Welcome, Anita Mae Draper to by blog this month. Anita is giving away a copy of her new book, The American Heiress Brides. Ask Anita a question or comment on her post to be entered. Don't forget to leave your email address and let me know if you are a feedburner follower for an extra entry.
SWEET LOVE GROWS by Anita Mae Draper
When I was first presented with the opportunity to write a novella about an heiress, it was with the understanding that the proposal would include not only the type of industry that provided her wealth, but also one thing that defined her character.
An abandoned heiress came to mind. I immediately said to count me in even though I couldn’t provide a background or industry for my heroine at that time. I only knew that somehow, she would face the possibility of losing her inheritance.
But what industry to choose? Here’s what the other authors in this project were covering:
· runaway heiress, silver
· reluctant heiress
· tender-hearted heiress, banking
· hometown heiress, cotton milling
· Southern heiress, horse ranching
· California heiress
· adventure-seeking heiress
· beautiful heiress, Alaskan mining
Since I wanted to set the story out west during the last decade of the 19th century, I needed something that a man could build and sustain during that time. Something that people needed so there would be an ongoing requirement. Since ranching, mining, and clothing were already chosen, I researched food. However, I didn’t want farm food, like a market garden. I wanted something that would make today’s reader say, oh?
I decided on something that most people crave…sugar. Back then, your choice of sweeteners came from sugar cane, sugar beets, sorghum, maple trees and honey bees. (Corn syrup came later.) If you had the money, you could buy refined sugar in cubes, but that was expensive. Most people could afford the heavy cones of brown sugar, but they weren’t practical for baking.
Most western cooks used syrup or molasses for baking and from that, I chose the sorghum industry where my heiress’ father grows sorghum and then boils it down into syrup. I chose Minnesota as the setting because historically, it has a good sorghum growing record, and still produces the syrup.
As for the hero, the easy route would have been to write him as the heir. But from reading the back cover blurb, readers might assume the heiress would marry him and end up in her family home—where’s the abandonment there?
There had to be a question of whether or not she would end up in her familiar home with her inheritance intact. Hence, the hero of my story is the heir’s attorney who has a vested interest in chasing her out of a home she has no right to inherit.
With that decision, my storyline fell into place:
Amelia Cord never doubted her father's love despite her illegitimacy. When he dies without a will, handsome by-the-books attorney Jeremy Moore produces a vindictive legal heir who demands her eviction without an inheritance. Can sweet love grow in spite of the odds?
I recently created postcards for Sweet Love Grows, but with a slightly different blurb than the one you see above. If you’d like to receive one of these postcards in your mailbox, sign up for my newsletter on my website, or on my Facebook Author page. You’ll also be eligible for special subscriber-only giveaways.
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Anita Mae Draper's stories are written under the western skies where she lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan with her hubby of 30 plus years and the youngest of their four kids. After retiring from careers in the Canadian Armed Forces, Anita and her husband ran a commercial greenhouse operation before moving to the farm they lovingly call, Draper's Acres. When she's not writing, Anita enjoys photography, research, and travel, and is especially happy when she can combine the three in one trip. You can find Anita Mae at www.anitamaedraper.com