Friday, December 2, 2016

Minnesota vs. Texas

Thank you for making release day so much fun! We had a blast on the Facebook Party and we're excited to see so many people entered in the Rafflecopter drawing. Be sure to stay tuned to this blog for more chances to win.

The winner of a print copy of Seven Brides for Seven Texans from yesterday's post is: Anjanette Treadway! Please provide your email in the comments and I'll be in touch!

Don't forget to comment on today's post! I'll announce another winner tomorrow.

Over the course of the next seven weeks, the authors from the Seven Brides for Seven Texans novella collection will fill this blog with fun post all about the Hart brothers from Hartville, Texas. You'll learn more about the authors, the Hart brothers and their brides, and the inspiration behind each novella. Along with all that, we'll be giving away lots and lots of prizes!!

Each author will blog for one week in the order her story falls in the collection. Here's a rundown:

Week One: Nov. 28-Dec 2 ~ Gabrielle Meyer
Week Two: Dec. 5-9 ~ Lorna Seilstad
Week Three: Dec. 12-16 ~ Amanda Barratt
Week Four Dec 19-23 ~ Keli Gwyn
Week Five Dec 26-30 ~ Susan Page Davis
Week Six Jan 2-6 ~ Vickie McDonough
Week Seven Jan 9-13 ~ Erica Vetsch

On Tuesday, I shared a little about my story, First Comes Love, and on Wednesday I told you more about my hero and heroine, Hays and Emma. Today I'm going to share why it was such a challenge to write a story set in Texas, and why I chose Emma to be from Minnesota.

First Comes Love is my fourth published story (I have another story releasing this month, as well, it's called A Family Arrangement from Love Inspired Historical), and my third novella with Barbour. Until now, all my stories have been set in Minnesota. I love my home state. I was employed by the Minnesota Historical Society at the Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site for ten years, and I worked at the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum for two years. In that time, I fell in love with the rich history of my state and I enjoy writing fictional stories inspired by real people, places and events.

Last year, I was at the History Museum in St. Paul with Erica Vetsch and she asked me if all my stories needed to be set in Minnesota (since Minnesota is part of my brand as an author). I told her no, the stories don't have to be set in Minnesota, but there has to be some sort of Minnesota connection. She didn't tell me why she'd asked that question, but a week or so later, I found out! She asked if I'd like to contribute to a novella collection set in Texas. The premise of Seven Brides for Seven Texans sounded so intriguing, I couldn't resist! I knew it would be a challenge to set a story in Texas, since I know so little about that great state, but like every good historical author, I knew I could do enough research to make it believable.

As part of the Minnesota connection, I decided to bring Emma Longley to Texas from Minnesota. It also worked for her to be the daughter of the hero and heroine from my first Barbour novella, Four Brides and a Bachelor from The Most Eligible Bachelor Collection. Emma longs to return to Minnesota, and she struggles to find any redeeming qualities about Texas. Hays takes that as a challenge to help her see the beauty of the Lone Star state, and in the process, she learns to love him as much as she does Texas.

Since Emma was raised on the banks of the Mississippi River in central Minnesota, I had her miss the gentle, soothing water from back home. It just so happens that the Sabinal River runs through the Seven Heart Ranch, right through Hays' piece of property. To make her feel at home, he brings her to the Sabinal and she finally starts to see why he loves it so. It's also where he plans to build a house once he's married.

It was fun to create a Texas hero and write a story set outside my comfort zone. It challenged me and made me stretch with my writing. I had to learn about the flora and fauna of south-central Texas, as well as the climate and landscape. My story is set between January and March, which would look way different in Minnesota than it does in Texas. It's something Emma is aware of and something Hays comments on. The clothing would different, the housing would be different, and the culture would be different. I used all these differences to my advantage when looking at them through Emma's point of view.

