Jillian Hart on Americana Romance

It’s so great to be blogging here.  Thanks to the lovely founding ladies for inviting me.  What a great website.  I’m so happy to be here where others share my love of western historical romances and, in my case more specifically, Americana romance.

 

Webster’s Dictionary defines Americana as ‘of or to relating to America; its possessions or original territory, things typical of America.  American culture.’

 

All the wonderful articles on this site about America’s west and all the western historicals I have read have transported me back to that time and place in America’s history where mail arrived by stagecoach, the family vehicle was drawn by a horse and the coasts were being connected by the newfangled railways.  These bygone days are our past culture and treasured heritage.

 

I love writing Americana romances because it is the more personal side of the great, wild West.  It is the home and hearth moments that Americans were living. I think of the Americana as the heart of western romance.  It is without the exciting outward adventure of a cattle drive or the drama of hunting down an outlaw or the danger of a wagon train, but it is not without its own peril.  Carving out a livelihood on the harsh western plains, building a life piece by piece, step by step and opening one’s self to the risks of love and the rewards is exciting and perilous in its own way.  To me, the moments where love is first discovered and tested and found true is the real journey of the Americana romance. 

 

As a writer, I like nothing more than closing my eyes while at my keyboard and seeing not just the past western landscape untouched by pollution and telephone lines and suburban sprawl, but hearing the tick of the Regulator clock above the mantle, seeing the colorful patchwork quilt hung over the back of the horsehair sofa and smelling the fresh-split kindling in the bin beside the stove. 

 

This is where I write my stories from, the sun-splashed parlor of a small log house, the corner kitchen where a bowl of bread dough is rising near the window and family gathers at the round oak table after a hard day’s work.  Forty-seven books later, I can still see the little log cabin of my first story, Last Chance Bride, tucked in the forests of Montana’s mountain country with its picture view of the Rockies and a hand braided rag rug on the puncheon floor in front of the gray stone hearth.  I can still feel the memory of Libby’s and Jacob’s love.  I like to write about home, not just the house where a family dwells, but the place where their hearts and their love reside. 

 

In both my Bluebonnet County series and my Rocky Mountain series for Harlequin Historical, each story was an answer to this love.  My Angel Falls stories for Love Inspired Historical are no different.  These stories are the moments of these people’s lives, of their sadness and joys, their personal pain and quiet triumphs that when strung together make a good, decent and honorable life. 

 

Last weekend I drove across the state to visit my parents, my brother, his wife and their new daughter.  When I hit the freeway exit that wound around a hillside and ambled through tiny one-street towns and lush mountain valleys verdant with trees and fields, it was like stepping back in time.  I could feel the years peel away with every mile as each familiar landmark brought back a memory.  I recalled floating the river with my brother on a hot summer day, riding bikes down a certain narrow country road and being chased by a bull, and the year the river flooded our valley and most of the town and we went to the grocery store in a row boat.

 

When I pulled into my parent’s driveway, time peeled back farther still.  Not just my years, but the century.  Cattle dotted deep green pastures.  Ducks honked as they rose from a still meadow lake.  A horse lifted his head from grazing to see who was disturbing his quiet.  Take away the paved roads, the power poles, the mail box and erase the trail of jet exhaust from the crystal blue sky, and there was the past where settlers cleared the hillside with an ax and planted their crops by hand. 

 

Maybe that’s why I love writing stories set over a century ago about normal everyday people who did not change the world or even the community around them, but who rose to the challenges of their lives.  Who struggled to make a living, to do the right thing and to open their hearts to the challenge of love.  Times may have changed but people at heart have not.  So much has changed from the American West we write and read about, but the important things in life has not.  Love has not.  It is still the greatest gift and the most precious. 

 

Thanks to Petticoats & Pistols for having me and thanks to you for dropping by. 

Happy trails and happy reading.

Jill

To order Jill’s books, click on a thumbnail cover below.

 

 

+ posts

28 thoughts on “Jillian Hart on Americana Romance”

  1. Hi Jillian! Let me be the first to welcome you to P&P. It’s a real treat to have you. I love how voiced exactly how I feel about historial romance. The stories that take me back in time to the simple things are the ones that I hold in my heart. I enjoy writing and reading about how two people meet and fall in love and triumph over all their adversity.

