Friday, November 12, 2021

My Story Inspiration for The Calling Birds

  My Story Inspiration
By Jacqui Nelson

What inspires a story? 

Christmas! And since Christmas is next month, it feels like it's the perfect time to share the Story Inspiration page (a page I included in the back of the book) for the first Christmas story that I wrote...

The Calling Birds book cover


Story Inspiration page ~ from the back of the book

When asked, which day of Christmas would you like to write? I immediately chose The Fourth Day because with the title The Calling Birds, I could use the name Jack Peregrine. His name was inspired by Inspector Jack Robinson from the Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries novels & TV series and the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children novel & movie. Jack and then Birdie’s names came to me lightning quick, and might not have worked as well in more specifically titled 12 days stories such as the Hens, Doves, Geese, or Swans. 

So, I chose the more generic title and then, as seems to be my nature, I became really specific. Peregrines’ Post and Freight had to be the plural because it’s a family-run business. The word “post” had to come before “freight” because when shortened to Peregrines’ Post, it stood for not only a postal office but a post on which a bird might rest AND a place to make a final stand - while trying to keep a business alive and a family together. 

Next, I decided I needed four birds to form my family because it’s The Fourth Day, after all. Jack’s brother, Max, and Grandpa Gus came to life. Now I cannot imagine The Calling Birds without Gus. 

Jack and Gus’ banter was inspired by my relationship with my mom. She was great fun but also incredibly stubborn (to the point where I’d worry for her safety). It became our running joke where I’d call her determined, but I meant stubborn - and she knew it. She was never absentminded, though. That feature is mine but, like Gus, I’d rather find ways to get around my shortcomings instead of dwelling on them.

A wanted woman’s flight, a man in pursuit of honesty, not stolen gold.


Noelle, Colorado –  Christmas 1876

Many years have passed since Bernadette Bellamy fled the Cariboo Gold Rush and her reputation as the sister of a French-Canadian gang of thieves. Armed with only an honest talent for sewing and a willingness to lead a solitary life on the run, she stays one step ahead of everyone seeking her brothers’ last—and now lost—heist. Until a craving to settle down makes her reinvent herself as Birdie Bell, a dress shop owner. The arrival of an old foe combined with her desire to hold onto her treasure trove of fabrics has Birdie joining a wagonload of brides bound for a remote town.

After losing his leg and his wife, Jack Peregrine buries his pain under a mountain-high pile of work. He only agrees to sign up for a mail-order bride to save the town of Noelle, keep his freighting business, and care for his absentminded grandfather. But Jack’s request for a sturdy bride who won’t crumble under his burdens brings him a woman as tiny as she is troubled. Can two mismatched people band together to become the perfect match?

Book Review "captures your heart from the start."



The Calling Birds - Christmas 1876
Robyn: A Christmas Bride - Christmas 1877

*  Next month I'll share my inspiration for Robyn *

Spend Christmas in Noelle, Colorado. Join the Peregrine brothers and their brides.

Hope you enjoyed my writing inspiration and that your Friday and your November are...beginning to look a bit like Christmas but only in the best ways. 🎄❤️ I'm hoping I won't see any snow until Christmas Eve ❄️⛄

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Julie Lence said...

What a great relationship you have with your mom. So glad you were able to incorporate that into your story. It's so much fun when we add family members to our work. My mom is my best friend. While I haven't added her, I have added many of my brothers' traits to some of my heroes.

Renaissance Women said...

What a fun 'backstory'. I do like how your mind works.

I also had a fun-interesting relationship with my late mother.

Thank you for sharing. Doris

Shanna Hatfield said...

It's such a great story, Jacqui! Jack was one of my favorite characters in the series!

Jacqui Nelson said...

Thanks for your comments, Julie, Doris, and Shanna! Interesting to hear about your relationships with your moms, Julie and Doris. Moms really make an impact on us. And I'm thrilled to hear that one of my characters in the "12 Days of Christmas Mail Order" series was one of your favorites, Shanna! I love your couple Culver and Kezia.❤️❤️