How he won my heart with a hammer...

My Prince Charming

What makes a moment romantic?

                 If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably already heard this story. I like to telling it again around Valentine's Day to remind everyone that romance isn't all chocolate, lingerie and semi-precious stones. It's about listening and showing your love, even if it involves household tools.

                  Despite appearances, the picture above is FAR from one of our most romantic moments. Some day, if you have a few hours and enough money for margaritas, I will tell you about that day and the unromanticness (Yes, it is a word. I don't care if the rest of the world doesn't acknowledge it). No, our most romantic moment involves a hardware tool and my soon-to-be husband was nowhere in sight.

                 I met my husband two weeks after I moved to Texas. We met at a church we were both visiting for the first time. He asked me to lunch after the morning service ( an interesting story in itself, but I'll save it for another time). After the evening service, we ate ice cream at a park. I will add here that one of the top ten most romantic moments was when he turned to me and said, "Do you like to read? Because I just finished this great book. It's called the Notebook. I think the author is Nicholas somebody." (Insertme swooning here).

                 After our official first date the next Sunday, he made a comment about the bareness of my apartment walls. I responded that I had never noticed I didn't own a hammer and nails until I moved into the apartment alone. We went on to talk about other things and I didn't even think about it again.

                The next day was a Monday in every sense of the word. I taught middle school at the time and let's just say all of my students were very much seventh graders that day. I remember wanting to cry when I pulled up to my apartment because my head was throbbing, as were my feet, and I lived on the second floor. When I finally dragged myself up the stairs, something was leaning against my door.

 A silver hammer with a shiny red bow. 

And that, my friends, is all it took.

So Tell Me Your Story. 

What is your most unconventionally romantic moment? Got big plans for Valentine's day? Ever swoon over a tool (no innuendo intended!)? 

Write What You Know?

Thinking about Thursday
*This blog repeat brought to you by Finals week*

Write what you know? 
You've heard this, right? I have never understood it. 
I write romantic suspense.
Emphasis on  suspense rather than romance, which you already know if you read my previous post.
To date, I have never been stalked by a serial killer, kidnapped,  shot at, or even used a firearm myself. My experience with bullets is limited to taking the picture above. I don't even like scary movies.

So, exactly, how am I suppose to write what I know? I mean, unless someone wants to read about me being viciously attacked by a sink of dirty dishes or the wild car chase to get my daughter to gymnastics. I don't know much!

This lead me to what I am thinking about today. How did you choose your genre? Or did it choose you? 

Mystery and suspense feel natural to me. But, my personality is far from dark and brooding. In everyday conversation, I am good at making people laugh. I struggle with bringing that humor to my stories.

When I was dreaming of being a writer as a child, I wanted to be Judy Blume. Now, I spend everyday in a room thick with teenage angst. But, I have no desire to write YA. I couldn't be surround by it all day then delve deeper in my writing time. 

At some point, I have to step away from what I know and escape into what I write.

So, what about you? Why do write what you write? Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?


Popping the question

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday

My current work in progress is non-suspense romance. It was a nice change to write about love that didn't involve the characters standing over dead bodies or fleeing for their lives.
I wrote most of the story as a NaNoWriMo last year. I made over 50,000 words, but I didn't actually finish the story. This week I added about 4,000. Two of those words were THE END. Of course, I know it isn't the end. I have rounds and rounds of revision before me, but right now I am basking in the "completed story" glow.

So, in celebration of the two proposals in the story. I want you to tell me your story! How were you proposed to? Or did you do the proposing? What would be your idea of the PERFECT proposal?  

Here is my story:

The week before school was to start in 1998, I was helping a friend set up her classroom. I stayed late and chatted with her knowing that my then-boyfriend, would work until 5:30 or so then wait until at least 7:00 to head my way to avoid rush hour traffic.

I arrived at my apartment to FIVE messages from Scott on my answering machine asking if I wanted to go to dinner.  They started out casual:
"Hey, got off early today. Thought we could go to dinner. Call me at my parents' house."

and progressed to: 

"Where are you? I am starving. Let's go eat. Call me."

I remember saying aloud, "Good grief, if he's that hungry why doesn't he just get something to eat."

But, I called him at his parents' house (which was much closer to my apartment than his apartment was at the time) and offered to meet him there.

When I arrived he was acting very strange and barely even hugged me. I found out later, it was because he had the ring in his pants pocket and was worried I would feel the box. We went to Outback Steak House (which is funny because it is not a favorite for either of us). 

