Boaz’s Wager Trivia

When Stephannie Beman and I wrote the beginning scene of The Stagecoach Bride (which is now The Outlaw’s Bride), I thought, “What would happen if the women on the stagecoach had been sold off to the highest bidder?” At times, I’ll write a scene or set up a book in a way that makes me wonder, “What would have happened if the story went in another direction?” Before I started Boaz’s Wager, I had already decided I wanted to set up a romance where the heroine was auctioned off because of the opening scene in The Stagecoach Bride.

I didn’t originally know who was going to be the heroine in this book, but I had wanted to bring in a character I had already introduced from another book. I keep a timeline on this blog that’s tucked into the series’ pages for easy reference so I can pair up couples who are in the same age range. I had been wanting to do a book for Eva Connealy ever since Isaac Larson broke her heart in Isaac’s Decision. (I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her.) When I saw that she was old enough for Boaz to marry, I happily put her into this book. I wanted to give her a friend, so I brought Rachel Larson (Dave and Mary’s daughter) into the book, too.

Speaking of Rachel, I have been asked if I’ll do a book for her, but there is no story beyond this one to tell for her. Rachel and Herb got along right away, and there’s nothing that I can give these two to warrant their own story. I only write a story if there’s a substantial plot.

Like Eva, I’d rather read than cook any day of the week. 😉

Eva’s love of Les Misérables is in honor of Janet Syas Nitsick (fellow author and friend) who loves the book and movie based off of the book.

I don’t remember the exact book (nor did I finish it), but there was a story I read back in 2009 or 2010 where a husband was terrified his wife would die if she got pregnant. I liked that idea as a plot point, so I had it tucked away to use for the right story. This is why Boaz lost his first wife to childbirth.

My original idea was to have Boaz “pull out” during sex in order to avoid getting Eva pregnant, but someone told me that her husband had used that method and it resulted in two children. So she suggested I go with a condom instead. After some research, I was happy to discover I could go that route. I had no idea that condoms went so far back in history until I wrote this book. Seriously, these things have been around for a long time (like way back in the BC era), and they’ve been made with all sorts of things, including animal bladders and intestines.

I played the violin in the 4th and 5th grades. I really enjoyed it. I would have kept going with it had I not moved to a school that didn’t teach it. I still have a fondness for the violin. This is why Herb plays the violin in the story. (And it’s why Tom Larson plays it, though I call it a fiddle in the Larson stories since Tom doesn’t play classical music on it.)

Eva’s knowledge of making tea punch was inspired by A Husband for Margaret. Margaret is Eva’s mother. Eva learned to make tea punch while growing up. 🙂

I do not share Eva’s taste in books, but I do share her taste in music. Greensleeves and the Sonata Pathétique are among my two favorites. My husband hates symphonies, so I haven’t gone to one since I met him, but I used to enjoy going to them and creating different stories while listening to the music.

In the story, Eva says this about the Sonata Pathétique: “When I hear it, I think of a woman who looks back on her life and regrets all the risks she never took but wishes she had.” When I was a teenager, I had that short story idea come to my mind, and it’s shaped a lot of decisions I’ve made in life. For example, this story is why I went into self-publishing. I had decided I’d rather write books my way than have a publisher tell me what to do. If I had let a publisher come in and change my work, I wouldn’t have liked the book anymore. When I publicly announced that I was going to self-publish in the 2008-2009 time period, I was surprised by how many authors sent me private messages trying to “talk me off the ledge”. They meant well. Back then, self-publishing was very unpopular. But I figured, “If you don’t do it, you’ll never know what will happen.” So I did it anyway. That was one of the best decisions I ever made.

In the beginning of the book, Eva is heading for Circle. Circle is where my in-laws were living when I met my husband. I’ve been there several times. It’s a quaint small town.

The original version of this book took a super serious turn that locked me into a dead end, so I had to remove half of it and start over. I have no idea how that original version went, and when my computer got destroyed, the original version went with it. All I remember is that Eva was getting much too frustrated with Boaz, and the two were growing more and more distant as time went on. I think it was Rachel who had to step in with advice to save the day, but I don’t remember for sure.

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Updates on What I’m Doing

I finally got all of these books back on up all the retailers!

These were the books I got back from my publisher. There was a little snafu with Google Play Books, but I finally got that all resolved. If anyone hasn’t read any of these and would like the link to a certain retailer, let me know in the comments.

