Trying to decide what I want to write about here turned out to be harder than coming up with ideas for my annual Christmas letter. I think that’s because once I’ve finished working on a book, it’s out of my head. Really, there’s a finite amount of storage space in my brain, and since I like to keep the synapses firing to answer Final Jeopardy, something’s got to give. However, as it’s quite lovely to be asked to contribute to Petticoats and Pistols, I’m sacrificing all the money I could earn by playing Jeopardy at home in favor of hanging out with the characters I created for Marry Me, and, I hope, some characters hanging out here.
Marry Me gave me the opportunity to revisit Reidsville, the Colorado town at the center of my previous release, Never Love a Lawman. Sheriff Wyatt Cooper and his wife Rachel, as well as that no-account Beatty boy and Rose LaRosa, have supporting roles in Marry Me, but the stars are most definitely folks new to the town.
The driving force for this story began when I stumbled across a name for the heroine: Rhyne (pronounced Ryan). Somewhere there is a young woman working as a problem solver for iTunes with that name, proof that inspiration can come from unexpected places. As Rhyne’s story unfolded in my mind, the hero also began to take shape. He required a more impressive pedigree than Rhyne, and so Coleridge Braxton Monroe, M.D. was born.
Some of the fun for me in putting this story together was doing the research related to doctoring and germ theory. Cole’s practicing medicine in the 1880’s when some of the ideas we accept today were only being advanced. Proposing the idea that disease could be caused and spread by something that couldn’t be seen didn’t settle well with many physicians, let alone the general populace. Having spent more time than I liked in microbiology lab, I can attest to the fact that sometimes there’s stuff on the Petri dishes that you just don’t want to know about.
So…how do the town outcast, the new doctor, and germ theory all come together in a Western? That’s where you’ll have to read Marry Me and find out. For a lucky poster, I have a copy of the book ready to be sent out. To whet your appetite, here’s the 411 from the back cover:
HER HEART WAS LOCKED AWAY
Rhyne Abbott is fierce, brave, and used to a life of isolation on her father’s spread on the outskirts of Reidsville, Colorado. But when, overcome with sickness, she collapses, she knows she must return to town if she is to have any hope of recovery. Only there is no place for her but the new doctor’s home, and he wants more than just to heal Rhyne. He wants her hand in marriage.
UNTIL ONE MAN FOUND THE KEY
Doctor Cole Monroe’s hands are already more than full with his orphaned little sister to look after, and yet somehow he can’t resist the magnetic pull of Rhyne’s bewitching eyes—or her tempting kiss. But convincing her to trust him won’t be easy. For Rhyne’s heart needs as much tender care as her ailing body. And the only cure is the thing she most fears: to let herself fall in love…
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