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.