Welcome to Wednesday Writers! Today’s guest is author Linda Hoover. She’ll be treating us to some research about her Historical Christian Romance, Heart’s Desire, and some pictures of the setting. Be sure to read to the end of her post for an excerpt of the book. Welcome, Linda.
I wrote Heart’s Desire a number of years ago, but set it aside when I was encouraged to try something different. In the time between then and now, I learned a lot about the craft of writing. I dusted the story off and revised it, making the stakes much higher for my heroine, Julia. The story is set in Boston. I’d done a lot of research when I wrote the book originally and wished I could see the places I wrote about. In 2019 I got to go. Seeing the places my characters lived, socialized and worshiped was a dream come true. I stood in Louisburg Square on Beacon Hill and imagined it was 1880 as I looked at the townhouse Julia would have lived in.
One of the places Julia and her friends spend time is the Public Garden. The story begins in winter and skating on the lagoon is a favorite activity. I was there in the summer, so you have to imagine what it would have looked like in the winter. However, the story ends in the summer, so all you need to do now is ignore the modern buildings in the background.
LAGOON AT THE PUBLIC GARDEN
The footbridge you see across the lagoon plays a part in the story. You’ll have to watch for it when you read the book.
FOOTBRIDGE ACROSS THE LAGOON
The interior of this church looks like the one Julia and her family would have attended.
There are many things Julia and her friends enjoy doing; balls, dinners, concerts, picnics. Through it all, Julia deals with the knowledge of an unwanted marriage looming in her future, when what she really wants is to know Jacob better. If only God would make a way.
by Linda Hoover
In 1880 Boston, Julia Phillips’s father betroths her to wealthy Lucien Harris to cover up a tragic secret. She has no interest in Lucien, but Jacob Anderson, a kind jewelry store clerk has captured her attention. Can she put off Lucien long enough to convince her parents to accept a man who isn’t in the upper-class?
Jacob works with his uncle in Boston, but plans to buy land for a farm in Iowa when he has enough money. When Julia walks into their store his priorities change. Their mutual attraction grows into love, and he wants to be the man she marries. But how can he with so little money?
Julia feels increasing pressure from Lucien to pretend she’s happy about the upcoming wedding. Then, she discovers the arranged marriage is based on blackmail. Her family will be ruined if she doesn’t comply.
Will God make a way for Jacob and Julia to have their heart’s desire?
Boston, February 1880
Don’t worry, nobody knows. The phrase repeated itself in John Phillips’ mind like the rhythmic ticking of a clock as he hurried out of his office and headed for the elevator. His valise bumped against his leg with each step. When he arrived, his finger hovered over the button, indecision swirling in his mind.
Maybe I should take the stairs. No, I never do that. Everything has to look as usual. John pushed the button and a bell sounded faintly several floors below. The car made its slow approach while he ran his finger between his neck and tightening collar.
The elevator stopped with a bump and the metal accordion gate across the doorway folded to the side. John’s mouth went dry and his heart galloped in his chest as a hideous creature with blood red eyes and razor-sharp teeth stalked toward him, pointing its finger and cackling. He stumbled back, but the creature lunged forward and grabbed his jacket sleeve with its clawed hands.
“Noooo.” He twisted and turned, trying to get out of his jacket.
“John, wake up!”
The haze of sleep cleared as John became aware of someone shaking his shoulder. The creature disappeared and he worked to even out his breathing.
“Are you awake?”
He forced words past his constricted throat. “I’m awake, Elizabeth.”
“Was it the same dream? You were moaning and thrashing around. I wish you’d tell me what it’s about.”
“I don’t want to burden you with it. Let’s go back to sleep.” He rolled away from his wife, grateful to be at home in his bed. The situation occurred twenty-five years ago, yet the dream’s frequency had increased to several nights a week. He drew in a shaky breath. It took longer each time to calm his pounding heart when he awoke.
John wiped the perspiration from his face with the sleeve of his nightshirt, then pulled the blanket tight around his shoulders. Could this mean he’d been found out?
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About the Author:
Linda lives in west central Ohio with her husband, daughters, grandson, two cats and a dog. She earned a degree in psychology from Anderson University where she learned the voices in her head were actually characters from stories waiting to be told.
Linda recently retired from the county’s public library system. It was the perfect place to indulge her love of young adult and Christian fiction. It was also a good place to build a long “To Read” list. These days she enjoys being a fulltime author in her home office. Linda is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
To learn more about Linda and the books she writes visit her website. While you’re there, subscribe to her newsletter to keep informed about new books, author activities and giveaways.