I’m Taking Over The Wild Heart Series

I’m not sure how many of you remember The Stagecoach Bride (Wild Hearts Series: Book 1).  Here’s the cover to help jog your memory:

The Stagecoach Bride ebook cover

This book came out years ago.  It was a co-written book between me and Stephannie Beman.  (Stephannie Beman is one of my dearest friends and a fellow author.  We met way back in 2008–I think.)  She is one of the easiest and nicest people to work with.

Anyway, I had handed over the rights to her to complete this series.  Recently, she has decided she would rather focus on fantasy and other genres.  This series is a historical western romance series, and it doesn’t fit with where her passion for writing is leading her.  (Passion is very important.)  Since my heart is in romance (esp. historicals), I am going to take the series and work on it.

What this means for The Stagecoach Bride:

She has given me permission to rewrite this book.  The basic plot will stay the same.  The heroine will be on her way to marry the villain when the hero and his family intervenes.  From there, I really can’t say what will happen.  I don’t plot things out ahead of time.  Until I get into the story, I don’t know how things will play out.  What I do want to happen is for the family to get the boy who’s with the villain (as currently happened in the original story).  I also plan for the heroine’s past to catch up with her and throw a wrench into the hero and heroine’s romance.  But other than those two elements, I make no promises.  So prepare for this book to be significantly changed.

What this means for Stephannie’s role:

Stephannie will still have a part in the series.  When I finish up the first draft of each book, she will go over it and boost its historical flavor (she really does have a better handle of the time period than I do), and she’ll flesh out anything else I missed.   So she will have a role in the series.

When will this series be relaunched?

This is probably the hardest question to answer to because I want to have both The Stagecoach Bride (Book 1) and The Rancher’s Wife (Book 2) ready at the same time.

TheRancher'sWife ebook cover

Most of you have already read The Stagecoach Bride.  You will not have to pay for The Stagecoach Bride again.  Stephannie is in the process of removing that book from sale so I can rewrite the book.  Then when The Rancher’s Wife is ready, I will publish The Stagecoach Bride (for free) with The Rancher’s Wife (which I plan to make $2.99 USD).  From there, I’ll work on Book 3 (not titled yet), and I’ll see if there should be a Book 4 or not.

As for when…  I have other series I’m working on right now.  The Marriage by Bargain Series will take until this summer or fall to finish.  I should finish the Pioneer Series by late summer or early fall.  I already have Book 1 (Sep’s story) for the Misled Mail Order Brides Series on pre-order, so that will take priority.   I’ll still be working on the Marriage by Fate Series.  I have started rewriting The Stagecoach Bride, but I’ll be taking it slow since my focus has to be on the other books already in pre-order.

Given the fact that I’m going to combine The Stagecoach Bride with the release of The Rancher’s Wife, next summer (2018) is the very soonest these two books will be ready.  I might release The Stagecoach Bride a month earlier just to get people ready for The Rancher’s Wife, but we’ll see.  If I could write fast enough to have the entire series out at once, I would.  But alas, I can’t.  Even for as fast as I go, I have my limitations. 🙂

I’ll keep you updated on the progress of this series (and my other books) as I write them.

Posted in The Rancher's Wife, The Stagecoach Bride | 4 Comments

The Rake’s Vow (Marriage by Bargain: Book 2) is Now Available!

Here are the books in the Marriage by Bargain Series:

  • Book 1: The Viscount’s Runaway Bride (Anthony and Damara’s story)
  • Book 2: The Rake’s Vow (Loretta and Tad’s story)
  • Book 3: Taming The Viscountess (Celia and Sebastian’s story)
  • Book 4: If It Takes A Scandal (Corin and Candace’s story)

Please Note: Loretta’s brother (Brad) will get his book in the Marriage by Fate Series.  I will have The Reclusive Earl (Book 1) out in May.  Brad’s book will be #2.  So I hope to have his book out later this year.  *fingers crossed*

That aside, here is where you can find The Rake’s Vow.

