I write historical romance set in Victorian America, so I consider it my job to “romance the past.” For every aspect of Victorian life I find unappealing, there’s one that strikes a chord—and my romantic sensibilities. I can’t help imagining myself between the pages of my books, living back in the days about which I write. The three stories in my Sole Survivor series are set in Misty Lake, New York, a fictional lakeside town where wealthy city dwellers spend their summers during the mid-1880s.
My aunt once told me I was born in the wrong century. While I’m uncertain I agree with her, I would love the opportunity to find out, to be transported back to an era I romanticize and spend a summer season in Misty Lake.
Here is a list of my top five reasons for wanting to take a step back in time (for a month or two, anyway.)
I can’t pass an old Victorian house without imagining the people who lived beneath the multi-faceted roof, and what their stories were. My mind wanders to what it might have been like back then, what filled the conversation and thoughts of those who’d sat on the wraparound porch, what trials and joys took place between the home’s walls.
Even the most weathered places intrigue me. I’ll say, “Great house,” and my husband mutters, “Money pit.” Obviously, he doesn’t share my enthusiasm—or my imagination, as I picture elaborate parlors, grand staircases—and fireplaces in the bedroom spell romance to me!
The Leisure Time
Summers in Misty Lake are all about leisure. Enjoying breakfast served on the patio overlooking the lake. Sunny afternoons spent picking flowers or reading beneath the shade of a tree. Rainy days spent engaged in needlepoint projects, visiting friends, or writing long letters to them. Intimate chess games, and time spent in the parlor with friends and family, just hanging out, enjoying each other’s company. Which brings me to the next point on my list.
The Undivided Attention
No television, internet, cell phones, or other technological distractions. When was the last time you spent more than twenty minutes with someone who didn’t check their Facebook or Twitter feeds? When was the last time you enjoyed a dinner with someone whose attention was directed solely on you? Imagine how well you could get to know someone when you have all that quality time to focus on one and other—to fall in love.
Everyone looks gorgeous in their formal wear and jewelry. There’s live music, delicious food, and lots of slow dancing!
I would suffer the corsets to wear the beautiful dresses and gowns.
And there you have it. The wish list of a diehard romantic, who may or may not have been born in the wrong century. Either way, I’ll continue to “romance the past” in my mind and my stories. After all, some things never change. So I’ll make do with those things from the past I can have in the present world too.
Moonlight, candlelight, firelight. And love.
Thank you for having me here! I invite readers to spend some time in Misty Lake this summer with the characters of The Lady Who Saw Too Much.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Cursed with prophetic visions and desperate to atone for a death she could have prevented, Gianna York swears she will never again ignore the chance to save a life. When she is hired by Landen Elmsworth to serve as companion to his sister, Gia repeatedly sees the image of her employer’s lifeless corpse floating in Misty Lake. As subsequent visions reveal more details, Gia soon realizes her best chance to save this difficult man is by becoming his wife.
At first, Landen Elmsworth believes the fetching Miss York might be right for a meaningless dalliance, but he grossly underestimates her capacity for cunning and soon finds himself bound until death to a woman he may never be able to trust. Yet in the dark of their bedroom they discover an undeniable passion—and a capacity to forge their own destiny…
A three-time RWA Golden Heart nominee, Thomasine Rappold writes historical romance and historical romance with paranormal elements. She lives with her husband in a small town in upstate New York that inspired her current series. When she’s not spinning tales of passion and angst, she enjoys spending time with her family, fishing on one of the nearby lakes, and basking on the beach in Cape Cod. Thomasine is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Capital Region Romance Writers.