Thursday, June 05, 2014

Setting the Scene: The Texas Rodeo Barons!

by Donna Alward

The Texas Rodeo Barons miniseries is the first ever continuity I've ever done. Six different authors, one big fictional family and interconnected plot lines...and to top if off, I'd just joined the American Romance family and didn't know my fellow authors very well.

Nervous? Oh yeah. I don't always play well with others. Hey, I'm aware of at least some of my shortcomings. :)

It was a really great experience though, because everyone was absolutely LOVELY - the authors and editorial and just everything. We set up a loop where we could discuss book issues (as well as other stuff). I was really fortunate to have the first book, which meant a little less juggling of storylines on my part. But it did mean I had to do some set up for plot lines without going overboard, and introduce other characters while still keeping the focus on my main couple, Lizzie and Chris.

Lizzie is the eldest of the Baron children, and the one most interested in the energies part of the business. When the series opens, patriarch Brock Baron has been injured and Lizzie takes over the day-to-day running of the corporation. She also discovers that she's pregnant. Bad timing or what?

In THE TEXAN'S BABY, you learn that Julieta Baron is Brock's third wife, that wife #1 (Delia) abandoned the family when the children were small. It's a blended family thanks to wife #2. You meet Savannah, the sister who runs the family farm store, and Carly, who is the only one who doesn't life in the Dallas area with the rest of the Barons. Then there are the boys, big into rodeo and not so big into the oil business, despite Brock's wishes.

And then I was asked to write a special story - RODEO REBEL, as a digital-only prequel to the series. Rodeo Rebel has two unrelated characters to the continuity, Megan and Pax. But since it's set in rodeo world, it provided a great opportunity to introduce some of the Baron family to readers. My favorite addition is Jet, who despite his Casanova reputation is really quite a gentleman and even Knight in Shining Armor.

Having a general plot given to me, along with certain ingredients that needed to be added was both great (took out some guesswork) and difficult (sometimes it's a bit limiting). But it was, overall, a really great experience, and I came away thinking I could definitely work on this sort of project again!

Both RODEO REBEL and THE TEXAN'S BABY are out now - check out the Texas Rodeo Barons page at Barnes and Noble. RODEO REBEL is FREE right now at B&N!

And here's the link to the series on Amazon.

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