Welcome, readers, to my page in the Sweet Summer Love Blog Hop! I’m glad you’re here.
Many of the authors I know love writing about exceptional people. They fill their stories with larger-than-life heroes and heroines, men and women who live lives of glamor, excitement, danger, and mystery. Browse through any book rack, and you’ll find titles about billionaires, assassins, spies, and SEALS…or if you’re browsing historicals, pirates, princes, tribal chieftans, and rough-around-the-edges US marshals.
Nothing wrong with any of those characters. They just don’t happen to be the sort of folks I hang out with. Sad to say, I’ve never met an actual billionaire, as far as I know, I don’t know any spies — not that they would tell me if they were — and I consider myself quite fortunate to have never crossed paths with any assassins. Meeting a SEAL might be within the realm of possibility, but it hasn’t yet happened.
If I could step back in time, I’d wager that most likely I’d never rub shoulders with any royalty, and with luck, I’d avoid capture by pirates. As a law-abiding citizen, I might meet a marshal, but only on friendly, sociable terms.
Obviously, I live a rather ordinary life surrounded by very ordinary people. I’m reminded here of the advice given to Robinson Crusoe by his father about the various states of life:
…that mine was the middle state, or what might be called the upper station of low life , which he had found, by long experience, was the best state in the world, the most suited to human happiness, not exposed to the miseries and hardships, the labour and sufferings of the mechanic part of mankind, and not embarrassed with the pride, luxury, ambition, and envy of the upper part of mankind.
Although pride, luxury, ambition, and envy are important aspects of romantic fiction, as are miseries, hardships, labor, and suffering, I think they’re more powerful when experienced by those of “the middling sort” — in other words, by ordinary people going about their ordinary lives. It’s when life changes and suddenly takes a turn for the worse — or perhaps for the better — that people are thrown out of their comfortable habits. These are the moments when people must grow, change, learn, and adapt. For me, that’s what is truly at the heart of romantic fiction.
You can meet a few of my very ordinary characters in The Wrong Woman. There’s nothing glamorous or exciting about the hero, Will Loudon. He’s a simple man who loves his simple life. Nor is there much special about Abigail Rose, the heroine. Like each of us, she wants her chance at happiness — but she’s afraid one costly mistake has ruined any hope of happiness for her.
As a writer, I can’t identify with the exceptionally rich and famous people who inhabit so many romance novels. But I can identify with Will and Abigail. I can easily get inside their heads — and their hearts — and understand their needs, their regrets, their hopes, their dreams.
Most of all, I can identify with their flaws. Will and Abigail have made mistakes — so have we all — and as they come together and fall in love, they learn that it’s not the mistakes we make that matter. What’s important is what we do afterward, how we deal with the consequences of our errors.
If you’re like me and have made a mistake or two — or more — in your life, you might enjoy the story of Will and Abigail. They met by mistake…but soon learned that true love can right a lot of wrongs.
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Abigail Rose made a big mistake. She fell in love with a fast-talking scoundrel who stole her money and her virginity before disappearing. Now, she hopes to hide her secret shames and make a new start as a schoolteacher in St. Paul. She boards the train in Kansas City, ready to put the past behind her and move on, but during a stop-over in Des Moines, Iowa, a man with a gun steals her away.
Will Loudon has made his share of mistakes, too. He’s got a bad marriage behind him, foreclosure of his farm is looming on the horizon, and his own brother has cheated him out of his inheritance. Will plans to settle the score and get what’s rightfully his by abducting Honey Branson, his brother’s intended bride…but he takes Abigail by mistake.
How could he steal the wrong woman? And what will he do with her now?
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