Banks Brothers' Brides Series, Fun Fact Friday, His Yankee Bride

Fun Fact Friday ~ His Yankee Bride

  • I personally think this story has the most similarities to my relationship with Bob than any of my others. Maybe not our personalities, but we eloped one afternoon and later found out that the guy who married us may or may not have been licensed to do so. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the money to go get remarried and just prayed for the best. We’ve been living together and acting as Mr. and Mrs. so long enough now that there’s no longer a possibility of us just living in sin as we’d be considered common-law married. Isn’t that great?
  • When I first started writing this book, we took a family vacation to Charleston (the locale of the book) and spent several days touring the city and some of the plantation homes on the outskirts.
  • I’d originally planned to give Gabriel a side romance in this book, but as we all know, I am horrible at doing that and couldn’t. He’ll one day have his own book, but I’m not sure when.
  • Marjorie was nearly an afterthought–at least at first. I’d gotten as far as the part where John gets a sunburn and felt like I’d written myself into a hole with the only person who Carolina could talk to being Bethel. So on a whim, I was like, “Oh, I know where she gets the idea for a quick treatment for his burn: the neighbor girl Marjorie tells her” and wrote her in. Then when I went back for a second draft, I wrote about their first visit at Marjorie’s plantation. It wasn’t until after I’d asked a few others for ideas on the book, that Marjorie made her way into the opening scene.
  • I’ve had characters who I didn’t like: mainly Robbie because even Lady O for her awfulness was still somewhat amusing, but I all out DETESTED Mrs. Ellis. In fact, I actually wanted to reach in the story and slap her silly. Repeatedly.
  • I didn’t really have a plan for this story until I started it. I just knew John was visiting in America when they met while she was wearing that fancy red dress that she gave Brooke in Intentions of the Earl. Oh and that John didn’t have quite the same attraction to Carolina at the start–only she refused to believe it.
  • It really wasn’t in my original master plan to bring Edward and Regina to America, but the taxidermy thing I mentioned last week prompted me to. Plus, I think it gave closure for John and Edward as they were both about to move on with their lives in their perspective countries and form their own families.
  • My husband absolutely loved the part where Carolina compares a part of John to a battering ram and even tried to convince me to have him (John) later tell her, “Lower the drawbridge and open the castle doors because here comes the battering ram.” As you can see, I refused. In fact, I was horrified that he thought I’d actually take him up on such a suggestion.
  • At last check, this was my husband’s favorite book of mine as it was the first one he stayed up (outside on the back porch with mosquitos buzzing around his head due to the light on the iPad, no less) until 2 a.m. to finish it.
Banks Brothers' Brides Series, Fun Fact Friday, His Contract Bride

Fun Fact Friday ~ His Contract Bride

  • I’d never actually intended to write this book until I got somewhere in the middle of Her Sudden Groom and realized that I REALLY loved Edward (and Regina) and wanted to see him as a hero.
  • I was supposed to be writing the first Fort Gibson Officer’s Series book when I just couldn’t take it any longer and had to stop writing Wes and Allison’s story and write this one.
  • At about the halfway through this book I’d boxed myself into a hole. A deep one surrounded by thorn bushes. To fix it, I divided up all the scenes I had so far so each one was in a different “document”, and juggled them around and repasted them back into the official document to make them work so that I could go forward. I then read everything I had to make sure I didn’t expose something too soon. I loved how much better things worked out like this, but just to make sure I was on the right track, I asked my friend Jane Charles if I could send her what I had (around 38,000 words)  and get some feedback. In the few days she had it while reading it over and thinking of feedback, I wrote the entire rest of the book.
  • This was the first book I had made into audio. It was also my first book to win an award.
  • I’ll admit it, I giggled while imagining Bea, the old Lady Sinclair (Marcus and Olivia’s mother) and her hairstyle that had to be so exact that her maid would measure the circumference of each of her curls and the distance between them.
  • I never actually intended to write Bea to be a super sourpuss, priss-pot, she kind of wrote herself and since she was Lady O’s mother, I just shrugged and went with it. As they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree (and neither does the nut job…).
  • I got the idea for the canoe scene after taking a family canoe trip where my, then five year-old, son jumped up suddenly and demanded he needed to pee. NOW! Though just a young lad, his insistence, complete with squirming sure rocked that boat.
  • I wrote the taxidermy animals as a passive-aggressive response to a complaint I received from a self-proclaimed historian about mounted game in Intentions of the Earl. I have to say that while it started out for that reason, I ended up being so glad for the entire chain of events that lead to this decision happened because I think it played very well for showing Edward’s love for Regina not only in this book, but in His Yankee Bride as well.
  • I secretly long for a nightrail like what Regina wore…
  • While I can pick out certain aspects of my relationship with Bob in every single one of my books, it was after this one a friend I made through my books who I know almost exclusively through Facebook emailed me and said she thought this book most closely resembled mine and Bob’s relationship.
  • New cover!
    contract wrap

