Hi, Winnie Griggs here. I have a new book coming out next month, Handpicked Husband, and I thought I’d give you just a small peek into what goes through my mind as I flesh out a character for my books
Regina Nash, the heroine of the book, is , a maiden aunt and a woman with a personality as big as her heart. She’s also opinionated, independent-minded, and an unapologetically quirky individual. One of the first things I had to decide about her is how she got by financially since she has no husband, no benefactor, and no ‘inherited money’. After cogitating on this a while I decided photography would be the perfect vocation for her – it would allow her to work for herself and set her own hours – important since she is caring for her nephew – and would give her a creative outlet.
Then I decided that I needed something else, some outward sign of her quirky side. Again, this took some thought and I came up with and then discarded quite a number of items as being ‘not quite Reggie’. I finally came across an article about gypsy caravans and knew I had hit upon just the thing. I decided the conveyance she would have to travel in and transport her equipment around with would be something very colorful and garish, something that would turn heads and raise brows. I envisioned something between a gypsy caravan and a circus wagon.
In the end, I found an example of just what I was looking for. You can see a picture of it, along with all the other visuals I used for imaging people and places in my story, on the Pinterest board I created (but you need to imagine it with much brighter/gaudier colors) HERE.
And to celebrate the upcoming release of Handpicked Husband, I’m going to giveaway an advanced copy to one of today’s commenters.
Note, in the interest of full disclosure I want to let you know that this is a refresh of a story that was originally released under the title Lady’s Choice under the Dorchester Leisure Books imprint. In addition to the hero, the story features three bachelors who came toTexasas potential grooms for my heroine. I always wanted to give each of these gentlemen stories of their own, butDorchesterand I parted ways before that could happen. I was discussing this with my editor at Love Inspired and we decided to move forward with the idea. But I wanted to make that first story available again to those who may have missed it the first time. So I did some fairly extensive rewrites, both to fit within the guidelines of the Love Inspired Historical line and to ‘fix it up’ based on things I’ve learned in the seven years that have passed since I wrote this story.
So that’s how Handpicked Husband came about, and it becomes the first of my four book Texas Grooms series.
Here is an excerpt to (hopefully) whet your appetite for more.
An ear-splitting shriek ricocheted through the forest, startling a raucous cloud of blackbirds from the roadside trees.
“Easy, Trib.” Adam Barr patted the horse’s neck as the animal shied. What now?
The buggy behind him slowed to a stop, but Adam ignored it, along with the uneasy questions from the three men seated inside. He’d promised to escort the men from Philadelphia to Texas, not be their nursemaid.
The wailing continued and Adam fought the urge to tilt back his head and answer with a wild, full-throated howl. He’d gritted his teeth so often these past few days the muscles in his jaw hurt. Taking on this job when more important business waited for him in Philadelphia had him in a foul mood, as his companions could no doubt attest.
After six years of biding his time – six years, two months and thirteen days to be exact – he’d thought he could finally pursue his goal without distraction.
If this assignment had come from anyone but Judge Madison…
Adam scanned the brush-skirted hardwoods lining the trail. Whatever the source of that eerie sound, it was headed their way.
He eased his rifle from the scabbard. Anticipation stirred his blood. He might have to employ his ‘company manners’ with his three charges, but this bellowing beast was another matter.
No telling what manner of creature roamed this forsaken backwoods. The wail was too high pitched for a bear. A large cat maybe?
He urged Trib closer to the trees. There seemed to be a pattern to the sound, a certain mangled cadence. Almost as if–
Well, what do you know?
He leaned back. Not a wild animal after all. Too bad. (read more)