Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Meet the Romantic Lead


Perhaps it’s time to introduce the love interest in We Hear the Dead. He’s not the typical boyfriend you find in a YA novel, although I’m pretty sure women did swoon over him. In fact, Elisha Kent Kane was one of the most beloved celebrities of the 19th century: a doctor, an explorer, a scientist, a writer, a world traveler, and a military hero who combined the flair of Indiana Jones with the science of Jacques Cousteau.

Born into an illustrious Philadelphia family, Kane nearly didn’t make it to adulthood due to an illness that almost killed him in his late teens. Young Kane’s reaction to his near-death experience was to throw himself headlong into a life of adventure worthy of a dime novel.

Graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a medical degree, Kane traveled extensively in Asia and Africa. In the Philippine Islands, he performed his first feat of derring-do — rappelling down the gaping mouth of a live volcano. (Yes, the volcano in the picture at the top of this blog!)

Upon his return to the U.S., Kane secured an officer’s commission in the Mexican-American War. On the field, Kane defeated a Mexican detachment, but afterward clashed with his commanding officer over the treatment of their prisoners.(Kane was against slaughtering them!) He narrowly escaped a court-martial, but he returned to Philadelphia a hero, the darling of the press.

Still, it was his role in Arctic exploration that made Elisha Kane truly famous. His first foray into the frozen north occurred when he served as ship’s surgeon on the U.S. Grinnell Expedition in search of the missing British explorer, Sir John Franklin. Although the expedition didn’t find any trace of Franklin’s men, Kane returned afire with the exploration bug. He threw himself into the lecture circuit to raise money for the next expedition, which he was destined to command. Kane attracted crowds all across the country with his enthralling tales of adventure in the north.

But no celebrity is complete without a romantic scandal, and Kane was no exception. Maggie Fox burst into the limelight in 1848 with a talent for contacting the dead, manifesting mysterious messages from spirits. Kane was no Spiritualist, but he fell helplessly in love with the enigmatic Miss Fox and began to court her with an enthusiasm he had heretofore reserved for his career.

And Elisha Kane was used to getting what he wanted.

To Be Continued …

10 comments:

  1. I like an adventuresome man, and I'd bet that the 19th C. ladies did too.

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  2. Wow. Does Kane sound interesting. 19th century studmuffin. ":-) I'm a huge history buff. Now I really can't wait to read... To be continued.

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  4. I have to be careful what I say about Kane, 'cause my husband reads this blog! (wink, wink)

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  5. Hello Mrs. Salerni! (this is Anna Wright.) how are you? I read your book, and it's fantastic! Can't wait until May for the next!

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  6. Hi, Anna! How's YOUR writing going? Have you been submitting it places?

    The book coming out in May is the same one you read -- new cover, new title, great new publisher!

    But thanks for posting that you'd like to see a second book! I need my editors to see that! :)

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  7. I don't find him all that enticing...sorry. :)

    Thanks for following my blog and sorry it took me so long to say so!

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  8. I want this book NOW. Seriously. Is it May yet?

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  9. Agree with Lisa and Laura. And also have the problem of falling for my heroine's love interest. Well, there are two love interests. I like the bad boy.

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