Third Time’s A Charm

Hi everyone, Winnie Griggs here.

I have a new book out this month and I thought that today I’d share with you a little bit on how it came to be.  Sometimes the stories we write come to us easily and sometimes they take a very roundabout path. A Tailor-Made Husband is an example of the later. This is the ninth book set in the world of Turnabout, Texas (FYI they are all totally standalone) and my hero and heroine will be familiar to any readers who have been keeping up with the series.

Ward Gleason, the steadfast town sheriff, has made an appearance in just about every book since Handpicked Husband, the first book in the series. Hazel Andrews, the town’s seamstress, first popped up in book two, The Bride Next Door, and she really made a splash in book six, Second Chance Hero, where she was the heroine’s flamboyant best friend.  It was originally my intent to have book seven be their story. In fact, I thought I set it up nicely when I mentioned Hazel’s long standing but unrequited crush on the town’s sheriff.

The problem was, because I’d dropped those hints in the earlier book without much forethought, I’d boxed myself in. I not only had to figure out just why Ward would ignore Hazel’s obvious interest, but I also had to find a way to add a little extra zip when I’m starting with a heroine who is already in love with the hero.  I actually got pretty far along into my first version of the book before it became apparent it wasn’t going to work. I decided to put their story on hold and work on another of the stories I’d planned for the series while I gave it a bit more thought. Once I turned in book seven, The Holiday Courtship, I took another run at it. But again, after quite a bit of work, it became obvious this new story wouldn’t work either. So again I moved on to another book in the series, and Texas Cinderella was the outcome.

By this time, I was determined to give Ward and Hazel their turn in the spotlight.  And, with the help of some friends who are not only willing to listen to me whine without judging me, but are excellent brainstorming buddies, I finally came up with a story that I felt was worthy of this couple.  And I’m really excited about the way it turned out. I hope you’ll agree it was worth the wait.
So what about you – have you ever had a situation where things just weren’t coming together for you and you had to take a step back and regroup?

Leave a comment and you’ll get your name in the hat for a chance to win a copy of A Tailor-Made Husband, or any book of your choice from my backlist.

Below is an excerpt from A Tailor-Made Husband.

Ward frowned. Surely Hazel hadn’t meant that the way it sounded? “You mean you’re taking your annual trip back east early?” Her mother had come from New York and Hazel still had family there that she visited regularly.

“No.” She tucked a stray tendril behind her ear. “I mean I’m moving to New York permanently.”

Turnabout without Hazel’s vibrant presence? He couldn’t quite picture it. Trying to keep his demeanor matter of fact, he raised a brow. “This seems a bit sudden.”

She studied her hands on the table. “Not really. Aunt Ellen has asked me a number of times over the years to join her in her fashion design business. I’ve finally decided to accept her offer.”

“I see.” Except he didn’t. Why would she do such a thing? And why now? She’d always said when she returned from her trips that it felt really good to be home again. “Exactly how soon do you plan to make this move?”

“I haven’t set an exact date, but soon. I talked it over with Verity before she and her family headed out on their vacation and I promised her I wouldn’t leave until she returns.” Hazel shrugged. “They’re due back in about three weeks.”

So soon! And if she’d been planning this since before the Coopers left, why was he just now hearing of it? She usually told him everything. “I see,” he said again, not that he did.

Why had her decision unsettled him so much? After all he had no claim on her.  “And you’ve definitely made up your mind?”

She nodded, looking down as she brushed at her skirt. “So you see, I can only help you with Meg for that long.”

This was so much bigger than not helping with Meg. How could she just leave like this? How long had she been contemplating this? Was she so unhappy with her life here, or was there something in New York drawing her there? Could she have met someone on her last trip? Was—

Hazel reached across the table and touched his wrist, bringing his thoughts back to the here and now.

“But for the next three weeks,” she said, “I’ll do whatever I can to help with Meg.”

He forced a smile. It was the second time today she’d touched him that way. He found he liked it.

Perhaps a little too much.

 

A TAILOR-MADE HUSBAND

From Bachelor Sheriff to Family Man 

Tired of pining for handsome sheriff Ward Gleason, seamstress Hazel Andrews plans to head East for a fresh start—until Ward finds an abandoned child. Hazel can’t turn down his request that she watch the little girl while he investigates a spate of crimes. But spending time with Ward is sending local gossips—and Hazel’s heart—into turmoil. 

Nothing in Ward’s world is the same since he took charge of orphaned Meg…and that includes his growing feelings for Hazel. A fake engagement will allow them to care for the child together until Hazel moves away and finds someone more worthy. But with little Meg convinced she’s already found her forever family, can Ward and Hazel dare to make her dreams come true, along with their own?

 

 

Winnie Griggs
Winnie Griggs is the author of Historical (and occasionally Contemporary) romances that focus on Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace. She is also a list maker, a lover of dragonflies and holds an advanced degree in the art of procrastination.
Three of Winnie’s books have been nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and one of those nominations resulted in a win.
Winnie loves to hear from readers. You can connect with her on facebook at www.facebook.com/WinnieGriggs.Author or email her at winnie@winniegriggs.com.
Updated: June 5, 2017 — 12:11 am

28 Comments

  1. I love when characters get their own story. Glad each one is standalone but it is fun to remember them from prior books.

    1. This has been a really fun series to write.Thanks Debra.

  2. I am looking forward to your new book.

    1. Thanks Estella – glad you’re enjoying the series

  3. I am intrigued by your book, Miss Winnie. I have to step back, take a look, and regroup from time to time. Life is always interesting!

    1. Hi Melanie. Yes, interesting is a good word for it 🙂

  4. I am thoroughly enjoying this series.

    1. Thank you so much Kara – those are words an author loves to hear!

  5. Thank you for the giveaway!

  6. Wonderful excerpt, Winnie! Congratulations on the new release.

  7. Thanks for sharing… congrats on this latest book!

  8. Congrats on this next book in the series….am excited to read it. Just started reading books by yourself, and so far have loved what I have read! Keep up the awesome work!

    1. Oh Lori, thank you so much for those encouraging words.

  9. I love this series Texas Grooms! And a child shall lead them? This will be another interesting book!

    1. Thanks Brenda! To be honest, now that I’ve turned in the last book of the series (releasing in December), I find I’m really going to miss the community of Turnabout.

  10. Looking forward to reading this book.

  11. Wow I’m already falling inn love with the book! I can’t wait to read your others in the series before it!!! But yes I feel every day of my life I have to take a step back and re group haha. As a stay at home mom of a 8 year old, 5 year old and a 1 year old life is always changing. Very rarely do things go according to plan. But I find it’s how I react to each situation that will determine how I finish out my day!

    1. Cori, what a beautiful attitude! I imagine it makes for a much less hectic day than it might otherwise be.

  12. Sometimes we don’t realize how important something is to us until we realize we are in danger of losing it. Having a child part of the issue adds another dimension to it. They can certainly focus our emotions and plans. This sounds like it will be an enjoyable read.

    1. Hi Patricia. Little Meg certainly played a key role in this story and in getting Hzel and Ward together.

  13. I enjoyed this glimpse into your writing process, Winnie, and am eager to read A Tailor-Made Husband!

    1. Hi Britney, thanks for stopping by. And so glad you enjoyed the excerpt.

  14. Just started reading this series….and love it so far!!!

    1. Oh wow Lori, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and post this note. You really made my day!!

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