The Accidental Mail Order Bride Trivia

The Accicental Mail Order Bride ebook cover

This is Book 3 in the Chance at Love Series. Here are the books in order:

The Convenient Mail Order Bride3  The Mistaken Mail Order Bride  The Accicental Mail Order Bride ebook cover  The_Bargain_Mail_Order_Bride_new version

1. Originally, The Accidental Mail Order Bride was supposed to be the last book in the series. I wasn’t originally going to write about Carl, but there was a scene where Abe and Carl got into a fight, and I realized Carl wasn’t really as bad as he appeared at first. I got a glimpse into his life and knew he felt as betrayed by their father as Abe did. This made me feel sympathetic toward him, and I wanted to write his book. But I couldn’t write his book until I got rid of his wife (Lydia). That’s why she was murdered in Book 2. But I didn’t have time to wrap about the murder in Book 2. I had to extend that subplot through Book 3 in order to make way for Book 4. That’s why I spent significant time in Book 3 on Carl.

2. Allie, the heroine of this book, was originally slotted to be the heroine in Book 2, but I couldn’t come up with a good plot for that story if I used her. So I went with the plan to delay her arrival and gave the book a heroine who wasn’t the one the hero was expecting. Originally, Allie was supposed to marry Eric, and Caroline was supposed to marry Travis.

3. The beauty and beast trope has been used many times over the course of written history. The earliest account in written literature that I’m aware of is the Greek myth of Aphrodite (the goddess of love) and Hephaestus (the deformed god of craftsmanship). The version I read when I was in high school was the one where Aphrodite had her pick of any god she wanted to marry. She wasn’t impressed with the gods who glorified themselves and their beauty (like Apollo and Ares were doing), but she came across Hephaestus who didn’t feel worthy of her. She was impressed with his humility and chose him. He might not have had outward beauty, but he had inward beauty as well. There are other versions of this myth, of course, but that’s the one that most appealed to me. Since then, I have been fascinated with this specific plot in storytelling. This is a very popular trope in fiction. I chose to use this trope for this book. I’ve also used it in Eye of the Beholder (except in there the heroine was the unattractive one). I used it in The Marriage Contract. The hero in that book had a mask that was my nod to the Phantom of the Opera since the phantom wore a mask to hide his face. I’m also currently using this trope in my current work-in-progress titled Nobody’s Fool. In Nobody’s Fool, the hero is more geeky than ugly or scarred. As you can tell, this is just a setup I really love, so I use it if there’s a storyline that appeals to me.

4. I didn’t start up with the idea of Travis being scarred when I started Book 1. It’s just that when Abe went out to get the metal scraps from him, something in my creative brain gave me the image of what Travis looked like, so I went with it. Most of the time, I don’t know what any character is going to look like until I write the scene they appear in. My mind will present the image of the character (hair color, body type, height) within a second. The image often doesn’t match what’s on the cover, but since it’s very difficult to find a picture of a person that fits what is in my mind with the right time period clothing, I just have whatever fits best for the cover while keeping my own image of the character in mind while I write the story. In this case, I didn’t even bother trying to put a “Travis” type on the cover because people are not attracted to romance covers that have imperfect people on them.

5. Some of the townsfolk saw Travis as  a monster. This idea was inspired by To Kill a Mocking Bird. I didn’t read the book, but I watched the movie with my mom several times during childhood. In that movie, the kids were scared of Boo Radley and came up with stuff he did that was evil. But when we get to the end of the movie, we realize Boo wasn’t the monster the kids made him out to be. So the rumors circulating through town about Travis having an extra eye, having strange origins, and so on had its roots in the way Boo was thought of in that movie.

6. When Allie was cleaning up the cottage, I kept thinking of the Snow White cartoon in the version Disney made. All that was missing were her singing while the animals helped her clean. I couldn’t put that in since this isn’t a fantasy, but the scene did play out in my mind.

7. I always felt that Travis and Carl were kindred spirits. They understood each other better than anyone else (except for their wives) did. I enjoyed the dynamic between them. What others couldn’t tell them, they could tell each other. This was a tough-love situation, and they matured because of it.


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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10 Responses to The Accidental Mail Order Bride Trivia

  1. Erica says:

    Many thanks for the trivia on this book. It is one of my favorites. I loved this whole series and have re-read them many times. I also am attracted to the shyer, geekier heroes and love that so many of your books include them. (although I still love my Logan too) I am glad you extended this series to write Carl’s story. It really did make them all better books. It felt more complete. Allie was definitely the right one for Travis, and they all seem like such a great group of friends.
    The scenes where Allie cleans the house and Travis brings her vegetables in a basket created such a beautiful picture in my mind. Almost like a still life. You could see that pretty little cottage with the two chairs out under the tree. Very peaceful. As always, thanks for writing.

    • Logan’s fun to write because he doesn’t mind breaking the rules, but he never does it to harm anyone. 😀

      This particular series is one of my all-time favorites because there were so many layers in it. Maybe it’s grim, but the murder of Lydia and what happened afterwards (Carl’s life getting threatened and Eric trying to solve the crime) are the parts I like most. It did cry during the scene where Eric talked to Jerry’s wife. It was hard to separate the mother from her children, but it had to be done. The story couldn’t have ended any other way. On the plus side, taking care of the children did give Travis confidence when he and Allie had their first biological child.

      I would love to live in their cottage. it’s too bad I can’t create a place just by writing it down. 😉

  2. IrishMary says:

    I really enjoy the trivia postings, with your behind- the- scenes thought process that brings the characters into being. Yes, I’m going to have to reread the series- to see if this changes how I view everyone- happens every time! I love the plot twists that you are so famous for – they keep me wondering!

    • I know what you mean about how the stories seem different after finding out what went into making them. I feel that way whenever I read trivia on movies and then watch them again.

      Thank you for the nice compliment on the plot twists. That’s something I aim to do as much as possible. 😀

  3. I like to read about how you think of things and how things change as you write the book. You’re like me…sometimes the plot goes in a totally different direction than I thought it would.

    I love the Beauty and the Beast story. And Phantom of the Opera! I like to read stories that incorporate those story lines, even if it’s loosely.

    • Yep, the story rarely ever turns out the way I think it will when I start it. At some point, a scene will go in another direction, and the entire course of the story changes. 😀

      I got hooked on Phantom of the Opera when I borrowed my college roommate’s CD. The guy who sang as the phantom has the best male voice I’ve ever heard. I loved his voice so much that I reimagined the story so that he was the good guy and Raul was the villain. I can’t have the bad guy having the best voice on the soundtrack. 😛

  4. If the Phantom’s voice is that good, you must have heard the Michael Crawford version. He is by far the best voice for the Phantom. He’s the one who made the show so popular.

    • Yep, Michael Crawford is the name! I LOVE his voice. I can’t think of any other male singer who does as wonderful a job at singing as he does. I fall in love with his voice whenever I hear it. LOL

      • Funny trivia. Michael Crawford used to do comedy shows. Stuff where he was really corny. Can you believe it?

        Andrew Lloyd Weber is doing a YouTube series of his shows during the Covid-19 pandemic so people can listen while they’re at home. He put the whole stage show on YouTube, and the guy who played the Phantom was almost, but not quite, as good as Crawford. Anyway, then they did a 25th anniversary show where many of the people who played the Phantom, as well as Christine, sang. Then Michael Crawford came out from backstage and everyone went wild. But not one word did he sing! I have no idea why.

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