It feels good to get all of that out of the way. Now I can focus on other stuff.

Release date for Nobody’s Fool pushed back to October 28.

Someone on my editing team has run into a couple of situations that has required her to go to doctor appointments and care for her elderly mother. To help lighten her load, I have decided to move the date from October 17 to the 28th. The book is done. I will have it out before the end of October. All she needs it a little more time to work on it.

I hope to finish the first draft of A Deceptive Wager this month.

This is scheduled to come out on January 17.

I am still working on Perfectly Matched.

This one is due for a March release. Poor Jim has Patricia and Erin Larson both fighting over which one will get to marry him. And poor Tom Larson doesn’t know how to stop them. 😛

I have started Interview for a Wife.

NO COVER YET

This will be Book 3 in the Nebraska Prairie Series. I decided to expand on this series when I got The Purchased Bride and The Bride’s Choice back.

As a quick reminder…

The Purchased Bride is about Ada whose brother sells her to a stranger to marry.

Nebraska Prairie Series: Book 1

The Bride’s Choice is about a stuttering hero who came out with his brother to be a farmhand in order to get a fresh start on life. He falls in love with the daughter of the farm owner. His problem? Her father wants her to marry his brother instead.

Nebraska Prairie Series: Book 2

Information for Book 3: Interview for a Wife is about a widower of two young children who needs a wife to help him run his general store because he’s unable to physically get things done for his customers since an accident left him stuck in a wheelchair. The catch? The wife will have to agree to a celibate marriage because he only feels like half the man he used to be.

After much debate, I finally have an idea for a new Regency series.

This series will go after the Marriage by Fairytale Series in the Regency timeline (click the link to see all of the books in the Regency world).

I already have the covers for three of the books. I don’t know if I’ll do more than three books in this series. I probably will. But this is what I have so far:

Anyone remember Miss Tumilson in The Reclusive Earl? She had a minor role. I had wanted to do a story about her. In The Marriage Contract, I had a character mention that she was to marry someone in order to set the stage for her book. Finally, in A Perilous Marriage, I can give her her own book!

A quick rundown of these three books:

A Perilous Marriage: Poor Miss Tumilson finds her husband dead before she can consummate her marriage, but that’s the least of her problems. It turns out her husband’s friend thinks she murdered him and is determined to do whatever it takes to prove it.

Heiress of Misfortune: The heroine seems to have a series of unfortunate accidents following her. Her father believes someone is trying to kill her, so he hires the hero to watch over her.

The Cursed Earl: The hero in this book believes himself to be under a family curse where the gentlemen in his family die by their twenty-fifth birthday, so he makes it his mission to have an heir before it’s his turn to die.

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The Marriage Contract Trivia

I’m finally getting back to doing some trivia blog posts. 😀 The next book I have on my list is Boaz’s Wager.

Really quick, I feel like I’m forgetting a book someone said they wanted me to do trivia on. Here’s my list that I wrote down a while back. Unfortunately, I forgot to add a book someone said they were interested in, so if that person could chime in and tell me what that book was (or if someone else has a book they’d like to see), I’d love to hear from you!

Here’s the list of books currently on my list to do trivia posts on: Boaz’s Wager (which will be next), the books in the Virginia Series (An Unlikely Place for Love, The Cold Wife, An Inconvenient Marriage, and Romancing Adrienne), “The Path to Christmas” short poem (which will make a good Christmas post), and the Native American Romance Series (Restoring Hope, Brave Beginnings, Bound by Honor Bound by Love, and I’ll add in A Chance In Time since it does place a slight role in the series.)

With all that aside, let me get to The Marriage Contract. (This is Book 1 in the Marriage by Fairytale Series.

1. I had been itching to do a “Beauty and the Beast” type of story for a long time. I did do one in the historical western world. That was called The Accidental Mail Order Bride. I’ll post the picture to quickly remind everyone what that was. (I find book covers extremely helpful to jog my memory whenever an author talks about their books.)

After writing The Accidental Mail Order Bride, I wasn’t fully satisfied with my version of “Beauty and the Beast”. I wanted to do something darker with a high level of tension and suspense. I wanted to push the boundaries of everything I’d done before and go into uncharted territory. I wanted to try my hand at gothic romance. So I came up with the idea for The Marriage Contract and the rest of the books in the Marriage by Fairytale Series.

