Shannon here: Historical romance author, Connie Stevens’ shares a romantic excerpt from her novella, Hope’s Dwelling Place from the 4 in 1 collection: Sundays in Fredericksburg. Comment on any post dated April 12 – 19 to get your name in the drawing for a copy of the novella collection. Deadline: April 27th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Connie:
Hope’s Dwelling Place – Connie Stevens
The first meeting of two main characters in a romance is always fun to write. Will they be instantly attracted? Will the attraction be one-sided? Will first impressions be less than memorable? Will getting off on the wrong foot sabotage any chance for romance?
Hope’s Dwelling Place opens with my heroine, Amelia Bachman, arriving in the town of Fredericksburg, Texas at night. Since her stage arrives much later than scheduled, the person she expected to meet her is nowhere to be found and the little town has gone to bed for the night. Being unfamiliar with her surroundings, Amelia tries to locate the little Sunday house where she has been told she will stay. She fumbles through the darkness with her satchel and a lantern until she locates the house, only to discover she can’t get in. Stumbling over a wood pile, disturbing a snoozing cat who screeches its displeasure, and finally attempting to gain entrance through a window, she awakens the next door neighbor, Hank Zimmermann, who demands to know who she is and why she is trying to break in to his neighbor’s house.
EXCERPT from Hope’s Dwelling Place:
“Wer sind sie und was machen sie?” the deep, masculine voice boomed through the still night air.
Amelia squawked and spun around. She understood the first part of the challenge: Who are you? “I’m Miss Amelia Bachman, the new school teacher. Mr. Richter?”
Two large, booted feet carried the man out of the shadows and into the lantern light. “You’re a woman!”
Under the circumstances, his observation was so ludicrous she didn’t know whether to laugh or throw the lantern at him.
He reached for the lantern and drew it up where it illumined both their faces. His disheveled sandy hair flopped in his eye. If this was Mr. Richter, he was a lot younger than she expected.
“What are you doing?” His tone lost a bit of its gruff edge, but his dark brown eyes still held an air of suspicion.
She was getting ready to climb through the window. What did it look like she was doing? “Are you Mr. Richter?”
Skepticism flitted across his face. “No. I’m Hank Zimmermann.” He jerked his thumb over his shoulder. “My family’s Sunday house is next door.” He narrowed his eyes. “You didn’t answer my question. What are you doing outside the Richter’s Sunday house in the middle of the night?”
Indignation pulled her chin up. She resented Mr. Zimmermann’s accusing tone.
“Mr. Richter’s letter said I would be staying in the Sunday house belonging to his family. The stage arrived late and nobody was at the depot to greet me. I had to find this house by myself int eh dark, and the door is locked.” The tears that threatened earlier returned to taunt her but she refused to give in to them.
“Locked?” His frown pulled his eyebrows into a V. “Folks around here don’t lock their doors.”
Her voice cracked with emotion but she latched on to the frayed edges of her composure and hung on. “Well, it wouldn’t open and I have no way of getting in. I can show you Mr. Richter’s letter if you don’t believe me.”
About Connie: Connie Stevens loves browsing antique shops and old cemeteries to get inspiration for her historical novels. Her cat, Sweet Pea, critiques every chapter she writes, often giving a manuscript hardly a whisker’s notice if it doesn’t contain a feline character. Research is one of Connie’s favorite pastimes, and she will forget what time it is—or what century it is, for that matter—when journeying back in time through historical websites. Connie lives in north Georgia within sight of her beloved mountains, and has been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers for thirteen years.
Visit her website at www.conniestevenswrites.com and “like” her Facebook author page at https://www.facebook.com/ConnieStevensAuthor
About the novella – HOPE’S DWELLING PLACE :
In 1897, Amelia Bachman became a schoolteacher to avoid getting hitched. Will love-struck carpenter Hank Zimmermann dissolve her resolution and turn a Sunday house into a home?
About the novella collection: Sundays in Fredericksburg blurb: Come on down to Fredericksburg, Texas, where four generations of couples encounter romance in Sunday Houses. Having become a schoolteacher to avoid marriage, Amelia Bachman finds her resolve crumbling before a smitten carpenter. Determined not to fall in love, Mildred Zimmermann carefully nurses an army medic crippled in love and war. Somewhat of a homebody, Trudy Meier isn’t sure she has the courage to love a roving reporter. Gwendolyn’s beautiful wildflower field is threatened by a geologist’s search for knowledge. Will these four women risk their hearts for the love a stranger?
Come back April 15th for Margie Vawter – also featured in the Sundays in Fredericksburg collection!