- I’m a big fan of taking lots of pictures 🙂 (especially at ACFW)
- I’m a big fan of Siri Mitchell.
And today, SHE is my guest!! Not only that, but she’s giving us a sneak peek into her upcoming novel, A Heart Most Worthy. I have a love-hate relationship with sneak peeks. For one thing, they build anticipation for the story, but on the other hand…we have to WAIT for the story to come out in print.
Feels SOOOO much like ‘always winter and never Christmas’ 🙂
But, we’ll get a little bit of ‘Christmas’ today, with Siri’s great answers and wonderful excerpt. If you’ve never had an opportunity to read Siri’s books, let me give you my recommendations.
If you’re looking for a wonderful contemporary novel, Kissing Adrien is her BEST!!! (IMO) My review here.
If you’re looking for her best historical to date – She Walks In Beauty, again IMO. My review here.
Or visit Siri’s website to read about all of her wonderful books.
Well, Siri – you’re gonna get tired of me pretty soon. Didn’t we just have one of these conversations over at The Writers Alley (GREAT interview, btw, and the same pic of you and me)? I NEVER tire of picking your brain, but I bet you’re head is hurting a little bit from all the questions lately 🙂 Thanks for agreeing to get involved with ONE more. And WHAT a fun one too.
1. 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?
I think that falling in love allows the characters to see or realize the world around them in new ways. Even things they’ve always taken for granted.
The example I’m including is from my spring release, A Heart Most Worthy. It’s written in omniscient which is a change from the first-person I usually use.
(Setting: the North End of Boston, 1918. Julietta is at a community dance waiting for her date, Mauro Vitali, to show up. He’s her older brother’s best friend and she agreed to go with him only because he asked her when she was feeling generous. She can have her pick of the local boys so a man nearly ten years older than she is doesn’t hold much attraction for her.)
An hour later, Julietta was standing—still!—against the wall of the Hall. The gardenia she’d pushed behind her ear enveloped her in a sweet perfume which completely belied the look of irritation on her face. She’d been standing there for nearly an hour. By herself.
Mauro was late.
Julietta finally saw Mauro enter the room, his form framed in the doorway. He pulled his hat from his head, pressing it to his chest, and stood there for a long moment, eyes searching the dance floor. Then he turned toward the people standing around the refreshment table.
Resisting an urge to wave, she tucked her hands behind her and pressed her back to the wall. Let him look. Let him wonder. Let him worry that she had gone.
It only took a moment more. Relief relaxed his features and a smile lit his face. He stepped around signora Sardo and signora Riccio. Walked around a cluster of giggling young girls. And a knot of young men. Nearly got trapped between two couples as they went Castle Walking across the dance floor.
He halted in front of her. Made a quaint, rather gallant bow. “I’m sorry. I meant to be here before now, but signora Matullo had one of her fits.”
Signora Matullo? The fish-seller’s wife? Julietta came away from the wall, alarm sharpening her features. “Is she alright?”
Mauro sighed. “Who can say? At least she’s sleeping now.” He sighed. Set his bag down with his hat atop it. Flexed his shoulder blades, hoping to drive out some of the tension. He hadn’t been able to stop signora Matullo’s fit. He’d never been able to stop them. In spite of all the new cures and all of modern science, he had nothing with which to combat a simple seizure. Oh, he could try to keep her from hurting herself and send her into sleep afterwards, but he couldn’t prevent them from coming and he couldn’t stop them once they had grabbed hold of her limbs. It vexed a man, especially a man who was a physician as gifted, as competent, as Mauro Vitali. There he was at a Saturday night dance with Julietta Giordano and all he wanted to do was go home and pore through his books; try to find the one bit of information, the one clue that he had missed. That everyone—every doctor—had missed.
He closed his eyes for a moment. Tried to clear himself of the memory of signora Matullo convulsing on the floor. Opened them to find Julietta looking up at him, a gardenia glowing from her hair. He put a trembling hand to the back of his neck mostly because he wanted so badly to press it to hers.
He had meant to be there early. He had meant to return home first. To wash. And change his clothes. He hadn’t wanted to show up at the dance with the smell of his patient still on his hands and the reek of tenements still on his shirt. At least he’d had the foresight to eat a peppermint on the way. “I’m sorry.”
Julietta reached out a hand and touched his arm. “It wasn’t a problem.” And indeed, it hadn’t been. At least not much of one. Being able to tell the other men that she already had an escort seemed to ratchet up her value in their eyes. And now that Mauro had taken up her hand and led her onto the dance floor, she could see the rest of the bachelors sizing him up.
For a moment, as they waited for a mattchiche to begin, she sized him up as well. There, among the greater community of Sheafe Street, he had ceased to be just her brother’s friend. Had taken on an identity of his own: Dr. Mauro Vitali. And Dr. Vitali was more than a little bit handsome. He was rather distinguished in fact. He wore his age well. It made him seem almost…dapper. And really, thirty wasn’t so very old, was it?
Mauro and Julietta swooped together around the dance floor in a quick and graceful two-step. Hands joined together, first pointed toward the ceiling, then pointing toward the floor. As they swung around each other, Julietta quickly became enveloped by Mauro’s scent. A hint of something…unpleasant. But on top of it, the smell of peppermint. Beneath it, bay rum.
She’d never seen him dance before, at least, not that she had noticed. But he was quick and precise in his steps. And very energetic. He twirled her about the room for three dances and by then, she’d had enough. She needed a break.
“Do you think there’s any limonata?”
“What?” He was having trouble understanding what she was saying. A flush rode her cheeks and the effort of dancing had left her chest heaving. All he wanted to do was take her by the hand and lead her out into the alley. But, God help him, he wasn’t a boy any more. He was a grown man. And the girl standing before him was his best friend’s sister. Beside which, there were things that a person—a doctor, a man—just shouldn’t do.
She stood on her toes, put a hand to his head, and pulled it down to speak into his ear. “Do you think there’s any limonata?”
He leaned his forehead against hers for a moment, just a moment, and inhaled the cool, exotic scent of the gardenia. The tickle of her breath against his cheek sent a snaking warmth through his chest. Limonata? There had to be some. And if there wasn’t, he would make it himself.
The back of Mauro’s neck was damp and the curls flopping over his collar tickled the back of Julietta’s hand. She reached up and–what was she thinking? He was Mauro. Mauro Vitali. Old Mauro Vitali. She released him, resisting the urge to run her hand along his cheek. Took a careful step backward.
He smiled a lopsided smile. “Limonata. Right. I’ll go look.”
MAMA MIA, Siri. That was a wonderful hook for A Heart Most Worthy. Please say it’s coming out in early spring? yes? What do you say, March? It doesn’t get more romantic than Italian…and dancing. Bello!
Thanks for letting us have a look. Whew. Can’t wait.
Real love…true love causes us to alter our misconceptions. To take a new look at something we ‘thought’ we understood. To see the world from a different point of view and marvel at it.
All the more, the love of God should propel our hearts toward praise. God knows our hearts – and the selfish bent of them, yet he forgives, loves, even rejoices over us. It’s the ultimate defintion of love – and it gives us a new perspective. To see the world from a God’s eye view, that everything works toward His ultimate glory in our lives.
1 Praise the LORD, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.