Heather, tell me something about Stewarts’ Green, the ordinary you and your husband run. How does it compare to your previous home?
Up until about four years ago, Matthew, his children, Mary and Mark, and I lived in the small cottage on the farm he and his late wife, Elizabeth, established in the Virginia countryside. We built Stewarts’ Green and live in part of it. Our tenant farmer and his family live in our old cottage. Stewarts’ Green is near a thoroughfare between Alexandria and the western settlements, and close to the Potomac River where a ferry provides transportation between Virginia and Maryland, so it seemed like a perfect spot for weary travelers to eat and get rest.
It certainly sounds like it! How would you describe yourself?
I’m thirty-four and a very happily married to Matthew Stewart. We have his two children, Mary and Mark, and our son, Douglas. We lost a child but are happily expecting another. I do have a tendency to worry with all the friction taking place between the colonies and Britain.
Your worry is certainly understandable. I’m sorry for your loss.
I heard you were once indentured. Is this true? How were you freed from that?
I came over from Scotland in 1770 as an indentured servant, rather impulsively. My family were fabric merchants and my father had just passed. With little resources, I needed to escape a brewing scandal. I expected to start a new life at the end of my seven-year indenture in the Virginia colony, but life took an unexpected turn.I’ve shared that amazing story of God’s provision in A Heart Set Free.
Oooh, I am intrigued! I’m also glad to learn that you were able to be truly freed from your indenture.
Would you please tell me about the unrest in the British-American colonies?
Ever since the fighting in Massachusetts, arguments have broken out between families, friends, and neighbors. Some people are loyal to the crown and others are talking about taking up arms against England. Our colonies are not equipped to go up against the most powerful army and navy in the world.
Has anyone close to you gotten involved in the rebellion against the crown?
Aye! Several of our friend’s sons have joined the militia or the Continental Army.
If war breaks out are you concerned your husband, Matthew, might enlist?
More than once he has mentioned that the time is coming when all of us will have to align ourselves with the Loyalists or Patriots. Fortunately, he has not yet mentioned anything about joining either cause.
Is there anything concerning you about your relationship with Matthew?
Matthew is a devoted husband and father, but lately he has seemed unusually preoccupied. I’m sure he is worried about the future and our safety during these troubled times.
Do you feel your family is safe at this time?
We live out in the country where the political bickering is not as widespread. I’m concerned though because Mary and Mark are traveling to Philadelphia where they will spend the summer with their mother’s parents. The Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia, so I’m certain it will be a contentious place and time.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Please pray that the resolves or petitions between the colonies and England can settle this matter so that we can live in peace. Having spent my first twenty-nine years in Scotland, I am well acquainted with the enduring consequences of war with England.
Of course, thank you for your time, Heather. It’s been nice getting to know you.
More about A Heart for Freedom:
He longs for freedom, but he won’t risk those he loves.
Matthew Stewart wants only to farm, manage his inn, and protect his family. But tension between the Loyalists and Patriots is mounting. When he’s asked to help the Patriots and assured his family will be safe, he agrees.
She’s seen the cost of fighting England, and she wants no part of it.
In Scotland, Heather Stewart witnessed the devastation and political consequences of opposing England. She wants only to avoid war and protect the family and peace she finally found in Virginia. But the war drums can be heard even from home in the countryside, and she has no power to stop the approaching danger.
The consequences are deadly.
When Matthew leaves for a short journey and doesn’t return, Heather faces the biggest trial of her life. Will she give up hope of seeing him again? Will he survive the trials and make his way home? What will be the consequences of his heart for freedom?
About the Author:
Janet is a wife, mother of two sons, and grandmother of eight who lives in the historic triangle of Virginia (Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown) with her husband. Her debut novel, A Heart Set Freewas the 2016 Selah Award winner for Historical Romance. A lifelong student of history, her love of writing fiction grew out of a desire to share stories that communicate the truths of the Christian faith, as well as entertain, bring inspiration, healing, and hope to the reader.
2 thoughts on “Interview with Heather Stewart of A Heart for Freedom by Janet S. Grunst”
Thank you, Kathy, for the opportunity to be interviewed at novelpastimes.
You’re most welcome, Janet!