 

SPOILER:

  • If you haven’t read this one and need a reason to do so besides seeing what scandalous thing Edward does next and getting to see the schemer John Banks as a young lad stirring up trouble, it is in this book we learn just who is responsible for the horrid decorations at the Watson Townhouse and just how they came to be.

 

Behind the Scenes, Fun Fact Friday, Groom Series, Her Imperfect Groom

Fun Fact Friday ~ Her Imperfect Groom

  • Sir Wallace has one of my husband’s many hobbies: woodcarving/whittling. Because of this, I asked him vague questions as I was writing the book to have an idea of what to write Wallace doing while he was carving wood and talking to Drake. When Bob read over the book, he was appalled at my “attempt” and insisted I re-write the scene, this time with direct help.
  • Bob and I got out two dowel rods and had a mock duel in the living room for several hours to choreograph the duel between Alex and Wallace and how the end of the duel would happen (realistically). We had this huge thing worked out, but when the book was critiqued, everyone said the scene was too long so I had to practically cut it in half.
  • I wrote about 15,000 words of this book on a trip to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving. Some was written in the car, some at the hotel, and because we decided to camp that Friday and Saturday night…some was written while laying on my stomach in a mummy sleeping bag with a massive tree root jabbing into my stomach. Good times.
  • I wrote the tin soldiers scene in the car and had some fun asking my boys to help with the sound effects!
  • I struggled to learn to read. I’m not dyslexic but my eyes don’t line up straight so reading across a line on a page was really difficult and I was nearly 15 before I could read without having to sound out words longer than about five letters and I still read with a bookmark or piece of paper under the line of text to help me keep my place. Oh and I detest reading aloud.
  • The scene I posted for Wicked Wednesday this week where Sir Wallace isn’t wearing anything was the one I was trying to work on when I had my first horrid experience at the food court with the guy who sat down next to me and started being just plain gross.
  • I loved Sir Wallace instantly in Her Reluctant Groom and wanted so badly to do a story about him but I was afraid that people wouldn’t want to read about a hero who isn’t the norm. After getting positive feedback via beta readers about him in Reluctant, I decided instantly he was getting his own book! And who better to pair him up with than Edwina who was used to Alex’s weirdness.
  • I did NOT plan to duel, it just kind of happened when Alex walked in and saw Edwina and Sir Wallace kissing and issued the challenge. Before that, I thought Wallace’s injury would be that his hand slipped while he was carving and he put a knife in his own leg.
  • Another surprise I got was the reappearance of Lady Bird’s Ladybird Memoir. I didn’t plan that one, either, but Emma just whipped it out of her reticule and I couldn’t very well tell her to put it back, could I?
  • At the end of this book, we get a very short glimpse at the hero into my newest release: Lord Belgrave the hero from Secrets of a Viscount at the ball the night when both sets of characters find their happily-ever-after.
  • New wrap around cover:
    Imperfect wrap sample
Fun Fact Friday, Groom Series, Her Secondhand Groom