Right after we ordered our drinks, I remembered all the dust I had been touching all day and excused myself to wash my hands. When I returned and lifted my napkin from the table, a small box was under it. 

I remember staring at it, wondering how it got there. Scott reached across the table and took my hand, "Aren't you going to open it?" he asked. I just shook my head. He opened it and said some words (that honestly I don't remember) but I heard the important ones. 

"Will you marry me?"

Obviously, I said, yes. 

This proposal wasn't exactly a surprise. He had already asked my Dad (who thought it would be hilarious to make me think he had told Scott no).  You can read about that experience here.

It wasn't what I would consider his most romantic gesture ever. You can read about How He Won My Heart with a Hammer here.

But I can tell you, almost fourteen years later. I would still say yes.

Say Hello to Jeanne Guzman

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday

Featured Author:
Jeanne Guzman

             Hello out there, my name is Jeanne Guzman and I write Paranormal Romance.  Married to my best friend for 28 years, 4 wonderful children, and 7 (yes, you’re reading that right) grandchildren.  

          I’ve been 38 for 8 years now and have no intention of getting any older.  I’m also the keeper of the zoo with 4 dogs, a cat, a rabbit and 6 fish. 
           I have the first book in my “Dragon Hunters Series” titled “Dragon Lover” making the rounds to agents and editors, and my fingers are crossed and a candle is lit in hopes that I hear back from one particular acquisitions editor soon.   

            If you get a chance, stop by my website 
and read a snipit of Dragon Lover.  

            Or, if you’re in the neighborhood, 
look for me on Facebook.

             Until we meet again, God bless America, and God bless Nora Roberts.

Let's get to know Jeanne better!

    Dawn:      Do you have a writing routine? What does it look like? Where do you usually write?  

     Jeanne:  I have a very strict routine. 
 I get up every morning, make that first cup of tea (I don’t do coffee) let the dogs out (they sleep in my office), turn on my computer, then I sit in front of the empty screen until my brain kicks in. 

Dawn:     Is the life of a writer what you thought it be? What is different?

Jeanne:  Well, I thought all I had to do was write a book, send it into the publisher, and within weeks I’d have a check in the mail for fifty thousand dollars.  I’m sure there are others out there that are laughing right now, I know I am.  It’s not that easy.  Writing is work.  It’s blood and sweat and tears.

     Dawn:     Do you have any special time management tricks for working in writing time and living a normal life?

 Jeanne : I find that any time I have the house to myself is the best time to write.  Sometimes it’s in the middle of the night, mostly it’s Monday through Friday from sun-up until my husband gets home from work.

     Dawn:   What is the best advice you have received about this journey? 

Jeanne:  Never give up.  If writing is your dream, then write.          

    Dawn:    What advice do you wish someone would have given you when you were starting out?

Jeanne: Forget whatever it is you thought you knew about writing and do your research.
    Dawn:   What do you do to fight burnout? Do you ever worry about "running out of stories"? How do combat that? 

Jeanne: I think the answer to all three of those questions is critique partners.  I’m lucky to have two of the best at my disposal.  They push, prod, browbeat, and are there to dry my tears when I need them.

   Dawn:   What sources do you use for inspiration ? 

      Jeanne: My inspiration comes from several different sources. 
      A certain song can inspire a scene, an actor or model can inspire a character, 
      people  watching can inspire a  storyline, and family can be there to give advice
      on where to go from the blank page. 

Dawn:    What do you do when you aren’t writing?  

Jeanne:  When I’m not writing, I’m traveling around in my motor coach with my husband and my youngest children, Oso and Dakota (my Yorkies)
    Dawn: Tell us a bit about your work in progress.

  Jeanne:  My work in progress is the second in a paranormal series.  It has a working title of Dragon Within and it’s about an orphaned girl who grows up to rid the world of evil, about a dragon who’s soul mission in life it to protect her and their journey to find happiness and love (this is a romance)

Dawn: What is next for you?
Jeanne: Next—book 3 Child of the Dragon

Thank you so much for stopping by! 
Check on Jeanne Guzman on her website 

Guess Who's Coming to Visit?

I completely missed Thinking about Thursday this week. Wow, sometimes life can really just attack you without mercy!
Sorry about that.

Anyway, I am excited to announce that Tuesday my friend and now published author, Linda Graves, will be the very first guest blogger for Tell Me Your Story Tuesday!

Linda's book Shimmying Faith which combines romance and belly dancing is now available through Amazon as well as Whiskey Creek Press . Check out the book trailer here

Check back Tuesday to read Linda's journey to publication.

Until then you can find her at
Have a terrific weekend!

See you Tuesday!