The Wild Child Returns!

By Mary Jo

When the great e-book explosion arrived several years about (around 2011, I think?) I was MaryJoPutney_TheWildChild800fortunate to have the rights to a number of my older books that were out of print, and I happily re-released them as e-books. I love that these books are readily available to readers around the world, and at lower prices than the original print editions.

Since e-books took off, though, it's been a lot harder to persuade publishers to revert book rights to authors like me. Imagine fire breathing dragons sitting on a hoard of backlist titles, and they DO NOT WANT TO LET THEM GO!!!

But to my delight, earlier this year I was able to persuade Ballantine to return the three books in my Bride Trilogy because of a hiccup in the original contract. My tagline for the series is:

Three extraordinary women,
    Three powerful men,
        Three passionate,unlikely marriages.

When I wrote that, I realized that each of these was a marriage of convenience story, a trope I'm very fond of. My characters have a lot to overcome!

 

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The Bargain: “There’s something about that story…”

Cat 243 Doverby Mary Jo

This week, Kensington has reissued my early romance, The Bargain, which got me to thinking about the long journey this story has.  It started life as my third Signet Regency, The Would Be Widow.  I was very much a neophyte at the time, and several of my writing traits first appeared here.  

To begin with, I connected the story to my first book, The Diabolical Baron, by making the hero of The Baron the best friend of the hero of the Widow, and a key player in the story.  Without even realizing it, I had started writing a community, and that has served me well as those books turned into a de facto series, and series are really popular now!

TheBargain CoverSecondly, this was the first book where there was a difficult man who proved unexpectedly interesting at the last moment, so naturally I had to immediately write a book about him. (The man was Rafael Whitbourne, the Duke of Candover, and his book was The Controversial Countess, later revised as Petals in the Storm, about which more anon.  Reggie Davenport in The Diabolical Baron was a similarly problematic character who ended up with his own book: The Rake and the Reformer, now The Rake.  But I didn't write that for another year or two.)

The Would Be Widow is a perfect title for this story: a young woman needs to marry by her 25th birthday in order to secure her inheritance and she doesn't want to marry at random when she has her eye on a man she really wants, and he seems interested in her, too.  It's not long after Waterloo, so she visits a London military hospital to see a friend, and is struck with the brilliant idea of marrying a dying man, which will fulfill the terms of her father's will while soon freeing her to pursue the man she wants.

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