1892, Helena MT: Delphina O’Connor believed God-given dreams for women didn’t stop at marriage and children. Hers might not include a husband or family at all. So when Hugh Thomas rescues the new swimming instructor at the elegant Broadwater Natatorium from near drowning in the Victorian-styled resort pool, how can anyone believe the freedom to enjoy swimming, competition, and a healthy body is an appropriate activity for a proper lady? Hugh is about to find out status quo is the starting line for a courageous woman with a dream!
Elaborate true history of the Broadwater Hotel and Natatorium in romantic fiction. You’ll meet several iconic people from Montana’s true history in these pages. What do you do when you think differently than the world around you?
Lovely story sharing the early days of women in synchronized swimming nearing the turn-of-the-century when traditional sensibilities battle modern ideas. How does a traditional man learn to love a modern woman?
My thoughts: I loved the historical aspect of this story and learning more about the Broadwater Natatorium. My children and I have enjoyed reading picture books like Mermaid Queen: The true story of Annette Kellerman and about other woman who paved the way for female swimmers. I loved Delphina with her spunk! She is a fun character to have as the heroine. I also enjoyed Hugh. This is a wonderful, historical read to pick up and enjoy!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit.
Click here to get your copy! This post contains affiliate links.
About the Author
Angela Breidenbach is a professional genealogist, media personality, bestselling author, and screenwriter. She’s also the Christian Authors Network president. Angie lives in Montana with her hubby and Muse, a trained fe-lion, who shakes hands, rolls over, and jumps through a hoop. Surprisingly, Angela can also.
More from Angela
I toured Helena, MT for the research that kicked off my passion for the Queen of the Rockies series. While there, I searched for more on the history of the Broadwater Hotel and Natatorium. Visiting the now empty fields, staring through the fence where the resort once stood, I missed the elegant beauty even though I’d never known her. The way the mountains swooped up from the valley with the hot springs at the base created a dramatic sense of place. I had to write a story set at the Broadwater!
While volunteering with a non-profit for children, the executive director asked why I’d gone to Helena recently. Bubbling over with enthusiasm, he started telling me everything he knew, saw, and experienced at the resort area while growing up near the Broadwater in Helena. His wife and he had even attended the final auction in the 1960s before the grand lady lost her battle with time and damages from the major earthquakes of 1935. She was demolished after the auction! The ornamental elements of the hotel and natatorium took record auction prices from doorknobs to copper bathtub rings. Even what was left of the stained-glass windows sold. What I hadn’t found in history books, online, or at the local history museum/society my friends shared with misty-eyed memories. The sweetness of hearing their stories and being able to use them in my book was pretty miraculous. I had a front seat to history.
The Broadwater Hotel had an interesting feature in their bath/shower rooms. If you’ve ever heard of a “needle” shower, it sounds painful. But it was a revolutionary new therapy treatment in the 1890s. I saw a few black and white faded photos. Those pictures in history books and online couldn’t do justice to the real invention. Want to see a little more before you read Heart of the Rockies? Here’s a link to visit on the Broadwater Hotel and Natatorium. I think you’ll want to immerse yourself (pun intended) in a story set in her extravagant, elegance. See what you think…
One weekend, my husband and I took a trip to Butte to stay at the Copper King Mansion. The stay included a tour and use of their facilities. (Don’t pass that bed and breakfast overnight up. It’s really amazing and closely preserved through the families that lived there!) The original owner, William A. Clark, had a needle shower installed to help his sickly son. What do you know? It still worked! I tried it that night. Because the tiny sprays are in a circular design all the way around your body, the shower rings you. The experience, minus the issue of one ring being right at face level causing a lot of battles to breathe, was exhilarating. More so because of the unique nature. But when the water pressure is all the way on, the water can sting with the force on your skin. I fully understood the name! Adjusting the spickets brought the water pressure under control, but I had one further difficulty. The pipes that ringed my neck and head sprayed water into my face no matter what direction I moved. They’d been built to the height of a young man. Let’s just say it was a near-drowning! Super fun to try though.
Besides visiting Helena, make sure to stop in for your weekend in Butte, MT at the Copper King Bed and Breakfast. Take the tour. Then when you’re free of the museum visitors, and the house is all yours for the night, step into the needle shower (maybe really bring a waterproof step) and be swished back in time to the Gilded Age. Hmm, maybe I should be writing a time travel novel??
Come plunge into the pages of Heart of the Rockies with me.
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Betti Mace, March 21
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To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the grand prize of a a set of gemstone earrings handmade by Thai Hill Tribe (made of sterling silver with amethyst Swarovski crystals)!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.