Monday, October 12, 2015

Author Spotlight - Ruby Merritt

My special author guest this week is Ruby Merritt, whose book, Ella’s Choice, was a great read for me! Right up my alley, and the kind of stories I enjoy reading. Her latest book in the Spirit Hearts Series is called Lena’s Courage, and I’m looing forward to reading it very soon. (Trying to get a WIP wrapped up, then I can treat myself to a book to read!)
Ruby is giving away an e-book copy of either Ella’s Choice or Lena’s Courage, so please be sure to comment at the end of this post.

Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.

I am Ruby Merritt, author of the Spirited Heart Series. I’m an avid horsewoman, homeschooling mom and in the past worked as a software engineer in the high tech industry.

Why did you decide to write historical western romance? What is the appeal?

I love history especially that of the American Old West. And I love romance.

How much research goes into your books, and how do you tackle that?

I research quite a bit for my books, but I love finding interesting tidbits about the time period so it’s not work at all to me.

What is the best comment you ever received from a reader? The worst or weirdest?

My readers are very good to me. I love them and their comments. Some of the most reaffirming to me as a writer are “the character depth is amazing” and “the feelings from your story are still with me.” The worst comment I’ve received is “utter nonsense” and the weirdest was along the lines of “I think I’ve read this book before. Shame on Ruby Merritt for stealing someone else’s story.” LOL!

Tell us a little about your writing style? Do you plan and plot your stories, or do you just plow through them?

I plan out my stories to the extent I know who my characters are and what makes them tick, and I know the major external events that will drive them to confront something about themselves and allow them to find their happily ever after together. The finer details come out while I’m writing and sometimes they can be a little surprising even to me.

Can you tell us a little about your current work? Is there a story behind the story?

I haven’t started my next work yet…at least not writing it. It’s still in the planning stages of figuring out my characters and what is going to be their conflict. The story will be about Grace Chapman, a character who’s made appearances in both Ella’s Choice and Lena’s Courage, the first two books in my Spirited Heart Series.  At the moment there isn’t a story behind the story, but who knows what will grow in my fertile imagination.

What sets your heroine Lena apart from all the other women in your hero’s Lucas’ life? Why is she perfect for him?
In my latest release, Lena’s Courage, Lena has this notion she is not brave, but when people close to her heart are threatened, she shows extraordinary courage to help protect them. For Lucas, who’s come to the Wyoming territory to create a new life for himself, Lena reminds him of a traumatic event in his past, but it’s her courage in facing her own past that shows him the only way to a happy and fulfilling future is to face your past and deal with it.

Have you ever had writer’s block? How do you deal with it?

I’ve found the best way to combat writer’s block is to go do something ordinary or everyday like walk the dog or wash the dishes or take a drive. Putting the story on the back burner and letting things percolate in the subconscious does wonders for getting the creative juices flowing again.

Describe a favorite scene in your current novel.

Oh, I have several, but some of my most favorites involve the five year-old son of Lena. He is so honest and open and full of life. He considers everyone a friend, including Lucas, and is always inviting people into his world. The scene where Lucas’ plays Jonah’s cup and ball game is a special favorite of mine because it shows all my characters being playful and light-hearted, during a time period where so much of life was hours of work, day in and day out. It’s also the scene where Lena realizes she has feelings for Lucas, but isn’t ready to face them yet, leaving Lucas, as romance heroes often are, wondering, “Why is she running from me?”

What else do you have in store for your readers?

At the moment, I rather tied up with my Spirited Heart Series. As soon as I write one book, I have characters and material for three more it seems. LOL! Truly a good problem to have. However, I have two rough drafts in a contemporary series with more planned in my head, but who knows when I’ll get back to those. Again a truly good problem to have.

Lena’s Courage:

Shortened Description: Lena Schuler has returned to her hometown of Cheyenne, Wyoming to make a life for her and her son only to find the man who brutally stole her innocence six years earlier has returned as well. Lucas Kline, a promising attorney, has come to help mold the Wyoming territory into a civilized state and find peace from his own troubled past. When Lena’s attacker threatens the safety of those she loves, will she have the courage to face him and help Lucas put him away once and for all?

Ella’s Choice:

Shortened Description: Captured by the Blackfeet at nine years old and eventually adopted by the revered Lakota chief Grey Owl, Little Brave, known in the white man’s world as Ella Hastings is facing return to a life she’s hasn’t lived for the past ten years. Half French and half Lakota Army scout, Beech Richoux finds his precarious balance between his two worlds tipped in a direction he never imagined when he commits to escorting Ella to reunite with a grandfather she believes abandoned her years ago.

Find out more about Ruby Merritt here:


  1. Fascinating interview! I've just started "Lena's Courage," after recently reading "Ella's Choice." I love how Ruby Merritt's books transport me willingly to a different place and time. It's obvious Ruby Merritt has done extensive historical research on the time period; the authenticity of the landscape and culture allows me to get consumed in world of these interesting and complex characters.

  2. Thank you for noticing the details. I love finding out details about the 1800's American West. Rich and complex characters are part of what make a story interesting to me both as a writer and reader. My characters come about during my research as I read about real people who lived during the time period.

  3. Great interview Ruby! Wonderful getting to know you better. Look forward to reading your books.

  4. Wonderful of you to visit and comment, Kristy.

  5. Thank you Peggy. I really enjoyed your interview with Ruby. I've read both books and thoroughly enjoyed them. Can't wait for the next one. Also can't wait for Yellowstone Origins. :-)

  6. So glad you enjoyed them, Brenda. Thank you for taking the time to visit and say so.

  7. I have to admit, I've not read the books yet. But now my interest is perked! I loved reading the interview, now I cant wait to read the books!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, Mom@Work.

  8. Loved the interview! I have Ella's Choice and can't wait to read it! Look forward to your new book also.

  9. Thanks for stopping by Shirl. I hope you enjoy my tales of love and adventure on the High Plains.

  10. Your books look and sound great. I don't read the genre all of the time, but I love dipping my feet in the western romance genre. I liked the interview. Thanks for having the giveaway.


    1. Thanks so much for dropping by Rose and commenting. Don't hesitate to give one of my books a try. I promise you won't be disappointed.

  11. Thank you everyone for stopping by and checking out me and my Spirited Hearts Series. I enjoyed meeting you all. The winner of the giveaway is Rose Millgan. Congratulations, Rose! Let me know which book you'd like to receive, Ella's Choice or Lena's Courage and I'll get that to you. You can comment here or via RubyMerrittAuthor (at) gmail (dot) com