I’m finally getting back to doing some trivia blog posts. 😀 The next book I have on my list is Boaz’s Wager.
Really quick, I feel like I’m forgetting a book someone said they wanted me to do trivia on. Here’s my list that I wrote down a while back. Unfortunately, I forgot to add a book someone said they were interested in, so if that person could chime in and tell me what that book was (or if someone else has a book they’d like to see), I’d love to hear from you!
Here’s the list of books currently on my list to do trivia posts on: Boaz’s Wager (which will be next), the books in the Virginia Series (An Unlikely Place for Love, The Cold Wife, An Inconvenient Marriage, and Romancing Adrienne), “The Path to Christmas” short poem (which will make a good Christmas post), and the Native American Romance Series (Restoring Hope, Brave Beginnings, Bound by Honor Bound by Love, and I’ll add in A Chance In Time since it does place a slight role in the series.)
With all that aside, let me get to The Marriage Contract. (This is Book 1 in the Marriage by Fairytale Series.
1. I had been itching to do a “Beauty and the Beast” type of story for a long time. I did do one in the historical western world. That was called The Accidental Mail Order Bride. I’ll post the picture to quickly remind everyone what that was. (I find book covers extremely helpful to jog my memory whenever an author talks about their books.)
After writing The Accidental Mail Order Bride, I wasn’t fully satisfied with my version of “Beauty and the Beast”. I wanted to do something darker with a high level of tension and suspense. I wanted to push the boundaries of everything I’d done before and go into uncharted territory. I wanted to try my hand at gothic romance. So I came up with the idea for The Marriage Contract and the rest of the books in the Marriage by Fairytale Series.
2. Stephen Bachman made his original appearance in The Rake’s Vow, and he showed up later again in Married in Haste.
At the end of Married In Haste, Brad (Stephen’s brother) forced him to marry Lady Eloise, a lady who plays a prominent role in The Rake’s Vow and a lesser role in Married In Haste.
A couple of people asked me if I was going to write a book for Stephen and Lady Eloise since they hated each other from the moment they met, but there was no redeeming Lady Eloise. She was too horrible. I did, however, see a chance for Stephen to be redeemed since he wasn’t all that bad to Ava (the heroine in Married In Haste). I’m not saying Stephen was a saint in that book. He definitely wasn’t. But he did regret the scandal he set up to get Brad and Ava together. As soon as I realized he felt bad for what he’d done, I knew I couldn’t leave him in despair with Lady Eloise forever. I was going to have to give him his own book, but he needed to pay his dues first. Lady Eloise never felt bad for anything she did, so I had to get rid of her in order to pave the way for his romance.
3. I did intend for Stephen to be an alpha brooding hero, but he wasn’t going to have it. Early on, he turned into a hero who was desperate for a second chance in life but had no idea how he was going to get it. The alpha brooding hero would not think he needed a second chance until he was hit over the head with this knowledge toward the end of the story. This is why I don’t plot. My characters end up taking the story in directions I never expect. Fortunately, I had the gypsy curse angle to fall back on to keep up with the dark feel I wanted for the story. Up to then, I wasn’t even sure I was going to keep the “gypsy curse” in the story. My plan was to remove it in edits. But with Stephen being easier for Patricia to win over, I ended up making the curse a prominent part of the storyline.
4. I love the story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. It’s one of my favorites. Realizing I had to keep the gypsy curse idea in the story, I decided to merge it with inspiration from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. I assume most people know that’s the story where the Headless Horseman comes after Ichabod Crane. The bridge plays a prominent role in that story. So for this book, I was determined to make someone pursue Stephen to the covered bridge on his property. The question that nagged at me for most of the book was “HOW” I was going to make this pursuit happen. That’s why the gypsy had a son who excelled in horse riding and swordsmanship.
5. The maze in the story was inspired by Stephen King’s story, The Shining. I never read the book. I used to watch the movie with my mom when I was a kid. My mom was a big Stephen King fan. My favorite part of the movie was the kid running through maze and figuring out how to trick his dad so his dad didn’t kill him. (He managed to outwit his dad by walking backwards so that his footprints ended up nowhere. It’s hard to explain, but that’s essentially what he did in order to confuse his dad. That ploy always struck me as a clever idea.) While there wasn’t snow in The Marriage Contract, Patricia’s many trips through maze made it possible for her to get away from the gypsy. This is why she and Stephen took so many walks during the course of the book.
6. The reason Patricia had a girl was so that I could write Lewis’ story, which I had planned to do at the beginning of The Marriage Contract. I hadn’t, however, had a heroine planned for his story until the scene after Susannah’s birth when Patricia’s lady’s maid, Marcy, came into the room. Originally, Marcy had been an older woman, but after that scene, I made her younger so she could be matched with Lewis. Hence, the “Cinderella” inspiration became the basis for One Enchanted Evening.
7. In a brief moment during a conversation Lewis had with Stephen and Patricia during dinner, Lewis is telling them the latest gossip from London. During this time, he gives a brief mention to Miss Tumilson. She was originally slotted for the romance I was going to write in this series based on the Snow White fairy tale, but something about that didn’t feel quite right in my gut, so I went with brand new characters instead. That’s why she doesn’t appear in Fairest of Them All. I do, however, still want to do something with her and the Duke of Jowett. I just haven’t found the right plot for them.
8. I got the idea for Susanna’s conception from the movie The Switch which starred Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston.
9. I did hope to do more with the “Did Stephen kill Lady Eloise?” angle, but that never panned out. Maybe I can run with it in Miss Tumilson’s story.
10. The reason Stephen was so “adventurous” during the lovemaking scenes went back to the conversation Brad had had with Stephen’s mistress in Married In Haste where she made a comparison between Brad’s vanilla style vs Stephen’s more colorful style of doing things in bed. (Note: she was never in bed with Brad. She had made her deductions based on the tea Brad requested when she spoke with him.) Anyway, I went with a more varied approach in the bedroom scenes in The Marriage Contract to keep things consistent across the series.
You have written a Lot of books, so it may be daunting to do trivia on every one of them. But, I have to tell you, every time I read these trivia essays, I am inspired to re-read every book! Today’s entry is no different- as soon as I finish my present read, I’m calling them up from my Kindle for PC! I love the background stories, the inner workings of your mind, and what your characters tell you about where they are going. Sometimes it’s hilarious. Love your imagination!
I love doing the trivia. My goal is to eventually work through the romances. I don’t care much for the other genres. They’re okay, but my heart is in romance. Before I do trivia on each book, I go through it to refresh my memory. 😀 That’s the part that slows me down on the posts. I don’t get through books as fast as most people. I’ve always been a slow reader.
Thank you for being so complimentary! I’m glad that knowing the trivia enhances the story for you. 😀 That means a lot to me.
I also love these posts! It gives me a quick glance through the stories again. I love all the “Marriage By…” Series. Each series is so well done and when put together they make a splendid statement on life in Regency England. Thanks, Ruth!
Thank you, Eris! I’m glad you get so much enjoyment from the Regencies. 😀