Pat Nichols shares insight into her real life romance plus a romantic excpert from her Women’s Fiction title, Trouble at Willow Falls. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for all 3 ebooks from the series. Deadline: Jan 1st, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Pat:
June 25th Tim and I will joyfully celebrate our fifty-seventh wedding anniversary. Sometimes it’s difficult to grasp how many years have flown by, especially since we both still consider ourselves young. Case in point, several days ago I asked Tim if I was fifty-five or fifty-six. He laughed and said, “Honey, you’re seventy-five.” A momentary lapse of reality or a reflection of how I feel? Definitely the latter. Mom and Dad were happily married sixty-four years before he passed. Although a number of factors contributed to our successful marriages, four stand out. Beginning with a sense of humor.
On our wedding day, Dad jokingly told Tim that he and Mom had a no return policy. An example of his sense of humor. One of the most endearing qualities in my parent’s relationship was the loving way they teased each other. Our ability to find the humor in circumstances and laugh at our own idiosyncrasies has enabled us to navigate through life’s challenges. Laughter releases endorphins, better known as feel-good hormones. Perhaps one reason Tim and I often feel the same age as our two children.
The second factor? Mutual respect. While married couples find much in common, each partner should retain their own individuality. Respecting the differences and giving each other the space to develop and nurture God-given talents strengthens marriages. Someone once said that if two people in a relationship are exactly alike one of them isn’t necessary. Tim and I jokingly say that together we make a whole person. Why? Because each of our unique skills serves to complement and compensate. One example. Tim can fix anything. I can’t, but I’m adept at finding YouTube videos to show him how to fix something he hasn’t yet tackled.
The third factor is trust. A quote from James 1:6 “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” Those words refer to trusting God, yet they are relevant to relationships. Our careers required both Tim and I to travel away from home, most of the time before cell phones existed. The trust we have in each other and in the sanctity of our marriage sustained us through those years.
The fourth is romance which still exists after all these years. These four factors also influence my writing. In Trouble in Willow Falls, book two in the Willow Falls series, a relationship develops between fifty-year-old Sadie and sixty-two-year old Brick. They are as different as any two people could be. She’s an uneducated ex-con who spent thirty years behind bars for killing her stepfather. He’s a divorced, well-educated, retired business owner. Their unexpected relationship begins at a July Fourth picnic.
Excerpt from Trouble in Willow Falls:
Rachel lowered her sunglasses. “Oh my gosh, look. In front of the red Cadillac. Mama Sadie and Brick. I think they’re together.”
“You mean like a couple?”
“That’s not possible.”
“For one thing, he’s a lot older than her.”
“Twelve years isn’t all that much, and why wouldn’t he be attracted to her? She looks fabulous.”
Emily noted Sadie’s white capri pants and red tank top under an open blue and white short-sleeve shirt. “Like a movie star.”
“And Brick’s handsome in his own way.”
“Even if they’re nothing more than friends, they’re bound to crank up the local rumor mill.”
In Star Struck in Willow Falls, Sadie and Brick’s relationship is threatened by an unexpected visitor:
“What happened to your fighting spirit?” Emily stared at her mother. “Do you remember what you told me when I accused you of buckling under to Mirabelle’s accusations about you stealing her credit card?”
“Something about hanging in there?”
“Bingo. You said I’d make one tough inmate except I spooked too easily. And if I had a shot at getting my way, I’d have to hang in there and not back down.”
“This is different.”
“It’s about what’s right.” Emily softened her tone. “Everything depends on one simple truth. Do you love Brick?”
Sadie swirled her glass. “When I was a little girl all my friends had two parents. One time I asked Mama why I didn’t have a daddy. She told me a handsome prince would find us and make our lives magical. Years later she married Robert Liles.” Sadie breathed deeply and released air through pursed lips. “Truth is, I no longer believe in fairytales.”
My final thought. Deep, respectful, romantic love lasts a lifetime and keeps us young.
About Pat: Award-winning author, Pat Nichols is proving it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Retired from a twenty-seven-year corporate career, she draws on her experience to create stories about women facing tension-laced challenges and heart-warming triumphs in the pursuit of their dreams. The Secret of Willow Inn, Willow Falls series book one is a 2020 Selah Award winner. Book three, Starstruck in Willow Falls is a NGCWC Georgia Peach Award winner.
Pat and her high-school sweetheart husband live in Duluth, Georgia. She is the mother of two and grandmother of four. One precious granddaughter lives with the angels. When she isn’t writing, Pat enjoys jigsaw puzzles, Sudoko, watching movies, riding in her hubby’s Corvette, and spending time with family and friends. Her favorite indulgence? A square of dark chocolate. Learn more & connect:
About the book – Starstruck in Willow Falls:
An acting career on the brink of failure. An upstaged debut novel. A wedding turned into a country-fried spectacle. Book three in the award-winning Willow Falls series has it all.
When a film crew and famous movie stars swoop into Willow Falls to film a full-length motion picture, the small town’s new normal as a popular North Georgia tourist destination is thrown into chaos.
Rachel Streetman fears her life-long dream to act is drifting into oblivion and leaving behind bitter regret. Weeks away from marrying Charlie Bricker, their relationship is tested after she auditions for a role opposite a handsome actor notorious for marrying his co-stars.
Timing couldn’t be worse for Emily Hayes. Her debut novel arrives two days before residents read about the movie-crew invasion in the local paper. The town’s number one gossip accuses Emily of using her editor position to keep the news a secret and give her sister an audition advantage. When Emily and Rachel accept the job as the director’s liaisons, their patience is stretched to the limit by starstruck residents, demanding stage mothers, and wannabe stars.
When Sadie Liles’ budding relationship with Charlie’s father is threatened by an unexpected visitor, the townsfolk rally to stage a protest as American as sweet-potato pie. Will their efforts pay off or drive Brick away forever?
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Question for Readers: What do you think is the most important thing for a healthy marriage?
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