Shannon here: Abingdon/Heartsong Presents author, Myra Johnson gives us a glimpse into the romance of her characters from One Imperfect Christmas. Comment for a chance to win a copy on any post dated Dec 27 – Jan 1. Deadline: Jan 1, midnight Central time. Here’s Myra:
1. What’s the most romantic present your hero ever bought your heroine?
Natalie’s favorite gift from Daniel is the pair of fuzzy “fox” slippers he gave her for Christmas one year. The gift tag read, “To one foxy lady!”
2. Do your hero and heroine have a favorite romantic restaurant?
Natalie and Daniel’s special place is Adamo’s Italian Restaurant. They love the ambience, especially their favorite table by the window, where they can watch the moon rise while they dine. Sipping cappuccinos and lingering over to-die-for tiramisu is always the perfect ending to a perfect evening—at least until they’re home again!
3. What’s the most romantic thing your hero ever did for your heroine?
Though Natalie didn’t see it that way (they were married but separated at the time), one of Daniel’s most romantic gestures was sending her favorite flowers for her birthday. He’d hoped it would soften her heart so that they could get back together. If Natalie hadn’t been quite so stubborn, it just might have worked.
4. What is your hero and heroine’s favorite romantic vacation destination?
Natalie and Daniel honeymooned at the Brookside Lodge, a charming country inn with exquisitely furnished guest suites and surrounded by lovely scenery. The lodge holds many special memories for them, so when either of them wants to rekindle the romance, it’s the first place they think of going.
5. Who is most romantic, your hero or your heroine?
Daniel, most likely—if a junior high athletics coach would ever consider himself romantic! Natalie likes the idea of romance, but for a while her self-imposed workaholic tendencies stifled her romantic side. Troubled, guilt-ridden, she couldn’t open her heart to receive the love Daniel so wanted to offer. You can find out how their love story unfolds in One Imperfect Christmas.
Excerpt from One Imperct Christmas
Setup: Separated for the past several months, Natalie and Daniel find themselves the victims of their scheming adolescent daughter, Lissa, who’s trying fervently to get them back together. In this scene, Natalie is stuck without an excuse when Lissa prods her dad to take them all out to dinner together.
“Where to?” Daniel asked as Natalie took the front passenger seat. He looked as nervous as she felt.
She chewed her lip. Sitting this close to him, how was she supposed to concentrate on anything except maintaining her equilibrium? She could feel the squeak forming in her voice before she even opened her mouth. “Anything’s fine. You choose.”
Daniel drummed his fingers on the steering wheel. “There’s the Saigon Buffet, or we could try that new place in Putnam—Madge’s something-or-other.”
“Madge’s Taste of Home.” Brightly lit. Quick service. Natalie jumped on the idea like a frog on a bug. “I heard it’s pretty good. Let’s go.”
“Hey, wait.” Lissa leaned between the seats. “I feel like Italian, don’t you guys? Let’s go to Adamo’s.”
“But, Liss,” Daniel said, glancing over his shoulder, “you and I just ate there last—”
“Oh, so what? It’s my favorite restaurant. What do you say, Mom?”
Natalie felt the blood drain from her face, while Lissa fairly glowed with anticipation. Adamo’s, a small, family-owned restaurant halfway between Fawn Ridge and Putnam, used to be Natalie and Daniel’s favorite spot . . . and no secret to their scheming daughter.
Daniel faced forward and shrugged. “It’s up to you, Natalie.”
“Well, if Lissa has her heart set on it.”
After all, it was just dinner. Just dinner—that would be her mantra for the rest of the evening.
But sitting so close to Daniel again, she found herself engulfed by memories and had to suppress a shiver. Her glance took in the strong lines of his profile. Her nostrils filled with the achingly familiar smell of his favorite suede jacket. Unwillingly, she let her gaze drift to his sturdy right hand as it rested on the gear shift. How small a reach it would be to touch him, to rest her head against his shoulder, to breathe in the masculine scent of his cologne.
Oh, Daniel . . .
About the book: One Imperfect Christmas, Abingdon Press, September 2009
Graphic designer Natalie Pearce faces the most difficult Christmas of her life. For almost a year, her mother has lain in a nursing home, the victim of a massive stroke, and Natalie blames herself for not being there when it happened. Worse, she’s allowed the monstrous load of guilt to drive a wedge between her and everyone she loves—most of all her husband, Daniel. Her marriage is on the verge of dissolving, her prayer life is suffering, and she’s one Christmas away from hitting rock bottom.
Junior-high basketball coach Daniel Pearce is at his wit’s end. Nothing he’s done has been able to break through the wall Natalie has erected between them. And their daughter Lissa’s adolescent rebellion isn’t helping matters. As Daniel’s hope reaches its lowest ebb, he wonders if this Christmas will spell the end of his marriage and the loss of everything he holds dear.
Come back Dec 31 for nonfiction author, Linda Fulkerson’s real life romance and a chance to win her book: The Prodigal Daughter.