By Kara Linaburg
A young woman in Shinnston is celebrating the upcoming release of her debut western romance novel, “Before It’s Too Late.”
Millie (Emily) Shepherd drew inspiration from her love of watching westerns while growing up with her grandparents, and “Before It’s Too Late,” holds many similar aspects to her favorite, “Bonanza.”
Born in Milton, Shepherd moved to Shinnston ten years ago, and said that West Virginia has always been home to her. She is a second generation homeschooled graduate, older sibling to two, and when she’s not writing, can be found crocheting, learning digital design, and sewing. She also designed the cover of “Before It’s Too Late,” and modeled for the photo in her backyard. The dress is one she created herself, an inspiration from a dress the main character wears in the book.
Shepherd began writing around the age of 12. She said she’s always had story ideas and was fascinated by character development and creating, but it wasn’t until January of 2021 that she began to write seriously and explore the idea of publishing.
A book about a midwife’s daughter, a deputy, and a disguised outlaw and gambler who attempts to come between them, “Before It’s Too Late,” is also about friendship and seeing your worth and strength no matter who you are. And while the story is romance, Shepherd assures prospective readers that there is no steam, which makes the book appropriate for a wide age range, and she’s already gained a following of both teenagers and adults. Aside from romance, Shepherd hopes to bring readers a fun, action-filled plot with epee duels, saloon brawls, and characters held at gunpoint.
“Before It’s Too Late” will be released Feb. 9 on Amazon. Those interested in finding out more about Shepherd may visit her on Instagram under @millieshepherd.author or on Amazon.com.