Monday, November 06, 2017

Going Back to Salem for the First Time - Her Dear and Loving Husband by Meredith Allard

After seeing visions of a vampire mourning his long-dead wife, I finally decided one morning to see if there was anything to these insistent daydreams. I sat down at the computer without any specifics about the story in mind. All I had was a thought about a vampire so in love with his wife that he couldn’t move on. 

I decided to set the story in Salem, Massachusetts by a process of elimination. As I was thinking about the setting, I realized I didn’t want to set the story in the Northwestern U.S. because that’s where Stephenie Meyer’s vampires hang out. I didn’t want to set the story down South because that’s where Charlaine Harris’ vampires roam. I live in the western part of the U.S., previously in L.A. and currently in Las Vegas, but those didn’t feel right for a vampire story. Then I thought that if I wasn’t going northwest, how about northeast? I looked at a map of the northeastern U.S., saw Massachusetts, saw Salem, and that was that. 

I have been asked if I was born in Salem or if I ever lived in Salem. The answer is no to both questions. I was able to describe Salem, Massachusetts in detail in Her Dear & Loving Husband using the Internet—website, photographs, maps, travel sites, and Google Earth. Then, as I sat down to write the second book in the series, Her Loving Husband’s Curse, I went back onto the Internet to reacquaint myself with the town that is itself a character in the story. Looking again at pictures and maps, I realized I had gone as far as I could describing the town from 3000 miles away. I decided I wanted a better look at the place where I had lived in my imagination for over two years, so this past July I finally visited Salem. 

My main concern when I arrived was that I would get there and see I had gotten it all wrong and nothing was the way I described it. Thank goodness that didn’t happen. I was pleasantly surprised to find everything where I expected it to be. My only surprise was the tiny size of Lappin Park—with its statue of Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha on Bewitched—which occupies the corner of a busy intersection. For a history buff like myself, Salem is a great find, bursting with everything from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthplace to memorials to the madness of the witch trials to a recreation of a pioneer village from the 1630s. And there’s the beauty and the serenity of the seaside to take in. 

Most importantly, I was able to absorb the energy of the town while I was there. I could see the sea kissing the shore with my own eyes, and I saw the boats bobbing in the harbor. I walked the same streets my characters James and Sarah walk every night. I stood outside the Peabody-Essex Museum and I visited the House of the Seven Gables. Now I have a depth, a personal well of knowledge to draw from as I add more light and shadows to this ever-deepening story between the vampire and his eternal love. 

Although it was my first time in Salem, I felt as if I were visiting it all over again. And I enjoyed every minute of my stay.

Her Dear and Loving Husband
The Loving Husband Trilogy
Book One
Meredith Allard

Genre: Paranormal/Historical/Sweet Romance

Publisher: Copperfield Press

Date of Publication: 4/19/11


Number of pages: 289
Word Count: 89,000

Cover Artist: LFD Designs

Book Description:

Love the history, fantasy, and romance of Outlander and A Discovery of Witches? Read Her Dear and Loving Husband.

Professor James Wentworth has a paranormal secret, and he lives quietly in Salem, Massachusetts, making few ties with anyone. One night his private world is turned upside down when he meets librarian Sarah Alexander, a dead ringer for his wife, Elizabeth. Though it has been years since Elizabeth’s death, James cannot move on.

Sarah also has a secret. She is haunted by nightmares, and every night she is awakened by terrifying visions of hangings, being arrested, and dying in jail–scenes from the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. As James comes to terms with his feelings for Sarah, he must also dodge accusations from a reporter desperate to prove that James is not who, or what, he seems to be. Soon James and Sarah discover a mystery that may bind them in ways they never imagined. Will James make the ultimate sacrifice to protect Sarah and prevent a new hunt from bringing hysteria to Salem again?

Part historical novel, part romance, part paranormal fantasy, Her Dear and Loving Husband is a story for anyone who believes that true love never dies.

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I am looking lovingly into the eyes of a man, though I cannot see his face because it is featureless, like a blank slate. We are standing in front of a wooden house with narrow clapboards, and there are diamond-paned casement windows and a steep pitched roof with two gables pointing at the laughing, hidden moon. I am certain I hear someone singing sweet nothings to us from the sky. From the light of the few jewel stars I can see the halo of his hair, like the halo of an angel, and even if I cannot see his eyes I know they look at me, into me. I stand on my toes, he is much taller than me, and I point up my face and he kisses me. As the warmth of his lips melts into mine, making me weak from the inside out, I feel my knees give from the thrilling lightness his touch brings. I know the face I cannot see is beautiful, like the lips I feel. His hands press me into him, clutching me closer, closer, unwilling to let me go. I grip him with equal strength, wishing he would carry me inside, yet I cannot bring myself to break our embrace.
“I shall never leave you ever,” he whispers in my ear. I promise him the same.

I do not know how I have been so fortunate to have this man in my life, but here he is, before me, wanting me. I am overcome with the joy of him.

About the Author:

Meredith Allard is the author of the bestselling paranormal historical novels The Loving Husband Trilogy, a great read for fans of Outlander and A Discovery of Witches. Fans of Downton Abbey will love her newest release, When It Rained at Hembry Castle. She is currently writing Down Salem Way, the prequel to Her Dear and Loving Husband. Meredith lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Meredith Allard said...

Thanks for featuring Her Dear and Loving Husband today!