Nancy Robards Thompson
Nancy Robards Thompson

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Jaunty Guests, Jaunty Post, Love

Schliesman--Cover

 

Love At First Sight

My senior year in high school, I worked afternoons and Saturday mornings as a teller at a local bank.  It was a portable building, the kind frequently used to add extra space to an overcrowded school, and it had a walk-in lobby and three drive-thru lanes.  I was working the lobby one afternoon when a man I’d never seen before walked in.  He went to the opposite counter and filled out a banking slip before approaching my window.

 IMG_0287 (1)He was tall, with curly brown hair and the bluest eyes I have ever seen.  He hands me his deposit slip and asks if I can verify the account number because he just had his eyes dilated and he isn’t sure he wrote it correctly.  I recite the account number, then glance to the name, Tim Schliesman.  There’s something familiar about the name, but I can’t quite place it.  The deposit slip also had a place for the address, which he’d filled in.  My heart is doing one of those beat-skip-beat-skip rhythms that made me wonder if I’m actually breathing or not.

 Me: “You live at 31 Huck Finn Drive?  We’re moving to 21 Huck Finn Drive.  We’re going to be neighbors!”

 Him:  “Okay.”

 His lack of enthusiasm doesn’t lessen mine.  But seriously, he could have cared less about anything I was saying.  I finish the transaction and send him on his way, watching his Levi clad butt walking toward the door.  He even looks good from behind!

 As soon as the building is empty, I wave the deposit slip at my co-workers. “Okay, who knows this guy?”  Everyone is shaking their heads.  It’s time for Plan B.  I call the main bank and ask them to pull his information card.  Mainly, I want to know his age.  I find out he’s three years older than me, which means he should be in my freshman yearbook.

 Cue the Mission Impossible music!  I spend the night searching through multiple yearbooks, trying to find him.  No luck.  I did, however, locate two other guys with the same last name.  They are younger than me so I’m guessing they’re his brothers.  At this point, there’s really nothing else I can do.  We’ll be moving in two weeks, so I wait it out.

 Our new house is directly across the street from his.  He spends a lot of time doing yardwork and I spend an equal amount of time watching him.  Then I get this brilliant idea to work in the yard, too!  I pull out some spandex bike shorts and a sports bra and go in search of the lawnmower.  Luckily, we have a brand new one.  I take off across the yard, mowing an uneven path while waiting for him to notice me.  When he finally looks up, I wave and smile.  Unfortunately, steering the mower with one hand causes me to hit the culvert under our driveway.  The mower makes a horrible screeching sound and smoke rolls from the motor.  I’ve just ruined a $300 lawnmower.  Ooops!

 No more yardwork for me.

 By now, the senior prom is approaching and I want *someone* to be my date.  Except, he’s never shown any interest in me and I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong.  I’m completely and totally in love with this guy.  Can’t eat, can’t sleep, in love.  Instead of going to prom, a group of friends go to dinner and then head to the Holiday Inn for a party.  We walk through the front door and guess who is standing behind the desk?  Yep, it’s him.  He works as a night auditor and I just know he’s going to tell my parents.

 He doesn’t.  But my brother is friends with his brothers and he spends hours over at their house.  He usually comes home and says, “Tim doesn’t know you’re alive!”

 By now, four months have passed and it doesn’t seem to matter how many hours I spend watching him from our living room windows.  I have to accept the fact that he obviously doesn’t like me and certainly doesn’t want to date me.  I have to give up on him.

 I’ll never forget that day.  I pulled into our driveway after running some errands and he was outside using the weed eater.  I didn’t bother to wave, I just went inside.  Then I found my favorite window and watched him one last time.  I had to give up on love because, obviously, men were stupid.

 Ten minutes later, my doorbell rang.  When I answered, guess who was standing on the other side?  Yep, it was him.  All sweaty, covered in grass and looking nervous.

 “Hi.”

 “Hi.”  I answer.

 “I’m wondering if maybe you’d like to go out for dinner or a movie sometime?”  he asks.

