Friday, April 21, 2017

My Mother's Book

I inherited my love of reading from my mother. A schoolteacher by trade, she encouraged me to read from an early age, recommended books, and ultimately read the same books and exchanged thoughts with me. She’s the one who first introduced me to Regency romances, which became my passion. I had published several before she came to me, piece of scratch paper in hand.

“I have an idea for a Regency romance,” she explained. “It’s about a widow with three young sons who enters into a marriage of convenience with a man, then sets about improving his life and realizes she’s just might have married a gem.”

Now, people have approached me in the past, wanting me to write a story they’ve envisioned. Let me state plainly: I don’t do that. There are already so many stories running around in my head that adding another non-organic one could quite possibly make my brain explode. And it is very, very hard to do justice to a story that isn’t your own. So, knowing she was not only a huge fan of the genre but a well-educated, well-read woman, I suggested she write it herself.

She lowered her gaze. “Oh, I couldn’t.”

I encouraged her, but it was plain the idea of writing a book was simply daunting. I took the slip of paper from her, promising to think about it, and went on with my writing. A few months later, my editor called.

“We’d like you to write a novella for a collection,” he said. (I love it when editors call with that sort of suggestion.)

“Sure!” I said. “When do you need it?”

He named a date, which was very tight, but doable, if I could find the right idea. Then he said, “But it’s for a Mother’s Day-themed anthology [even though Mother’s Day was unknown in the Regency], and the heroine has to be a widow with children. Can you come up with an idea like that?”

“Yes,” I said with a smile. “I can.”

So, I wrote my mother’s story. It wasn’t easy. Every characterization, every scene, I kept wondering whether it would live up to her hopes. The book was published the following May, and I presented it to her on Mother’s Day. She cried.

And she loved the story.

I’m very happy to report that the novella I wrote for my mother, Sweeter Than Candy, has been released as part of The Marvelous Munroes series and is now available at fine online retailers. This is the first time it's been available outside an anthology.

Widowed Cynthia Jacobs will do anything to support her three young sons, left impoverished by their father’s sudden demise. Anything, that is, but marry one-time suitor Daniel Lewiston. Cynthia’s family and Daniel’s conspired to match them up years ago, but Cynthia struggled to see the shy boy next door as the dashing husband of her dreams.

Wealthy Daniel Lewiston always admired the beautiful Cynthia, even knowing she’d never settle for him. But when her sons beg him to court her so he can be their father, his heart melts and Cynthia reconsiders. Perhaps what starts as a marriage of convenience for the boys can turn into something more, something that is far sweeter than candy.

Barnes and Noble

I hope you enjoy it as much as she did.

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