The Power of Love


My mom died when I was in my early 20s. She and my dad had been married for nearly 27 years. My father, who was young for a widower, was bereft. We all were, but while my brother and I had our lives ahead of us, my dad had lost his best friend, his partner and soulmate.  Never one to give up, about a year later, he started going to a support group for widows and widowers. Little did he know when he joined, that group would not only help him deal with his unspeakable grief, it would prepare him to love again and lead him to the next love of his life.

The woman who would eventually become his second wife (and I must add that I couldn’t have hand-picked a better stepmom) was in that same group. She’d recently lost her husband of decades and had turned to the “Rebounders” for help, too. It was so beautiful to watch two brokenhearted people become whole again and take a second chance at love. While neither could “replace” the other’s first spouse (or my natural mother or my step-siblings’ natural father), our families became whole again, too.

Their story of the healing power of love was the spark for my new book CELEBRATION’S FAMILY.  My hero, Dr. Liam Thayer, lost his wife in a tragic accident. While my heroine, Kate Macintyre had never married, she’d still experienced more than her share of personal loss. Just when it seemed like life was at its darkest, they met and love lit the way to a brighter future together.

Just to be clear, my stepmom never goaded my dad into participating in a bachelor auction as Kate persuades Liam (Thank God! I must admit I probably wouldn’t have been as gung-ho about the idea as Liam’s little daughters are in the book. Come on, guys, this is my dad were talking about!).   But the healing power of love is at the heart of both CELEBRATION’S FAMILY and my parents’ story.  I hope it’s something we can all count on in our darkest hour.

Do you have your own “power of love” story? Or can you think of a movie or book that celebrates healing love? Or just tell me what you think of how they depicted Liam on the cover. Isn’t he gorgeous?! I’ll give away a copy of CELEBRATION’S FAMILY to TWO people who comment.


RT Book Reviews gave CELEBRATION’S FAMILY  4 stars and said, “Thompson’s broken, heartwarming couple are engrossing as they find love after tragedy in this terrific installment in the Celebrations miniseries. Supporting characters like the chocolitier /matchmaker will charm, and the doctor’s twin girls add the perfect “aww!” factor.”

Celebration's Family (2)

33 thoughts on “The Power of Love

  1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

    Oh, this sounds like such a wonderful story, Nancy. I’m thrilled when characters get a second chance to love again. The resilience of the human heart is a miracle indeed.

    1. Nancy Robards Thompson Nancy Robards Thompson says:

      Thanks, Mia!

  2. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

    Oh, that’s a great story! I think my grandparents, who have been married 70 years, really show the power of love. It can not have been easy to stick it out all these years.

    1. Nancy Robards Thompson Nancy Robards Thompson says:

      70 years, Shana? That’s inspiring. Here’s wishing them many more.

  3. girlygirlhoosier52 says:

    I always love reading about characters finding love again.

    1. Nancy Robards Thompson Nancy Robards Thompson says:

      I do, too, Girlygirl. It’s one of my favorites.

  4. Kristan Higgins Kristan Higgins says:

    Nancy, I can’t wait to read this book! I think your dad was so brave (as was your stepmom) to try to find love again. I like how you phrased it… the next love of his life. Beautiful. I’ve written a couple stories involving that kind of loss, too… One of my favorite movies was The Upside of Anger, which involved that theme. It also had Kevin Costner in it, which is always a good thing. : )

    1. Nancy Robards Thompson Nancy Robards Thompson says:

      Kristan, I haven’t seen The Upside of Anger, but it’s on my list now. Thanks for recommending it and thanks for the kind words about my sweet dad.

  5. Jackie Lewis says:

    I love harlequin book’s. This sounds like a wonderful book

    1. Nancy Robards Thompson Nancy Robards Thompson says:

      Jackie, thanks so much! 🙂

  6. Sue Gorman says:

    I really enjoy the movie The Notebook with James Gardner and Gena Rowlands. I cry each time I watch it. It’s fabulous!
    I will read your book and I think the cover is great!

    1. Lisa Hutson says:

      Me too Sue!

    2. Nancy Robards Thompson Nancy Robards Thompson says:

      Sue, The Notebook is another great movie! Please let me know what you think of CELEBRATION’S FAMILY.

  7. What a beautiful story, Nancy! I bet your mom would be profoundly grateful to your stepmom for helping to keep your dad’s life filled with love and family, when she no longer could.

    1. Nancy Robards Thompson Nancy Robards Thompson says:

      Kathleen, that’s such a wonderful way to look at it. My mom would be grateful. That’s exactly the kind of person she was.

  8. Rochelle says:

    Oh my goodness. I love that your Dad had another chance at love, and that your Stepmom is so good. I’m with Kristan on the movie The Upside of Anger. That movie is heartbreaking yet very touching at the end.

