I originally got the idea for this book while writing Eye of the Beholder. I was intrigued with the idea of Tom doing everything he could to impress Jessica, especially when Jessica said, “He was so nervous around me. He’d keep stammering and tripping over his feet. I thought it was adorable that someone would put forth that much effort to try to please me. So I ended my engagement to another man and let Tom court me instead.” I wrote the book so I could find out more about this time in her life.
I wrote the original version of this book in the First Draft blog I used to have. I took the blog down when someone started stealing my books and putting them for sale on Amazon. That was unfortunate since I enjoyed the blog, but I have a responsibility to protect my books as much as possible.
This book had three versions to it. The first ended at about 18,000 words long. The last scene in the first version was when Tom gave Jessica the note from Jenny in which Jenny said that Tom was sweet on her. Then Jessica corners Tom in the parlor and finally gets him to admit he wants to be with her. In the second version, I continued the story until the wedding day. In the third version, I added the wedding night. The reason I added the wedding night was because authors of “clean” romances kept asking me to do mutual promotion with them, and I had to keep telling them my other books had sex in them so they really did not want to promote books with me. I was not a good fit for them. My audience was not their audience. So I finally added the wedding night in order to stop any more “clean” romance authors from contacting me for this reason. The method worked. I haven’t gotten a single email since.
In the first version of this book, I had created no plans for Margaret’s book. Then in the second one, I realized I wanted to write her story, which is why I had her post an ad for a husband.
Eye of the Beholder was the first Larson book I wrote. A Bride for Tom is the second Larson book I wrote. The Wrong Husband was third. Shotgun Groom was the fourth. Isaac’s Decision was the fifth. To Have and To Hold was the sixth. Her Heart’s Desire was the seventh. When I started writing, I wasn’t thinking of writing books in a series or even going in a chronological order. I just wrote each story as I wanted to, and this might be why those were my best stories. I didn’t force a story just because it came “next” in the timeline. I notice that chronological timelines are very important to readers, which is why I try to stick with them.
A Bride for Tom is one of my favorite books of all I’ve done because of the humor. This is the book where I developed the rivalry between Tom and Joel. I wrote Eye of the Beholder first, and this rivalry didn’t exist at the time. The rivalry officially started when the two were at the kitchen table. Joel grabbed his hair and pretended to scream. Tom, in turn, let the dog lick Joel’s utensils. That was the “ah-ha” moment which led me to use the rivalry in future books. Those are my favorite two Larson boys to put together, and I do it whenever I can. To me, the Larsons are more than characters on paper. They are my family. Granted, they’re imaginary, but the connection is there. Some of the best books written are those in which the author has a deep personal connection to the characters.
Peter is loosely based off of one of my ex-boyfriends who had an abnormal attachment to his parents. They dictated a lot of his life for him, and looking back, I feel sorry for him. He wasn’t allowed to grow up and be his own person. I’m also relieved I didn’t end up marrying him.
The argument Jessica and Connie had over what color the roses should be was based off of some of the ridiculous arguments the same ex-boyfriend used to bring up over things that didn’t matter. For example, he would make a big deal over whether you called something a paper towel or a napkin. I didn’t see why it mattered, but he could argue for hours over stuff like this.
A Bride for Tom was the first book of yours that I ever read. I was hooked from then on. I now have 82 of your books in my library, some doubled up in paperback, all on my iPad, but this one is still one of my top re-reads. I agree the humor really makes it a great book. Joel and Tom are such fun and I could really relate to Jessica’s attraction to the shy Tom. I am glad you did a version ending the book on the wedding night. I feel that the story is much more complete than ending at the wedding. Thank you letting us enjoy visiting with Tom and his family by writing his daughter’s stories. Stay Safe and Thanks for Writing.
It sounds like most people start with A Bride for Tom. I’m so glad to hear you liked the addition of the wedding night. 😀 I agree with you that it makes the story feel more complete. I’m amazed you have so many of my books! I’m used to people saying they only get the Regencies or the historical westerns. Thanks for letting me know. It means a lot to hear that. 😀
I hope you stay safe, too. Hopefully, things will settle down soon out there.
Honestly, I used to only read Regencies. It’s you book A Bride for Tom that got me hooked on Historical Westerns. It’s nice because when I’m in the mood for a read/reread I can say to myself “do I feel like visiting the Old West today or England”. Lots more variety and fun. Thanks for writing. Stay safe and Happy Easter.
LOL That’s too funny. 😀 I’m glad you gave the historical westerns a try. Mind if I ask what prompted you to try A Bride for Tom out?
I hope you had a good Easter. 😀
I tried it for the most basic of reasons, it was free. I think i was just searching free historical romances on iBooks and it came up in the search. This was years ago. i liked it so much I started searching for more books by you. After reading more of the Larson books,The Marriage by Scandal Series came next and I just kept going from there. I know when I get one of your books I will have a great read. Never an average one in the bunch. The Larsons of course became one of my favorite families, although I must admit I do not re-read Eye of the Beholder much because I am such a fan of Neils from His Redeeming Bride that I don’t like to read him being mean. I do re-read His Redeeming Bride all the time. I almost wish that Neil and Sarah had had more kids so there would have been more books to write with them in them. Just waiting for the next pre-orders to arrive and the next trivia from the Regency books, since I am a big fan of Regencies and read them more than anything. I have all yours:) I had a nice quiet Easter, thank you, since I did not have to cook for a crowd with social distancing. There’s that glass half full. I hope your Easter was good also. Thanks for writing and stay safe.
That’s awesome! I set some books at free so people can take a risk-free chance on me. I’m glad you took the chance!
I adore Neil. He’s one of my favorite characters. I always saw him as the prodigal son who lost his way but finally went back to his roots. I can understand why Eye of the Beholder is difficult to read. I’d say skip those parts with him in it, but he’s a key part of the story so you can’t. 🙂
Thanks for answering my question. I hope you stay safe, too!