Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Meet the Characters – An Interview with Ramsey Locke from “Cora’s Promise” by Sunny Marie Baker

Cora Sutton keeps her promise to a dying friend.

She makes the treacherous journey and delivers Berta’s most cherished possession to Ramsey Locke in Rabbit Glen, Texas. Now what? Cora doesn’t have a thought. Doesn’t have a plan. Doesn’t have anywhere to be.

Ramsey is caught by complete surprise. He never anticipated such a gift. The truth is, he spends hours in the saddle running his ranch and doesn’t have the time required to honor and preserve Berta’s Treasure. He strikes a deal with Cora. She’ll stay on to tend the household needs and make sure Berta’s last wish is upheld. He’ll sleep in the barn. No strings attached.

When the town biddies discern that Cora is pregnant, the church demands Ramsey take responsibility for her condition. “I’ve never so much as kissed the woman,” Ramsey protests. “I’m not the father of her baby.” However, the church folks get out their calendars, and it all adds up for them.

Ramsey gives Cora his name to save her reputation, but will he ever give her his heart?

Today we’re talking to Ramsey Locke from “Cora's Promise-Book One of the Texas Strong Series,” an Historical Western Romance by Sunny Marie Baker. Let’s get started. I’m sure our readers are eager to learn more about you.

Ramsey Keaton Locke, you are the hero in Sunny Marie Baker’s Book One of the Texas Strong Series, Cora’s Promise.
Yes, ma’am.

We first see you on your ranch outside the town of Rabbit Glen, Texas. What brought you to Rabbit Glen?
That’s a subject I don’t reckon to talk about that much, but since you asked I guess I can share a bit. I am…I was a trained physician in Cold Springs, Kansas. My fiancée arrived on the stage to join me so we could plan our wedding. That morning some rowdies rode into town and got into a bar brawl. As Caroline stepped off the stage and was walking toward me, all smiles, a stray bullet hit her. She died in my arms. None of my training as a medical doctor could save her.

Oh, dear, I’m so sorry. So, you left then and went to Rabbit Glen?
No, ma’am, not exactly. I stayed pukin’ up in the air, fallin’ down drunk for a year. If it hadn’t been for my friend, Berta Minors who pulled me in out of the cold and rain, tucking me into a warm bed, I’d most likely have died.

Berta was the madam for the local house of pleasure in town. I knew her well because my mother was a midwife and I assisted her in keeping Berta’s girls clean and healthy.

So you came to Rabbit Glen, then what?
I’d heard there was a spread for sale. The owner had died, and his wife took the kids and returned to Oklahoma. She wanted to sell. I contacted her, and we made a deal. Working the Lost C, as I called it, got my head screwed on straight.

You’d been on the ranch five years when Cora showed up. How did you feel about that?
I’d gotten a telegram telling me that Berta had passed, and she was sending me her treasure. I couldn’t imagine what that might be. She made a living but certainly wasn’t a rich lady by no means. I wasn’t hankering to wait on another stage, figured that’d mess with my mind a bit more than I could handle. Reverend Hollister offered to pick up my parcel in town and deliver it to me. I could spit nails when he showed up with this petite woman and a kid. He just dropped them on my doorstep and took off.

That was Cora, correct?
Yes, ma’am, sure enough.

So, why did Cora come to your ranch? You didn’t know her.
It seems she’d come to hand deliver Berta’s most cherished possession.

Which was?
Her young’un.

A child? I don’t understand.
I didn’t either until Cora explained it all to me.

Do you want to talk about that?
Don’t reckon. Folks can read the book and find out for themselves.

So, what then?
Heck, I didn’t know anything about raising a child, had no time for it either. Since Cora had no place to return to, I made her an offer. She could stay on, tend to the house chores and care for the boy. No strings attached. I’d sleep in the barn.

How did that work out for the both of you?
Well, I thought it was working pretty well, until Reverend Hollister and most of the church folks showed up at the house, demanding I make a decent woman out of Cora. I didn’t have an inkling what they were talking about.

Did they explain?
They pretty much accused me of being the daddy of the baby Cora was carrying. Hell, I didn’t know anything about that. I’d never so much as kissed the woman. About that time, I told the folks I needed to have a little talk with Cora, and we headed to the barn.

Then what?
Cora told me she was pregnant with her deceased husband’s baby but had only just figured it out. That left me between a tree and a saw. I knew there was no convincing the church people that I wasn’t responsible, since Cora was living under my roof, so I offered to marry her, to save her reputation, and to keep hurtful words from falling on the kid’s ears. You know how small town gossip goes?

So, you and Cora marry, did that change anything between you?
If I were honest, I’d say I wanted it to, but I picked up from Cora that she wanted things to stay just as they had been between us. I respected her wishes, although I pushed against it some.

You and some ranch hands leave to take wild mustangs to the railhead in Abilene, Kansas. Were you worried to leave Cora and the child alone?
I worried some, but Cora assured me the baby wasn’t due for months yet, and the kid, well, he was more grown man than six-year-old. I figured they’d be fine until I got back.

And was that the case, Ramsey?
Cora got in a bad way, while I was gone. The kid knew something was wrong, and he was determined to do what he thought I would, if’n I was there. He went out in a storm to get help.

Did the situation end up working out okay?
I don’t think you can expect a young boy, riding an old slow mule in a treacherous storm to end well.
Ramsey, you can’t leave us hanging. What happened?
Let’s just say I arrived back at the ranch to find Cora and her unborn baby in great distress and the boy was long gone. I figured it was my fault since I’d delayed coming home to make a bit more money while in Abilene.

What did you do?
What I had to. Got Cora situated best I could and went to look for the kid. The rain had turned to sleet and temperatures dropped. There was lightning too. I knew there was a good chance that the old mule he was riding could have bucked him off and he was out in this storm freezing and alone. Maybe dead.

Did you find the boy and was he all right?
Well, ma’am, that answer is for another day. I’ll just say this, you folks reading this interview with me, get to real quick and get yourself a copy of Cora’s Promise to see how the story ends.

“Cora’s Promise” is available through:

Connect with Sunny Marie Baker


  1. Thanks, Bonnie, for allowing your blog readers to learn a little about Ramsey Keaton Locke, one of the main characters in my debut western historical novel, Cora's Promise.

  2. Arriving late here, but such a great interview with the book's characters. Thank you.