Natural Order Character Spotlight: Elizabeth “Beth” Crew

This week I will introduce you to the heroine of the Daughters of the Goddess series you get to first meet in my novel Natural Order. Unlike a lot of the other women in the stories I write Beth doesn’t start out strong or entirely sure of herself. In fact she starts out coming away from one of the most heart wrenching tragedies in her life and finding herself dropped right in the middle of the strangest, yet most loving family she is ever known.

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A mixed race African-American woman, Beth is known for her striking green eyes and soothingly pleasant voice (authors note: they used to be hazel green but my editor decided that was too complicated so Beth’s eyes are now a striking shade of green as a hint to her upcoming secret to be revealed in Natural Rebirth) though she is not what some would consider a traditional beauty. Average height, she has a comfortably rounded body that she can sometimes be a little self-conscious about. Though not athletic by any means, Beth keeps herself healthy and finds physical comfort and self-care far more valuable to her physical and emotional well-being than getting all sweaty at some gym. She keeps her skin soft, her nails short but well-groomed, and her shoulder length curly hair in easy to maintain styles also more out of comfort than out of personal vanity.

“Yes, she had a nice voice.” Isha found her mind wandering. Yes, it had been a nice voice. Milky smooth, like rich caramel stirred slowly on a low flame. It reached you, making you want to listen, to beg her to talk. The words didn’t matter. It was a sound that could drown you, pulling you, with no desire to struggle, down into the depths of her.

No, there was no one like her in this place, no one with such skin. It was a velvety brown, the color of warm molasses. Her eyes were a deep green, but deep set and sad-looking. So very sad…

Beth grew up with her adoptive family the Crews, and while they were good people as a whole, her adoptive mother especially had her own ideas on how Beth should be living her life that were entirely different from how Beth wanted her life to be. Beth being an artist, living in the city, being a lesbian, even Beth becoming pregnant so that she and her lover Dusty could raise a baby together, these weren’t things that Mireille Crew particularly approved of. Though Mireille was often overbearing and rarely affectionate, she did manage to protect her daughter from the overt racism she might have faced otherwise growing up in Westport, Connecticut. Living in a mostly white town, however, left Beth feeling very disconnected from the black community when she finally moved away from her small-town into the city. The culture shock of moving from a small town to the city was nothing compared to moving to the farming homestead of the Archiquette’s after Dusty was killed, a self-sustaining, organic farm right outside of Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin.

Now before I get too far ahead of myself on what happens to Beth after she moves to the farm (to learn more about that you have to read Natural Order), let me tell you a little bit more about Beth. Though she never gave up on her love of art, to silence her pushy mother Beth did get a degree as a librarian which is a job she does come to find out she enjoys. It’s allowed her to make a decent living in Cicero, Illinois where she lives, and still have plenty of time for drawing and painting. It’s something from time to time she also teaches kids at the local community centers in the area, and even down in Chicago. Though her art is unfortunately something she loses for a time after Dusty’s death.

Beth is a beautiful person a lot of ways. She has big heart, filled with compassion for people as a whole regardless of whether or not she likes them personally. She is an incredibly loyal friend who will do just about anything for though she considers part of her family or her community. Though she likes people as a whole, Beth herself is a bit of introvert, finding a quiet evening at home reading a book or watching movies far more preferable to a night on the town. About the only thing she does like to do outside the house is clothing shopping, especially when I clothing is unique and handmade art. She is very fond of well-prepared food, though not a particularly competent cook. She does have a flair however when doing baked goods and decorating them, and has been known from time to time to make an absolute piece of art when decorating a cake for someone. Though she does come from , on the surface at any rate, a religious upbringing, Beth herself really doesn’t believe in any higher power or spirituality. That said, there is some deep part of Beth that is searching for something, even if she doesn’t know what that something is. Though she does not feel entirely fulfilled in her life, Beth is for the most part happy until March 15, 1993, when her life changes forever.

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