I love to read historical romance set in almost any place and time period, but one of my favorites is the American West. It was definitely a time for strong, tenacious women, the kind I like to write about. Kathy L Wheeler is a member of one of my author promotion groups, and when she announced the release of her Mail Order Bride series I asked her to share the books with us and give us some insight to her research. So here she is!
Research, Research, Research
Kathy L Wheeler
Even though my degree is centered around computers, business and programming, I love history. I have no idea why I went the route I did. As a result, everything I write, I delve into some kind of background of the subject I attack with a vigor. One reason in particular is a few years back I was reading Linda Howard’s book, The Prey. It was a very different kind of book, even for her! The story featured a bear who actually had a point of view, strangely enough. Something about the bear struck me as odd—he had a taste for blood. I believe it was a brown bear, and I’d never heard that bears had a taste for blood. Not human blood. So I googled it, and low and behold, they did.
So now every story I write, if there is any kind of history that pull a person out and inclined to check on a fact, I try to make certain that they come away with the same information I did. It might be just a sliver of information on a general who led his troops in an obscure battel in the civil war. A one-line piece of information that might have someone thinking “Who was this person?” Then they check, like I did. And, come away with something authentic about me. That I incorporate non-fiction within my fiction.
This can be quite tedious and time consuming and the proverbial rabbit hole. Consider looking up information on traveling from Philadelphia to Colorado Springs in 1885 by rail. The railway system was growing by leaps and bounds. There was a lot of money involved. Jobs. Politics. Luxury cars. You name it.
One has to wonder how one actually manages to finish a story!
Mail Order Bride: The Counterfeit: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q7P84ZB/
After a disastrous first marriage, Will Jeffers hasn’t the stomach for another emotionally entailed union. All he needs is a wife to cook, nurse his mother, and look after the homestead. But good women are few and far between in Colorado mining country. A mail order bride is the perfect solution.
Amelia Johannasen is running for her life. Her mother has decided it’s time her daughter joined the family business, shattering Amy’s dreams of marrying for love. Imagine her surprise when she is mistaken for Will Jeffers mail order bride. She’ll take it.
With a head for numbers and talent for spinning tall-tales but no notion of how to cook or nurse a manipulative old woman how can she reach the heart of a man once burned so badly, he’s sworn off love?
Mail Order Bride: The Breakaway: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q7R46CF/
Tragedy sent Sherman Elias McHuay west twelve years ago. But his troubled past barrels in like a runaway train or—more appropriately—smacks him over the head in the form of a violet-eyed miss without a lick of common sense to her name. If one could actually determine her name.
Amaris Johnston’s carefully laid plans to head west as a mail order bride ratchet up when an announcement for her impending nuptials to the son of a prominent US Senator are set to go public. Not that she’d agreed to marry in the first place. A forced engagement and her family—a conniving slew of ambitious and power-hungry tyrants—send her running for the Colorado hills.
Can a slow talking sheriff and a headstrong girl bent on recklessness outwit her powerful family?
Kathy L Wheeler (a.k.a. Kae Elle Wheeler for her Cinderella Series) has a BA in Management Information Systems from the University of Central Oklahoma that includes over forty credit hours of vocal music. She was a computer programmer for the Hertz Corporation for over fifteen years and utilizes karaoke for her vocal music talents. Other passions include the NFL, the NBA, travel musical theatre, painting, reading, and writing.
She is a member of several chapters of the Romance Writers of America: Greater Seattle chapter, Olympia and Eastside chapters, The Beau Monde Chapter and Hearts Through history.
Her main sources of inspiration come from mostly an over-active imagination. She currently resides in the Seattle area with her musically talented husband, Al, and their bossy cat, Carly, and sweet dog, Angel.
Kathy can be found at her website and on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
My thoughts: Book One, The Counterfiet, releases tomorrow, but I was able to get an ARC and read it this past weekend. I hadn’t read Western Romance in a long time, but this lovely story reminded me of why I enjoyed it. Amelia is an intelligent, resourceful heroine, and she does what’s necessary to survive while keeping her sense of right and wrong. Will is a wonderful hero, coming to the rescue when necessary, yet appreciative of the talents of others. The story is full of surprises and kept me reading. There are several fascinating characters, so I’m glad there’s a sequel. Looking forward to Book Two!
Looking forward to reading this. I’m drawn to the first story (Counterfeit) by description, but both sound interesting. Best of luck!
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I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Thanks so much for stopping in!
I’m thrilled to be here.
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Congrats on the new release. Sounds like a fun story, and I love the cover! Western romance is one of my favorites.
thank you, Lucy. It’s exciting. I haven’t released anything in over two years. I would love your thoughts. kathy
Welcome, Kathy! There must be incredible background stories on women who chose to become mail-order brides, all heart-breaking, I am sure. I doubt that many actually had HEAs, but I hope that where they landed was better than where they came from.
All the best to you!
Thank you Tonette. My story takes a little bit lighter of a turn. Although the reasons behind the two heroines situations are dire creating a chaotic twist in fate.
Best wishes on your new release, Kathy. You call it the “rabbit hole”, I call it the “black hole” of research. So easy to keep clicking those sidelinks and discovering more fun facts.
I know, right? 🙂
Welcome to 4F1H, Kathy.
Like you, I am very intent on doing sufficient research to get the details right. In fact, I may even go overboard at times. Years ago I was writing a few poems using imagery from sailing. For those few poems, I spent weeks of research on the types of sailing boats, their design features, and their operation. And I even had to research a particular regatta that was a disaster due to sudden weather changes.
I’ve done research on different boating apparatuses for historical purposes, prior to steam engine. Ugh, can you imagine? Regarding these two stories, the second one in particular, I had to research out the different train lines and train cars. Crazy. Now I have an entire library on Trains.
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I find I sometimes get lost in my research! I have to remind myself to write! lol I love anything and everything about ‘mail order bride’ stories! Looking forward to reading both! Best to you!
Sounds like a great series, Kathy! Love the covers!!
Good luck and God’s blessings
Welcome to the blog, Kathy. I’m with you in loving history. I taught it for thirty five years.
Really nice story. I got a friend who met a mail bride online and so did his brother after. My friend as been married for about 6 years now I think and as never been happier so you can get a lot of happy endings. As far as I last knew thing was going well for his brother as well. So I thought I would take a look https://allsortshere.com/find-a-bride/
I have never met anybody yet but I am talking to some really nice people and talking about meeting one of them and coming over for xmas but nothing is set in stone yet.