Friday, February 10, 2012


“What is it about the past that fascinates you so?” I get that question all the time. You see, I’ve loved history since I was a little girl; reading about times long past was like stepping into a different world. It wasn’t a difficult choice when I decided to start writing to choose telling a story set in olden days. What surprised me is that it turned out to be set in the Old West of the Arizona Territory.

You see, I was never a big Western fan. But the tales of people who came from all over the world to the seemingly desolate desert around Bisbee, Tombstone, and Tucson piqued my interest. Years of happily digging through the Arizona Historical Society archives and Bisbee Mining Museum’s records paid off. The discovery of the large number of immigrants from Wales fueled my imagination.

The result is my first novel, Dragon & Hawk, what one of my Welsh friends calls a “Welsh-tern”—a Welsh Western. The adventures of the Jones brothers—Dylan, Evan, and Huw—take you into the dusty mining towns of Bisbee and Tombstone, when the West is at its wildest. Evan Jones is a dreamer with a quick smile and decidedly quicker temper—hence his totem, his animal spirit guide is the Red Dragon of his native land. It is Evan who takes charge of getting his family out of the dangerous mining business, by hook or by crook. But when disaster strikes, it is a mysterious native healer—a Mexican mystic known as a curandera—who actually achieves that feat for them.

Reyna Montoya Svenson is a widow known to many as simply “The Señora” or “La Dama”—literally translated as The Lady. Her skill saves Evan and Huw and her generosity frees them from the mine. She is wise and strong and sees far more than the average person—her totem is the Red-tailed Hawk of the desert. She falls in love with Evan, but his prejudice and bigotry drives her away.

Evan must change his thinking on many levels and comes to realize he has fallen in love with the beautiful Mexican-Mayan widow. He goes on a quest to find her, earning the hatred of a vicious outlaw along the way. Vengeance is as brutal as the heat of the desert sun, and Evan must deal with the consequences of his previously thoughtless actions. Tragedy forces him to realize how valuable love and family truly are.

Dragon & Hawk—now available in both ebook and print formats from Champagne Books—is Book One of a trilogy following the Jones family saga from 1882 through 1904. Book Two, Out of Forgotten Ashes, is due to be released by Champagne in April 2012. My next post will give you a taste of what’s to come…

Jude Johnson
website: http:jude-johnson,com

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