First, if you’ve purchased and read Hair Trigger Heart–thank you. Seriously, thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you haven’t purchased it yet and are on the fence, or you’ve purchased it and haven’t read it, that’s okay, too. 🙂 But since the book’s been out for a week and a half now, I wanted to give y’all a little background and some explanations on Hair Trigger Heart since Caridad is definitely not a typical romance novel heroine (and Owen isn’t a typical romance novel hero, either, to be fair).
Caridad is the Women’s Three-Gun Champion. What does that mean?
For those of you unfamiliar with the world of competitive shooting, Three-Gun is kind of what it sounds like–you use three different guns during the course of the competition (pistol, shotgun, and rifle). Going deeper than that, though, it’s extremely athletic; competitors have to run around courses (they’re being timed, btw), make sure they’re safely handling their firearm while running, hit their targets as they’re moving through the course, etc. It’s very much a tactical competition, in that it puts you in a high-stress environment and demands that you stay calm and focused.
Caridad got into Three-Gun after taking some self-defense classes and getting her concealed handgun license. She had very good, valid reasons for doing so, and those reasons led her to try something she never would have tried before. Ends up, she was pretty darned good at it–good enough to become the Women’s Champion.
The funny thing is that her being the Women’s Champion isn’t remotely the main point of the story. There’s one scene where she’s practicing her pistol skills at a shooting range, since Hair Trigger Heart takes place during the off-season (which typically encompasses November, December, and January). Are her skills important in the grand scheme of the story? Absolutely. They’re an incredibly important part of her character growth. But that’s not all there is to Caridad, and I have to give thanks to Janna Reeves for being incredibly informative and willing to answer my questions when I randomly emailed her because I had questions I couldn’t find the answers to on Google. Ends up, Three-Gunners don’t usually make a living off of their winnings and most of them have “day jobs.” 😉
So thank you, thank you, thank you Janna for being so incredibly nice and forthcoming! I hope next season is awesome for you. 🙂
The book opens with Caridad going to the Devils Ranch to hunt.
Yes, yes it does. If you’ve read Between the Seams and Baseball and Other Lessons, you’re well aware that that’s what the Devils Ranch is–an exclusive hunting ranch. It’s very much a part of my heroes’ lives, and to gloss over that fact would be completely disingenuous.
That being said, Caridad and Owen meeting for a hunting trip is honestly a plot device. I had to figure out some way to get these two together, and her connection to Darrin (the fourth owner of the ranch and her sometimes agent when she needs one) was the one thing that made sense. So I used it. If you’ve read the sample from your ebook retailer of choice but are reluctant to continue reading because of the hunting aspect–no deer are harvested on the page. Why? Because it wasn’t important to the story. What was important was getting these two together, having them feel a connection, and learning things about one another in a short amount of time in order to make both of them more curious about the other. As a hunter myself, I’m well aware that some of the best “hunts” are ones where you don’t shoot anything at all. There’s something incredibly relaxing about being out in nature, being still, being quiet, and tuning out the rest of the world for just a little while. I love watching the fawns and the quail, love watching how different creatures interact with one another. Hunting is about so much more than putting meat in the freezer (or antlers on the wall)–it’s about appreciating all of the amazing things God has given us.
So if you’re worried about Bambi being killed, don’t worry. Even if you don’t like hunting, I still hope you’ll give the book a chance, because hunting plays a small role in the book overall. Same goes if you don’t like guns–this book is about so much more than firearms. And who knows, you might even learn something new. 😉
Where did you get the idea for the title?
This is probably my favorite bit of back story. A couple of years ago my husband and I were in the truck, listening to KOKE FM, and a new song by the Randy Rogers Band came on the radio. Part of the chorus uses the phrase “hair trigger heart” and when I heard it I told Phillip, “That would make a fantastic title for a book!” The idea kind of spun out from there, but that song ended up influencing part of the book in ways I hadn’t originally foreseen. So thank you, Randy Rogers Band, for releasing “Speak of the Devil.” 😉