2. Stephen Bachman made his original appearance in The Rake’s Vow, and he showed up later again in Married in Haste.

At the end of Married In Haste, Brad (Stephen’s brother) forced him to marry Lady Eloise, a lady who plays a prominent role in The Rake’s Vow and a lesser role in Married In Haste.

A couple of people asked me if I was going to write a book for Stephen and Lady Eloise since they hated each other from the moment they met, but there was no redeeming Lady Eloise. She was too horrible. I did, however, see a chance for Stephen to be redeemed since he wasn’t all that bad to Ava (the heroine in Married In Haste). I’m not saying Stephen was a saint in that book. He definitely wasn’t. But he did regret the scandal he set up to get Brad and Ava together. As soon as I realized he felt bad for what he’d done, I knew I couldn’t leave him in despair with Lady Eloise forever. I was going to have to give him his own book, but he needed to pay his dues first. Lady Eloise never felt bad for anything she did, so I had to get rid of her in order to pave the way for his romance.

3. I did intend for Stephen to be an alpha brooding hero, but he wasn’t going to have it. Early on, he turned into a hero who was desperate for a second chance in life but had no idea how he was going to get it. The alpha brooding hero would not think he needed a second chance until he was hit over the head with this knowledge toward the end of the story. This is why I don’t plot. My characters end up taking the story in directions I never expect. Fortunately, I had the gypsy curse angle to fall back on to keep up with the dark feel I wanted for the story. Up to then, I wasn’t even sure I was going to keep the “gypsy curse” in the story. My plan was to remove it in edits. But with Stephen being easier for Patricia to win over, I ended up making the curse a prominent part of the storyline.

4. I love the story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. It’s one of my favorites. Realizing I had to keep the gypsy curse idea in the story, I decided to merge it with inspiration from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. I assume most people know that’s the story where the Headless Horseman comes after Ichabod Crane. The bridge plays a prominent role in that story. So for this book, I was determined to make someone pursue Stephen to the covered bridge on his property. The question that nagged at me for most of the book was “HOW” I was going to make this pursuit happen. That’s why the gypsy had a son who excelled in horse riding and swordsmanship.

5. The maze in the story was inspired by Stephen King’s story, The Shining. I never read the book. I used to watch the movie with my mom when I was a kid. My mom was a big Stephen King fan. My favorite part of the movie was the kid running through maze and figuring out how to trick his dad so his dad didn’t kill him. (He managed to outwit his dad by walking backwards so that his footprints ended up nowhere. It’s hard to explain, but that’s essentially what he did in order to confuse his dad. That ploy always struck me as a clever idea.) While there wasn’t snow in The Marriage Contract, Patricia’s many trips through maze made it possible for her to get away from the gypsy. This is why she and Stephen took so many walks during the course of the book.

6. The reason Patricia had a girl was so that I could write Lewis’ story, which I had planned to do at the beginning of The Marriage Contract. I hadn’t, however, had a heroine planned for his story until the scene after Susannah’s birth when Patricia’s lady’s maid, Marcy, came into the room. Originally, Marcy had been an older woman, but after that scene, I made her younger so she could be matched with Lewis. Hence, the “Cinderella” inspiration became the basis for One Enchanted Evening.

7. In a brief moment during a conversation Lewis had with Stephen and Patricia during dinner, Lewis is telling them the latest gossip from London. During this time, he gives a brief mention to Miss Tumilson. She was originally slotted for the romance I was going to write in this series based on the Snow White fairy tale, but something about that didn’t feel quite right in my gut, so I went with brand new characters instead. That’s why she doesn’t appear in Fairest of Them All. I do, however, still want to do something with her and the Duke of Jowett. I just haven’t found the right plot for them.

8. I got the idea for Susanna’s conception from the movie The Switch which starred Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston.

9. I did hope to do more with the “Did Stephen kill Lady Eloise?” angle, but that never panned out. Maybe I can run with it in Miss Tumilson’s story.

10. The reason Stephen was so “adventurous” during the lovemaking scenes went back to the conversation Brad had had with Stephen’s mistress in Married In Haste where she made a comparison between Brad’s vanilla style vs Stephen’s more colorful style of doing things in bed. (Note: she was never in bed with Brad. She had made her deductions based on the tea Brad requested when she spoke with him.) Anyway, I went with a more varied approach in the bedroom scenes in The Marriage Contract to keep things consistent across the series.

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