Isn't it wonderful when a tremendously brilliant idea flashes through our brains? That's how the concept for this book came to me--in a dazzling moment of 'Wouldn't it be wonderful if the women who write about fictional love every day told their readers their very own love story?'
What could be more fascinating, and more inspiring than to read about the true romances of some of America's most beloved romance authors?
But could I do it? Where and how would I start?
I have been a romance author for twenty years and during that time I've made a lot of friends, but did I dare ask these beautiful and dedicated women who write fictional happily-ever-after stories to write something for me about their personal and private lives? And, if I could by some chance entice the authors I knew to help me with this intriguing idea, would I then be able to persuade some authors I didn't know?
While the idea of such a book appealed to me, the task itself seemed daunting, impossible.
Time passed but my desire to work on this book didn't. If anything, the longer I put it off, the more I wanted to do it.
But before I could ask my friends to help me with this project, I had to write my own story. So I began:
The first time I saw him, he was leaning against the fender of a sporty, 1965 canary yellow Comet Cyclone holding a thin cigar. Surprising I know, considering he was a senior in high school and not a well-seasoned man about town, but true. Thankfully smoking didn't become a habit for him, but looking at him that late Sunday afternoon with smoke curling up from his fingers made my seventeen-year-old heart thump loud enough to cause a roar in my temples. One thing was for sure. He wasn't from around our small town. That golden-eyed, brown-haired hunk dressed in tight jeans and a light-blue button-down collared shirt had the appeal of the all-American bad boy, and I couldn't believe my good fortune when he threw down the cigar, walked over to my car, and said hello.
Writing those few words describing how I met my husband made me feel the power of that moment all over again, and gave me the confidence I needed to press forward with the dream that was never far from my thoughts. It also made me realize that I not only wrote about the fictional happily-ever-after life, I was living the true happily-ever-after life. And so were many of my author friends. So, denying my fear of mass rejections, I sent out e-mails asking if they would be willing to write a few words about how they met the love of their lives, or how they made their love last through the years. For my friends who didn't have a current love in their lives, I asked what they believed made love and romance timeless. To my surprise, I received a resounding yes from almost every author I contacted.
My journey then began in earnest to add other authors to the list and find the hidden secrets that led to lasting love and commitment.
In this book, one author says the greatest gift her husband ever gave her was a baseball glove. Another explains how a sudden, life-threatening illness brought her and her husband closer together. One author vowed she'd never marry a man like her father, and then fell head over heels in love with a man just like her father. And yet another author tells why she embroidered her husband's name in the band of all his underwear. Some of the stories are heartwarming, some are inspiring, and others are filled with humor, but they are all sprinkled with the magical feeling of love.
This collection of over sixty love stories is filled with icons such as Bertrice Small and Jennifer Blake, who helped define romance books as we know them today, and many of romance's newest stars. All of the stories are different, but while reading them, I realized that some of the same themes kept appearing: opposites attracting, being moonstruck, the offering of hope, finding inspiration, keeping humor, and the embodiment of trust. If these words kept appearing it must mean that they were important to an enduring and successful relationship. I started thinking of them as The Secret Keys to a Fulfilling and Lasting Love. So sit back, relax, and enjoy these incredible and intimate secrets about love from your favorite romance writers.
Oh, and, as for that good-looking bad boy from just across the state line? We married shortly after graduating from high school. He was nineteen and I was a mere eighteen years old. Right from the start, our youth put three strikes against us when it came to staying together for any length of time, but you'll read more about our story at the end. It's time to get on to the celebrities and let them share their stories of love with you.
©2010. Amelia Grey All rights reserved. Reprinted from Fall in Love Like a Romance Writer. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442