Friday, August 12, 2016

Researching a book is fun by Jan Scarbrough

As noted in a May blog, Maddie James and I have been writing buddies for many years. Lately, we’ve collaborated on a contemporary Western series called The Montana Ranchers. Maddie wrote some books, and I wrote others. We worked together on writing the series Prequel.

We recently combined the books into a boxed set that is on sale August 8-22, 2016, for $2.99 only at Kobo.

All sweet to sexy books are included in The Montana McKennas Boxed Set:
  • The Montana McKennas: Prequel, Book 1, by Jan Scarbrough and Maddie James
  • Brody, Book 2, by Jan Scarbrough
  • Callie, Book 3, by Maddie James
  • Parker, Book 4, by Maddie James
  • Mercer, Book 5, by Jan Scarbrough
  • Liz, Book 7, by Jan Scarbrough 
Usually, a romance novel is pure imagination. As I noted in an earlier blog, I do include my emotions and sometimes weave events of my life into my stories. For the Montana series, I did a little Internet research for the setting. I had also researched professional bull riding for an earlier book. But most of the setting and characters were made up.

So when my husband and I began to discuss summer vacation, I suggested Montana. I wanted to see the state where I’d set four books. More Internet research revealed The Covered Wagon Ranch in Gallatin Gateway, Montana. We made reservations and planned our trip. OMG! It was fun—two days on horseback riding into the mountains, gourmet meals prepared by a chef eaten in a rustic dinning room with other friendly “dudes.” The owners, wrangles and staff were just as friendly. We felt like we’d come home.

 On the trip, I got to see firsthand the mountains, canyons, and valleys that make that part of Southwestern Montana so beautiful. Sagebrush is real. And so are lodgepole pine trees and aspens with their silver leaves shimmering in the wind.

So, next time you read a romance novel, think about the fun the authors had doing research as an extension of their very vivid imaginations!


  1. Wishing you lots of success with your western collection! I do love cowboys. :-)

  2. I'm with you. I do love hands-on research! Best of luck with the collection!

  3. Cool vacations -- for research -- one of the best parts of being a writer. Love the look of your boxed set. Those Kobo promos sell pretty well. Best of luck on yours.


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