Updates on What I’m Doing

For the time being, I’m putting An Earl In Time on hold

I am having an author friend go through it for me to help me figure out where I went off the rails with this one. The beginning is perfect. I love it as is. But there’s something that developed around the time the hero and heroine meet that is off. I’m having trouble pinpointing it, which is why I asked my friend for help.

My friend is doing a wonderful job of helping me already, but I want to take time to really think everything through. My plan is to take notes on her suggestions, put them aside, and let my mind work on it. In the meantime, I’ll work on other books.

This morning, I sat down to readjust my publishing schedule for the rest of the year.

Perfectly Matched (Husbands for the Larson Sisters Series: Book 2) is still set for March 27

This is already completed in its final version. Thankfully, it happened before all of the commotion started around here.

A Perilous Marriage (Marriage by Necessity Series: Book 1) has been moved to May 27

At the moment, I’m having a situation where I have some house repairs that need to be done, and this has made it hard for me to sit down and focus. Instead of pushing myself to get this polished up and out into the world by May 7th, I decided to move it to May 27.

Interview for a Wife (Nebraska Prairie Series: Book 3)

I’m moving this to July. It will finish the Nebraska Prairie Series.

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I’m putting The Cursed Earl (Marriage by Necessity Series: Book 2) for September

On Smashwords, I put October, just in case this ends up getting delayed. Originally, I had slotted Heiress of Misfortune for Book 2, but as I was wrapping up A Perilous Marriage, the more logical book to do next was this one. I shifted Heiress of Misfortune to a January/February 2022 release.

Suitable for Marriage (Husbands for the Larson Sisters Series: Book 3) is expected out in November

I have no idea for the Daisy Larson (the youngest of Tom and Jessica’s daughters), so my plan is to work on Jeremiah’s romance (Wyoming Series: Book 4) after I finish up Suitable for Marriage. I’d like to get Jeremiah’s story out in March 2022.

Making a Realistic Publishing Schedule has been cancelled for the year

I have put this book on hold for the whole year. I was going to get this out in the summer, but with everything that’s going on, there’s just no way it’s happening.

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The Benefit of Writing About The Larsons Using The Multiple Series’ Method

Today’s topic is mainly about why I love writing multiple series in the same world instead of writing one really long series. I notice the way I present my reasoning does jump around a bit. I tried not to make it so jumpy, but apparently, my brain doesn’t follow a linear path all that well. 😀

Perfectly Matched opens with Patricia and Erin, Tom and Jessica’s daughters who are now grown up, talking about how their parents met at a barn dance. They mention how their father was clumsy and nearly ruined their mother’s hair. I wrote about this years ago in A Bride for Tom. I have made other references to this incident in Shotgun Groom, too, but this time it’s coming from the angle of other characters. And to be honest, it’s really fun to get a different character’s perspective on the same event. While Joel was laughing about the event because he thought Tom was a doofus, Patricia and Erin think it’s romantic because their father was so nervous around their mother.

In the Nebraska Series, Tom’s mostly viewed as a bit of a goofy character who is naive in some ways. But when you branch out to the Husbands for the Larson Sisters Series (which is the one that involves Patricia and Erin), Tom isn’t that type of character at all. Instead, Tom is a well-meaning protective father who would do anything for his daughters. According to his daughters, he is larger than life, and I really don’t think any father is more loved than Tom in any of the books I’ve ever written. If Joel ever started cracking jokes at Tom’s expense when those girls are around, they would be the first in line to defend him. So Joel better watch himself when he’s around these four girls. 😉

While writing Perfectly Matched, I thought back to Eye of the Beholder when Nelly and Patricia were hanging on to Tom’s legs. I didn’t plan for that incident to be a foreshadowing of how the future was going to play out with this family, but it turned out to be that way. Maybe the subconscious mind knew they would grow up to have a close relationship with their father. At the time I wrote Eye of the Beholder, I just felt it in my gut that Tom should have all girls. But, I did feel a little sorry for him since he really wanted to toss around a ball with a boy, so I’m going to give him all grandsons.

Back to the leveraging of past books to enhance a current one…

In Perfectly Matched, Patricia tells Jim about the time her father was on the wagon trail. I just glossed over it in this book, but it was really fun to bring up that incident from the Larsons’ past. I wrote about this time in Wagon Trail Bride. Eye of the Beholder was the first Larson book I wrote, and in there, Dave told Mary about his family leaving New York because his father wanted to get land out in Nebraska. It was a treat to give this perspective from a member of the Larson family who was born after the event.

When I look at the Larson books, I don’t see them as individual books. I actually see them as one large book. To me, the individual books are really chapters. They’re all connected. In fact, I see the Regency books the same way. Even though we’re not dealing with one specific family in the Regencies, I keep everything in the same world. I even used Nelly’s Mail Order Husband to connect the Regencies to the Larsons by making the hero of that book a descendant of Lord Edon. Early on, I had been itching to somehow link the Larsons with the Lord Edon or Mr. Christopher Robinson (because they’re my favorite Regency characters), and I finally got my chance with Nelly’s book.

Being able to write multiple series within the same world gives me greater freedom to flesh out the characters. I don’t have to stick with one particular generation or focus only in on one branch of the family line. I can go down whatever branch I want. For example, I get to see Tom and Jessica when they’re young and fall in love. I also get to see them as parents later on in their lives.

I also like doing multiple series in the same world because I can move around to whatever interests me at the moment. I don’t like having to go write in chronological order. I know some authors do this, and I understand some readers prefer this method since it’s easy to keep track of everyone. That method has just never worked for me. I have to go with the story (or series) that I’m itching to write at the moment. That’s why I started out writing about Dave and Mary’s children and stopped. After writing Harriett’s story, I lost interest in Dave and Mary’s kids. I still have Adam, Jacob, and Eli to write about. I don’t know when I’ll get to them, but they are on the “To Write” list.

