The author talks about her three-in-one historical romance collection
Idaho Brides (Romancing America):
Experience the Wild West through the eyes of the three McConnell brothers who long to overcome their troubled childhood as drunkard’s sons.
Q: Your ‘Romancing America’ book started out as separate titles for the Heartsong
Presents readers. Tell us how the individual novels are linked together into a
The stories in the Idaho Brides
collection each feature one of the McConnell brothers and are all set in the
fictional Southwestern Idaho town Money Creek. Each of the brothers must heal
from the scars they carry as a result of growing up sons of the town drunk. Not
only do they have to change the minds of the townsfolk, but they need to change
their own minds about their worth.
Q: When you were originally writing the series, how much were you focused on each
individual title — and how much were your eyes on how each piece fit into the
I wrote a detailed synopsis of the
first story, and a single paragraph summary for the next two in the series. As
a reader, I love it when characters from previous books appear in the next
installment of a series, and I wanted that to be true of the Idaho Brides. In
addition to the McConnell brothers and their brides, several townsfolk make
appearances in each of the books. As I wrote books two and three, this became
both easier and more complicated, since I knew the setting and stories better
but there were also more people to juggle.
Q: What was your inspiration for the original series? (And how much did your
original plan change over the course of the arc?)
an avid reader of history books and I love, love, love history museums. Through
reading and touring museums, I had gathered some interesting tidbits about
stagecoach robberies, the black market buying and selling of children in the
Old West, and the various methods employed by rustlers to steal cattle. When
the McConnell brothers first introduced themselves to me, I knew I’d found just
the men to fight these evils.
Every story veers somewhat from the original synopsis as I
write, but overall, the series stayed fairly true to the original idea.
Q: How does your faith influence your writing?
continually surprised that as I write, I find myself learning the same
spiritual truths as my characters. Trust, forgiveness, faithfulness, courage,
honor, and so many more. When I write, it is always with the firm believe that
God exists, and that He loves and redeems sinners.
Q: What do you most hope readers get out of your fiction?
and foremost, I hope to deliver an entertaining enjoyable experience, because
that’s why we read fiction. Beyond that, I hope the reader is encouraged and
strengthened in their faith, and that they finish one of my stories with a
feeling of hope.