Guest Author: Maris Soule

Author Picture - Maris Soule 2When I first entertained the notion of writing a romance, I joined the Mid-Michigan chapter of the Romance Writers of America. I discovered a wonderful group of supportive people, so full of encouragement. Several were published authors, and I sought out their books so that I could emulate them. Maris Soule was one of the successful authors I followed. She had several books in the Silhouette line at Harlequin, and I read most of her paperbacks. Recently, Maris has been taking some of her paperbacks and re-releasing them as ebooks. This is a very time consuming effort, so when she announced her most recent project, I asked her to tell us about it!

               ****

HeiressThank you, Patty, for inviting me to talk about HEIRESS SEEKING PERFECT HUSBAND. This book was created back in 1997 when Silhouette tried a new line of romances called Yours Truly. My editor said, “The idea is that sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find Prince Charming. These books will feature women in the process of finding Mr. Right.”

I loved the idea. I didn’t get married until my late twenties. During those pre-marriage years, I dated and kissed a lot of men. They might not have been frogs, but they also weren’t Mr. Right. And then I met Bill.

Actually, I’d dreamed about Bill as a child. Before I was even a teenager, I knew I wanted to marry a redhead with blue eyes. And there he was…dating my upstairs neighbor. I believe in Fate, Kismet, Divine Guidance, whatever you want to call it, and my upstairs neighbor was often late. So, while Bill waited for her to show up, he and I would often talk…about everything from the art professor who was driving me crazy to the work he was doing with mentally challenged students. And then, one day he came to see me, not my neighbor. They’d broken up, and he was asking me out.

That was 50 years ago. We’ve been together ever since.

Now, Bill was an active Marine during the Korean war (I’ve been told, over and over, once a Marine always a Marine), is muscular, and (from what I’ve heard) was in a few bar fights in his younger years. In other words, he’s no wimp. So, when I was writing HEIRESS SEEKING PERFECT HUSBAND, I decided I needed to visit the Detroit, Michigan area to visualize exactly where my hero Clint had lived and my heroine Shannon now lived. I asked Bill to drive me over there. Our first shock was how downtown Detroit looked like a war zone: empty buildings, boarded up windows and doors, and rubble everywhere. (I understand it’s improved somewhat.) From there we drove north to Grosse Point, where I’d placed Shannon’s home. There I saw gated estates with large expanses of lawn and huge houses. Definitely a contrast. (Which is one reason why Clint, in the story, doesn’t feel worthy of Shannon.)

In one scene, Shannon drives herself from her estate to a building in Detroit where Clint works with at risk students on his day off. It’s not a safe area, and one Clint has warned her to stay away from. I wanted to see what the drive would be like and what the area would be like. All I can say is I scared my husband…and me. As we drove through rundown neighborhoods with groups of young men hanging out on the corners and in front of bars, Bill kept saying, “We need to get out of here.” And when we turned onto a dead-end street by mistake, he made the fastest, tightest U-turn I’d ever seen that car make. I don’t think either of us gave a sigh of relief until we were back on the freeway, heading for our home in southwest Michigan.

Now when I ask Bill to help me research a book, he gives me this questioning look, and I have to assure him we won’t be going anywhere dangerous.

Last year I released HEIRESS SEEKING PERFECT HUSBAND as an e-book. Here’s a bit from the story.

No,” she began, then stopped, the pieces falling into place. One piece stormed through the door. Motorcycle helmet in hand, his white shirt open at the neck and the sleeves rolled to his elbows, Clint strode toward her. His look was fierce. “What in the hell are you doing here!”
Shannon wanted to step back, but forced herself to stand where she was. Boldly, she lifted her chin and looked him straight in the eyes. “I’m talking to Don. What are you doing here?”
“I told you to stay away from this place.”
“And I told you I would go anywhere I pleased. You are not my father or my husband. You are not even my lover. You’re my chauffeur.” She lifted her eyebrows. “Or are you?”
He stood directly in front of her, his chest expanding with each breath he took and a muscle along the side of his jaw twitching with his anger.
“Just what exactly did John hire you to do, Clint? And this time I want the truth, not another lie.”

You can find HEIRESS SEEKING PERFECT HUSBAND at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

 

About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Kiyono/e/B0067PSM5C/
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19 Responses to Guest Author: Maris Soule

  1. jeff7salter says:

    welcome to 4F1H.
    Love the anecdote about your and your husband “sight-seeing” in the run-down areas of Detroit. Yikes.
    So I take it that you’ve gotten back your rights to the titles which were previously released through Harlequin. Did you take advantage of that opportunity to “tuneup” your text any?
    If so, what were some of the changes you made in the story?

    Liked by 1 person

    • marissoule says:

      Hi Jeff, Yes, I was able to get the rights back to all but 2 of my Silhouette/Harlequin books. And yes, I did a little tune up, but not much with this book. I had one place where one of the letters mentions how impersonal faxes are. I changed that to text messages. And I mention cell phones in HEIRESS. But overall, this book needed very few changes. I have one of my Loveswept romantic suspense novels that I would love to re-release. It was a RITA finalist, but what was true back when I wrote that book is no longer true today, so I would have to totally rewrite the book.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Jeff, I think the rougher parts of Detroit would scare ANYONE off! And Maris, kudos to you for taking the time to update rather than simply re-issue your books.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What an interesting and probably scary way to research for your book.

    I enjoyed the story of how you met your husband.

    Your book sounds wonderful. I’ll have to read it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. marissoule says:

    Thank you, Angela. I really enjoyed writing this book. Simply remembering back to my “dating days” was fun.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. marissoule says:

    Thank you, Patty, for inviting me to be on your blog. It was fun remembering back to when I met my husband and back to that day I scared him (and me). Thank goodness nothing ever happened that day, and I must admit, the fear helped me in writing one of the scenes in the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Welcome, Maris! One of my sons was offered a good piece of money for a job in Detroit, but knowing the hard times most of the city fell to, he opted-out.Seems to be all “Haves’ and “Have-Nots” any more.It’s very sad.
    I wish you the best with all of your work.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Annette Briggs says:

    Loved hearing about your adventure, Maris. That book sounds like a great read. All the best, Annette

    Liked by 1 person

    • marissoule says:

      It’s a fun read, Annette. Writing about Clint trying to keep Shannon safe all the while afraid she’d catch him following her let me create some fun scenes. And, of course, having Clint writing her love letters signed Cyrano was also fun.

      Like

  7. Love the story of how you met Bill!

    Like

  8. I have HEIRESS on my Kindle moving up my TBR list, Maris. I love that you pictured your husband before you ever met him. No wonder you write romantic stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Diane Burton says:

    Years ago, I wanted to show my Hubs where my grandmother lived in north St. Louis. I visited her in my teens & 20s. Well, I saw what you did (in Detroit) and had the same reaction. Hubs made a U-turn and we got out of there. I promised never to ask him to go there again. Better to remember how it used to be than what it is now.

    Liked by 1 person

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