Shannon here: Heather Greer shares her proposal story and how it influenced her characters romance in her Contemporary Romance, Grasping Hope. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing a signed copy. Deadline: May 29th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Heather:
Hot air balloon rides. Expensive candle-lit dinners. On a carriage ride through Central Park in the snow. On the kiss-cam at her favorite sporting event.
Big gestures equal big romance, especially for proposals. At least, that’s what a lot of movies and books would have us believe as the man gets down on one knee with fireworks dazzling in the background. But, sometimes, it’s the simple things that mean the most.
My husband, Andy, and I shared our first date at Giant City State Park. There was a peaceful clearing nestled under the cliffs of a walking trail that created the perfect spot. With a blanket, KFC, and a mixtape of love songs, we started our journey together. Yep, you read that right. It was a real mixtape recorded on a cassette and played on a boom box. Now don’t I feel old!
On a July afternoon three years later, we hiked that trail to the cliff that overlooked our clearing. I sat on the cool rock with Andy behind me, careful not to get too close to the edge. As we looked out at the familiar scene, Andy started reciting a poem he’d written. It was bad, horribly bad, cheesy, and absolutely perfect. And as his recitation ended, he reached around me with an engagement ring and asked me to marry him. I said yes, and then, we celebrated by watching the saddest movie to hit the theaters that year. It was supposed to be romantic. It was not. We still laugh about how on the day we should have been all smiles, we ended things with red, puffy eyes and tear stains on our cheeks.
It wasn’t flashy. It wasn’t a spectacular display of his love that plumbed the depths of his wallet to accomplish his goal. Our engagement day was a reminder of where we began our journey, and no author could have written it more perfectly.
In fact, even though I didn’t write out the scene for readers, I used my engagement day to fashion a proposal for Katie in my second book, Grasping Hope. The cliff that Andy and I visited was the trail where Austin found God’s peace and guidance. It’s the same spot where he and Katie bonded and saw their love for each other grow. And when it was time for Austin to ask Katie to be his forever, the cliffs overlooking that peaceful clearing were where it happened. I couldn’t have given them a better place to share this special event. I know that from experience.
For them, as it was for my husband and I, the perfect backdrop for romance didn’t include fanfare and expensive gestures. Instead, it was created using the starting point of the journey we’d shared to that point and promising to continue together down the path “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.”
It takes a lesson in hope to start healing. Katie is released from the nightmare holding her captive to enjoy the blessings God has given. But when tragedies change her life forever, Katie’s understanding of hope is challenged. Unresolved anger and disappointment leave Katie doubting the sincerity of her beliefs. Desperate to prove her faith and minimize her failure as a believer, Katie buries her feelings beneath all the right words.
When she’s faced with losing everything, will Katie abandon her hope or cling to the lifeline God has given?
Can’t wait for the drawing? Worried you won’t win? Get your copy now! Grasping Hope – Amazon
Question for Readers? Do you appreciate the grand gesture or the simple things? In life and in books? Why?
Come back on May 25th for Carole Brown!