Genre: Historical Romantic Mystery
Date of Publication: March 29, 2016
# of pages: 304
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in this fast-paced historical debut.
When Dr. Catherine Bennett is wrongfully accused of murder, she knows her fate likely lies with a noose unless she can disappear. Fleeing with a bounty on her head, she escapes with her maid to the uncharted territories of Colorado to build a new life with a new name. Although the story of the murderess in New York is common gossip, Catherine's false identity serves her well as she fills in as a temporary army doctor. But in a land unknown, so large and yet so small, a female doctor can only hide for so long.
PRAISE FOR SAWBONES:
Absolutely loved it! I couldn’t tear myself away from Sawbones. An epic story of love and courage that sweeps from east to west, Sawbones will rip right through you.”
— Marci Jefferson, author of GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN and ENCHANTRESS OF PARIS
“As if being a post-Civil War female doctor weren’t hard enough, Catherine Bennett is unfairly accused of murder and forced to flee to the Texas frontier to avoid the noose. You will fall in love with Catherine, as I did, as she struggles to assert herself in a violent and treacherous world, fighting not only prejudice but evil. Melissa Lenhardt’s heroine is a passionate, compassionate woman, who must deal with Indians and bounty hunters, fear and injustice—and even love.”
— Sandra Dallas, New York Times bestselling author
“Melissa Lenhardt has given us an amazing heroine and sent her on a thrilling journey from the teeming streets of New York City to the vast wilderness of the Texas frontier. Dr. Catherine Bennett’s adventure will keep you turning pages long into the night!"
— Victoria Thompson, best-selling author of the Gaslight Mysteries
“Raw, gritty and sometimes graphic, Melissa Lenhardt has crafted a page-turner. In Sawbones, the women are smart, brave and at times ‘incorrigible.’ The plot twists, unique characters and intriguing story of passion and betrayal make this a book well worth discovering. ”
— Jane Kirkpatrick, New York Times bestselling author of A Light in the Wilderness
Looking for a mild, romanticized, sanitized version of the old west and frontier life? Do not read this book. What author Melissa Lenhardt has instead given readers is a story that tells it like it was, which means that at times, Sawbones is raw, brutal, and heartbreaking. It is not a light read, and there are scenes of violence and death that will haunt readers, just as they haunt the main character, Catherine.
“There is that word again! Oh, how I have always loathed the word appropriate! It is a word used most often by women without the courage or imagination to think and do for themselves and by men who routinely engage in inappropriate behavior behind closed doors.”
There is nothing typical about Catherine, who is a doctor in a time when women are rarely taken seriously. What makes Catherine intriguing, in addition to her career choice, is her flaws and the consequences of them (primarily her pride about being a doctor). Readers will ache for Catherine to keep her mouth shut to make her life easier, but who can blame Catherine for speaking up and out? It's often a lose-lose situation.
With the story told from Catherine's point of view, readers see the internal struggles that Catherine has in dealing with her external struggles. Considering the traumatic events she's experienced (with the readers right there with her), Catherine has remarkable control over her emotions, and it's not surprising that her training as a doctor helps her there. Other characters are richly written, fully fleshed-out, and memorable -- but don't get too attached. That's all I'm saying.
Author Lenhardt has done her research and the inclusion of historical events (including the Warren Wagon Train Massacre, the military mindset, and the government's mishandling of the Native Americans) really adds authenticity to the story. Lenhardt vividly describes the landscape of the plains of Texas, and the attitudes of the people of that era. Though some descriptions are quite graphic, Lenhardt masterfully writes other scenes so that readers are given enough to flinch (or have a stronger reaction) but really, the details are in one's own horrifying imagination.
The ending was satisfying with the most immediate crisis resolved and plenty of loose ends to tend to in the next installment, Blood Oath, which comes out August 2016. I am very much looking forward to it!
Melissa Lenhardt writes mystery, historical fiction, and women’s fiction. Her short fiction has appeared in Heater Mystery Magazine, The Western Online, and Christmas Nookies, a holiday romance anthology. Her debut novel, Stillwater, was a finalist for the 2014 Whidbey Writers’ MFA Alumni Emerging Writers Contest. She is a member of the DFW Writers’ Workshop and vice president of the Sisters in Crime North Dallas Chapter. Melissa lives in Texas with her husband and two sons.
GIVEAWAY! THREE WINNERS EACH
WIN $10 AMAZON GIFT CARDS!
That's enough to buy a copy for you and a friend!
March 29 - April 8, 2016
Congratulations to winners Alan S., Natasha L., and Ana M.!
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4/5 Texas Book Lover -- Author Interview #3
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