Character Interview: Andrea Downing

Loveland by Andrea Downing Welcome my publisher sister, Andrea Downing, and she has brought along Lady Alexandra and Jesse Makepeace to talk about her latest historical western romance, Loveland


When Lady Alexandra Calthorpe returns to the Loveland, Colorado, ranch owned by her father, the Duke, she has little idea of how the experience will alter her future. Headstrong and willful, Alex tries to overcome a disastrous marriage in England and be free of the strictures of Victorian society –and become independent of men. That is, until Jesse Makepeace saunters back into her life…

Hot-tempered and hot-blooded cowpuncher Jesse Makepeace can’t seem to accept that the child he once knew is now the ravishing yet determined woman before him. Fighting rustlers proves a whole lot easier than fighting Alex when he’s got to keep more than his temper under control.

Arguments abound as Alex pursues her career as an artist and Jesse faces the prejudice of the English social order. The question is, will Loveland live up to its name?


So, without further delay, let me ask my first question: Tell us a little about yourself: What’s your name, age, and job? What is your role in the story? Ex: Hero, Heroine, Villain, etc.

Alex:   Hello!  I’m Lady Alexandra Calthorpe, I’m seventeen at the start of LOVELAND and twenty-one at the end, I’m an artist and a heroine.

Jesse:  Howdy, my name is Jesse Makepeace, I ‘m cowpuncher at the Faringdon Ranch, and—

Alex:  My hero!

Jesse:  Your hero, darlin’  (gives her a peck on the cheek)  And, by the way, you are actually eight at the start of the book if you include the prologue.

Alex:  All right, then you were seventeen and finish at –Oh, goodness, so old!—thirty-one!

How did you meet your mate?

(They start to talk at the same time)

Alex:  All right, you go ahead.

Jesse:  We met when Lady Alex was sent to live at the Faringdon Ranch where I was working.  She was, as I said, eight at the time.

Do you think your story is too long or too short and why? 

Alex:  Oh, far too short, far too short. (Jesse gives her a look that bodes no further comment)

Jesse:  I guess in some ways you’re right.  I mean, there was a lot Andrea could’ve written about you and your father, what took place in England and all.  Then a’course, she coulda gone on to tell all about what happened to us later on.

What is the sexiest thing has your mate done?

Jesse:  Good gracious, woman, you cain’t ask that!  We don’t discuss that sorta thing where I come from.

Alex:  Jesse, you are such a prude at times.  Really!

Jesse:  What?  You wanna answer that?  Go ahead then…

Alex:   Nooooo

(Jesse looks rather smug and crosses his arms)

What is the most embarrassing thing your author has done to you? 

Jesse:  Written them sex scenes.  I mean, honestly–having that kinda thing laid out for ever’one to read.  (Alex giggles)

What advice would you give to the people reading your story?

Jesse:  Keep your eyes shut while reading them sex scenes.  (Alex laughs out loud in a very unladylike manner).

Alex:  Jesse, you are so silly sometimes.

Jesse:  Yeah, I was silly for falling for you.  (Gives her another peck on the cheek)  I guess we both jus’ want folks to enjoy the story.  Read it and enjoy it—

Alex:  And tell their friends to read it too!

Jesse:  And thank you, Sara, for having us here today.  Sure was good to come on in outa the cold.

Alex:  Yes.  Thank you, Sara!

And thank you!!  Sorry that I embarrassed you with some of my questions. Guess I gotta rethink some of them for the historicals. But c’mon now, Jesse, would you have liked there not be any sex in your book?  Yeah, I thought so…


Excerpt: (editorial comment: I tried to fix the formating from the Word doc, hopefully I got all the paragraph breaks right…:-))

As the round-up wound down, the Reps took their stock back to their outfits, and soon the men were back at headquarters or at the camps. Alex knew word had more or less got out and found the punchers were gentler now around her, had a sort of quiet respect for her, and she hated it. She tried to bully them a bit to show them she was still the same girl, jolly them into joshing with her as they had before. It was slow work. At the same time, she yearned to see Jesse, to speak with him, to try to get life back to the way it was before the argument at the corral, and before he saw the scars. The opportunity didn’t present itself. She would see him from a distance some days, riding with the herd, sitting his horse with that peculiar grace he had, throwing his lariat out with an ease that reminded her of people on a dock waving their hankies in farewell. Hoping to just be near him, she slid into one of the corrals one evening to practice her roping.

The light was failing and the birds were settling with their evening calls. Somewhere in the pasture a horse nickered. She sensed Jesse was there, watching, but she never turned as he stood at the fence. She heard him climb over and ease up behind her. He took the coiled rope from her in his left hand and slid his right hand over hers on the swing end, almost forcing her backward into his arms.

