Jen: It’s Western Romance week and we’re kicking thing off with a visit from Cora Seton. Cora, will you share a short bio with us?
Cora: Cora Seton loves cowboys, country life, gardening, bike-riding, and lazing around with a good book. Mother of four, wife to a computer programmer/eco-farmer, she ditched her California lifestyle nine years ago and moved to a remote logging town in northwestern British Columbia.
Like the characters in her novels, Cora enjoys old-fashioned pursuits and modern technology, spending mornings transforming a neglected one-acre lot into a paradise of orchards, berry bushes and market gardens, and afternoons writing the latest Chance Creek romance novel on her iPad mini. Visit www.coraseton.com to read about new releases, contests and other cool events!
Jen: Tell us a little about your newest release.
Cora: The Soldier’s Mail Order Bride is the second book in a spin off of my Cowboys of Chance Creek series. This book released on July 21.
Staff Sergeant Austin Hall has a brilliant record in the Special Forces—except for one disastrous decision that cost his best friend’s life. Now he’s leaving the military and heading home to Chance Creek, Montana, where he’d like to spend the rest of his days in the obscurity of his family’s ranch. The ranch’s owner has other plans, however. Great Aunt Heloise has decreed she won’t hand it over unless all four of the Hall brothers marry and one of them produces an heir within the year. Austin knows he can’t marry for love, but he also knows you can find anything on the internet—including a fake wife for a year. But when Ella Scales answers his online ad, he gets far more than he bargained for.
Ella needs to leave Hollywood—fast. She’s just lost the award for best supporting actress and the chance to play the leading role in an upcoming blockbuster. What’s worse, the actress who stole her prize and her part also stole her fiancé—on national television. Humiliated in front of a global audience, pursued by paparazzi, Ella needs a new life, a new name and someplace to hide. When she reads Austin’s ad for a stand-in wife, she knows she can act this part perfectly. To the rest of the residents of Chance Creek, they’ll be a happily married couple. In private, they’ll just be roommates. In a year when she’d old news and the Hall brothers secure the ranch, she and Austin will quietly divorce and she’ll go on her way.
Or will she?
Austin’s already finding it hard to remember his promise never to love again. Ella’s finding it hard to keep her hands to herself. But when they’re asked make a back-up baby, Ella realizes she may have stepped into a lifetime role.
Can this pretend marriage go the distance, or is it time to close the curtains on it?
Enjoy this short excerpt:
Something stirred within Austin as he looked at her photo again. It wasn’t a seismic shift. It didn’t herald a return of his spirit from the empty place it had inhabited for so long. It was nothing to take note about. Just a…hum of curiosity.
Who was this woman?
Would she really marry him?
His note back was terse.
We’ll be married next Monday morning as soon as you arrive in Chance Creek, and get to work fixing up my ranch Monday afternoon. I’ve just left the US Army and am returning home for the first time in twelve years. I’ll arrive in Montana on Thursday to attend my brother’s wedding. By the time you arrive, I’ll be alone on the ranch.
This is small town ranch life, Ella. It’s a hard life but an honest one, and I’m an honest man. I’ll do my best to protect your identity, but we’ll have to come up with a cover story that works. Ask your questions now. When your feet touch Montana soil, I’ll expect you to live up to your promises.
There. That oughta scare her off.
* * * * *
Ella stared at the note in her inbox, her brows climbing so high they’d probably disappeared right off her forehead. This soldier—this cowboy—didn’t mince words did he? But his answer stopped the tears that had been threatening again. She couldn’t afford to cry until she was alone—so alone that not a single camera could find her. That meant no crying in the airport. Not in a bathroom stall or anywhere else. People were always watching and everyone carried a camera these days. No one—no one—was going to profit off of her pain if she had anything to say about it.
She read the soldier’s note again. Get married next Monday? To someone she’d never met?
Make a life with him on a Montana ranch for the next year?
She sure had questions. One in particular.
What about sex?
Jen: The Cowboys of Chance Creek is one of my favorite Western Contemporary series. How hard is it to keep up all the secondary characters in this big family, as well as touch base with characters we have met already?
Cora: It wasn’t hard at first for me to keep up with all the characters, but now that I’m getting into the double digits with Chance Creek novels it’s getting more difficult. Shh, don’t tell, but I actually hired a new grad to read through all of my books and make a big chart of characters, their descriptions, the make/model/color of their vehicles, their horses names and more – including the color of their cowboy hats. It’s hard to remember all those details nearly two years later. I wish I could update every character’s story as the books continue, but that would overwhelm everyone.
Instead you’ll see cameos of your favorite characters from time to time as the series continues, which I hope will give people an idea how their lives are going.
Cora: Yes – it does come from my family. There are a lot of strong-willed people in my family who are darn sure that they’re right when it comes to any particular question, but whenever the chips are down, we always help each other. I think many families are like that. When I write about brothers or mixed siblings, I don’t make everyone perfect and lovey-dovey because that’s not real. I’m one of four kids and I have four children myself, and I’ve learned from experience that in any crowd there’s always going to be one person who likes to head in a different direction from everyone else, even if its just to be ornery.
Jen: Do you have a favorite Chance Creek “couple”?
Cora: I like every couple the best as I’m writing them, but I think Ethan and Autumn will always have a special place in my heart because they started everything off.
Jen: What type of romance novels do you like to read?
Cora: I’m all over the place with what I read, but I love Amish romances, contemporary romances with some humor thrown in, and just about any book set in a beach house.
Jen: If you were able to travel in time, where would you go and what 3 things would you take with you?
Cora: If I could travel in time, I’d go to Europe some 40,000 years ago and take along binoculars, a shotgun and lots of ammunition. I’d sneak around and try to figure out once and for all if Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens were fighting each other or co-existing more peacefully, and why the Neanderthals died out. I’ve always been curious about that. (BTW – the shotgun and ammo is for the big, nasty critters running around back then).
Jen: What’s next for you?
Cora: I am going to keep writing Chance Creek novels. First I’ll finish the Heroes of Chance Creek novels and then start the ones about the Turner family. I can’t keep up with my ideas, so I’ll be writing steadily for some time to come!