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Goodreads asked Cynthia Hamilton:

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

Cynthia Hamilton Because I had set up dual careers for Madeline Dawkins in "Spouse Trap," I was able to use her event coordinating business as the springboard to the primary storyline in "A High Price to Pay." I got the idea of incorporating one of my favorite spots in Santa Barbara, Ganna Walska's Lotusland, while walking the beautiful grounds as I nurtured the plotline to the sequel in my head. Because I knew that patrons who contributed at a certain level could host parties at this lovely legacy garden, but had to be off the premises by dusk, it spurred the idea of creating a famous film director's wife who, put off by the time restrictions, decides to create a "legacy garden" of her own. Her estate became the central scene for most of the action in the story. As Madeline later reflects, it is an "unhappy mansion," inhabited by people who place more importance on appearances than on human connections.

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