Shannon here: Angela Ruth Strong shares insight into her real life romance, plus a chance to win an ebook copy of her latest Cozy Mystery, A Cuppa Trouble. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing. Deadline: July 13th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Angela:
This Love Thing by Angela Ruth Strong
My ex-husband claimed that I cheated on him first. He said I loved my writing more than I loved him.
I quit writing for a year to work on our marriage after his first affair. I offered to give up writing for good if it would save our marriage. It didn’t.
I now know that wasn’t healthy of me to neglect the gifts God had given me in order for a man to love me. I know I couldn’t have saved our relationship on my own no matter what I did. And I know that I never ever want to do anything to make someone feel that I love my imaginary characters more than I love the real people around me.
My ex left ten years ago, but it still messes with my mind. In pre-marital counseling with Jim, I cried about it. “I’m afraid to write,” I said.
The counselor said, “I don’t think that’s going to be a problem in this marriage. You’re marrying a different man.”
He’s a gift from God. He not only puts up with my writing, but he puts up with all my insecurities about writing and relationships.
I try to be very careful about my time in front of the computer. I write when everyone else is gone so nobody feels like I’m ignoring them when they are home.
I also don’t write unless I’ve dealt with any conflicts in my relationships. I don’t want my writing to be an escape from reality.
But I’m under a deadline right now. I’m stressed on this sunny Sunday.
Jim knows. He told me to write. Then he went out in the garage to cut baseboards for a remodel we’re doing in my daughter’s room.
I felt guilty and followed him out to watch him cut baseboards.
Ironically, this made him feel guilty.
He pulled on one of his backwards baseball caps that I adore so much and said, “I’m going to run to Lowes to buy some clamps for my saw, then I’m going to go watch a baseball game at The Curb. I’d invite you, but you need to write.”
I wanted to go to Lowes with him. I wanted to watch baseball. But if I do, I might not make my deadline. “You know I’d rather be with you, right?” I asked.
“Yes.” He hugged me. “You let me know every day.”
That’s the love story I’m living right now.
I could have told you the whole thing from the beginning. I could have told you how Jim wooed me with bringing me a baseball cap on our first date, and ordering me a Scentsy warmer from my alma mater even though we went to rival colleges, and laughing gently when I had my breakdown about how I didn’t know why he was dating me because “part of my heart is dead.” He was there by my side at church the next morning when we sang, “My dead heart now is beating.” And he’s been by my side ever since.
Yes, my love story is beautiful, but the most beautiful part is how he doesn’t stop loving me in my brokenness. He bought me this home, he’s remodeling a room for my daughter, and he left for the afternoon so I could have it all to myself to write.
Our love story isn’t over. It grows stronger and stronger every time we fight through a storm. It’s the reason I write about romance. I want to show healthy relationships and real love.
My most recent release, A Cuppa Trouble, is a cozy mystery novel set at Valentine’s Day, so though it’s silly and suspenseful, I also explore the importance of communication in relationships. I hope readers find it both fun and thought-provoking.
I’m also excited about the opportunity to write a non-fiction book about what I learned through my first failed marriage. I don’t have a release date yet for Moving On After Your Husband Moves Out, but I’m passionate about this opportunity to help women build healthy relationships—starting with realizing how much they are already loved by God.
This love thing is life changing. And part of my love for writing is being able to share it with you. You and all your gifts are worthy of love.
Question for Readers: Who is your cheerleader? In what ways does that person cheer you on and absolve your guilt when your job, responsibilities, or hobby demands your attention?
About Angela: Angela Ruth Strong sold her first Christian romance novel in 2009 then quit writing romance when her husband left her. Ten years later, God has shown her the true meaning of love, and there’s nothing else she’d rather write about. Her books have since earned TOP PICK in Romantic Times, been optioned for film, won the Cascade Award, and been Amazon best-sellers. She also writes non-fiction for SpiritLed Woman. To help aspiring authors, she started IDAhope Writers where she lives in Idaho, and she teaches as an expert online at WRITE THAT BOOK. Learn more and connect:
About the book – A Cuppa Trouble: Plans for a Valentine’s Day grand opening of a small town coffee shop go awry when the first customer is killed. Evidence points toward the victim being mixed up in a car theft ring, but shop owners Tandy and Marissa have reason to believe he was framed. An assortment of suspects–from a pink-haired heir to Tandy’s charming ex–all seem to know a little too much about grand theft auto.
Without approval from either their boyfriends or the gum-chewing FBI agent in charge, the shop owners go on stakeouts, plan stings, and pursue justice in a high-speed car chase. If they don’t find the killer soon, it might be more than their love lives in trouble.
Can’t wait for the drawing or worried you won’t win? Get your copy now!
Come back July 5th for Louise M. Gouge!