Monday, August 18, 2014


You probably know that Jacquie Rogers and I are writing linked books to be boxed as a duet and released in September. You might wonder (I hope) how one goes about writing linked books with another author. 

For starters, I am a major fan of Jacquie’s books, especially her western historical romances. She knows a tremendous amount about the Old West and writes with wry humor that I love. MUCH ADO ABOUT MARSHALS and SLEIGHT OF HEART are my two favorites, but the woman ALWAYS delivers a great story. So, when she asked if I’d be interested in pairing up for a boxed set, I jumped at the chance.

But that’s the easy part. First we had to work out details so our books were compatible and there was continuity of characters. This took quite a few emails and several phone calls. 

Choosing titles was difficult due to the large number of mail order bride books already published. We locked ours in and Jacquie put up a blog for us at  As time goes along, we’ll post more to the blog. 

As soon as we had the titles, then we could commission a cover. Jacquie and I are thrilled with the cover. Don't you agree?

After choosing 1880 for the first book, we decided our two heroes would be cousins. Of course they would each be handsome, tall, with dark hair and bright blue eyes. Sounds like my husband, whom I call Hero. Well, his dark hair is mostly gray now, but you get the idea.

Our heroines are Richmond, Virginia sisters whose debt-ridden father’s suicide left them destitute and disgraced. With no more money after having pawned everything they salvaged from creditors, the youngest sister applied to a marriage broker as a mail order bride on the condition she could bring her sister with her. Otherwise, her sister would have agreed to marry a despicable elderly man so they would have a roof over their heads.

Colorado River near Bastrop, Texas

For locale, we needed the Texas ranch to be on the Colorado River in Central Texas, which is ranching country and supplied herds of cattle to Idaho Territory. All my books are set in Texas and all Jacquie’s books are set in Idaho. Don’t want to waste all our research, right?

The Texas town is fictitious, but based near the real town of Bastrop about thirty miles from Austin. When deciding on a community, we wanted one to which many immigrants had come earlier in the 19th century. Checking on those in Idaho Territory, Jacquie learned there were a lot of Swedish immigrants in Owyhee County about the time we wanted these books set.

Ranch such as our Texas hero owned.

In Texas, there were more Germans in this area, but also Swedish and Norwegian. We settled on Swedish for our heroes. The fictitious town is named after an actual town in Sweden, which happened a lot when a group of immigrants arrived to settle together. So, we were off and running—I mean writing.

We carefully outlined what we wanted to happen, who the secondary characters would be, names, and the situation in each book. And we all know how the best laid plans work, right? Yes, we had to keep sending our work back and forth so the tone of the books coincided. Plus I had help from my critique group and my plotting group. Apparently, it takes a village to write a book.

MAIL ORDER PROMISE by moi is not as humorous as Jacquie’s MAIL ORDER RUCKUS.  Oh, I have several humorous incidents, but Jacquie has a true gift in that department. We each include skullduggery to keep you guessing how the plot unfolds. Bwhahaha.

Don’t think I’m only going to post about MAIL ORDER TANGLE. Nope, I will maybe once a week for a while, then feature other posts the other two times that week. On Monday, the 25th, I’ll be posting a character interview with the hero of MAIL ORDER PROMISE. Please come back then. Just like my personal Hero, he’s a keeper.

In the meantime, you can learn about Jacquie's hero, Matt Johannsen, from MAIL ORDER RUCKUS today at her blog at 

Thanks for stopping by!  

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