Sunday, February 27, 2011

There's No Place Like Home--behind the story of The Undoing of De Luca!

Homes play an important part in several of my stories. Maybe it's because I grew up in the same wonderful house until I went to college, or maybe it's because I've moved around quite a bit as an adult. In any case, I believe homes have a powerful hold over us, whether happy or unhappy, sprawling houses or tiny apartments (and I've lived in both!) In my current release, The Undoing of De Luca, both Larenz and Ellery, the hero and heroine, have significant ties to the homes of their childhood.

In Ellery's case, she grew up in a manor house deep in the Suffolk countryside, loosely based on Melford Hall, which I visited many years ago.

Ellery has a complicated relationship with her home, which she loves but also resents as it swallows up all her time and money to keep it going on her own.

Larenz, meanwhile, has a painful history with an opulent Italian palazzo--but I don't want to give away his secrets! Suffice it to say, his relationship to the home of his father is complicated as well.

Both Ellery and Larenz have to acknowledge the hold their homes have on their lives and let go of past hurts in order to find happiness and love--and a home--together. What about you? Do you have any special homes, whether from childhood, the present, or a certain time in your life? I leave with you a photo of my parents' cottage in Canada, which is a very special place for both my children and me, with many happy memories from both my childhood and theirs--swimming in the lake, picking raspberries, and generally getting away from it all. Leave a comment about a home in your life and I will draw a random winner to receive a copy of one of my books--either Count Toussaint's Baby or Zoe and The Tormented Tycoon. In the meantime, happy reading!


  1. When my husband and I were first married, we lived in an older (by FL standards) home. It was in a quaint town with a view of a pristine lake that we used to walk around. It had a Florida room, hardwood floors, bay windows and a brick fireplace.

    Our new house is in a subdivision. The schools are great. It's more than twice the size of that fist house and half the commute to work for my husband.

    I still miss the first house.

  2. My present home on an elevated land with a private driveway is fabulous, and I love it!

    The photo of the view from your parents cottage is beautiful.

  3. Your first house sounds lovely, Julia. Do you think you miss it because of the period features, or because of the memories associated with it, being the first house you lived in when married?

    Nas, thank you! My parents' cottage is a real refuge from the world--as it sounds like your own house is. I love hearing about people's houses. So many different ones, all unique and special in their own way.

  4. I definitely miss the house itself. We have lived here since the girls were small and have been very lucky. We have many wonderful memories here. Our house is beige and cookie cutter ordinary, but it's fairly new, spacious and has a large yard that the kids enjoyed when they were young enough to enjoy swings and slides.

    And, of great importance come June and the start of hurricane season, we have excellent drainage.

  5. Four years ago I bought my house. It reminded me of a house I lived in when I was young. At first I hated my robin-egg blue tub - now I love it! Someday I'll remodel the rest of the bathroom, but leave the tub!

  6. While living in NZ, we bought a lifestyle type of big lot with the house in the middle elevated place with great views all around, and my husband(he's a builder)and I, completely remodelled it, I loved it. But my husband wanted to move back home to our country so we had to sell that house. Then my husband looked for the perfect land to build a new house for me as he knew it broke my heart to sell the one in NZ. Even though we had a house, we tenanted it and moved to this new house which we made into a home!

  7. I've lived in many places but did live in the same house from 8 years old til I went away to school. That house still has meaning for me. As I read your post, I realized the house I live in now is where I've lived the longest since leaving school. So I'm going to go home and give it some love.

  8. I love hearing about all these different homes! So Julia, it was really the house itself you loved :) Our house in Connecticut which we left three years ago had lots of period charm and I still miss it. And I agree, memories can make a seemingly ordinary house special.

    Marcie, isn't it funny how certain things that you didn't like at first can grow on you? I have a strange fondness for olive-green appliances because they were popular during my childhood, even though I find them aesthetically unpleasing :)

    Nas, do you feel when you have remodelled a home yourself that it feels more yours? My husband and I are not too handy that way, but we have painted the walls of all our homes and that definitely makes it feel more ours.

    Laura, I think your childhood home always holds a special place in your heart. My parents sold my childhood home 11 years ago and I still miss it! Enjoy getting cozy in your house tonight :)

  9. I grew up in the farmhouse where my grandparents lived when they got married in 1927. My father was born there and he had lived there all his life. I love that house and am still sad that it was sold around 15 years ago - especially since the current owners don't look after it at all. My parents now live in a barn conversion on the farm which is nice, but not home. But a few years ago they had a small 16th century shed converted into a tiny house for me! I don't get to live there most of the time at the moment but I love it so much - partly because of how nice it is now, but partly because of all the memories associated with it. Our pony was stabled there, I fell off a ladder just outside and broke my arm when I was a child, I remember riding my bike around it and exploring in the dusty corners to see what wonders had been stored there. It's home like nowhere else can ever be home for me. And after a lot of years living in rented accommodation, it's fabulous to finally have somewhere I can paint whatever colour I like, and choose the kitchen units, and plant the garden and so on.

  10. Oh Ros, your homes sound amazing--very picturesque! And what great memories too. I used to dream about buying my childhood home back but sadly that's never going to happen! I agree with you--it's wonderful to have a place you can paint and do things too. We've been renting while living in NYC, and while our current apartment has lots of period charm, it still doesn't feel 'ours'.

  11. Thanks for commenting, everyone. Laura Russell, you've won a book! Either Count Toussaint's Baby or Zoe & The Tormented Tycoon. Take your pick and send me your snail mail address--my email is Happy reading everyone!