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Loooooove!

‘Tis February — the month of Valentine’s Day! So I thought I’d share a few things I love. Because, er, the world needs more love, yeah?

First, even though I’m a little behind on newfangled music, I stumbled over this song from a country-western singer (!) that I loved. It has an odd sci-fi quality to it I thought. Plus…love. Apparently the heroine in the video is also the singer’s wife. How delightful is that?

Second of the things I love… I finished a book! The first of 2017. 🙂 Man, I LOVE the feeling of finishing a book. It’s a new title from one of my pen names, Jenna Dales, who has been sadly languishing on a far back burner while I cavort with my other pen name, Elsa Jade. I’m tempted to pit them against each other in a Thunderdome-style write-off. But that wouldn’t be very loving, would it? So in the interests of fairness, sisterhood, and romance, Jenna Dales’ story is off to New York and while we wait to hear back, Elsa Jade is going to write the next story. Wish me lucky in love, and we shall see whom readers love more!

And thirdly, for a touch of real-life romance… Here are my two best beloveds, both of them smiling.

smile

Happy almost Valentine’s Day!

A Second Chance at Love

castle-jim-maggie2My husband and I had both been married before, he for 15 years and me for 12. Consequently, neither of us were anxious to dash quickly into a relationship, and we lived 300 miles apart when we met.

Within a month of  exchanging several emails every week,  I had shared more of my past, my dreams and passions, and what I saw as my future than I had in 12 years of my previous marriage.

You know there IS something freeing about not looking at a person when sharing those kinds of thoughts for the first time. There is also a feeling of safety because either one of us could have quietly slipped away without all the messiness of actually seeing each other and formally breaking up.

Our first date included me camping in a state park near his home and him meeting me for day hiking and, of course, the all-important first kiss. It was right after we stopped along a stream for lunch. He was very smooth and the kiss was a doozy—including that feeling of dizzy giddiness.

The next four to five dates happened over several months.  I was working full time at a university for 50+ hours per week. He was a writer and editor for Time Life Books. Our dates were a weekend commitment. We would trade off driving the distance. He to my house for one weekend, and then me to his.

When did I know he was the one? Probably by the third date. Three months after that first date we took a vacation together…. one that  included a family reunion. A test, of sorts. He passed with flying colors! It was after that vacation we decided we would marry.

Because we both have Scottish and Irish in our ancestry, we chose to get married in a castle in Dunoon. As of this post, we are coming up on our 15th anniversary in May.HEA_heart_blue

I’ve challenged him to make it to our 50th anniversary. We would both be over 100 years old by then, but I think it’s possible. Most importantly, I know we will grow old together and cherish every moment we have.

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Maggie Lynch has never missed a chance to learn something new. With degrees in psychology, counseling, computer science, and education she has had opportunities that have taken her around the world, including Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. Her current publishing credits include five non-fiction books, a number of science fiction short stories, and seven novels.

Now able to spend full time journeying into her imagination, Maggie writes romance and science fiction under the name Maggie Jaimeson, and young adult fantasy under the name Maggie Faire. Her non-fiction is written under Maggie McVay Lynch.

Real-life “Meet Cutes” would never pass in fiction

Photo via Death to the Stock Photo

Photo via Death to the Stock Photo

I sorta met my wife many, many times before our first date.

For years, we had lunch in the same office building food court, but didn’t meet there.

Another place we didn’t meet was my first-ever writing conference: Romance Writers of America National. I was one of seven men among eighteen hundred women. My un-met wife was advised to attend a session highlighting my first press, at which I read a sex scene from my yet unreleased first novel to a room full of women. (Gack!) She missed the session, but bought the tape recording and thought, “Wow! There’s a brave guy,” and tossed it in a drawer. I also bought a copy of my first-ever talk as an author, but never had the nerve to listen to it.

This led her to take a class back in our mutual home state. I guest lectured at her class (I was TA in another section of it). Nope, though I certainly noticed her—for me, since the first moment, she was always the standout in any crowd. Then the classes had a combined graduation party, but I was too shy to speak to her. Still nope. Then I was an assistant at a weekend workshop she did, but she was told I had a girlfriend (by someone who was interested in me, but it wasn’t mutual) and she was a mom (so I thought “off limits” because I didn’t get she was a single mom). After that miss, she went to a lot of trouble to get to my book launch, but I “knew” she was “taken” so I only sighed quietly to myself.

Still neither of us “got it.”

