This is the expansion of a short story that was originally published in the Love Undefined anthology from LDS Beta Readers. I will be turning the story into a novella, or maybe a novel.
It is currently told only from Christine’s perspective, but Phil’s story is actually far more interesting, and I’ll be telling a lot more of his side of the story.
I’d really like your feedback on this one, so I’ll be asking you, my readers, for your opinions on things. Please help me out. Your opinion matters.
I haven’t even written a back cover for this story, so I’ll just tell you a little bit about it.
Phil Chapel is a military veteran who was burned severely when his patrol ran over a roadside bomb. His face is unrecognizable from the handsome man he used to be. He feels ugly, frustrated, judged, lost, has PTSD, trust issues, the works.
This story is a combination Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast type of story. I’ll make sure it follows a romance story structure that ends with a happily-ever-after and will also closely follow a Hero’s Journey story structure to show Phil’s transition to accepting himself, getting the treatment he needs to work through his issues and be the man Christine needs.
Christine is a recently returned missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I will not shy away from her religious beliefs and how she loves Phil for the man God wants him to be and not for how he looks on the outside. They both believe in Jesus Christ, the power of forgiveness and healing through the Gospel, and the love the Savior brings the world through His ultimate sacrifice.
Christine also has a beautiful singing voice and speaking voice and her voice is what originally draws Phil to her. She doesn’t see his face until well into the story and he barely sees hers, definitely not up close. They are truly falling in love with each other for who they are on the inside and not outward appearances.
Phil hides in the periphery of life, leaving her notes on the music stand in the chapel where Christine is the music leader each Sunday and sending messages through his roommate. For that reason, Christine and her roommate start jokingly calling Phil the Phantom of the Chapel. Little do they know that P.C. is actually his initials, but it fits.
I hope you love this story and will embrace it. Thank you for your patience as we work through this story, developing it little by little. I have no idea how long it will be. We may pop back and forth within the story so the chapters may be posted out of order, but we’ll work through it together. I think this is going to be a lot of fun and I thank you for joining me on this journey. Most sincerely, Julie L. Spencer