Today, I'm totally delighted to welcome again my fellow TWRP author, Vonnie Davis. She's got something wonderful to share with us so...it's over to Vonnie!
CONFESSIONS OF A ROMANCE LOVER
How fortunate I feel to guest on your blog today, Nancy. I’ve been looking forward to it. Visiting another romance author is always great fun.
I have always loved stories where two people are thrown together in the middle of unusual circumstances, with no way out. Say, in a blizzard or blackout or hiding from a common enemy. Or in a marriage of convenience. Oh, the possibilities.
Possibilities are what one of The Wild Rose Press’s series is about. This historical series is called Love Letters. Within the first three pages, someone must receive a letter that changes his or her life eventually ending in love and that happily-ever-after we crave as romance readers.
I’d read two stories from the Love Letters Series and was hooked. But what could I write about? What era? What location? What types of characters? One thing I knew for certain I wanted—that marriage of convenience I so enjoy reading about.
One day a tumbleweed blew across my mental sky. When it rolled back, I noticed a piece of calico embedded in it. What was that? An evening or two later, I dreamed about a little boy, holding that piece of calico and throwing a tantrum. Slowly pieces of the story fell together. My locale was a ranch near Deadwood, in the Dakota Territory, in 1879.
Then concerns set in. I’d never written historical before. Could I set the mood? Take my readers back to the time I wanted to share with them? I burrowed into research, enjoying every gem and tidbit I unearthed, online and from books.
When rancher and single father Cam McBride finds a letter tucked in a strip of cloth tied to a tumbleweed, he is captivated by the mysterious author. Finding a second tumbleweed letter further pulls him under the lonely writer's spell. He needs a mother for his little boy and a wife to warm his bed. Could this mysterious woman fill his needs?
Sophie Flannigan is alone, scared, and on the run from a rogue Pinkerton agent. She spends her days as a scrub lady at Madame Dora's brothel and her nights writing notes to the four winds. Her life holds little hope until a small boy lays claim to her and his handsome father proposes an advantageous arrangement.
Can these three benefit from a marriage of convenience, or will a determined Pinkerton agent destroy their fragile, newly formed bond?
“So you came to town to find me?” How much sense did that make? She knew women were scarce. Mary Jamison, a mail order bride, was married within the hour after arriving in Deadwood. Her ecstatic groom certainly hadn’t minded her snaggle-tooth and crossed eyes. Widow Stoltz was married the day after her husband’s funeral and birthed a wee babe a week later.
Appearances and family heritage didn’t seem to matter in the wilderness. Hadn’t she fought off her share of suitors? Then why? Why had she hitched herself to this mountain of a man? She had no clue.
Cam turned the team of horses to the right and encouraged them to climb the hill. Leather creaked and fittings jingled in the evening quiet. The smell of pines grew stronger. An owl hooted and something rustled off to the left. She wasn’t used to large open spaces without the lighting of civilization; unease crept up her spine. It was so dark out here.
Finally, her husband answered, “Eli needed warmer clothes for winter, and we needed enough food to stock the pantry for winter.”
“So, you just added wife to your shopping list?” She’d married an odd man. Handsome, but odd. “How much further till we get ho…”—she couldn’t say it—“to your place?”
“You’re my wife now, Sophie Catherine. My home is your home. My son is your son.”
“Most people simply call me Sophie.”
“A husband should have a name for his wife that no one else uses, don’t you think?”
Foolish her, she’d always hoped a husband would call her a name of endearment, like darling or sweetheart. Simple-mined notions to be sure. What man would find her attractive? Hadn’t her Tommy called her plain?
Now was the time, she supposed. “You…ah…you never mentioned sleeping arrangements.”
His voice carried deep and quiet in the night. “I run a ranch, not a hotel. As my wife, you’ll be sleeping with me.”
Her heart pounded in her ears and her breath came in shallow bursts. “Will…will you expect…”
Merciful heavens. She twisted the ends of her shawl between her fingers. “Surely you’ll give me time to get to know you. I…I only met you today.”
THE WILD ROSE PRESS -- http://bit.ly/TumbleweedLetters