by Heather B. Moore
A dark secret . . . a grieving ghost . . . a handsome stranger . . .
What more could Eliza Robinson want?
Except for maybe her life.
In Heather B. Moore’s enthralling 1840’s historical romance, Heart of the Ocean, Eliza Robinson has turned down the very pretentious Mr. Thomas Beesley’s marriage proposal. As a business partner of Eliza’s father, Thomas quickly discredits the family and brings disgrace to the Robinson name.
While her father scrambles to restore his good name in New York City, Eliza flees to the remote Puritan town of Maybrook to stay with her Aunt Maeve. Although relieved to be away from all- things-male and unforgiving gossip columns, odd things start to happen to Eliza, and she is plagued by a ghostly voice. Her aunt’s explanation? That Eliza is being haunted by a woman who died of a broken heart twenty years ago.
After Aunt Maeve is tragically killed, Eliza's life is put in danger as she tries to uncover the mystery of her aunt's death. She encounters Jonathan Porter in Maybrook, whose presence in the town seems suspicious, yet she finds herself drawn to him. When she discovers that Jonathan’s dark secrets may be the link between the dead woman who haunts her and her aunt’s murderer, Eliza realizes that Jonathan is the one man she should never trust.
Her historical fiction is published under the pen name H.B. Moore. She is the two-time recipient of Best of State in Literary Fiction, two-time Whitney Award Winner, and two-time Golden Quill Winner for Best Novel. Her most recent historical novel under H.B. Moore is Daughters of Jared (2012 LUW Gold Award of Excellence, and 2012 LUW Best Book Trailer).
I’ve written a couple of contemporary novels over the past two years, and I have really enjoyed them, but I will admit that historical is my greatest love. I’ve always loved historical fiction because I feel like I’m learning about the past as well as enjoying the read. The past fascinates me, so it was a natural combination of the two loves—history and writing.
You're a woman after my own heart. How did you come to write Heart of the Ocean?
I actually drafted Heart of the Ocean several years ago. I loved the story and characters, but it didn’t seem to fit with what I was currently publishing—it was too much of a tangent. A publisher likes an author to build up a “brand” so this book sat around for a while. With some measured success in publishing A Timeless Romance Anthology: Winter Collection with a group of historical romance authors, I took courage and decided to dive into revisions for Heart of the Ocean. As far as the writing went, Heart of the Ocean was a very organic book, meaning I had an idea for a girl coming into a Puritan town and finding out a dark secret. That was all I had to go on. I didn’t plot in advance, but plotted as the story unfolded. Then as I started writing, the voice of the past came up, and I realized that it would be the ghost who is trying to tell her story.
One of the most inspirational books I’ve read is Kitchen Privileges, by Mary Higgins Clark. I’ve long been a mystery fan and when I read this memoir, I realized that it was possible to be a writer and a mother at the same time. Ms. Clark inspired me when she said she’d write from 5:00-7:00 a.m. every morning so as not to interfere with her job and her kids (she was a widow at the time). I thought, “I can do that.” And I did—it took three novels before I finally got one published, but Clark’s story inspired me not to give up.
I’d have to say Historical Romance—surprise! Or historical with at least some romance in it. I’m currently reading The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani, and I’m loving it. It’s more of an epic love story, but heavy on the historical era. Also, since a lady in my critique group (Sarah M. Eden) is a regency romance writer, I’ve read several of those this year. Some of my favorite historical authors include Michelle Moran, Elizabeth Kostova, Anne Perry, and Daphne Du Maurier.
Oh yes. I can't get enough of Anne Perry, and I recently reread Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca. They are both memorable writers—and women! How do you want to be remembered, 1) as an author; 2) as a person?
1) As an author, as someone who was well-respected and was always
willing to help out another author.
2) As a person, it wouldn’t be for a spotless house, that’s for sure, so maybe as someone who was willing to put others first and make the world just a tiny bit brighter.
Thank you, Heather.
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