The Mother of Invention

I’m making one of the three sisters in my upcoming new series an inventor.

It’s 1870-ish California. The three girls are the daughters of a wealthy man who owns a mountain full of forests and he’s raised his daughters to take over.

In my research into a new area…I’ve never set a book in California before. And a new industry…logging. (relax there are cowboys!) I found that this age is just amazingly full of inventions.

The oldest daughter is an inventor. She’s other things, too…but she already has two patents at age twenty-one and has a head just brimming with ideas.

Highly educated by her father, always treated with respect, her brilliance acknowledged by her parents, she’s a little shocked when circumstances force the three sisters to run from an evil man and hide out acting as servants.

Well, they are lousy servants. As smart as they are, they realize how completely all these basic needs have been met all their lives while they were doing ‘important stuff’. And now someone expects them, based on their disguises, to know how to mend clothes, darn socks, do laundry and cook. These three brilliant women are incompetent and they start to understand that they’ve really not respected enough the people who have seen to all their basic needs all their lives.

Anyway, back to the inventor. While other people cook and clean and care for her, she’s wild to invent things.

And in the research I did for her I just found SO MANY INVENTIONS. This was a crazy age for newer, more modern inventions. (I suppose that’s true of every age though?)

The progress they were making with oil and gas, with engines, with updating everything. There were so many small (and yet HUGE) inventions. The undercarriage of a railroad train, the braking systems, the use of water power, steam power, wind power. And now here she is, Michelle, hiding from a bad man and expected to know how to turn a haunch of venison into supper for twenty people and all she can do is hope to not poison or starve everyone.

I really loved this research. Oddly enough, the strange, small inventions caught most of my attention. The most rudimentary automobiles (which were modified bicycles but with motors, but BAD motors) had been invented. Then with one tiny speck of progress at a time, I read somewhere there were over 100,000 patents for cars by the time Henry Ford created his assembly line, crude first steps became what we have today.

I read for a long time about the four stroke cycle engine, which is the engine inside a car, at it’s most basic at least, was theorized for a decade before someone managed to build a working model. My heroine is fascinated by that and, later in the series, when her husband is getting VERY TIRED of her blowing stuff up, especially herself, we mention that’s she’s working on that theory.

Anyway, necessity is the mother of inventions but for me and this book? Inventions were the mother of the necessity of me writing this story.

Book #1 coming in February, this is the little sister who likes dynamite. I’ll write about that next! The Element of Love 

Then next book comes in July #2 Inventions of the Heart

And finally next October, not available for preorder yet, we’ll have A Model of Devotion for the sister who likes building bridges.

Lots to talk about during an age that is just full of progress.


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Author of Romantic Comedy...with Cowboys including the bestselling Kincaid Brides Series

45 thoughts on “The Mother of Invention”

  1. Mary, I always enjoy all your books, especially the humor tucked in! This series sounds like another winner for you! Enjoy every moment!

  2. It would have been a great help to the sisters to have one of the books about basic housekeeping and cooking written about this era. Some of them were quite detailed. The girls would have the intelligence to follow basic written directions. But going blindly without instructions would have been a hoot to watch.

    • They are really smart, Sherry, so you only have to tell them once still, until they do get told, which is tricky because they’re supposed to already know!!! They’re stumped.

  3. This sounds like a very interesting series. I love reading your books because they do have so much humor in them. One of my favorites has always been The Husband Tree.

  4. These sound fascinating. And a heroine named Michelle… what fun! (but I’m sure it will be strange for me to read)

  5. I always love the research side of writing and find it’s easy to get lost in it. 🙂 This new series sounds like it will be a lot of fun. Can’t wait to read them, Mary.

    • KariJean, I had so much fun making their razor sharp smart and also idiots….in common chores. And they’re a decent enough and self-aware enough to realize it about themselves. They want to help, they just don’t know how. But they are very quick studies, if they can just work up the nerve to admit they’re sneaking and hiding and lying…

    • Hey, Shanna. Thank you. Book #1 blows stuff up but I’ll talk about her later, closer to her release date. The inventor is the bossy big sister. The chemist is the sweet baby sister. Who ends up saving the day with DYNAMITE

  6. Welcome today. I love your stories. They are always so full of humor and rich in love. I cant wait to read this newest series. Sounds like so much fun mixed in with a lot of realizations. Thanks for shairng.

  7. Looking forward to reading this series. I already know they will be wonderful and I will laugh out loud at some of the things that happen. Thank you for sharing your talen with us.

  8. These books sound like so much fun. I didn’t know about all those patents before Henry Ford!! In my wee little brain I figured he was the only one trying. ?

  9. I can’t wait for this series to come out! I love your stories, and this sounds like it is going to be tons of fun.

  10. I cannot wait to read these, they sound so good and funny. You are one author I would love to meet and get your autograph. I love supporting your books and I got my husband’s aunt who lives in NE reading your books too.

    • They’re engineers, Pam. One is a chemical engineer…the dynamite loving lady. One is a mechanical engineer, who likes inventing…I’m not sure these terms existed back then so I had to call them other things. One is what I’d call now a civil engineer, but she loves building. The three of them working together, have been raised and educated to build a railroad track up a mountain to haul down logs.

  11. Hi, your new series sounds like it will be pages full of fun and great things happening! I love the sound of your books! I love your book covers.! Thank you for sharing about your new series, I will be looking for them. Have a great rest of the week and stay safe.

  12. Oh, Mary, I can’t wait. Your books make me laugh, they make me think, and they just plain feed my love of reading! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Blessings!

  13. I can’t wait to get this book for my mom who is 89 and reads faster than I can. She has dementia, yet she still has the presence of mind to understand (short term) what she’s reading. I can’t wait to hear her laugh out loud! She and I read Christian based books and you have never disappointed us. Thank you

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