Message From The Author

Author's Message

Two Brides for Two Brothers

A Q&A with Deb Stover

by Lauren Spielberg

Deb Stover, the award-winning author of eight romances, returns this month with NO PLACE FOR A LADY and four irrepressibly charming characters. Molly is an Irish ladys maid who travels to Colorado to find her missing father with her employer, the petulant Lady Elizabeth. When their coach is stopped en route and Lady Elizabeth is kidnapped by ransom-minded bandits, it is up to Molly and Lady Elizabeths intended, Dirk Ballinger, to come to the rescue.

RT: How did you become inspired to write this story of an English
noblewoman and her Irish maid and their adventures in America?

Molly and Lady Elizabeth came to me long before the actual story of NO PLACE FOR A LADY did. I sat down and wrote the first scene between them months before I envisioned the rest of the plot and characters. The event which ultimately compelled me to flesh out these women and their ensuing adventures was an anniversary trip to Estes Park, Colorado with my husband. I fell in love with the setting, the historyhaunted local museums and historical landmarksand even visited a few ghost towns in neighboring Rocky Mountain National Park.

RT: How important is it for you to write about strong, defiant women?
What motivates you to create them?

I AM a strong, defiant womanemphasis on defiant, Im afraid. Ive written one heroine I look back on and consider a wimp (I wont tell you which one) and I never will again. Women are the caregivers of the world. Many of us are putting careers on hold to be at home with our children. Strong heroines? The phrase is almost redundant, really. A romantic heroine should succeed for herself first, and for love second. After all, a real hero wouldnt want it any other way

RT: A strength I noticed in your writing is your ability to write characters that arent at all what they seem. Do you enjoy adding that sense of palpable mystery to your characters?

Thank you! I love writing characters who make self-discoveries and evolve over the course of a novel. Often, my heroes are the ones who experience most of this. Isnt it fun to watch a hero or heroine finally achieve what they thought they wanted, only to discover its something else? Sometimes the inner growth is spiritual, often its familial, and the always inconvenient discovery of true love.

RT: How would you compare Dirk and Mollys relationship to that of Ray
and Lady Elizabeths?

Theyre both volatile and intense. Dirk and Molly had never met before, so the sexual tension is much stronger between them. Also, since Lady Elizabeth is in the final weeks of pregnancy, and facing many truths she doesnt want to face, her relationship with Ray is more emotional than sensual.

RT: How much fun was it to watch the not-so-gentle sparring between Lady Elizabeth and Molly? Its tremendously funny watching Molly hold her tongue around her mercurial employer yet still manage to get a few great jabs in when no ones looking!

I did enjoy writing these characters. I wanted the strong, Irish heroine and the spoiled noblewoman employer, and they certainly obliged. The relationships between womenfriends, sisters,
professionalsare far different than those between men. I really enjoyed watching how these characters evolved, and how their friendship and romances flourished.

RT: Do you write or do you plan on writing any other genres besides
historicals? If so, is there any particular genre that you prefer to write
above the others?

Yes! Im also published in fantasy anthologies for DAWthree
to date and another in the worksand a mystery anthology for Cumberland House. As for novels, I have a passion for both
historicals and contemporaries, which is probably the reason most of my earlier books were time travels. My focus right now is on writing big contemporaries with a historical thread throughout the story. MULLIGAN STEW will be released by Jove in 2002. Its a reincarnation tale involving a past tragedy and a love that transcends both time and death.

RT: Did you ever fear that Ray might steal the story away from Dirk? A
highway bandit whos not all bad is awfully appealingand attractive!

He is, isnt he? But so is a man dedicated to familial honor, and
trying to undo past wrongs. I loved the way Rays secret vulnerability about his paternity fed into Dirks code of honor. It all wove together and gave me two brothers I could fall in love with. I will tell you that the original ending I had for this story was far different. Rays appeal definitely guided my handand my heartin this area.

RT: Are there plans to tell any more stories of the Ballinger escapades? Edward Ballinger seems like hed be an especially good study!

Edward Ballinger, though dead before the beginning of NO PLACE FOR A LADY, plays a huge part in the shaping of many of the charactersDirk, Clyde, Ray, Lance, and Ida. I never considered writing his story, but it could be interesting!

For excerpts and news, visit Debs website at

Read Book Review ›