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Joining us today is Rionna Morgan. Growing up out West, Rionna Morgan followed her love of horses to the rodeo arena and her love of English to the classroom and to writing. She has been looking forward to sharing her stories with you her whole life. Rionna is a founding member of Montana Romance Writers; she reads as much as she can possibly hold, and she loves most of all combining the chilling edge of a knife with the sweet surrender of romance. Rionna shares her home in Missoula, Montana with her husband, her four children and the mountains outside her window. I've asked Rionna to share with us how the setting of Love's Justice is unique...here are her thoughts.The setting of Love’s Justice is a journey. Most novels take their characters on a journey. Sometimes it is a geographical journey and other times it is a journey of lessons. With Love’s Justice I wanted to combine the lessons and growth of the characters with a geographical journey. I wanted to place Sarah, the heroine, in situations where she would not only have to broaden her perceptions and perspectives on what she believes as the truth about her mother’s past, but also about the landscape where her mother grew up. I’ve included an excerpt from Love’s Justice where Sarah is first placed in a situation where the landscape of the setting pushes against her boundaries of knowledge. Sarah grew up in Oregon, and this is her first trip to Alabama. The dripping heat of the afternoon seemed to suck what life there was from the day. The tall grasses along the roadside bent their wilting heads to the earth. Shards of broken glass glinted in the sun on the other side of the highway’s white line. It’s a worn-out place, was all Sarah could think. “This is horrible,” she said. “You’re not kidding,” Justin responded. Sarah shook her head as she continued to look out the window. The scene before her was such a contrast to anything she’d ever known. When she thought of the South, she thought of Gone with the Wind, her mother’s favorite movie. Beautiful homes with wide expanses of lawn and tall, white pillars. She didn’t think of this. She’d seen pictures of places like this, but they’d been old pictures. It was hard to believe that people lived in what she was looking at. She thought she’d see not only those big plantation houses, but typical suburban houses as well. Houses that she was used to seeing, maybe brick with white trim or painted, cute houses tucked under some trees. But everything here was different than what she expected. As they drove around the next bend, she saw a house that startled her. A sinking roof barely covered the patched boards of a small dwelling. Gnarly, winding vines grew up and through an old worn-out truck with the windows broken out. A sad willow tree hung in the stifling heat. At first glance, it didn’t look as if anyone lived there. But seeing a long floppy-eared dog and an ancient man in overalls resting in the shade of the porch said she was wrong. This is the South no one talks about, she thought. But this is what we should see. So that we know there are places in our own country that need us. At that moment, Sarah knew why her mother had done what she did. It wasn’t for the Pulitzer that might grace her career. It was for the people of her homeland. She’d always heard her mother talk with pride about the people of the South, their giving nature, their kind smiles, and the humor they found in their own lives.
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