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBooks

Smashwords

Here’s the description:

Thaddeus (Tad) Darkin, the Duke of Lambeth, used to be a rake. In fact, before Lord Edon was scandalizing the Ton, Tad was the one everyone was talking about. Many gentlemen secretly wished they had his charm with the ladies. All reputable ladies were warned to stay as far from him as possible, which only made him all the more attractive. Then, after a tragic event, he took a vow of celibacy, promising he would never be intimate with another lady again. Over the years, this caused him to be the most sought-after single gentleman in all of London. And even though he doesn’t want to marry, his steward left him in financial ruin, so whether he likes it or not, he must take a wife.

After being rejected by the gentleman she was hoping to marry, Miss Loretta Bachman is on a mission to save her reputation. She needs to marry someone who will impress the prestigious ladies in her social circle. So when she catches the leader of the group talking about the very handsome and hard-to-get Duke of Lambeth, she’s determined to get him to marry her. All she needs is a little bargaining power, and fortunately for her, she happens to have the money he needs to save his estate.

When she learns of his vow to remain celibate, she agrees to keep away from his bed. After all, her only reason for marrying him is to secure her social standing in London, not to have a love match. All she asks is that he pretends to be deeply in love with her when they’re in public. That way she will succeed in impressing the Ton. But before long, the lines between what is pretend and what is real starts to blur, and it’s hard to decide how far to push the limits of their agreement.

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Women Are Different, So Heroines Should Be, Too

This post is a semi-rant.  From time to time, it irks me that people think there is a one-size-fits-all heroine.  (Actually, there is no one-size-fits-all hero or villain or secondary character or kid, either, but I’m going to speak specifically about heroines.)

How Women Are Different

Just like fingerprints, no two women are exactly alike.

different women

ID 67013990 © Andrey Arkusha | Dreamstime.com

This entire post is based off a comment I recently received after someone read one of my books with a heroine who wasn’t in major pain after her first time of having sex.  I don’t know why we have to assume every single woman on this planet will have a horrific first time.  I didn’t.  In fact, my first time didn’t hurt at all.  But then, my husband and I took our time and I was able to get ready for him.  I had no tearing, no bleeding, not even a sting of pain.  Now, I have a friend who bled and was in pain for the first three times.  Upon further questioning, I learned her husband didn’t take the time to get her ready for him.  She and I are on polar opposites of the spectrum here in regards for a woman losing her virginity.  There are definitely women that fall in-between our experiences.

Another example of how different women can be is in regards to the menstrual cycle.  I am very regular, and I get cramps.  Before I had kids my cramps would be at an 8 in pain on a 1-10 scale.  After I had kids, the pain (thankfully) went to a 3.   The same friend I mentioned above had no cramps at all.  Ever.  But then, she was not regular, so she didn’t know when she’d get her period and had times where she bled without a pad on, which proved to be embarrassing.  Other women will fall somewhere between the spectrum.   My friend and I are opposites on just about everything.  And yet, we share a lot of common interests, which is why we get along as well as we do.

Another example is childbirth.  My mom labored for 25 hours with me, and she let me know that every time I gave her a hard time when I was a kid.  (That woman had the patience of a saint.  I might have her body type and look like her, but I got my dad’s personality.  The older I get, the more patient I am, but it has been a process.)    Anyway, my mom said her labor pains were so bad that she took an epidural.  (The woman had minor cramps before I was born.)  I know women who went through natural childbirth and said, “It wasn’t that bad.” Now, I had scheduled c-sections with all of mine, so I’ve never been in labor.  I can’t offer a comparison there.  What I can say is that since having kids, my body was never same again.  My skin is loose.  It never did spring right back, and I have seen women who (without the need of a tummy tuck) looking like a model after having kids.  (Which is sad when I give into the vain side of my personality, but as they say, “healthy mom, healthy baby is the most important thing”–and they’re right.)  But, my point is that even in giving birth, women go through different experiences.

