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A hodgepodge of updates and a few explanations about Her Reluctant Groom

*I have no idea why that went out/posted before I was done. At the bottom of this one, I give a fairly detailed explanation in my reasonings for Marcus and Emma’s epilogue and how they become parents. Sorry for spamming!*

1. Anxious for some hints about what’s coming up or just want to win a book?

Visit Sandra Sookoo’s blog where she asks me all sorts of fun questions about Her Imperfect Groom and what to expect in the future…

2. So what is coming up after the Groom Series concludes next month?

Another series, of course! But it won’t be Regency. I did feel the need to make this announcement here because I’m assuming the majority of you all actually like me or my books to some degree or you wouldn’t have agreed to torture yourself with my nonsense arriving in your inbox every so often. So convincing myself of that, I didn’t want anyone here to reach the end of Her Imperfect Groom and go, “Huh?!”.

After a lot of time and consideration–and several horrible attempts at starting a new Regency series–I’ve decided to switch genres for a while. This is not permanent as I do have plans for another Regency, but for now, those stories will just have to stay in my head.

The new series I’m currently working on is a series that takes place in Indian Territory during the 1840s at a military fort that was constructed to help keep peace between the Indian tribes following Indian removal. Fortunately for any history lover fan I have, I know enough about Oklahoma history to talk someone into a coma. Fortunately for anyone looking for a story based in a historical setting without getting a lecture, you’re in luck. I do know far more than any person should about OK history, but I swear I will not beat anyone over the head with it!

Titles? Plots? Covers?

Titles:

The Officer and the BostonerA well-to-do lady traveling by stagecoach from her home in Boston to meet her fiance in Santa Fe finds herself stranded in a military fort when  her stagecoach leaves without her. Given no choice but to temporarily marry an officer until her fiance can come rescue her or take her chances with the Indians, she marries a the glib Captain Wes Tucker, who, unbeknownst to her, grew up in a wealthy Charleston family and despises everything this woman represents. But when it’s time for her fiance to reclaim her and annul the marriage, will she still want to go with him, and more importantly, will Wes let her?

The Officer and the Southerner–Second Lt. Jack  Walker doesn’t always think ahead and when he decides to defy logic and send off for a mail-order bride, he might have left out only a few details about his life. When she arrives and realizes she’s been fooled (again), this woman who’s never really belonged, sees no other choice but to marry him anyway–however, she makes it perfectly clear: she’ll be his lawfully wed, but she will not share his bed. Now Jack has to find a way to show his always skeptical bride that he is indeed trustworthy and that she does belong somewhere in the world, right here, with him.

The Officer and the Traveler–Captain Grayson Montgomery’s mouth has landed him in trouble again. And this time it’s not something a cleverly worded sentence and a handsome smile can fix.  (Unfortunately, that’s all I know. My original idea was to have him be forced to marry a feisty woman because of this and let her give him a devil of a time getting her to fall in love with him–and I still might have to go that route, due to the time period and the constraints of what it was like in regards to single women in the specific place I’m writing about–but since that’s so similar to the plot of The Officer and the Southerner, I’d like to see if I can find a way to do something different.)

Why are all these books with marriages that take place so early? Because the time and place demand it. A single woman could not live in a military fort. First, there wasn’t a place for her to sleep since all there was sleeping-wise was a barracks, and second, if she *were* allowed to bend the rules of reality for the sake of fiction and could rent a room, a single woman surrounded by hundreds of men who hadn’t set eyes on a woman in a long time is only asking for disaster. This is why I’m trying to think of a different way to work the third book so it’s not exactly the same as the second just with different characters. My original thought was to make her the daughter of a traveling missionary, where she’d be staying with her parents, so the marriage doesn’t have to come so fast. We shall see!

Covers for this series??? In short, I don’t have them, yet. I tried to do them myself and it wasn’t pretty. I’ve contacted someone to make them for me and I’ll have them up as soon as she’s done.

The Regency series I have ideas for–the only thing I have on this is the name of the series/books and three very, very loose plot ideas:

Trapped Series–

Snagging the Viscount

Snaring the Earl

Capturing the Duke

[As yet another disclaimer, the following part of this post will contain spoilers for anyone who has not read Her Reluctant Groom and/or Her Secondhand Groom. They aren’t what I’d consider “deal killer” spoilers, but still they are spoilers.]

3. The impromptu poll for Her Reluctant Groom

Recently, it was brought to my attention that the end of Her Reluctant Groom might not have been very clear in what the future held for Marcus and Emma. That was the reason I posted the question yesterday.

In case you missed it, there was a “you blink and you miss it” line at the very end of the epilogue that gives a very good clue as to what happens in their future (and consequently in a future book):

Marcus chuckled. “No, we did not. We fell in love with two entirely different people. He may have married the woman behind the articles. But I got to grow old with and experience all of life’s joys—including the one I never thought possible—with the real E. S.”

“Yes, you did!”

As most of you know, I don’t like to do the regular, “Oh, she’s  having a baby” epilogue. I’ve only done that once, and it was because in that situation, I thought it was the way to go. For that particular heroine, delivering a healthy baby was a big deal, considering her mother’s poor luck with having children.

Why didn’t I give Marcus and Emma a biological child?

First, I didn’t want to fall into the same old cliche I’ve seen dozens of times with books containing the infertile supblot. It ends with everyone under the assumption one of them is unable to reproduce, then in the epilogue, it’s five years later and there’s a miracle baby. So part of me wanted to stray away from the norm and do something different.

Second, Olivia’s baby needed someone to love him or her. Olivia is not the type of character who gets hormonal from having a baby and suddenly develops a mother’s instinct. That baby needed someone and who’d love him or her, and who better than Marcus and Emma? So why not show that in the epilogue of their book? Because it tied in better with the storyline of the next book.

Third, for as much as I stray from reality with the circumstances I sometimes put my characters in, one thing I don’t stray from so much is giving characters real flaws and having them have real struggles. Infertility is a real thing and there are many people out there who struggle with it.

Fourth, to me–and this is a subjective thing since everyone sees things differently–that book wasn’t about them having a baby, it was about two people who’d struggled with love and acceptance, finding it and growing to accept the other’s love and acceptance (this was a little more pronounced on one side as Marcus struggled with it far more than Emma did).

And finally, one reason I didn’t hesitate for a minute to allow them to adopt was that these two are some of the most loving and understanding (and stubborn, of course) characters I’ve written. To them, a baby would have been a son or a daughter, not an heir or a young lady who was expected to make a good match for her family. So it fit.

(In case you haven’t read Her Secondhand Groom, and are wondering what in the world I’m talking about with them adopting Olivia’s child, it’s during that book where Marcus and Emma finally become parents.)

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