Thursday, August 29, 2013

Meet Maude Whitney - heroine from Hear The Wind Blow, Love!


I’d like to introduce you to someone.  Maude Whitney is the heroine of my upcoming new historical romance release, due out September 3 from Rebel Ink Press.  Hear The Wind Blow, Love is an emotional story, poignant in parts, and as historically accurate as I could make it.

Maude Whitney is a new widow and a single mother as the novel begins in the fall of 1918.  Until recently, she’s been part of the tight knit Whitney family, living with her husband’s grandparents, her brother-in-law, Harry, and her young son.  Her husband, Jamie, went to war and died in France.  The news of his death rocked the Whitneys and days after they learned Jamie wouldn’t be coming home, Granpa died.  Granny moved to town and with no one else to play chaperone, Harry took up residence in the old pioneer cabin up the hill.   Maude and her son, George, are almost lost in the rambling old farmhouse in the isolated Ozark hills.  She misses Granny and Granpa – and Harry most of all.

Although she married Jamie, Harry always held her heart and her marriage didn’t turn out quite the way she hoped it would.  Raised in town in her early years, her mother remarried and relocated to Texas, leaving Maude to board with an aunt and uncle in the country.  Her years at the rural Silver Moon school were when she first met Harry and he courted her.

Now everything’s changed.  When Harry brings word of the Armistice and an end to the war, Maude asks him to stay for supper.  He agrees and his presence brings warmth to the empty farmhouse. Although he’s continued doing chores, she’s seen little of him but she realizes how much more she wants, no, needs him.
The character is a young woman enduring hard circumstances.  Yet, she has inner strength and stubborn will enough to desire change.  When she realizes her heart still belongs to Harry and sees that he still cares, she’s got spunk enough to go after her dream.  When they become a couple, she’s happy although she knows their situation will be a scandal if anyone learns the truth.  Even if they wed, as a recent widow, Maude has no doubt tongues will wag.

When tragedy touches the Whitneys yet again, Maude must deal with losses and plan for a future.  Trouble from the past rears up again and takes Harry from her.  When he’s jailed for a crime he didn’t commit, Maude finds the courage to show her support and heads for town.  In the midst of another wave of Spanish Influenza, she soon realizes she has obstacles to still overcome.  She faces one seemingly hopeless situation after another but clings to hope.

Her struggle resonates with her inner strength and the power of her love for Harry.  

Maude is a nurturer but behind her pretty face, she’s a little wanton when it comes to her man.  She’s willing to fight for what she believes is right and to do whatever possible to work her way toward the life she’s dreamed about.

Hear The Wind Blow, Love

Historical romance

Release date: September 3, 2013

Rebel Ink Press

62,400 word count

Book trailer link:

Here’s the blurb, cover, and an excerpt:





When the Armistice ends the Great War in November 1918, the end comes too late to save Maude Whitney’s husband, Jamie.  But Maude realizes her heart still belongs to Harry, her brother-in-law who courted her first.  He’s been her rock in Jamie’s absence while they shared quarters with the grandparents who raised the brothers. But Granpa died and Granny moved to town so when Maude invites him to move back under the same roof, it’s sure to be a scandal in the rural Ozarks.


Before gossiping tongues can spread the news, the Spanish influenza wreaks havoc in the area.  It brings death close to home for Maude and Harry.  As they fall deeper in love and plan to wed, their troubles are just beginning.  Old feuds erupt and the day after Christmas, Harry’s hauled into custody and accused of a murder he didn’t commit.  Harry must prove his innocence and survive a serious bout of flu or there’s no happy ending for the star-crossed couple.




Maude resisted an urge to lay her head against Harry’s shoulder, the way she had once.  Her mind ran faster than the hands on a clock as she pondered everything.  It might take awhile to wrap her head around all of it, but she didn’t see why Harry’s self-imposed exile to the cabin was necessary.  She thought about the deep woods surrounding the farmhouse, the old trees stretching high above the hills and hollows, and the distance to any neighbors.  The solitary nights and absolute blackness after dark, the critters who roamed the rugged hills, and the lonesome winds sweeping over the wilderness reminded her how isolated and alone she lived.

“No one knows where you sleep,” she said after a pause. “And even though you go to the cabin every night, wagging tongues can say otherwise and who would know?”

“I reckon no one, much,” Harry said.  “What’re you sayin’?”

A smile teased her lips until she let it out, full and broad. “I’m sayin’ you might as well come home, Harry, here to the house.  God knows, it’s lonely with just me and George. He’d like you being here and truth told so would I.”

He said nothing and from his stark profile she thought he’d refuse.  To coax him, Maude added, “You’d take meals with us and with winter comin’ on, it’d make things easier for you and for me.”

Emotion cracked his voice when he answered. “I’ll stay tonight and move back, then, Maudie. I can’t help but admit it’s good for a man’s soul to have some company and some warm food to feed my belly.  Thanks.”

“There’s no need to thank me,” she said. “It’s your home as much as mine.”

Harry smiled a sweet grin.  The expression removed at least five years from his age. “Can’t argue that,” he said. “I’ve lived here since I was five years old, except for the time up in Kansas City.  And, Maude?”


“I’ll do right by you,” he said, his voice earnest with feeling. “I won’t take advantage.”

She might like it if he did, but Maude understood.  He respected her. “I know,” she replied softly. “I’m glad you’re home, Harry.”

Unseen, unspoken, a powerful emotion surged between them and resonated, almost strong enough to touch.  All the affection Maude held for Harry welled up and she struggled to contain it.  They’d lived in one household for a long time and managed.  Whatever happened now, she wouldn’t force.  He released her hand but his fingers paused to stroke her cheek in a brief caress.  “Looks like the fire needs feeding,” he said.  He rose and stirred the embers, then added another log.  The flames danced and their light illuminated Harry as he knelt before the hearth.

I love him, in every way a woman loves a man.  She’d never stopped and all she felt surpassed anything she’d felt for Jamie.  Maude mourned his passing, but she knew now how much more she’d grieve if it’d been Harry, not his brother who died in France.  Some of the strain of recent weeks lifted and a little bubble of happiness expanded within.  Harry’s presence tempered the bone numbing loneliness and offered comfort.




Twitter: leeannwriter

From Sweet to Heat: The Romance of Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy


Rebel Writer: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy



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