Thursday, February 14, 2013

"How I Met My Mr. (or Ms.) Darcy"

Earlier this month, I sent out a newsletter to everyone who was a subscriber, and in it was a contest question for an international giveaway (two random winners would each get a packet of gourmet Door County coffee, a bar of Ghirardelli chocolate and a Marilyn Brant t-shirt). That question from my Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match excerpt page (found in this passage here), garnered hundreds of responses, and almost everyone had the correct answer: Charlotte Lucas! The random generator chose the two winning names: My congrats to Susan Heim and Shawn Andree!! You should already have emails from me in your inbox!

But there's more... Because I was so blown away by the many replies, I randomly chose six additional entrants to win a digital copy of Holiday Man, which is a story that begins and ends on -- you guessed it -- Valentine's Day! Those winners have emails from me, too, and, between them, they live in at least three different countries!! Congrats to Lory Diocampo, Emily Tardy, Heta Shah, Karen Haas, Kai Wong and Catherine Lindley. I truly hope you'll all enjoy your prizes :).

There was also a general question that anyone who wanted to could answer: "How did you meet your soul mate (or your Mr./Ms. Darcy)?" And the replies were WONDERFUL! Below, I'm including passages from every person whose response I received... These tales of enduring love are so lovely and inspiring to me. I hope you all will enjoy reading them, too. And a Very Happy Valentine's Day to each and every one of you!!

"How I Met My Mr. (or Ms.) Darcy"

I met my soul mate at work--in fact, since it was company policy that couples couldn't work in the same department we had to ask our boss for permission to get married! ~Sue
For 25 years I had been a pen pal with a lady who was a cousin to a good friend of mine... I flew to New York for some business and came to Iowa to go to her son’s wedding. Well her ex-son-in-law wasn’t there, and the entire time I was here he was not around. On the way out of town she stopped by the street he happened to be working--he was welding in a hole--she introduced us and he gave me a kiss on the cheek. The next 8 months I flew back and forth, then on Jan 1st he came out to Calif, we went to Reno, got married and I moved back to Iowa. ~Peggy
I met my husband in high school--I was 15 and a Sophomore, he was 18 and a Senior at an FFA/FHA dance. We dated on and off for 18 years (go out a couple of times--didn't see each other for a couple of years--go out a couple of times--didn't see each other for a couple of years--etc., etc.--you get the idea) before we finally got together and got married. I was 33 and he was just shy of 37 when we married. That was over 17 years ago and we are still together. ~Amber
I met my husband of soon to be 39 years, when we were sophomores in high school. We didn't start dating until we were seniors. Since we graduated in the same year, class reunions are great! When we go in the door, he goes one way and I go the other. We end up meeting somewhere in the middle of the room. We've raised two children and I now watch our grandson daily. Life is good. ~Nancy
On my first day at my new school I watched the older boys playing baseball. When one particular boy came up to bat, I looked at my new friend and told her I’m going to marry him someday. Keep in mind I didn’t know his name and I had never seen him before in my life. She looked at me and shook her head. She told me he was her boyfriend and to forget about it. I just smiled, after all I was only 11 years old. Well, 6 years later I found myself walking down the aisle to the man of my dreams. (Yes, it was the same boy I watched playing baseball so long ago.) This year we will be happily married 40 years. Yes, there have been many highs and some lows, but so goes the roller coaster of life. I guess I knew what I was talking about after all when I was just 11 years old. Now, I think about that day, and I just smile. ~Debbie

As for my soul mate, not much to say. My husband made payments where I worked, so once I broke up with my boyfriend of 1.5 years (he found out through mutual friends), my husband immediately asked me out when he saw me walking in my hometown's downtown area. And the rest, as they say, is history. It's been almost 32 years now, and we love each other more all the time. ~Elaine
Drew and I were on the same rifle team in high school, but Drew was shy, jealous of me and I had a slight crush on him, so I had to ask him out first. Drew and I went on our first date to Six Flags as a "get-to-know-each-other-and-be-friends," but then one date lead to another and another. We've been together for over four years now and I'm engaged to most stubborn, over-protective, jealous man I can ever love. ~Heather

