Picking up in chronological order of books I have available, next is His Yankee Bride.
Warning: Spoilers Throughout
Why I wrote it?
There were several reasons I wrote it:
1. I owed it to John and Carolina. Both of them have been secondary characters in almost all of my books and have actually had more appearances than both Edward and Regina, combined. So I felt I owed it to them.
2. It was just too hard NOT to write this book. John’s plotting and scheming mixed with his levelheadedness combined with Carolina’s whimsical personality, complete with ill-thoughtout comments and blatant bluntness, has always intrigued me. How on earth could these two possibly have a love match???
3. I wanted to clear a few things up. A while back, I attended a writers’ workshop where the presenter pounded it into our heads that to have the best characters possible, you have to know everything about them. You need to know their childhood. Who were their friends? What were their family customs? Why did they do these customs? How was their relationship with their mother? Basically, be their shrink. So as I was writing my first series, particularly the first book, some of these questions came up: Why would they be from New York? What would have made a woman with a Southern accent move to New York at such a time in American history? My reasoning supported their lack of servants… Which is only explained in this book, however, still raises a lot of questions and criticism from earlier books. So in a way, I wanted to finally have a chance to explain what I’d discovered long ago when dreaming up John and Carolina to put them as secondary characters in Intentions of the Earl.
What do I like about it?
There was a lot I liked about this one, but particularly the clash of cultures in reverse. In my first three Regencies, and in almost all of the others that have a Brit and an uncluttered American falling in love, it’s the American Neanderthal who goes over to England and is made to make his or her way (usually unsuccessfully) in a culture far more sophisticated than they’re accustomed to. This time, it’s the other way around. John has to learn to adapt to a culture where ladies aren’t allowed to always be ladies. In fact, and here’s a little history trivia, during the American Revolution and for about 20 or so years following it, women were actually considered to be very strong individuals and looked at with more respect than ever before. The reason was there were so many women involved with the American Revolution that they earned the respect. Some women worked from the side lines sewing flags, clothes, and working as nurses, others were spies, harbored and nursed injured soldiers, rallied for more troops, and a few even had the nerve to bravely stand their guard against the Red Coats.
What I might have done differently if I had the chance?
Like with Contract, I don’t know on this one. Give me time and let me write a few more books and I’ll have something, I’m sure.
What came from “real life”?
- It really was suggested when Charleston was being planned and built that the roads be made plenty wide so as the city expanded, land and buildings wouldn’t have to be compromised for eminent domain.
- Charleston was originally called Charles Towne in respect to King Charles, the man who gave the founding fathers the area of land.
- Silas having freedom was not impossible or a stretch of fiction. Neither was the mention that some of the slave owners hadn’t honored their agreement, or that during the years of the Revolution that slaves had run off. To help get troops and support, any man of color was offered his freedom for a term of service, generally one year, but it might vary depending on who was initiating the terms. Most slave owners honored this, some did not. It was also common that during English raids, the remaining field hands or house workers would run away. Where they went or what happened to them is anyone’s guess. During the Civil War, I’d say they ran for the northern states to freedom, but during this time, there was not “free” places for them to go.
My Real Life Experiences:
- I had a little scare a few days after I was married that I might not really be married… Unlike John and Carolina, my situation was never resolved so nicely and almost eight years later I still catch myself scanning the newspaper from time to time to see if this “minister” who married me has been put away for fraud…
- Merkins! Like many of you, until recently I’d never heard the term. But earlier this year at RT Booklovers Convention in Chicago, I was sitting in a seminar, when all of the sudden a curly black triangle appeared on the screen followed by the word: merkin, which is the fancy word for a pubic wig. Apparently, in the 1600s prostitutes who had the pox would try to cover it up by wearing a pubic wig so their customer couldn’t tell. They’d be held in place with some sort of glue so they wouldn’t come loose or move due to friction. Also, there were special shops where these were made… Anyway, a friend of mine who was with me in the conference convinced me I needed to put a merkin in one of my books. At the time I was working on Contract and didn’t think I could fit that in, but I KNEW with how bizarre Carolina could be at times, that it’d fit perfectly into her book.
What running ties does His Yankee Bride have with the other books I’ve written?
- FIRST SERIES–Intentions of the Earl, Liberty for Paul & To Win His Wayward Wife
~Hero and heroine in Yankee are secondary characters in all three books (the heroines’ parents)
~The sisters are from New York and grew up with practically no servants, the reasons why her family didn’t rely on servants, particularly ones who raise the children, are given in Yankee.
~In the epilogue, it gives hints about who at least two of the three sisters will marry and gives a very quick description of their personalities and faults.
- Her Sudden Groom
~Caroline receives a similar gift Carolina gets in Yankee–and from the same giver, of course.
- His Contract Bride
~John plays the role of Edward’s younger, more serious brother.
~Clues of Carolina’s personality are given in this book when John says very vehemently what kind of a wife he does not want.
~Edward takes Regina on her “adventure” in Contract, and they come back with a prize similar to the one they have in Yankee.