Shannon here: I’m so excited for today’s guest. We’ve been in the same writer’s group for several years. Last fall, we got to celebrate her first contract at our annual retreat. This year, I get to host her with her debut novel, Pocket Change only a few months from release. So without further ado, Debbie Archer shares how she met her husband. All comments will go in the drawing for Kelly Irvin’s giveaway from Monday. Deadline: Oct 5th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Debbie:
Getting Cozy by Debbie Archer:
There are two things blind dates and writing a book have in common.
- Both can make your heart race.
- Both can change your life forever.
When the phone rang at 2:00 pm on New Year’s Eve, the last thing I expected to hear was “Debbie, Mack will be here in two hours. I’ve arranged a date. We’ll double.” A woman giggled. GIGGLED! Then. Dial tone.
That beautiful southern voice belonged to my neighbor who’d been itching to fix me up with her w o n d e r f u l nephew. She lived for spontaneity. Today, she’d nailed it.
I hung up the phone and gawked. My tiny apartment stared back as if it, too, were in shock. Together, we were a mess. Clothes lay strewn across the couch and chairs. Words lay abandoned across a page on the table. They belonged to my latest work-in-progress.
Shoes, in the midst of my “toss or treasure” decision making ritual, sat lined up in front of my picture window like size nine models waiting for their futures to be determined. My mirror was askew, and I let out a squeal when I saw my head and the pink curlers I’d twisted my hair around that morning.
I ran to the fridge. A Coke would calm me. A handful of chips wouldn’t go unappreciated either. Both my fridge and cupboards were bare. No food. No finished chapter. No fleshed out character.
I squared my shoulders, jotted down three ideas about my hero then marched into the living room. Everything that was loose, I threw into my bedroom, slammed the door, and grabbed my car keys. I’d run to the grocery store to get snacks and nibbles and once back, get ready for the date.
I finished in the store in record time—given that I saw everyone I’d ever known. Some smiled at my pink curlers and foundation-free face. Others asked if I’d been sick. Gotta love the honesty and gall of all who shop on a Saturday.
Once my groceries were tossed into my trusty Buick, I turned the key. If a chipmunk coughs, that’s how my mighty Myrtle Eunice sounded.
She refused to turn over. Since I had no cell phone, I marched back into the store, asked to use their landline and phoned a friend to retrieve my groceries and me from Piggly Wiggly.
So thrilled was my friend that I had a date, she was there in minutes. We raced home. Whipping into the communal parking area at our apartment complex, she shoved me inside with my bag of goodies and shook her finger in my flushed face.
“Don’t blow this.” She got back in her car, and did a three point turn-around any professional driver would have envied. Her finger pointed in my direction like a reminder that I would answer to her if this date didn’t go well.”
I was so glad I was under no pressure.
I hurried into the apartment, arranged the groceries in a, hmmm, creative manner, and hustled my bustle in search of the outfit I wanted for this New Year’s Eve date of destiny.
I had less than forty-seven minutes to get showered, shaved, coiffed, and calmed. Kinda like having a word count and not wanting to go over.
So, I edited. I mean, I adjusted my plan. I found my shirt on top of the heap on the bed and opted for dressy jeans long enough that they covered my scruffy boots. After all, we were going out for barbecue. It was as I reached for my makeup stash that I remembered the other thing I was out of—makeup. I did a tiny screech. I dug around in my cabinet and finally found the dying remains of three tubes of mismatched colors. Like a desperate artist with a dried-up pallet, I made it work. I went to the kitchen window to peek out.
My date stepped out of his truck. I sucked all the air out of my immediate space. Those shoulders! I had a feeling I’d have more fodder for my new main character by the end of the evening.
I peeked again. He was heading my way with a walk that made me gulp. Waiting for a doorbell to ring is hard on a girl. When I whipped open the door and tossed my best smile at him, he smiled back.
The second I stepped outside and heard the lock click behind me, I knew I’d locked myself out. And I didn’t even care.
Why? After all that I’d gone through that afternoon, it didn’t matter. I’d just met the man I was going to marry, the man who would appear in my books…the man I felt I’d known forever. I knew it the minute I heard his baritone voice and saw his God-given smile. No editing needed.
All these years later, we are happily married. Life is so good it sometimes makes me dizzy. I am one blessed woman. Mack ended up being the main character in the story I was working on then, and remains my hero to this day.
About Debbie: Debbie writes contemporary fiction for both adults and middle grade audiences. Humor often shows up unexpectedly. She holds a Master’s Degree in Library Science and a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education. She lives in a small nestled-up part of Arkansas with her incredibly patient husband and a band of rescue animals.
Her professional afflictions include ACFW, ALA, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, , Sisters in Crime, American Reading Association, and Romance Writers of America.
Among her favorite authors are John Grisham, Shannon Taylor Vannatter, Christine Lynxwiler, Tara Johnson, Dr. Seuss, Sheila Turnage, and Jan Karon.
Her all-time favorite verse is Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
If you’d like to read more about my life, my MANY God moments, my characters, and my upcoming book, please visit www.debbiearcher.com. On it are links to my other social media outlets. Debbie’s romantic cozy mystery, Pocket Change, will debut on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
About the Book – Pocket Change:
Set in fictional Pocket, Arkansas, the story pivots around thirty-four-year-old Mary Clare Casteel, recent winner of The Publisher’s Clearing House and her new neighbor, Mick Walker. Supporting characters include her unique family members, friends, and the residents of Pocket. Murder, romance, techie mishaps, and a host of Southern traditions accompany Mary Clare as she juggles a tantalizing new neighbor, a fresh dead body, and the trials of being a millionaire—all while dodging persistent and often demented individuals vying for a piece of her winnings.
Question for Readers: I’d love to hear from you. Anyone out there been on an unexpected blind date resulting in marriage? Did anyone’s blind date end in a turtle-plodding, time-torturing event? Comment below. I’ll be here in pink curlers and chocolate waiting to read your experience.
Blessings and laughter,
Come back Oct 1st for Janet Chester Bly!