Do the secrets from our past affect who we become in the future? Can the hurts we’ve experienced really prevent us from finding true fulfillment? In her newest novel, A Cowboy’s Touch

, award-winning author Denise Hunter explores these questions, and readers will discover “the truth really can set us free.” The first book in the Big Sky Romance series, A Cowboy’s Touch is the story about a truthseeker who ends up discovering the real truth and a cowboy who learns to let go of his past. Hunter shines as she draws her readers into an intriguing world of boots, chaps and cowboy hats. This heartwarming romance is a story of love, pain and forgiveness. It has also been named a Women of Faith novel for 2011.

Q: Have you
always wanted to be a writer? When did
you first begin to write?

I’ve always been an avid reader,
but I didn’t start dreaming about writing a novel until I was in my early
twenties. By then I was married and
busy pursuing a degree. I put
writing on the back burner until my grandfather became fatally ill. While I was visiting him in the hospital, I was
struck by the brevity of life and felt God pressing on my heart to take the
first step. I started my first novel a
couple weeks later. I had two small
children by this time, so I wrote while they napped. I wrote my first four books that way. Even if you can only write a page a day, by
the end of a year you’ll have a complete manuscript!

Are you a small town or a city girl? What inspired you to write a book about the life of a cowboy?

I’m a little of
both. We live in a country setting just
outside the city. It’s the best of both
worlds. There’s something very earthy
and organic about a cowboy’s life. I was
drawn by the idea of living off the land. I think it takes us to a simpler time and
place—even though the life of a cowboy is not necessarily simple! And Montana is such a beautiful state. I thought my readers might like to journey
there with me through story.

Can you tell us a little about what you have learned
about the cowboy lifestyle while doing research for this book?

I learned a lot of
fascinating details about the workings of a ranch: branding, breeding, cattle disease,
etc. But what I came away with is a
great respect for cowboys and their families. Those who choose this way of life do it
because they love it. It’s not easy, and
it’s not for the faint of heart.

Q: Abigail’s title at her job is “the Truthseeker.” What is the significance of this title, and
what do you think a real truthseeker does?

I thought it would
be interesting to write about a protagonist whose job was to seek the truth and
have her find out that she was missing the real Truth the whole time. Since Jesus is the Truth, a real truthseeker
follows Him.

Forgiveness seems to be a recurring theme in your books. Why do you feel it is so important? Your main characters
both dealt with forgiving their past mistakes. Do you think that it is just as important to forgive ourselves as it is
to forgive the mistakes of others?

With sin rampant
in all of us, this is something we need to get good at! Eventually, someone’s going to do something
you struggle to forgive. I think this is
partly because forgiveness is easily misunderstood. It’s not saying that what they did is okay. It’s saying that you’re not going to hold it
over them anymore. I do think it’s just as important to forgive ourselves
as it is to forgive others. Oftentimes,
it’s even harder.

Q: Abigail and Wade both threw themselves into their work
in order to escape their pasts. Do you
believe it is easy to find an escape in work in order to hide from our

No one likes to
hurt, so I think the tendency is to avoid it however we can. Throwing ourselves into our work is certainly
one way of doing so. But these things
have a way of bubbling up to the surface eventually, no matter how hard we try
to avoid them.

Q: What would you like your readers to take
away after reading A Cowboy’s Touch?

Abigail was essentially trying to work off her guilt. She thought if she could just keep exposing
other peoples’ wrongs, it would appease her own guilt. I’d like readers to see that only God can
redeem us.

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About The Author

Denise Hunter is the best-selling author of many novels. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. She lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons.