Shannon here: KD Holmberg shares an excerpt from her Biblical Fiction title, The Egyptian Princess along with an accounting of her friend’s love at first sight story. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for a copy. Winner’s choice of print or digital. Two copies up for grabs. Deadline: April 10th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s KD:
Love at First Sight in Fiction and Real Life:
The first bloom of real love can make the sturdiest soul swoon. But does love at first sight really happen?
In my novel, “The Egyptian Princess: A Story of Hagar,” my protagonist, Hagar, abruptly leaves court after creating a huge social blunder. She runs out of The Great Audience Hall, stops to take a breath, and encounters a handsome and powerfully built stranger. Their closeness in the moment gives her a feeling she had never experienced before.
Excerpt from Chapter Six of “The Egyptian Princess” (modified):
Several armchairs lined the walls. Movement from the farthest end caused me to flinch. A man, unknown to me, sat on one of the chairs. He’d been hidden in sunlight when I’d first entered, but now his form seemed drawn into the setting—as though an artist painted him there. His elbows rested on his knees, and his head lay on clasped hands. He tipped his neck, and upon seeing me, abruptly sat up.
I waited a moment and then started to move past him, but paused when he took a knee before me. He looked up. “Forgive me. I did not mean to offend the hospitality of this house.” Vulnerable brokenness scored his pleasing face and disappeared into a long gray beard. As handsome and fair as Sarai was beautiful, I could see they were kin.
He took my breath away.
His bearing loomed larger than life, even kneeling before me. I took one look in his bottomless deep brown eyes and wanted to remain there forever. I nearly said to the man, “Take my heart, my lord.”
Thankfully, my lips did not utter those words.
Oh, what a dilemma for my princess. It was an impossible match. Egyptian pharaoh’s often married foreign brides for political reasons, but as King Mentuhotep III said, “From time immemorial, no daughter of the king of Egypt is given to anyone.” To do so would expose the crown to outside threats.
But here Princess Hagar was, falling breathlessly in love at first sight with a foreigner, and a much older man.
My novel, written from the Hebrew and Arabic tradition of the infamous love triangle of Hagar, Sarah, and Abraham, portrays Hagar as the daughter of the king of Egypt. Sarah was considered the most beautiful woman in the world since Eve, and a perfect prize for Pharaoh’s harem.
But what about such encounters in real life? Does love at first sight really happen?
Unequivocally, yes. And I have the perfect story to prove it.
A good friend, Samantha Kimber, met her husband, Ed, at a party thirty-eight years ago. Both of them arrived with dates, but when their eyes met from across the room, in
her own words, “It was electric and an instant attraction.”
Ed approached a mutual friend and asked for an introduction. This took place in Chicago, IL, even though both Samantha and Ed are British. She came to the United States as a model, and he ran his own business here. Thus, the decorous and quite proper request for an introduction (as opposed to the American, “How you doin’?).
Like my princess, Ed took Samantha’s breath away. He was handsome, and she thought he looked just like Robert Redford. Good looks are a bonus when falling in love, but she hit the jackpot. He also made her laugh.
Over the next few days, unbeknownst to Samantha, Ed orchestrated events so that he “happened” to be where she was. At one of those fortuitous occasions, he asked her where she was modeling next. She told him, and his response was, “What a coincidence, I’m going to be in the same area. Maybe I could give you a lift home?”
Ed arrived to collect Samantha, but the parking attendant told him all the parking spots are full.
“If Prince Charles wanted to come in, you would find him a space, wouldn’t you?” Ed said.
“Of course we would find him a space,” answered the attendant.
“Well, he’s not coming, so I’ll have his space,” Ed replied.
That humor drew Samantha in even more, and the posh, always entertaining couple recently celebrated their thirty-eighth wedding anniversary.
This anniversary happened to be particularly auspicious. Several months ago, Ed had a major stroke. The doctors told Samantha to let him go. She stood firm. “Do what you can to save my husband, no matter what.” While Ed is still recovering, he is also boxing, riding a stationary bicycle, starting to swing a golf club, and still making her laugh.
The power of love at first sight.
About KD: KD Holmberg is an award-winning historical and Biblical fiction author and retired flight attendant who turned an empty nest into creating stories around remarkable women. She and her husband have five adult kids, live in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, and love to travel and golf. They also run a girl gang of seven granddaughters, and have one male grandchild that the author can safely declare as her favorite grandson.
Question for Readers: Have you ever glanced into the eyes of a total stranger and knew it was true love? If not, is there a case of love at first sight involving family or friends? Will you share a bit of your story with us?
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