Novel Magic: For the Love of Hawthorne


Historical Romance complicated by ghosts of the past.

Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne called themselves Adam and Eve as he suffered the shame of his family’s connection to the Salem Witch Trials.

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s courtship of Sophia Peabody lasted over three years because he insisted on keeping it secret. He had his reasons, none of which Sophia agreed with. But she knew they were destined for each other and he was worth the wait.

When they married in 1842 “we became Adam and Eve alone in our Garden of Even” she wrote in her journal. But not all was paradise in their Eden—Nathaniel bore a burden that plagued his family since 1692.

His ancestor Judge Hathorne (Nathaniel later added the ‘w’ to distance himself) condemned nineteen innocent victims to death during the Salem witch trials. His heinous deeds brought shame and guilt upon the family through the centuries. In her last moments on earth, Sarah Good cursed the judge and his descendants from the hanging tree.

Nathaniel’s belief in this curse haunted and tormented him until Sophia made it her quest to save him.

More about For the Love of Hawthorn

by Diana Rubino

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.

For the Love of Hawthorne–An Excerpt

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… 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 Susan, pointing at the gavel, his arm trembling.

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?” I asked her.

Nathaniel gripped the chair, his face drained of color. “That is downright evil. You know what he used that thing for.”

Susan held her hands up in surrender. “Very well, I’ll conceal it.”

She took it off the shelf and slid it behind the checkerboard.

“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 Hawthorne, 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.”

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.

Connect With Diana

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Award-winning author Sorchia Dubois lives in the piney forest of the Missouri Ozarks with eight cats, two fish, one dog, and one husband. A proud member of the Scottish Ross clan, Sorchia incorporates all things Celtic (especially Scottish) into her works. She can often be found at Scottish festivals watching kilted men toss large objects for no apparent reason.

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