by Lyn Cote
In my romance, FOR SOPHIA’S HEART, my heroine, Sophia, is based on my husband’s grandmother Rose, or Staramama (“old mama” in Slovenian) and is very dear to me. With a deep faith Rose had been known for her beautiful singing in the church in her home village high in the mountains near northern Italy. Before WWI, she immigrated to America in 1913, married in 1915, and raised a family on the south side of Waukegan, Illinois, just down the street from the Slovenic Hall, where she often sang. In Sophia, I tried to capture Rose’s artist’s soul, joyful spirit, and zest for life. When Rose died a week after her ninety-ninth birthday, I told my children, “Staramama is dancing and singing with the angels today!”
Everyone I meet provides inspiration but Teresa “Rose” Sifler was special and always will be dear to my heart.
And here’s the story she inspired.
FOR SOPHIA’S HEART
Northwoods Past Series
A penniless but pretty girl…
a wealthy young man off to war–
what could draw them into a marriage of convenience?
In April 1898, Sophia Schiffler boards a train and meets Gannon Moore, both on their way to Chicago. Gannon is going to withdraw from the university to enlist in the Spanish American War. Teddy Roosevelt is gathering his rough riders to invade Cuba. And Gannon is ready to join the fight against Spain for Cuba’s freedom. Mourning the recent loss of his sister, Gannon is shocked when Sophia reveals she is going to marry a man she’s never met. When this suitor doesn’t meet Sophia at Union Station, Gannon accompanies her to the man’s address. What they discover there catapults Sophia into a situation she could never have imagined.
Soon she is living in Chicago and frequenting Jane Addams’ famous Hull House. Gannon trains in Florida and prepares for combat in Cuba. He and Sophia exchange letters written from their hearts. In the fall, Gannon returns from war, a changed man. The course of true love never runs smooth. And life has a way of turning tables on two young people in love. Their springtime love endured separation and a war. Will it survive a winter of reality?
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