    Your books look amazing! I’m adding them to my list. Thanks so much for coming. I hope you drop by real often.

  2. Hi Jill- It’s a pleasure to meet you here at P and P! And a pleasure to share Western Weddings with you! You’re a wonderful writer of western Americana and your descriptions are awe-inspiring! I share in your joy of living in America and thinking back of our past, picturing how things were done and what love meant to people who were forging our country!
    I hope to see you here often too!

  3. Thanks for visiting today. I love historical fiction, especially about the old west. You are one of my favorite authors because you give me a real “feel” of what it was like to live back then. You also touch my heart with your love stories.

  4. Hi, Jillian. I’ve got a good friend, Janet Dean, who has a book coming out from LIH in Deptember. Her first. She’s so excited about it.

    I heard someone say it was little more than one hundred years ago that our ancestors were setting out into uncharted territory with all their worldly possession in one small wagon or maybe packed in a saddle bag. No doctors. No income. No cell phones. No 911.

    And here we are so dependent on things and so desperate to be safe. We’ve turned into wimps. 🙂

    I think there’s some truth in that.
    I’d have never survived in a hot summer in a covered wagon. For heaven’s sake. I need air conditioning!!!!!!!!

  5. Hi Jill, I really enjoyed HOMESPUN BRIDE, but no surprise there! I’ve enjoyed your books for a long time. When I first sold to HH, I sent BLUEBONNET BRIDE to my mom to show her the line.

    I’d love to travel back in time about 130 years, but only for a week so 🙂 I like my microwave, washing machine, coffeemaker, etc., though I could do without cell phones : )

  6. Hi Jillian,thanks for coming today,I love historial fiction,sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era,I guess If they were reading about us back then they would feel the same way about us too,who knows,but im into the simple life,things are too rushed an hurried,as you get older you realize to slow down an enjoy things a bit more,again welcome,Vickie

  7. Welcome, Jillian. So glad to see you here. What wonderful memories you have. But I have to disagree with one point. I think these hard-working folks did change the world in their small quiet way. They demanded law and order and brought civilization to the west. They made it what it still is today.

  8. Good morning everyone (it’s still morning where I am, I’m on Pacific time!). Thank you all so much for your warm welcome. I feel right at home. I love this website and I’m so happy to be here. : )

    Linda-thanks for your wonderful welcome. It’s nice to meet a western loving kindred spirit. : ) I have one of your books in my summer TBR pile. : ) I’m looking forward to reading it.

    Charlene-thank you for your kind words and it’s such a pleasure to meet you, especially since we’re in Western Weddings together. : )

    Cheryl C.-hello! thanks for your post and for your words. You are very kind. : )

    Mary–hi. I think I’ve met Janet Dean online at the Steeple Hill boards and thought very highly of her. Her book is on my to buy list. : ) LOL re your comments. I totally agree you–I need my air conditioning or I’m grumpy .

    Vicki–hi. It’s good to see you again. Thank you for your kind words. I love my washing machine too. When I’m imagining 1883 typing away, and then stop writing to go move the laundry from the washer to the dryer, I am so glad I don’t have to scrub clothes on a board . And the cell phone thing–mine always rings at the worst possible time, never when I’m sitting quietly ready to answer it! I just finished The Bounty Hunter’s Bride. I loved the little girls. You touched my heart. : )

    Vickie–thanks for the welcome. I think you’re right. Whichever century we’re born in, I wonder if people have always looked back longing for the simpler times. I think you have the secret, one I’m trying to grapple with myself–to slow down and enjoy life’s moments. : ) It was nice meeting you.

  9. Hi Pat–It’s good to meet you. I’m a long-time fan. You’re right. I stand totally corrected. : ) I love your points on the small quiet way.

  10. Jillian, glad to see you here today. I also love historical fiction. Keep up the good work.

  11. Hi… thanks for blogging with us!

    I love to read Historical romance, but I have to confess I never tried the Love Inspired new line.

  12. Hi!!! Thanks for sharing!!! I love the Love Inspired novels… The new Historicals sound great!!! 😀

  13. Hey Jillian – I first ‘discovered’ you when I read your 3rd or 4th Love Inspired McKaslin book. It captivated me – so much so that not only did I look forward to the rest of the upcoming books in the series, but I searched out the previous books in libraries and used book stores.

