Posts Tagged ‘#characterinspiration’

The Christmas Melody long

I thought you might like to meet the characters from The Christmas Melody today!

For this story, I had the cover planned before I wrote a single word for the book. When I found the image I used on the cover, which was actually a wedding photo of a bride in a white gown, I knew it was perfect, even if she needed a different dress. (I loved the way the cover turned out, though!)

But I knew our hero was going to have longer hair. So I started looking for some inspiration and quickly decided on this guy:

Barnes 5

Ben Barnes seemed like a perfect Grayson Carter.

Ben Barnes 4

He’s handsome, has that air of mystery, and the hair… he had the perfect hair for the story!

For Claire Baker, we knew from the The Christmas Confection that she had dark hair and blue eyes, but not much else.


Violett Beane made such a perfect Claire. She’s absolutely lovely.

Violett 3

She also has a sweet appeal, just like Claire.

Violett 5

And she has a goofy, playful side –  just like Claire!

I also needed a little inspiration for Gray’s daughter, Maddie Mae.

JoJo Kushner

JoJo Kushner was definitely how I envisioned the precocious little girl.

JoJo Kushner 2

Just look at that smile. That hair! Oh, I think I want my own Maddie Mae!

The song I listened to while I wrote the book was Beautiful Crazy by Luke Combs. It just seemed appropriate for the book since Claire is her own kind of beautiful crazy and Gray loves her for it!

You can find more visuals that inspired the story on my Pinterest Board

If you haven’t read the book yet, download it today!


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Tidings of Joy

Have you read Tidings of Joy yet? I think it might be one of the favorite contemporary stories I’ve written. I just loved Pete the donkey and little Bacon (an adorable puppy) as well a Joy and Drew.

And I may be partially biased when it comes to Drew’s character because so much of it was based of my beloved Captain Cavedweller.

So, when I was looking for visual inspiration of the story, I needed a “face” for Drew that really fit the image I already had in my head.

Brock Harris 5

Brock Harris just happened to come really close to how I picture Drew.

Brock Harris 1

From those blue eyes and those lips to the rugged, silent-type vibe, he made such a good Drew.

Brock Harris 4

And those of you who have read the book, you’ll know what scene this image is tied to! (And you’re welcome!)

So who would make a wonderful Joy. She needed to have a warm, friendly personality. She needed to be someone who looked, well… joyful!

Joy 3.jpg

And that’s why I chose Lucy Hale. I could so easily picture her as Joy.

Joy 1

She’s just lovely and looks so sweet – exactly the girl Drew needs to draw him out of his shell.


And this fella is exactly how I picture Pete peeking around the fence, watching Drew deliver the mail.

Oh, and I have to share the song I listened to as I wrote this. It’s “Glow” by Brett Eldredge. I just pictured it as the song Drew would connect to Joy.

If you haven’t started reading this fun book yet, get your copy today!

And check out my Pinterest Board for more details about The Friendly Beasts of Faraday!

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Racing Christmas meme long

Would you like to see the images that inspired the characters in Racing Christmas?

Let’s start with the photo that inspired the cover. I was looking through one of the resources where I purchases images to use. I don’t know what or why… but this one just grabbed my attention and I knew I wanted elements of it on the cover of Racing Christmas.

z original photo dp.jpg

But the guy was all wrong for fun-loving, silver-tongued Shaun Price, and the girl didn’t really work for Brylee either.

The pose, however, I loved.

So I started looking for images that would fit Brylee and Shaun’s characters.

Smiling Young Man Standing With Arms Crossed

Then I happened to find this handsome cutie among the images I could purchase. (And yes, you can see a bit of his face on the cover of Blown Into Romance. I’ve decided he and Blayne Grundy are distant cousins.)

Thoughtful Student Looking Away In Front Of Chalkboard

Can’t you just picture him wondering what’s going on in Brylee’s head?

Shaun 5

Did I mention he was just perfect for Shakin’ It Shaun? Well, I think he is!

That leaves us with Brylee.

Emily Tennant

Emily Tennant was my inspiration for Brylee’s character. Those big blue eyes, blonde hair, and that slightly wounded look among the sweetness was exactly how I pictured Brylee.

Business people at work

And when I found this image to purchase, I knew she’d be wonderful on the cover as Brylee.