The light bulb finally went on when, in total disgust with dating in general, I placed an

Photos courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo

Photos courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo

ad in a local personals column as a declaration to the universe at large that I was giving up on having any control of what was happening. In turn, her friends forced her to go on one more date before settling into single mom-hood. She picked up the paper and there was my ad. And she thought “I know this guy” and answered. I got the letter and was beyond ecstatic. We met for cocoa a few days later and have been together nearly two decades since. That mug of cocoa is still where we count from. (We still have both copies of the tape—neither of us has ever listened to it again.)

And no way could I make that work in a romance novel as the “Meet Cute.” Nope.

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M. L. Buchman has over 30 novels in print. His military romantic suspense books have been named Barnes & Noble and NPR “Top 5 Romance of the Year” and Booklist “Top 10 Romance of the Year.” He has been nominated for the Reviewer’s Choice Award for “Top 10 Romantic Suspense of 2014” by RT Book Reviews. In addition to romance, he also writes thrillers, fantasy, and science fiction.

In among his career as a corporate project manager he has: rebuilt and single-handed a fifty-foot sailboat, both flown and jumped out of airplanes, designed and built two houses, and bicycled solo around the world. He is now making his living as a full-time writer on the Oregon Coast with his beloved wife. He is constantly amazed at what you can do with a degree in Geophysics. You may keep up with his writing by subscribing to his newsletter at www.mlbuchman.com.

Importing a Scotsman

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo

It’s our running couple joke, our cheeky explanation when people ask how my Scottish husband and I met. I tell people I found my husband online and imported him from Scotland. Luckily, only one guy at a party actually believed me. The truth is we met online, then in person, and then decided to tackle the long, complicated, expensive, and heart-wrenching international marriage visa process.

Did I mention the visa process is long? We waited almost a year for US Citizenship and Immigration Services to approve our K1 Fiancé Visa application so that we could marry. During that time Hubby had to return to Scotland for several months to complete the visa process. At one point, during one of our frequent, only-makes-me-miss-you-more phone conversations, he called the whole thing soul-destroying—the wait, the fees, the paperwork, the forms and more waiting. It was a rare moment of hyperbole for my normally stoic Scotsman, but it perfectly echoed my own fears, frustration, and impatience.

Now, soon to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary, I’m far enough away from that year of waiting to see it as a kind of gift. It forced us into teamwork mode as we collected paperwork and documents, and made travel and wedding plans, while living thousands of miles apart. It challenged our bond and commitment. I remember thinking that if we made it through the visa process, everything else would be smooth sailing. Yep, you’re right—that hasn’t proven true. We’ve been through a lot worse than jumping through bureaucratic hoops in the last few years, but I’m willing to concede that those months of waiting, of focusing together on the objective of being together, made us stronger. Now, when challenges come, we know we’ll make it through.

Christy Carlyle writes sensual, and sometimes downright steamy, historical romance, usually set in the Victorian era or Regency period. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines that are ahead of their time. A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there is nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with her die-hard belief in happy endings.

http://www.christycarlyle.com

Scandalous Wager Wanton Wager

 

LOVE AT FIRST SITE? NONSENSE

Image via Death to the Stock Photo

Image via Death to the Stock Photo

Though a hopeless romantic since I started reading Barbara Cartland’s Regencies at the tender age of thirteen, I didn’t believe in love at first site.

Oh, the notion worked in romance novels but real life? Not so much.

My sister convinced me to go on a blind date with a guy she knew. He was the cousin of her boyfriend’s best friend’s girlfriend.

Got that? I’ll wait while you read it again.

Anyhow, the date wasn’t a disaster except for him having to push my rear-end into his truck that had a gargantuan lift kit on it. I was in a dress and heels. Not a sexy or graceful way to begin a first date.

As I write this, I realize it was exactly thirty-three years ago today, January seventeenth, that he asked me to marry him, a whopping two and half weeks after we met. He hid my engagement ring in a box of McDonald Land cookies.

I thought it was a fake ring like a Cracker Jack prize.

Really.

I call hubby my red-neck rogue, because the first bouquet he ever gave me was a handful of pheasant tail feathers, and his compliments, though well-meaning, often miss their mark.

For instance, “I like your stench,” and “You’re not that fat for a woman your age,” are two actual examples of his less than poetic praise.

Still, we’ll celebrate thirty-two years of marriage in April, so perhaps there is HEA_heart_bluesomething to that love at first sight nonsense after all.

Author Bio:

Award winning, bestselling historical author, Collette Cameron admits to a quirky sense of humor, loves trivia, flowers, inspirational quotes, anything cobalt blue, Cadbury Milk Chocolate, and makes her home in Oregon with her husband and five mini-dachshunds. Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.

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