Right after finishing Wagon Trail Bride, I wanted to write about Richard and Amanda’s children so that I could “see” Richard and Amanda years after they had gotten established in Omaha. I figured with all the pain Amanda had been through, it would be nice to see how her future with Richard ended up. For me, writing romances for Tony, Mark, and Annabelle was a way for me to see Richard and Amanda’s extended happy ending. So really, Wagon Trail Bride isn’t complete (in my mind) without The Rejected Groom, The Perfect Wife, and The Imperfect Husband. Once I got those all ironed out, I was ready to move to another Larson. In this case, I had the urge to write about Tom and Jessica’s daughters, so that is what I’m currently working on.

I’m not sure what will be up next. I have no idea what I want to do for Daisy, so I might take a break from the Larsons. I do want to write Jeremiah’s romance in the Wyoming Series. That will probably be the book that I’ll focus on. I’d like to get to Daisy’s romance afterwards, but we’ll see where inspiration takes me.

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Decided to Write Jeremiah’s Romance (Wyoming Series Will Get a 4th Book)

Here’s the Wyoming Series at a glance to help refresh everyone’s memory because looking at a cover helps remember what book an author is talking about:

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After The Rancher’s Bride came out, I guess Jeremiah appealed to quite a few people because I have been asked if I’ll write his book. The truth is, I did have someone in mind for him, but the age difference between him and the heroine was greater than what I usually do. I had discussed this age difference early on with a friend, and this person advised me to replace this heroine with someone else. The thing was, I didn’t want to pair him up with someone else. So in the end, I decided the best thing to do was not write the book. That way I could avoid upsetting a lot of people. But then I had a conversation with someone else, and this person pointed out a book where there was a big difference in ages between the hero and heroine. Then I thought in real life, how many men marry women a lot younger than them?

Alright, so here’s the deal. I always had it in my mind that Jeremiah was going to end up with Katie. The problem was that Katie had to be a child in The Rancher’s Bride because that’s how the story worked best for Abby and Thayne’s story. They needed a matchmaking meddler for the story to work. Originally, she was seven (I think), but I bumped her age to ten to make her more mature in the story. I couldn’t, however, make her too much older because she still needed to have some inexperience in order for her matchmaking schemes to come off as innocent rather than manipulative.

Jeremiah’s age was set because of Wade. Wade and Jeremiah grew up as practically brothers, but Jeremiah had to be older than him because he was someone Wade could look to for advice. Wade wasn’t the personality type to take advice from his younger siblings, even if they did make some good points. Someone of Wade’s personality needed someone like Jeremiah to keep him from making rash decisions that would have gotten him killed. So Jeremiah had to be older than Wade. Jeremiah was 34 in The Rancher’s Bride. Katie was 10. This makes him 24 years older than Katie.

Katie is the only person I’m interested in pairing him up with, and I’ll list two reasons.

1. Katie and Jeremiah are prominent characters in the Wyoming Series. I prefer to stick with core characters when I do a series. Introducing a brand new character in Book 4 doesn’t have the same appeal to me as using an existing character who has a history in the series. That is why I paired Wade up with Millie. We saw Millie in the opening scene of The Outlaw’s Bride. For me, it was fun to find out what happened to her and to follow her story from there. I introduced Katie in The Rancher’s Bride. I don’t have to go and create a brand new character when Katie is already there.

2. Jeremiah’s closed off, romantically speaking. He needs someone who has the ability to get through his wall. In order for that to happen, he needs someone who has a sunny outlook on life, is persistent, and is willing to do whatever it takes to wiggle her way into getting what she wants. That fits Katie perfectly. Katie is the only one who can do this. I didn’t intentionally set it up that when I wrote The Rancher’s Bride, but I believe the subconscious part of the brain plays a bigger role in connecting things up in storytelling better than the conscious mind does. This is why I’ve long ago learned to “trust the process”. Somehow, things end up falling into place, and the right characters end up coming together. I don’t consciously pick who ends up with who once I set up Book 1. If I were to try to fix Jeremiah up with anyone else, the story wouldn’t work because he’s not meant to be with anyone else.

I don’t know how many people are put off by the age difference between Jeremiah or Katie, but if you are, this is a book you’ll want to avoid.

Katie is going to be an adult when I write about her and Jeremiah. She’s going to volunteer at the orphanage and young men are going to come by to court her. Jeremiah’s going to be shocked by how old she’s gotten since she’s been out at the ranch with Abby and Thayne most of the time, and Jeremiah will fight his attraction for her because of his age and the fact that he had sworn he’d never marry again. Katie’s going to see him in a new light at the beginning of the story, too, but unlike Jeremiah, she’s not going to fight her feelings for him. So that’s pretty much the setup for the story, and I’m excited about writing it. I even got a cover made for it.

Right now I’m working on A Perilous Marriage, An Earl In Time, Interview for a Wife, and Suitable for Marriage. A Perilous Marriage is almost done. I’m getting close to the end. But when I finish that one, I’m going directly to Heiress of Misfortune because it comes right after A Perilous Marriage, and I want to keep the events from A Perilous Marriage fresh in my mind. So I’m going to start Jeremiah’s romance once I am done with An Earl In Time or Interview for a Wife. It depends on which one gets done first. Regardless, I probably won’t have Jeremiah’s book ready until about March 2022.

I know that seems like a long time from now, and I am anxious to start this book now that I have the stage set for it, but I’m going to be good and finish the other books first.

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