by Linda McLaughlin
The old city sits regally atop the bluff like an aristocratic dowager, proud of each gray hair and wrinkle. Ancient yet ageless.
Though it was many years ago, I still remember my first glimpse of Quebec. My husband and I arrived by train in late May. The trip was part business as I was writing Rogue's Hostage, a historical romance that took place during the 1759 siege of Quebec, and I wanted to see firsthand the place where my characters would live, love and nearly die. And it was part pleasure, the first real vacation my hard-working husband had been able to take for sometime. A chance for us to be together without the demands of work and home.
The city gave us a cold welcome. Rain drizzled from the sky, a frigid wind blew off the St. Lawrence, and the temperature plummeted. Wrapped in three layers of clothing, Bob and I opted for a bus tour the first day, hoping for better weather to come.
Our wish was granted the next day as the rain stopped and the sky turned light turquoise blue dappled by fluffy white clouds. We still needed three layers of clothing, but I got my chance to meander down the narrow, cobblestone streets of this UN designated World Heritage Treasure. For a panoramic view, we climbed up to the city walls that existed when the city fell to the British army in 1759. The shelling destroyed much of the city, but like the proverbial phoenix, Quebec rose from the ashes and rubble, more magnificent than ever.
I wanted to sample the kind of food my characters might have eaten, so I dragged my husband to a restaurant located in an old house in Upper Town that specialized in authentic French Canadian cooking. There we dined in a room displaying antique weapons. I ordered tourtiere, a meat pie, and tarte au sucre, maple-syrup pie. Bob insisted on sharing his ham and buckwheat pancakes with me. We spent the afternoon walking off our lunch. It was evident the early French Canadians had never heard of nouvelle cuisine!
As I strolled the streets of this charming city, my writer's eye tried to picture an older Quebec, filled not with tourists in modern dress, but women in long skirts and men in knee breeches, carrying muskets. I picked the spot where my characters would live and work and fight. As I took dozens of photographs and tried to commit as much as possible to memory, I knew my heroine would fall in love with Quebec, as I had. And I knew she would leave, as I must. But neither of us would ever forget her.
What is your favorite romantic vacation spot?
By Linda McLaughlin
4 ½ stars and a Top Pick from Romantic Times!
Romantic Times Nominee—Best Small Press Romance of 2003!
2nd Place - Lorie Awards - Best Historical Romance!
In 1758 the Pennsylvania frontier is wild, primitive and dangerous, where safety often lies at the end of a gun. Mara Dupré's life crumbles when a French and Indian war party attacks her cabin, kills her husband, and takes her captive. Marching through the wilderness strengthens her resolve to flee, but she doesn't count on her captor teaching her the meaning of courage and the tempting call of desire.
French lieutenant Jacques Corbeau's desire for his captive threatens what little honor he has left. But when Mara desperately offers herself to him in exchange for her freedom, he finds the strength to refuse and reclaims his lost self-respect. As the shadows of his past catch up to him, Jacques realizes that Mara, despite the odds, is the one true key to reclaiming his soul and banishing his past misdeeds forever.
(Previously published by Amber Quill Press)
Rogue's Hostage is now available as an electronic download. For more information, go to http://www.lindamclaughlin.com/rogueshostage.html
This is the first stop of my Rogue's Hostage Blog Tour. Leave a comment here with your email address to be entered for a $10.00 gift certificate of the winner's choice: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, etc. The giveaway ends on March 3.
My thanks to Brynna for hosting me today. Hope you are enjoying the Valentine's Event.
Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of history fostered by her paternal grandmother and an incurable case of wanderlust inherited from her father. She has traveled extensively within the United States and has visited Mexico, Canada, & Australia. A lifelong dream came true with a trip to England where she was able to combine sightseeing and theater with research for her novels. A native of Pittsburgh, she now lives in Southern California with her husband.
Her first book was Worth The Risk by Lyn O'Farrell. Now Linda writes historical and Regency romance. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward.
She also writes sexy to erotic romance under the name Lyndi Lamont.