There’s 11 days left to enter the Sweet Romance Christmas Giveaway and today I’ve invited Pamela Kelley, one of the authors participating in the Giveaway, to visit Ascroft, eh? to tell us a bit about the novel she has donated to the draw.
Welcome Pamela. Let’s get started, shall we?
What is the theme of your story and what prompted you to write about this? I think the theme of my story, SIX MONTHS IN MONTANA, has a lot to do with the importance of setting and of recognizing when a place (or a person even) feels like home. How when you follow your gut to the place (or person) that feels right, everything else often falls into place.
This story was actually inspired by a close friend who did exactly that. She moved from the Boston area out to Bozeman, MT in her late 30’s after visiting the area once and falling in love with it. She said she couldn’t really explain it, but it felt like home to her in a way that no other place, including her hometown in MA ever had. She was single and had saved some money, so she decided to go for it and moved out there, knowing only one person, a college friend, who lived hours away. Her family lives in my hometown, Plymouth, MA and they weren’t thrilled with her idea to move across country, but they supported her and I think they assumed it was probably something she needed to do, to get it out of her system and then hopefully, in a year or two, move home.
Instead, she quickly found a place to live and a job and bought a kayak. One of the things that appealed to her about Montana was that it’s so outdoorsy and she loves to be active, hiking, kayaking, etc. She joined a local kayak club for something to do and to meet people and make friends. She ending up meeting a great guy who became her husband a year later, and just a few months ago, they welcomed a new baby to the family. So, when I think of Montana, and the Bozeman area especially, I think of true love, and romance.
How did you bring the place and people you are writing about to life? This is the fun part. I imagined a heroine, Molly, who lived in the city, total opposite of Montana, she’s a manager at a boutique hotel in Manhattan and is about to be promoted to her dream job, as General Manager. The only thing standing in her way is a condition to a will.
Molly’s family, her mother and Aunt and Uncle live in Beauville a small town about 30 miles from Bozeman. On a recent trip home, she ran into an old childhood friend’s grandfather. He decides to play matchmaker and a month before he dies, adds a condition to the will stating that Molly must marry his grandson, Christian, and stay married for at least six months in order for Christian to inherit the ranch that employs many of the townspeople.
So, Molly takes a leave of absence and risks losing her shot at the promotion to help Christian and her uncle who is employed there. Her life is in Manhattan and the story follows her adjusting to living in a small town, starting up a bed and breakfast (her reward for staying married for six months is that she will inherit a house on the property that could be renovated as an inn.) She also has to deal with a growing attraction to her childhood friend, who she hasn’t seen in years, and is now really attractive and was determined to never get married. Both are planning to end the marriage as soon as the six months are up.
Do you prefer to write one sex or the other. And, if so, which do you prefer and why? I actually really like to write both. It’s funny though, in this book it feels like it’s a little more Molly’s story, and in the sequel that I’m writing now, I’m a bit more in the head of Dan, who is Christian’s brother. He comes to stay with them unexpectedly and I fell in love with him a little bit and decided he needed his own story too. Dan’s issue is the opposite, he got out of Beauville as soon as he could, by going to college in Chicago and loves living in the big city. A broken leg sends him home to Beauville to recuperate and he sees that the town has changed a bit since he was last there.
Thanks, Pamela. You’ve given readers an intriguing peek into Six Months in Montana. I hope they will enter the contest for a chance to win a copy of the novel as well as all the other stories in the prize bundle. Here’s where to enter the Sweet Romance Christmas Giveaway.