Shannon here: Elaine Cooper shares how music has instilled romance in her real life and her novel. Comment on any post dated March 14 – 19 for a chance to win a copy of her book: The Road to Deer Run. Deadline: March 19, midnight central time. Here’s Elaine:
Music That Draws the Heart By Elaine Marie Cooper
It was long after we married that my husband told me about the first time he had actually fallen in love with me. And I was blithely ignorant about his presence at the time.
I was singing a solo in church at that moment and just nervous enough to avoid eye contact with anyone. Imagine if I had known my future husband was out in the congregation thinking romantic thoughts? I’m certain I would have stumbled over the lyrics, had I known. Ignorance was perhaps my saving grace that evening!
So as I strummed my acoustic guitar and sang a song about loving Jesus, Steve was in the audience—falling in love with me.
My love of music became an integral part of the love story in my novel, “The Road to Deer Run.” The heroine, Mary Thomsen, has loved music all her life. But the death of her beloved brother Asa, with whom she shared her passion for song, has halted her desire to sing. Music has become a painful reminder of her loss.
Months go by without so much as a tune emanating from her lips. But the pleas of her sister Sarah, who is seriously ill, tear at her heart:
“Please, Mary,” the young child asked again. “You never sing like you used to. I miss it. Your songs will help me feel better.”
Mary is distraught, not just because Sarah is sick, but because the man that Mary is falling in love with appears to be distant at the moment and she does not know why.
Unbeknownst to Mary, her mother has warned the enemy soldier—who Mary loves— against pursuing her. He has reluctantly promised to abide by the mother’s wishes, knowing that his affection for Mary could put her in danger.
Putting aside her own emotional turmoil, Mary rallies her voice to comfort her sister and sings a hymn by Isaac Watts. She does not realize that her act of compassion and selflessness will lead to the soldier Daniel beginning to weaken in his resolve. He is smitten by her singing.
Daniel was sitting by the fireside, staring in wonder at Mary. Her voice had taken him by complete surprise. He had been mesmerized not just by the words of the song but also by the soothing sound of her voice. His desire for Mary was both exhilarating and troubling. After all, he had made a promise to Widow Thomsen. The young soldier swallowed with difficulty and then finally spoke.
“That was beautiful,” Daniel said, looking at the young woman across the room.
Mary looked up at him in surprise. “Thank you, Daniel,” was all she was able to say. She wiped the tears away from her eyes.
But just as music melted the heart of my future husband, the character of Daniel is enamored by Mary’s voice, forcing him to come to grips with his feelings for her. He must find a way to win her mother’s approval while winning the heart of the woman who has conquered his heart.
Fortunately, Steve was in the National Guard when I met him, and not an enemy soldier! He easily captured my heart and we were married in April of 1975.
A few months after Steve and I married, we spent a romantic weekend in the mountains of Southern California. I took my guitar with me and I sang to him in the woods, accompanied by the sound of a gentle mountain breeze. It was, by his account, the most romantic thing I have ever done for him. Singing songs to my husband—my audience of one. That was almost 36 years ago…yet I can still envision it today.
Ah music—a remarkable food for the romantic soul. It is a melodious sustenance for love in both fiction and real life.
Song of Songs 1:1-2: “The song of songs, which is Solomon’s. Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.”
About the book:
The year is 1777 and the colonies of America are at war with England. In the midst of this fierce and painful conflict, two enemies—a wounded British soldier and a colonial farmwoman—are brought together through circumstances that challenge their fortitude, their faith and their ability to forgive. In the struggle comes healing and love. But as their destinies become intertwined, so do the forces that oppose them.
What Are Reviewers Saying about “The Road to Deer Run”?
“A heartwarming love story, sensitively written and a well-researched bit of American history. The book has a solid faith-based perspective that sets it apart.”
— Jean LemMom, former Editor, Better Homes & Gardens Magazine
“A captivating tale of love, honor, redemption, and patriotism….Cooper breathes life into her characters and their world in an entertaining way with generous details and facts.”
— Wanda Ventling, Editor in Chief, Life: Beautiful Magazine
Come back March 18th for more of Elaine’s real life romance.