Shannon here: Donna Schlachter shares an excerpt from her latest release, The Physics of Love. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated Dec 18 – 22 to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: Dec 31st, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Donna:
Excerpt from The Physics of Love by Donna Schlachter:
The following June I received my graduation letter in the mail the same week I met Catherine Lawrence. She had moved to Carbonear with her parents to take up residence in the old Salvation Army officer’s quarters. Her father was to be the school principal in September. They lived across the street and up the lane from us, and the first time I saw her was when I was coming out of church one Sunday.
Our family pew, for which my father faithfully paid his pew rent each year, was three rows from the front, in the center aisle, a position of importance and prominence. However preferential this seating might be, we were always delayed in exiting the church because of the steady stream of congregants who wanted to shake the reverend’s hand and thank him for the sermon.
On this particular Sunday, as usual, we were the last to leave, and by the time I exited, all my friends had gone home with their parents. I’d hoped to have a chat with T.J. and Tom and Matthew, but never mind, I’d catch up with them later on.
As I walked up the street toward home, movement at the Salvation Army church across the street from the house caught my eye, and I looked in that direction. A lovely dark-haired beauty stood in the doorway, half-turned as if talking to someone inside.
I was lost.
She was new in town, and nobody had thought to introduce us.
I stopped, and my father, who had been walking close behind me, bumped into me.
“Goodness, Richard. Watch where you’re going.”
Ordinarily I would have reminded him that he was the one who had run into me, but at that moment, my mind was elsewhere.
He followed my gaze. “Oh, that’s the Lawrence girl. Her father is the new principal. I’ve been meaning to invite them to tea.”
My mother, bless her soul, must have seen the yearning in my eyes, and although she was no matchmaker, and particularly not across denominational lines, she stepped up and did the right thing. “We’ve got a huge dinner at home. Invite them now.”
My father blinked a couple of times as if he wasn’t quite certain he’d heard correctly, then strode toward the Army temple as two adults stepped out. They exchanged some words, and the girl identified as Catherine glanced in my direction. When I say glanced, I’m probably exaggerating, and when I say in my direction, she was more likely looking at my mother who stood close behind me.
After much head-nodding, my father and the three Lawrences came in our direction. There was a fourth, a brother, but he was off with some cousins for the day. Introductions were made, and when it came my turn to speak my name, no sound would come from my mouth. Catherine smiled up at me, and the resolve I’d made after the Doreen fiasco melted away like butter in a hot frying pan.
I was lost. In a serious way.
Catherine finished school in June 1953 and struggled with deciding what to do for a career. On one hand, she felt perhaps she should be a teacher like her father. Teaching was a safe, respectable job she could take anywhere.
But something held her back.
“I don’t know, Richard,” she said one night when we were walking on the beach, “I think my father has done wonderfully, considering all he’s been through in his life.”
Her father had taken to teaching as a second career. He used to be a house painter until he’d gotten ill when Catherine was really young and then he couldn’t take the physical labor of house painting anymore.
“I’d like to have a job where I could move if I wanted, but one where I wouldn’t get transferred all over God’s half acre.”
I agreed with her. I didn’t want to have to follow her all over every outport town in Newfoundland, either, but I didn’t say anything about marriage then. We needed to work ourselves into that conversation.
“I think I’d like to be a nurse.”
My heart soared. To go to nursing school, she’d have to live in St. John’s.
I wanted to live in St. John’s and attend a radio television program there.
I cupped her face between my hands and leaned in, eyes closed, and kissed her, tentatively at first, then more passionately. She put her hands on my chest as if to push me away, and I slacked off, afraid I’d frightened her. This was not our first kiss, but it was different, as if we were sealing our futures together by the pressing of my mouth on hers.
About Donna: Donna lives in Denver with her husband Patrick, who is her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She has published four cozy mysteries and a devotional for accountants under her pen name, and a collection of short stories, a book on writing tips, and several devotionals under her own name. She is currently under contract with Barbour Books in a novella collection on the Pony Express. Donna is a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She will be teaching an online course for American Christian Fiction Writers in June 2017, “Don’t let your subplots sink your story”. Donna loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and online at: www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com and www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com. Her most recent release is They Physics of Love. All books are available at Amazon.com in digital and print. Learn more and connect:
About the book – The Physics of Love: Book 1: Opposition Was it love? No. For him, our coupling was the opportunity to one-up my father, the biggest fish in a very small pond. For three minutes. For me, I don’t know that I really thought about anything. Except I did imagine the look on my father’s face if he could see me now. And that stayed with me much longer than those three minutes on a beach in Newfoundland. Book 2: Momentum Was it love? Must have been. How else do you explain a childless couple in their fifties taking in an illegitimate child, to raise as their own, when everybody around them knew the truth? When they had so much to lose—the respect of their peers, their position in the church, the rung on that ladder he climbed so diligently. Of course, I don’t remember how the story began—I was only six months old at the time. And the story has been told and retold so many times I don’t know if the truth will ever be known. Book 3: Convergence Was it love? Yes. That’s what family is all about, so the answer must be yes, right? But I’ve since learned that family is about a whole lot more than just love. There are complicated dynamics involved in blood relationships, marriage relationships, even those once and twice removed relationships. But one thing I know for certain: it is love now.
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