 It was honestly the last thing I expected him to say, and it took me several seconds to respond. “Sure, I’d love to.”

 That was the beginning of a courtship that lasted two years before we married.  I like to say, “It was love at first sight…for one of us.”

 My hubby always responds, “I was blinded by your beauty.”

 Don’t you just love a happy ending?

 

Jan Schliesman--headshotI’m giving away an autographed copy of Protecting His Brother’s Bride to a North American reader.  Here’s your question:  What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love?  Leave an answer in the comments section by noon on Saturday.  Winners will be notified Sunday on the Jaunty Quills blog so be sure to check back.

For more information on Protecting His Brother’s Bride, please check out the following links:

Author FB page http://bit.ly/JanOnFB

Friend you on FB = http://bit.ly/ChatWithJan

Harlequin Excerpt = http://bit.ly/Jan-Protect-Excerpt

On Sale at Harlequin = http://bit.ly/Jan-Protect-HQ

Kindle = http://bit.ly/Jan-ProtectKindle

Nook = http://bit.ly/Jan-Protect-Nook

Goodreads = http://bit.ly/JanOnGReads


Beauty and the Cowboy - 1-SummerFair_BeautyAndTheCowboy_Round2Medium-672x1024

Friday is release day for my first Montana Born book, BEAUTY AND THE COWBOY! It’s the first book in Tule Publishing Group’s Big Marietta Fair series.

A couple of weeks ago, I told you about some of my summer memories that inspired the feel of the book. Today, I want to talk about the music that helped keep me in the zone as I wrote this story.

Every book I write has a soundtrack, but the one for BEAUTY AND THE COWBOY is extra fun.  Every song on the list lends itself to the feel of this friends-to-lovers story. 

Here’s the playlist:

Goodbye in Her Eyes – Zac Brown Band

Mama’s Broken Heart – Miranda Lambert

I Hope it Rains – Jana Kramer

Springsteen – Eric Church

Sure Would be Cool if You Did – Blake Shelton

Night Train – Jason Aldean

My Eyes – Blake Shelton

I’m On Fire – Bruce Springsteen

I Want Crazy – Hunter Hayes

Chicken Fried – Zac Brown Band

 

Goodbye in Her Eyes fits so well, because as the story opens, Charlotte Morgan, or Charlie, as those closest to her call her, is about to get engaged to the man she’s dated for six years. The only problem is, she has a sinking feeling that this isn’t the happily ever after she’s always dreamed of. The two have dated long distance for a lot of the time they’ve been together and now that they’re about to take the first step toward making the relationship permanent, the ring pinches. Charlie just can’t bring herself to pretend it’s okay. How can she when all she wants to do is get that darned marquise off her finger?

Without giving away too much of the story, the next two songs on the playlist Mama’s Broken Heart and I Hope it Rains give a good hint to what happens next. Thank goodness her lifelong friend, Jesse Guthrie, is there to help her pick up the pieces. 

Jesse has had a thing for Charlie for as far back as he can remember, but one of the two of them has always been otherwise engaged…until now. That would account for the next six songs on the list. Give them a listen. They’ll give you a hint as to what happens next. 

And then there’s Chicken Fried by the Zac Brown Band. That song is just pure fun and gets stuck in my head. So, I had to include it. Plus, I imagined it playing somewhere in the background as the friends who are edging closer to something more enjoy the Big Marietta Fair.

 

The fabulous folks at Tule Publishing put together a collection of videos for each of the songs. Here’s a link: BEAUTY AND THE COWBOY video playlist  

After you click on the first one, the rest play automatically.

 One song I wish I would’ve added to the list is Rick Springfield’s Jesse’s Girl. Let’s consider it a bonus track. 

What’s your favorite song on the playlist? Or if you’d rather, tell me your favorite song that’s not on the list. One person who posts will win a Kindle copy of BEAUTY AND THE COWBOY. I’ll post the winner’s name on Sunday.


hattie-maeWhen I was fourteen years old I was moaning the fact that I would never have a boy friend.  It seemed that every time I liked a boy he liked another girl.  I was destined to be an old maid. 

