flea-bitten nag and varmint you see … But, Teddy, listen … not an old horse … I’ll pay … well, when he wakes up, that is …   
I’ll tell you, Kinley Cantrell sure enough got my attention that day, and it’s only gotten worse since. Now I can’t get her out of my mind or out from under my skin. She’s reckless and hard-headed, and she gets in more trouble than a pack of wolves in a pen of sheep, but darned if she doesn’t have the biggest heart this side of the Mississippi.
6. What's keeping you two apart?
I swear, a man can only stand so much. Exasperating as she is, Kinley just about makes my heart pound out of my chest. I swear, I get near her and I can hear the blood rush in my veins. I’ve got no idea why she moves me so, why she makes my heart squeeze and every sane thought I’ve got fly right out of my head. She just about turns me inside out.
So unless I figure out how to keep from breaking her heart, the most danger to Kinley isn’t gonna be from those good-for-nothing, snake-in-the-grass poachers that are giving us trouble hereabouts. It’s gonna be from me. 
7. What one thing could you do that would make you feel like the relationship will work out?It doesn’t seem to matter what I do. Kinley listens to reason about as well as a hound dog plays the fiddle. She’d try the everlovin’ patience of a saint, and I sure ain’t no saint! But I reckon I might as well jump into the dang most scalding hot springs I can find. It would save time in the long run.

8. Any last comments?

I guess I just want to say that nobody – not even Kinley – is gonna get in the way of me doing my job. I’ve been doing it on my own for a long time, and I sure enough don’t need her assistance to keep on doing it. So if you’re listening, Miss Cantrell, pay heed. If I have to hogtie you to my pack horse and send you on home and out of danger that way, why, I’ll do it. You hear?
About the author:

A Navy brat and graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, LORRIE FARRELLY is proud to be a Fightin' Banana Slug. Following graduate school at Northwestern University, she began a career in education that included teaching art to 4th graders, drama to 8th graders, and finally, math to high school students.
She's a three-time winner on the television quiz show Jeopardy! She has shepherded wide-eyed foreign exchange students along Hollywood Boulevard, and has happily curried and shoveled as a ranch hand at the California Disneyland's Circle D Ranch. And always, she writes.
Lorrie has won a Presidential Commendation for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics. She's been a Renaissance nominee for Teacher of the Year and a finalist for the Orange Rose Award in romantic fiction. Her novels have been awarded Readers' Favorite 5-Stars. TIMELAPSE and TERMS OF SURRENDER were winners  in the 2014 READERS' FAVORITE INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS, and TIMELAPSE is also a GOLD MEDALIST in the 2014 AUTHOR'S CAVE BOOK AWARDS, and is the TIME-TRAVEL NOVEL WINNER in the 2014 CYGNUS AWARDS. Lorrie and her family live in Southern California.
Deputy Game Warden Bram Killoran is certainly no saint, and he has wanted headstrong Kinley Cantrell since the day he first saw her outside Crowheart's Paradise Saloon - backing a burly drunk three times her size up against a hitching rail and giving him a truly inspired and colorful upbraiding for mistreating his horse.
Kinley's determination to defend herself and the animals she loves will make her Bram's unlikely ally. They are irresistibly drawn to one another, but when her passion and spirit clash with his tangled conflict of duty and desire, not only their hearts will be in danger, but their very lives as well.
Tender and touching, full of drama and detail, TERMS OF TEMPTATION has been awarded READERS' FAVORITE 5 STARS. It continues the lives and loves of the Cantrell and Devlin families, along with the best-selling TERMS OF SURRENDER and TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT.
Deputy Wyoming State Game Warden Bram Killoran heard the comments of the crowd as it slowly broke up and people began to wander off in twos and threes, chattering and tut-tutting all the while over Kinley Cantrell’s latest escapade:
That crazy Cantrell girl's at it again....
Well, can't say she don't have some grit....
Good thing her brother Ted was here, 'cause drunk as he is, ol' Purvis mighta got in a lucky swing and fair killed her....
Dunno, reckon that little bit of a thing mighta killed Purvis first, feisty as she is....
Well, I declare, she isn't a bit like that sweet little twin of hers - and doesn't that give a body pause....
My oldest boy, Wesley, escorted her to the Harvest Dance last fall, don't you know, but turned out she spent the whole time bending his poor ear about bighorn sheep - or maybe it was muskrats or weasels or some other such nonsense, but can you even imagine...?
Heard she's got pens full of grizzly cubs and wolves up at that menagerie of hers, boxes full of rattlers, too....
Ya ask me, Cap'n an' Miz Cantrell oughta lock that one up and throw away the goldurn key....
Bram knew there was more than a kernel of truth in those remarks, but he couldn't stop thinking about Kinley, dreaming about her. And he couldn't stop wanting her. *
*copyright by Lorrie Farrelly
 Author links, webpages, fan pages, and book trailers.
eNovel Authors at Work:  http://enovelauthorsatwork.com/153-2/

No comments:

Post a Comment