Fun Fact Friday ~ Her Secondhand Groom

  • I originally thought that Patrick would marry Juliet’s sister. Unfortunately that didn’t work out because there was no chemistry.
  • I realized on a camping trip that this book wasn’t going to work as it was (no way to salvage Patrick and Henrietta) and allowed my husband to use the printed partial manuscript as fire kindling.
  • This was the first book that I posted my husband’s ever-helpful edits. One of which I really couldn’t post publicly…
  • I changed the three young girls’ names the night before publishing Reluctant because one of the girls was Ella and Emma was the heroine of that book. I didn’t want confusion. Because I already had this book written at that point, I changed the names in both books using the search and replace tool and shamefully I must admit that I couldn’t even tell you what the three daughters’ names are.
  • I plotted none of this book. It was completely character-driven.
  • I wrote Juliet wearing that green dress from the cover the night Patrick took her to Alex and Caroline’s because that’s when he finally “saw” her as a woman and as his wife.
  • I think Lord Presumptuous is one of my favorite nicknames I’ve given a character.
  • I wrote about a third of this book in the car while on my way home from a vacation in the Smoky Mountains.
  • I gave Juliet a few of my less-than-attractive features–small chested (until I had children) and glasses so thick she they could light a fire just by turning your  head at the right angle.
  • I once did a series of polls over favorite heroes, heroines and who you (the reader) would want to be courted by. Nobody’s favorite was Patrick nor did anyone want to be courted by him, however, this is rather embarrassing to admit, I’m rather fond of him and I think though he does things wrong a lot, he’s probably one of my heroes I’d respond most to if he were trying to court me.
  • This book was a finalist in the 2012 Silken Sands Contest
  • When I went to the awards dinner to see if this book won the contest, I bought a green dress to wear…unfortunately, I was a little too optimistic in my endeavor to lose weight and got stuck in said dress…
  • This cover is my absolute favorite of the series and even my favorite of all the books I currently have out.
  • New  Wraparound:
  • Secondhand wrap sample

 

PS…

  • The comment from my husband that I couldn’t post? My husband lovingly has nicknamed this book the “Where did the semen go?” book.
Fun Fact Friday, Groom Series, Her Reluctant Groom

Fun Fact Friday ~ Her Reluctant Groom

  • I wrote half of this book in January 2011, then stopped to publish and promote my first series, then came back and wrote the other half in June, 2011.
  • I knew before I even introduced Emma in Sudden that she and Marcus would end up together.
  • I didn’t know until Marcus told Emma exactly what happened to Olivia. I knew after what she did to Caroline’s wedding dress that she needed to vanish, but I didn’t realize she’d gotten herself knocked up until Marcus informed Emma of her fate.
  • I’m TERRIBLE at music, so writing the music lessons and the impromptu musicale was a lot of fun for me. All I had to do was recollect my own musical abilities and I had the sounds crisp and clear in my mind.
  • I’ve been asked to write a story about Louise, but frankly, I think she deserves to be miserably married to the womanizer she married.
  • I completely made up Lady Bird’s Ladybird Memoir. That said, I get Google searches or emails inquiring about the book and where they can find a copy.
  • A little more than two years ago, I did a tell-all session over this book where I invited questions and answered them. A reader who had read all of my books up to then, but had recently contacted me submitted the question of: What was on the note that Marcus pinned to Emma’s backside during the musicale? To which, I brazenly replied on my blog: “I believe it read something like this, That’s not just the trumpet you’re hearing, we had broccoli at lunch.”
  • I did NOT plan for he initial E.S. to be Emma Sinclair (the name attached to the articles that Alex loved so much from his popular science circular–this first appeared in my first book and just continued). It was just purely by coincidence that those initials lined up with the love of Marcus’ life and when I was writing the epilogue for Reluctant, it occurred to me that they lined up and I decided to capitalize on it as if I’d known it all along.
  • This is the only book (so far) that I has led to me receiving hate mail. I have received a few emails since publication where the author of the email was furious that I didn’t give Marcus and Emma a miracle baby. The reason I didn’t was because, to be frank, life isn’t fair. There are couples who aren’t able to have children, no matter how much they want them or what they try. I wrote this book for those ladies. I hate reading books where the hero (or heroine) has had some sort of accident or condition that makes them sterile then they have a miracle baby in the epilogue.
  • This book has inspired some of my most emotional (in a good way) emails. For every email I get where people are unhappy that there wasn’t a miracle baby, I’ve received double that number from women who were unable to have children who were so glad that I didn’t give them a miracle baby because it made it more real and easy to relate.
  • This was my biggest jump in an epilogue. Most were the next day or a few months later. This one jumps 50 years just to prove that the two of them could be satisfied together as a family.
  • This series was only supposed to have three books, but as soon as I wrote Wallace on the page, I was in love. I really wanted him to get a happily-ever-after, BUT I didn’t think the world would respond the same way. So when a few beta readers asked what his story was, I got the idea and that very night, I paced the floor until 3am divining his story.
  • The original cover for this book was actually the one that ended up on Secondhand. The cover artist asked for some basic information about the ladies in the series. I mentioned that Emma had green eyes and I think she gave her the green dress to match the green eyes. I, however, knew instantly that wasn’t how it was meant to be and had her switch them.
  • Here is what the new wrap around for this book will look like:
    Reluctant wrap sample
Bob, Edits from Bob, Fun Fact Friday, Officer Series, The Officer and the Traveler

