Shannon here: Historical Romance author, Erica Vetsch shares the inspiration for her latest novella, plus a chance for one reader to win an e-copy of Colorado Dawn and the First Loves Forever Collection for Kindle or Nook. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing. Deadline: June 16th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Erica:
Once upon a time, a long time ago…actually, it was in 2010, I wrote a story called Light to my Path, the middle of a three-book series set in a fictional mining town in Colorado in the 1800s. In Light to my Path, the hero, Sam, and the heroine, Eldora, are tasked with taking three children from an orphanage in St. Louis, MO to one in Denver, CO.
Each of these orphans, for one reason or another, has a physical or behavioral issue that makes them less than desirable as adoptees. Celeste has a cleft palate, Michael (aka Tick) has a heart condition, and Phin…well, Phin is a thief, a pickpocket to be exact.
And a bit of a charmer. I fell headlong in love with Phin. Phin, aka Phineas Bartholomew, was dumped in an orphanage by his uncle with a promise that the uncle would return for him. Though Phin fought hard to hold onto hope, eventually, he came to realize that his uncle wasn’t coming back and that he would have to rely on himself and himself alone.
Everyone gets a happily-ever-after at the end of Light to my Path, and it was there that I thought the story would end, but more than one reader wrote to me and said they wished I would write a story about Phin as a grown man because they had enjoyed his character so much.
When I was invited to write a story for the First Love Forever novella collection, Phin as a hero sprang immediately to my mind. Why? Because losing your first love would push all of a person’s abandonment and trust issues, and as an orphan, Phin would be loaded with trust issues, wouldn’t he?
Poor Phin. The fun began when I started filling in his back story, the stuff that happened to him between the end of Light to my Path, and the beginning of Prescription for Love.
Even after he was adopted by Sam and Eldora and made a part of the Mackenzie family, Phin struggled with abandonment issues and trusting others with his heart. Through much patient love and care, he eventually surrendered to the Mackenzie family and gave them his love, trust, and loyalty.
Phin’s adopted brother, Michael, arrived at the orphanage with a heart issue, and Phin took it upon himself to look out for the little fellow. As the Mackenzies sought treatment for Michael, Phin became interested in medicine, and he grew up to be a doctor.
Because Prescription for Love is a reunion romance story, a story about losing and regaining your first love, I needed to break poor Phin’s heart before the story even started. And because Phin gave his heart warily in the first place, fearing abandonment, I knew his first love needed to have abandoned him, needed to have left him holding his heart in his hands.
Enter Natalie Morrison, a trained nurse for whom Phin has fallen hard. But Natalie is conflicted. She loves Phin, but her father raised her to strike out for the foreign mission field, and staying in New Orleans and marrying Phin isn’t an option.
So she leaves him for the mission field of Panama, and it isn’t until she contracts Yellow Fever in Central America that she returns to New Orleans to recuperate…and to run into Phin once more.
While Natalie struggles to stay true to her course of returning to the mission field, Phin wrestles with his feelings of abandonment and betrayal…and a love for Natalie that hasn’t died. Phin’s brother Michael arrives in New Orleans and is able to share a bit of wisdom with each of them that guides them on the way to a resolution to their conflict.
Writing about Phin and Natalie’s romance was such a treat for me, because each one struggled with knowing what God’s will for their life was, what it meant to follow the Great Commission, and learning to trust that God was good ALL the time, even in the midst of a Yellow Fever epidemic!
About Erica: Best-selling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. She’s a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota, and she married her total opposite and soul mate! When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks. You can connect with her at Erica’s Website where you can read about her books and sign up for her newsletter, and you can find her online at Erica’s Facebook where she spends way too much time!
About the collection- First Loves Forever:
A first love is never easily forgotten…
and coming face to face with that person again can be awkward when the heartstrings are still holding on to the “what ifs.”
About Prescription for Love by Erica Vestch (included in the First Loves Forever collection):
1905 – New Orleans: Erstwhile fiancée Natalie Morrison is the last person Dr. Mackenzie wants as his new nurse, but when an epidemic hits, Phin finds she’s come back into his life at the perfect time.
Question for Readers: (Pick one or more!) Do you enjoy reunion romances? Have you ever been to New Orleans? Have you ever had your heart broken and then mended?
Come back June 8th for Michelle Griep!