Stephen & Janet Bly – Character Interview & Excerpt – Part 2 of 3

Shannon here: Janet Bly shares a romantic character interview & excerpt from Stephen’s novel, The Lost Manuscript of Martin Taylor Harrison. Comment on any post dated Jan 22 – 27 to enter the drawing – winner’s choice of 3 of Stephen’s books: Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot, The Lost Manuscript of Martin Taylor Harrison, or It’s Your Misfortune & None of Mine. If each post gets 10 comments or more, three different winners will each get a book. Deadline: Feb 8th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Janet:

Janet BlyThe Lost Manuscript of Martin Taylor Harrison by Stephen Bly

The Lost Manuscript of Martin Taylor Harrison by Stephen Bly, Book 1 Austin-Stoner Files has recently been re-released on the new Books On The Dusty Trail website. Stephen’s widow, Janet Chester Bly, answers these interview questions about the hero and heroine.

1.) What does the heroine want most?

New York editor Lynda Dawn Austin seeks to find a lost manuscript by a famous writer who hasn’t been heard from in decades. It’s his third book after two incredible bestsellers. She hopes to rock the publishing world and boost her career.

2.) What most motivates the hero?

Cowboy bronc-buster Brady Stoner wants to get down the road and win money in some rodeos and a spot at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

3.) What’s the heroine’s biggest challenge?

To convince her publishing company that the lost manuscript can be found somewhere in the canyons of the Arizona Strip. And that it’s authentic. And that the very different philosophical and spiritual conclusions in this book from the other two are truly Martin Taylor Harrison’s surprising turn-around beliefs.

4.) How do the hero and heroine meet?

Editor Lynda Austin heads west and needs a guide into the canyons following a map drawn by a stranger who claims he spent the last few years with the author. One of her western authors suggests Brady Stoner and since he’s between rodeos and needs the funds, he agrees.

5.) How would you describe the main differences between Lynda and Brady?

Lynda is used to big city life and the plush offices of her publishing company. She wears Vuarnet sunglasses and expensive perfumes with exotic names like . Nothing in her urbane, sophisticated life has prepared her for the fear, danger and primitive conditions of the search through the steep canyons for the missing manuscript.

Brady drives a heavy pickup with camper shell, has a dog that wears an eyepatch, rarely changes his t-shirt, and seems to stir up drama with old girlfriends and grudge matches with enemies wherever he goes.

Here’s an excerpt describing their first kiss, in the midst of a high point in their road adventure:

“That manuscript belongs to you. You can publish it with any company you want.”

She looked up at his excited brown eyes and rubbed her runny nose on her sleeve. “Yes, but not just me. My sister and brother are in this, too.”

“Lynda Dawn, you discovered a lot more than a lost manuscript.” He grabbed her waist and whirled her around as she laughed in total abandon.

“Is this incredible or what?” she shouted.

Suddenly he stopped spinning her and hugged her tight, planting his thin, soft lips on hers. The kiss was warm, exciting, but also tentative. She wanted him to stop. And go on. She couldn’t decide which.

Just as quickly he pushed her back. “Sorry, boss, I got a little excited.”

“Don’t worry about it. I’m so excited I could kiss a rock.”

“Oh, great. I’m glad it wasn’t anything personal.”

“Come to think of it, how dare you take advantage of me when I’m in a state of total confusion?”

“Take advantage of you? I got bigger kisses than that when a rodeo queen gave me a silver buckle.”

“I’ve got to get my bearings. My whole head is just spinning.”

“Just because I kissed you?”

“Dream on, Stoner. You aren’t that good.”

“But sort of good, right?”

“Oh, sure, in a cowboy kind of way.” She picked up the letters and looked over them again.

“Well, I think I’ll mosey back and dig a little in that gold mine. It looks like you need some time alone.”

“Yeah, thanks. I’ve got to get to a phone and call my sister and brother.”

Brady hiked out of the yard toward the north end of the box canyon.


About the book – The Lost Manuscript of Martin Taylor Harrison – BOOK ONE of THE AUSTIN-STONER FILES series:

She expected to find a manuscript that would rock the publishing world and boost her career. But the real surprise was the bronc-buster, rodeo cowboy who guided her through canyon country to find it. When he first walks into the plush New York offices of Atlantic-Hampton Publishing Company, no one takes the eccentric stranger seriously.

Until he mentions the manuscript — the famously missing last works of Martin Taylor Harrison. The publishers decide not to risk their reputation on what could be a fake. Outraged, editor Lynda Austin determines to recover the original herself … hidden away in a remote cabin somewhere in the Arizona Strip canyons.

So Lynda heads west. To adventure. To fear. To danger. To primitive conditions far removed from her urbane, sophisticated life. And nothing has prepared her for Brady Stoner. For more Stephen Bly books and other titles by award-winning western writers please visit

Stephen Bly (1944-2011) authored 106 nonfiction and fiction books, 20 he co-authored with his widow, Janet Chester Bly. Series titles include The Austin-Stoner Files, The Belles of Lordsburg Series, The Skinners of Goldfield Series.

It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own and other novels in The Code of the West Series are available in paperback or Kindle eBook at the new Books From The Dusty Trail website:

Find out more about award-winning western author Stephen Bly at this website:

Or On A Western Trail blog:

Janet Chester Bly has authored 31 nonfiction and fiction books, 19 she co-authored with her late husband Christy Award winning author Stephen Bly. Her titles include The Hidden West Series, The Carson City Chronicles, Hope Lives Here, Awakening Your Sense of Wonder  and The Heart of a Runaway. She resides at 4200 ft. elev. on the Idaho Nez Perce Indian Reservation. Her 3 married sons–Russell, Michael and Aaron–live down the mountain in Lewiston, ID with their families.

Free stuff, blog & store:

On A Western Trail Blog:

Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot by Stephen Bly with Janet, Russell, Michael & Aaron Bly
Selah Award Finalist:

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Come back Jan 27th for an excerpt from It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own!

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