Home Is Where the Heart Is – Riverton Road Monday

Riverton Road SeriesIn my adult life I’ve done a lot of what the English refer to as “moving house”. I can’t blame my birth family for my restless spirit and its long-time quest for something new wherever I happen to be. They lived in the same house from the time I was six months old until I left for college. Once the possibility of selling our gray-shingled bungalow was simply mentioned and I cried my eyes out for days.

What is Home anyway? We talk a lot about it. We’re forever searching for one or running away from one or missing one so much we’re stricken with Homesickness. All of which is pretty intense. We’re never lukewarm about home. We either burn to be there or yearn to get away. Anywhere that falls short of that kind of passion for us is just a resting spot. A temporary stopping-off point on the road to our heart’s true destination.

That’s part of what fascinates me about Mark Kalli and Hailey Lambert in A Year of Summer Shadows. They are and always have been Home in terms of the town they live in at least. The town of Riverton, New York. Mark was born and raised on Riverton Road at Kalli Corner in the same homestead with only a few years away for college. But in this story – his story and Hailey’s – Mark finds his own restlessness. To find his own new heart place near Kalli Corner and Riverton but separate from it too.

Hailey’s relationship to home has a more complicated past. As a child home was two places. Her family’s place and her friend Julia’s more stately Hargate House until that went sour.  Her father died soon afterward and her mother lost her bearings. Hailey didn’t feel at home again until she returned to Riverton after her own college years. She’s lived by herself ever since and would be content to go on doing so if not for the confusion Mark Kalli has become and the danger Julia’s reappearance brings.

What remains constant about Home for Mark and Hailey is their love of Riverton. I love Riverton too. The details of this town aren’t just the specifics of Mark and Hailey’s heart place. They’re the specifics of the heart place of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series.  Riverton, New York isn’t only where the stories happen. It is another character in the stories themselves. Riverton’s as real to me as the people who live there and the struggles they go through. And Riverton grows more real with each story of this good town where bad things can and do happen.

Riverton is more than the home of Mark and Hailey and all the rest. It’s the heart of this series because we grow to care more about the place as we travel through each struggle and adventure that erupts there. As we care more the place becomes more real to us. Until – at least in our imaginations – Riverton evolves into a town we can also call Home. I know that’s true for me. After a lot of moving house – when I roam through the streets and mysteries of Riverton I’m Home.


 My next story is A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story. Available May 15th at amazon.com/author/aliceorr. This is my 13th novel and a home for your heart as well as mine.

 Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com



2 thoughts on “Home Is Where the Heart Is – Riverton Road Monday

  1. Alice, I love what the word “home” implies. My parents moved 9 x by the time I was 10 so I was always the new kid. But once they settled that old farmstead in Upstate NY of barns, and rock walls, and orchards and woods became magic in my heart. And it’s featured in my first novel. When my parents sold the homestead to retire I was heartbroken as it wasn’t just a house but was my heart full of memories, love, loss and milestones.

    I’ve since learned that you take your home with you, as nothing is permanent. And being adopted, it took me a long time to feel like I belonged as I always felt like an outsider – but you can find a new “home” in your heart, one that is not a place but a state of mind. I’ve a restless wandering soul and have moved a lot myself, but home is where I feel most loved and most at peace – wherever I find “my home”.

    Lovely post and I Ioved hearing about your characters and what home means to them! And am wondering where in NY Riverton is situated?

    1. Hi Donna Galanti. There is a real advantage to a writer in having lived in a number of different environments. When the setting of a story is written effectively that setting can become another character in the story – as real and resonant as the humans interacting within the setting. That resonance comes from details that make the setting come alive. The deeper those details reside within the setting – the more real the setting becomes – until the reader can FEEL what it’s like to be there. It takes familiarity with a place to pick up on those details because you need to experience the FEEL of the place yourself before you can pass it on to your readers. That level of familiarity is hard to come by from a brief visit or some research. Nothing substitutes for living the place then finding the words and word pictures that will allow your readers to live the place too… As for Riverton – it was born in my imagination – but I cannot deny that I was born and raised in Watertown NY.

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