I am happy to feature Amazon best-selling author Becky Lower and her new release, Expressly Yours, Samantha.
As is the case with most authors, I started writing complicated plot lines as soon as I could pick up a crayon. But there’s a world of difference between being a writer and being an author. The author thing didn’t happen until much later in my life.
For years, I’d entertain my friends with long stories about my complicated, dysfunctional family. While they enjoyed my stories, I was constantly told I should write them down instead of being a vocal storyteller. I ignored their good advice since I was busy with a job and had a rambling old house that kept falling apart.
Then, my life got shook up. The economic downturn happened and my job disappeared. While I scrambled for ways to pay the mortgage on the rambling old house, I saw an ad for an adult learning course offered at a local community college, on How To Write A Romance Novel. Even though it had been years since I’d written anything, I signed up for the class.
I’d like to say I went right from that class to selling my first manuscript to a major publisher. But reality didn’t match up with my dreams. That first manuscript is still under the bed. Oh, I worked on it, entered it in some contests, took the feedback and rewrote it, even won a contest based on the first three chapters. But it never quite gelled for me. I’ll get back to it some day, since it contains two of my most favorite things–time travel and the early American west.
As I slid the time travel idea under the bed, I asked myself what I really wanted to write. I’m a big fan of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, but I didn’t want to write books set in England. Then, a friend of mine began to talk about her days as a debutante and her Cotillion Ball, and the lightbulb moment happened. The Cotillion may have begun in Europe, but it did eventually make its way into American high society. A bit of research later, and my Cotillion Ball Series was born. There are nine siblings in this well-to-do New York family, and each one has patiently (or, in Jasmine’s case, not so patiently) waited for their own book to be written. Expressly Yours, Samantha, is the seventh book in this nine-book series, and features the youngest boy in the family, Valerian. He’s a rider for the fabled Pony Express and fate brings him into contact with Sam Hughes, who is really a girl named Samantha, on the run from an abusive uncle.
Obviously, I like to write about American history and use it as a backdrop for my stories. I was fortunate to have the Cotillions begin during an era where there was so much going on in America–tensions were mounting between the North and South over slavery, the West was being opened to settlers willing to face the journey, the Pony Express, and then the Civil War. What an exciting time in America as events, both great and small, impacted the lives of those living through it.
But what an enormous amount of research was needed for each book. So, I began to write contemporaries in between each historical, just for a break from the research. I now have three contemporaries in print and a trilogy under way. All the books so far are about women who reinvent themselves when their first acts were finished. Kind of the story of my life, wouldn’t you say?
Samantha Hughes has one day to escape from her wicked uncle, and a sign in the post office is her answer. She’ll cut her hair to pose as a man and become Sam Hughes, a Pony Express rider.
Valerian Fitzpatrick doesn’t want the weight of responsibility that his brothers have in the family business. Fortunately, the Pony Express offers a chance to make his own way in the world.
He assumes his new buddy, Sam, is on the run from the law, until she’s hit by a stray gunshot and he has to undress her to staunch the wound. Friendship quickly turns to attraction—and more—but when Sam’s uncle tracks her down, she is forced to run yet again.
Val’s determined to find her, but will a future with Sam mean giving up the freedom he’s always craved?
Amazon best-selling author Becky Lower has traveled the country looking for great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love, amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it on a covered wagon headed west or in present day small town America. Historical and contemporary romances are her specialty. Becky is a PAN member of RWA and is a member of the Historic and Contemporary RWA chapters. She has a degree in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary. She loves to hear from her readers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where to find Becky…