Heart of the Ocean
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.
Author Heather B. Moore
Heather B. Moore is the award-winning author of ten novels, two inspirational non-fiction books, and two anthologies, including The Newport Ladies Book Club Series, A Timeless Romance Anthology, and Christ's Gifts to Women (co-authored by Angela Eschler).
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 & 2012 LUW Best Book Trailer).
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GUEST POST BY HEATHER MOORE - The Differences Between Writing Contemporary Fiction and Historical Fiction
Although I’ve had a lot of fun writing contemporary, I think I still prefer to write historical. There is more world-building that goes on and details that are neat to include that don’t really have a place in contemporary. I love to read historical, so it’s probably natural that it’s my favorite genre to write. It’s more of an “escape” from the demands of life around me, and it’s interesting to imagine how the constraints of the era would have played a role in the characters’ lives.
Below, I’ve outlined things that I need to consider when writing historical, and if there’s a contemporary counterpart in there, I make a note of it as well.
*The key ingredient in writing historical fiction is research. Readers expect MORE out of a historical novel. They expect to be transported to another place and time. They want to learn. So, yes, this becomes your job when writing historical novels. When you’re writing contemporary, this actually applies as well. Location, culture, norms, etc. need to be researched to fill in the contemporary setting.
*The most successful historical novels are connected to a major historical event. Think A Tale of Two Cities, Les Miserables, War and Peace, Gone with the Wind, etc. Why? Because readers have an easier time visualizing a time period if they are already familiar with it. And a known historical event provides a non-fiction platform for you book. You can compare this to writing contemporary, by making sure the contemporary novel is tied to a major conflict that the characters must face.
*With a historical novel, the plot line might have to follow a historical event. Contemporary has a lot more wiggle room in this aspect.
*Things to include in your historical setting/descriptions. These are all things to be included in a contemporary novel as well, but if you are “living” any of it, the research will be minimum:
*weather, climate, topography
*traditions, holidays, festivals
*occupations & industry
*food & agriculture
* Dialog & dialect choices: These are important in both historical and contemporary works.
*Characterizing historical figures: Emotions and reactions to situations are the same today as they would have been any period in history. A mother losing a child 2,000 years ago would go through the same grief if that happened today to your character. The emotions of anger and revenge in the 15th century are no different than those same emotions today—although the motivation behind those emotions may change depending on the time period, the character, and the plot—you can still write emotion.
*Generally, it will take longer to write a historical novel because of the research involved. But all the other elements of creating plot and storytelling are essentially the same in both historical and contemporary.
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