Fall #RomanticTravel: Quebec
Quebec is one of the most romantic cities in North America, seeming more European than NorthAmerican. It’s also one of the settings I used in my French & Indian War-set historical romance, Rogue’s Hostage. When I was writing the book, my husband and I took a vacation to Quebec Province so I could do some research. We started in Montreal, where I managed to figure out how to navigate the Metro using my college French.
After a few days exploring Montreal, we took the train to Quebec, and I fell in love with the charming old city, though I had to keep reminding myself that the setting in my book was the previous city, the one that was destroyed by the British shelling. I was particularly interested in visiting Notre Dame des Victoires, the small church in Lower Town which was destroyed in the shelling, but later rebuilt in the same style. In the book, Mara seeks comfort inside this lovely little church.
Since I wanted to stay in the old part of the city, I booked us a room at Chateau Frontenac, the venerable Canadian Railway hotel. Picturesque setting, but we were pretty sure they gave us the smallest room in the place! Instead of a view looking out toward the river, our window looked down onto an alley. Ah, well, we didn't spend much time in the room anyway. We were far more interested in wandering the winding streets, taking pictures of the old houses and the fort and battlefield.
On the last day we took a boat ride on the St. Lawrence for spectacular views of the city and countryside. What a beautiful area! I'd love to go back some day.
(Note: I took this trip back in the pre-digital photography days so any photos are from my Art Explosion CD collection or DepositPhotos.com.)
By Linda McLaughlin
In 1758 the Pennsylvania frontier is wild, primitive and dangerous, where safety often lies at the end of a gun. Mara Dupré's life crumbles when a French and Indian war party attacks her cabin, kills her husband, and takes her captive. Marching through the wilderness strengthens her resolve to flee, but she doesn't count on her captor teaching her the meaning of courage and the tempting call of desire.
French lieutenant Jacques Corbeau's desire for his captive threatens what little honor he has left. But when Mara desperately offers herself to him in exchange for her freedom, he finds the strength to refuse and reclaims his lost self-respect. As the shadows of his past catch up to him, Jacques realizes that Mara, despite the odds, is the one true key to reclaiming his soul and banishing his past misdeeds forever.
Available at Amazon, All Romance eBooks,Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.
Note: In this excerpt, Mara meets Jacques’s aristocratic half-brother.
Mara soon fell in love with Quebec. During her first three weeks there, she took every opportunity to explore the town. She peeked into shop windows, listened in on conversations, and absorbed all the sights, sounds, and smells of a city.
She climbed the rutted, muddy road to Upper Town and happily wandered the streets, enjoying the pale sun that peeked between the tall buildings and around the church spires that seemed to reach right to heaven. At last she had found her way back to civilization.
She smiled at passersby, most of whom looked at her askance. She could not blame them, knowing that in her worn linsey-woolsey she must appear the lowliest of peasants. If only she had a new dress. Perhaps when she finished working off her captivity Jacques would pay her real wages, enough to buy material for a gown. Her fingers itched to take up needle and thread again.
She passed by the Ursuline Convent and stopped to stare. What induced a young woman to enter into that kind of cloistered existence, to vow never to marry? Not that marriage was so wonderful, but to voluntarily give up any chance of having a child of one’s own, that she could not understand.
Since the weather had warmed up a little, green buds were starting to appear on the trees lining the river. Occasional patches of snow still dotted the cliffs, but spring was in the air, and as the earth awakened from its winter sleep, so did her senses. All she had needed was hope. A person could live indefinitely on hope, she decided.
Free. Soon she’d be free.
Earlier that morning, the city had buzzed with excitement when the sails of a ship were spotted upriver. When she returned to Lower Town, she saw that a crowd had gathered at the docks to greet the arrivals. Several high-ranking French officers were among the passengers. Mara gaped at their fine, white, woolen uniforms.
The crowd called out to the shortest of the men.
“Bougainville, what news from France?”
The officer just grimaced and shook his head. Disappointed murmurs swept through the onlookers, and they began to disperse. Ah, Mara thought. The war must not be going well for the French. She smiled to herself, trying to hide her satisfaction. Perhaps it would all be over soon and she could return to Geneva.
She had started to head back to the tavern when her attention was caught by the taller officer. He was slender, with gray eyes, and there was something about him that seemed familiar. Puzzling.
He turned to a soldier in the crowd. “You, there. I am looking for a particular officer. His name is Jacques Corbeau. Do you know him?”
As the soldier shrugged and shook his head, Mara stepped forward. “Excuse me, sir. I know where Lieutenant Corbeau can be found.”
Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of books and history, so it's only natural she prefers writing historical romance. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward. Linda also writes steamy to erotic romance under the name Lyndi Lamont, and is one half of the writing team of Lyn O'Farrell.
You can find her online at http://lindalyndi.com
Twitter: @Lyndi Lamont https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont
Thanks Linda for sharing. Now if I can only get to Quebec.
Thanks Linda for sharing. Now if I can only get to Quebec.