Inspiration for Heroes

Another question from my FB page. Someone asked where I get inspiration for my heroes. So here’s my attempt to answer:

Firstly, none of my characters are based on real people. I have utilized little quirks from people I’ve known and incorporated them into some of my characters, but that’s the extend of it.
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Saving Marilee Playlist

During my 2 1/2 day writing retreat with my critique group last October, I ended up writing 22,000 words on my Saving Marilee manuscript. A lot of that success was due to my determination to plug in and write. No excuses. Just writing. And most of the time I would have my headphones on, listening to my writing playlist so that I could tune out anything else going on around me.
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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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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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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.

Cover Photo Shoot

As always, getting a cover put together for my newest book has been an adventure! At the beginning of January, my husband mentioned that he wanted to go watch our nephew in his wrestling state championship down in Salt Lake. I realized that it would be a great excuse for me to put together a photoshoot down there. My sister, Jennifer, is a superb photographer (Fauset Photography) and lives down that way.

So we put up a casting call and I got to look through pictures of a bunch of lovely women with fabulous long blonde hair and found a model who was perfect.

Then, the hunt for a dress was on. Once again, I relied on the wonderful ladies at In Retrospect in downtown Boise. I couldn’t resist trying on this hat while I was there. I’m ready for tea with the queen.

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I found two dresses that I thought would work and arranged to rent them. Continue reading