Don't forget the new rules of the spotlights here. Random questions will be inserted in each spotlight for you to answer in the comments in order to be entered. So, be on the lookout!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
VICKIE MCDONOUGH is an award-winning inspirational romance author, with 18 novels and novellas published. She was recently voted 3rd Favorite Author in Heartsong Present’s annual readers’ contest, and her book, Outlaw Heart, placed 2nd in the Favorite Historical Romance category. Vickie is currently the treasurer of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and has written book reviews for nine years. Vickie is a wife of thirty-four years, mother of four grown sons and grandma to a feisty four-year-old girl. When she’s not writing, Vickie enjoys reading, gardening, watching movies, and traveling.
THE ANONYMOUS BRIDE
by Vickie McDonough
Published by Barbour Publishing
ABOUT THE BOOK
Three mail-orders brides arrive in Lookout, Texas, each expecting to marry the local marshal. But—he didn't order a bride. When a contest ensues to discover which bride will make him the best wife, there is a surprise fourth entry--an anonymous one. Mayhem occurs as the whole town tries to figure out who the anonymous bride is, and the mayor pressures the marshal to pick a bride or lose his job. Will Marshal Davis tuck tail and run for the hills? Or will he lose his heart and his bachelorhood?
Readers, buy your copy of The Anonymous Bride today!
1. This is your debut trade novel after many mass markets. Congratulations! What gave you the inspiration for this story?
I was trying to come up with a new idea for a book, and this one started as a “what if” question. What if a mail-order bride showed up in town, expecting to marry the local marshal, but what if he didn’t order a bride? Then my thoughts morphed a bit. What if three mail-order brides showed up, expecting to marry the poor, unsuspecting guy? How could something like that happen? And if it did, what would happen to the extra women since only one could marry him? Then I thought, what if the town held a contest to see which gal would make him the best wife? The ideas just kept coming, and that’s the basic premise.
2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?
That’s a hard question, because it’s not something I really think about when I’m writing. I’m sure my characters have a little of me in them, but most of them are spunkier than me. My quirky sense of humor is something that sometimes is reflected in my characters, as well as my belief in God. Their backstory and experiences are theirs alone, as well as the choices they make during the course of the book. I’m totally not responsible for their actions. They do have minds of their own, you know. :)
3. If your hero/heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?
My hero would be Mocha Almond Fudge. He runs on coffee, is a hard nut to crack because of past hurts, but he’s really sweet when his defenses are down.
Question: Which ice cream flavor would YOU be and why? Try to avoid Rocky Road.
4. Are there any themes in The Anonymous Bride that you hope the reader sees?
The main theme is forgiving past offenses. My hero was deeply wounded when his fiancée up and married the richest man in town. Now, years later, God has sent him back home to forgive the woman who hurt him, but he discovers that it’s not as easy as he’d hoped it would be.
Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as your story unfolded?
Actually there were. I knew my heroine had a troubled marriage, but it wasn’t until I got into the story that I discovered she’d been abused. She suffers low self-esteem because of that, and she’s also raising a strong-willed ten-year-old. My heroine struggles with being a good parent and disciplining her child. I think these are issues that many women today can relate to, even though the book is a historical.
5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?
I don’t know that there was a particular scene that was more difficult, but rather the middle of the book. This is twice as long as the Heartsong books I’ve been writing. When I got halfway done, I still had another 50,000 words to write, and I worried about the book being good enough to hold a reader’s attention for so long. Once I got past the 3/4ths mark and was going into the final stretch, things got easier.
There are several scenes I really love in this book. One is when the first two brides arrive, and Rachel confronts Luke about them, only poor Luke is totally clueless and baffled. The other is when Luke finds a stray dog and locks him in his jail until he can decide what to do with him, Jack, the heroine’s daughter comes in and the dialogue between her and Luke is a hoot—at least it was to me.
6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?
I have a September release, which is a Christmas novella collection called Christmas Mail-Order Brides. This collection has four authors who’ve each written a novella following the mail-order bride theme. The other authors are: Susan Page Davis, Therese Stenzel, and Carrie Turansky.
Here’s a blurb:
Ride the transcontinental railroad as marriage arrives by mail-order—and just in time for Christmas. Annika arrives in Wyoming to discover her intended is missing. Jolie’s journey to Nevada is derailed by disaster. Elizabeth carries a load of secrets to Nebraska. And Amelia travels to California to wrap up her final attempts at matchmaking. Will the holiday season be the ticket to spark love in unexpected ways?
In October, Second Chance Brides, the sequel to The Anonymous Bride will be released. It tells the tale of the losers in the bride contest in the first book. Both women are stranded in Texas and neither one can—nor wants to—return home. The only options left are to find employment in the tiny town of Lookout or to find a husband. Neither of which are the prospects good.
I’m being vague on purpose in case you haven’t yet read the first book. I don’t want to give anything away.
I’m putting together an email newsletter mailing list. If you’re interested in being on my mailing list and receiving a quarterly newsletter and announcements about book releases, please email me at fictionfan1 at cox dot net.
Thanks so much for having me as a guest on your blog.
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Thank you, Vickie, for being in the spotlight with us.
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