Monday, June 4, 2012

Carol Cox's "Love in Disguise"

Publisher: Bethany House
Cover blurb: Can she solve the crime before they uncover her true identity?

Jobless and down to her last dime, Ellie Moore hears about a position with the Pinkerton Detective Agency and believes it’s the perfect chance to put her acting skills and costumes to use. Reluctantly, the agency agrees to give her one assignment, one chance to prove herself. Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie travels to Arizona to begin her investigation. When the need arises, she also transforms into the dazzling Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk.

Mine owner Steven Pierce is going to lose his business if he can’t figure out who’s stealing his silver shipments. In his wildest dreams, he never expected to receive help from a gray-haired widow . . . or to fall in love with her beautiful niece.

Then the thieves come after Lavinia and Jessie. Ellie isn’t safe no matter which character she plays! Should she give up and reveal her true identity? What will Steven do when he realizes the woman he’s falling in love with doesn’t really exist?

1) How did this story come to you?
Stories featuring a master of disguise have always fascinated me, and I’ve wanted to write about a character like that for some time. Then Ellie Moore came along, with her background in the theater and her thirst for adventure, and I knew I’d found a heroine who had all the qualifications to carry it off.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I love writing historical fiction, stories set in my home state of Arizona, and romantic suspense. I developed a three-book proposal that blended all of those elements, and I was thrilled beyond words when Bethany House loved the idea as much as I did. I feel like I’m livin’ the dream!

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
a) Even though I grew up in the desert—or maybe because of that!—my favorite vacation spot is at the beach. Pretty much any beach will do, I’m not picky. Just give me sand and surf, and I’m happy.
b) My dad was a dairy farmer, and I could drive a tractor before I could drive a car.
c) I have to drive 50 miles (one way) to reach the nearest Wal-Mart, movie theater, or mall.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m working on the edits for another historical romantic suspense set in Arizona. Look for it to come out in 2013. In this one, the hero—a widower with an ornery young son—and the heroine—a former governess who is tired of dealing with unruly children—are vying for control of a mercantile while dealing with an array of demanding customers and quirky townspeople, as well as trying to find out who’s behind the sinister happenings that have been plaguing the town. Lots of fun!

5) Parting comments?
Writing is a rather isolated profession, so I love interacting with readers. I’m grateful for all the e-mails and messages I receive that make the writer-reader connection come full circle!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Visit my website at Sign up for my newsletter and leave a comment on my blog, the Trail Journal. You can also find me on Facebook at I love connecting with readers that way!


  1. I really like all the elements of this story... and to me, its a new twist! Look forward to reading...Thanks for the chance to win!

  2. I really want to get this book to read. It seems like it would a great one. Thank you so much!!
    Amy Campbell

  3. Betsy and Amy, thanks for the wonderful comments! I had such fun writing this story and trying to figure out how to get Ellie out of the mess she created for herself. I hope you enjoy it too!

  4. I'm stuck trying to picture the dairy farm in the desert... my Michigan mind just won't wrap around that! :)

    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

  5. Pegg, since that was only thing I knew, I never thought of that situation as strange--and there were a number of dairies in the Phoenix area back in the day. It was a real shock to my system when I visited dairymen in other states with my dad and found they didn't have to bring feed (that they raised themselves) to their cows twice a day. They could actually put them out to pasture . . . just like in the storybooks! Who knew? Not this Arizona gal! LOL

  6. I could handle living that far from Walmart, movies and the mall as long as I had a good book to read and a grocery store in town! Can't wait to read this book.

  7. This book sounds very interesting. . . I love historical fiction especially ones with suspense/intrigue. By the way, the cover image is beautiful.

    hspruitt {at} frontiernet [dOT] net

  8. I am so excited about this book! Being from Arizona for some people it may seem strange for us to have cow farms :) We had horses when I was growing up. Living in California now I miss the horses, Arizona sunsets, thunder/lightening storms.

  9. This looks like a great book! Interesting plot!


  10. Do you also write contemporary suspense?

  11. Mom of 9, I so agree--a good book makes all the difference! As for that nearby grocery store . . . the good news is that the closest one is only 17 miles away. :-)

    Sheri, thank you for the compliment on the cover! Didn't the designer do a beautiful job on it?

    Robyn, it's nice to hear from someone who's familiar with Arizona farming. : ) As for those thunderstorms, we're still waiting for them to come along this year . . . hopefully bringing some much-needed rain!

    Thanks, Marissa! Working out the plot--and trying to get Ellie out of the mess she'd gotten herself into--was a lot of fun.

    nylnestill, I've written four contemporary cozy mysteries, but most of my suspense titles are historicals. For me, it means I'm able to combine the best of both worlds!

