(Suitable for Marriage is Book 3 in the Husbands for the Larson Sisters Series, and it features Tom and Jessica Larson’s third daughter, Erin.)
In this story, Alex knows Erin is trying to get rid of him and plays along with it in hopes he can eventually change her mind. I almost went with this plot in Nobody’s Fool (a Regency I wrote), but I decided to go with him being oblivious to the heroine’s schemes instead. That freed me up to use this particular plot for Suitable for Marriage.
Eva Connealy is the heroine in Boaz’s Wager, a book I wrote years ago. Suitable for Marriage takes place before Boaz’s Wager in the timeline. So I thought I’d have fun. At one point in Suitable for Marriage, she says, “Alex, I like you as a friend, but I have no desire to end up with someone who works with animals. I thought it over, and such a man is all wrong for me. I’d be much better off with a university professor, the conductor of a great big music hall, or a literary critic.” In Boaz’s Wager, she ends up with a man who trains horses who is in no way a professor, musically inclined, or a literary critic. In fact, it was Boaz’s friend who played the violin and made Boaz jealous when Eva gushed on and on about his friend’s talent. Since she ends up with someone who was completely unlike what she planned, I thought it’d be funny to put this section of dialogue in this book.
When I lived in Nebraska, tulips grew up every April in my front yard. Those things are hardy flowers that come back every year with no work at all. I loved them. That’s why Alex gives women tulips in this story.
In this book I wrote, “Some people love to read. Every time I read a book, I pretend I’m the person I’m reading about. It’s more fun that way.” I started reading this way in high school to make the boring books the teacher required me to read more interesting. Since then, I found it fun to do it with every book I read. When I write books, however, I never see myself as one of the characters.
As I was writing this book, I kept thinking that Daisy (Tom and Jessica’s youngest daughter) reminded me of someone. It wasn’t until I was editing the book during a scene where Daisy is in the barn with Erin and Alex that I realized she reminds me of Joel Larson. She’s a bit on the conceited side, and she has a mischievous spark in her.
When Erin and Daisy visit Patricia in Patricia’s large home, Daisy says, “Eva let me borrow a book where a distinguished gentleman hired a young lady to be a governess. The two fall in love, but it turned out he had a wife who went mad and was confined to the attic. Maybe there’s a secret wife hiding somewhere in a secret room here. Are we sure that Jim came to Omaha all by himself?” This book Daisy read was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.
I bring in Natalie (heroine in The Perfect Wife and Mark Larson’s wife) for a scene in this book.
There is a woman named Lisa who shows up in this book who says she can’t entertain a courtship with Alex because her cousin is mad at Alex for losing to him in a bull riding contest, and if she were to be with Alex, her family would give her grief over it. I know this seems far-fetched, but I have experienced a scenario similar to this in my own personal life. I can’t go into detail, but something that happened almost 20 years ago has pretty much made me the “black sheep” with a certain family member. There are petty people out there who will hold a grudge forever. Sometimes something from an author’s life will find its way on the page. Names, situations, and events are always changed, though.
Quite frankly, I was surprised that Nelly still worries whenever her sisters come by and see Val. I didn’t plan for her reaction to be the way it was, but every character has their quirks, and this is Nelly’s.
In this book, Tom Larson gives a reference to the time when Clyde ran off and left Jenny (Tom’s sister) when he was supposed to marry her. It is so much fun to have a cast of characters who have a history I’ve already written about so I can I bring the past up whenever I want. That’s what makes the Larson family and my Regency characters so enjoyable to write about. I never truly have to say good-bye to any of them.
At the end of this book, Tom argues with Jessica and Alex’s parents that a woman can have some say in whether the baby is going to be a girl or a boy. This is a reference back to Eye of the Beholder where he and Jessica have the same argument. I thought it’d be fun to bring it in for old time’s sake.
Since Tom had all daughters, I was going to give him all grandsons, but then I got to Daisy’s book, and that changed. Jessica will be getting some granddaughters in the future. 😀