I’m delighted to welcome my fellow Wild Rose Press author, Alison Henderson, to my blog today!
Have you ever had a full-blown story present itself in a dream? That’s happened to me a number of times. Unfortunately, the details usually start to fade before I’m fully awake and disappear before I can write them down, or are washed away in the shower.
I’ve read that writers should keep a notebook by the bed to capture those illusive dream ideas, but that’s never worked for me. If I started turning on the light to scribble notes in the middle of the night, my husband might insist on separate bedrooms. Or, more commonly, I simply lose the idea before it has a chance to gel in my foggy, early-morning brain.
The idea for my new release, The Treasure of Como Bluff, was the exception. It was born from a highly detailed, exceptionally vivid dream about a young female paleontologist who finds an unconscious man at her dig site. She patches him up, and when he regains consciousness, he sits up, calls her by another woman’s name, and kisses her.
The dream went on, but that initial sequence of events stuck with me. I had been thinking about writing a story about a 19th century female dinosaur hunter for a while, but I have no idea where the amnesiac hero came from. He simply appeared in my dream—handsome, half-naked, and unconscious. In the dream, his brother (who looked just like him) arrived from England with the hero’s fiancée (who looked just like the heroine). The heroine had to fight for her man, figuratively speaking, and chaos ensued.
Why I would dream something like this, I have no idea. I have trouble making up this sort of outlandish complication in my stories when I’m wide awake.
When the call came from The Wild Rose Press for submissions to the new Love Letters line of historical novellas, I leapt at the opportunity to explore my dream story in greater detail. I ended up changing and simplifying the plot—otherwise it would have been an incoherent mess—but the opening chapter still captures the essence of the original idea.
Here’s a blurb for the result:
In her race against rival bone hunters, the last complication paleontologist Caroline Hubbard needs is an unconscious stranger cluttering up her dig site. Nicholas Bancroft might have the chiseled features and sculpted physique of a classical statue, but she’s not about to let him hamper her quest to unearth a new species of dinosaur and make her mark on the scientific world.
Nick has come to Wyoming in search of silver but, after a blow to the head, finds himself at the mercy of a feisty, determined female scientist. Despite his insistence that he’s just passing through, he agrees to masquerade as Caroline’s husband to help save her job. Once their deception plays out, they face a crucial decision. Will they be able to see beyond their separate goals and recognize the treasure right in front of them?
Thanks so much for joining me today while I shared my inspiration for The Treasure of Como Bluff.
Nick laughed. “Are you always this grumpy when you’re working?”
“I’m about to face the biggest challenge of my life, one that will affect my entire future, and you refuse to take it seriously.” She glared at him through narrowed eyes. “I have every right to be grumpy.”
“Perhaps, but remember, you asked for my help. You need me to pull off this deception.”
He was right. She did need him, and if she wasn’t careful, he’d get back on his horse and ride out of her life forever. The thought pushed her near the edge of panic. “I know, and I’m sorry. It’s just that this is so important to me.”
Nick slid his arm around her shoulders. “I know. Don’t worry; I won’t abandon you. I owe you. You saved my life, remember?”
When he didn’t release her immediately, Caroline breathed a tiny sigh and allowed herself the luxury of leaning against him, wrapped in the safety and comfort of his arm. She closed her eyes and rested her head against the warm solidity of his chest, absorbing the reassuring rhythmic thump of his heartbeat. She’d always been alone in her quest; it would be a relief to have someone to share it with, even if only for a few days.
She thought she felt something whisper-soft touch the top of her head, almost like a kiss of breeze, but the air was still. It couldn’t have been Nick…could it? She lifted her head and turned until she could see his face. The devil twinkled in those sea-blue eyes, and a lazy smile played across his lips.
“Flip you for the bed.”
About the Author
Alison Henderson grew up in Kansas City on the edge of the prairie. One of her favorite memories is of the fringed turquoise cowgirl outfit she received for her fifth Christmas. She went off to New York to study art history at Vassar College but never lost her admiration for the fortitude of the pioneers who settled the American West. She began writing when her daughter entered pre-school and was quickly captivated by the creative process.
Although she has traveled the world from Japan to Tunisia, Alison has never strayed far from her Midwestern roots. She and her husband are empty-nesters living in Minnesota, and their daughter is a graduate student in Chicago. She invites you to visit her website at www.alisonhenderson.com.
Alison’s blog at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4423411.Alison_Henderson/blog
You can find The Treasure of Como Bluff at:http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=5056