Hearts Through History Romance Writers

Welcome to Hearts Through History’s new home on the web!

We’re glad you’re here. Come in, take a look around, and see what we have to offer.

Our New Look

Our aim with this redesign is to make information about our chapter clear and easy to find. As you visit various pages, you’ll notice that our top header image changes. Our new visual look aims to highlight historical romance’s many varieties and sub genres. We celebrate the fact that HHRW is the only RWA chapter to embrace ALL settings, periods, and types of historical romance.

Share the Class Love

You’ll notice that our classes, including descriptions and registration links, are prominently displayed on our front page. We offer classes for all writers—aspiring and published, historical and contemporary. While some of our classes focus on historical subject matter, others explore author marketing, plotting, and all aspects of writing craft. Most months we offer two month-long classes at $15 for members and $25 for non-members. If you see a class that interests you, please feel free to share the details far and wide. We welcome everyone to our classes at HHRW.

For Current HHRW Members

Under the About menu heading, you’ll see a drop down that leads to “Our Members.” If you’re a current member, you should see your name there. If you have a website and it’s not listed, please let us know and we can add it. You can reach us here: https://www.heartsthroughhistory.com/contact/

Thanks for visiting!

Hearts Through History’s Pitchfest

dreamstimefree-typewriter-rfHearts Through History is pleased to host the second and final Pitchfest of 2016. This is a unique and exclusive opportunity for members of the Hearts Through History RWA chapter to pitch blurbs of up 200 words of unpublished manuscripts to industry professionals.

We welcome editor Chris Keeslar of Boroughs Publishing. Thank you for taking the time to visit Hearts Through History and read our pitches. We hope you will find something you like. Happy Pitch Shopping!



Title: Rejecting the Rogue
Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian
95,000 words

Portman Square, London
June, 1881

“I’ve got you now, you beauty.”
Philomena Sweet tapped the mechanical drawing spread out across the large desk and grinned. She’d found it, the way to defeat the newest —indeed the most magnificent— safe in history. If her calculations were correct, it would take less than thirty seconds.
She would have savored her victory a moment longer, had the explosion down the hall not interrupted her celebration.
To be fair, it was rather mild, as explosions in her house generally went. Even so, it was strong enough to set the chandelier tinkling and slosh the last of her most excellent Darjeeling out of it’s cup.
She whisked the plans away from the spreading tea. Obtaining the drawings for the newest Dreadstone Superior had been terrifically difficult. It wouldn’t do to lose them before she had the specifications committed to memory. One never knew when one would have the opportunity to try a new safe.
Philomena rolled up the large pages and glanced at the overwrought casement clock she’d inherited from her mother’s maiden aunt. The brass cupids on either side of the face stared back reproachfully. Clearly, they had no appreciation for thievery. She sighed. No time to finish her tea in any case.

Title: An Elusive Enemy
Genre/Sub-genre: Historical romance/historical saga
100,000 words

In December 1943 American troops arrive in Northern Ireland to prepare for D-Day. Irish American, Private Mike Keegan, is surprised to be stationed at an army camp, in a sprawling country estate, in the county where his mother, Annie Murphy, grew up. Hearing a tale of a spirit that has haunted a local Murphy family through the generations and finally drove them out of their cottage to America, he realises this is the family secret his mother was hiding.

When he meets Ellen Corrigan, the quiet eldest daughter of a local farmer, he is captivated by her. But his efforts to win her love and trust are frustrated by disturbing incidents that happen whenever they are together. The spirit knows a Murphy has returned to the county and threatens everything Mike cherishes. Fearful for her family’s safety, Ellen refuses to see Mike again.

Mike is determined to gain Ellen’s love. But, to do so, he must stop the malevolent spirit and soon. The spirit is growing stronger and time is ticking ever closer to when Mike will be deployed to the Western Front. Can he win this battle before he goes to fight for his country?

