Monday, September 3, 2018

For The Love of Hawthorne by Diana Rubino

This week, Wild Women Authors is pleased to feature For The Love of Hawthorne. by author Diana Rubino. Set in 19th century Salem, Massachusetts, the novel tells the story of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s clairvoyant bride who rescued her beloved husband from a curse which spanned generations.

About For The Love of Hawthorne:
          Salem, Massachusetts witnessed horrific and shameful events in 1692 that haunted the town for three centuries. Accused as witches, nineteen innocent people were hanged and one was pressed to death. Judge John Hathorne and Reverend Nicholas Noyes handed down the sentences. One victim, Sarah Good, cursed Noyes from the hanging tree: “If you take away my life, God will give you blood to drink!” She then set her eyes on Judge Hathorne. “I curse you and your acknowledged heirs for all time on this wicked earth!” Hathorne was not only Sarah Good’s merciless judge; he also fathered her son Peter and refused to acknowledge him.
          In 1717, Nicholas Noyes choked on his own blood and died. Every generation after the judge continued to lose Hathorne land and money, prompting the rumor of a family curse. By the time his great great grandson Nathaniel was born, they faced poverty.
Ashamed of his ancestor, Nathaniel added the ‘w’ to his last name. His novels and stories explore his beliefs and fears of sin and evil, and he based many of his characters on overbearing Puritan rulers such as Judge Hathorne.

Meet Diana Rubino:
          My passion for history and travel has taken me to every locale of my books and short stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Paris, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, Washington D.C. and New York.
My urban fantasy romance, FAKIN’ IT, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. My husband Chris and I own CostPro, an engineering firm based in Boston. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano, devour books of any genre, and spend as much time as possible living the dream on my beloved Cape Cod.
          I live near Salem and have been to all the Hawthorne landmarks there, and in Concord. The House of the Seven Gables has been my favorite house in the world since I'm a kid. I've always felt a strong spiritual connection to Salem, and always wanted to write one of my books set there, including the witch trials.
          I read several of his books and stories, to get a better background on him. Nathaniel wrote from the heart, about his true beliefs, and his loathing of how the witch victims were treated. He did consider it disgraceful, and it certainly was. He added the 'w' to his last name to distance himself from the judge. That tormented him and his family all his life. It must have been cathartic to him to have his writing as his outlet.

Diana brought an excerpt from For The Love of Hawthorne in which Sophia and Nathaniel visit his cousin, Susan Ingersoll, who lived in The House of the Seven Gables:

I went over to a curio cabinet and swept my eyes over the items on the shelves—a china doll wearing a calico dress, a stack of gold cups and saucers, a red and blue glass checkerboard propped up to display its surface…and a wooden hammer on the top shelf. Upon closer inspection, I saw it was a gavel that judges use in trials. Out of curiosity I picked it up and a shock ran through me as if electrified. Dear God, was it that gavel?
I dropped it to the rug. It landed with a thump. I bent to retrieve it. Somehow I knew it wouldn’t shock me this time—that was only an initial warning. “Something about it made me want to touch it, to pick it up and hold it.”
Nathaniel approached me. He stared at the gavel in my hand, horror darkening his eyes. His lips parted but no words emerged. I knew what he was thinking—the curse. He turned to his cousin, pointing at the gavel, his arm trembling.
Susan hurried over to us, took it from me and placed it back on the shelf. “Yes, it’s Judge Hathorne’s. What happened, Sophie? Are you all right?”
I looked down at my open hands, palms up. They burned as if I’d touched a hot poker. “That gavel—it carries something evil. Has anything happened to you with this, Susie?”
Nathaniel backed away and before Susan could answer me, he grasped her arm. “I begged you to get rid of that accursed thing! You know it shouldn’t be here!”
She looked from him to me, heaving a deep sigh. “I’m not inclined to dispose of it, Natty. It’s a family heirloom, notwithstanding its past.”
He gripped the chair, his face drained of color. “It’s downright evil. You know what he used that thing for.”
She held her hands up in surrender. “Very well, I’ll conceal it.” She took it off the shelf and slid it behind the checkerboard.
“That should not be in this house!” He stood his ground, his eyes fixed on the checkerboard as if it would melt in such close proximity to that horrid object.
“It’s fine there, Natty. It’s concealed from sight now.” She looked at me and gestured for me to sit again. I sat and gulped my sherry.
“Nathaniel’s always overcome with distress at the witch trials.” Susan explained what I already knew.
“And so should you be,” he cut in.
“If I must speak for Judge Hathorne, I heard stories of him from my grandfather.” Susan looked from Nathaniel to me. “The whole hysteria that caught up the judge was started by unscrupulous men to further their own riches. But spectral evidence was still admissible. No sane person could believe that blithery.”

