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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Spotlight on Tammy Barley and Hope's Promise

Don't forget the rules of the spotlights here. A random question will be inserted into each spotlight for you to answer in the comments in order to be entered. So, be on the lookout!


TAMMY BARLEY's roots run deep and wide across the United States. With Cherokee heritage and such ancestors as James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau, she essentially inherited her literary vocation and her preferred setting: the Wild West. The first book of her new Sierra Chronicles trilogy, Love’s Rescue, went into its second printing only five weeks after its release and landed on a best-seller list at

In addition to writing, Tammy makes a career of editing manuscripts, ghostwriting, and mentoring other writers, and judges various fiction contests. She is also a homeschool mom of three teens, and still manages to stay mostly sane.

by Tammy Barley
Published by Whitaker House


Jake Bennett is finally wed to the love of his life, Jessica Hale—but he isn’t convinced she won’t leave him. Life is a constant struggle for the Bennetts as they battle drought and live in fear of raids on Southerners, and he is not sure that Jess knew what she was getting herself into when she married him.

Jess, however, despairs for another reason—she is unable to conceive a child.

While trying to prove their unconditional love for each other, the Bennetts must defend against attacks on the Paiutes, the doubts that haunt them both, and an unknown force that threatens to destroy all they hold dear. Together, they must stand in faith through betrayal, barrenness, and a very real threat, trusting that God will reward their hopes for a better future.

Readers, buy your copy of Hope's Promise today!


1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

Hope’s Promise continues the story of Jake and Jessica. They share a powerful, passionate love and an epic dream, and there was too much story for one book. It was inspired by journals of folks who struggled and enjoyed the rare setting in which the book takes place, the Honey Lake Valley of the northern Sierra Nevadas.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

I’m a horse-hugger—they’re like big, loveable dogs—so the horse ranch setting was a must, and that, of course, influenced the characters’ dream and goal of turning the cattle ranch into a horse ranch (though I love cows too). I’m known for being tenacious, and so is Jess, but she’s got more grit and guts than most manly men—critical for women to survive in the Old West—and that is all her. Jake is calm (he didn’t get that from me!), and he also listens, in the way all women wish their husbands listened, and he’s honorable, he does what’s right, which was a common trait among the cattlemen of the cowboy era and part of what made them such a remarkable part of American history.

3. If your hero/heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

Jess would be mint sorbet—fresh as the outdoors, with an icy kick if you decide to take her on.

4. Are there any themes in Hope's Promise that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

Simply, always hold tightly to hope, as the title suggests. Jess faces overwhelming odds and the threat of losing everything, yet she remembers all the time God has helped her through before, and trusts that He will help her through now. Another theme—God gives each of us a special gift. In Hope’s Promise, Jess discovers she has premonitions.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

Difficult—about the real hardship of life and livelihood at the time. It was almost completely dependent on the altruism of nature. (Remember the Little House series, and Laura Ingalls Wilder? Fires, floods, and draughts drastically changed lives.)

Favorite—the ranchmen’s humor. I still laugh when I think about different scenes. (Gotta have humor to balance life’s challenges!)

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

The last book in The Sierra Chronicles, Faith’s Reward, comes out January 2011 (complete with a totally gorgeous cover). Here’s the blurb:

The year 1865 starts out as a nightmare come true for Jessica Bennett. The cattle she and her husband, Jake, fought to save from drought the summer before now face the threat of freezing to death. Her fears worsen when Jake contracts pneumonia.

Springtime brings trials of a different kind—the snowmelt causes the ranch to thrive so much that Jake must sell off the last of their cattle to make room for their horses and the young foals to be born. In the meantime, Jess endeavors to recover her rightful inheritance, which mysteriously disappeared from the bank. When she discovers a link between the banker and a group of murderous Unionists, who continue to target Southerners even though the war is over, Jake launches an undercover investigation.

The conspiracy runs deeper and wider than either of them could have imagined. Jess must put her life at risk to stop the ringleader and save the lives of many others. Yet, Jess refuses to give up hope in the God she serves—a God of love who often provides above and beyond our greatest dreams.

* * * * *

Thank you, Tammy, for being in the spotlight with us.

NEW!! Readers, answer the question associated with the spotlight in the comments, then leave your email address for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of Hope's Promise. If you do not answer the question, you will not be entered.

Question: Jess begins having eerie premonitions in Hope’s Promise. President Lincoln, you may have read, had premonitions about his death. Have you ever had a premonition or a sense that something was going to happen, that later did? If so, why do you think God gives us these instincts or premonitions?

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.


adge said...

That is a good question, but I am not sure. I have had premonitions before and they happened, but I can't explain anything. gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

karenk said...

i think that i may have had a premonition...or two. maybe that is god's way of communicating w/ us. great question.

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Tammy Barley said...

Happy Thursday, gals!

Yep, it's a question I strove to answer for years, and which I finally answer in Hope's Promise. At least one possible answer. =)

It adds a great layer of thrill and suspense to the story, which involves a huge but little-known conspiracy based on historical fact.

Thanks for answering! I've looked forward to hearing what others think about instincts or sixth sense!



Tammy Barley said...

Oh, if you have a sec, visit the bookshelf page at my Web site and watch the book trailer for Hope's Promise.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Carole said...

Wow, I had to think about this question for a minute. I believe some people do have this gift, but I don't, and I'm glad! Another aspect is realizing that someone's destructive behavior will eventually have a disastrous outcome. Maybe that's not premonition in the purest sense, though.

I enjoyed the interview and look forward to reading Tammy's series.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Lisa D. said...

That questions gives me goosebumps. Isn't that scary? I don't think I've ever had one. I have read that Abe Lincoln did have promonitions during his life...

ldneuhof at hotmail dot com

Cherie J said...

I have had premonitions before. A really strong one I had before was about my twin sister who I had a strong premonition was in danger and so I stopped what I was doing and prayed for her. I saw her just a little while later and she told me that she had narrowly missed being hit by a car about the same time I prayed for her. I think that premonitions are a gift from God and it is up to us to use the gift wisely. Enjoyed the interview and would love to be entered in the drawing for the book.


Tammy Barley said...

Hi Carole, Lisa, and Cherie! Thank you for visiting! I've been in the north woods of Upper Peninsula Michigan, so I haven't been near technology until now. No premonitions there, but saw a bald eagle, twin fawns and their mama! SOOO cute!

To follow your thoughts, if sight is a gift from God, and the senses of hearing, taste, touch, and smell, why not premonitions?

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Wow! A bald eagle, twin fawns and their mama. What a sight to behold. Would love to make it to Mackinac Island one day. Glad you had a great time in the upper peninsula.

Winner announced tomorrow!

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

We have a winner from this spotlight, and that is:

adge: gasweetheart211

Congratulations! I've sent your information to Tammy, so she can send out your book.

Thanks to everyone for your support.

Tammy Barley said...

Thanks to everyone and to Amber! You all are fabulous!

I have to go mail a book now!



adge said...

I got my book today and just wanted to say thank you. I look forward to reading it. :)

Tammy Barley said...

I'm so glad; I hope you enjoy it! So far, none of my readers have been able to figure out whodunnit. It'd be fun if you were the first.

Hugs & blessings!


Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Thanks so much, Tammy, for keeping tabs on the comments and interacting with the readers. Good luck to "adge" in solving the whodunnit. :) Happy reading!