    I love the fact that you used the new LI Historical line to go back to when the McKaslin Clan first started. I’ve read ‘Homespun Bride’ and am eagerly awaiting ‘High Country Bride’.

    An added bonus is that my teen daughter who reads some LI but mostly LI Suspense, has taken an active interest in the new LI Historical line. Since reading ‘Homespun Bride’, she’s asked me to dig into my LI ‘keep’ pile and find all your other McKaslin clan books.

  14. I’m thinking I need to get me some Love Inspired Historical books by you. I love reading about people who rose to the challenges of their lives like you mentioned you write about.
    So glad you came today and I find out about your books.

  15. My daughter is getting married in July so I have weddings on the brain right now 🙂 Your books sound just right!

  16. Thanks for joining us today, Jillian. Sometimes
    I long for the simpler days, then summer in Houston
    arrives. And it doesn’t leave us until late in
    October!! Without A/C, I’d never make it! Or the microwave, or my curling iron, or so many other
    things! We are so spoiled, aren’t we!

    Pat Cochran

  17. Virginia-Hi. It’s nice to meet a fellow historical fiction lover. : ) Thanks for your encouragement!

    Nathalie-thanks for stopping by. I understand re not trying the new line yet. There are so many books, and not nearly enough time to read!

    Colleen-hello! I’m glad you enjoy the Love Inspired line. I love it too. It’s nice to meet you. : )

    Anita-It’s nice to meet you. Oh my! You are too kind. Thanks for letting me know you are enjoying the McKaslins so much. I do too, which is why I had to write historical McKaslins when my editors asked me to write for the historical line. : ) How nice that your daughter is enjoying them too. Please say hi to her for me. : )

    Estella-thanks for dropping by. It’s nice meeting you. I have sample chapters on my website, if you’re interested. I don’t know about you, but I like to read a little bit before I try a new author. : )

    RobynL-I’m glad you stopped by. (Please see above post about my website). It’s nice to get to meet you. : ) Thanks for posting.

    Jeanne-congrats to your daughter. I wish her a world of happiness and a happy ever after. It’s nice to meet you. : )

  18. Pat Cochran-you are so right. We are spoiled : ) I also live where it’s very hot in the summers (eastern Washington State). Where am I sitting while I type this? By the a/c vent . It’s nice to meet you. : )

  19. I wrote my first historical short story in Gr 10. When all the others in my all-girl class wrote romance, I wrote an action scene where a wagon train gets attacked. I rec’d the highest mark from an independent marker but was made to feel like an outcast when my teacher said it wasn’t an appropriate story for a teen girl.

    Now I write romance as well as historical romance with lots of Old West drama. Go figure.

  20. Anita–I’m sorry that happened to you, but I’m glad you didn’t let that teacher discourage you. : ) That’s Old West grit. : )

  21. Thank you all so much for dropping in to say howdy. And thanks to the lovely ladies of Petticoats & Pistols for having me. You have all been so gracious. I’ll mosey by again sometime soon!

  22. Adding a late “HELLO” to Jillian 🙂 Thank you for sharing such a great post with us!! I’m sorry I missed the fun yesterday–I kept reminding myself to get over here, but it was one of those crazy days 😉

    Your Love Inspired Historical covers are stunning 🙂 Congratulations on Fourty-Seven books!!

  23. Enjoyed the comments.
    I have added your name to my TBR list. I like to read stories set in the West and you are correct, Montana is a beautiful state.

  24. Glad to see you here blogging Jillian. I love your Mckaslin books and think it is cool for you to actually go into the family’s past.

  25. There’s so many things i would love going back in time if i could take a few of today’s luxuries with me. Seems like families were closer, slower pace and people had more morals and values I guess with mother’s and fathers working away from home trying to get by alot of things have changed but i do like the upgrades of today.

  26. Sorry im so late writing.
    love the blog and love the look of your books.
    I love reading historical and it gives an insite into america.
    I have been craving historical fiction lately.
    and its funny how i crave american!
    but love the west and the untamed land more so then a historical set in a big city.
    (if the big city is in the west thats different.)

Comments are closed.