The Story Behind the Inspiration for “Detours of the Heart” — and a GIVEAWAY!
I guess you might say the inspiration for this story came from the opportunity to join in a romance novella collection a couple of years ago that focused on a completely different subject: the Pony Express.
However, since I knew nothing about the Express, I had to do some serious research. And I quickly learned that unlike the dry history I recalled from school, real history was alive and living, exciting, full of adventures and real people. The more research I did, the more real the Express became to me as I interviewed present-day reenactors, read accounts of folks involved in that short-lived business, and followed the route from St. Joe, Missouri, and points west.
So when I happened on a great display in a museum that featured a local now-defunct Harvey House Hotel, I was hooked. I read books about working as a Harvey Girl–did you know, there are still Harvey Girls alive in America today?–watched movies, and visited locations–sadly, many of the hotels have been torn down but several still exist although repurposed–I knew I had to write a story for myself.
The opportunity came along to set a story in 1925, which was about midway through the hotel chain’s popularity, and the disparity between wealthy Americans and the rest of us was perhaps never so clear as it was then. The Great Depression loomed just around the corner. The dustbowl was still a reality. There wasn’t much money, no credit, and although women suffragettes and the ban on alcohol was gaining momentum, opportunities for women outside the home were few and far between.
Then along came Hollywood. Instantly, men and women became household names. The silver screen lured the bold and the beautiful to Hollywood with promises of fame and fortune, both of which were in short supply in lower and middle class America. Now a woman could have a career of her own, a marriage and a family if she wanted one, and control of her own life. Very attractive propositions, to be sure.
Flappers and gin joints, speak easies and contraband, the mob and The Untouchables–all shaped our country and our history. The 1920’s saw a great deal of advancement in our country in terms of civil rights, educational opportunities for women, technology, business, and industry. It was a time when almost anything went, and most often, it did.
This time also saw a revival in the American church unlike any since. More people attended church and encouraged others to do the same. Evangelism wasn’t simply something we should do; it was something we did. Naturally. Organically. All the time.
And into that world I place a woman who wants more than merely marriage, child-rearing, and work, alongside a man who wants stability. Sparks are sure to fly! Both characters need to realize that they will never find what they’re looking for unless they find it in God first. And both characters learn that they have strengths and weaknesses that the other complements. Happy reading!
I will give away five print copies (US only, please) of the book by dropping the names of all who leave a comment on my missAdventure blog posts on my own blog or on this blog post between today and December 16th into a basket and pulling out five winners. One entry per blog post, please, and one prize per person. If you leave a comment every day on the 15 different blog posts, you could have 15 entries to win. Drawing closes midnight December 16th MDT.
In addition, if you don’t already subscribe to my newsletter, and you choose to subscribe at www.HiStoryThroughTheAges.com , I’ll pop in another entry for you. So you could have up to 16 chances to win!
Blogs/Facebook pages of other authors in collection:
Kathleen Kovach — hosting Heroes http://kathleenekovach.blogspot.com/
Kimberley Woodhouse — hosting the History http://kimandkaylawoodhouse.com/blog/
Debby Lee — hosting the Villains/Antagonists https://www.facebook.com/booksbydebbylee or follow her newsletter: http://booksbydebbylee.com/contact.html#newsletter
Marjorie Vawter — Hosting the Take-Aways http://marjorievawter.blogspot.com
Cynthia Hickey — Hosting the Settings https://www.facebook.com/Cynthia-Hickey-151333448227549/
Mary Davis — hosting the Heroines https://marydavis1.blogspot.com
About the collection: These seven daring damsels don’t let the norms of their eras hold them back from adventure.
About Detours of the Heart: (Albuquerque, NM, 1925)
A tour guide who wants to move on, a playboy who’s never had a place to call home—can they overcome their own plans and allow God to make their path straight, or will they take yet another detour?
Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters In Crime; facilitates a critique group, and teaches writing classes. Donna ghostwrites, edits, and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.
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