Romance is . . . more than a day.

I’m going to say something fairly outrageous here. Are you ready?

My wedding day was not the most romantic day of my life.

I bet lots of you feel the same way, especially if your wedding involved months of planning, a fancy dress, lots of people invited, and family.

When I think about my wedding day, I remember a lot of running behind as we were getting ready. I remember tons of people in my house, my parents being anxious, my father forgetting to get gas in the van that was meant to transport the bridesmaids and me to the church (and then sending out my cousin to gas it up and the subsequent misplacement of Daddy’s credit card). I remember being worried about my cousin who had just had a baby by caesarian section ten days before. I remember finding out we were SUPER late to start the ceremony. I remember they misspelled the word CONGRATULATIONS on the sign at the reception. I remember that my new husband lost his glasses at the park where we went to have pictures taken.

I don’t remember gazing fondly at my groom. I don’t remember seeing his face when he first spotted me in my gown. I don’t remember our first dance or the toasts or speeches or anything else.

(Later, my father would admit that he was getting misty-eyed as he began to walk me down the aisle, remembering that he had carried me down this same aisle the day I was christened. Apparently, I merely looked at him and said, “Remember to start with the right foot.” Yeah, that sounds like me.)

No, I don’t remember that day as particularly romantic.

But no worries–I’ve had lots of romantic days since. Are you ready?

On our third anniversary, my husband was on field training exercises about half an hour from where we lived on Wheeler Air Force Base. That meant he was out in the field all week, and we’d be apart for our anniversary. Imagine my surprise when on the big day, he showed up at the back door around dinner time. Turned out he’d driven a tent peg through his hand and had to come back to post to get stitches, and while he was there, he’d gotten permission to stop to eat with me. I remember our romantic dinner (I have NO idea what I made) with the baby asleep in the other room and Clint’s driver sitting outside in the truck.

I remember eating dinner with my mom on our 19th anniversary. My dad was in the hospital, not doing well–he’d pass away three days later. My mother was understandably sad and alone and worried about my dad, so we invited her to join us that night. My husband was always close to my mother; having her at our romantic dinner didn’t faze him at all.

On our 23rd anniversary, my husband drove the kids and me and our best friends to Georgia so we could be at our other friend’s 40th birthday party. We drove through the night, through some really scary parts of Georgia. Not exactly roses and champagne, but we made memories!

On our 24th anniversary, about two weeks before our oldest daughter’s wedding, we went to Savannah and St. Augustine. It was crazy to take a trip like that so close to her big day, but we had so much fun . . .

And on our 31st anniversary, my husband said good-bye to me as I drove to Cinncinati to be part of Lori Foster’s Reader and Author Get Together. I spent that day with my friend Violet Howe, driving, but it was still romantic, because my sweetheart supports my career, 100%. He didn’t even blink that I was leaving him that day–I knew he had my back.

Romance isn’t just a day. If you’re counting on your wedding day to be the epitome of romance . . . you’re liable to be disappointed. But if your focus is on the life you’re creating instead of putting pressure on one 24 hour period . . . you just might find romance is in the most unexpected places.

A Christmas Wedding. . .A Sweet Happily Ever After!

I Choose You

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I CHOOSE YOU 

is live now on all venues.

I Choose YouThe path of true love was a bumpy one for Ava and Liam. He was her best friend’s ex-boyfriend, son of a local politician and the campus playboy. She was a hard-working, single-minded scholarship student with no time for romance. They were the couple least likely to succeed. 

But almost two years later, love is better than ever. Liam’s pursuing his dream of being a college professor, and Ava’s the rising star at a local ad agency. But Liam still has one more goal: marrying the girl who changed his life.

Neither of them realizes that making it to the big day might be their greatest challenge yet. Between his parents’ acrimonious divorce and her family’s ideas of how to plan the perfect wedding, it’ll take the strength of their love—and a little help from their friends–to see them through to happily-ever-after.

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Don’t forget. . .

the first book in the Perfect Dish Novels

Best Served Cold

is FREE right now.

And the second book

Just Desserts

is available at all retailers.

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#Tuesday Tunes

MUSIC is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your

horn. They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.

Charlie Parker

 

I love the quotation above because it is so true. Music is one of those transcending experiences for me. When I’m sad or mad or frustrated or stuck, music makes the difference. It can change a day, tell me what happens next in a story, or give me hope.

door-ornament-1002563In every book I’ve written, there’s been a playlist that inspires me and/or relates to the characters. The King Series tended toward angsty songs, because let’s face it, teenagers often bathe in angst. The most pivotal song was Come Back Down by Lifehouse, which told me what was going to happen in Restlesswhich is arguably the most controversial of the four books. (I still get reviews of people yelling at poor Tasmyn.) That song was one hundred percent what Michael was feeling, what he was going through. Finding that song changed how I looked at music with my books.

The Posse had a play list of all ’80’s songs, because those are what Jude listened to. They defined her generation and her character. In Best Served Cold, all the music was revenge-oriented. Just Desserts was 100% Frank Sinatra music, since he was Ava’s favorite artist. And in The One Trilogy, it’s country music, all the way.

What’s exciting about the book I’m writing now–I Choose You–is that it’s all wedding music. All the best marriage-centric tunes! I’m having a blast listening to it while I write.

I’d love to know what wedding/marriage/proposal song is your favorite.