Greetings, readers. Today we welcome author Rebecca DeMarino as she shares a recent journey she undertook, where she discovers more than just scenic overlooks. Read on through, because Rebecca is giving away a copy of her latest release, To Follow Her Heart, book three of The Southold Chronicles, releasing this month from Revell .
When I took my mother to visit Horton Point, Southold, Long Island, I didn’t know I would write the book of my heart. But I always knew I wanted to write.
As a young girl, I loved to read novels, if I wasn’t out riding my beloved horse, Star. In high school as a senior I was placed into a creative writing class, and as a freshman in college into an honors English class. I knew I could write, and I did harbor a desire to become an author. But my life was busy as the wife of a career military officer and mother of three. It seemed I had little time to read, let alone write, and I put my dream aside.
Now I stood with my mother looking at the lighthouse, commissioned by George Washington, and built in the 1800’s on land once owned by my ninth great-grandfather, Barnabas Horton. I grew up hearing the stories from my mother, passed down for generations, of how he came from England on a little ship called The Swallow. According to family lore, his brother, Jeremy, was the captain.
In Southold, we learned that Barnabas was a widower with two little boys when he and Mary, my ninth great-grandmother, wed. When they sailed to New England and settled in the wilds of 17th century Long Island, they became one of thirteen founding families of Southold. There was much information about Barnabas in the museum at the Horton Point Lighthouse, at the historical society, and at the library. A beautiful three-foot by five-foot slab of blue slate covered his grave in the cemetery directly across the road from the site of where he built the first timber-framed house on eastern Long Island. But there was little about Mary.
When we arrived home, I wondered about Mary. She, like other women in the 17th century who crossed an ocean to the vastly unknown wilds of New England, must have been very brave. As courageous as their husbands. I wanted to give Mary a voice, though as Epher Whitaker said in his History of Southold, LI, regarding the wives and daughters of the founders, “They shall in a future day and thenceforth and forever have their proper and honorable meed when the names, written in the Book of Life, become known to all mankind.”
The working title for my first novel was The Blue Slate, which sold as A Place in His Heart, book one of a three-book series. A very fun—and inspiring—thing happened while I was writing this book. My dad, who taught me a love of reading and horses, and an appreciation for history, began writing his first novel, at age 86! It is a Louis L’Amour meets Zane Grey western romance he titled The Stagecoach Murders and we self-published through CreateSpace. That was a writer’s journey within a journey for me, and taught me so many things. First and foremost: It’s about God’s timing, not my own.
I would love to give away a copy of To Follow Her Heart, book three of The Southold Chronicles, releasing this month from Revell ~ Duty and love are powerful forces. Only one has the power to make her life complete.
Simply answer this question: what story would you write about someone in your family tree? Leave a comment along with your email address, and we shall choose a name randomly.
REBECCA DEMARINO inherited her love of baking and gardening from her mother; a love of horses, reading, and writing from her dad—and the wanderlust gene from both parents. She is the author of A Place in His Heart and To Capture Her Heart, books one and two of The Southold Chronicles. To Follow Her Heart releases this month from Revell. For more information or to sign up for Rebecca’s newsletter, click here!