Anne Mateer – Real Life Romance & Excerpt – Part 1 of 2

Shannon here: Historical romance author, Anne Mateer shares how she met her husband and how her characters meet from her latest release, Playing by Heart. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: Oct 18th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Anne:

Anne Mateer summerPlaying by Heart by Anne MateerAnne Mateer

The Meet

I was 18 years old, fresh out of high school. He was 19, just finished with his sophomore year of college.

I lived in Texas. He lived in Pennsylvania.

As the Lord would have it, we both were given the opportunity of a summer internship in Washington D.C. that summer of 1985. And we both accepted.

Most of the other college-aged kids had settled in by the time I arrived. Slowly, I met each of the other participants, but it was the boy from Pennsylvania who captured my attention.

He didn’t dress in the most stylish clothes, have the most “in” haircut or an amazing physique. But he was smart and sweet and politically savvy. I sensed he was “going places.” And he seemed to like me.

It didn’t take long until we were spending all of our free time together—including meeting daily for lunch on a bench in front of the US Capitol. And by the time we left in August for our respective colleges in two different states, we believed the relationship would last far beyond a summer romance.

It’s a sweet “meet” story. At least I think so. But I confess there isn’t much excitement to it. That’s what’s so fun about being a writer. When my imagination takes over, I get to experience life events in different ways.

In my newest release, Playing by Heart, Lula Bowman is a 25 year old post graduate mathematics student in 1917 Oklahoma. Chet Vaughn is a 27 year old teacher and basketball coach in a different Oklahoma town. But circumstances conspire to put them in the same location—and their first actual meeting after seeing one another several times is anything but boring!

Excerpt from Playing by Heart:


I slammed into something. Someone. A small cry. A tumble backward. Books falling, sliding. Instinctively, I reached out. I couldn’t catch her arms. She sat. Hard.

My eyes focused.


I stared at my feet, fighting a grin. Not the best introduction, but an official introduction all the same. Finally. “I’m so sorry, Miss . . .?” I reached out a hand to help her up.

She blinked as if she were going to cry. That wouldn’t do. Not at all.

“Let me help you.” Squatting beside her, I took her elbow in one hand, reached my other arm around to cradle her back, then lifted her to her feet. Lighter than a sack of sugar. Would she prove as sweet?
Her pretty mouth pulled into a frown. Best try again. “Are you injured, Miss . . . ?”

“Bowman,” she finally answered. “Miss Bowman.”
I love that in Lula and Chet’s first “meeting” he knocked her off her feet—quite literally! It was a fun scene to imagine and to write, and it set the tone for the topsy-turvy relationship to follow.

Question 1: What about you? Do you have an exciting “meet” story, like Lula and Chet, or something more run-of-the-mill, like mine?

Question 2: Have you ever played an instrument?

About Anne: Anne Mateer loves bringing history to life through fiction. She is the author of four historical novels as well as a contemporary short story to be included in this fall’s Cup of Christmas Cheer II. Anne and her husband have been married 27 years. They live in Texas and are the parents of three young adults, all still looking for their own true life romance. Learn more and connect:  

About the book – Playing by Heart: Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But then a shocking phone call from her sister, Jewel, changes everything.

With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister, but the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Lula doesn’t even consider those real subjects!

Determined to prove herself, Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys’ coach, Chet, to learn the newfangled game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She’s returning to college and her scholarship as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.

However, the more time she spends around Jewel’s family, the girls’ basketball team, music classes, and Chet, the more Lula comes to realize what she’s given up in her single-minded pursuit of degree after degree. God is working on her heart, and her future is starting to look a lot different than she’d expected.

Come back Oct 8th for Anne’s proposal story!

11 Responses to “Anne Mateer – Real Life Romance & Excerpt – Part 1 of 2”

  • angela chesnut says:

    would love to win.

  • Connie Saunders says:

    Forty-seven years ago this December, I was a senior in high school and sitting with some friends at a basketball game. A group of older boys were sitting nearby and long story short…one of those guys and I will celibrate our 46th wedding anniversary this December! (Good Lord willing)

  • Shelia Hall says:

    I have played piano and guitar but not anymore due to arthritis

  • Bonnie Wilt says:

    I disagree about the not much excitement part. When Jeff called for us to come to Washington to meet someone we were pretty sure it was someone special, and you are. There was plenty of excitement in Pennsylvania waiting to meet you.

  • Anne Mateer says:

    What a sweet story, Connie–and perfect for Playing by Heart!

    Piano and guitar are quite an accomplishment, Shelia. I’m sorry you can’t play them anymore, but hopefully you still enjoy the music.

    Thanks, Bonnie! 🙂

  • Charlyn Green says:

    met my husband in a singles Sunday school class. The year we got married there were 5 weddings with 8 of the 10 people coming from that class. 🙂 we celebrated our 33rd anniversary this summer.

  • I played clarinet in junior high. Not well, but it was required so I did it. Oh well….

  • ELIZA ELLIOT says:

    looks delightful – would love to win! =)

  • Anne Mateer says:

    Wow, Charlyn! That’s amazing! Congrats on 33 years!

    I think any instrument played is an accomplishment, Diane! 🙂

  • Well, I can’t answer #1, yet so … I dabbled in piano as a child. We had one of those light up keyboards that lets you learn songs by ear. I thought I learned Pachelbel’s Canon in D Minor –I was crushed when a piano teacher told me it was a simplified version. I could play a one note melody and chords of “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion though … =)

  • I wanted to play piano in my teens. I took lessons, but I wanted to start out playing Beethoven. I had no idea how hard it was and how much practice it took. When it got to where I had to use both hands to play, it was too hard and I quit. I wish I hadn’t now.

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