My mom laughed and sat on my bed and shared a story of what she called her first love, her lost love.  I listened as she told me how before she’d met my dad the small Cajun man with laughing eyes and black wavy hair, she had loved a tall blond man that could sing like a professional and when they danced she felt like her feet never touched the floor.  They dated under the watchful eyes of my grandmother for almost a year. 

My mom was not allowed to go on a date without her mother accompanying them.  But it became too much for my mom’s man she loved with all her heart.  He asked permission to take her on an afternoon drive, just the two of them.  His request was denied.  His pride and I guess his honor was questioned.  He told mom that he couldn’t do this anymore and that if he wasn’t trusted now he probably never would be so he walked away, saying he would not return but for her to know that he loved her and would never love another.

Broken hearted she moved to New Orleans to live with an Aunt, where she later met my dad, and after a long while they married.   Years went by and I was born, and when my grandmother came to help she told my mom that her first love had returned shortly after mom moved to New Orleans, but my grandmother refused to tell him where she’d gone.

Years later she sat next to my dad in the hospital when she heard a familiar voice.  She knew without looking up it was him but there he stood in his dress blues,  he was now a service man.  She said she so wanted to talk to him and have closure, but just then she and my dad were called into the doctors office.  He never saw her.

CoverFinalLG-SnowOnMagnolias1My dad died at the age of fifty-five and my mother came to live with us, many an afternoon she and I would sit on my front porch and she would recount her past, and the stories would almost always turn back to him.  She wondered if he’d ever married, if he knew she thought of him? My mom and I decided to look for him, and that we did for years, but every lead turned into a dead end.  She died at the age of eighty-four, without closure between she and her first love. But before she died she did find out from her brother, that he had run into the man ten years before and that he’d never married. He told my mom’s brother, the good one had gotten away.

So when I wrote the second book in my Bon Amie Series, SNOW ON MAGNOLIAS, a secondary romance story was born about a young girl and a young soldier, it is one of my favorite parts of this book.  Maybe because in my own way I am still trying to give my mom closure.

Have you ever written any personal stories into your books? As a reader do you enjoy knowing the behind the scenes info on the books you read? 

Oh by the way that fourteen year old drama queen, did not end up an old maid, I’ve been very happily married to my best friend for 52 years.

Award-winning author, Hattie Mae was born and bred southern, cutting her teeth on cornbread and greens and running barefoot through the canals of her small Louisiana town. So when it came to writing, there was no question as to where to set her books. She’s now writing her fourth book set in Bon Amie, a busy little town nestled in the heart of Cajun country. She’s also published a short story in The Cup Of Comfort For Teachers. The love of books and writing runs in her family, Hattie’s daughter is award-winning historical romance author, Robyn DeHart. When not writing you can usually find her playing with her grandchildren or cooking up some healthy versions of tasty southern fare. She lives in central Texas with her husband and one crazy cat. You can find her online on Facebook, Twitter or via email.


Katherine Garbera
Katherine Garbera

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Categories:
Katherine Garbera, Love, Our Books

 

Bound By A Child Front Cover

Allan McKinney here.  You know–the hero in Kathy’s latest release BOUND BY A CHILD.  :)

I’m in desperate need of some help.  Seriously, it’s Valentine’s Day on Friday and I need a gift that will knock Jessi’s socks off.  I think you should know that she finds big romantic gestures too grand and always says I’m showing off if I offer to fly her to Paris.  

I know I need more than red roses and expensive chocolates.  I got some help last week on Twitter and have booked us a nice spa weekend.  But I still need a gift.  

What’s the best Valentine’s Day gift/surprise you ever received?  What’s the worst so I know what to avoid?

Kathy will be giving away an electronic copy of Bound By A Child to three randomly chosen blog participants today.  Please, help me.  Jessi will never let me live it down if I screw up our first Valentine’s Day together. 


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.

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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)


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