It’s my great pleasure today to welcome author Averil Reisman. Averil writes American-set historical romance with an adventurous edge, set in the Gilded Age years of the 1890s. Averil’s new release, To Cuba With Love, is a thrilling tale of danger and passion set during the years before the Spanish American War. Averil’s here today to tell us about her inspiration for To Cuba With Love.
Tara, have you ever asked the question, “what if . . . ?” What if this had happened, what if that had happened? The idea for To Cuba With Love came from one of those “what if” questions.
While I was researching another storyline at the Amelia Island Historical Museum in Fernandina, Florida, I came across a newspaper article stating that Fernandina’s natural deep water port had been the capital of gunrunning ventures to Cuba during that country’s long fight for independence from Spain. I thought there had to be a romance story in there somewhere.
Shifting gears, I started researching the topic, and found a white paper titled, The Fernandina Filibuster Fiasco in a museum folder of the island’s history during the 1890s.
The document told of the failure of a gunrunning venture to Cuba financed by Cuban immigrants living in the United States. Three ships had been illegally chartered to send men and war material to Cuba in opposition to the U.S. Neutrality Act of 1794. The venture was discovered and the cargo confiscated before the ships left American waters.
Bingo! This was it. What if . . . the cargo had been divided into quarters instead of thirds, and the fourth portion hidden for another stab at delivery? To Cuba With Love grew from that germ of an idea.
Bold, dramatic, and dangerous, my illegal mission required the strength of character and the courage of a hero and heroine who were up to the task. So . . . I created Sean Nolan, an honorable, very wealthy, alpha male sea captain facing sure financial ruin, and Samantha Ethridge, a brazen, quick-thinking society news reporter, stymied by the role of women in her time—the Gilded Age.
Drawn together at first by their passion, they learn to work together, to understand each other’s personal priorities, and to let go of the lies they’ve told themselves about what they really want out of life.
Check it out at http://www.amazon.com/db/b00fpvcf2k
Thanks, Averil, for that historical nugget that inspired your story. Having read the book, I can tell you the research is meticulous. You certainly know your history!