Heartsent in the Heart of Virginia

Heartsent is my newest sweet romance. The story takes place in Virginia, where I currently reside, so I thought I’d take a moment to show you around.

First, the Salem Fair. As Heartsent opens, Lina is operating a concession stand at the Salem Hills Founders Day Fair. Though the community I set the story in is fictional, as was the fair, I based the fair on the Salem Fair, which takes place every July here in the Salem/Roanoke area.

Hot air balloons are a common sight overhead, and though our Salem Fair does not have a balloon event as described in the story, well maybe it should.

Other sights to see on a visit to my area of Virginia would include Appomattox Court House, where the North and South were reunited .

Downtown Lynchburg has many historically significant sights to see, including some great historical architecture, a memorial to United States military personnel that takes up an entire city block, a fountain in the James River that shoots water 180 feet high, and more. The city itself is a unique combination of small town and bustling city.

And my tour wouldn’t be complete without showing you Sharp Top Mountain, a place near and dear to Kevin’s heart when he can’t take off in his balloon. Situated along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Sharp Top is one of the mountains that makes up the Peaks of Otter.

I’m giving away a PDF copy of Heartsent. For a chance to win, just tell me about your home town, and why you think it would make a great setting for a story. This contest will be open until Friday, October 14, 2011 at 11:59 a.m.

With her strict no-dating-within-the-department rule, Firefighter Lina Standish has a nickname in the Salem Hills Fire Department: Lina “Standoffish”. But Firefighter Kevin Daly has had his eye on Standoffish ever since a locker room incident nearly a year earlier, and now he plans to break all her rules. With the help of his niece and a hot-air balloon, he gets Lina’s attention and she agrees to “hang out” with Kevin as friends off duty, to take it slow and see where things go between them. Then Lina’s life is turned upside down by a surprise miracle who doesn’t even have a name. Kevin’s ready to step up, but is Lina?

Astraea Press     Amazon     Barnes & Noble

Find out more about me on The Sweet Life section of the Sweet Saturday Samples blog.


14 thoughts on “Heartsent in the Heart of Virginia

  1. Serena Casey says:

    My hometown is in Upper Michigan on the south shore of Lake Superior. It’s the setting for my first book as well as the one I’ll be writing during NaNoWriMo 2011. It’s very small, very rural, but unspoiled in many ways, with a wild beauty that is the perfect backdrop to a love story. Even winter, which is WAYYYYY too long up here, is appealing for many. 🙂

    • Kay Springsteen says:

      Serena – I’m a Michigan native and spent many suppers along the southern shore of Lake Superior. Not even the ocean can compare to her perfect beauty. I need to check out your work – maybe you’ll make me even more homesick!

      • Serena Casey says:

        Wow, what a coincidence! And strangely enough, I was actually born in Virginia, used to be a medical transcriptionist, and am also a photographer. So weird!

        I agree about Lake Superior. It is the most awesome body of water in the world, in my not-so-humble opinion. 🙂

  2. Margaret says:

    My hometown is a small community in northern BC Canada. It is the type of place you feel good about raising your family in. Everybody knows everybody. It is nestled along an inlet so it has the back to water and there is only one road out of town at the base of the mountains which could make for an interesting story. It’s very picturesque! Thank you for the giveaway!


  3. desitheblonde says:

    wow i live in the ozark mo and then why would i like it to be done we are close to the show and then the battlefield is not far form here and we have cave which are great and we are not big town and then we have a lot of crafts all year round so the town stays busy

  4. Kat A. says:

    I live in a small town in northern Utah in the mountains. There are many people here who have lived their whole lives in this town and many transplants looking for a slower life pace. I would love to read your book!

  5. Denise Z says:

    What a treat your pics are and such a fun opportunity to win a copy of Heartsent. Thank you very much. My home town today is not what it was when growing up. I grew up in Long Beach, California and at the time it was nothing for a group of us kids to be able to walk all the way downtown to the roller rink or local pool hall to laugh and have innocent fun. The beach was another wonderful place and we would walk there almost everyday during the summer months and either go down to the sand and water or stay at the park across from the bluffs. We had an amusement park of sorts called the Pike, much smaller than one of the more well known parks, that had been there since I guess about WWII and it was very old and mysterious, but such a joy to go and watch and snack on the fresh saltwater taffy right after it was pulled. Rainbow pier was a drive around pier that went out over the ocean and my mother would take me, as it went out over the water it was lined with old fashioned light post, each having a bulb of a different color and on the water at night it was so beautiful. There was a local art museum that was in a house on the bluffs that I would go to and wander around whenever they had a photography show, I loved photography you see and it was awe-inspiring to me to be able to see all that was done with a 35 mm. We had local deli’s that would make your stomach rumble just thinking about the smells when you walked in, let alone the wonderful food they served. It was a fun place to grow up and a much safer time Now most of the nostalgic landmarks have been replaced by more modern buildings and even a world trade center. The military base has closed, which pretty well shut down much of the charming small businesses. Gangs have gotten a hold and spread, but there is still a fight going on to save the city with progress. It is still a beautiful town, but no longer the innocent sweet place of my childhood.


  6. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I live just outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan. It’s a wonderful city with lots of small-town advantages. It’s big enough to have a professional symphony, an airport, three hospitals, and two universities, but small enough that you can drive through the entire city in less than hour and into the hilly suburbs. You can be downtown and see fishermen trying their luck in the Grand River, And there’s always something to see and do!

    • Kay Springsteen says:

      I remember taking a train from Detroit to Grand Rapids and back as a kid with my parents. Years later, with a friend at Western, my husband and I drove there to see her in a play. Grand Rapids has always been beautiful. I’m glad to hear it still has its charm.

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