Good Monday morning everyone! I have a very special treat today for you – there’s a lovely and unusual romance that I wanted to bring to you but my schedule has been so insane that reviewing it fully in time for this post wasn’t going to happen. It’s a beautifully written story of a young woman turned out of her employment as a servant, only to be rescued from the streets by a young doctor who saves her life and wins her heart. I loved the steampunk elements that appeared but didn’t overwhelm and the sweet Victorian tone of Abigail’s POV really appealed to me. I was thinking about the season and all of the contemporaries lately I’ve been reading with the theme of romance (instead of the destined mates of the previous years), so I asked Bru to write us something about love and romance.
Below her post, there’s a giveaway for an ebook copy of Godspeed that’s open to international entries, so make sure you scroll down and enter!
May I Have This Dance?
What could be more romantic than slow dancing with the person who makes your heart pound faster wit
How many girls grow up dreaming of that Cinderella moment when someone will finally ask her to dance?
I know I sure did.
I remember being sheltered; raised in a strict religious environment where dancing was taken very seriously, so most boys were afraid to ask girls to dance even at social events where it was deemed acceptable, like weddings.
I daydreamed for years about the first time I would be asked to dance, and it’s funny, now that I remember the first time I actually was (wallflower I was, and wallflower I was called…) it was by a boy bold enough to challenge the social restrictions upon the act.
Yet, the actual event itself was still prevented— because I was on crutches at the time with a hairline fracture of my left foot.
I was thirteen, as I recall. I had planned to go to that wedding for months. My grandmother bought me a pretty new dress and sandals; I decided I’d braid my long hair ahead of time, so it would be wavy when I took it down.
Days before the anticipated event, I just happened to get up from the floor in the wrong way and fractured my foot. It seemed the wedding would be a non-event after that, and I was disappointed.
As it turned out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
As anxious as I was that night about what my mother critically called my ‘baby fat’ and the fact that I was struggling to get around on the crutches, that night became one that I can still smile looking back on, almost thirty years later, even though I never actually got to dance.
An exceptionally tall, handsome young man with platinum blonde hair and glasses perched upon the bridge of his up-turned nose approached me, after smiling at me several times across that crowded room. He introduced himself, and it turned out he was a friend of a cousin I had grown up with. I’d known him as a young child; we just didn’t recognize each other now, with the way that the years had changed us.
After paying me several compliments I was too shy to respond to with words, he added “I’d ask you to dance, but…” and he indicated my crutches.
That was it. My heart fluttered, and I remember averting my eyes toward the floor as color rushed to my face.
I didn’t get to dance with Jake that night, but we talked instead, over the blaring music and celebration all around us. At the end we exchanged addresses and began a pen-pal relationship that lasted for years.
He wrote to me of life and school. I let him read my poetry. Rarely, we’d speak on the phone, but mostly we communicated through the mail. We became dear to each other.
Eventually the time came when my parents put pressure on him to either begin to court me ‘properly’ or stop sending letters— and I cried the day I had to tell him I couldn’t write back to him any longer, because my parents disapproved that he could, or would, not commit to more.
He may not have been my first love but he was definitely my first true crush, and I will always remember the way that being asked, even if not actually dancing with him, made me feel.
In my novel GODSPEED, Abigail’s dream dance finally happens when she is swept up into the arms of the mysterious doctor who had stolen her heart as he battled to save it. Will the moment last and turn into something more, or will she end up with a broken clockwork heart?
The answer, my friends, is in the book. I hope that you’ll spend a little time this summer getting swept away by the story of Abigail and Quinn, and I hope you enjoyed remembering with me, just for a little while, the sweetness that a first dance —or dream of it— can possesses.
About the Author
February Grace is a writer, artist and poet who lives somewhere that is much colder than she would like most of the time. She sings on key, plays by ear, and is more than mildly obsessed with colors, clocks, the Perseids, and science fiction.
She’s done a few more or less interesting things in her life, not the least of which include working for Disney, getting kissed by a Klingon (it was unprovoked) and going blind, though she wouldn’t personally recommend the latter. She would however highly recommend the doctors who helped partially restore her sight after a long series of surgeries between 2009 and 2011.
Her poetry, prose, and/or flash fiction have appeared in The Rusty Nail Literary Magazine, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and Rose & Thorn Journal. Her work can also be found in the anthologies Poetry Pact Volume One, Anything Prose…And Poetry, Too! and Orange Karen: Tribute To A Warrior.
GODSPEED is her debut novel, and a labor of love she refers to as “Literary romance with steampunk embellishments.”
“What is a heart if not the ultimate clockwork?”
Abigail’s young life was saved by the kindness of strangers: Schuyler Algernon, the man who found her collapsed on cold city streets, and Quinn Godspeed, the doctor who risked everything by breaking the law to keep her fragile heart beating.
As the truth about what she’s become and her feelings for her savior overtake her, Abigail is forced to ask what constitutes life, living, and what dark secrets are contained within Godspeed’s past and the walls of Schuyler’s house.