For Brylee’s brother, Birch, I chose Peyton Meyer.


And I thought Joan Allen made a great character inspiration for Brylee’s mother.


And I can’t forget Shaun’s dad, Jason. George Clooney is exactly how I envision the big-hearted cowboy.

You can find more visual inspiration on my Pinterest board, too.

And while you look at the photos, listen to Dustin Lynch (with Karen Fairchild) sing Love me or Leave me Alone. I consider this Brylee and Shaun’s song.



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Today, I thought you might like to see my inspiration for the characters in Summer Bride.

First, we have Justin James. I knew I wanted to have dark hair, a little messy and longer, and kind eyes.

When I saw this photo of David Giuntoli it was like there was a neon sign hanging over it saying “This is the one! This is Justin!”


This is exactly how I picture our hunky, handsome, ever-helpful hero.

dave giuntoli 1

Seriously, isn’t he a cutie? Can’t you just picture him in the crazy T-shirt Matilda gives him?

Sage Presley we met briefly in Valentine Bride (book 1 in the Holiday Brides series). But we didn’t know much about her.

I envisioned her as blond, with a sweetness about her that belied her inner strength. I pictured her as very feminine and lovely although she’s tough and capable of handling whatever challenges life throws her way.

skyler 4

I thought Skyler Samuels made the best Sage. She’s lovely and has that delicate look to her.

skyler-samuels 1

But a fun, playful side, too! I just loved the inspiration she provided for Sage.

Then I needed a little inspiration for Sage’s brother, Shane.

Colby Canterbury

Colby Canterbury was my choice for Shane Presley. From the hair and green eyes, to that soulful look on his face, he was just perfect for Shane.

The song I listed to while I wrote this book kept me smiling as I pictured Justin asking his friends this question:

Such a fun song from Joe Nichols.

Oh, and I have to share the ringtone Sage uses for Justin on her cell.

If you haven’t read it yet, get your copy of Summer Bride today!

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L&L teaser 1.jpg

Today, I thought it might be fun to share my visual inspiration for the two main characters in Lightning and Lawmen.

Deputy Dugan Durfey we met briefly in Corsets and Cuffs. We didn’t know a lot about him, other than he likes to joke and tease and he’s a valuable member of the sheriff’s office.

I did the cover for this book long before I wrote it, so I was looking for inspiration that matched the featured characters.

chris evans

Chris Evans offered the perfect inspiration for Dugan’s character. Can’t you just picture him with a cowboy hat and a brass star pinned to his jacket?

Dugan 4

I could just picture Dugan giving a bad guy this look… or Seth when he’d been squiring Delilah around town.


And I could totally see Dugan with a smile like this when he was teasing Delilah or amused by something the sheriff said.

Delilah had to be a great balance to Dugan. From the cover, I knew she needed to have dark brown hair, but that was about it.

Delilah 2

Then I happened across an image of Odette Annable. She is very beautiful and spot-on for Delilah’s character.

Delilah 3

I could easily picture her giving Dugan (or Ollie) this smile.

Delilah 1

She truly is just lovely and I couldn’t envision any better inspiration for Delilah’s character.

Raccoon  On Grassy Bank

And I can’t forget the real star of the show – Oliver the raccoon.

While I wrote this story, I listened to the song If It Ain’t With You by Farewell Angelina. Captain Cavedweller and I had gone on a date night to our local theater. The opportunities to attend a musical performance are few and far between, so I bought tickets although I’d never heard of the group performing. It just so happened to be Farewell Angelina. The all-female country group is named after a Bob Dylan song, featuring four amazing vocalists who also play instruments and write songs.

If you haven’t yet read Lightning and Lawmen, I hope you’ll check it out.

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While I was writing The Christmas Confection, I spent considerable time looking up Swedish holiday traditions, customs and recipes.

Oh, my goodness!

I think I wish I had some Swedish ancestors in my family tree!

The beautiful decorations, the delicious food, the ancient traditions are all so wonderful.


I mean, just look at this face!


From St. Lucia Day…


to Dala Horses…


to the cookies. Oh, the cookies. And pastries. And Swedish meatballs. And…

I think I better stop now.

But if you’d like to see more of the decorations, traditions, and recipes that helped inspire The Christmas Confection, visit my Pinterest Board.

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