- Was it planned all along to use Laura Swift (the woman who stole Madison’s love interest)?
No. I was thinking of the irony that Regina and Carolina both ended in A, then as I started thinking about names for Elijah and Henry’s heroines, I saw the name Laura somewhere. At first, I dismissed it as just a name, besides I’d used it before… Then it clicked. In my usual, “work this out in my head while pacing the floor” mode, I walked around the kitchen, working out in my mind if I could or couldn’t use her. I came up with a “theory” and a workable storyline then ran it by a few close friends. So no, this was not a story of redemption that I’d been planning all along like someone else we know…
- Did you have any reservations about using her?
Absolutely. Madison is one of my most loved heroines (probably because of her husband, but still). The idea of another character wanting to hurt her made me a little cautious about using Laura as a heroine. I felt that it might make her hated from the start on principle because of people’s loyalty to Madison. I’ve had two so far tell me that as soon as they realized who she was, they almost gave up reading the book. They later went on to explain that they were glad they didn’t as they ended up liking her just as much (or more) than Madison; but still the initial knee-jerk reaction was there. This was also the reason I was reluctant to put her name into the book description and still haven’t.
- Did everything go as planned once you had the plot with how Laura and Henry would fall in love and deal with Madison?
Yes and no. I knew she’d show up and demand they marry based on a contract she’d had with Elijah. I also knew she’d had an awful marriage to Robbie (this was a no brainer based on how Madison had also been abused at his hands, what makes this lady any different?). I also knew it would be by Henry drawing her out of her shell that the two fall in love. However, I thought everything in the end would come down differently. I didn’t expect Laura to give up her bitter feelings so soon (I even made a Facebook post about how the book just took a turn I didn’t expect). I guess I underestimated Henry’s love and charm because I thought she’d hold onto those bitter feelings to the end and he’d either inadvertently create a situation for Laura to shame Madison OR he’d realize what she was about just before the scene where they meet again. Either way, when I originally thought out the story in my head, I thought it would be THEN, during the confrontation, that Laura realized everything she had with Henry, released her bitter feelings and made amends with Madison. I wasn’t sure exactly how the scene would play out because I knew there was SOME tension between the two that wasn’t going to go away with just one short conversation, but it was a start.
- Why wasn’t Madison more “spunky”?
Madison had a very small role in this book…just a scene really. I know in the past she’s really flip and kind of a smart mouth at times, but that didn’t seem to fit here. When Laura first enters the room, she (Madison) has a lot of emotions going on. She’s shocked to see her, then of course, she’s a little on-edge/wary (hence why she refused to sit down at first). Remember, in Madison’s mind Laura managed to snag Robbie’s heart with no real effort–something she could not do–but also the last time Madison saw this woman words had been spoken and Madison ended up tripping down the stairs and miscarrying. So there are a lot of hard, bruised, tender, and frayed feelings between the two and it’s hard to joke and be clever when you’re hurting or scared. That’s why Madison wasn’t her “normal self” as some might say.
- What was Henry’s talent?
He can play the piano. Elijah blew glass in his book and said he learned to do so because his father had encouraged them each to have a talent. Henry’s was his skill on the piano. It wasn’t played up (no pun intended) as much as Elijah’s hidden talent, but when he encourages Laura to join him at the piano and plays while pretending she’s doing it, that was his talent.
- I keep seeing Alex and Caroline, but they never got a story. Why?
They do have a story. Their story was written a while back in Her Sudden Groom. The first two books in the Brides Series were written as prequels. Alex’s story (and his sister, Edwina) had their story before this series started. It was due to my own interests and the interest of the readers that I went back to write the prequels.
- What happened to Henry’s father?
His fate and all the drama surrounding it can also be found in Her Sudden Groom with just a hint more information about it through a letter he wrote to his daughter in Her Imperfect Groom, both of which books were written before this last series.
- I found a certain aspect of the first bedroom scene off-putting. Why was it there?
Sorry. It actually seemed the best option available to me. She could have attempted another way to “move things along”, if you will, but many times that happens only to have the guy latch onto his fleeting wits and stop her. So for Laura’s purpose, it was the more “surefire” way–no matter how uncomfortable it was for her.
- Why did you allow Henry and Laura to have a child but not Marcus and Emma?
That’s just it. I already had a couple who didn’t have biological children, I didn’t think all of those who struggled needed to be that way. I wrote Marcus and Emma’s fate to be a nod for those who were unable; I wrote Henry and Laura’s as more of a nod to those who it takes a while, even if you’ve given up fate. Some people are capable, it just takes a while. And believe me, it can happen this way–where it takes several years before conception. It just does.
That’s all I’ve received. I don’t think I’ve done a FAQ on a specific book for a while, so if you have any questions about this book or one of the others, let me know and if I haven’t answered it already, I’ll answer it in a future post.