Met my husband at college. He was my friend's neighbor in her co-ed dorm freshman year. Dated after graduation. Married for 20 years and counting. Three boys. Living the suburban life. ~Denise

I met my husband on the internet. In a Nascar chat room. That was in 2000. This year will be 6 years married and 16 years together. We got married on our official anniversary. August 26, 2007 (we started dating officially August 26, 2000) The funny thing is if it weren't for him locking his laundry in the apartment laundry room the night before, I would not have met him, lmao. The website isn't even online anymore. So glad the room was locked lol. ~Tina

I met my soul mate when we were both in Junior High School, but at different schools. One day I was sitting next to a friend of mine in church when I noticed a new boy sitting on the other side of my friend. They were chatting and obviously knew each other, so I asked my friend who the new boy was. He introduced us. Little did I realize the new guy was to become my future husband. That didn't happen until after I had graduated from college, but it has been a great match. The boy who introduced me to my future husband was a groomsman at our wedding and we all remain close friends. ~Gladys
My husband and I met at a Battle of the Bands. Very boring. ~Kathleen
I had introduced my girlfriend, Mary, to one of my single male friends, and I asked her to return the favor. On February 12, 2000 I spoke to Brian for the first time. I had been burned before, so I was very cautious and we didn't even have our first date until March 17th, but we sure burned up the internet and the phone lines in those weeks in between. It turns out Mary was a great, great judge of what kind of guy would suit me, because it has been nearly 13 years now since I first met Brian, and we got married 5 years (to the day) after we first spoke, so our 8th wedding anniversary is coming up on February 12, 2013. We have so many different things in common in unusual places that we truly must have been destined to meet. ~Donna

I met my soul mate at church. I was suppose to meet another guy Assistant Pastor said would be there but he got cold feet and did not show. I was angry at the friend - Assistant Pastor. When in walked a couple I was friends with and wanted me to meet my husband of 33 years. They had been praying for him to find a wife. Also they had prayed for me to find a husband. Now here is the good part. Years before I had a dream of my wedding and the house and coming down stairs with wedding in back yard. I had never seen the house. But at the time I met my husband I was living in the house from the dream and he was the man in my dream. Now we had never met before this. He told me he had a dream too where God gave him a choice between the woman he was with and going nowhere in life or me. So we had our first date on Easter in 1979 and married in June 1979. We will celebrate 33 years in June. ~Jane

Believe it or not--I met my honey on the phone! I worked at a bank and  he worked at a S & L and had to call me every day as we were their correspondent bank! Fortunately, he fell for my "sexy" voice -- couldn't decide to hire me or date me--so hired me--then dated me and the rest is history! Ta Da! 28 years later and we are still soul mates! ~Kathy

Met my husband in 1951...in the Catskills in NY...which is where singles generally met (at a resort and not bars or internet). We were married many happy years and have children and grandchildren. Unfortunately he has passed away but left a wonderful legacy. ~M.K.

There he was--tall, blonde, hazel eyed and square jawed. It was evident he was smart. He had manners. Quite a discovery on the first day of high school! For the next four years we hung out in the same group, had the same all honors classes, and represented the school at various meetings and functions. We were friends--only friends. Then, as Senior year was ending, I told him he blew it and could have been dating me for 4 years. He said, "You're right--but if I get the chance again, I won't blow it." Two years and a broken engagement later, we started dating, and married 2 years later. Now, after 37 years of marriage, he's still the one, and always will be! ~Karen

My husband and I met on a blind date almost 28 years ago, set up by mutual friends who were dating at the time. It was a group date to go dancing at a local night club. We hit it off and started seeing each other immediately and have been together ever since. He actually was supposed to see someone else later that evening but gave in to his friend's request, even bringing me a white rose that he left in the car--he planned to give it to me at the end of the evening, only if things looked positive. Needless to say, I received the rose and he did not go to his other date that evening! ~Jennifer

