Do you need more romance in your life? Were you a fan of Twilight and Vampire Academy? It’s okay, we all have our vices.

Secrets of a Foreign Heart was written 16 years ago for my high school English class. It’s an indulgent gothic romance complete with murder and slow-burn love between brooding musicians–but the book has done nothing but gather dust on a shelf for more than a decade. While my writing has improved (I’d hope so!) since then, I wanted to finally share this novel with anyone who might appreciate it. I’ll be posting a chapter every week to Wattpad, with minor edits to correct style and errors, but otherwise unchanged. It’s a fun read for anyone who loves old and new gothic romances, from Twilight to Jane Eyre.



1940s romance novel excerpt from Wattpad story.

Summary: Rosalie Dauss is an orphaned violinist living in 1940s New York–until a letter arrives from Mortis Academy, inviting her to attend the Italian school for gifted youth. While studying music, she discovers dark secrets about her parents’ tragic deaths, and love in the guise of a haunted pianist named Hayden Alexander.

Excerpt from Chapter One: The Letter and the Luthier

Rosalie picked up the ancient violin and carefully laid it in its rich mahogany, velvet lined case. She rescued the slender bow from where it lay teetering upon the edge of her plain night-stand, tightening the over loosened metallic frog ever so slightly so as to bring the bleached horse-hairs together as one.

She hesitated a moment before closing the case, admiring with affection the delicate carvings which trimmed the edges of her most beloved possession. The elegant, flamed stain of the wood, the creamy-black ebony fittings which fit so neatly, as if they had always been one with the violin. As if the instrument had simply grown from the ground, a natural and beautiful creation of nature, and not the work of a dedicated luthier. The luthier, whose calligraphic brand lay within the belly of the instrument, whose name she knew only as the maker of her violin. Legato.

“Rose?” Rosalie pulled shut the case after quickly checking to make sure the cerulean ribbons which secured bow and instrument were fastened, and spun around in answer to her caller. Her brother stood at the doorway, a twinkle in his blue and golden streaked eyes, which ever gave the appearance of dancing flames against a sea of royal blue silk.

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