Well, she’s been the celeb of ACFW this month with her debut novel, The Healer’s Apprentice. Not only is she a beautiful writer, but a southern girl, and a friend of mine I finally got to meet IN PERSON at ACFW.
Now, I have to tell this story. I was emailing Melanie about her book when the postman arrived at her door with her FIRST copies of Healer’s Apprentice. So, I have bragging rights to sharing that moment with her – even if it was cyber-celebrating. You can check out more info about Melanie and her novel at www.melaniedickerson.com
So, Mel, what are some elements that are present when a hero and heroine first realize they are falling in love with each other? What are some beautiful, interesting, unique ways of showing that realization?
Sometimes there’s frustration when a hero and/or heroine figure out they’re falling in love. Even exasperation, especially if they have a specific reason not to! I think it’s fun to show their realization, to show them softening to each other—or, on the other hand, becoming hostile to each other. They often will feel confused or afraid. They don’t quite know what’s happening to them, and they don’t want to admit it’s love.
Here’s an excerpt from an as yet uncontracted novel that I call Magnolia Summer. Truett has teased Claire quite a bit and they’ve had some moments of sparring with each other, but now they’re discovering other emotions besides annoyance and anger.
Truett came around and faced Claire where she stood next to the wagon seat.
She looked away, suddenly feeling the need to express her gratitude for what he had done for Will, but embarrassed as she remembered her silly fainting spell. He seemed to be waiting for her to speak. When the silence stretched out too long, she lifted her eyes to his. “Thank you… for what you did for Will.” She bit her lip and murmured, “And I’m sorry I fainted.”
“Nothing to be sorry about.” His voice was soft. “You were just upset about your brother.” His throat convulsed slightly as he swallowed, his eyes never straying from hers. He bent and lifted her hand. “It was my pleasure,” and he kissed the back of her hand, “to be of help.”
Claire stared back at him. Not a flicker of humor passed over his face as he held her gaze with his, his lips slightly parted, his eyebrows set low over intense blue eyes.
All words escaped her. She turned toward the wagon seat. His hands clasped her waist and he hoisted her up.
As she flicked the reins, Claire looked back. Their gazes locked again. She quickly turned away.
Lord, what just happened here? She could still feel his hands around her waist. A warm tingling spread through her. She looked down at her hand, half expecting to see the imprint of his lips.
What was wrong with her? Perhaps she had just spent too much time away from her books. As soon as she got back to the house, she planned to pull out her thickest, most detailed history textbook and not look up from it for at least three hours.
If that didn’t drive Truett Beverly out of her thoughts, nothing would.
* * *
Truett couldn’t get Claire Wilcox out of his thoughts. Especially the way she looked when she fainted, as she started to crumple to the floor, so pale and helpless. It had scared him and turned his insides to mush to see her that way. But he certainly liked the way she felt in his arms, soft and warm and … perfect.
He shouldn’t be thinking this way. After all, wasn’t she the woman who had insulted him by suggesting his brother was dangerous?
Although he had to admit she did have a point.
But wasn’t she also the woman who had gotten mad at his teasing and yelled at him, saying her family didn’t need him?
The unfortunate truth was, he liked the feeling of her in his arms, and he wanted her to like it, too. But she wasn’t likely to faint in his arms again any time soon. How …?
The Fourth of July was coming up, which meant his mother was probably organizing a dance. A dance would afford a perfect opportunity to get her in his arms again.
If he had any sense he’d forget about Claire. She didn’t even like him. Although she hadn’t exactly looked at him with hate in her eyes just now. As he recalled, she had looked plumb addled when he kissed her hand and lifted her onto the wagon seat.
She was definitely coming around. And he felt compelled to help her along. He wanted her to admit she was wrong about him, to admit she had completely underrated his worth, his abilities, and his charm.
Oh my what a sweet, tempting glimpse into your story, Melanie. And I’m dying to know what your next novel is about? I know there’s one in the works, can you give us an idea of what’s coming up for you? Another fairytale…
3-5There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! 6-8Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
Did you get that? “He doesn’t wait for us to get ready” – He sweeps in, even in our weakness, rebellion, and inability, and he died for us. Why?
And the knowledge of that type of love should shake us to our feet. It’s mind-blowing, but more importantly, it should be our comfort, our strength, and our courage to rest in His care.
WINNERS announced tomorrow!!!
Stop by Wednesday for a visit from author, Myra Johnson.