Jeff and I had gone to school together with him being a year ahead of me when my family moved out of the area during my sophomore year. Fast forward 12 years and my roommate talked me into going to a local dating service with her. She paid to join but I couldn't afford it. My profile was so good that they offered me 6 free meets with guys. I had one I really liked but accidently threw his information out, so when I went back to the service to get my next pull. Jeff's name came up. I remembered him from school as a jokester and wasn't sure how to take him. We started semi-dating, with my roommate coming along for the first few as I built up a friendship with him, until he made mention that he didn't know who he was dating and I left roommy behind. Four months later he proposed and we were wed 6 months after that. We celebrated our 17th anniversary last year. We are still more friends than romantic lovers and I think that is how we have stood the test of time. Romantic love sometimes burns out during trying/stressful times in a marriage but friendship first stands the test of time. ~Carolyn

My partner of 27 year was my soul mate. She completed me. We encouraged each other to be the best possible. I always told her that she was my heart and so she was. We worked together in a computer assembly company. She was trying to get parts for her units and I was trying to get the same parts for my area. At first we became friends and after a year we found that many of our interests were the same. Several years after we got together, we decided to make sure all our personal wishes were taken care of. A power of attorney was filled out giving each other the ability to have a say what we wanted. This was the greatest gift we gave each other. She died four months ago and I was able to have a say in her final wishes. This was my gift to her. ~Pat

I met my husband (soul mate) 11 years ago. I was out with some friends and one of them invited along his friend. Later that night, I mentioned that I had to go bowling in the morning and his friend overheard me and told me that he had a friend who was single, Jewish, liked to bowl, and lived in the same Chicago suburb as me. I gave him my number and got a call not even 12 hours later. We connected up the next night and talked for three hours. On February 6th, he invited me to meet him at B&N for hot cocoa. As soon as I saw him, I felt an instant familiarity and knew he was the one. We've been married for almost NINE years and have three kids now. I still feel the same as I did when we first met! ~Melissa

I enjoyed reading the excerpt of your book! I also wanted to tell you that my wedding anniversary is on Valentine's Day!! I'll be married to my lifelong valentine 21 years and we call it our Valenersary!!* It's my favorite day of the year! ~Lauren

I met my soul mate, best friend and husband when I was in college. I had known his brother for a while, and I was not attracted to him because he was "too short and too much younger". I used to hang out with a group of guys in college. One of the guys asked who I would date out of the group if I had a choice. I said, "Mark," who is my husband's brother. Then, I had to tell Mark that then guy was obnoxious and I needed something to say, but I was not attracted to him due to him being "too short and too much younger." He said, "I have an older, taller brother". I met his older brother a few months later when he returned from overseas, and I have loved him ever since. ~Sandy

Randy and I met at the bank where I was working at that time. He and his friend, Chet were starting a part time business and needed to open a checking account for it... Chet said that as soon as he introduced Randy to me, he might have well have left! The three of us have laughed about that for years. Randy and I were both single parents, so it took a while to co-ordinate our "week-ends," so the first Friday night date we were able to arrange just happened to fall on Valentine's Day!!! It was magic! Dinner and dancing at The Governor's Inn! Very elegant! There were even flowers in our salads!!! Not that I'm a small town girl or anything, but while I was deciding what to choose from our 5 course menu, he sweetly explained that we got all of it, we didn't have to choose. LOL!!! We were married 4 months later! I know I've rambled on, but you're the writer expert, so you can decide how to edit it!!** Thanks for helping me remember this magic time! (It was 21 years ago!) ~Robin

Have not yet met my Mr. Darcy, but am hoping I will some day. ~Teresa

* Happy "Valenersary," Lauren! :)
**All of these stories were so great, Robin, I found I really didn’t have to edit very much!

Many thanks to EVERY ONE OF YOU for sharing, and may your Valentine's week be filled with joy!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New (Romantic) Book Trailer!

Yesterday, I got a wonderful surprise on Twitter when a really lovely reader named Heather posted a link to a book trailer she'd made for my newest novel!! It's only 36 seconds long, so if you have half a minute, please check it out!! Pride and Prejudice and the Perfect Match book trailer (and the song is "To Show You My Love" by Mike Schmid :).

Also, to celebrate the month of love, I've got a LOT of really romantic stories to share with you all, thanks to the fabulous messages many readers sent to me!! Can't wait to post these on the 14th!

Until then, I hope you have a very sweet week...

**If you want to learn to decorate lacy cookies like these, I found them on the Sweet Sugar Belle blog. Aren't they beautiful?!**