Friday Fun~Bob’s Edits for The Officer and the Traveler

Unfortunately, Bob read this book in the middle of the semester, so he left fewer comments than usual. One somewhat hilarious thing he did do, however, was stayed up until 1:30 reading it which might have been because I may or may not have told him that there were seven bedroom scenes…

  • No. Just no.
  • Oooh, plump limps, how interesting (oops, that was supposed to be plump lips!)
  • Reword this sentence, it sounds funny and not in a “ha ha” sort of way
  • Oh me, oh my!
  • And eat some Frosted Flakes, cause they’re Grrrreat! (This was in reference to Gray skipping dinner and going straight to the watchtower.)
  • Delete
  • Umm, when I tried to give you a different word to use here, I didn’t realize the context you were wanting to use it, but this isn’t it
  • HUH?
  • Oh, how diplomatic… Not.
  • Would genuine ladies be so forward, Mrs. Gordon?
  • Now that’s a strange saying–but we’d expect nothing less from you
  • A womanizer with morals?!
  • Turbo! (Just to be clear this was not a remark said in conduction with a love scene, but rather a reference to a snail in a race.)
  • I think if she’s there, she’s present
  • Woolgathering?
  • Gasp!
  • Different word needed, if someone reads this too fast… Yikes!
  • Switch this and that
  • Now that is scandalous!

And my favorite comment he made about the book: Did you model General Davis after your father?

Don’t forget, this book is now available so if you haven’t already read it, you can read it now along with Bob’s commentary. Or if you’ve already read it, you can make a game of figuring out where everything goes! Have a wonderful weekend!

Traveler FGOS
Captain Grayson Montgomery has just let his mouth get him into trouble again—quite literally. Being promptly informed that he must either marry the young lady he was caught with in a scandalous embrace or face a possible seven years of hard labor, Gray makes the obvious choice to marry her. It’ll just be a marriage of circumstance with no chance of either getting hurt.

Michaela Davis is in a state of shock. First, she was kissed nearly senseless by a sweet talking stranger, only to have the bliss end with the uncomfortable realization that they’d been seen! And by her father, no less. If that’s not bad enough, who she thought was just a charming stranger is none other than the heartless cad who broke her young heart as a girl!

Circumstances might dictate that they marry, but they’re both about to learn that circumstances don’t always bring about a happily-ever-after—only they can control that.

   

Fun Fact Friday, Scandalous Sisters Series, To Win His Wayward Wife

Fun Fact Friday ~ To Win His Wayward Wife

[As mentioned on Wednesday, if you haven’t yet read this book–you need to stop reading this post and go read the book! Spoilers throughout.]

