A Chat with Becky Campbell from Double Jeopardy by Donna Schlacter

It’s nice to meet you, Becky. What is one important thing you’d like us to know about you?

I am determined to be the success my father always wanted to be.

 I’m so sorry to hear you lost your father, but I hear he’s left you behind with a ramshackle homestead and a silver mine? How’s that going for you?

 Who knew that mining could be such hard work? I hired a local rancher and a couple of laborers to help with the heavy lifting, but those men can be so pigheaded sometimes. Especially that Zeke Graumann.

Have you learned anything about your father’s murder? Are you going to try and solve it?

I know that the sheriff isn’t looking very hard, so it’s up to me. I mean, leaving him lying there dead like so much trash is hard to accept.

How has the adjustment been to living in mining territory compared to living in New York City?

 Ah, New York City. I surely do miss the Big Apple. The theaters. The shopping. The parties. Oh, and my mother, too. Yes, it’s been an adjustment. At home, I didn’t have to lift a finger. Mother paid for whatever I wanted. Here, I have to work really hard just to make a few cents, let alone dollars. But there is a rugged beauty here that I find makes me long to stay here. To settle down. To call something my own.

 Have the people been very friendly?

 Absolutely. Almost right away, I met Polly, who works in the mercantile. She can’t read or write, and I’m going to teach her. My landlady, Mrs. Hicks, was very kind to me. Mr. and Mrs. Dixon at the mercantile are a sweet couple. And apart from two drunks who almost accosted me the first day I arrived, people have been nice.

 What about your foreman, Zeke Graumann? How do you to get along?

 “Get along” is the right phrase. If I didn’t need his help, I’d tell him to get along. Seems no matter what I say, he says the opposite. He has ideas about what a woman should do and shouldn’t do, and no matter how hard I try, I’m always in the ‘shouldn’t do’ camp. Then again, he is easy on the eyes, as Polly says.

 Do you think you’ll keep him on? Why or why not?

 Since I hired him, I’ve managed to pay all the bills and put aside a few cents each week. Before that, I was losing money every week. He’s increased production, keeps the laborers in line, and doesn’t quite eat me out of house and home. Will I keep him on? Hmmm. Did I mention he’s easy on the eyes?

 What do you think the future holds for you?

 The future? If that includes the next two weeks or so, I’m pretty certain I can keep my head above water. Beyond that, I don’t know. The laborers—and Zeke—complain constantly about my cooking. There’ve been all these accidents that don’t quite feel like accidents, if you know what I mean. I’m not sure I trust Zeke or the laborers, but if they aren’t trying to drive me out of business, I don’t know who is.

Thank you for spending time with us, Becky. I hope things work out for you!

About the Author:

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick. As a hybrid author, she writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, and has been published more than 30 times in novellas and full-length novels. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, Sisters In Crime, and Christian Authors Network; facilitates a critique group; and teaches writing classes online and in person. Donna also ghostwrites, edits, and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.

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