Shannon here: Contemporary Romance author, June Foster shares how her hero and heroine meet, plus an excerpt from her latest title, A Harvest of Blessing. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for an e-copy. Deadline: Nov 17th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s June:
How Nadia and Jared Meet
We romance writers love romantic stories, even if we have to create them by using our imagination. Well, in the case of A Harvest of Blessing, I didn’t make up the way in which these two characters meet. The encounter is based on a real life event.
I’m not particularly a fan of Halloween, but my characters’ meeting is appropriate for the fall season. Nadia and Jared meet in a graveyard visiting their dead spouses.
Nadia Maguire was married for over twenty years to her unfaithful, irresponsible husband who left her heavily in debt. So when the sheriff called to tell her of the one car accident that took Jon’s life, guilt overcame her. She wasn’t sorry he died. When she visits his grave then accidentally sits on the hero’s lap, she’s mortified.
Jared Abrams is the president of the local bank, lives in an opulent home, and has been a widower for four years. He lost his wife to cancer and faithfully visits her grave every month or so, but he’s ready to move on. When a beautiful woman with silver-gray hair sits on his lap, he tries to alleviate some of her embarrassment. But more than that, he would love to get to know her better.
Nadia is a teacher in the Oak Mountain Public School District but for the summer she takes a job as a teller at the local bank. Anything to earn more money in an attempt to pay off some of the debt her husband saddled her with. When she finds out her new boss is the same guy whose lap she sat on, she’s uncomfortable at first.
Of course, Jared is delighted to learn of the new hire at the bank. He pursues Jada but an unexpected force deters their relationship. His adult daughter, Sarah.
As I said at the first of the post, the meeting is based on a real live couple my husband and I met in Pensacola, Florida. This man and lady met when they were both in their fifties while visiting their dead spouses in a graveyard. Yes, you know the rest. They are happily married now.
Excerpt from A Harvest of Blessing by June Foster:
Though the June sun warmed Nadia Maguire’s face, she shivered then tilted her head upward to the lofty oaks. Why weren’t the birds chattering? The deadly quiet surrounding the immaculate grounds of Oak Mountain Memorial Cemetery tied her stomach into thorny barbs.
If not for Jon’s name, etched into the granite headstone, she’d deny her husband had been laid to rest six months prior. He’d played tennis, jogged every weekend, and belonged to every social club in town. Then he was gone.
A gentle breeze pulled a strand of hair into Nadia’s face. She tucked it behind her ear, unable to relish in the sunny days of her favorite season. At least she wouldn’t have to face her active third graders for the next three months.
The granite structure marking Jon’s grave stood as a lonely reminder of his final day on earth. The day last December when the phone rang and the Oak Mountain chief of police grimly told her Jon was dead. He hadn’t survived a one-car accident shortly after midnight.
Before the uncomfortable memories could continue to bully her mind, she rose from the concrete bench and took the four steps toward the grave. She knelt and traced the imprinted words with her finger. Husband to Nadia. Loving father to David. Active in civic affairs.
Active all right. Jon belonged to every charitable organization in town and spent almost every night at meetings. He gave of himself to everyone. To everyone but her and David.
A blackbird squawked in the elm tree overhead sending a shiver to her spine. When the Sons of the South, one of Jon’s clubs, provided the headstone, she hadn’t thought about the epitaph. If they’d asked her, she would’ve offered a different message. Though their contribution alleviated a small part of the funeral cost, the rest depleted her savings.
Nadia lifted her gaze skyward to the puffy, white clouds floating above. If only she’d had a marriage like Mama and Daddy.
She flicked away the tear. Not from grief but of frustration. She should miss him. She didn’t.
Six months hadn’t been enough time. “I promise, Lord. I will forgive him. Help me in my bitterness,” Nadia whispered.
Talking to God brought perspective. She rose, stepped backward a few steps, eyes on the imposing head stone, and lowered to the seat she’d occupied only moments ago.
“Oh, pardon me.” A man said.
Instead of the cold stone, her body met the firm, warm flesh of another. Nadia shrieked and jumped up, twirling around to see whose lap she’d sat on.
A tall, muscular man with light blue eyes and graying salt and pepper hair bolted from his perch on the bench.
Nadia’s shaking hand gripped the base of her throat. “I’m so sorry. Visiting my husband’s grave. Thought I was alone.”
“No, please forgive me.” The handsome man ran a hand through his short hair. “My wife’s grave is over there.” He pointed to the left. “I was lost in my memories.”
Though Nadia’s cheeks burned hot, the man’s kind expression said he understood. “The fault is mine.”
The middle-aged guy, a light covering of whiskers on his face, shuffled from one foot to the other. Then he chuckled. “Actually, I can’t complain. It’s not every day a good-looking woman sits on my lap.”
Whoa. Was this guy flirting with her? Well, she wanted nothing to do with it.
About June: June Foster is an award-winning author who began her writing career in an RV roaming around the USA with her husband, Joe. She brags about visiting a location before it becomes the setting in her contemporary romances. June’s characters find themselves in precarious circumstances where only God can offer redemption and ultimately freedom. Find June at junefoster.com.
About the book – A Harvest of Blessing: If there’s one thing Nadia Maguire knows, Jon Maguire robbed her of a godly marriage and left her in financial ruin. The night he was killed in an accident, guilt threatened to suffocate her. She wasn’t sorry he died.
When Nadia accidentally sits on a stranger’s lap in the graveyard where Jon is buried, she’s horrified to learn the good-looking guy with salt and pepper hair is her new boss.
Jared Abrams is a widower who longs to move on. He’s intrigued by the beautiful woman who puts God first in her life. But as their friendship grows, an unexpected obstacle separates them—his daughter Sarah. No one can replace her mother. Especially not Nadia Maguire whose son harmed her in high school.
If Nadia can’t find the funds to get her house ready to sell, she’ll have to balance two jobs with no time left to nurture a relationship with the man she loves. Will she and Jared find a Harvest of Blessings, or a season of drought?
Can’t wait for the drawing? Get your copy now! A Harvest of Blessing
Question for Readers: In your opinion, what are some of the issues a middle aged couple would face when they marry for the second time?
Come back Nov 9th for Leeann Betts!