She thought of paintings and statues she had seen, imagining his naked arms now, how the muscles would form them into long oblique curves, how he probably had soft downy fair hair on his forearms, how his muscle would slightly bulge as he bent his arm. His voice was soft in her ear, and she could feel his breath on her neck like a whispered secret. “Gentle-like, right to left, right to left to widen the noose, keep your eye on the post—are you watchin’ where we’re goin’?”

He made the throw and pulled in the rope to tighten the noose. Alex stood there, his hand still entwined with hers and, for a moment, she wished they could stand like that forever. Then she took her hand away and faced him. For a second he rested his chin on the top of her head, then straightened again and went to get the noose off the post while coiling in the rope. She looked up at him in the fading light and saw nothing but kindness in his face, simplicity and gentleness that was most inviting. A smile spread across her face as he handed her the coiled rope and sauntered away, turning once to look back at her before he opened the gate. Emptiness filled her like a poisoned vapor seeking every corner of her being, and she stood with the rope in her hand listening to the ring of his spurs as his footsteps retreated.



Andrea Downing has spent most of her life in the UK where she received an M.A. from the University of Keele in Staffordshire.  She married and raised Western writer Andrea Downinga  beautiful daughter and stayed on in England to teach and write, living in the Derbyshire Peak District, the English Lake District and the Chiltern Hills before finally moving into London. During this time, family vacations were often on guest ranches in the American West, where she and her daughter have clocked up some 17 ranches to date. In addition, she has traveled widely throughout Europe, South America, and Africa, living briefly in Nigeria. In 2008 she returned to
the city of her birth, NYC, but frequently exchanges the canyons of city streets for the wide open spaces of the West. Her love of horses, ranches, rodeo and just about anything else western is reflected in her writing.  Loveland, a western historical romance published by The Wild Rose Press, is her first book.  She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Women Writing the West.

Author Links:

Website | Facebook |  Twitter  @andidowning | LinkedIn

Book Links: 

The Wild Rose PressAmazon | Barnes and Noble

Categories: Lassoing the Words of Romance | Tags: , , , , | 21 Comments

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21 thoughts on “Character Interview: Andrea Downing

  1. Nice interview….enjoyed the characters and the blurb 🙂

  2. Great interview. I loved Jesse’s reaction to the sex being laid out!

  3. Yeah, Jess is a real old-fashioned gentleman. He doesn’t discuss that sorta thing! 🙂

  4. I loved the interveiw, Andrea! What a hoot Jesse is. I couldn’t help but have some fun at the end of it. Thanks for being here today! Oh, and I can’t wait to read this book… Sounds so good.

    • Yeah, you obviously got one of Jesse’s looks at the end there. Thanks so much for having us here today, Sara–we’re all enjoying ourselves!

  5. Wow, Andrea! This was really excellent! And now I have to read this book! I am a sucker for historical western romances. The sexual tension in this excerpt is perfect! Funny how a real man like that can blush over a little attention over a couple sex scenes (I’m giggling with Alex, here) Jesse is so cute 🙂

  6. Fun interview. Congratulations on your release!

  7. Thanks, Ella. I’m so pleased you enjoyed it.

  8. D'Ann Lindun

    Good job! I live not too far from Loveland. Maybe you could come visit sometime, Alex and Jessie.

    • I was up there visiting them and doing two book signings back in Sept and, of course, did a research trip while writing the book. Great area of the country and the people are lovely. You’re very lucky! Thanks for coming by.

  9. I had to laugh when I read your blurb because I’m from Loveland! Loveland, Ohio that is. The second of the two Lovelands in the US. We do Valentine’s Day up big around here 🙂

    • Sharon, you may know that Loveland, CO, hires a workforce of retired people to hand -stamp all the Valentines that are sent there in order to have a Loveland Postmark! Yup, it’s a big thing there, too.

  10. What a fun interview. Think I need to go find this Loveland place – guys from there sound great.

    • Jesse wants me to tell you his best friend Cal is a great guy and still unmarried! Alex tells me she’s been trying to find someone for Cal for ages–he’s sort of the restless type.

  11. Hey Andrea, loved the sound of Loveland — the interview was great. Also loved the sound of you! LOL can I say that? All that travel is just fantastic..nice one.

    • Thanks, Cait–I’m afraid I’m old enough to have been ‘around the block’ a few times!!! That traveling was fit into a long–and happy–life. Thanks for coming by.

  12. Jennifer Lowery

    Fun interview!! Great cover too! Sounds like a good book I can’t wait to read!

  13. Well, Jesse and Alex have saddled up and I’ll be on my way too. Thanks again for having us, Sara. We enjoyed ourselves greatly!

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