Working Title: The Girl from Kozani
Genre: Romance / Cold War
Word count of manuscript: 45,000

The Girl from Kozani is a romance set in 1960, during the height of the cold war. To financially support her widowed mother and sister, strong-willed Lia travels from civil war-torn Kozani, Greece to take a factory job in post-war West Germany. Soon after her arrival, she is promoted to work directly for the nefarious factory owner in Berlin where she accidentally discovers a grave secret that endangers her life; but a secret that if discovered could bring retribution for thousands of Nazi war victims and their families. While Lia struggles with how exactly to bring a decades-old secret to light, she meets a dashing American diplomat, Joe, and sparks begin to fly. What Lia doesn’t know yet is that Joe has dangerous secrets of his own. She also doesn’t realize that he is the one roping her into dangerous spy games. Just when they begin to fall deeply in love with each other, Lia discovers that Joe isn’t who he says he is.
Will Lia save the day, save her family and find her happily ever after?

Title: Confess, Your Grace
Genre: Historical/Georgian
82,159 words

A legendary investor, the Duke of Westmead does not desire a wife. The last thing he wants is to risk his heart again, or reveal the carefully hidden desires that lurk beneath his self-control. But when a malevolent rival becomes next in line for his title, he must sire an heir – quickly – to protect his estate.

An ambitious spinster nurserywoman, Poppy Cavendish does not sign on to build Westmead a garden because she is looking to fill the position of his bride. Her lifelong dream is to secure her independence by importing exotic colonial plants to England. But to achieve it, she needs to find capital fast.

When scandal threatens Poppy’s reputation and financing, Westmead proposes an unconventional solution: marriage of convenience. She’ll provide an heir, he’ll provide her capital, and emotion need not enter the equation.

But when the two begin to fall in love, Westmead must choose between protecting his secret appetites and giving in to passion. Poppy must decide how much pride and independence she can afford to risk by revealing her true feelings. And when saving their business becomes a matter of life and death, no heart – or secret – is going stay safe for long.

Title: This Is Us
Genre: Historical romance
105,000 words

September 1942
Darr Aero-Tech Flying School, Albany, Georgia

Dressed in men’s flight coveralls and boots, the women crouched behind a clump of bushes on the side of the barracks, waiting for a clear shot to the flight line. Vivian motioned for Zanna to push her curls further up under the aviator helmet.

Sneaking into an Army Air Force pilot school to take up one of the planes was maybe not the best idea. After all, there was a war on. The place was literally teeming with uniformed men.

It wasn’t actually Vivian’s idea. She wasn’t even the pilot. Her friend Zanna needed to log more flying hours, and she wanted company in this escapade. So, here they were.

Three soldiers clad in white undershirts and fatigues loitered outside the rear door of the mess hall.

“Wish they’d move on,” Vivian muttered.

How long could it take to empty out the trash? One pulled a pack of cigarettes out of his back pocket and passed it around. A smoke break by the smelly garbage cans? Turning toward Zanna, Vivian pinched her nose and screwed up her face.

Check back for updates to see which pitches caught the eye of the editor.

Good luck to all who participated!


Entries #1 & #3  received requests for FULL manuscripts from Chris Keeslar at Boroughs Publishing. Partials were requested for all the other submissions. Congratulations to all! Here’s hoping for future book deals.

Monthly Member Spotlight: Becky Lower


Please help me welcome published member Becky Lower into the monthly member spotlight!

Before we start talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself and what you write.

Thank you so much for inviting me here today. I’m Becky Lower, a woman with a passion for history. In particular, American history. I grew up in the Midwest, so every vacation was spent at a Civil War battlefield, or touring some of the original colonies. Boston was a particular favorite, as was Williamsburg, VA. I currently live in a small college town in northern Ohio, with my puppy mill rescue dog and my snowbird sister, who leaves town with the first snowflake and returns in April.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I have retired from the 9-to-5 grind, but I’ve replaced that job with a full-time writing career, which is infinitely more satisfying.

What’s your favorite historical movie?

I’m going to date myself by saying one of my favorite movies was Roots, which was on TV ages ago. It’s now being remade and I’m looking forward to it. I also loved Dances With Wolves and Last Of The Mohicans.

9781440599330Who’s your favorite historical figure?

I’ve always been fascinated by Thomas Jefferson. I’ve toured Monticello several times and can feel the history that was created there. It vibrates off the walls in the big center hall where people waited to see him, sometimes for days on end. He was an inventor, a politician, an ambassador and a visionary.

If you could meet anyone in history, who would it be?

