I’ve decided to start something new on my blog. Each Wednesday, I want to introduce you to some characters for my works in progress. I also want to re-introduce you to the characters in the BETWEEN WORLDS SERIES. So, to start us off today, I’m going to introduce you to Cornelia Elizabeth Kerrington (Elizabeth Ann Ripley).
As a child she learned at her mother’s feet. Heather was an herbalist, and for all intents and purposes, a doctor for the villagers. So, she taught Cornelia everything she knew.
Cornelia’s entire life changed when her mother and father died of the Black Plague in February 1627. She had to learn to think for herself and work through the intense grief of losing her parents. She and her sister, Maryann, took over her mother’s practice and continued selling their goods at the village market. The loss of her parents changed her, but it also made her much more appreciative of her siblings.
Cornelia’s heart was scared again when her sister was put on trial for practicing witchcraft. Watching Maryann die scared her beyond repair. It also shut her heart down to love and the possibilities of love. Her sister had fallen in love with the wrong man and essentially, that is what killed her. She swore off all romantic possibilities and focused entirely on her work as a doctor.
Her life took another twist, yet again, when her brother, James arrived home late one night covered in blood and soot. He rushed them to gather their things and onto a cargo ship bound for America. Cornelia latched onto the only thing that kept her grounded with such an enormous transition ahead of her. While crossing the ocean, she began compiling a book of herbs, plants, and potions to cure sickness. She also began working on preventative medicines.
Due to her brother’s crime, she was forced to change her name and when they arrived in Jamestown, she assumed the identity of Elizabeth Ripley. She immediately began practicing medicine within the fort, but her family built a cabin outside the walls, against the better judgement of the townspeople. She enjoyed the location of their home, nonetheless. She sat among the trees praying and learning more about medicine.
Cornelia grew quite beautiful, her blue eyes as deep as pools. She rarely smiled, even though her grin would brighten the darkest of days. She was petite in stature with curly hair and a mighty spirit. She seemed fearless to those she met, but deep inside she was haunted by a past she could not erase. She was hollowed out by a loss so great that she felt as if she was beyond repair.
She became known as a great healer and her reputation even made it to the local Indians, who sought her help for a sick child in their tribe. Once she cured the child, the tribe honored her for the life debt they owed her. She began learning their culture and met Samuel Cavanaugh. She was shocked to discover that his mother was an Indian Princess and his father was an former prisoner.
Sam quickly earned Cornelia’s respect and she found herself in a situation she never thought possible. She fell in love with Samuel, rather quickly in fact. Cornelia confessed her true identity to Sam and he promised to protect her and her family for as long as he lived. He urged her to confide in the tribe as they would also protect the family. She did as she was instructed and once married, she retreated even deeper into the woods with Sam. However, each day brought her back to the fort, practicing her medicine and interacting with the English colonists, putting her at risk of discovery. Still, she kept her head and always kept quiet when asked pointed questions.
Nevertheless, there was a stranger who had arrived in the colony and everyone was talking about him. He had a hideous scare upon his face and was said to have scares all over his body from a fire. She knew she had the herbs and potions to help him, so she implored the townspeople to bring the man before her. But this would be a miserable mistake.