    Nice job on the cover!

    1. Nancy Robards Thompson Nancy Robards Thompson says:

      With two thumbs up – or is it four…you and Kristan – I’ll
      definitely check out The Upside of Anger. Thanks so
      much for the recommendation, Rochelle.

  9. Lisa Hutson says:

    My wonderful mother in law. When my fil died some 18 years ago, we all prepared for her to just sit and wait to die. But, oh no, absolutely not.
    She sold their house and found her own place. Her own friends. Her own life. Not long after his passing, she had cataract surgery that went badly. She wound up permanently and totally blind in one eye. Again, we thought that was it. Nope. She figured it out. Learned how to first walk and off she went. Learning to drive and do everything else.
    Then she found Paul. As quick as a snap, they were together. We checked him out. Sure this could not be right. There was a trick to it. Something wrong. But nope, now, they have been totally together for nearly 8 years. They are darling. They are next to each other all the time. They whisper and giggle and look after each other. They are the cutest couple.
    So I love the sound of your story. It really does happen.

    1. Nancy Robards Thompson Nancy Robards Thompson says:

      Oh, Lisa! I love your mother-in-law’s story. What a brave, passionate spirit. I’m so glad she and Paul found each other. I’m wishing them many happy years together.

  10. jcp says:

    Somewhere in Time for a movie that embraces second chances.

    1. Nancy Robards Thompson Nancy Robards Thompson says:

      That’s a great one, JCP!

  11. Laurie W G says:

    My F-I-L lost his wife of over 50 years when he was 75 yo. He was very lonely and wouldn’t eat. With encouragement he joined a widower’s church group and tried on-line dating . After many dates which were unsuccessful, he finally found a companion. They have now been together for 6 years.

    My neighbor old neighbor in Florida remarried at the age of 85. He had 12 years with his lovely second wife. She passed a way about a month after he died.

    Book Debbie Macomber’s NOVEMBER OF MY HEART.

    1. Nancy Robards Thompson Nancy Robards Thompson says:

      Two very sweet storied, Laurie! Thanks for
      sharing, and thanks for recommending Debbie’s book. It’s a good one. 🙂

  12. Vanessa Kelly Vanessa Kelly says:

    What a wonderful story, Nancy! The human heart is such a mystery, but also capable of holding so much love and healing – and thank God for that, or it would be a very tough world to live in! Congrats on the new release!

    1. Nancy Robards Thompson Nancy Robards Thompson says:

      Hear, hear, Vanessa! Thank you for the good words on the new book. 🙂

  13. Virginia says:

    You book sound fantastic. I think my mother and father in law showed to power of love. They were married for fifty years. My father in law past away about two years ago at the age of 87. I think just spending your life with someone for fifty years shows the power of love.

    1. Nancy Robards Thompson Nancy Robards Thompson says:

      Virginia, your mother- and father-in-laws’ marriage is such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Cindy Kirk Cindy Kirk says:

    Love the post, Nancy. And the book sounds wonderful!

    1. Nancy Robards Thompson Nancy Robards Thompson says:

      Thank you, Cindy!

  15. Marcy Shuler says:

    My maternal grandmother died when I was 9 months old. My grandfather remarried a widow friend a year later, so she was my grandmother. She had grown kids and grandchildren of her own but we never knew any less than love.
    One Sunday when we were visiting, my younger sister and I were cuddling with her during church and apparently a woman commented, “Well, you sure can tell whose grandkids those are.” 🙂 Yep. That was my Grandma. (My mom told me the story since I was too young to catch the nuance in the woman’s voice.)

  16. Azacia says:

    I’ve been reading The Cupcake Lovers series by Beth Ciotta, and in the series one the of the leading men, Sam, is a young widowed father with 2 children. He lost the love of his life to cancer when his kids were still small. It’s been two years and now the author has added a high energy girl from LA who couldn’t be more different than the small town laid back Sam, but their chemistry just ignites and she might be just what he needs! I love stories like this with second chance love. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss in your family. I can’t even imagine how devastating that must have been. I’m glad your father and step mom were able to have a second chance love. It’s the people we are surrounded with in life that make everything worth living.

  17. Crystal Broyles says:

    I knew a couple who had been seperated by a misunderstanding when they were young and then were reunited 30 years later after their daughter helped them to reconnect.

  18. Donna says:

    I know a true story of second love. A friend lost his wife to cancer — his boys were grown (well, young men), He met a lady who had never been married, and they’ve now celebrated probably 10 years together, and have adopted a daughter!
    I love stories of 2nd chances at love — especially when the families are also in favor and come together so well.

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