Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Romantic Reads: Heart's Desire

Interview with Linda Hoover about her book, Heart’s Desire:

Alexis: Why did you title this book “Heart’s Desire”? Explain the significance of your story title.

Linda: Early in the story, Julia tells her mother it’s her heart’s desire to marry for love. That struck me as the perfect title. The story is about her “heart’s desire.”

Alexis: Describe the heroine of your story (Julia). What makes her tick? What makes her beautiful? What makes her strong? What is her personality and outlook on life like?

Julia is youngest of four girls and a little spoiled. She’s intelligent, independent and a bit of a risk taker. She’s had more freedom in picking and choosing what gentleman she spends time with and if an offer of marriage came, her parents allowed her to turn it down. Because of this, she’s shocked when she’s informed of her father’s agreement to betroth her to Lucien.

Alexis: Why is Julia set on marrying for love and love alone?

Linda: Two of her sisters were maneuvered into advantageous marriages and neither is happy. Julia’s parents weren’t a love match and at times it’s obvious. Not to mention the examples she sees in their upper-class social circle. She doesn’t want to live like that.

Alexis: What is Julia’s relationship with her father like? In what ways does it threaten to place her in a love-less marriage?

Linda: Julia loves and admires her father. She’s always trusted in his protection and provision. His sudden decision to engage her to someone she doesn’t want is out of character for him. It’s confusing. She finds herself in a position where she’ll have to defy him or end up in a marriage like her sisters.

Alexis: Why did you choose to set this story in Boston, era 1880? Paint a picture of this time and setting with words.

Linda: I love history and Boston played a big part in our country’s beginnings. Beyond that, though, Boston in 1880 was full of things for young people to do. The story begins after the new year, so Julia and her friends bundle up and go sleighing, complete with sleigh bells, and spend time at the lagoon in the Public Garden ice skating. Julia and Jacob first see each other there. There are also lectures and concerts to attend in the evenings. All these things are open to everyone, regardless of social class. When the weather warms up, they go on picnics, walk in the park and ride the swan boats on the lagoon.

Alexis: Who is Lucien Harris and what role does he play in this story? How does he impact Julia’s life?

Linda: Lucien is the villain. He blackmails Julia’s father into giving his blessing on marriage to his daughter. Julia isn’t aware of the true circumstances and spends most of the time she’s with Lucien trying to change his mind. He represents the very thing she told herself would never happen to her.

Alexis: Who is Jacob Anderson and what role does he play in this story and in Julia’s life?

Jacob moved to Boston from a farm in upstate New York to work with his uncle in a jewelry store. He’s from the merchant class which makes him an unsuitable choice for Julia, but that doesn’t stop them from falling in love.

Alexis: What is it about Jacob that captivates Julia’s heart?

Linda: She would tell you it was love at first sight. A connection of hearts. Besides being handsome, he’s fun, gallant and caring. When she tells him about Lucien, he immediately wants to rescue her.

Alexis: What role does real-life faith in God play in the lives of your fictional characters?

Linda: Julia and her family go to church, but for most of the upper-class it had more to do with being seen going to church. Julia’s oldest sister meets someone who leads her to Christ and it makes a real difference in her life. She shares her experience with Julia and Jacob who also accept Christ.

Alexis: As the author, what brought you the most joy in writing this story? Why?

Linda: The characters were a lot of fun. One in particular, Edward, practically wrote himself. He’s not a main character, but is one of my favorites. I like putting them in situations they have to find their way out of and writing dialogue with sarcasm and humor.

Alexis: As the author, how does your faith in God impact the way you tell stories?

I pray daily that God will be the center of everything I do or say. For me that means the worlds I create are centered on God. My characters may not know him to begin with, or maybe they did and lost their way or are mad at him and feel justified in ignoring him, but before the story is over, they’ll come to know him and it’ll make a difference in their decisions and in the way their path ends up going.

Alexis: If you could step into this story (Heart’s Desire) and counsel Julia, what would you say? Why?

Linda: Being the author means I can speak through a character and that’s what I did with Katherine, Julia’s oldest sister. She shares her joy in finding new life in Christ and tells how he freed her from worry. Her faith in God’s presence and protection is strong and she encourages Julia, and later Jacob, to pray about everything, believing he hears and will answer according to what’s best for them. No matter what, they can trust him.

Alexis: As the author, what is your heart’s desire for the readers of this book?

Linda: I hope readers will be entertained by the story, but also be inspired to seek a closer commitment to God, or be encouraged to share their experience with someone who needs to hear what God can do.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Linda! Would you like to share closing thoughts?

Linda: I’d like to thank you, Alexis, for the privilege of being on your Romantic Reads blog. I enjoy the opportunity to reach potential new readers, and I’d like to invite everyone to stop by my website to learn more about me and my books.

Author Bio:

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, despite interruptions from family members and pets. Linda is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. 

Blurb for Linda's book:

Julia wants to marry for love … But her father’s secret condemns her to a love-less marriage. 

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 as her husband?

Jacob works with his uncle in Boston, but plans to buy land for a farm out west 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?

Buy Linda’s book on Amazon

Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below:  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.