Hi, Judy, so glad to have you here today. Tell us a little about Under Starry Skies.
Thank you, Babette for hosting me on your blog. It’s a pleasure to be here. Under Starry Skies is a stand-alone sequel to Red Fox Woman and is a western, romance, and mystery. I wrote it in response to readers’ requests. There are four rancher brothers and a renegade Indian called Two Bears in both novels. This time I used the youngest brother, Tye, who falls in love with a schoolmarm. The crafty Indian returns to stir the plot and pot. He has become a favorite among my readers. Boiled down to a tagline: Romance and mystery happen under Colorado’s starry skies.
Hired as the town’s school teacher, Maria O’Donnell and her sister Abigail arrive in the Colorado Territory in 1875, only to find the uncle they were to stay with has been murdered.
Rancher Tye Ashmore is content with life until he meets quiet and beautiful Maria. He falls in love at first sight, but her reluctance to jeopardize her teaching position by accepting his marriage proposal only makes him more determined to make her part of his life.
When their lives are threatened by gunshots and a gunnysack of dangerous wildlife, Tye believes he is the target of an unknown enemy. Not until Maria receives written threats urging her to leave does she realize she is the target instead of the handsome rancher.
With the help of Tye, Abigail, and a wily Indian called Two Bears, Maria works to uncover her uncle’s killer and put aside her fears. But will she discover happiness and true love under Colorado’s starry skies?
What are your writing goals for this year?
I had two books released in October and November of 2013, and now Under Starry Skies this spring.
I’m taking a small break to regroup and market. I’m researching the 1930s which is an era in America after the colorful Roaring Twenties, but when people still has to deal with Prohibition, the coming of electricity to rural areas, and the ever-famous Model T car.
What is the best thing about being an author?
Authors have the ability to travel with a laptop and write from all corners of the world.
Do you have a favorite time of day for writing?
I write either early morning or late, late night. I seem to have a mid-day slump, so I switch to catching up on social media and marketing when my energy and creativity start to wane.
What is your favorite scene from this story and why?
My favorite scene in Under Starry Skies is where Two Bears meets Maria for the first time when she is left alone in the woods. He discovers she has scrapes and scratches on her arm and offers her what he says is “bear grease” to put on the wounds. Maria doesn’t know how to politely refuse his offer without insulting him.
What is your favorite memory from childhood?
During the summer I was allowed to get books from our rural bookmobile. I read most of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books sitting on a swing outside.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
Up in the peaceful wilds of northern Canada on Lake Nippissing where you can see the dense morning fog roll off the glassy waters, hear the cry of the loons at nightfall, smell the sharp scent of pines. . .and feel the kinship of God and nature around you.
What do you like to read?
I make it a point of reading everyday. I believe good writers are voracious readers. I read the local newspaper each day; I watch the local news every evening, I make time—twenty minutes to an hour every day—to read a novel I’ve chosen. Currently, I’m reading “Sweetwater” by Christina Baker Kline. It’s a beautiful novel about a daughter’s search for the truth about her mother’s death.
Who influenced your decision to become a writer?
Growing up, my mother surrounded us with books which were age appropriate. I always loved to write and was involved in school activities like the newspaper and yearbook staff. I was blessed to get a full scholarship for Journalism to Point Park University in Pittsburgh, and my fate was sealed.
What don’t most people know about you but you would like to share?
I was born and raised on a dairy farm. I played the violin and was an exchange student to Sweden
These are few of my favorite things:
1. good chocolate and a glass of Sangria
2. traveling to Texas and Alaska to see my sons
3. reading, reading and more reading
A Giveaway! I’m giving a free autographed book from a drawing of names of people who leave a comment. Some of my favorite authors are Jack London, Eleanor Welty, Alice Munro, and Louis L’Amour. Who are your favorite authors?
Tye rolled up into a crouch, reset his hat, and faced Maria. “Listen, I have an idea. I’m going to take you farther back into the forest, hide you, and then I’m going down the mountain a bit in search of my horse.”
“You’re going to abandon me, Tydall Ashmore?”
He winced, his expression was almost apologetic. “No, I’m going to leave you for a few minutes. I promise I’ll return.”
“No, take me with you. Please.” Icy fear glistened in her eyes.
He raised his hand and caressed the side of her face with his knuckles. “You have to trust me, Maria, if we’re going to get back down this mountain alive.”
You can buy Under Starry Skies at: Amazon.com
Judy Ann Davis began her career in writing as a copy and continuity writer for radio and television in Scranton, PA. She has worked for industry and education.
Her novel, Red Fox Woman, a western, mystery and romance, was published in 2010 was a finalist in the International and USA Book Awards. Under Starry Skies is a stand-alone sequel to it. Her contemporary romantic suspense novel, Key to Love, was published by The Wild Rose Press in October 2013.
Over a dozen of her short stories have appeared in various literary and small magazines. Up on the Roof and Other Stories, a collection of nineteen short stories, was published in November 2013.
She holds a degree in Journalism and Communications from Point Park University in Pittsburgh and is a member of Pennwriters and Romance Writers of America. She lives in Clearfield, PA.
You can find Judy at: