Category Archives: Research

Orphan Train series Inspiration

Sophie Cover ImageThe Orphan Train series was inspired by some real life events.

When friends of mine were adopting a beautiful little boy from another country, I decided to research the history of adoption. I found out some dreadful things, sadly, but I also found out about Mr. Charles Brace (a founder of the Children’s Aid Society) and the Orphan Trains from New York.

I’m sure there were some terrible experiences through the many years that the orphan trains were traveling, but there were far more success stories. At least one of the orphans went on to become President of the United States.

While reading  up on it, I began to imagine the lives impacted, not only of the children, but also of the adults involved. Thus was born the idea for three young women who accompanied a trainload of orphans on their journey out West.

The prequel sets up the story. The heroine of Book 2 wasn’t supposed to be on the train. She is taking the place of the heroine of Book 1. The heroines of Books 3 & 4 fully intended to leave their New York lives behind and set up a shop in their new town. Follow along on their journeys in the Orphan Train series!

Start with Sophie, the Prequel: $0.99 for Kindle:

Proxy Brides – my new series

According to Merriam-Webster:


1the agency, function, or office of a deputy who acts as a substitute for another

2aauthority or power to act for another

ba document giving such authority

And according to Wikipedia:

Beginning in the Middle Ages, European monarchs and nobility sometimes married by proxy. Examples include the marriage of Mary, Queen of Hungary to Louis I, Duke of Orléans in 1385, the wedding at Eltham on 3 April, 1402 between Henry IV and Joan, the daughter of Charles II, King of Navarre, that of Catherine of Aragon to Prince Arthur in 1499, while a famous 17th-century painting by Peter Paul Rubens depicts the proxy marriage of Marie de’ Medici in 1600. Charles I of England married Henrietta Maria of France by proxy on 1 May 1625, and a well-known example more recently involved the marriage of Napoleon I of France and the Austrian Archduchess Marie Louisein 1810. By the end of the 19th century the practice had largely died out.

As of 2015, various Internet sites offer to arrange proxy and double-proxy marriages for a fee, although the service can generally be set up by any lawyer in a jurisdiction that offers proxy marriage. Video conferencing allows couples to experience the ceremony together. A unique “space wedding” took place on August 10, 2003 when Ekaterina Dmitriev married Yuri Malenchenko, a cosmonaut orbiting the Earth in the International Space Station, by proxy in Texas, US.

So that’s the history 🙂 Now on to what it has to do with me:

I was invited to join a multi-author project several months ago. We’re ten authors all writing in the same series. The premise is everyone is writing about a couple who, for various reasons, need to marry by proxy. It’s like mail-order brides but taken to a bit of an extreme – they haven’t even written to each other for the most part. Someone else stands in as the groom for the legalities. I’m fascinated by the different stories the other authors have come up with.

The books are releasing every two weeks. My first one comes out this Thursday!! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. And tell me, can you even imagine marrying someone like this?


Orphan Train Series


I’m so excited about this new series. My first time to truly write a series – from the beginning I had planned it to be a series whereas in the past I’ve decided to write a sequel after the first book was already written. It’s an entirely different experience. Also, with these books, I’ve set them in 1854 America which is 50 years later than I usually write and a different country. But I have been really enjoying them. I’m sad to say, I’m almost finished with the writing of the series. Book 3 will be releasing next week and Book 4 is in Second Draft state. I’ve really enjoyed taking tragic circumstances and developing happily-ever-afters for these characters. And the setting allows for all the possibilities. It was such an exciting time! People were only limited by their imaginations in a certain way since technology was slowly exploding onto the scene and the entire vista was suddenly opening up with train travel from both directions in the US.

If you could pick a different time period in history to live, what would you choose?

While I love my Regencies, I think I would pick 1850’s America over Regency England because there were far more opportunities. In the Regency, and in England, it still really mattered who you were born. In America, you could be anybody, your birth didn’t necessarily limit you. No wonder immigration was exploding at that time! Who wouldn’t want a fresh start back then??

Research – the Stagecoach



Mr. Andrews and I recently traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina and toured the Wells Fargo museum. They had an actual stagecoach there as well as a replica you could climb around in. This was very exciting for me as both of my new series require stagecoach travel. I never gave it much thought, but I didn’t realize quite how crowded it would be to travel by stagecoach. They had a display of a small suitcase that you would be able to bring with you. There wouldn’t be room for anything else. We complain today about how crowded airplane travel is, but at least you get to your destination within a few hours. Depending where you were going, traveling by stagecoach could take you days or weeks! All cramped in this tiny, dusty space. Whew! I do love writing about the past, but I’m happy to be living in the present 🙂 What do you think, would you have liked to travel by stagecoach?