Inspiration Behind the Book: Bride of Second Chances

I know I’m late posting this today.  Long story short: we decided to go back to Nebraska.  It’s a long and complicated tale, but it turned out to be better for everyone so we decided we might as well move back sooner rather than later.  When you have kids with IEP (individual education plans), it’s just easier to get them back to the old school while those IEPs are fresh and current.  Minnesota was nice.  I don’t want anyone to get the idea that we were miserable there.   The key to contentment is to be happy wherever you are. Home is more than a place where you live; it’s who you also surround yourself around.  😀  So we are happy wherever we live.  I think God just wants us to be in Nebraska.

Enough about all that.  I know I have two comments pending for this blog, but since it’s almost 11pm, I’m going to hold off until tomorrow to get to them.

Now for the post I promised to do today…

bride of second chances ebook cover

This was one of the rare stories where the plot was pretty much established during a dream I had.  I was writing Bid for a Bride at the time, and one night I had one of those dreams where you know the past of everything that happened up to the scene that you actually dream about.   I don’t know if that makes any sense, but suffice it to say that in most of my dreams, I know the background of the people in my dreams.

Anyway, the actual dream was of a man sitting at a kitchen table in the late 1800s.  He wore a suit, so I knew he wasn’t a farmer.  A woman was washing dishes at the sink, and as he watched her, he struggled with the awareness that he was falling in love with her when he should have stayed devoted to his first wife who had died.

That was the scene.  I knew this woman in the dream was the sister of his first wife.  I knew the woman married him out of convenience but harbored romantic feelings for him that she refused to acknowledge.

While I was asleep, I thought, “This has the potential to be a pretty good book.” I don’t often have dreams where I know I’m dreaming and manipulate what else happens in the dream.  But this particular dream was the kind of dream where I was able to work through various plot points in the story.

(Just so everyone knows, I haven’t had this type of dream since.  Most of the time, I dream about three things.  My kids are making a mess and no matter how much I clean, the mess only gets bigger.  I’m going in for another c-section so it would be my fifth since I had four boys via c-section, and I worry that my body won’t be able to handle another c-section and I’ll never recover from it.  And the third dream is usually one where my husband tells me he’s divorcing me.  When I wake up from those dreams, I am so relieved.  I know they’re all fears I carry around but don’t give thought to during the day.)

Anyway, during this particular dream, I went through different scenarios between the man and woman until I settled on one that made me happy.  😀

When I woke up, I brainstormed on where to put the characters and plot I had worked through in my dream.  Since I was working on Bid for a Bride and had been wanting to do a book about the child Eliza (from Loving Eliza) had but couldn’t keep.  So it was likely the timing of the dream that created the series the idea went to.  I wanted to see Eliza reunited with her son.  I knew her son would be a preacher (simply to show that his circumstances in being conceived didn’t hinder God’s grace), but I did hesitate to give him that role in Bride of Second Chances.  I worried that I’d offend someone by making him a preacher because I’d have to give him a more prominently Christian role than I typically give my characters.  But then I thought, “If this is who the character is, then he needs to be a preacher.” Besides, I manage to offend people in many ways when I write books, so why stress over what job a character has?  So I let him be what he was meant to be.

For other authors who might be reading this: Write the story as it’s meant to be and let characters be who they are.  The pursuit of trying to please everyone is fruitless.  You’re much better off following your heart.  It’s hard to block out the critic, but it can be done.  I find taking time away from the Internet for a few days helps a lot.  Sometimes you need time away to get reconnected with your characters.  😀

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to other genres, but her first love is historical romance. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and a couple of children. To find out more about her books, go to
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7 Responses to Inspiration Behind the Book: Bride of Second Chances

  1. Judy DV says:

    Hubby told me that when I asked others about some ideas. Although some have helped me. Like today I had to find out more on a subject and there was someone who lived what I needed. The reality of it made me think for a minute I wasn’t suppose to write that career but it’s what my characters wanted. Who was I to argue. Anyway, her suggestions helped me add a whole new dimension to the story and fit in what is needed for them to get where they need to be. Great post again, Ruth.

  2. There are several authors I’ve heard say they came up with ideas in their dreams. That NEVER happens to me, and I’m jealous. LOL. Really, most of my dreams are so weird that they would never be appropriate for a book. People would think I’m insane. 🙂

    I’ve had that dream a few times where my husband is divorcing me. I wake up devastated until I realize it’s a dream. My two most recurring dreams are about (1)tornadoes and (2)being at school completely unprepared, can’t find my books, can’t find my classes, haven’t BEEN to classes, etc. Those are true nightmares. I’ve been lucky not to have had those in awhile. Unfortunately, neither of these inspire me for a book….

    • Oh yes! I have those school dreams, too. LOL I forgot about those. Why is it that we are never prepared in those dreams? hehe

      I hate tornadoes. I have had those dreams and am always relieved when I wake up. I never had any other natural disaster dream like a hurricane or volcano eruption. It’s just the tornado. It’s must be where we live that prompts that one.

      I rarely have the “this can be a book” dream. I think I’ve only had two. The one I explained in this post was the elaborate one. The other one was just a snippet of a scene that I had to form a book from.

    • Judy DV says:

      I’ve had the school one. Only it was that I was there in my PJ’s or forgot my underwear. I hated school.

  3. Pingback: Inspiration Behind the Book: Shotgun Groom…And a note on the where ideas for other books come from | Ruth Ann Nordin's Blog

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