I mentioned a few weeks ago how interesting I found the fashion plates compared to what would have been practical for my frontier ladies to be wearing in 1866 Seattle. The same goes for gentlemen. The tall beaver hats, tailcoats for evening wear, and elegant waistcoats weren't exactly useful when mining for gold, chopping down towering fir and cedar, or harrowing a field for planting. Here’s how those gentlemen tended to dress:
Rugged. Easy to move in. Durable. Unless of course, you happen to be James Wallin.
As those of you who have read Would-Be Wilderness Wife know, James, the third Wallin brother, is a character. He’s always teasing anyone he likes, he has a team of horses rather than the practical oxen of the period, and he favors fancy clothes, so much so that he occasionally wears his waistcoat logging. So when I was asked for cover ideas for James’s story, Frontier Engagement (due out August 1), I advised my publisher to dress him up nicely, even if he is in the wilderness. In fact, he needed to be dressed as nicely as the heroine, Rina Fosgrave, who has a rather, ahem, aristocratic background for a lady sailing on the Mercer Expedition.
I am pleased to reveal the cover for Frontier Engagement:
James Wallin's family is depending on him to find a schoolteacher for their frontier town. Alexandrina Fosgrave seems to be exactly what he needs to help fulfill his father's dream of building a new community. If only James could convince her to accept the position.
Alexandrina has traveled west to seek a fresh start, not to find a groom. But after she's stranded in the wilderness with James, he offers her his hand in marriage to protect her reputation. Both are afraid to fall in love, but maybe an engagement of convenience could make them reconsider…
Want to guess the actor/actress I had in my mind for the physical characteristics of James and Rina? The hero has a drive about him, and he’s been known to advise people about crazy, stupid love. Though he’s starred in a period flick, he was a bit of a gangster. The heroine, on the other hand, may be a little tougher to identify. A Brit, she shares a first name with a certain popular boy wizard with a lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead. She’s a triple threat as a writer, actress, and comedienne, working in theatre as well as in film.
Who do you think I used? Guess right and I’ll enter you in a drawing to win a free copy of a book from my author stash (which currently includes copies of The Bride Ship, The Wife Campaign, The Captain’s Courtship, and the hard-to-find earlier novel, Starstruck).