Today is a bittersweet day for me. It’s awesome because today is the release day of Virtue and Honor, the third in the Earthbound Angels trilogy. This time last year I was just gearing up to release Virtue of Death (the first in the series). For more than a year I have lived, breathed, slept, sweat, and cried my angels. It feels so weird to release them out into the world without knowing another was coming out in six months.
If you’re not familiar with the Earthbound Angels, allow me to give you a brief overview. Earthbound Angels are angels who all have a specific purpose: death, miracles (virtue), or government (principality). They started out as humans and were gifted their wings on their eighteenth birthdays. Because these angels started out human, they aren’t perfect. They make mistakes. They learn. They love. In this trilogy you meet three strong women: Sera, Cheryl, and Angela, and the men who steal their hearts. Each story is a standalone romance, however each one builds on the previous one so there will be repeat characters and reference to plot points from earlier books.
So, to celebrate the completion of my first series (*whew*), I thought I’d share a few secrets from the creative process that took place while I wrote these three love stories.
- I originally considered Virtue of Death to be a standalone. I didn’t even think to give Cheryl her own story until I feared Virtue of Death wasn’t going to be longer than 37,000 words and I was going to need to shove the two novellas together to get something publishable length.
- In an original draft of Virtue of Death, Destin got pulled over by a cop who let him go because Sera was hot. They also got it on for the first time in the lifeguard stand on the beach in front of Sera’s house.
- In the original draft of Promises of Virtue, Luc was Luke, a recently divorced American; Adam was Pierre, an arrogant Frenchman.
- Shhh, don’t tell my husband this, but he actually came up with the idea for the bad guy’s motive in Promises.
- In the original version of Promises, the final battle took place on a yacht and Luke was afraid of water.
- Sera has a very weird hang-up when it comes to forks, which is mentioned in both Promises and Virtue and Honor. This is a real hang-up that I have, and my family teases me for mercilessly.
- The original idea of the third book was a prologue, telling the story of how Cheryl and Sera got their wings. But a lot of that information wound up in Virtue of Death and Promises of Virtue during edits, so I abandoned that idea. Plus, let’s face it, it couldn’t be a happily ever after, so it wouldn’t have been very good, now would it?
- My next idea for the third book was to be about Cheryl’s dad, an attempt to redeem him. I made it about three chapters in and I just was not digging on that storyline. But the characters just weren’t coming alive for me, so I abandoned it and went in a completely different direction.
- Mason’s name changed at least three times in initial drafting. I settled on a different name, but after about three pages, I found myself defaulting to Mason. My subconscious knew more than I did, so Mason stayed.
- In an original draft of Virtue and Honor, Angela’s wings were green, but in edits I changed them to purple. I’m really glad I made the change.