  12. I enjoyed reading the comments. I am always looking for new authors to read and your book sou ds really interesting.
    I live in Arizona and know a lot of the local historical tales of the area. It is an area rich in tales of the West
    I grew up on a ranch about 18miles from Bent's Fort in Colorado so I have always liked history

  13. Love in Disguise sounds wonderful. Having lived in the city all my life, it's super hard to imagine having to drive so far to get milk or butter. How do you get used to that? How often do you drive to town?

  14. Historical Fiction is my favorite! I would love to win a copy of Love in Disguise. How fun, and wonder if she gets found out! Wonder if her heart gives her away?

  15. Joye, the area around Bent's Fort would be a fascinating place to grow up! And you're right about Arizona--it has a wealth of stories about those Old West days!

    Vickie, living this far from major stores did take some getting used to! We keep a running list of things we need, along with errands and appointments as they're scheduled, and make a trip to town once a week. Definitely not your typical city experience!

    Lane Hill House, those are good questions! : ) Poor Ellie has to scramble to keep track of which identity she's supposed to be playing at any given time, and it's quite a juggling act!

  16. Carol! This book sounds like it will be so much fun to read and I need that right now! Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy. I also learned to drive a tractor before a car! That's what happens when you're a farm girl :)


  17. I read about LOVE IN DISGUISE just the other day & it certainly piqued my interest. Wonderful thank you.


  18. Carol, I can't imagine a dairy without pastures. We're all about pasture management, rotational grazing, and good fences up here. This morning I turned the horses out onto a new section of pasture and watched them romp through grass as high as their bellies. The desert has its own type of beauty, I know, but I'd miss the green and water I've grown up with. And our grocery store is only 15 miles away! :)

  19. Anne! Nice to hear from another tractor-driving farm girl. For the most part, I loved putting along on those tractors, but I didn't like having to start the one with the hand-crank in the front (can't remember the make or year, but it was OLD, even back then LOL).

    Marybelle, I'm excited that you've been hearing about Love in Disguise! I hope you enjoy it!

    Pegg, I'm sighing at the thought of all that lovely grass. : ) We had to grow our own green feed, which we'd go out and cut twice a day and truck back to feed to the cows. We'd cut some for silage . . . and feed that twice a day in the winter. The thought of just opening a gate and saying, "There's the grass--go get it!" is something that still amazes me. And only 15 miles to the grocery store? Girl, you're practically in the suburbs. LOL

  20. I can't wait to get my hands on this book! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

    crochetsisters (at) earthlink (dot) net

  21. thanks for the chance to read this beautiful story ;)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  22. Lora and karenk, thanks for your enthusiasm! It's so good to hear that people are getting excited about the book!

  23. I am so anxious to read your new book, Carol. Love the cover. Thanks for the chance!
    We recently moved to the country and it's 30 miles one way to a Walmart! We do have a chain grocery though 11 miles away. I love to read and keep plenty of books on hand and on Kindle!!

  24. Lady DragonKeeperJune 5, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Sounds like a wonderful book! I love historicals, especially those with unique storylines! Thanks for the chance to win!

    email subscriber: jafuchi7[at]hawaii[dot]edu

  25. I love historical fiction and have always been fasicinated by the Pinkertons. I have read a great article about them a long time ago. So I am very excited about your book. Thank you for the chance to win it.


  26. This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  27. Jackie S, those mileages sound very familiar. Books are definitely good things to have on hand!

    Thanks for the kind words, Lady DragonKeeper!

    Carol N Wong, like you, I've been fascinated by the Pinkertons ever since I first heard of them. Being able to dig into their history and include them in this story was quite an adventure!

    Thank you, Nancye!

  28. What a wonderful premise to your story - three character personalities in one character. I love the complication in the plot of the love and attacks with no aspect of the person's life safe. For me to shop at a major store I also have to travel anywhere from 20 to 30 miles round trip. And with the price of gas, I think a lot about if a trip is worth it. Right now we're sharing one car for four people, means I'm not getting much alone time. Sigh. Have a blessed day.

    HM at HVC dot RR dot COM

  29. Heather, I hear you about those gas prices weighing into decisions on whether or not to drive to town! I keep thinking of those World War II posters that asked: Is Your Trip Necessary? And you're right about Ellie's life getting complicated trying to juggle all those characters!

  30. I cannot wait to read this. Living in Arizona, I am excited to relate!

  31. Thanks, Nanette! It was so much fun to try to bring the Arizona scenery to life. I hope you enjoy it!

  32. Delightful! Please count me in thanks!


  33. Please include me. Would love to read this book.


  34. Thanks, Jo and Margaret! I appreciate your comments!