As I begin to work on The Garden Promise I put my mind in the mood for the 19th century American West, assisted by this drawing by Henri Boutet. Although the artist and his subjects were French, Boutet’s work helps me envision a time when people struggled to get by, but always found a bit of love and adventure along the way. These French boudoir drawings pull back the portiere on the private lives of women (some scandalous, some not). Some of my characters in The Garden Promise would have been very interested in French fashion. Some would not have the time to consider fashion at all. Boutet’s sketches and etchings were hand-colored and thought to show that he had great tenderness for women and their lives–even the parts that were not typically on public display.