Shannon here. Linda Shenton Matchett shares how she met her husband, along with an excerpt of how her hero and heroine meet in her latest Historical Romance, Spies & Sweethearts (Book #1, Sisters in Service series). Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing. Deadline: Oct 3rd, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Linda:
Because of my dad’s job, I moved often while I was growing up. When I was a junior in high school, he took a job in Maryland, and I once again found myself in a new location. Normally willing jump into the new situation with both feet, I was unhappy with this move. Seventeen years old, I was leaving close friends behind. Little did I know what God had planned for me.
The church we attended had a large and vibrant youth group, but was located outside of my school district, so I was the lone student attending a rival high school. I struggled to fit in until I discovered the church’s puppet ministry. I could hide behind a curtain and let the puppet do my talking. We conducted performances all over the area, including the county 4-H fair. Because I kept to myself, I didn’t know the group had planned a water balloon fight on the last night of the fair. As soon as the stage and puppets were packed up, the shenanigans began.
When one particular young man ran out of balloons, he picked me up then dunked me under the pump. I was soaked, but couldn’t decide whether to be angry or not. Turns out he’d been trying to get my attention for weeks. I’d never noticed him or his attempts. This October, we’ll celebrate our thirty-seventh wedding anniversary.
Read on to see how my heroine and hero meet…
Excerpt from Spies & Sweethearts by Linda Shenton Matchett:
Emily Strealer clutched her pocketbook in her lap and stared out the airplane window. The macadam glistened with rain that spattered the baggage handlers tossing suitcases into the hold. Her heart skittered with each bump that sounded from below. Surveying the other passengers, she nibbled her lower lip. Men in suits, many carrying briefcases, women in their Sunday best.
Minutes ticked past. The plane filled, yet the seat next to her remained vacant. Who would share the journey with her? Would it be an experienced traveler or a first timer like herself?
“Wait!” A muffled shout sounded outside the craft, and footsteps clattered. Seconds later, a tanned, sandy-haired man carrying a duffle bag appeared, his face red and perspiring. Out of breath, he sagged against the door, his ice-blue eyes searching the plane.
Averting her gaze, Emily studied her hands. Please don’t sit here. Please don’t sit here—
Waving, the air hostess pointed to the vacant seat next to Emily. “Sir, here’s a spot, but you must hurry. We’re about to close the doors and take off.”
Emily’s heart sank, and she looked up.
The man nodded, his mouth set in a thin slash. He clumped down the aisle, shoved his bag under the seat in front of him, and dropped next to her with a grunt. Strapping himself in, he crossed his arms and glared at her.
Her neck stiffened. It wasn’t her fault he nearly missed the plane. Two could play his game. She looked down her nose at him, then turned and watched the activity through the tiny circular window.
Next to her the man shifted, sighing every time he moved. It was going to be a long flight. She tucked her hair behind her ears and settled into her seat then opened her purse, withdrawing the slim, leather-bound Bible. The tissue-paper pages rustled as she turned them. She found her favorite Psalm and began to read silently.
“O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.”
The tightness in her chest eased. When would she learn to turn over her day to the Lord? She smiled. He was in control.
“I don’t remember anything funny in the Bible.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“You’re grinning as if you read something amusing.” The man frowned. “That’s not the Bible I know.”
“Perhaps you haven’t read it in full. I know of several stories that are quite droll. But I’m smiling with joy.” She cocked her head. “When was the last time you looked inside the Bible?”
A muscle in his jaw jumped. “A while.”
She tucked a finger between the pages and closed the Bible. A touchy subject apparently. “Why are you headed to Washington? I’m going for new job.”
“How nice for you.”
“You must be traveling on business. With the war on, no one is taking vacations. The whole country seems to be working day and night. Wouldn’t you agree?”
“Sure. Look, are you going to talk the whole time we’re in the air?”
Emily raised an eyebrow. “Not if you’d prefer silence, but I have one more question.”
“Are you always this rude to people you’ve only just met?”
About Linda: Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is also a trustee for her local public library. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry. Linda has lived in historic places all her life, and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors. Learn more and connect:
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About the book – Spies & Sweethearts:
They’re highly-trained spies, but nothing in the manual prepared them for falling in love.
According to the OSS training manual, the life expectancy of a radio operator in Nazi-occupied France is six weeks. Partnered with one of the agency’s top spies, Gerard Lucas, newly-minted agent Emily Strealer plans to beat those odds. Then their cover is blown and all bets are off. The border to neutral Switzerland is three hundred miles away-a long way to run with SS soldiers on their heels—will Emily and Gerard survive the journey and get home?
Question for Readers: Did you move a lot when you were a kid or live your entire childhood in one place? Either way, where is home to you?
Come back Sept 25th for Donna Schlachter!