Smart Girls Read Romance

Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog. Join them as they dish about Books, Romance, Love, and Life.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

WRITERS USE UNIVERSAL TRUTHS TO ENTERTAIN READERS


Congratulations once again to Margay on her win of the Kindle Fire HD Tablet!

As the title suggests, writers use universal truths to create stories that (we hope) entertain smart readers. True, most of our stories hold moral lessons. We champion the good in men and women, and punish the shallow and senseless. Not that the lessons can be obvious. Nope, we hope to sneak them in when readers are concentrating on the characters and plot.

While I try to vary plots with each book, my books have several common themes: redemption, good defeats evil, love overcomes obstacles, and characters achieve personal fulfillment. But I don’t want readers to dwell on them, other than to sigh with relief when love conquers all, the broken heart is healed, the hardened heart cracks and welcomes love, characters achieve fulfillment, and those obstacles blocking characters’ happiness have been defeated. What I desire is that readers fall in love with my characters and think of them as real people, as they are in my mind, and want to read my next book. Nothing makes an author happier.  

Currently, I’m writing the third book in the western historcial romance Kincaid series featuring Storm Kincaid for release in September. I plan a fourth for next winter featuring Gabe Kincaid. Delving back into the Kincaid family is a joy and set me reminiscing about the two earlier books of the series THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE and THE MOST UNSUITABLE HUSBAND. Each dealt with good triumphing over evil. Often evil doers believe themselves above the law and unconquerable. In my books, those people are always caught...eventually. I wish that were always true in life, but it sometimes happens. Let’s go with that, shall we?

THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE is about a marriage of convenience that blossoms into a true love match. I enjoy putting unlikely people together in an intimate situation that requires them to adapt and broaden their ideas. Do you enjoy reading that type book? 

Don't say it can't happen. An older couple in the church to which I belong married after five days, and that was almost sixty years ago. Think it will last? And my favorite high school English teacher knew her husband only four days before they married. Last I heard, they'd been together 35 years. I'm not recommending hasty unions to anyone! Not a sound idea, but there are exceptions to every rule. 

The idea for this book came from a tiny kernel in the form of a story my grandmother once told me about a girl in her hometown who quit school because of all the rumors and teasing she was forced to endure. Although my grandmother didn’t know what happened to the girl, I wanted the poor girl’s story to end well. Each of us deserves happily ever after, right?

If you’ve ever lived in a small town, you know there are no secrets. Sometimes a person with evil in his heart forgets that fact and does terrible things to conceal a fact everyone already knows. 

Here’s the blurb from THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE:

Wanted: one completely improper bride.

Even if Drake Kincaid had placed such an advertisement in every paper in the country, he couldn’t have found a better candidate than Pearl Parker...which is fine with him. After all, his parents’ will stipulates only that he marry by his thirtieth birthday, not that he marry well. And no one--including Drake’s grandfather, the man determined to hold him to the ridiculous provision--could possibly think tall, bossy Pearl with her ragtag siblings and questionable “cousin” Belle will make a good wife. Until Drake realizes that in her startling violet eyes he sees a beautiful woman with a generous soul...

Their life together may not have started with hearts and flowers, but Drake and Pearl will soon learn that real love--with a breathtaking dose of passion--will make their marriage a true romance.

I'm considering changing the cover for this book.
Do you think I should? If so, what would you suggest?
Excerpt from THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE as Drake and Storm return from a cattle drove that took six weeks, to learn that Pearl hasn't sat patiently awaiting Drake's return::
  
