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Today Wednesday Writers welcomes Deborah Piccurelli, author of the novelette Love Comes Calling, published by Prism Book Group. Deborah wrote her Christian novel based on the premise of a lie, which some might call an oxymoron since lying breaks one of the tenets of Christianity. But let’s have Deborah explain what she means.
THE BIRTH OF A LIE
Lying does not bode well for a Christian story. And that is what intrigued me about the theme of Love Comes Calling.
I wrote this novelette years ago when a top publisher put out a call for submissions for several romantic anthologies; two historical and two contemporary. I write contemporary, so those were what I checked out. The one that caught my eye had been named “A Well-kept Secret.”
As different scenarios began floating around in my mind, I realized I was drawn to the challenge of creating a beautiful story from a situation where one person would have to have done something unconscionable to an innocent victim. A situation wrought with controversy on both sides of the good versus evil spectrum, if you will. However, that individual would also be one of the main characters and a love interest, at that. How could I accomplish this?
I figured the male main character would have to be wealthy; someone used to getting what he wants. The female lead, in my mind, needed to be portrayed as a sort of delicate flower with an underlying layer of courage and strength. The following are who I perceived to be the perfect people to populate the pages of my book:
Derek Spencer: The handsome young heir to a magazine fortune who is now coming to terms with what a mess his life had once been.
Charlotte (Charlie) Parkes: A beautiful, one-time prima ballerina who is no longer able to maintain her career as a result of Derek’s carelessness.
Now, for the lie. Simple. Derek wants to make up for what he’d done to Charlie, so he finds out where she lives and shows up there. She doesn’t know who he is, and he ends up keeping his identity a secret. This opens the door to many possibilities, doesn’t it?
As for that publisher I originally wrote this story for – I submitted on the very first day they were accepting. The next day, they sent it back, stating they had decided not to publish that particular anthology. As anyone would imagine, my dream was hopelessly deflated. Until 2014. Prism Book Group held a contest, which became the perfect opportunity to give this book another chance. I entered it, and Love Comes Calling became one of three winners.
And here I am today telling the story of its conception.
Love Comes Calling
By Deborah Piccurelli
He was the man of her dreams . . . and her worst nightmare.
New Christian, Derek Spencer, falls for Charlie Parkes the very day he shows up on her doorstep to make up for what he’d done. But Charlie’s sister mistakes him for a home improvement contractor, and he decides to play along until he finds a way to explain who he really is.
Charlie is attracted to Derek, but knows the attention he shows her is only flattery. How could this handsome guy fall for someone with a face like hers? Nevertheless, the two form a relationship, bringing a joy to Charlie that’s way beyond her wildest dreams.
But what will happen when Derek’s true identity is revealed?
Before leaving the kitchen, he asked, “May I take you out somewhere for lunch tomorrow?”
Stunned, she almost dropped the plate she had been drying. “Ou-out?”
“Yeah, you know, a restaurant? Where someone else will be serving the food?”
“I-I… Okay. Sure.” Are you crazy, Charlie girl? Everyone will see you and stare at you. Then poor Derek will be embarrassed.
“Good.” He turned to walk away.
He stopped and waited.
“On second thought, maybe I’d better not.”
In a nanosecond, he closed the space that separated them. “Why?”
His closeness made her claustrophobic. She half-turned her face away. “Oh, Derek, you don’t want to be seen in public with me.”
“Excuse me, but I think that’s my decision.”
“Please.” She moved away from him to replace a bowl into the cabinet and to put a more comfortable distance between them. “I don’t want to embarrass you.” He’d trailed her steps, and his breath ruffled a wisp of her hair. She turned and backed up, only to bump against the counter.
“What makes you think you’ll embarrass me?”
“Oh, c’mon, you’re not blind. People will stare and wonder what a good-looking guy like you is doing with someone who . . . looks like me.”
She dodged to escape his nearness, but he was too quick and trapped her between his arms as each of his hands grasped the edge of the counter. His height required him to lean slightly in order to accomplish this, putting them nose-to-nose.
“No. You’re not going to run away. Listen to me. You’re beautiful.” She turned her face, and he pulled her chin up so that she had no choice but to look into his eyes. “You are beautiful. I don’t care what anyone thinks. I like spending time with you, and I’m not ashamed of that or of you.”
About the Author:
Deborah M. Piccurelli enjoys reading and writing romantic books. She is the author of two novels, a novella and several cause-related newspaper articles. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and an advocate for sanctity of life. Deborah lives in New Jersey with her husband and two sons.