Welcome author Hannah Meredith to Historical Heartbeats as she introduces a new release. Did your ancestors arrive in this country as indentured servants? Mine did. Hannah tells the story of Indentured Hearts.
Please tell us about your latest or upcoming release. Do you have a review you could share with us?
Thanks, Brenda, for asking me to drop by and tell you about my latest release, Indentured Hearts. In this story, Lady Cassandra Spathe, the darling of the London ballrooms, flees England and through a series of miscalculations, ends up being sold as an indentured servant in York, Virginia. Her buyer, Jason Anders, is a self-made man with political ambitions. He hopes his new purchase will help give him the polish he needs to hide his humble origins. Neither anticipates the powerful attraction that will foil both their plans.
RT Book Reviews gave Indentured Hearts 4 Stars. “Meredith’s latest is well researched and seductive. The romance between Cassy and Jason is honest and fresh…making this sizzling novel one not to miss out on.”
What inspired this story?
A hole in history. British history tells of vast numbers of people who immigrated to the American Colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries as either indentured servants or transported convicts. American history ignores these people, or, if they are mentioned, acts as if their numbers were insignificant. When have you ever heard an American of European descent say his many-times great grandparents arrived on these shores as indentured servants? This disconnect in history’s story piqued my interest.
What is the story behind the story?
I love putting competent characters in situations where they become incompetent. Imagine a pampered English aristocrat suddenly losing everything—her status and her identity—and then imagine what it would have been like for her to have four years of her life sold on the deck of a ship. Imagine a transported convict who endures years of harsh treatment to become a man of wealth, but who will always be judged by what he originally was. Both the aristocrat and the convict have preconceived notions that the other threatens. I imagined this, and saw it as a love story. 🙂
Here’s a brief excerpt from Indentured Hearts showing the heroine’s arrival in the American Colonies.
The women pushed and shoved as they shuffled along the ship’s passageway. Some laughed and joked, but the majority were silent. The hideous voyage was finally over. The unknown lay beyond the bright square of light coming through the hatch.
Lady Cassandra Spathe was one of the silent ones. She held herself upright only by force of will. Dear God, could she finally be done with this nightmare? As she stepped onto the deck of the Agatha Jane, the sun blinded her. She unconsciously put a hand on the woman in front of her, following wherever she led.
“Women to the right,” a crewman yelled at the group emerging from the hold. “Form a single line.” A hand roughly grasped Cassy’s arm and shoved her back a few steps. She retained her balance only with difficulty. “Single line, ya stupid jade.”
The deck burned her bare feet, but she resisted the urge to move them around, not wanting to draw the crewman’s attention again. The past six weeks had taught her the wisdom of remaining as invisible as possible. She wiped her watering eyes and squinted around her.
The refuse from the holds had assembled on the deck. The men formed a line directly across from the women. Some stood proudly. Some appeared as beaten as Cassy felt. She had always thought of herself as a daring risk-taker. Now she was defeated.
She took a deep breath of untainted air. It smelled of salt and fish and rotting seaweed. After the stench of the dank hold where eighteen unwashed women had been closely confined for nearly two months, no perfume had ever been more alluring.
Why do you write romance (or other genre)?
I enjoy examining the magical “something” that allows two individuals to become one through love. And I’ll admit it. In a world that often seems to promote the negative, I really like writing a HEA ending.
What inspires you? What motivates you?
Gee, those are hard questions. I guess people, in all their guises, both good and bad, inspire and motivate me. Bits and pieces of these real people migrate to my mind and eventually coalesce into fictional characters who want their stories told. Then, some specific time in the past seems to illuminate these characters—and I start to write.
Please tell us about your other books (if you have others published).
My first book, Kestrel, a Regency novella, is a story of redemption and forgiveness, in which a husband and wife try to overcome their former mistakes and forge a solid, loving life together. A Dangerous Indiscretion, my second book, concerns a young, Victorian widow who has always led an exemplary life. When temptation arrives in the form of an alluring man from her past, she decides to indulge in a brief affair, never suspecting it will result in a flight across England pursued by both external enemies and their own personal demons. A word of warning—all of my stories are written for adults and contain explicit, sexual scenes.
Hannah Meredith is, above all, a storyteller. She’s long been fascinated by the dreams that haunt the human heart and has an abiding interest in English history. This combination led her to write historical romance. Under another name, she’s previously written sf&f short fiction. Her speculative stories have appeared in most of the major genre magazines. Hannah is a proud member of RWA and Heart of Carolina Romance Writers.
Buy Links for Indentured Hearts: