Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Romantic Reads: Rayne’s Redemption


Story Behind the Story: Rayne’s Redemption
A guest post by Linda Shenton Matchett

Twins run in my family, and I’ve always been fascinated by them, especially how vastly different their personalities can be. For Rayne's Redemption, I created twin sisters Rayne and Jessica Dalton to explore what it would be like for a non-believer to pose as a believer to get something she desired, in this case, a marriage.

Would she have feelings of guilt or would she be unaffected because she thinks the ends justify the means? Would she succeed with her deception? How would the subterfuge affect those around her and would there be any consequences?

I had great fun creating Rayne because of the challenges associated with her character. In some sense, she is the villain of the story, but in another way she is a victim of her circumstances and her own belief system. She needed to be a difficult personality, yet likable. Strong-willed, yet not rigid.

For her “foil” I decided to use an Englishman for several reasons. First and foremost, I’m an Anglophile. I love all things British and most of my WWII books are set somewhere in England. My last few releases have been set in the western US during the 1800s, and I’ve missed my English characters, so I decided to drop one into Rayne’s Redemption. Having a character from a foreign country also allowed me to use the fish-out-of-water concept, one of my favorite types of story. I enjoyed including contrasts in the characters’ cultures too.

I love to seek my readers’ input on stories, so I polled the followers in my Facebook author page about where they’d like to see a story located. They not only selected Wyoming, but also made suggestions about the name of the town which ended up being Rocky Mountain Springs.

A lot of mail-order bride and western stories tend to have a farmer or rancher as the main male character. I decided to take a different route by having him fail in his attempts to work the land which added to his personal “baggage” of being a second son and feeling like he’d already let down his family. Flynn purchases a mercantile, an important business in western towns not only for the products made available from flour and coffee beans to patent medicines and dry goods, but for the opportunity to gather and catch up on the latest news.

General stores were nothing like our modern shops. The shelves would have been crammed with merchandise, crates, barrels, and boxes. With the unpaved roads and walkways, customers would have tracked in dirt and other waste from outside, and during the winter the stove would have left a fine layer of soot on everything. Mercantiles would also be very fragrant, and according to social historian Gerald Carson it was a “well-dug-in odor...a blend made up of the store’s inventory, the customers, and the cat...with ripe cheese and sauerkraut, sweet pickles, the smell of paint on new toys, kerosene, lard and molasses, old onions and potatoes, poultry feed, gun oil, rubber boots, dried fish, and ‘kept’ eggs. Makes my nose wrinkle just thinking about it!

What is something you learned about by reading a historical novel?

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Author Bio:

Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by.  

A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is a former trustee for her local public library.

She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry.

Linda has lived in historic places all her life, and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

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Blurb for Rayne’s Redemption:

Will she have to lose her identity to find true love? 


Twin sisters Rayne and Jessica Dalton have been swapping places their whole lives, so when Jessica dies on the eve of heading west to become a mail-order bride, Rayne decides to fill her sister’s shoes. The challenge will be faking Jessica’s faith in God. Can Rayne fool her prospective groom without losing her heart...or her soul?

Flynn Ward fled England to escape his parent’s attempts at marrying him off, but locating a woman to love in the Wyoming mountains is harder than finding a hackney in a rainstorm. Then the Westward Home & Hearts Agency offers him the perfect match. But when his prospective bride arrives, she’s nothing like she seemed in her letters. Is he destined to go through life alone?

Can two desperate people overcome their differences to find common ground ... and love?

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Buy Linda’s book on Amazon

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Connect with Linda:
Website/Blog: http://www.LindaShentonMatchett.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LindaShentonMatchettAuthor
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/lindasmatchett
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/linda-shenton-matchett
Newsletter signup (receive a free short story): https://mailchi.mp/74bb7b34c9c2/lindashentonmatchettnewsletter
Moments in History YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4b-o_6cD8HkHNyFP-wZwJg

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