Wednesday, January 4, 2017

From Descendant Chart to Characters and Setting

My excitement is building as I prepare for the release of my newest novel, Kissie's Kisses, which is part of the Grandma's Weddng Quilts series.  Yesterday we had our launch party on Facebook. I hope you were able to attend. If not, I wish to share a little bit of background about my writing of this book that I shared during my fast and furious fifteen minutes plus a little more.

I explained in an earlier post how the authors in the Grandma's Wedding Quilts group get up the framework on which the each author could build. If you missed this post, you may access it by CLICKING HERE

When it came time for us to choose our grandchildren and develop their characters as well as that of their romantic interest, I held back to give the other authors first choice. Many authors in the Sweet Americana Sweethearts blog write either historical westerns set in the 1870-80's, or write Victorian novels set slightly later. Many of those dates went first. No one jumped on our gal with a marriage date in 1865. Since I enjoy reading and writing about the Civil War years, I took Kizzie Atwell.

 When developing Kizzie's character, I used the cover image as a guide. As it turns out, even though I wrote the scene with Kizzie in the pink frilly dress in the fancy room into her story, it was not the real, everyday Kizzie.

My book, Kizzie’s Kisses, is now on pre-order. It will be released on Monday, January 9th. You can purchase this book on pre-order by CLICKING HERE.

Since I knew my story would take place about the time of the Civil War, I ORIGINALLY planned on my character, Leander Jones, being a Union soldier. I found some pictures of unidentified soldiers who enlisted in the 11th Kansas cavalry. This is the one I chose for Leander.

However, as I was writing the story, I realized my characters have minds of their own. Leander wasn’t inclined to join the Army at Fort Riley where he would be subject to being ordered about by egotistical West Point officers. Instead, he continued to be his own boss by doing contract freighting for the military on both the Smoky Hill River Trail and the Santa Fe Trail. I never heard of the Smoky Hill River Trail until I did the research for this story. From 1863 on, he carried supplies to the new Fort Union, the frontier fort being built of adobe to replace the earthenworks star fort.

Kizzie Atwell and her family lived along the Smoky Hill River just east of Salina, Kansas. Kansas had barely been open for white American settlement only 10 years earlier. In 1862 when Kizzie’s story begins, Salina was on the western edge of the frontier in what had been Cheyenne buffalo hunting land. The story opens with Kizzie and her family fleeing from an Indian massacre, an event that actually took place just west of Salina. Here is a picture taken along the Smoky Hill River. The Atwell farm house might have looked like this.
1867 photograph of farm house by Smoky Hill River
You will want to read all the books in the Grandma’s Wedding Quilts series. To find then all in one place, please visit and follow the series page on Amazon by CLICKING HERE.

To keep track of any games, parties, contests and special information about the Grandma's Wedding Quilts series, please "like" and follow the Grandma’s Wedding Quilts page on Facebook by CLICKING HERE.

We are also sponsoring a Quilt Contest Trivia Game starting on Tuesday, January 3rd and running through January 8th. By playing that game, you will have a chance to win prizes including free ebooks, signed copies of print books, Amazon gift cards and a new 7" Kindle Fire. Even though our first day is past, you still may qualify to win the daily prizes or the grand prizes. CLICK HERE.

The Sweet Americana Sweethearts authors plan to keep writing together to create more book series. You can keep track of our progress two ways. First, please visit and follow the SweetAmericana Sweethearts blog by CLICKING HERE.

Second, join the SweetAmericana Book Club group on Facebook by CLICKING HERE.


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