Shannon here: Jeanette-Marie Mirich shares insight into her real life romance & her characters’ from her Romantic Mystery, The Courtship of Harry’s Wife. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated August 27th – 30th to enter in the drawings for the entire month of September. Deadline: Oct 5th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Jeanette-Marie:
Jeannette Marie’s Interview:
- What’s the most romantic thing your spouse has ever done for you?
Walking along Chesapeake Bay collecting beach glass.
- What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done for your spouse?
I kidnapped my husband on our twentieth anniversary. We married December 23rd and most years Christmas swallowed our celebration. My single brother often joined us for the holidays and that year he was going to play uncle/mom to our kids so Rod and I could escape. Although Rod didn’t know. My brother and I went to Meijers Thrifty Acres in our small Michigan town and purchased sheriff badges, cap guns and bandanas. There had to be hats. Cowboy hats. So, we donned child-sized ones and headed for my husband’s office. The staff had been alerted two months in advance and booked imaginary patients throughout the day. When we arrived the pregnant ladies in the waiting room burst into laughter. My husband stood with his mouth open as we handcuffed him (I forgot to mention that kid’s handcuffs came with the set of sheriff badges) and led him out the door.
“What about my patients?” he worried. His office manager grinned. “We made out a fake appointment schedule. The ladies waiting are your partners.” And off we went.
There was one miscalculation. We couldn’t sign into the Amway Grand Plaza until after three. An hour and a half to spare. We headed to Grand Rapids and the mall. Santa was still on his glittery throne. All our gifts were wrapped and ready but…there was a pet store. We could look at goldfish, I suggested.
But…the puppies were roaming the aisles. Puppies with red bows, waiting to be picked up as a child’s Christmas gift. One puppy wandered our way, looked us over and walked away. It was that look. The look that said, I’m content. What about you?
“Oh,” we both said.
We had been dogless for eight years. A move across country, beginning a solo O.B. practice, three kids, and the sad loss of our first two dogs had kept the tick tick of four paws from our floors. I knelt on the icy, hard tiles of the aisle. The Lhasa Apso puppy wandered back.
His soulful eyes met mine.
Rod picked him up. Turned toward the clerk. “Why doesn’t this dog have a bow on his collar?”
“That one’s not taken. Has a broken tail so can’t be a show dog.”
A dog was not in the plan. We couldn’t take him to the fanciest hotel in town and let a puppy howl through the night. We were not going home and miss our twenty-four hours together.
Reluctantly we put the puppy into the arms of the clerk and headed toward the hotel.
We checked in. Rod snagged a newspaper before we headed up to our room. As I opened the suitcase I’d packed for us, he began looking through the pages for the ads.
“What are you doing,” I said as I fluffed out his bathrobe.
“You can’t just buy the first dog you see. We need to check things out.” Before dinner he made phone calls and set up an appointment to see some puppies.
I woke worried that the sweet little Lhasa would be gone or the store closed before we could return. “When did they close on Christmas Eve?” I asked Rod. He patted my hand.
Breakfast was inhaled. We drove to the opposite side of Grand Rapids from the pet store and played with puppies. They didn’t have the Lhasa’s contented eyes. I teared. Rod sped back to the pet store.
We walked out with puppy, food, bed, cage, toys and grins slapped across our faces. We hid that little pup in the laundry room, hoping no one would see until after the Christmas Eve service. We didn’t make it an hour before ‘Snuffy’ was stumbling from person to person, licking faces, rubbing his thick, soft fur across our legs and creating joy.
My surprise anniversary kidnapping segued into fifteen years with the best dog companion our family ever had. Snuffy played soccer in the basement with the boys. Snuffy dug snow tunnels in the backyard to go ‘do his duty’. Eighteen-pound Snuffy had the neighborhood Newfoundland’s kneeling on the tarmac when we went for a walk.
Romance for us is seeing the other’s heart and responding.
- What simple gesture does your spouse do that melts you every time?
Reaching for my hand. His warm hand encompasses mine like a blessing.
- How soon after meeting your spouse did you know he/she was the one?
- How soon after meeting you did your spouse know you were the one?
- What is the most caring thing your spouse has ever done for you?
Carried me on his back up the basement stairs when I punctured my foot. He set me onto the kitchen counter, tenderly examined the wound, wrapped it, and advised me to be wary of small boys hammering nails.
- Where did you and your spouse go for your honeymoon?
It was Christmas. We were planning to ski at Mount Hood before we both returned to classes. He at the University Oregon Medical School, I had transferred to Portland State. We had enough money for a few nights in a cabin at Welches resort. It rained.
The cabin was a duplex.
A family with whiny child moved in.
We headed to our new apartment and the tiny tree we’d cut on Mary’s Peak.
- What simple gesture does your hero do that melts your heroine every time?
Lyle hands Delilah his monogramed handkerchiefs to blot her tears. He has a pocket filled with them and says he’s in need of a dozen more.
- What simple gesture does your heroine do that melts your hero every time?
Love’s others sacrificially. Offering cold lemonade to anyone who comes through her door, including her enemies.
- How soon after meeting the hero did the heroine know he was the one?
They have known each other for years. Delilah’s recently deceased husband set them up as a couple. She doesn’t know he is the ‘one’ under his ex-wife plugs him and he lies bleeding on her Persian carpet.
- Who is most romantic, your hero or your heroine?
Definitely Lyle. He is always watching to see what gives her joy.
- What is the most caring thing your hero has ever done for your heroine?
Giving her time to mourn her dead husband.
- What is the most caring thing your heroine has ever done for your hero?
Keeping vigil by his ICU bed.
About Jeanette-Marie Mirich: Jeanette-Marie Mirichmoved twenty-two times before settling into her first home. She has swum in the Ligurian Sea, collected shells and sea glass along the Indian Ocean, Pacific, Atlantic, Caribbean Oceans, Straits of Malacca, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Andaman Sea. An Oregonian native, Jeanette-Marie splits her time between her home in Kentucky and an Oregon cabin where she scribbles poems, short stories, and weaves novels. Mother of three, Grammy to thirteen, Jeanette-Marie is passionate about the needs of others, quilting, and spreading a love of color wherever she goes. Learn more and connect:
About the book – The Courtship of Harry’s Wife:
I shouldn’t have made the promise when Harry was dying but . . . you know how it is. You want to please when the person you’ve always loved is hooked up to plastic tubing looking peaky.
Delilah Morgan, a woman of honor, is unable to ignore her promise to her husband, Harry, which leads to trouble, with a capital T. The beautiful, unassuming Delilah plans to mourn in private after Harry passed, but he had other ideas—specifically, leaving his wife in good hands and protected from the elite of their small Kentucky town. However, he neglects to include his wife in his plans.
Harry has selected local judge, Lyle Henderson, the heart-throb of most of the women in town, to court his widow. The judge acquiesces to Harry’s wishes until Henderson’s life spins into a maelstrom after the discovery of bodies in his long absent wife’s car. The police and FBI begin to suspect him of murdering his wife and her apparent lover.
Determined to clear the judge of murder, Delilah resolves to hunt down the true story. Their adventure nearly costs them their lives and leads them on what Delilah suspects is a wild-goose chase toward love. In reality, their wanderings reveal what sacrificial love can encompass.
Get your copy now! The Courtship of Harry’s Wife – Amazon
Question for Readers: Have you ever planned an elaborate surprise for a friend, family member, or loved one? Tell us about it.
Come back September 3rd for Tanya Eavenson!