Cowboy Wild and One Little Spark are recently published books by Maisey Yates. Because One Little Spark is domestic suspense, she has written the book under the anonymous name Ellie Banks. Two books, each a different genre. Besides writing her wonderful cowboy romance stories she has also ventured into writing stories that have women relationships, almost a “sisterly bond.”
One Little Spark has a fire destroying a small town, throwing the lives of three women into turmoil. These women must pick up the pieces and survive the secrets. The narrative jumps back and forth in three time periods: the day of the fire, a year before the fire, and a year after the fire.
Cowboy Wild shows why Maisey Yates is one of the best romantic authors around. She takes readers on an emotional roller coaster ride along with the characters. This is also a book about fire, but not in the literal sense. Both the hero and heroine are playing with fire emotionally. This story is about a brother’s best friend falling for the sister. Elsie Garret is the youngest of three siblings and has known Hunter McCloud her entire life. It seemed Hunter was a big brother to her as he taught her how to do ranch work and horseback riding. She easily turns to Hunter for relationship advice considering he is well known as a playboy. They decide to take an overnight trip to check on horses and to buy Elsie the right type of clothes to flirt. But having to share a hotel room and being in such close proximity changes things between them. Now they must navigate their feelings and determine if they want a happily ever after together.
Elise Cooper: What genre would One Little Spark fall into?
Maisey Yates: It is not a thriller or mystery, but domestic suspense like Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. Both my book and Liane’s have secrets unfold through the relationships, basically everything is linked through the relationships. This is a little bit darker than the romance novels I write.
EC: Which genre do you enjoy writing more?
MY: I do not have a favorite but do like mixing things up with getting into a different head space. In some ways I would say suspense is easier because there are plot points rather than unfolding through emotions. It can be very challenging to drive a story through emotions. The hard part is coming up with the concept for the suspense. I do plot these types of books where my romance books have everything character and emotion driven.
EC: How would you describe Jenna?
MY: She is kind and not necessarily nice. Women always get “she is difficult, and not nice,” which you do not hear a lot about men. But in examining her actions she shows up for people. I related to her because I am also outspoken. There are people who can be very sweet and do not rub someone the wrong way but are not effective. Whereas Jenna is constantly advocating for people. She is results driven, confident, and self-reliant.
EC: How would you describe Alex?
MY: She is more of a people pleaser than Jenna. She is process oriented, does not like to make waves, and is a perfectionist, but not as confident as Jenna. People would say Alex is nice.
EC: How would you describe Chelsea?
MY: She is more of a misfit. She is the type of person that took the back seat, not the over-achiever. She enjoys the spotlight not being on her. She is a bit of a people pleaser.
EC: What was the role of the fire in the book?
MY: It made people change through a disruption of life. Everybody lost something forcing people to rebuild their life in a critical way. The fire was a reset that forced the characters to re-evaluate their life. The suspense comes with the fire because people need to find out how it started.
EC: Can you explain this book quote, “The unfortunate thing about city councils and all the assorted types of boards was that they tended to be populated with the mean and the petty.”
MY: This is every group run by volunteers the world over. The power does not appeal to me. I like to make changes that help people. The hierarchy has people who enjoy putting stamps on things and enjoying the people surrounding them. This attitude could be found in school boards, city councils, the upper class of the small town, in academia, in writing organizations, in Churches. Every place there is a group of people these dynamics can be found.
EC: The other book recently published is your romance book Cowboy Wild. Can you talk a little about it?
MY: I reader favorite has been Bad News Cowboy, about the Garrett family. This current book was intentionally done as a revisit with Elsie Garrett who is cousins to the heroine in the previous book. It has been eight years since I wrote it. It was fun to write again an older brother’s best friend falling for a tomboy heroine.
EC: How would you describe Elsie?
MY: She is a confident tomboy who thinks she knows more than she really does. She is hotheaded, guarded, a little bit impatient, and direct. Her parents abandoned the siblings.
EC: How would you describe Hunter?
MY: He is a playboy. He is protective, charming, and has emotions bottled up. He had an abusive father.
EC: How about the relationship?
MY: Elsie likes to get a rise out of him and is pretty much the only person who can. He feels guilty about his feelings for her. He cannot charm her even though he does it with others. She is meaner to him than with other people. He cannot default to his regular ways with her, he must be honest. She knows him so well and is not taken by his looks. In the beginning they both did not know how to deal with their feelings, sometimes annoyed, sometimes jealous. Hunter describes her as a “loose cannon, hurricane, and a loaded pistol.” He admires these things about her even when he is being disparaging. Thus, she fascinates him. He realizes that what they have is special and different before she does.
EC: What about the role of Alaina and Travis?
MY: He is a ranch hand, and she is Elsie’s best friend. They are not a love triangle. Alaina had a crush on Hunter, but Elsie was in love him. She knows that Travis is just someone who is a handsome cowboy.
EC: Next book?
MY: The next cowboy romance is The Rough Rider, coming out in July. This is Alaina and Gus’s story. Gus is the older brother of Hunter who stood up to their abusive father. I have not written this type of story before. She is pregnant with Travis’s baby. Travis leaves but to help her Gus claims the baby as his. He does not want her to experience the blowback of being a single mom. The story was a slow falling in love.