Today we welcome the ever-charming Carolyn Brown, author of more than sixty books and one of my personal favs as she writes about some of the things I adore – cowboys and country music. We offer Carolyn a big TPW welcome and thank her in advance for taking the time to chat with us. Don’t forget to check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post!
Good morning, everyone! I’m so glad for the invitation to stop here at These Pretty Words on my blog tour to tell everyone about The Cowboy’s Mail Order Bride. Drag up a rocking chair and let’s visit a spell. ~Carolyn
Love letters – there is something so intimate about the written word. It’s more than an email or phone call, it’s like a perfect little secret all wrapped up in an envelope. The Cowboy’s Mail Order Bride is based on a box of letters and how their delivery, decades after being written, changes the fate of Emily and Greg. The mail order bride trope is well established in historical fiction – what was the inspiration behind giving it such a unique and modern twist?
I am a mail order bride myself. Specialist Charles C. Brown was in Germany with the Army and I was in high school in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. My best friend (the book is dedicated to her) was engaged to a soldier stationed in Germany and he sent a picture of him and his buddies home to her. I picked out the one I intended to marry some day and wrote him a letter through her fiancée. He proposed via mail service two years later. I wondered what would have happened if that proposal had never reached me. What if it got lost in the mail for fifty years or more? What paths would our lives have taken if the letter had gotten stuck in the bottom of a mail bag?
Will we get to see more of Emily and Greg in future installments of the Cowboys & Brides series?
They’ll make cameo appearances in How to Marry a Cowboy, which is Mason’s story. Greg had a small appearance in Billion Dollar Cowboy and in The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby.
What was your favorite chapter or scene to write?
I loved the scene when Greg first decided to write a letter and the anguish of trying to get it just right. There’s so much more to a hand written letter than an email or a quick text. It begs for the person with the pen to spill their inner most thoughts and describe their feelings.
What chapter or scene made you want to bang your head against your desk?
The ending. I wanted it to be special, to bring the past and the present together and leave my readers with a wonderful sense of happiness. I hope that I got it just right. No spoilers but Greg had a wonderful job for the ending, and that helped me stop banging my head on the desk!
Your secondary characters really made an effort to steal the show in The Cowboy’s Mail Order Bride. Is there one you have a particular soft spot for? (I am not ashamed to say I absolutely adored Clarice though Dotty was really entertaining)
I love Clarice for her care and love for everyone around her. But Dotty stole my heart with her sass and her past problems. Overcoming them with Clarice’s help is almost a story within itself.
Tell us something about Emily or Greg that readers won’t learn from the story.
I’m hoping that my readers are so in tune with Emily and Greg by the end of the book that there are no hidden secrets about either of them. If there’s something I didn’t write about Emily or Greg, it falls under the same law as the book on my nightstand on down in the interview. I’m sworn to secrecy and if I even whisper about it, no more cowboys will show up on my virtual door step with hats in hand and polished cowboy boots, wanting to tell me their stories.
What’s the best advice about writing you’ve ever received? The worst?
The best advice I ever heard was to WRITE. WRITE every single day. A paragraph, a chapter, write until your eyes blur, but get something on the screen or on the paper. You can fix it later, but write today. The worst came from that inner voice inside my head that said, “Go plant morning glories and don’t worry about that deadline.”
Favorite writing spot? Weirdest place you found yourself writing?
I can write anywhere but my favorite place is in my cluttered up office at my cute little antique school desk that is just the right height for me and my laptop. The weirdest place…mercy, that’s difficult because I carry a notebook in my purse and one in the car and I might be found taking notes in the middle of a pasture, on a ledge in the Palo Duro Canyon, sitting cross-legged in front of a barbed wire fence or in an old shed that smells like cows and rats.
Favorite part of the writing process? Least favorite?
Favorite part of writing: the first chapter when every thing is brand new and my characters and I are getting to know each other. Least favorite: the end. Sometimes I prolong it a day or two because I don’t want it to be over. I do like series because I can bring the characters back for short visits so I don’t have to tell them goodbye when I write the last page.
I understand you and your husband fell in love via letters while he was overseas. Do you have a box of those letters stored somewhere?
Oh, yes, ma’am. Every one of them tied up with a faded red ribbon. All with eight-cent, air mail stamps on them. And the proposal letter is right on the top of the stack. They said the marriage was doomed, starting that way and all. Some of them are still holding out for the day when they can tell Mr. B that they were right and he should have never married a Texas born Rebel, but after 47 years I think they might have to give up the fight.
Note from Kristin: Swooning so hard over here! I do adore a good love story, whether in fiction or real life!
Twinkies – pro or con?
Favorite book from your childhood?
See Spot Run…the first book that showed me what that those squiggly things called letters made words and words made stories. From there it was on to read everything I could get my hands on!
Guiltiest guilty pleasure?
Donuts with maple icing, candy corn and ice cream.
Coffee, tea, soda or other?
Tea, lots of tea… but I do like a couple of cups of coffee a day, too.
Current book on your nightstand or last book you read?
I’m in the middle of judging the RITA books (titles submitted to the awards hosted by the Romance Writers of America) so the last one I read was a historical romance. The next one will be a romantic suspense. I’d tell you the titles and how much I loved them but then…well, you know the rest. I signed an affidavit in blood that the names would not be revealed, not even in torture.
Thank you to Carolyn for offering our readers a fabulous prize today. Sign up to win a set of the 3 books in the Cowboys & Brides Series (Billion Dollar Cowboy, The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby and The Cowboy’s Mail Order Bride), along with a cute cowboy charm gift from Carolyn herself! Open to US and Canada.Simply click the photo below to head over to Rafflecopter for sign up.Open to residents of the US and Canada – contest closes 02/15/14 at 12:00am CST.
THE COWBOY’S MAIL ORDER BRIDE BY CAROLYN BROWN – IN STORES FEBRUARY 2014
She’s Got Sass…
Emily Cooper promised her dying grandfather that she’d deliver a long-lost letter to a woman he once planned to wed. Little does adventurous Emily know that this simple task will propel her to places she never could have imagined…with a cowboy who’s straight out of her dreams…
He’s Got Mail…
When sexy rancher Greg Adams discovers his grandmother Clarice has installed Emily on their ranch as her assistant, he decides to humor the two ladies. He figures Emily will move on soon enough. In the meantime, he intends to keep a close eye on her—he doesn’t quite buy her story of his grandmother as a mail-order bride.
A lost letter meant a lost love for Clarice, but two generations later, maybe it’s not too late for that letter to work its magic.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carolyn Brown is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with more than sixty books published. She writes bestselling single title cowboy and country music mass market romances as well as women’s fiction. Born in Texas and raised in southern Oklahoma, Carolyn and her husband now make their home in the town of Davis, Oklahoma. For more information, please visit http://www.CarolynLBrown.com.