Today Amish romance is very popular, but of course I must be different. For years, I've been fascinated by the Quakers, or the Society of Friends. (Remember Wm Penn & thee and thy?)
They didn't just talk Plain talk, they were the earliest religious group to oppose slavery and to push for the rights of women. My first Quaker series for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line, "The Gabriel Sisters" portrayed three fearless Quaker sisters, trying to help America heal after the Civil War (and fall in love of course!)
Now I'm writing "The Wilderness Brides" series which also includes Quakers. The first story debuts this week, Their Frontier Family. The heroine Sunny, a former prostitute and single mother, was a minor character in the last Gabriel Sister book. Sunny's hero, Noah Whitmore, is a Quaker who went against his sect's pacifism and fought against slavery in the Civil War.
On their marriage of convenience wedding night when Sunny again makes sure Noah understands her past, her bridegroom asks: "Which is worse–lying with a stranger for money or shooting a man and leaving him to bleed to death?"
The heart of inspirational romance to me–whether historical romance or not is not–is not only the love story but the struggle of flawed people who try to do right in a world where so much is wrong. Each of the Plain People–Amish, Shaker, Quaker or others (Amana, Mennonites, Hutterites)–show a different path to living and loving. But I still love the Quakers best! Their social activism set them apart. My Quaker heroines fight the good fight. My brand, after all, is "Strong Women, Brave Stories!"
Have you ever read any novels with Quakers in them? Do you enjoy stories with crusading heroines?
Amazon Purchase Link for The Frontier Family