Shannon here: Donna Schlachter shares insight into the inspiration for her latest Historical Romance Novella included in A Bouquet of Brides Collection. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a free print copy (US Only). Deadline: March 31st, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Donna:
What the World Needs More Of. . . True Love
When we hear the word love, we conjure up all different images in our minds: Valentine’s Day and boxes of chocolates; June weddings; honeymoon destinations; growing old together; family; home.
We all have a different idea of what love is.
But what about true love? Kissing behind the garden gate. Pounding hearts. We can’t stop thinking about this other person. We daydream about our lives together.
The Bible uses the term “agape” love when referring to the true love we feel when we want what’s best for another person. When we’re willing to lay down our lives for them if that’s what it takes. When we’re willing to do the hard thing even when it doesn’t feel good.
For example, at the beginning of my story, Peter wants to take Daisy back to New York with him as his wife because he’s fallen in love with Daisy through her romance stories, and because he wants to move up the corporate ladder in the publishing company his uncle owns. He thinks how he’s rescuing her from obscurity in the wilderness of the Arizona Territory and how he’ll be the talk of the town when he returns with her on his arm.
However, the Daisy Duncan he meets isn’t anything like he expected, and he soon figures out that removing Daisy/Lily from her surroundings will stifle the spirit right out of her. He must now make a decision: continue with his plans, or do what’s best for Lily.
He chooses what’s best for Lily, no matter what his uncle thinks, and no matter how heartbroken he will be to return without her.
Also at the beginning of my story, Lily, who writes under the pen name of Daisy, vows she will never leave the Arizona Territory, and especially not for any hotshot city slicker from the East. However, through a series of circumstances, she discovers she cares a great deal for Peter, and soon cannot bear the thought of him leaving. Yet to ask him to stay will starve him of the hustle and bustle of his beloved Big Apple.
She can keep him but he will surely pine away like a colicky horse. Or she can let him go.
She chooses what’s best for Peter, no matter how much it pains her to do so, and knowing that after experiencing love for the first time, she may never love again.
True love is more than flowers and chocolates, or sweaty palms and breathless kisses. True love compels us to do for another what they cannot do for themselves—see their value through the eyes of another.
About Donna: Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, 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 is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters In Crime; facilitates a local critique group, and teaches writing classes and courses. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management. Learn more and connect:
About the novella: Meet seven American women who were named for various flowers but struggle to bloom where God planted them. Can love help them grow to their full potential?
Lily Duncan—“Cactus Lil” to friend and foe alike—is as prickly as her name implies, and she likes it that way. Arizona in 1885 is a land as harsh as the moon, but Lil, born and raised near Cave Creek, feels at one with the sand, rocks, and giant saguaros. She loves living in the desert, and is happiest on her own on her small cattle ranch near Cave Creek, Arizona. Although she’s never been in love before, she pens romantic short stories for a magazine under her pen name of Daisy Duncan.
Peter Golding has never been west of the Mississippi, but a tender young woman named Daisy who writes of love and relationships intrigues him. Through reading her powerful descriptions of what love should be, Daisy’s stories have captured a part of his heart.
When Peter’s uncle sends him to find Miss Daisy Duncan and bring her back to New York City, Peter decides to take matters a step further and bring her back as his bride—surely then his uncle will be impressed with her. But when he arrives, he quickly realizes that Miss Lily Duncan is no shrinking violet waiting to be rescued. In fact, she has to rescue him several times.
Cactus Lil finds her heart torn between this stranger from the east and her desire for independence. If she surrenders to her feelings, will she be forced to do his bidding? When she finds a telegram from her editor telling Peter to bring her back or lose his job, she believes his attentions to be self-serving. Will Peter choose her or his job? And will she decide to surrender her heart or send him packing—again?
Can’t wait for the drawing? Get your copy now! Bouquet of Brides – Amazon
Question for Readers: What is the sweetest agapeo expression of love your spouse, family member, or friend has gifted you with?
Come back March 23rd for Delia Latham!