Rayanna Jamison stopped by today, for a chat about Cecily from Corbin’s Bend. I am so excited to read this, and have it loaded on my kindle. As soon as I get some down time in front of my fireplace, I am digging in. Cecily and her story sound fantastic!
Rayanna Jamison: Hi Katherine! Thank you so much for letting me hijack your blog today to talk about Cecily and Carlton!
Katherine Deane: I’m so glad to have you, Rayanna! So tell us about your story and these awesome characters. I love your cover, by the way!
Rayanna Jamison: Thanks. A Holiday Ruse really was a first for me. Most of the time, when I write a Corbin’s Bend book, or especially a book in my own series, the entire history of the couple is written by me. This time was totally different, because I had to collect all the information I had, all coming from different authors and work it into a feasible story. It was a challenge, but I’m pretty happy with the way it came together.
Katherine Deane: I bet that was challenging. I can’t wait to hear about your character transformation.
Rayanna Jamison: The History of Cecily
A Holiday Ruse, the story of Cecily and Carlton Connor, came out last week. It is my fourth and final Corbin’s Bend book.
A lot of people, don’t realize this, but Cecily has been around the Corbin’s Bend Series since Book One- as such- she was the very first Corbin’s Bend character I wrote as a main character that was not of my own creation.
But because, her history was so spaced out, and because not everyone has read all the CB books, as I have (which is the great thing about Corbin’s Bend- they all mesh together nicely, but they can all be read as standalones), I thought it would be helpful to just review a bit of past information about Cecily.
Cecily is the daughter of Venia Varner and her deceased husband Greg, and although she has never been to Corbin’s Bend prior to my book, A Holiday Ruse, she has a strong history outline throughout the seasons.
In Season One, Book One- Finding Their Bliss by Thianna D- We learn that Venia, a beloved widow in Corbin’s Bend has a daughter who was very upset by the reveal of her lifestyle, and her move to Corbin’s Bend. This is compounded by the loss of Cecily’s father- right before Venia moves to CB and Cecily goes off to college. At the time of the book, we learn Cecily is in college in Florida and dating a man named Nathan from back east. We learn that her relationship with her mother Venia, is strained and that she does not approve of the lifestyle or her mother’s choice to move there.
In Season One, Book Eight- Last Dance For Cadence- We are of course, introduced to Cadence, Venia’s “second daughter.” And we learn that Venia, Cecily’s mother, and Cadence’s mother, were best friends, and that after Cadence’s mother died of cancer, Veni took over the raising of Cadence who was a teenager at the time, and raised her alongside her own daughter. Cecily and Cadence were raised as sisters.
During the second season, nothing of real substance is mentioned about Cecily- until Season Three, Book 7- An Author’s Angst by Maggie Ryan. Here in bits and phrases, we learn that at some point since we last heard of her, Cecily has gotten married, and her relationship with her mother is still strained but we don’t have any solid information- until the very end of the book, when in an ending that took me, an avid cb reader and fan, by total surprise, Cecily attends her mother’s book signing, with a husband, who is not anyone we have ever heard of, and tells her mother. “Your book saved our marriage.”
All of a sudden, my brain was exploding with questions,- Who is Carlton? Where did he come from? How long have they been married? How did we not know about this? And OMG- Are they practicing DD now? How did that happen?
And I knew, as soon as I read that last page, that if I was able, I wanted to be the one to finish Cecily’s story. By the end of the day, I had typed out a hastily plotted synopsis, and had it accepted, and I got to work trying to answer all of those questions.
Katherine Deane: That is so awesome! I can’t wait to read her story now too!
Rayanna Jamison: Here is a snippet that really shows the history of these three coming together.
Round tables filled the center for people to enjoy their dinner, but there was also a small play area in the corner for the kids, well-stocked with games, toys and books. They were seated at a larger table with Venia, Jeff, and Cadence and her husband Marcus, as well as their children, who except for the youngest, were now off playing. The formal part of the dinner was pretty much over, and people were migrating around the room, making sure they got a chance to talk to everyone.
“I’m so glad you guys finally made it, and that you’re going to be living so close,” Cadence gushed.
“It’s been great to finally meet everyone, Cecily has shared so many stories with me over the years, from Venia- it was nice to put faces with names. Although, I met so many people today, I doubt I’ll be able to remember everyone.”
Cadence laughed. “As a community, when we are all together, we can be pretty overwhelming.” She paused. “We were all so surprised when Cecily came back from her birthday trip, and told Venia she was married. I’ve never known anyone who eloped.”
Carlton frowned in confusion, not quite certain he had heard correctly. “I’m sorry?”
“Eloping. Was it as exciting and romantic as it sounds?”
One glance at his wife’s face cleared all his confusion. When he caught her looking back at him, he held up two fingers against the table. Cecily flushed, her eyes widening, but nobody noticed their little exchange.
“It was certainly something,” Carlton answered.
“I have never been so shocked in my life. I always thought that when Cecily got married it would be a grand affair that wiped out my savings account.” Venia smiled indulgently at her daughter. “When it’s true love, all the bells and whistles, and fancy trappings lose their importance. Still, I was surprised. You know what I found the other day? Your wedding notebook. Do you remember that? You and Cadence both had them- you took apart all those wedding catalogs and magazines, and planned the whole day.”
Cecily has been telling little white lies for years, both to her husband Carlton, and her mother Venia. With her husband on another continent, and her mother across the country in Corbin’s Bend, what could the harm be?
Everything seems fine until Carlton gets transferred to Denver, and they decide to spend the holidays with her mom in Corbin’s Bend. Carlton doesn’t tolerate lying—and he refuses to stretch the truth to accommodate the lies she has already told, one of which is letting her mother believe that her and Carlton also practice domestic discipline. Cecily can’t bear to strain their already tenuous relationship by admitting the truth, so Carlton offers a solution. When in Corbin’s Bend, do as they do.
She doesn’t count on being there longer than a week, and she certainly doesn’t plan on falling for the town, the people in it, OR her husband’s new dominant ways. Will Cecily’s web of lies lead her to everything she has ever wanted?