Red Dawson's got himself a wife he's sure God never intended. And when he informs Cassie she has to do some work around the ranch he's surprised she immediately tries to help with everything. Too bad she's a walking disaster. His ranch may not survive her efforts to pitch in. And Red may not survive a neighboring rancher's obsession with Cassie.
Montana Rose was actually inspired by Janette Oke's beautiful classic novel Love Comes Softly. Of course, I'm not Janette Oke (unfortunately for me) and my novel has taken an alarming turn to romantic comedy, suspense, and chaos. I think of it as Love Comes...Hardly. Or maybe, considering all Red goes through, Love Comes Unfortunately.
Writing Montana Rose was all about Cassie. I have a habit in my books to write a heroine so strong she's almost a superwoman. I was trying to keep fresh, to stretch myself, so I deliberately set out to make Cassie very weak, vulnerable, obedient. I just wanted to see if it could do it.
Trouble is, I didn't like her. I like superwomen. So I had my hands full creating her character, giving her a back story that explained her weakness. And, me being me, I couldn't leave her weak. I had to toughen her up in the end. I ended up loving her.
And if you aren't real interesting in reading a book about a wimp, check out a secondary character in Montana Rose, Belle Tanner. She’s a sub-character in this book but stars in her own book The Husband Tree, book two in the Montana Marriages series, coming in January.
Belle makes Sophie McClellen from Petticoat Ranch, look like a daisy-chain making, scatter-brained airhead. The title of that book, The Husband Tree, came from well, the Husband Tree — or the tree under which Belle Tanner buries her husbands when they die. We start Belle’s book with her kicking herself for not bothering to mark the former husbands’ graves because she doesn’t want to dig up one of the worthless bums while she’s planting the new one. Because that would make her start a new hole, and she has chores to do.
I just couldn’t sustain the wimpy heroine thing for two whole books.
And then in Montana Marriages book three, Wildflower Bride, this heroine, Abby, has never met a man she didn’t pull a knife on.
The humor in Montana Rose was all about Cassie trying to be obedient to her new husband and her new husband not really wanting her to be. He doesn't know what orders to give. He wants her to think for herself. She learns how to eventually, but not until she's almost destroyed Red's ranch guessing what he wants her to do.
I'm finishing up this Montana Marriage series. Book #2 is The Husband Tree, coming in January 2010 and Wildflower Bride, coming in May 2010.
I also have a Christmas romance coming in September 2009 called Cowboy Christmas. It isn't part of a series, but I think it's a lot of fun too.