To begin, I've got a whopper of a brand-new project to share with you!
Recommended for those who like their holiday romances: Sweet and Historical.
A twelve-book/author mail-order bride series that launches a book a day from December 1-12th? Genius.
Twelve of the western historical romance authors from the Pioneer Hearts community put their heads and pens together to create The Twelve Days of Christmas: Mail-Order Bride series. Care for a blurb?
Twelve men. Twelve brides. Twelve days to save a town.
Christmas, 1876: Noelle, Colorado is in danger of becoming a ghost town if the railroad decides to bypass the mountaintop mining community. Determined to prove their town is thriving, twelve men commit to ordering brides before the railroad’s deadline six days into the New Year. Each of the twelve women has her own reason for signing up to become a mail-order bride. But after they arrive in the uncivilized settlement, they aren’t so sure they’ve made the right decision. Neither are the grooms.
Will the marriages happen in time to save Noelle? The countdown begins December 1, 2017.
The books are --
- The Partridge by Kit Morgan
- The Dove by Shanna Hatfield
- The Hens by Merry Farmer
- The Calling Birds by Jacqui Nelson
- The Gold Ring by Caroline Lee
- The Goose by Peggy Henderson
- The Swan by Piper Huguley
- The Maid by Rachel Wesson
- The Dancing Lady by Mimi Milan
- The Lord by Danica Favorite
- The Piper by Amanda McIntyre
- The Drum by E.E. Burke (link not available yet)
I'm a PH member myself, and have read and loved books by several of these authors. Caroline Lee and Merry Farmer will each appear during this book bash for other titles I love, Jacqui Nelson's Between Love and Lies is a stellar western romance, and Piper Huguley's A Virtuous Ruby is excellent. I recently discovered Mimi Milan and her Jericho Resistance books, and I'm hooked. (Psst. The first book in Milan's series is 99 cents!) So I'm looking forward to this series - and started reading The Partridge late last night when it appeared on my Kindle. I'm only about 30% through so far, but I've met a whole passel of miners and brides-to-be and it's all happening, so I'm excited to see where it goes...
Chatting with Caroline Lee!
The lovely Ms. Lee -- of whom I am a big fan and who will reappear in a few days because she's written another holiday book I love -- took a few minutes to answer some questions for me!
Me: With a big multi-author project like this, what is the process like? Where did the original idea come from, and how long did you all have to create your stories -- and how much detail was set in stone right from the start and how much was open to the authors’ imagination?
Caroline: Believe it or not, the idea came to me in a dream (although it originally involved a harem and a sheikh). I woke up and thought “Whoa, I could make this work!” I contacted EE Burke and Kit Morgan and said “Tell me this isn’t stupid” and they fell in love. The three of us met and have been building this for almost a year! My goal was to celebrate diversity with this series, so we brought together authors who hadn’t worked together before, and who might not share the same audiences. This will allow us each to grow our audiences, as well as feature characters our audiences might not normally read about. With a series this big (and the fact the books take place at the same time in the same place) we had to have a lot of guidelines from the beginning. Then Kit (#1, coming out today!) wrote her book first, as a beautiful introduction to the series and all of the characters (seriously, I was so impressed). This gave us something to base our books on—hers sort of became the “series bible” as we say, which we used as a reference. We’ve been writing these books for months and months (since everyone writes at different paces), and sharing as we go. Since most of the books start Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, we had to share those chapters early on, to make sure they all meshed. Otherwise, we had a huge spreadsheet titled “What’s Happening In Noelle” and we all had to fill in our plots day by day, so we could reference it. A lot of our characters interact with one another, and we needed a way to make sure those interactions could work with everyone’s books! It’s been so cool to see what characters and plots each author has come up with!
Me: For your installment, THE GOLD RING, what was your personal inspiration?
Caroline: Kit’s book is first, Elisabeth’s book is last (she does an awesome job of wrapping up the over-arching plot!), and we decided to stick my book in the middle. I chose #5, because I figured it’d be easy to write a romance involving a gold ring… Well, would you believe that I had the hardest time making that ring work for my hero? I finally figured out how to do it, and I hope people like the twist! I’m not telling you anything else about my hero or heroine, because the other thing I wanted to do for this series was write a surprise hero/heroine. I’ll say this: the hero you think you’re getting isn’t the one who actually ends up featured in my book!
Me: Other than the 12 days of Christmas, what's your favorite Christmas Carol?
Caroline: I’m word-perfect on Good King Wenceslas, complete with different voices and hats and everything. It’s my all-time favorite, and one of these days I’ll have to make a video of me belting it out. You’ll notice I didn’t say “pitch-perfect”. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but what I lack in talent I make up for in enthusiasm.
Pairs well with --
This greeting card that tells it like it is, from the Get Thee to a Nunnery Etsy shop. This shop is filled with whimsical and adorable paper goods. (If you haven't already planned your holiday cards, buy some from an indie artist! They'll be far more appreciative of the $ than Hallmark would...)
A series this sweet also goes well with a lovely light country tune, like Sara Evans' cover of The Twelve Days of Christmas, which features two extra voices -- her daughters!
Have a lovely Friday - TGIF, right? - and I'll see you back here tomorrow for another delicious holiday read. <3