Writing a book always puts me back in the classroom even if I think I have a good understanding of something. In my frontier novels, my heroines are so busy trying to stay alive they don’t have time for a trade or occupation though they are usually expert survivalists. So while writing A Heart Adrift set in both York and Williamsburg, Virginia, I decided Esmée Shaw should be a working woman. Women were coming into their own then and surprisingly there were even female blacksmiths and such.
While researching this particular novel I soon regretted I hadn’t become a chocolate historian! There are such folks and they’re fascinating to listen to like this podcast:
As you can see in this photo, my own chocolate history began young. Oddly enough, my mom didn’t like chocolate though she didn’t deny me a chocolate bunny or two:) When I went on my first trip to Europe as a teenager, I fell hard for Toblerone and Lindt then later during college in England I was smitten by Cadbury. I confess that I’m not a fan of most American chocolate as it tastes like wax in my humble opinion. American Heritage Chocolate is better and is tied to our colonial American history. I may not have been a chocolate fan in the 18th-century had I frequented Shaw’s Chocolate Shoppe as they dealt in bitter, dark cocoa though you’ll find our heroine is quite inventive & forward thinking in the novel. Alas, milk chocolate, my favorite, was not a thing till much later!