I would love to have met Jedediah Smith. Talk about a visionary! He explored the western half of America when it was a wilderness inhabited only by abundant wildlife and Native Americans. He made a lot of money (for the time) as a fur trapper, bought himself a fine home in St. Louis, and wanted to settle down and write his memoirs. But he went on one more trip, and never returned. His life fascinates me.

Give us a brief rundown of your process. Are you a plotter, a pantser, or somewhere in the middle?

I use Blake Snyder’s Save The Cat to plot points of my 3-act structure. If I can come up with enough points to make a story, and I like where the story points lead, I’ll start writing. I write a sloppy first draft, then I go back through it, using techniques from Margie Lawson and checking to make sure I include the senses and not overuse my crutch words. Things like that. The whole process takes about 3-4 months. Unless I get stuck. I’ve been working on my Jed Smith story for seven years now. I’ll get him written yet.

Can you tell us a bit about your journey to publication?

Since I write American historicals that aren’t westerns, finding a publisher willing to take a chance on me was a struggle. I heard F&W Media, the people who publish Writer’s Digest, was beginning a publishing arm strictly for romance and queried them just as they were starting up. My nine-book Cotillion Ball Series is now complete, along with a novella about how George and Charlotte met. They are the parents of the nine children featured in the books.

9781440579028 (1)Tell us about your latest release and what’s coming next for you.

The last book in my Cotillion series, The Forgotten Debutante, was released in April, and a bundle of the last three books in the series came out in June. Since my long series is finished, I’ve taken some time to experiment with my writing. I wrote a sweet contemporary Christmas novella that has just been picked up by a small press. Then I have a full-length historical based in part on some family lore, which has also been picked up by a publisher. And I’m working on a YA historical set in Boston during the Revolutionary War. It’s been a busy time, but so much fun. I took a workshop in writing the cozy mystery, which might be next. And then there’s the Jed story…

What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

I’ll quote the great Nora Roberts here, who said she can fix everything but a blank page. When I heard her comment, it gave me the green light I needed to forge ahead with my style of writing. It’s okay to write my sloppy first draft. I can always fix it, but not if I don’t write something first. If I go back and constantly fiddle with my work, I’ll never get done. Once I get the story written, then I’ll fiddle.

Thanks for stepping into the spotlight this month, Becky! To find out more about Becky, you can visit her website or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

I need more members for the spotlight! Unpublished or published members, would you like to be featured in the member spotlight? Just drop me a line at christy@christycarlyle.com!

Monthly Member Spotlight: Cynthia Owens

CynthiaOwens_HHRWspotlightPlease help me welcome multi-published member, Cynthia Owens, into the spotlight this month!

Before we start talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself and what you write.

I believe I was destined to be interested in history. One of my distant ancestors, Thomas Aubert, reportedly sailed up the St. Lawrence River to discover Canada some 26 years before Jacques Cartier’s 1534 voyage. Another relative was a 17thCentury “King’s Girl,” one of a group of young unmarried girls sent to New France (now the province of Quebec) as brides for the habitants (settlers) there.

My passion for reading made me long to write books like the ones I enjoyed, and I tried penning sequels to my favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. Later, fancying myself a female version of Andrew Lloyd Weber, I drafted a musical set in Paris during WWII.

A former journalist and lifelong Celtophile, I enjoyed a previous career as a reporter/editor for a small chain of community newspapers before returning to my first love, romantic fiction. My stories usually include an Irish setting, hero or heroine, and sometimes all three.

I’m the author of The Claddagh Series, historical romances set in Ireland and beyond, and The Wild Geese Series, in which five Irish heroes return from the American Civil War to find love and adventure.

I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. A lifelong resident of Montreal, Canada, I still live there with my own Celtic hero and our two teenaged children.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was about seven years old, and my first-grade class was given an assignment: write a sentence about Dick, Jane, and their dog spot. I wrote a paragraph, and I wanted Cynthia Owensto keep on writing forever. That has never changed.

What drew you to write in the historical romance genre?

I’ve always loved to read historical romance. They take me to a different time and place. When I started writing, it seemed natural to write historical. I wanted to take others to “my” unique time and place.

What’s your favorite historical movie?

Michael Collins, the biopic of the Irish revolutionary starring Liam Neeson in the title role.

Who’s your favorite historical figure?

