Historical Accuracy (Or lack thereof)

It makes me giggle when my books are criticized for not being historically accurate. So, for the record: I don’t write historical fiction. It’s just not in my wheelhouse.

Do I try to maintain a historical feel? Absolutely. But I end up taking details from whatever bygone era catches my fancy and mashing them all together. If I do want to check on a historical component, I’ll research the renaissance era, but I know that the dress, architecture, speech, food, etc… of my books don’t match up to any one era. If that bothers you, I’m sorry. I certainly never meant to suggest that my books were historically accurate. However, I absolutely understand why people might go into my books with that expectation. My books get categorized as Historical by Amazon sometimes. In fact, last night I saw that Saving Marilee is the #1 Best Seller in Teen & Young Adult Historical Romance. SEE!!!

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Of course, I am beyond thrilled and may or may not have done a little jig when I saw this. To be #1 in ANY category is more that I ever aspired to. But at the same time, I’m slightly worried that when people see it categorized as historical, they expect it to be really, truly, genuinely, historically accurate. And it’s just not. It’s more like…Historical Fantasy. Or a Fairy Tale without the fairies.

Granted, my books also get categorized as inspirational.

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I don’t have much control over what categories they end up in. Yes, I suggest appropriate categories when I set them up to be published, but that doesn’t mean they are limited to those that I choose. My only claim is that my books are clean and they are romance.

And also that you should read them. But that’s just the girl-doing-the-jig talking.

The Original Idea for Ella and her Sisters

I had a reader ask on my FB page where I came up with the original concept of Ella and her sisters.

The first few scenes that I wrote for Just Ella were so bad. They were stilted and awkward, the dialogue was contrived, and I was trying to write in the style that Jane Eyre was written in, which didn’t work since I’m not Charlotte Bronte. I didn’t have a handle on the old timey speech, and I didn’t really know who Ella was.
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Will Lorraina’s Story be Next?

Short answer: Yes.

I’ve been surprised at how many people ask this question. I doubt it will come as a surprise that out of all of the sisters, Lorraina was my least favorite. But I couldn’t just keep her as the token brat throughout the books. It didn’t feel realistic. So when her storyline started to progress in Missing Lily, I appreciated the chance for her to grow. Yes, she was still selfish and overly critical, but I started to better understand the reasons behind it, and I was able to make some headway with her character development. However, by the end of Missing Lily, I still didn’t like her enough to want to write from her point of view. I couldn’t empathize with her enough.

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Deciding to Save Marilee

43While I was still in the middle of writing Missing Lily, I started contemplating my next project. I decided that I didn’t want to do another princess story. I was done with those. I tried starting the story of Gavin’s younger sister, Kinley, but it never grabbed me. I thought about telling the story of Brinna, Gavin’s jilted fiancée, but I barely got beyond a couple of paragraphs with her.

As you know, my decision to not do another princess story didn’t pan out.

I had always liked Marilee because she was fun and made me smile, but I knew that she wasn’t mature enough for me to want to be inside her head for an entire book. I knew that if I was going to make her a heroine, she’d have to grow up, and she’d have to do it the hard way.
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Link to Purchase Paperback

I approved the paperback proof and was expecting it to take several days for the amazon link to go live. Happily, I was wrong about the timeline.

You can order your paperback copy of Saving Marilee now!

It will still take a couple of days for the kindle version and the paperback to link up together, but it IS there. So if you’ve been hoping to get a paperback into your hot little hands on or before May 1st, now you can!

Click on the amazon link below:

Archery Competition – Rhys’ POV

Third scene from Rhys’s POV. When I asked on my FB page which scene readers would most like to see rewritten from Rhys, this scene was the winner. I was surprised, because I hadn’t considered this one, but once I got into it, I was so glad that readers had suggested it! It was so fun to get into Rhys’s head for this one. Enjoy.

Caution: If you have not read Missing Lily, please don’t read these scenes! They will spoil the plot for you. Go read Missing Lily first, then come back and enjoy these extras.Archery

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The Chiseled Hero and Willowy Heroine.

I’ve read a lot of books. (Shocker.) And most of those books are romance because I love reading about those feelings—the discovery of attraction, then waiting on pins and needles to find out if the other person feels the same way. There is something so basically human about finding love. However, I think many authors get stuck on attraction and have a hard time moving on to meaningful relationships. When I’m reading a book, there is only

Unknownso much physical description that I can take. If the hero’s rock hard abs are the main focus, it’s tough for me to take it seriously. I tend to roll my eyes when the heroine’s berry red lips and tiny waist are expounded on. Physical description is fine. It’s good to know that the hero and heroine are attracted to one another. However, should that really be the characteristic that is focused on the most? Do we need to keep going back to the fact that she is the spitting image of Aphrodite anP10_116_1d his physique is like the statue of David?

My objection isn’t just that it’s redundant, or that it flattens the characters into nothing but their physical attributes.
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Saving Marilee Cover Reveal

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“This didn’t feel like bravery. It felt like pieces of me were scattered in the wind and I was just doing my best to snatch them from the air before they were lost. And even if I succeeded, I would still be left with nothing but crumpled pieces in my hands.”

Marriage wasn’t bliss—not for Marilee. Instead of finding contentment with the handsome son of a sovereign duke, she found betrayal and neglect. And fear. A fear that finally lifts when her husband dies, freeing her from his domineering hand. But freedom alone can’t give her peace, and she must battle to regain her love for life, rebuild her happiness, and reclaim the ability to trust. When her charming neighbor intrudes on her quiet life, she must determine whether his interest is genuine, and whether he deserves the fragile bit of trust she has managed to scrape together. However, trusting is a risk, and she has vowed never to put herself at the mercy of someone else’s whims. Can Marilee take that chance, knowing how terribly she’s chosen before? She doesn’t know if she can survive being wrong again.

Saving Marilee will be released on May 1st and I’m excited to be able to say that it is now available for pre-order!

Add it to your Goodreads shelf.

A huge thank you to Jen Fauset for the fantastic cover photo and for all the other photos that I’ve been able to use for memes and such. She’s amazing.

Rhys Meets Princess Lylin

Scene #2 from Rhys’s POV. This is actually the first one that I chose to write, because it seemed like the perfect moment to delve into his head and get a little insight. I also knew it would be relatively easy for me since I already knew what he was thinking. And now you get to know. :)

Caution: If you have not read Missing Lily, please don’t read these scenes! They will spoil the plot for you. Go read Missing Lily first, then come back and enjoy these extras.

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Meet Tobias through the eyes of Rhys Fallon

It all started with a simple question that a reader asked in the comments. She mentioned the scene I had written from Gavin’s POV and asked if I had plans to do the same for Rhys.

Boy, did that get the wheels in my head turning. Which scene could I do? There were so many great ones that I thought would be excellent from his perspective. How could I choose??

Then I realized I didn’t have to choose. There certainly wasn’t a limit on the number of scenes I could amuse myself by rewriting. And believe me, it WAS amusing. I was surprised at how much fun I had and how completely alive Rhys was in my head. You guys know I don’t write from men’s points of view. There is a reason for that, several in fact. But somehow I didn’t mind getting into Rhys’s head, maybe because I already knew what he was thinking. Regardless, the result is that I rewrote three scenes. Enjoy.

Caution: If you have not read Missing Lily, please don’t read these scenes! They will spoil the plot for you. Go read Missing Lily first, then come back and enjoy these extras.

 

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