Guest Blog--Danielle Owen--Free Book to Commenter WINNER: Guest #c1c2
Updated: Oct 24, 2021
Welcome! Please introduce yourself—name, where you’re from, and something people notice when they meet you.
My name is Danielle Grandinetti. I’m originally from the Chicagoland area, but transplanted to Eastern Wisconsin when I married about 7 years ago.
The first thing most people notice when they meet me is that I’m short (I’m under 5’1”). I like to call myself vertically challenged. It used to bother me, but now I love being my height and all the perks that come with it.
Tell us about your book?.
Title: To Stand in the Breach
She came to America to escape a workhouse prison, but will the cost of freedom be too high a price to pay?
1933, Wisconsin – Large animal veterinarian Katy Wells takes her patients’ welfare personally, so it’s no surprise when she stands up to angry farmers planning a milk strike or takes in an injured draft horse to save its life. But after a visitor from the past discovers her location and reveals a threat, she must choose between her work and her freedom, and whether to trust a man to keep her safe.
To Stand in the Breach is the prequel novella to A Strike to the Heart, releasing April 2022 from Iron Stream Media.
Share one thing that you found difficult or challenging about writing this book?
I wrote To Stand in the Breach after I wrote A Strike to the Heart, but the events in To Stand in the Breach happen before A Strike to the Heart. I enjoyed the challenge of making the book details line up, but it was hard not to give too much away!
Monday, February 13, 1933
He found her.
Desperately clutching the paper, Dr. Katy Wells slipped into the sheltered area between two of the buildings at the center of the small town of Eagle, Wisconsin. She placed a gloved hand on the worn plank wall of Town Hall and squeezed her eyes shut to block out the words on the letter. Fear’s insidious claws sank into her chest. Fourteen years of running, of staying one step ahead of her uncle and other men who wished her harm … and she’d finally found security here, in this town, hidden as it was in the middle of the United States.
Farmers she knew from her veterinary rounds passed along the walk in front of the buildings, coats closed against the chilly wind despite the bright sunlight. None of the men glanced her way. Still, she stepped deeper into the shadows. She couldn’t face any of them. They only knew her as a competent large-animal doctor, someone who—apparently, miraculously—saved countless creatures these farmers thought past help. Not a one would guess her a girl given to fits of panic.
She tried to iron the wrinkles out of the letter with a trembling hand. It came from the matron at the boardinghouse where she had lived while studying veterinary medicine at Cornell. The matron had written what she obviously considered good news based on her cheery tone. Katy’s family had been searching for her—of course they had, as Katy had vanished fourteen years ago … on purpose. They had tracked her to Ithaca, New York. Now, they were on a train to Wisconsin, if the matron was to be believed.
Och, why had she opened the letter before the farmers’ meeting? She needed every ounce of her courage to stand up in front of all those men. If only that New York newspaper hadn’t published an article on the handful of female veterinarians who had graduated from Cornell in the last couple decades. The reporter focused on the first woman in America, who had received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine just twenty-three years ago, but mentioned other graduates as well. Graduates like Katy. That must be the way her uncle had tracked her to Wisconsin.
She pushed from the wall, carefully folding the letter before tucking it into her medical bag. Then she smoothed the gray fabric of her skirt, as if that action could smooth her troubled heart. She needed to put the letter, her uncle, and her past out of her mind. This afternoon’s meeting was not about her. In fact, knowing these farmers as she did, they likely wouldn’t appreciate her interrupting their meeting. Normally, she’d happily leave them to their own devices. She’d rather face down an ornery bull than walk the gauntlet of men inside.
Ask the blog reader a quirky question or two? :)
Katy Wells, the main character in To Stand in the Breach is a large animal vet, which means her patients are cows, horses, pigs, and the like. As the granddaughter of dairy farmers, I grew up around lots of farm stories. However, I’m a city girl at heart. That said, I have had the opportunity to milk a cow. It still stands as one of my favorite accomplishments.
What’s an unusual accomplishment you’re exceptionally proud of?
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Thank you, Danielle, for joining us! I truly enjoy learning about new (to me) authors!