Again, Michael Collins, arguably Ireland’s greatest son. Collins was only 31 when he died, but he fought the British army to a stalemate, negotiated the first Treaty of Independence for Ireland, and oversaw the country’s transition to democracy.

Are there specific books or authors who have influenced you as a writer?

My first influence was Carolyn Keene, who penned the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories. I was addicted to those stories from about the second grade. I read an interview with her when I was in high school, and she gave a piece of advice I’ve always tried to remember in my writing. Always end a chapter with a question. Keep the wanting to read more.

I’m also a huge fan of Mary Jo Putney, who does such wonderful tortured heroes. And a British author, Claire Lorrimer, gave me my love of historical romance.

Give us a brief rundown of your process. Are you a plotter, a pantser, or somewhere in the middle?

I began my writing life as a pantser, then tried to be a plotter and failed miserably. As I continued to mature as a writer, I arrived somewhere in the middle. Now I plot some of the story, but I allow my characters to tell me what comes next. Once I finish the story, I put it all together, keep some and discard some, and hope when it lands on my editor’s desk, that it’s a good, well-written story!

PromiseTell us about your latest release and what’s next for you?

Tell us about your latest release and what’s next for you. 

My new release, Yesterday’s Promise, is Book 4 of my Wild Geese Series and my tenth book overall.

…Like the Wild Geese of Old Ireland, five boys grew to manhood despite hunger, war, and the mean streets of New York…

An army doctor, Declan Morrissey fought for the survival of every wounded soldier, rejoicing when they recovered, mourning bitterly when they died.

Valerie Stanton was his beautiful battlefield nurse, strong, courageous, and dedicated.

He never dreamed she was an heiress, or that she’d break his heart in a desperate gamble to save the life of another man.

Now that they’ve found each other again, can they overcome past deception and claim the happily ever after they dreamed of?

I’m also working on a Christmas story. The Christmas Mirror is a spin-off of My Dark Rose (Wild Geese Book 3), as well as the next installment of the Claddagh Series, Wishes of the Heart.

Thanks for stepping into the spotlight this month, Cynthia! To find out more about Cynthia, you can visit her website or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Unpublished or published members, would you like to be featured in the member spotlight? Just drop me a line at christy@christycarlyle.com!

Monthly Member Spotlight: Collette Cameron

Monthly Member Spotlight: Collette Cameron


I have to admit I am not at all objective when it comes to our member in the spotlight this month. Having known Collette for years, I can assure you she’s as lovely in person as she is in her photos, and she’s a sweeter, kinder person than you can imagine. Please help me welcome multi-published member, Collette Cameron, into the spotlight this month!

Before we start talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself and what you write.

I’m so tickled to be here!

So you want to know a little about me? Well, I live in the Pacific Northwest and am a self-confessed Cadbury Milk Chocoholic. I’m also a bit nuts about dachshunds and cobalt blue!

I write Regency and Scottish historicals, always with a dash of humor and often with a pinch of suspense.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I write full-time now.

In January 2016 I stopped teaching and now spend all day long, every day doing what I absolutely love!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I wasn’t one of those people who always knew they wanted to be a writer, though I did dabble in poetry writing as a teenager. Awful stuff!collette

But, in the back of my mind, this little thought niggled and niggled, that perhaps, someday, maybe, I’d attempt to write a book.

I never dreamed I’d write romances. Ever!

What drew you to write in the historical romance genre?

Historical romances are my preferred genre for reading, always have been, and it seemed logical when I started writing to dip my toes into what I knew.

I’m also a history buff, and I enjoy uncovering all sorts of interesting tidbits during research for my books.

What’s your favorite historical movie?

The Count of Monte Cristo!  Yummy.

If you could time travel, what era would you visit?

 19th century Scotland!  I don’t think I mentioned I’m also a bit obsessed about almost everything Scottish.

TTASH700Are there specific books or authors who have influenced you as a writer?

Not so much as far as my writing craft goes, but I attribute Kathleen Woodiwiss’s THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER for causing me to fall head-over-heels for historical romances.

I even named my daughter Brianna after Heather Brianna in that story.

Give us a brief rundown of your process. Are you a plotter, a pantser, or somewhere in the middle?

