Shannon here: I’m so excited to host my long time friend, Dawn Ford as a published author. Today she shares her husband’s surprise vow renewal ceremony plus a chance to win her Young Adult Contemporary Romance, Knee-High Lies. The book isn’t inspirational, and would be considered edgy, though a clean romance for teens. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: July 29th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Dawn:
Because I got pregnant before hubby and I got married, there had been no proposal, the marriage ceremony was rushed, and I had to wear a hand-me-down dress from my husband’s sister. My heart’s desire was to have a do-over. Plan the wedding of my dreams for my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. So, after our twenty-fourth wedding anniversary I appealed to my three sons and two nieces that I wanted something big to celebrate our silver anniversary, and I wanted them to be a big part of it.
Though my husband was skeptical of pulling off my dream wedding, he wasn’t completely opposed to the idea. However, since he had recently formed his own food service business, money was tight, and time was often tighter. As the months passed by, my husband expressed to me he wasn’t sure my grand idea would become a reality. We didn’t think we could afford it, and I should think smaller. So I told him a special dinner with the family and some family photos were all I needed. But deep down I was disappointed.
The week before our anniversary, my husband surprised me with a special dress for the photos. He was apologetic that he was going to have to work extra in the days before and the day of our anniversary for some big event he had to cater, and this was his way of making it up to me. My best friend and I went shopping for shoes to go with the dress, and some clothes to wear for the dinner we would have after the photo shoot with the kids.
The afternoon of our anniversary I was dressed and ready to go when my niece picked me up. Since my husband had been busy catering, she was going to take me to where her childhood friend and photographer was holding the photo shoot. However, we had to go out of the way to our farm north of town because one of my sons had left his phone there earlier and needed it brought to him.
I should’ve known when my niece kept driving slower and slower that something was up, however I was just excited that we were going to actually do something special, so I didn’t question anything.
Less than a mile from the farm I saw a sign along the rock road that read: Free Proposal. There, my hubby, my kids, and the photographer awaited me. Surrounded by tall cornstalks my husband proposed to me.
At the farm, our family and friends waited for us in chairs lining my flower garden. In the flower garden my husband, with help of family, had constructed an arch made of books. Lights were strung from tree to tree, and books dangled from the wires. On a stage lined with cookbooks my chef hubby and I renewed our vows.
After the ceremony and following meal, the event hubby was so busy catering that day, my husband surprised me once more with the honeymoon trip we never got to take. It was to the Virgin Islands.
We did get our family photos taken that day. It was everything I wanted and more from a wedding. My husband surprised everyone with his romantic gesture, and I was especially touched with all the work our boys and nieces did to pull it off.
From humble beginning to twenty-nine years of marriage this year, I can honestly say it was all worth it. And one moment stands out, the most romantic thing I could ever hope for, and it was all to make my dream of a real wedding come true.
Dawn Ford lives in a small town nestled among the Loess Hills in Western Iowa with her husband, youngest son, and a wonder beagle. Dawn’s love for stories came naturally to her as a child who was lucky enough to be able to explore the Iowa pastures and countryside in search of adventure.
Dawn’s first published book, a YA Contemporary Romance novel titled Knee-high Lies comes out this summer. She won the 2016 ACFW Genesis award for her Inspirational Fantasy novel, Kingdom Come. Her flash fiction stories have been featured in Splickety Publishing Group’s Havok magazine. Learn more and connect:
She’d love to hear from you!
About the book – Knee-High Lies:
What happens when the lies you tell grow so high you can’t see the truth?
To the outside world Avery Denton’s life looks happy, normal even. But it isn’t. Not even close. She believes nothing can make it worse. When her mother skips town with their banker, the small-town gossips focus on her.
Jaxson Stewart, Avery’s neighbor and friend, has had a crush on her for years. She makes his heart race, which is dangerous for a boy with a heart condition. Unlike their community, he refuses to hold her mother’s actions against her.
Avery’s summer heats up when Jaxson kisses her under a star lit sky. The rest of her life boils over, though, when Avery becomes the target of revenge, her alcoholic father’s anger escalates, and long-hidden family secrets come to light.
Can Avery find strength in the truth? Or will she continue to struggle through knee-high lies?
Question for Readers: Has a loved one ever pulled off a surprise for you? Or have you surprised someone you love? Share it with us.
Come back July 25th for Valerie Comer!