My latest work is finishing editing and design and will be released in a matter of weeks! I am thrilled to see this story coming together. Writing a romance was out of my comfort zone. I love reading historical romance novels, but I have always felt inadequate writing affairs of the heart. Who am I to pull out nuanced emotions and hormonal urges?
Bluegrass Blush started as a personal challenge and, like novels do, it thanked me for giving it birth and ran with its own two legs. Before I knew it, I reached the goal of 70,000 words and my characters were waltzing off into the sunset. The original intention was to write a novel that met Harlequin’s specifications for their Inspired Historical line. They have stringent expectations for submissions: 70,000 words, faith tones, historical setting, absolutely no premarital intimacy, no drinking, cussing or other immorality, and most importantly, a happy ending.
After doing some research about other authors that have submitted to Harlequin, I became disenchanted with Harlequin’s business model and chose to publish through indie press Timepiece Books again. I am very proud of Bluegrass Blush for several reasons, but the biggest reason is that it has substance that goes beyond a boy meets girl love story. The time period of the late 1900s is certainly charming, but as I researched, I found the ironic juxtaposition of a culture that was more progressive than any time in history due to innovations in science and industry and yet still horrifyingly archaic in its treatment of women, the poor, the disabled, and other vulnerable populations.
Without giving away the story, I can say that you will meet a character named Matthew whose life is representative of so many poor souls who, born prior to the Civil Rights Movement, were not even treated as humans. As I researched, I cried tears for these souls throughout history and had to take a few days off from writing as I grieved for them. I could see the faces of all the little Matthews over thousands of years of our species’ history that were afraid, unloved, and died from abuse without anyone ever noticing they were gone.
Here is the back-cover blurb to give you a peek at the story:
Everleigh Anderson is a successful human rights consultant who has it all– except love. A special gift unexpectedly transports her not only back to 1888, but to a different body. No longer thirty-five and frumpy, she is now twenty and gorgeous. Railroad man Malcolm Steel falls head over heels, but he’s protecting a secret and can’t risk getting close to anyone. To make matters worse, she discovers that in the 19th century, women are property and she is bound to another who won’t take no for an answer.
Bluegrass Blush plunges you into beautiful Versailles, Kentucky in the summer of 1888 when steam engines forged the westward expansion and scientific discoveries led a renaissance of enlightened thought, but the culture of inequality for vulnerable populations still prevails. No matter the time, though, love finds a way.
Carolyn Bond is a Kentucky author that loves stories where love wins, faith is power, and the impossible is within reach. A day dreamer from an early age, she often wonders “what if?” and then creates a story that captivates your heart.
Be sure to watch for a future blog post that will tell you how to pre-order Bluegrass Blush so that you get a copy from the very first shipment delivered to your door!