Île d’Orléans

I’ve been working on a new novel. Because it looks like I *might* actually have the first draft of the manuscript done soon, I thought I’d write a post about it.

The novel—a wild, suspenseful, character-driven romance featuring strong female characters—is set in Île d’Orleans, a pastoral island in the Saint Lawrence River near Québec City. It’s one of my favorite places in the world.

Many of the houses and churches on the island were built in the 17th and 18th centuries by the original settlers of New France. Development in Île d’Orleans is heavily restricted, so it still looks much as I imagine it has for the last few hundred years. If you suddenly found yourself on the island and didn’t know where you were, you could easily think you were someplace in rural France.

Église Sainte-Famille, built in 1743. This church appears in the novel, which is partly set in the village of Sainte-Famille. Photo credit: Marc Lautenbacher, Wikimedia Commons

Île d’Orleans is home to six historic villages, each with its own unique charm. Since it was settled by Europeans more than 400 years ago, the island has been a farming community. Today, it is famous for the quality of its products especially strawberries, apples, maple syrup, and wine.

Île d’Orléans lavender field. Photo credit: Wilfredo Rafael Rodriguez Hernandez, Wikimedia Commons

I like big, dramatic, steamy romances (think Masterpiece Theatre) but most of the romance novels out there are very poorly written, not to mention loaded with tropes, clichés, and sexist BS, making them pretty much unreadable.

I started writing this book a couple of years ago as a challenge: I wanted to see if I could write a romance novel that I would not only want to read but wouldn’t be able to put down once I started. I figured if I were successful, other people would want to read it, too. So far, I think I’m on the right track. The novel doesn’t have a title yet, but I’m working on that, too.

Île d’Orléans strawberry harvest. Photo credit: Marc Lautenbacher, Wikimedia Commons

I’m considering the idea of making this novel the first in a series. It’s a little early yet to tell if that will be feasible, but the possibility is definitely there.

Stay tuned for news about this exciting new novel as it develops. I hope to have the first draft of the manuscript completed by July and to have an edited version done by the end of the summer.