To purchase For The Love of Hawthore, go to:

To connect with Diana Rubino, go to:


In addition to the above excerpt, we had time to talk with Sophia, Nathaniel's devoted wife:
Where are you from? Born in Salem, Massachusetts
Tell us a bit about For The Love of Hawthorne. It is the story of my quest to save my beloved husband Nathaniel from a perceived curse that plagued his family for two centuries. Their ancestor was Judge Hathorne, who condemned 20 innocent people to death during the Salem Witch Trial hysteria. I used my talent as a medium to contact my ancestor, Sarah Good, one of the victims, who cursed the judge from the gallows, to convince Nathaniel that she forgave the judge, and hence, ended the curse…but I never believed Sarah cursed anyone.
What did you think the first time you saw Nathaniel? My sister Lizzie came up to my room when I had a splitting headache and told me that Nathaniel was downstairs and wanted to meet me. I did not want to meet him. “You never saw anything so splendid,” she said. “He is handsomer than Lord Byron.” To which I said, “I think it rather ridiculous to get up. If he has come once, he will come again.” But I couldn’t stop myself from tiptoeing out and peeking over the banister. Staring as if entranced, I put my hand over my dancing heart. Oh, handsomer than Lord Byron, all right!
Works for us. What was your second thought? That was when we met. I thought he was shy and uneasy in social settings.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? Not quite love yet, but an overpowering infatuation that nearly knocked me over.
What do you like most about Nathaniel? He’s unpretentious and a genuine human being. Even after achieving all his success, he was accessible to his fans and never snubbed anyone.
How would you describe him? Imaginative, sensitive, standoffish, reclusive
Interesting. How would he describe you? Artistic, spiritual, gregarious, outgoing
What made you choose art reproduction for a career? I’ve always loved to draw and I’m very good at it but wish I were better. I keep working at it.
What is your biggest fear? I’ll have a psychic vision of something terrible.
How do you relax? Painting is my relaxation, gazing at a beautiful landscape and capturing it on canvas.
Who is your favorite fictional character? Lucie Manette from A Tale of Two Cities.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Dr. Channing, who’d applied lovely, gentle, delicate, knowing, graceful, active leeches to me in early attempts to cure my headaches, admired my art and suggested I work from my own mind, that is, paint originals.
This has been terrific, Sophie. We thank you for taking the time to chat with us. 


  1. Sounds like a fascinating book! Good luck with it.

    1. Hi, Jenn
      thanks so much for stopping by. This is a fabulous story and a pleasure to read.

  2. Diana, Wishing you much success with this intriguing book and all upcoming ones. I'd always wanted to visit Salem and maybe get some inspiration for a book. I finally convinced my husband to stop at Salem for a visit 2 years ago when going to CT to see our son and his family. And I was more than excited and pleased with all I saw and learned. Not sure I'll do anything with all that info, but maybe someday I'll write a historical set there vs. western or medieval historicals (the wheels are turning). It's food for thought. Looking forward to a good read with For The Love of Hawthorne. So nice to meet you.

    1. Hi, Bev
      As I read this story I thought of you and wondered how you would tweak the Salem angle into one of your own masterpieces.
      thanks for stopping by!!

    2. If you write a book set in Salem I'll read it!

    3. Thanks so much, Bev! Nice to meet you too. I've had a spiritual connection to Salem since I'm a kid, I have no idea why but I always felt at home there. I hope you do write a book set there--I hope I gave you some inspiration and your muse agrees!

  3. Thanks so much for hosting me, Kat...looks fabulous! Diana

  4. Can't wait to read this book, Diana. Wishing you lots of sales.

  5. What a nice interview! I always enjoyed teaching Hawthorne-especially The Scarlet Letter. His disdain for Puritans amazed my students. I was able to tour his house a few years back. What a treat. Best wishes!

    1. I've been a big fan of his since grade school and have always loved all the houses he lived in. The House of the 7 Gables, altho he didn't live there, is my favorite in world.

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