USA Today bestselling author Misty M. Beller writes romantic mountain stories set on the 1800s frontier and woven through with the truth of God’s love. Her Southern roots run deep, and she lives in South Carolina with her husband and children.
In this interview, Misty shares some thoughts about Rocky Mountain Promise, the second book in her Sisters of the Rockies Series.
FF: Can you please tell us a little bit about your new novel, Rocky Mountain Promise?
I’d love to! Animals are far easier for Lorelei Collins (our heroine) to manage than people. God seems to agree with her, for He continues to send orphaned critters her way, like a buffalo calf with beautiful shades of white fur. White buffalos are extremely rare and considered sacred by the Native Americans, which puts them in high demand. Trapper and Indian alike appear in their cabin yard, some trying to woo her into marriage so she’ll bring the buffalo calf along as dowry. Others try to steal the calf outright. The only man who doesn’t seem interested in her unusual pet is Tanner Mason, the man who’s come to their valley to establish a trading post.
No one has successfully kept a trading post open in this part of the Rockies for longer than a couple of months, but Tanner intends to be the first. If all goes as planned, he and his partner could eliminate the need for the summer trapper rendezvous altogether, instead supplying the mountain men year-round from their post.
As the annoying advances of the local men become more sinister, Lorelei and her family know it’s time to take action. She moves the calf to the secure walls of the fort surrounding Tanner’s trading post, but an entirely new danger arises. One that might require more than either of them has to give.
FF: Rocky Mountain Promise is book two in the Sisters Of The Rockies Series. What is the connecting element that ties each of the books in the series together?
The idea initially started with four sisters going west and finding themselves in the midst of a trapper rendezvous—not the place for four unprotected women! The rendezvous was an event that happened every summer in the Rocky Mountains, usually in the Wyoming area. Each book in the series tells one of the sister’s stories as they stay in the west and build a ranch, continuing their father’s dream in a way none of them would have expected.
FF: Do these novels stand alone or do they need to be read in order?
Each book is definitely a complete story in itself, so I would encourage readers not to hesitate in reading Rocky Mountain Promise, even if they haven’t read the first book. If you’d like to follow along with the full family saga, though, feel free to start from the beginning!
FF: This novel focuses on Lorelei Collins as the main female POV. What do readers need to know about Lorelei and the traits that set her apart from her sisters?
I loved writing Lorelei! She LOVES animals and has a heart to heal and nurture. Growing up on a ranch in the early 1800s, she understands that animals are important to survival, but she loves taking in any injured or orphaned creature she finds. Her encouraging heart extends to people too, but she also possesses grit and knows how to stand her ground. In addition, she has a strong faith that keeps her grounded in the face of uncertainty and struggle.
FF: Throughout the series, readers will get to know a bit about members of the local Piegan Blackfoot population who are trusted friends of the Collins family. What did you learn about the trappers’ relationships with the Piegan while researching this book that you can share with readers?
I love to read firsthand accounts—journals from trappers and natives and white men who lived with the natives. I’m often surprised how some trappers kept a very distinct distance from any of the tribes, while others worked and lived among them as friends. Some tribes were certainly more open to accepting trappers among them than others, but I’ve also seen that the temperament of the trapper made a big difference in how they were received by the various tribes.
FF: What other themes present themselves throughout the novel?
Tanner is such an admirable hero, one of those truly good guys with strong integrity. Unfortunately, his family didn’t always recognize these qualities, so he’s experienced more than his share of rejection because he didn’t measure up to the expectations of those around him. Lorelei’s steady faith and unconditional love help guide him to the ultimate unconditional love of the Heavenly Father. I love Tanner’s journey to faith!
FF: What do you enjoy about writing historical romances set on the American frontier?
I tend to be a sentimentalist, so Christian historical romance is my favorite genre to read and write, especially the adventurous and challenging life in the Rockies. I love the simpler life, where there’s no rat race. Just hard work, plenty of alone time (can you tell I’m an introvert?), and a strong family unit. There’s something amazing about the Rockies in particular. They capture my heart anew every time I see them, and I want readers to feel the majesty of the peaks and the vastness of the land around them.
FF: Is there anything you found challenging about this genre?
It can be challenging to write about a time I haven’t experienced and cultures that don’t exist in the same form anymore. Reading firsthand accounts helps bring that time period to life, as well as visiting historic forts and talking with those who have studied the time period in greater depth. My family and I also love camping, and I learn so much from attempting to live out the challenges my characters face, even if for a single night!
FF: What will fans of romance love about the relationship between Lorelei and Tanner?
Lorelei and Tanner work so well together! Tanner had his dreams shot down so many times in his life before coming to the Montana Territory. He really needs an encourager like Lorelei to come alongside him and show him he’s wonderful exactly the way God made him. For her part, Lorelei needs someone who will believe in her dreams and fight alongside her for the causes she champions. Tanner definitely proves himself a swoonworthy hero as he steps in to help her accomplish her goals!
FF: What do you hope readers will take away from this story?
I pray this story draws readers closer to God. I pray they seek His will for their life each step of the way, and that they aren’t afraid to accept God’s grace and the fresh slate He offers when we seek His forgiveness.
FF: Can you share what you’re working on next?
Ooh yes! I’m getting ready to start writing book 3 in the Sisters of the Rockies Series. This is Faith’s story, the baby sister in the family. She’s all grown up now, yet her fascination with the life of a trapper hasn’t faded since she came west with her sisters three years before. She sets out for the 1839 trapper rendezvous to find a group of trappers she can trust to join on with. Unfortunately, that turns out to be harder than she expected.
Grant Allen signed on to help deliver supplies for the rendezvous in the Green River Valley, and figured he’d see all he wanted while trading supplies for furs between the mountain men and Indians. He didn’t expect to be so fascinated by it all. After securing approval to stay in the mountains when the wagons return east, he signs on with a group heading out to trap.
It only takes a day after they’ve left the valley before Grant realizes there’s something very unusual about one of the “men” in their party. Now he needs to find out who this woman is, why she’s masquerading as a fellow, and how they can keep her safe in this country of wild animals and even wilder men.
Rocky Mountain Promise
Sisters of the Rockies Series #2
Misty M. Beller
Genres: Historical Romance
Release Date: November 21, 2023
Lorelei Collins possesses a soft heart for any animal in need, so when she finds a buffalo calf bawling beside its lifeless mother, she can’t help but bring it home to raise on the ranch she and her sisters are building in the Rocky Mountain wilderness. Little does she realize that its white coloring is rare and considered sacred by Native Americans, which makes it highly valuable to them and European trappers alike. Men soon begin to visit their ranch to regard the marvel, with some trying to woo Lorelei into marriage and others trying to steal the calf outright.
When the men’s advances become more sinister, Lorelei approaches Tanner Mason, the quiet and mysterious owner of the new trading post, with an idea: she and the calf will move to his post, along with her family’s trusted Blackfoot friend. This will solve both their problems by bringing customers to his trade room and protecting her family from the trouble brought on by so many strangers. Yet as the danger travels with her, Lorelei and Tanner are faced with a threat greater than anything they’re prepared for–one that will test the limits of their abilities and the love growing between them.
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