I have a friend who calls me a linear panster, although I’d call myself a plotser.

I always have basic plot points I make sure I hit, and before I start my books, I complete a Goal, Motivation, and Conflict chart for my hero and one for my heroine. I also complete an extensive questionnaire for each of them, and for my last few books, I’ve written a short summary of where I think the story will go.

My novels are character driven, though, which means, I end up places I didn’t know I was going.

That’s okay; I simply adjust the plot and keep on writing.

Thanks for stepping into the spotlight this month, Collette! To find out more about Collette, you can visit her website or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Unpublished or published members, would you like to be featured in the member spotlight? Just drop me a line at christy@christycarlyle.com!

Monthly Member Spotlight: Ashlyn Macnamara

AshlynHHRWspotlightPlease help me welcome multi-published member, Ashlyn Macnamara, into the spotlight this month!

Before we start talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself and what you write.

I write Regency romance with a dash of wit and a hint of wicked. Starting next September, though, my publisher will release the first in a series that’s a departure for me—fantasy romance. But it’s fantasy that has a historical feel to it—only with a little magic thrown into the mix.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Ashlyn Macnamara

Only about fifteen years ago. Though I’ve always made up stories in my head, I never thought to write them down until I discovered fanfiction. I wrote that for a while for fun, before I realized I should possibly try writing my own characters. I have often said I consider writing my mid-life crisis, but it’s safer than hang-gliding.

What drew you to write in the historical romance genre?

I started reading romance in the 80s, so historical was where it was at. Since historical has always been my top reading choice in romance, I think it’s natural that I leaned toward writing in that genre. I also love the escape element. I want to lose myself in another world.

Are there specific books or authors who have influenced you as a writer?

Stephen King’s On Writing is probably the most inspiring book I’ve ever read. I also have to say I like his attitude. He starts out saying that most writing books are BS. As someone who, shall we say, tends to chafe under the idea of rules governing a creative process, that opening immediately got me on board.

Give us a brief rundown of your process. Are you a plotter, a panster, or somewhere in the middle?

*points to Stephen King* I think one of the reasons On Writing resonated with me so much was because I discovered that he and I share a process. We both start out with characters, toss them into a situation, and say, “OK, now work yourselves out of it.” That would pretty much make me a pantser, but I’ve discovered that one of the reasons I keep writing is to find out what happens next. If I work it all out beforehand, I lose interest in writing the book.

Can you tell us a bit about your journey to publication?

As I mentioned, I started out writing fanfiction. While I enjoyed playing in someone else’s sandbox, after a while, I found myself writing about more and more minor characters, so I could do what I wanted with them. At that point, I realized that I might as well make up stories using my own characters. So I wrote a medieval romance. It was awful, but I didn’t know any better, so I queried it. And got rejected. A lot. I’m thankful self-publishing wasn’t such a thing in 2009 or so because I might have put that story out there and been embarrassed by it once I learned better.

Then I thought I probably should join the RWA®, where began taking workshops and looking for critique. Four more full manuscripts, and several abandoned stories later, I entered the Golden Heart®, finaled on my first try, and signed with an agent who sold that story. It became my debut A Most Scandalous Proposal in 2013.

Tell us about your latest release and what’s coming next for you. 

To Lure a Proper Lady came out March 29. It’s the first in a new Regency series called Duke-Defying Daughters about the progeny of a hypochondriac duke who wants to make certain his daughters make proper society matches before he turns up his toes. Naturally, being duke’s daughters, the women have ideas of their own.

In the first story, the oldest daughter suspects there may be something more than simple dramatics to her father’s bouts of illness, so she hires a Bow Street Runner to investigate. Will she marry her father’s choice—her annoying second cousin and heir presumptive to the dukedom or the rogue who presses all her buttons? Hmmm, decisions, decisions…

What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

Back when I was writing fanfiction, a good friend would beta read for me. She used to tell me, “This is good. Now make it worse.” I think that is an excellent reminder that we’re not going to tell a good story by being too nice to our characters. We have to put them through hell.

Thanks for stepping into the spotlight this month, Ashlyn! To find out more about Ashlyn, you can visit her website or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Unpublished or published members, would you like to be featured in the member spotlight? Just drop me a line at christy@christycarlyle.com!