When Erica and I got together to read through the whole collection, I needed the most help with my Texas dialogue and turn-of-phrase. She was especially helpful with G.W., the patriarch of the family, and I like him so much better now. :)

I'm honored to be part of the Seven Brides for Seven Texans Novella Collection. I loved spending this week with you, and I'm excited to see what the other authors will share in the coming months. Be sure to visit often and say hello! Erica will share some fun behind-the-scenes information tomorrow and then Lorna will be here bright and early Monday morning. I'll also be here, commenting with everyone else.

Now I'd love to hear from you! When have you been asked to reach outside your comfort zone? Whether at work, in your community, or in a move? Do you love where you live? How does it differ from what you know of Minnesota or Texas? If you could live anywhere in the United States, where would it be and why? Do you have any other questions for me?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to comment! I'll choose one winner from today's comments and announce them on the blog tomorrow (be sure to comment before midnight tonight!).

Gabrielle Meyer
Find me on Facebook
Find me on Pinterest
Find me on Twitter
Find me on Amazon
Find me on Goodreads
Find me on My Website
Sign up for My Newsletter


  1. Thanks for sharing! It's fun to know Erica got you into the novella, and how you choose where your characters are fun. By the way, I love MN so can't wait to read more of your stories!

    1. Kim, I'm always getting Gabe into stuff. :D It's kinda my new specialty! :D

    2. Hi Kim. I'm so happy to hear you love MN! And don't let Erica fool you...I'm getting her into a few things myself. :)

  2. I live in the beautiful Bluegrass state aka Kentucky. This is my birthplace and even though I know there are 49 equally beautiful states I would never want to live anyplace else!

    1. Connie, I have been to Kentucky...and other than not caring for UK Basketball (Go Jayhawks) I loved my time there. You have some amazing historical sites!

    2. Kentucky is a beautiful state. I like it when people love where they live. :) Thanks for stopping by today!

  3. When I first came to college here in SC I had to force myself to meet new people who didn't graduate high school with me and went to home church in PA. I love it here in SC and praise God for each and single friend that He has put in my life.

    1. It isn't home until you have friends, is it? I had to force myself to explore my new city and meet some new ladies at church before I started to feel at home in MN.

    2. It takes a lot to step out of our comfort zone, but when we do, we realize there are wonderful people all over the world--not just in our hometowns. :)

  4. I adore Michigan where I live and cannot imagine living anywhere else. I know it is probably identical to most things as Minnesota! We took our honeymoon in Texas because we love it there, too. We have relatives that live there and have great memories of visiting. My great grandpa is from there.

    1. :) I took my honeymoon in TX, too! :) I love visiting Texas.

    2. Minnesota and Michigan do remind me a lot of each other. We share some very similar history, too, with the Great Lakes, fur trading, logging, mining, and so much more.

  5. We're neighbors I live in southern Wisconsin. The cold weather get to be long but everywhere has their drawbacks. I love to read and help out at our local library.

    1. Waving across the border. Libraries are the best! I miss my little small town library. The library where I live now is big and going to get bigger soon!

    2. Yes! Every state has their drawbacks, but I'd rather have cold weather than scorpions, rattlesnakes, or earthquakes. :)

  6. My biggest leap outside my comfort zone took place early in my marriage. Gwynly, a science teacher, had a dream of teaching US military dependents in an American high school in Germany. Well, his dream came true, and I found myself moving from my comfort zone in California to a country 5,700+ miles from home. I'd taken German in high school, but I'd never expected to actually visit the country, let alone move there. But God is good. He'd given my husband and me an opportunity to serve as short-term missionaries the summer before, so I had an idea what to expect. What I didn't expect was how much I would end up loving Germany and thanking the Lord for the opportunity to live there for four and a half wonderful years. We traveled all over Europe and saw many amazing sights. Our daughter was born in a German hospital a block from a 1,000-year-old castle. And we made good friends and memories aplenty.

  7. Can't wait to read this series. Thanks

  8. Can't wait to read this series. Thanks