When I first came up with the idea for my novel, Jennifer's Garden, I was dating my current husband and on my way to what I was certain would be a great relationship destined for great things. Great, as in kids, marriage—you know, the works. (I wasn’t asking for much!) But really my focus on finding the perfect mate began years before, after a “not so great” first try at marriage.
Ahhh...the plot thickens. Yes, I married fresh out of college and believed I was on my way to great things. Sensing a pattern here? But as you may have guessed, “great” doesn’t always work out. He wanted to be the boss, I wanted to be the boss…of me.
Well, you can imagine how compatible that relationship turned out to be. Not so much.
Now I'm not a control freak (okay, maybe a little, but I'm working on it) and I wasn't looking to control the world, but I didn't want to be controlled either. However, this can happen with smart, successful and handsome men. They're used to running the show. But where does that leave the smart independent woman?
I wanted professional success too, but I also wanted kids, a partner with whom I could share life’s ups and downs. What’s a gal supposed to do when Mr. Right thinks the “Right” part refers to his opinion and not his potential?
It’s a tough question. Especially when we’re striving for HEA, the thing dreams are made of! And I wanted a slice for myself. Enter Mr. Right, a.k.a. Mr. Potential. Yes, I confess. Picked my dream hubby up in a bar but I can blame the entire thing on a match-making friend (God bless her) because I was not even remotely looking at the time! Why wasn't I looking?
Like I said, smart, successful and handsome didn't work so well for me the first time but I didn't want to give up. Like everyone else, I wanted it all. I wanted to be whisked away, darn it, successful and smart notwithstanding!
But where does an independent woman go looking for Mr. Right? Other than a bar, I mean. Over chips and dip or stocks and bonds? Does she build a friendship first or work from primal physical attraction? (It can work you know.) Which brings me to Jennifer Hamilton, the heroine in my current novel, Jennifer’s Garden. She's a cardiologist. He's her landscape guy. How will they ever find their way together? And if they do, whatever will they talk about? (Besides how attracted they are to one another. J)
They talk about the same thing we all do; life, love, family, friends...and dreams. We all have them. It's simply a matter of opening our hearts and allowing others to enter. A scary proposition to be sure, but so is love and marriage, kids and—
Trust me. Marriage is work. Thrilling work (think rollercoaster), but work nonetheless. It’s a wild ride. Things swing up and they swing down, they twist sideways, turn upside down then catapult you back up right—sort of. That depends on you. Attitude is everything when you’re talking life’s greatest challenge, but I do enjoy a good challenge and the occasional thrill.
Now that my kids are older, anyway. Those first ten years really through me for a loop! Didn’t I say marriage was like a rollercoaster ride? I did and it’s worth every minute so long as I have a glass of wine, a piece of chocolate and one sumptuous romance novel. Make that one sumptuous hero. “Do not disturb" sign, please! There are kids running around here and this stuff is not for curious eyes.
Learned this the hard way while browsing a gift store. My eight-year-old son picked up a book—which I thought was a bible—and began to read. It wasn’t a bible. Seems it was a graphic description of a woman in labor. What gave it away?
While I was rinsing dishes that evening my son informed me that the uterus was a muscle. (Well if this doesn’t raise an eyebrow, I don’t know what would.) Okay. We watch educational television. I assumed he picked up a tidbit here and there from some medical program. Nope. It was the book he picked up at the gift store.
He then preceded to explain how once a baby is born (c-section) the doctor squeezes the uterus so that it will begin to contract normally and how this baby was having a hard time breastfeeding so the doctor had to help coax the baby to begin suckling…and well, must I go on?
Needless to say my son is an advanced reader. Now he’s a little advanced in more ways than one! But for all you adults out there, Jennifer’s Garden provides a wonderful escape with a scrumptiously delicious hero and to share the love, I'm giving away a free ebook for Books Like Breathing readers. Simply comment on today's post and you're entered to win! Good luck and thanks for stopping by!