I'm so glad we're all together to share some time with Susan Page Davis and Ethan Chapman. Ethan is the hero of Susan's latest historical western romance The Sheriff's Surrender. Thank you both for being here, you especially Ethan, sigh...
Oh! You too, Susan! You know we always enjoy your visits and your novels, sigh...and your heros...
I'll just pass out the Starbucks here.
Susan, I love the idea of a Ladies' Shooting Club. And The Sheriff's Surrender was one of my favorite reads of 2009! Love women who don't hide from protecting themselves and their town, yet not taking over the responsibility completely from the menfolk, but helping where they can, and properly training to better protect themselves.
Susan, where did you get the idea for this story?
Susan, where did you get the idea for this story?
My daughter lives in
What would you like readers to go away with when they've finished the book?
A desire to reach out to others within their communities to share Christ, to strengthen each other, and to show compassion.
Do you mind if we turn the interview over to Ethan from here on out?
Not at all. He can handle it.
Ethan, tell us what you did before you came to be sheriff.
I’m a rancher. I’ve got a spread just north of Fergus with a few hundred beef. It’s small enough that I can run it myself with help from the McDade brothers in summer and fall.
How is it that you became the sheriff anyway?
That was not my choice. We had a good sheriff, Bert Thalen, but someone whacked him over the head. The folks in town got a bit upset and wanted to put someone into the office right away so they’d feel more secure. I wasn’t planning to have to track down a murderer. But why me, out of all the men in town? Personally I think the mayor and the town council chose me because I didn’t have any living relatives they’d have to console if I got killed like Bert. I’d been in the army, too. That might have had something to do with it.
Tell us about Gert Dooley. You kind of act as though she's your sister, not Hiram's. Don't you think of her as anything else?
Hm. Well, sure. I mean, what do you want me to say? She’s a good cook, a good friend. . .okay, she’s a cut above most of the women you’ll find out here. What are you getting at, anyway, ma’am?
Do you have a lead on any suspects?
I have some clues, but so far they haven’t helped much. This killer leaves something behind every time he kills. Or nearly every time. See, that’s a problem. I’m not exactly sure what the killer did and what was merely coincidence—or clumsiness.
So how do you feel about this Ladies' Shooting Club? What is it and how does the town feel about it?
You know, I think it’s a good thing. Gert Dooley has a level head, and she’s teaching those ladies firearm safety and marksmanship. What’s wrong with that? If there’s trouble while the men are off on the range or at the mines, their women will be able to defend themselves. I don’t see any harm in it. But some of the men—well, the mayor and Cy Fennel, for instance. They’d like to see the club banned and the women putting down their guns and picking up their brooms. I don’t think Micah Landry and his wife have spoken to each other since Emmaline joined the shooting club. Seems foolish to me.
Do you think Gert can out shoot any man in town? If so, how's that make you feel?
I know Gert can outshoot any man in town. People are good at different things. I’m not sure what I’m good at yet, but there’s no sense feeling bad that someone can outshoot me. Not that I’m so terrible at it, just not as good as she is. Know what? I’m kind of proud of her. If I were ever going to court a girl, it would be someone like Gert. A lot like Gert.
Do you have a question for our readers you'd like to ask of them, Ethan?
Yeah. Why can’t we get any decent coffee out here?
Oh, Ethan...I apologize. It's from a chain...oh, never mind. I'll bet you're used to Arbuckles, let me see if there's still some in the cupboard from AJ Hawke's last visit. AJ leaves the real stuff behind, always trying to get me off the Starbucks...
Susan and Ethan, thanks for a great interview. We always enjoy our visits with you, Susan. And, Ethan, you come on back anytime, we'd love to see you, I mean visit with you again.
Susan, may I have permission to send folks to your blog/site?
Yes, ma’am. My site is www.susanpagedavis.com and I’d love to see them. To see the book trailer for The Sheriff's Surrender, click here.
A murder in Fergus, Idaho, has the town’s women scared. But the men don’t seem able to stop the rash of thefts, assaults, and vandalism that follow. Half a dozen women band together to arm themselves against trouble. The gunsmith's plain sister, the emporium's owner, a couple of rancher's wives and saloon girls take their shooting lessons seriously.
The men are skeptical at first and slightly amused. The new minister's wife shocks the town by joining the club, and other women follow her lead. When they show no sign of letting up on their drill, the men beg the sheriff to disband the club and put their women back where they belong.
Those are fighting words to the ladies. Domestic rebellion threatens until a new murder grabs everyone's attention. Will the sheriff and his men find the killer and put him away? Or will that honor belong to the Ladies' Shooting Club?