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Barbara Townsend's journey to Blood Atonement began with an internship in the Toppan Rare Books Library at the University of Wyoming. With books dating from the 1800s, she wrote a thesis that examined women in nineteenth-century Mormon polygyny. That paper won a student competition at the university's American Heritage Center. While at UW she discovered a love for mystery writing, which, coupled with her accumulated research, led to Blood Atonement, a historical mystery.
Her writing credits include a co-authored feature story for the UW newspaper Branding Iron, and two articles in the Holloman Sunburst. She was first a student and then a faculty member of the Wyoming Writing Project. She designed the logo and cover for the 2005 Owen Wister Review, the university's literary and arts magazine. That issue garnered OWR its first Magazine Pacemaker Finalist award by the Associated Collegiate Press. She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Art. She contributed a chapter for the New Zealand anthology Hamiltons of the World.
Barbara entered the U.S. Air Force at 17 and retired 24 years later. Then, during her days at UW, she chanced upon a gold mining ghost town and was captivated by what had been an early 1900s log hotel. After graduation, she and her husband bought the country inn and labored to revive the ol' place into a flourishing B&B and saloon.
Blood Atonement is Barbara's first published novel. She lives with her husband in Wyoming's Wind River Mountains.