On the road, he slowed his horse and tried to think. Storm had been right, Pearl apparently got fed up with Lily. Why hadn't he seen it?
Maybe he should have made different arrangements for her before the cattle drive. Damn, it looked like a man could depend on his wife waiting for him. All she had to do was just bide her time. How hard could that be?
When the ranch house came into view, he slowed even more. It looked different.
Storm saw it too. "Things been fixed up some."
Drake noted the gate now hung straight, bright flowers bordered the walk and porch. A bushy fern stood on the porch near the rocker he liked to use of a summer evening. He dropped the reins over the hitching post and bounded up the steps. The door opened before he could reach it.
"Señor Drake, how wonderful you are home.Maria beamed her cheerful smile at him. "Señora Pearl will be so happy."
Inside the front door, Drake stopped in his tracks. Three people sat on a bench in the foyer, a bench that hadn't been there when he left. As he entered, they stood and nodded their heads in respect.
The eldest, a man he recognized as Vicente's father, spoke. "Welcome home, Señor Jefe, Chief. Your trip went well?"
"Yes, very well. Vicente brings our remuda and men back. He and the rest of the men will be home soon.Feeling as if he overlooked an important factor here, he asked, "Is there something I can do for you?"
The three shook their heads in unison. "No, Señor Jefe. We wait for La Curandera."
Maria hastened forward. "Señora Pearl has helped so many with her medicines. People come from all over the county to see her. She lets them wait here until she can see them."
Storm said, "She likes to help people. Pearl's real good with her healing."
Close to snapping, Drake spoke slowly and clearly, "Maria, where is my wife?"
Surprise showed on the housekeeper's face. "Why, she is still in town at her restaurant, of course."
Hoping he hid his own surprise, he said, "I see.But he certainly did not see. Not at all. What restaurant?
Still beaming at him, Maria continued, "At this time she's serving lunch to her customers. You can find her there, but she usually comes home about four with Señorita Sarah. Shall I find lunch for you and Señor Storm?"
"Yes, please.Storm said.
"No.Gesturing to his brother-in-law, he said, "You go ahead, Storm."
"Señor Storm, my Carlotta will find food for you if you will go into the kitchen. Or, you could come with us to see the changes in your home. Come, let me show you the many things Señora Pearl has done for you.Maria tugged at his arm, leading him on a tour of his own home with Storm trailing along. "You see how she has used the pieces stored by your family to make this place welcome you. She has worked very hard.
He took in the rugs on the floor, the additions to the furnishings. He noticed little things like the placement of serving pieces on the buffet that used to sit in his mother's dining room--until she hired that fancy decorator. Drake had always liked that old furniture better than the ornate stuff the decorator ordered from all over the world. He wandered through the house taking in the changes as Maria chattered on and on reciting Pearl's virtues.
In the door way of his study, he stopped dead in his tracks. The old rocking chair made from cattle horns stood waiting beside his desk. Though wood comprised the rockers and supported the thickly padded seat and back, a craftsman had used matched pairs of horns to form the legs, arms, splats, and a decorative fan across the top.
Maria smiled and patted his arm. "Ah, I knew that would please you."
"I thought Mother had it burned.Although he and his father loved that chair and laughed about the eccentricity of it, his mother had called it an abomination and refused to have it in her house.
Maria adopted her inscrutable mask. "It is possible Miguel misunderstood her. He stored it in a barn with other old furniture and covered it with heavy cloth to protect it." She shook her head. "Then, it seems, he forgot about it. But Señora Pearl found it. Oh, she laughed and laughed when she saw it."
"She--she laughed?"
"Oh, , yes. She said it was perfect for a rancher's home. I told her how you used to sit in it when your feet were barely long enough to touch the floor, how you would laugh at your longhorn chair.
Damn. Who would have figured her laughing? Just like he and his father had. Who could understand the woman?
Storm sat in the chair and gave a push to start it rocking. The boy had a silly grin on his face. With a shake of his head to clear his brain, Drake turned and left the room.

THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE is Book One of the Kincaids, and is available in print or ebook from Amazon

Smashwords at
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 Thanks for reading!

7 comments:

  1. Great post Caroline! My books tend to have Justice as the main theme. I have The Most Unsuitable Wife in the TBR pile of my Kindle. I'm judging too many contests lately to get much "pleasure" reading done.

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    1. With all you accomplish, you couldn't possibly have time to read for pleasure, Paty. You are amazing.

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  2. Oh my goodness! Your cover girl looks ready to spit nails. Maybe you should re-think the cover. It doesn't exactly say "romance." More like a handbook on cleaning for 19th century brides. Your story is too good to be confused with that.

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    1. We're working on it, Brenda. Very hard to find an appropriate "unsuitable" woman.

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    2. It is hard to find historically correct photos that portray what we want in our books. I'd say just finding the photos takes more time and energy than putting the covers together. *sigh*

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  3. I love your books, Caroline. The Most Unsuitable Wife doesn't disappoint in its theme. Drake and Pearl's journey is fun, adventurous and rocky. It's worth a second read!

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  4. I read The Unsuitable Wife and really enjoyed it, Caroline. Great cover.

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