Whew! If your new year began anything like mine, you’ll totally understand when I say, “When will this merry-go-round stop?” Not that I don’t enjoy merry-g0-rounds, but generally speaking, I’m a slow-moving creature. I like to take my time doing things right, and the past few weeks have flown by in a flurry. Why, you might ask? Because I wanted to publish book 2 in my new Brides of Hope Hollow series sometime in January. But when I got sick in December–so sick that I was basically bedridden for several weeks even through Christmas–I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off. As stubborn as I am, though, I decided to go ahead and make Hope Springs Eternal available as a preorder for January 30. I could still write a good story in that time frame, right?
Well, I did, but not without pretty much gluing my tail end to my chair. My family stepped up in a big way and helped out around the house, and I got it done! Not only that, but I think book 2 actually turned out better than book 1, A Glimmer of Hope.
I realize as I’m typing this that you may not know what I’m talking about, and this is because I haven’t blogged in a while. I mentioned the past month whizzing by in a blur, but actually, the entire past year has. I wrote ten books last year while maintaining an editing side gig, and what that means for me is that my free time has greatly diminished. Not that I’m complaining. I know it won’t always be so busy.
Anyway, at the end of 2019, I published the first book in a brand new series of my own called Brides of Hope Hollow.
I wanted the beginning of this series to be about two women, a mother and daughter, who came out west to become mail-order brides. I also knew that I didn’t want the daughter to know anything about her mother’s arrangement for her beforehand. Originally, I was going to have them be widows from the Civil War, but then something happened: I was called upon to write a second book in the summer collection of The Belles of Wyoming series. It took some time to plot that story as it contained more of a mystery than my previous Belles book. By the time I handed it my editor, I was mentally exhausted. (Remember the 10 books I wrote?) I was so glad to finally hand it off to the editor, then it dawned on me. The two female characters I had in mind for my new series didn’t need to be Civil War widows; they could be the widows of the criminals in Daring to Love Again, the Belles of Wyoming story. So I hatched an idea about Melissa’s (the daughter) husband and father-in-law hanging for his crimes and her father, Susannah’s (the mother) husband, deciding that rather than submit when the sheriff came to arrest him, he shot himself instead. So that scenario perfectly set up this new series.
When Melissa and Susannah arrive in Hope Hollow, Melissa is mortified to learn that she is a mail-order bride to Garret Pearce, a farmer. And Susannah, though she doesn’t hesitate at all to marry handsome David Stratton, a widower, finds that marriage the second time around is harder than she thought it would be. Both have to face the demons of their pasts. She’s still puzzled about why her first husband, Sam, did the things he did, but in the midst of trying to figure it out, she gets in a skating accident and loses her memory. Now she and David really must start over!
Hope Springs Eternal just released today! Readers are already raving over it, especially for the fact that I have written about the difficult subject of familial suicide so sensitively. I hope that you will give this story a try. Although I was nervous about writing it, not only for that angle but for the amnesia angle as well, I’m happy with the way it turned out.
I’m hoping to also publish book 3, Her Only Hope, in late April. Or it might be early May. We’ll see. One thing I know for sure is that this book is sure to be a fun one! (If you read the end of Hope Springs Eternal, you’ll know what I mean.) Watch for its release soon!