Shannon here: Happy Independence Day! Gail Pallotta shares romantic memories of Destin, Florida plus an e-book copy of her latest contemporary romance, Breaking Barriers. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing. Deadline: July 16th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Gail:
Slow Dancing on July 4th
Romance lives in Destin, Florida, where crystal clear water laps white powdery sand. Sea oats swaying in the breeze dot the dunes. At sunset the sun burns red and paints the sky with golden-reddish streaks as it slowly sinks into the ocean. Seagulls squawk and interrupt the rhythmic sloshing of the tide.
Thus, the scene when my husband, Rick, and I leaned over the covered upper deck of a barbecue restaurant, a great place to celebrate July 4th, but not the most romantic. Except—it overlooked the sea, and a well-known entertainer popular for his love songs from the 60’s – the 80’s stood on a stage below us.
He wore a black tuxedo with a red handkerchief in his pocket and a white shirt with a black bow tie. As he crooned one of his oldies that surely had kept many couples slow dancing all night, a sheet of rain obscured our view. We slid slightly over the railing to hear more clearly. Beneath us couples from their twenties to sixties and beyond danced on the outdoor patio with water droplets rolling off their hair and clothes, some of them soaking wet.
Well protected on a platform with a back, two sides and an awning, the pop star dropped to his knees and serenaded his wife, who stood beside him. Their love filled the night like mist rolling off the ocean. Soon the men upstairs, who’d been observing the scene below, pushed the tables and chairs to one side, grabbed their wives and danced while we sang along. By the time the singer took a break, we were sharing stories of how we met thirty to forty years ago with total strangers.
The popular rock and roll performer returned to the stage and the smooth notes of another melody wafted across the deck. The lady next to me said, “We heard this song on our first date.” No sooner had she gotten the words out of her mouth than her husband, who had disappeared into the crowd, suddenly charged over, grabbed her and started dancing. She peered back at me and said, “He remembered.”
The showers dissipated, as they often do in Destin, fireworks filled the sky over the harbor, and I danced into the night with no thought of yesterday or tomorrow.
(Destin, Florida is quite similar to White Sands, the fictitious town in Breaking Barriers)
About Gail: Gail Pallotta’s a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A regional Writer of the Year for American Christian Writers Association in 2004, she was a 2013 Grace Awards finalist. Gail’s published five books, poems, short stories and several hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums. Her most recent romance, Breaking Barriers, speaks of the freedom we hold dear on July 4th. It presents a scenario that could happen if we completely lose the right to express our Christian faith. Learn more and connect:
About the book – Breaking Barriers: In this action-packed thriller gunshots ring out as Ann Jones enters church. She hides in the bathroom until they stop then stumbles into the sanctuary. The congregation lies dead in pools of blood. To rebuild the church she starts True Light Guardians. At the first meeting she’s attacked by a terrorist but rescued by James Crawford. He melts her heart, cold from her father’s abuse, and they fall for each other.
She’s afraid to commit to love that might grow angry later like the type she knew as a child. James yearns to stop other attempts on Ann’s life, but can’t. Tormented by her constant risks, he breaks up with her. When an assault sends her to the hospital, an unlikely ally shares Ann’s plight with James, but he reveals a lead that puts all three of them in even more danger.
Can’t wait for the drawing? Purchase now: Breaking Barriers
Here’s a question. Does a romantic evening in a special place stand out in your memory? If so, please share it with us.
Come back July 7th for Donn Taylor!