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Monday, September 7, 2009

Beth Cornelison Guest Blog

Healing Luke

Hi and thank you so much for having me today as a guest blogger here on Books Like Breathing! I'm thrilled to have this chance to tell you a little about the hero and heroine from my upcoming release from Sourcebooks, Healing Luke.

The idea for Healing Luke came to me following a family vacation in Destin, Florida. I fell in love with Destin, with snorkeling, and as soon as the Morgan men appeared from the misty realm of my mind, I fell in love with them, too. All of them, not just Luke. But for now, let me tell you a bit about writing Luke's character. From the start, I knew Healing Luke would be a Beauty and the Beast story. I knew Luke would be angry and mentally hurting because of the injuries he sustains in the opening-pages accident. My job as the author was to make sure his bitterness didn't mask the good inside him, to give the reader early glimpses of his kind heart, his dedication to his family and their business, his work ethic. In other words, to show the prince trapped inside the beast.

Well, at first, Luke didn't make that job easy for me! Like a lion with a thorn in his paw, he did a lot of snarling and growling before he'd let me (and Abby) get close enough to see what was really at the root of his pain. I had to make many revisions to this story over the years before I had Luke written the way I wanted him. But I found the gold in him, I think, and the many editorial passes mean I was able to give him layers (like an onion!) for Abby to peel away. The warm and loving man she finds buried beneath the pain and fear made her patience with him worth while. I hope you'll love Luke— and the rest of the Morgan men— as complicated and charming as I did as he revealed himself, one tiny glimpse at a time!

And what of the woman with the guts and patience to find the real Luke under the bitterness and pain? My heroine Abby was the woman for the job! I must say, I love Abby. She was an interesting character to write from the get-go, largely because she didn't want to be the character I intended her to be! She had a mind of her own, and with all her sass and stubbornness in place, she told me who she was and how I was to write her.

I'd planned for her to be a sweet, innocent, heart-broken thing. A girl-next-door type. A dewy-eyed darling who was bowled over by the Morgan men and had her world totally turned upside down by these hunky men. But Abby would have nothing of it!

Right from the beginning, she hijacked my telling of the story and told me flat out she was not going to be the docile creature I'd imagined. She had spunk and guts and a strong will. She'd grown up with two bully brothers and knew how to hold her own with the Morgan men, thank you very much.

Know what? She was right! Her character proved far more interesting, more fun to write and a better match for Luke the way she wanted to be written.

That's not to say Abby didn't have her vulnerabilities and heartaches, but gone was the docile, well-mannered innocent I'd first envisioned. And it's a good thing, too, because Luke needed a good strong kick in the pants early in the story and someone with Abby's faith and determination to find the heart of gold he'd buried under his pain.

Of course, when writing your hero and heroine, there must be chemistry--- snap, crackle and pop, as it were. But when the story opens, Luke is about as warm and cuddly as a porcupine. The trick was to have Abby see the remnants of the handsome man he'd been before the accident and have her focus on the details about his physical appearance and presence that were attractive to her. His height, his intensity, his powerful stares, his charming smile (when he used it!). Next she had to have the determination to chip away at the brittle facade to find the compassionate and loving man he was inside. Her patience and faith were the key. Did it work? I hope so. Early reader response says yes!

Dee Dailey at The Romance Reader said: "Rather than discount the importance of the process of healing Luke has to go through to focus on the love story, Ms. Cornelison make it a total process without the magic wand many wave to let the love story take precedence over reality."

Kerensa Wilson of Crave More Romance said: "Nothing about this romance feels forced. Ms. Cornelison allows the reader the chance to truly understand her characters and the relationship that develops between them."

So what qualities about a character— any character, hero or heroine, protagonist or secondary— tends to make them resonate with you the most?

Happy reading!
Beth Cornelison

About the Author

Georgia native Beth Cornelison worked in public relations before pursuing her love of writing fiction. She has published five category romances, winning numerous honors for her work, including RWA’s coveted Golden Heart. Cornelison is active in her local RWA chapter and presents writing workshops across the country. She lives in West Monroe, Louisiana. For more information, please visit

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  1. [...] Entries-Comment on Beth’s Post –name and email [...]

  2. Great interview and thanks for sharing your story with us Beth!

  3. I think that you have chosen a wonderful way to tell the story of physical and spiritual healing between a man and a woman who make each other complete. I love "Beauty and the Beast". Thank you for this modern retelling of one of my favorite stories of the heart. gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  4. Destin, Florida is one of my favorite places. My family and I vacationed there each summer when I was a child so I have found memories of Destin. Any book that has Destin as a setting is a must read for me.

    Thanks for the great interview!




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