Writing a novel is the ability to create an entire world through ink and paper. I’ve learned that in order to make that world as real as possible I needed to fully develop the supporting characters as well as the hero and heroine. So as fascinating and lovable as Kate and Nathan are to me and I hope will be to you, let’s examine two scenes that showcase the world they live in.
In the first, I endeavored to allow the supporting characters to emerge as fully formed, fully functioning people rather than just a characterization to be used as props. The trick was not to let them steal the lime light but give them what is call in photography “reflectors” meaning that they reflect the lime light to shine back just enough on the main subject to make it appear more interesting.
“We ordered a husband for you.”
At the sound of her little brother’s voice, Kate O’Brien’s finger froze in its trek down the page of her financial ledger. Her gaze shot to the kitchen doorway where twelve-year-old Sean stood next their to ten-year-old sister Ellie. She met their serious stares blankly. Surely, she’d heard wrong. “I’m sorry. You did what?”
Sean exchanged a look with Ellie, then met Kate’s gaze before carefully repeating himself. Kate’s heart began to beat faster in her chest. She placed the ledger on the kitchen table and tried to swallow the sense of foreboding that skittered down her backbone. “What exactly does that mean?”
“Something wonderful,” Ellie exclaimed with a smile before slipping into a chair across from Kate. “I heard Mr. Johansen talking about mail order brides at his mercantile. knew that was what we needed so we put advertisement for a mail-order-groom in a few newspapers.”
She glanced from Ellie to Sean, hoping for some indication that they were joking. They both looked perfectly serious.
“We received a lot of responses,” Sean said as he pulled a small pack of letters from behind his back and placed it on the table in front of her. She spared the packet a brief glance before meeting her little brother’s sincere green eyes. “One response was special. We knew he was perfect for us so we wrote back.”
“Oh, Sean,” she breathed in dismay.
His gaze faltered for an instant before he continued. “I knew he wouldn’t respond if we told him we were children so we just told him all about you and took a few passages from Ma and Pa’s love letters to make it sound more grown-up.”
Her heart froze in her chest. “You forged letters from me? That’s against the law.”
His eyes widened and he shook his head adamantly. “We didn’t forge letters. We just never said which Miss O’Brien was doing the writing.”
“Why did you do this?”
“We wanted to help,” he insisted quietly.
She widened her eyes imploringly. “How does this help?”
“You do a lot, Kate,” Sean said. “We don’t always say thank you for it, but when we stop to think about it we know.”
“I do what has to be done.”
He nodded. “That’s just it. Ma’s and Pa’s deaths were just as hard on you as they were on us but you were strong. You had to be. We wanted you to have someone who would do for you what you do for us.”
Kate was astounded at the maturity in his voice but still shook her head in disbelief at their actions. “I appreciate that, Sean, but what you two did was wrong.”
Ellie leaned forward earnestly. “We knew what you needed and that you would never get it for yourself. You’re too shy around handsome men.”
She gaped at her younger sister. “Oh, Ellie, really.”
“Well, it’s true,” the girl declared obstinately. “You never let men court you. It’s all that awful Mr. Stolvins’s fault. Ever since he—”
“Ellie, bringing that man in to this conversation really isn’t going to help you.”
Ellie allowed her words to stumble to a halt then lifted her brows archly. “It’s true and you know it. Besides, you need someone to take care of you.”
Kate slammed the ledger shut. “I do not.”
“You do so, but you won’t admit it,” Ellie said firmly. Her small fist pounded on the table. “That’s why we had to act.”
Kate crossed her arms. “You were trying to marry me off without my consent.”
“I know,” Ellie said then lifted her chin nobly as tears gleamed in her large green eyes. “We couldn’t because you have to sign a silly paper.”
Hopefully, you’re getting a very clear picture of who each character is, their relationships with each other and how it impacts our heroine. Kate’s true character as a loving, responsible woman with a bit of a temper is revealed in her interactions with the people who mean the most to her.
I hope that you’ll read Unlawfully Wedded Bride and be swept into an entirely new world that’s just waiting to be discovered. Visit me at NoelleMarchand.com!
Back Cover Blurb…
Kate O’Brien can’t believe her ears. She’s been married, by proxy, to a man she’s never met, thanks to her young siblings’ meddling! Kate offers her “groom” room and board at her farm until the annulment is granted—nothing more. After all, what else could this predicament be but a blunder that needs fixing?
Nathan Rutledge arrives on Kate’s doorstep, seeking a fresh start—with a family that needs his help more than Kate will admit. The shadows in both their pasts will be no match for a bright new beginning. But first, he has to convince a woman frightened of love to throw caution to the Texas wind…
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Cover Art is Copyright © 2011 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited and Text is Copyright © 2011 by Noelle Marchand. Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.