I think I’ll have a ‘writing’ post twice a week and a personal post once a week. What do you guys think? Is there anything you’d particularly like to hear about between the series?
Anyway, I’m so happy to welcome author, Ruth Axtell Morren. Her books hold so much beauty for human relationships and redemption. I can’t wait to see what new things Ruth has happening in her writing.
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?
First of all, there is a physical awareness. I particularly like it when they haven’t been physically attracted to each other until then. But because of the circumstances that throw them together (and keep throwing them together), there is a gradual getting to know each other beyond the superficial. From this springs a growing respect. Suddenly, one day it blossoms into an awareness of the other physically.
I did this in my fifth book, The Healing Season, a regency, by using two extreme characters. He is still a virgin in his early thirties, a very devout Christian and a surgeon who treats the poor. She is someone who rose from the dregs of society to become a successful actress, gaining wealth and notoriety by being very selective with the lovers she took. To the hero, she is little better than a prostitute, and to her he is a prude.
But gradually, each one begins to see beyond the stereotypes of the other’s world, and to begin to understand what has made each one who they are.
2. Please provide an excerpt of your writing that shows this realization.
Eleanor heard the shouts of the crowd, the footsteps rushing past, but they were muffled now. She was safe, wrapped in a warm, shadowy cocoon.
Mr. Russell’s body stood squarely in front of her, shielding her from the brunt of the mob. She stood on the step where he had placed her, unable to see what was going on, but feeling strangely exhilarated by the circumstances, at risk yet protected.
She could make out the top edge of Mr. Russell’s waistcoat above his coat. If she lifted her hand, she could trace the outline of the topmost button with her fingertip. Her bonnet touched his chin.
It was a nice feeling. The phrase drifted into her thoughts, to love, honor and cherish… Was this what it felt like to be “cherished”? The last part of the phrase came into her mind unbidden, till death do us part.
At that moment someone slammed against Mr. Russell’s back. Although he braced his arms against the door behind her, he couldn’t completely cushion the impact of the blow. Her face was crushed against his neck and her bonnet fell back. She smelled the fresh laundered scent of his neck cloth.
As soon as he was able, he righted himself and drew away from her while still anchoring her between his arms. “I beg your pardon. Did I hurt you?”
His eyes roamed over her face as he spoke, examining it for injury.
Gingerly she touched the bridge of her nose with her gloved fingertips. “No. I’m quite all right.” Never better, she realized. “Are you?” He had taken the brunt of the impact.
“Yes, I’m fine.” His perusal over, his brown eyes fastened on hers.
She stood spellbound. For the first time in her life she had the sensation of being safeguarded by a man, and not safeguarding herself from one.
They stood several minutes in the alcove of the doorway as the crowds pushed by them, wreaking destruction everywhere. Eleanor stood content, sure nothing could happen to her in the shelter of Mr. Russell’s arms.
She didn’t notice when the shouts eventually diminished, but felt the immediate absence of Mr. Russell’s body when he took a step away from her. Sunshine fell back on her face. He looked away from her. “They’ve moved on down the street. Toward the Thames, I expect.”
From the hero, Ian’s, point of view:
He knew the exact moment she rose and began to descend the steps leading down to the platform.
Against his will, he raised his eyes and watched her.
She walked slowly down the steps, and he marveled at her presence, even now, away from the theater. Was every locale a stage for her? Mr. Digsby puffed behind her.
A subtle, flowery fragrance reached his nostrils as she came to stand before him. “Good morning, Mr. Russell.”
Why was it every time he came so near her, she managed to take his breath away? Her skin was flawless as an egg shell’s, the cheeks with the barest tint of pink, her irises quicksilver.
“What are you doing here?” he finally managed.
Her brow furrowed. “Mr. Russell, do you mean to frighten me with that tone of voice and that ferocious scowl? I might remind you I am not one of these green boys who must cower at the sound of your stern reprimand.”
Not awaiting his answer, she turned to Digsby. “My dear sir, isn’t Mr. Russell simply brilliant?” As the man nodded his head, she held up her arm. “To think I have so many bones in this one small portion of my arm.” She walked over to the skeleton.
“So, this is Octavius. How do you do, Octavius?” she asked with a curtsy. “Wherever did you come up with him?”
“He was a patient at Guy’s across the street.”
She turned her gaze to him and shivered. “How gruesome.”
“Cadaver stealing?” Digsby asked. “I’ve read that’s a problem among you medical men.”
“It has been a problem, but it’s being alleviated somewhat as we are permitted more and more the dissection of patients who expire and leave no instructions for the disposal of their-er—corpses. There are no family members to claim the bodies, and they would end up in a pauper’s grave.” He approached the skeleton, his confidence returning as Mrs. Neville’s attention was fixed on it.
“That’s how I obtained Octavius here. Octavius Skinner was a patient of mine several years ago, an “incurable” which Guy’s took in. He had no family. In gratitude, when he knew he was going to die, he told me I could have his body to dissect.” He shrugged. “After using it, I was left with the skeleton.”
Mrs. Neville listened. He now recognized that expression in her eyes that indicated she was spellbound.
“It sounds more fantastic than one of my melodramas, Mr. Digsby.” She turned to Ian. “I invited Mr. Digsby to come along with me today. I thought he might like to see you at work. Perhaps you could give him a tour, show him the dispensary?”
He weighed her suggestion, remembering Henry’s advice. The banker had made time to come to him; the least he could do was spare a few moments and show him the area.
“Certainly. Allow me to lock Octavius away in his closet.” He turned Digsby. “Authentic skeletons are still at a premium, and I wouldn’t want to lose this one. If you will excuse me, I shall be right with you.”
He nodded and turning to the hanging skeleton, he tipped him on his side and rolled him toward the cupboard door at the end of the theater.
When he returned to them, he said, “I shall give you a short tour of one of the wards, and then we can proceed on foot, or if you have your carriage—” he inquired of Mrs. Neville.
“Mr. Digsby has brought his carriage. We shall be more comfortable in that,” she replied.
“Very well. Shall we go?”
Oh Ruth, I so love your writing. It’s simply beautiful how your characters come together and how you describe their emotional awakening. Thank you for visiting today.
30 As for God, his way is perfect:
The LORD’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the LORD?
And who is the Rock except our God?