Shannon here: Linda Shenton Matchett shares insight into her real-life romance, plus a chance to win an ebook copy of her latest, Historical Romance, Vanessa’s Replacement Valentine. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing. Deadline Feb 12th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Linda:
In October of this year, my husband, Wes, and I will celebrate our thirty-ninth wedding anniversary. Sometimes, it feels like we’ve been married forever; other times only a short while. And we almost didn’t make it to the altar – but that’s a story for another day.
We met as high schoolers when my family relocated from New Jersey to Maryland during my junior year and began to attend the same local church as his family. It was a difficult time for me because I didn’t want to move, and frankly, the kids in the youth group were cliquish and did little to welcome me. Life wasn’t much better at school. My folks encouraged me to join the puppet club at church. I dragged my feet, but finally attended one of the meetings and fell in love with the program. We traveled throughout the area to conduct performances, and at the end of August we appeared each night at the weeklong, local 4H fair.
Apparently, my husband-to-be had been trying to get my attention for a while, but I was so turned into myself that I didn’t realize it. He remedied that on the last night of the fair during the annual water balloon fight among the puppeteers. He unceremoniously picked me up and dunked me under the pump. I was drenched, but more importantly, I was intrigued, then enamored.
Fast forward to November of 2012. We had been operating a bed and breakfast for twelve years that we had just closed for good in October. Our quarters in the inn were miniscule: a small bedroom, bath, and living room. Most of my books were packed in boxes from when we moved in. We shared a small desk tucked in the corner of the living room. Whenever I wanted to write, I had to pull out everything, then put it away when I was done.
On the Friday of Veterans Day weekend, I drove down to Boston to attend a writers’ conference. Three days of seminars, workshops, writing, and catching up with folks I hadn’t seen since the prior year’s event. I returned home invigorated as always, and I couldn’t wait to tell Wes all about it.
It turned out he’d been busy that weekend and had his own news. He’d moved every scrap of furniture out of one of the guest rooms, painted the walls, then moved in a huge desk he’d secured from a friend of ours and painted, my rocking chair, and three bookcases. He’d unpacked all my books onto the shelves and hung one of my favorite prints that had been in our living area.
I was stunned. We rarely talked about my writing because I was embarrassed by the constant rejections and feeling like I’d never get published. I was making only bits of money from freelance magazine work, so most of my conference fees and other investments into my writing career came from the family budget.
At that moment, I was totally humbled by the obvious love of my husband and knowing he heard what I hadn’t said – that sharing space for my writing was frustrating. The fact that he took his entire weekend – a weekend he could have lounged around and done anything he wanted to – and focused on my needs, even when I wasn’t there made me feel cherished like nothing he’d ever done, and he’d done and continues to do a lot – flowers, special dinners, and gifts.
This selfless act remains the most romantic gesture he’s ever bestowed on me.
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 a former 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 & connect:
About the book – Vanessa’s Replacement Valentine:
She’s running toward the future. He can’t let go of the past. Will these two hurting souls experience love in the present?
Engaged to be married as part of a plan to regain the wealth her family lost during the War Between the States, Vanessa Randolph finds her fiancé in the arms of another woman weeks before the wedding. Money holds no allure for her, so rather than allow her parents to set her up with another rich bachelor she decides to become a mail-order bride. Life in Green Bay, Wisconsin seems to hold all the pieces of a fresh start until she discovers her prospective groom was a Union spy and targeted her parents during one of his investigations. Is her heart safe with any man?
Eight years have elapsed since the Civil War ended, and Miles Andersen has almost managed to put the memories of those difficult years behind him. He’s finally ready to settle down, but the women in town are only interested in his money. A mail-order bride seems to be the answer until the woman who arrives brings the past crashing into the present.
Can two wounded hearts find healing in the face of doubt, disappointment, and distrust?
Can’t wait for the drawing? Worried you won’t win? Interested in Linda’s other titles?
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Question for Readers: Do you have a special memory from your past you’d like to share?
Come back Feb 8th for June Foster!