Ever been told how to do your job?
At some point, someone has probably thought they knew how to handle a situation better than you. What's worse is when you're in charge of a project or situation, and the other person decides to insert themselves without your approval. And they just can't take the hint (or the demand!) to leave you alone.
But what do you do when it's the person who hired you?
My first historical novel, The Lawmen of Clayton County: Athena Creek, is about the new marshal of a small town in the Pacific Northwest. He's only on the job three months when he realizes the man who hired him expects full loyalty. And obedience.
Trace Ingram is the stereo-typical cowboy, the kind you'll find in pretty much every Louis L'Amour book. He's been a lawman before, and doesn't need any advice. And yet Charles McCrae, the man who founded the town and hired Trace, makes it plain that if Trace won't follow orders, then he's welcome to leave.
Ever been told by your boss that if you don't do something a specific way, you can find a new job? Trace knows Athena Creek is where he belongs. It doesn't take long for him to see the entire town is loyal to McCrae. So it comes down to a choice: Does Trace uphold the law as he sees fit, or does he let McCrae have his way?
The answer is easy at first. Then Trace begins to investigate three strange murders, all of which point to McCrae as the prime suspect. If Trace isn't careful, he'll be out of a job. Or worse yet, he could wind up dead.
"What would McCrae do next time Trace refused to take orders? His stomach tightened as he remembered Orabella Madison standing in the street in front of the jailhouse, piercing eyes locked on his while she accused him of being McCrae's puppet. No, he wouldn't put up with the businessman's interference, even if it meant being tossed out of town. He was no man's pawn."
©2014 Jen Cudmore (This was taken from a post originally written for a blog tour last August.)
Jen was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She first started writing in 2007 and is now a published historical romance author. She currently lives in Alaska with her husband, two children, two boxers, and two cats.
Visit her blog at www.jencudmore.com