Melody Archer - A Marriage-of-Convenience Cinderella Story
Melody Archer writes clean heart-pounding romance, with scarred heroes and feisty heroines. She loves to create enchantment by stringing words together, but she's also been known to drink way too much chai tea. When not escaping to another world via reading or writing a book, she's usually doing her best to coax her hubby and four children to watch yet another classic romance movie. Melody is blessed to have the support of her family and wonderful friends on this roller coaster writing journey as well as the nonstop cluster of characters who live in her imagination. As our Author of the day, she tells us all about her book, The Billionaire's Marriage.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Billionaire’s Marriage Bargain is about.
The Billionaire’s Marriage Bargain is the start of a sweet romance series following five brothers who live in the fictional setting of a small town near Seattle Washington, where all five brothers find women who agree to a marriage of convenience. Each book in this series is a loose fairytale retelling inspired by Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel and Snow White. In this first book, Adam needs to marry in 30 days to receive his inheritance. When he runs into his neighbor Elle, Adam is convinced she would be a perfect candidate for a marriage in name only. Only problem is, she sees him as the enemy.
Tell us more about Adam Stevenson. What makes him tick?
Adam is introvert and a computer geek. Even though he’s intelligent and has made billions with his software, he realizes there’s something missing from his life. Since his ex-fiance cheated on him years ago, he doesn’t trust women and he doesn’t believe in love. Being forced to marry to receive his inheritance, makes him angry and determined to make this marriage a business transaction.
What makes Elle Jennings so special?
Elle has had to endure a lot of pain in her twenty-one years, but despite all the heartache she’s endured she continues to make sacrifices to help others and gives generously to those around her.
In which way is this story a Cinderella remake?
This sweet romance follows the plot of what most readers expect in a Cinderella retelling, except this one includes a fake marriage trope. This story begins with a the death of Elle’s mom when she was a little girl. For years she suffered from the heartache of this loss, so when her Dad marries again she believes she’ll finally have the loving mother she wants. However, when her father dies suddenly, Elle is shocked to discover the scheming and selfish stepmother and stepsister that she now calls family.
Since her stepmother has unwisely spent so much of the family money, the bank will foreclose on the ranch in three weeks. Elle is desperate to figure out how to save her beloved Dad’s ranch, so when Adam offers a marriage of convenience she agrees with strict conditions: That they keep this a business arrangement and that they do not fall in love. What Elle doesn’t realize is that her new prince is about to sweep her off her feet in the most surprising ways.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Before I started writing full time, I completed a music degree and had the privilege of teaching piano and singing lessons to children in the different places we’ve lived. It was such fun to teach students to play and sing and to love music.
Why did you use a ranch as leverage in your story?
A ranch is familiar to me, as I grew up on a farm, so this part of the story came naturally to me. For me it feels like a place of belonging and a place to call home. So, when Adam is willing to do whatever it takes to gain his inheritance of his Great Grandfather’s homestead ranch, what he really longs for is a sense of belonging. Similarly, when Elle faces the bank taking her Dad’s ranch, she is afraid of losing those things that have represented love in her life. The possibility of losing love or a sense of belonging is a powerful universal theme that resonates with many readers.
Tell us more about the cover and how it came about.
This book cover has gone through a few iterations. The first cover had a different guy, with a slightly different background. It was easier to find a background with mountains and horses which was how I pictured the ranch Adam inherited. But, we finally landed on the guy that’s on the book cover now, as my book designer(@brendacamp) and I scoured through many stock photos. To me, this cover model represents the picture I originally had of Adam: solid, dependable, faithful, slightly geeky, but with a generous and kind heart.
Do any of your characters ever take off on their own tangent, refusing to do what you had planned for them?
Yes! Most of the time, if I get stuck in writing the story, it’s because I’m trying to force a situation on them that isn’t what the characters want to do.
These kinds of surprises happen all the time, and it’s part of why I love the discovery process of writing a romance. I’m never totally sure what will happen until I write the end. This is what makes writing fun and exciting!
What did you have the most fun with when writing this book?
My favorite part of writing is digging deep into each characters backstory and discovering where their fears and wounds originated. Once I really have that aha moment about the characters and the lies they believe, the story unfolds in my mind.
In real life, do you think that love conquers everything?
I do believe that greatest gift each of us have been given on this earth is love. However, I also believe it takes a lot of forgiveness and grace for each other to walk that out and to stay in the place where we love others. If we can get to that place where everyday we choose to forgive and love each other in spite of our faults, I do believe that kind of love can help us to overcome a bunch of negative feelings in our lives. But I’ll admit, I believe it takes a lot of work to get there.
Where do your ideas come from?
I get ideas from everywhere. Sometimes I’ll be in the grocery store and the cashier has a certain accent or a way of saying things that inspires me. Other times, I’ll be watching a movie and a certain character or setting will spark the idea-train. I usually need to keep a notebook handy to write down ideas when I watch movies, lol. :)
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
As far as interesting writing habits, I like to have my green tea with lemon beside me as I work. I usually turn on ambient background music, like rainfall or fireplace sounds that helps me focus. An average writing day for me is sitting down in the morning after my hubby leaves for work and sitting down to see if I can write a certain number of words in timed writing sprints. I join other writers on discord and it’s a motivating way to write and that really helps me get each novel finished.
What are you working on right now?
I’ve been writing a Novella, which is the prequel(or origin story) to this sweet romance series. The title is “The Marriage Rescue”. This is Eliza Stevenson’s story, who is the mother of these five billionaire brothers. It’s set back in time during the 1980s, so it has been a pleasure to bring back to memory what those years were like. The hairstyles, the music and the culture in general. It’s been fun to write! One of the fun parts of writing this Novella is that I’m offering this ebook for Free to readers on my mailing list. :)
Where can readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I’ve been having fun connecting with sweet romance readers and authors lately on Instagram(@melodyarcherauthor). Or if you want to be the first to receive more details of my upcoming books, you can find me on my website www.MelodyArcher.com(https://www.melodyarcher.com).