When Ellen Douglass saves the Union officer from the cold river, she doesn't think this one action will so alter her future. But as Price holds her is his arms, they try to forget that they fight on opposing sides and will be kept forever apart.
On the Mississippi near Memphis
The sound of the Sultana’s explosion brought Ellyn Douglass upright in bed. She ran from her room to find her grandfather already in the hall.
“What was that, Grampa?”
“It may have been a steamer . . .”
They rushed out onto the observation area to see the sky glowing a fiery red in the river’s direction.
“I’ve got to get to town,” he told her.
“I’ll come with you,” Ellyn offered.
“No. Stay here. If I need you, I’ll send word.” He hurried inside to get ready to leave.
Ellyn looked out toward the Mississippi. The steamer was farther south, drifting with the current. She decided at first light she would go down to the river.
At dawn, Ellyn hurried up to the observation area and searched the river for some sign of last night’s disaster. It was then she noticed something caught in a tree. Rushing from the house, she sought out Franklin.
“We have to get on the river right away.”
“Did you hear the explosion last night? I was checking this morning and I think there’s someone trapped in a tree.”
They hurried down to the river dock where the skiff was tied up. They pushed off and headed toward the flooded grove of trees.
“It’s a man!” Ellyn was shocked by the sight of the lone figure stranded motionless in the treetop.
Franklin maneuvered them in close and awkwardly managed to get the unconscious man into the boat.
“Is he alive?” Ellyn asked as she knelt next to him.
“Seems to be, but he’s cut up pretty bad.”
Ellyn tore off a strip of her petticoat and started to bandage the man’s bloody head wound. Much of his clothing had been ripped away from the force of the blast and he had been burned in several places.
The man groaned softly, and she reached out to soothe his brow.
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How did you get started writing?
I was making up stories when I was little, playing with my cowboys and Indians out in the back yard. When I was in 5th grade, I had to write an autobiography and the last question the teacher wanted answered was –What do you want to be when you grow up. I wrote – I want to be an author. It’s so amazing that I got to live my dream!
What was your inspiration for your book Forbidden Fires?
I’ve always been a history lover and I learned about the tragedy of the Steamboat Sultana when I was young. It haunted me for years and inspired my second book – Forbidden Fires. To this day, I believe the Sultana was the biggest maritime disaster ever – even bigger than the Titanic, but it is rarely mentioned.
What’s a genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
I’ve never written a contemporary romance. I did do two contemporary faith-based books, but not a straight romance.
Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
I cannot stand the idea of a vampire or a monster for a hero. I know they’re popular. It’s a generational thing, I guess, because I grew up with Bela Lugosi being Dracula, and there is no way in the world I’d ever want to kiss that guy! J
What are you up to now? Do you have any releases planned, or are you still writing?
I contributed to a short story collection that was published this year through 13thirty Publishing during the RT Conference, but I have retired from writing. I wrote close to 50 books, and I’m so thrilled that I was able to have this career.
Alright, now for some random, fun questions. Favorite color?
Well, I think turquoise.
That is a fun question! I love Big Country with Gregory Peck and Charlton Heston, and I’m also a fan of the Die Hard series and the Lethal Weapon series.
Book that inspired me to become an author?
The Flame and The Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. I was so thrilled and honored to actually get to meet her during my career. She was a talented, sweet lady!
You have one superpower. What is it?
You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?
My heroes! Wouldn’t that be fun??? J (Of course, I miss my parents, it would be great to be with my mom and dad again.)
Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
I have to say that there is a lot of me in all of my heroines -from my sweet innocent first heroine to my ‘Women Who Were Ahead of Their Times’ series heroines. I learned a lot through the years of how to not be afraid to take chances in life. It’s been wonderful.
After working as a department manager for Famous-Barr, and briefly as a clerk at a bookstore, Bobbi Smith gave up on career security and began writing. She sold her first book to Zebra in 1982.
Since then, Bobbi has written over 40 books and 6 novellas. To date, there are more than five million of her novels in print. She has been awarded the prestigious Romantic Times Storyteller of the Year Award and two Career Achievement Awards. Her books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists.
When she's not working on her novels, she is frequently a guest speaker for writer's groups. Bobbi is mother of two sons and resides in St. Charles, Missouri with her husband and three dogs.
You can follow Bobbi on Facebook in the group Bobbi Smith Books.
Bobbi has been awarded the prestigious “Storyteller of the Year” Award from Romantic Times Magazine (New York) and has attained positions on the New York Times Best Seller List, the USA Today Best Seller List, the Walden’s Best Seller List, B. Dalton’s List, and the Wal-Mart and K-Mart Best Seller Lists.
The foreign rights to Ms. Smith’s books have been sold to China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Russia and Sweden. Smith’s current publisher is Amazon. Bobbi has written two faith-based contemporary novels - Haven (https://bobbismithbooks.com/product/haven) and Miracles (https://bobbismithbooks.com/product/miracles)- using the pseudonym of Julie Marshall.
Copyright © 2018 Bobbi Smith.