Double Jeopardy: Why This story and these characters? & a giveaway

 Donna Schlachter is in the house again sharing about her newest release Double Jeopardy. The history behind this Historical Romance gives us a peek into how her setting was created. Donna is giving away a free e-book too. It has a cowboy hero *sigh*.

This story came about because of a challenge from an editor to come up with a story that would have a cowboy on the cover. Which meant there needed to be a cowboy in the story. And I don’t usually write cowboys. I write detectives, rancher women, Pony Express, tour bus drivers, publishing editors, preachers, wagon train leaders—almost everything but cowboys.


Still, I’m usually up to a good challenge, so I started looking around for a place to set the story that would need a cowboy. Then I came up with the mining angle, switched letters, a debutante in dungarees, and then the mystery formed in my head.


Yes, this book is touted as Historical Romance, but it’s really Historical Mystery with a good dose of romance. Every book I write has a mystery or a suspense element that needs to be resolved, because that’s how I bring my world back into order.


These characters grew out of two needs: (1) a cowboy, and (2) the absolutely wrong woman for him. I wanted to take this cowboy out of his element just as she is out of hers, and see what happened when I stirred the pot with a murder, accidents, and a mother in the background who tries to control even from two thousand miles away. Becky and Zeke needed to be stalwart, courageous, but not so independent they didn’t need each other, even if they thought they did.

Maybe you’ll also enjoy the history behind the story. When most people think about opening up the Wild West, they picture cowboys, wagon trains, and, of course, the gold rush. And all of those would be true and very important to the reasons why folks left the relative comforts of the East—that being everything east of the Mississippi—to head into the Great Unknown.


The Colorado Gold Rush started in 1858 and lasted until around 1861, and brought thousands of miners, ancillary workers such as drovers, liverymen, blacksmiths, prostitutes, saloon keepers, and swindlers. However, apart from a few areas such as Cripple Creek, which saw its biggest mining deep into the 1890s, most of the gold petered out as quick as it was found.


An interesting tidbit is that silver was discovered because so many were looking for gold. Exactly twenty years after gold was first discovered, silver was found in the area of Leadville and covering a three-hundred-mile swath from the San Juan Mountains to the Foothills west of Denver.


Robert Campbell, Becky’s father, learns of this find, and heads for southwest Colorado, intent on getting in on the ground floor of silver mining in the area. Little did he know that the wealth he counted on would evaporate less than fifteen years later when the government stopped minting silver dollars, a decision that increased gold prices and sent silver prices into the basement.


I will randomly draw one name from all who leave a comment to win a free print ebook version of Double Jeopardy.


Come on over and join us at our Launch Facebook event:


Double Jeopardy is available at, and fine booksellers in your area.

About Donna:

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick. As a hybrid author, she writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, and has been published more than 30 times in novellas and full-length novels. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, Sisters In Crime, and Christian Authors Network; facilitates a critique group; and teaches writing classes online and in person. Donna also ghostwrites, edits, and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management. Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!



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