And if we go a step further in comparison between women, not all women have the same body types.  Some are thin.  Some are not.  Some have small breasts.  Some have large.  Some are tall.  Some are short.  Some have thick, beautiful hair.  Some have thinner hair that is hard to style because the hair has a mind of its own.

Go further than that, and you also see that women have different personality types.  Some are more nurturing and would rather tend to the home life (think Mary Larson from Eye of the Beholder).  I am nothing like Mary (except for her body type).  I’m not that great of a cook, and don’t even ask me to make clothes because I don’t have the gift.  I’m not really sure which heroine I best resemble out of the books I’ve written.  There’s probably a piece of me in all of them in varying degrees, either through a part of the personality or the body type or the monthly cycle or in my first time, etc.  Authors (and sometimes the people they know) do end up slipping in somewhere into the characters they write about, but no one character is 100% author.

But the point is, women are not all the same in their personalities.  Some are outgoing.  Some are shy.  Some have a great sense of humor.  Some are more serious.  Some are optimistic.  Some are pessimistic.  Some tend to be leaders.  Some tend to be followers.  Etc.  And there will be varying degrees of these personality traits in the spectrum.  Not everyone is a total A personality type or a total B personality type.  Most people fall somewhere in-between.

So what is the point to all of this?

The same heroine for every story will get boring over time, even if you vary the plot.

same heroine for every book

ID 46169091 © Rosshelen | Dreamstime.com

I’m assuming most of the people reading this are writers, so I’m gearing this toward writers.  Heroines should not all be the same.  Unless your particular niche is geared directly for people who only want to read “one type of heroine”, I suggest you vary your heroines.  They should look different.  They should have different body types.  They should have different personalities.  They should have different experiences.  They should have different interests.  I don’t think each heroine should be a cookie-cutter character.

Will this mean you might end up with some people who like one heroine more than another?  Of course, it will.  Mary Larson is one of my most popular heroines, but there were people wished she had stood up for herself more.  (Which she did in To Have and To Hold.  The amnesia was the catalyst needed to get there, and she needed to do that with her mother.)   A lot of people do not like Rose Larson (heroine in Catching Kent) because she’s “obnoxious, won’t leave Kent alone, and is selfish”.  There are people who don’t like Harriett Larson (heroine in His Convenient Wife) because she’s “too pessimistic, won’t let anyone in, and is mean”.  I have noticed that people how hate Rose love Harriett.  And people who love Harriett hate Rose.  So really, this is about the people reading the books and the type of heroine they are naturally attracted to.

When you write a book, you’re probably writing for a wide audience.  You will never please everyone.  You can’t write the one heroine who will please every single person who picks up your book.   It’s impossible.  My advice (for what it’s worth) is to write the heroine that is right for your particular story.  You might have a plot that requires a strong female lead.  You might have a plot that requires the hero to take more of a lead (for his own personal growth) that means the heroine has to rely more on him to solve the problem.  You might need a heroine who needs a sense of humor about things (esp. if the book is going to have humor in it).  The heroine, the other characters, and the plot needs to complement each other.  Otherwise, you’re going to be trying to force a square peg into a round hole, and if you do that, the story will feel forced.

Right now you might be wondering, “What the heck does all of this have to do with the ranting you did above?” When writing your heroine, you might have opportunities to cover a wide variety of issues that impact women.  We do have menstrual cycles to deal with.  Some can have children and some can’t.  (Speaking of which, not all women have morning sickness, which I know is something that is expected.  Some women even end up on bedrest while others–like me–was mowing lawns and carrying heavy boxes during pregnancy without any problems.)  Just take into consideration the complexity of women when you’re writing heroines.  We do not all look the same.  We don’t all think the same.  We don’t all have the same experiences.  Granted, not all books will need you to get that “personal” with your heroine, but in romance, personal issues often come up and can be used to create a more complete character.

So the bottom line is this: dare to make your heroines different.

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