  • I wrote this book in 10 days, yes, only 10 days!
  • I would have named one of my boys Benjamin, but alas, my husband didn’t like it.
  • I knew very early on (like chapter two) of the first book that these two would get together.
  • I did not know, however, their backstory. I just thought they’d be found in a scandalous situation together and be forced to marry. It wasn’t until the beginning of chapter two when we’re in Benjamin’s POV at the wedding that it was revealed even to me that they’d known each other before. As the words and backstory came together, I just sat back and let it happen.
  • Of all of my books this one seems to always be considered a favorite–apparently because of the hero. And I don’t mind at all.
  • This book was a true “pantser” story. I only knew that the two would get married. Everything else was up to them. I had no idea that Benjamin was so smitten with her already or that they’d go swimming or that he’d kidnap her. Nothing. This one was definitely character driven.
  • I cannot paint at all, therefore, I wanted a heroine who could and Madison amazed me when she magically had the skill.
  • The Indian Legend about the second toe being longer than the first being directly correlated to one’s intelligence, is actually something I was told WAS an Indian Legend. I have no idea if it’s a true legend or not, but I thought it’d be fun to include.
  • I didn’t plan from the start of the series to have Robbie Swift show up, but when it happened in the epilogue of Liberty for Paul (not by my design), I thought that was the perfect way to have Benjamin and Madison end up in  a scandal!
  • I kind of had an idea of Madison’s past in America and what all it had entailed, but even at the end that was a shocking twist for me.
  • One of my favorite emails regarding this book came from an author friend of mine who was reading it and just made it to start of chapter two and stopped reading to write me a very simple message: “No FREAKING way, Gateway?!” And that’s when I knew I did my job right.
  • There are a number of clues in the previous books that lead up to Benjamin being the hero of this book. Here are a few:
    ~He never really gave Andrew a reason for hiring him to ruin Brooke, nor could Brooke and Andrew come to a sensible conclusion as to why he’d have done that.
    ~ In Intentions, they were at a house part dinner, talking about the girls’ unusual names (mainly Brooke and Liberty since they were the ones present) and it was Benjamin who inquired about Madison’s name.
    ~In book two, he already has a ring, that he not only trusts Liberty to hold onto for him, but also says the woman he plans to give it to won’t mind.
    ~ He keeps the ring in his over-stuffed pockets and in the epilogue, he’s standing in the corner with his hands in his over-stuffed pockets. Oh, and he’d just so happened to mention to Liberty that he was headed to London to find a wife.
  • Every time someone contacts me and refers to Benjamin as Ben, a naughty thought pops into my head. If you’ll notice in the book, Madison only calls him Ben when one of them are in  distress (his nightmare or the end when she’s recounting her story to him), but most of the time she calls him that is when they’re…er…in the throes of passion. Every other time, she calls him Benjamin. So when someone comments that they love Ben, I always blush a little.
  • Be warned this might be a little TMI. When I was having trouble finding a good cover for this book, my husband and I jokingly came to the conclusion we’d put feet on the cover. Feet in a creek, to be specific. To be more specific, we joked it’d be a picture of ours together in a creek since essentially, I described ours in the book when Madison was drawing the feet. Thankfully, we found something more appropriate.
  •  My father read this book early and found a typo in the bath scene. Instead of Madison’s knee brushing Benjamin’s hardness, apparently she brushed his harness. I was mortified not only that I’d made such a mistake, but that it was my father who’d found it!
  • While writing this book, I refused to tell my husband who Madison married and at night, I’d tease him, saying that it was Alex because I needed to bring some closure to his character (at the time, I had no idea I’d write books beyond these first three). When I’d finally convinced him she married Alex, he promptly informed me that he wouldn’t be reading it then. It was like twisting his arm to get him to finally relent and I had to chuckle at the surprise on his face when he reached chapter two.
  • I’m also having a new wrap around cover done for this book (all of them, actually) and here is what it should look like when we’re done:
    Wife wrap 4

Next week, in lieu of featuring Sudden and in preparation of releasing The Officer and the Traveler, I’ll be featuring Traveler (not necessarily with the same format, but with excerpts, a giveaway, comments from Bob and a few other things).

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!