Where is Haven Harbor, Maine?

DSC01747Lea Wait, here, answering a question several people have asked me recently: where is Haven Harbor? The answer is simple. It’s just down the coast of Maine from Cabot Cove. And not far from Waymouth.

And, for those of you who’re looking in your atlases …. all three towns are all fictional places in midcoast Maine.!cid_487CF410-53E3-4F9A-B4E9-3E3180900689

So we’ll start with Waymouth. Waymouth is the town where Will’s 92-year-old Aunt Nettie lives, in my Shadows Antique Print Mystery series. Will has now moved there, too, and it looks as though ….Well, you’ll just have to read Shadows on a Maine Christmas to find out.  But, here’s a hint: the next book in the series will probably be called Shadows on a Maine Morning.

Readers have often asked me about Waymouth. Or, more accurately, they’ve told me they’ve deciphered the code: they’re sure they know which town I’m REALLY writing about. Wiscasset, Bath, Brunswick, Boothbay Harbor, Damariscotta, have all been suggested as the REAL Weymouth.

In truth, Waymouth, on the Madoc River, is a little like all of those, with a bit of imagination thrown in. Although my historical novels (Uncertain Glory is the most recent of those) are set in Wiscasset, creating a town like Weymouth allows me to add in whatever my plot calls for: a beauty salon, an old inn, a hospital, a couple of seasonal and off-seasonal restaurants. While my characters do visit “real places” like Portland and Union and Pemaquid and Freeport, Waymouth exists only in my notes and my imagination. And in that of my readers.

DSC00288But when I started to write the Mainely Needlepoint series (which will debut next week, January 6, with Twisted Threads,) I wanted a new setting for a new cast. Haven Harbor is a small village on the Atlantic. Its town and harbor are sheltered by the Three Sisters — three islands that protect the harbor from the stormiest Atlantic blasts. Haven Harbor boasts its own lighthouse, yacht club, tourist and non-tourist shops, a lobsterman’s co-op, a small rocky beach, and, of course, its own mysteries.

Both Waymouth and Haven Harbor have Congregational Churches, nearby hospitals, houses with history, long-time families, and lots of classic Maine food, from baked beans to maple syrup to rhubarb to fiddleheads to, of course, lobster.

But Haven Harbor is closer to the sea, so its more influenced by the ocean’s moods and tides than is  Waymouth, ten miles upriver.

During the nineteenth century days of tall ships, mariners and immigrants from around the globe could be found in Maine ports. Today, Haven Harbor is home not only to descendants of those men,  but to others looking for a place to settle. Perhaps to hide.

Who will you meet in Haven Harbor?

Angie Curtis, whose mother was a “bad girl,” and whose own reputation is suspect. She left Haven Harbor when she was 18 and worked for a private investigator in Arizona for ten years. Now, ten years later, she’s back, determined to find her mother’s killer – and confront her own ghosts.

Angie’s grandmother, who started her own custom needlepoint business in her fifties, and found romance at an even later age.

Coming - January 6, 2015!

Coming – January 6, 2015!

Ruth Hopkins, who supported her late husband, and now herself, for years by doing something she can’t tell anyone in town.

Sarah Byrne, an antiques dealer from Australia who quotes Emily Dickinson.

Dave Percy, an ex-sailor who now teaches biology. And has an unusual garden.

Rev. McCully, who has a collection few other ministers choose.

And others.

So – where is Haven Harbor, Maine? It’s a place where people have secrets and mysteries are solved. It’s a state of mind, in the State of Maine.

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11 Responses to Where is Haven Harbor, Maine?

  1. I love your imaginary towns, Lea, and the whole concept of imaginary towns. You can take a little of this from one real town and add a bit of that from another, think up a suitable name and there you go–a place you can populate as you wish and (hope) readers won’t assume they know the people you kill off.

    My first book will be out in the spring and it takes place in Riverside, Maine, an imaginary mill town just west of Portland . . .

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  2. Lea Wait says:

    I look forward to meeting the citizens of Riverside, Brenda!

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  3. Mary Anne Sullivan says:

    I love your imaginary towns that so perfectly describe life on midcoast Maine. I never lived there but for many years I wanted to but life led me elsewhere. When I lived in Auburn, I frequently got in the he car and drove to the midcoast for a day out. When cousins visited from NJ, England, and AZ; they loved our day trips down there. For many of them a real Maine clam & lobster bake outside was a once in a lifetime experience that they treasured. The scenery, lighthouses, the rocky shores, seagulls, gift shops full of unique local crafts, amazing pottery, book stores, restaurants, old houses, and the Music Box Museum gave them so much pleasure. I remember one cousin so enthralled by a place in Wiscasset that sold gorgeous wax butter molds. And they loved the boat rides out to the islands. You have given me much pleasure by placing your very well written books in that wonderful location and I also enjoy an occasional trip to NJ. Lol.

    Since I grew up in a mill town, I look forward to a book in “Riverside.”

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  4. Lea Wait says:

    Mary Ann ,
    The butter mold place is still in Wiscasset! And I’m, so glad you get to visit mid-coast Maine .. if only in our books! Thanks for commenting!

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  5. Hello Lea:
    Coincidentally, a couple of hours north of Haven Harbor, is the town of West Haven Harbor, where Annette Fiorno met an untimely death in Down East Maine. Who might someone meet in West Haven Harbor? Well, you might just bump into that egotistical but likable Boston big shot attorney, Shawn Marks, who comes to Mount Desert Island to defend Jimmy Sedgwick, the heroin addict “from away”. So much fun creating fictitious towns and characters 🙂 Regards, Steve Kassels (“Addiction on Trial”).

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  6. Lea Wait says:

    What fun, Steven! Great minds … and so forth!

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  7. Gram says:

    Sounds like the beginning of a great new series. Thanks.

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  8. Lea Wait says:

    I hope so, Gram!

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  9. Loved this post, Lea. I too have set a book in a harbor town. Mine is called Griffin Harbor, and I admit modeled somewhat on Boothbay Harbor that we visited a couple of years ago. As you mentioned using a pretend village let’s us have whatever we need for the story. 🙂 I’ll definitely check out your book. Mine won’t come out until late summer. I have another coming out in March set in Fort Worth.
    I’m so happy I stumbled onto y’all’s blog. Happy 2015 to you all.

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