by Sandra Merville Hart
There are some stories that must be told. A Not So Convenient Marriage is one of them for me.
I don’t know what it is about this story, but once I began writing it over a dozen years ago, the characters wouldn’t leave me alone.
I wrote the first draft of this book a few years before my first book—another book, A Stranger on My Land—released, so I was still learning about the writing journey. I’m certain that my first draft of A Not So Convenient Marriage wasn’t ready for publication because it was rejected.
But the characters in my imagination wouldn’t allow me to let this one go. I edited and reedited, using skills I learned at writing conferences. Then I tried again with another editor. Another rejection. And then another.
Discouraged, I worked on other writing projects and met with a little success. When my first Civil War romance published, I decided to follow my heart and continue writing about that turbulent time period.
This book was set aside.
Still, every morning I woke up thinking about the characters in A Not So Convenient Marriage. In my mind, I’d rewrite a scene from the book as I lay, trying to sleep, in the middle of the night. Or the story would haunt me before falling asleep at night, keeping me awake an hour or two.
This happened almost daily for years.
Finally, I pulled up the manuscript again. It had been written in my early days so it required a lot of modification. I asked my agent to begin showing my updated proposal for the book. She was happy to do this because she always believed in this book. In fact, she decided to represent me after reading my proposal for it.
By the way, the story was still keeping me awake as I waited to sign a book contract.
Last year, I was thrilled when Misty Beller at Wild Heart Books offered me a contract for a three-book series for this novel. Not only that, she also gave me a three-book contract for my “Spies of the Civil War” series, that published this year. (I invite you to read the whole “Spies of the Civil War” series beginning with Book 1 Avenue of Betrayal, Book 2 Boulevard of Confusion, and Book 3 Byway to Danger.)
Misty told me that she cried when reading my manuscript for A Not So Convenient Marriage—the first time that had ever happened for a submission. That touched my heart.
I’m happy to say that scenes from the book no longer keep me awake at night…for now the story will be told.
Back Cover Blurb
A spinster teacher…a grieving widower…a marriage of convenience and a second chance with the man she’s always loved…
When Samuel Walker proposes a marriage of convenience to Rose Hatfield so soon after the death of his wife, she knows he doesn’t love her. She’s loved him since their school days. Those long-suppressed feelings spring to life as she marries him. She must sell her childhood home, quit her teaching job, and move to a new city.
Marrying Rose is harder than Samuel expected, especially with the shadow of his deceased wife everywhere in his life. And he has two young children to consider. Peter and Emma need a mother’s love, but they also need to hold close the memories of their real mother as they grieve her loss.
Life as Samuel’s wife is nothing like Rose hoped, and even the townspeople, who loved his first wife, make Rose feel like an outsider. The work of the farm draws the two of them closer, giving hope that they might one day become a happy family. Until the dream shatters, and the life Rose craves tumbles down around them. Only God can put these pieces back together, but the outcome may not look anything like she planned.