Shannon here: Historical author, Jennifer Hudson Taylor shares her real life romance & interview. Every time you comment on any post dated Oct 17 – 21, your name will go in the drawing for a copy of Mary Ellis’ A Marriage for Meghan. Deadline: Oct 29, 11:59 pm, central time. Here’s Jennifer:
The year was 1986 and I was only 15. Every weekend my parents would take Grandma to the grocery store, specifically, Winn-Dixie near Four Seasons Mall in Greensboro, NC. While my parents shopped for their groceries, I would hang out with Grandma. We stood in line to check out, but the cashier refused to ring up Grandma’s groceries until I gave her my phone number for a guy working in the store. The cashier used to attend our church, but was now attending his. I refused—and the line kept getting longer. People seemed to be enjoying my discomfort as I heard men snickering and women giggling behind us.
I explained that I couldn’t date until I turned 16, but that only got me a mischievous grin from the cashier who said I didn’t have to go on a date in order to talk to him on the phone. Grandma didn’t have much patience and exclaimed, “Just give ‘im your phone number. My groceries are gonna melt!”
I considered giving a wrong number, but I couldn’t do that and finally gave her the right number. When the young man in question asked if he could carry out Grandma’s groceries for us, I lifted my chin and said, “No, thank you.” (In much the same way as Anne Shirley did to Gilbert Blythe in Anne of Green Gables.)
He finally called and we talked on a regular basis for a month until I turned 16. I’m not sure why, but I still refused to go out with him for 3 more months. Talking on the phone was comfortable. It wasn’t face-to-face, which seemed scary to me.
Eventually, he talked me into going out with him. Our first date was a dinner at Cellar Anton’s, a nice Italian restaurant. He ordered lasagna and I ordered spaghetti ravacotti. The waiter placed our meals in front of us. Something didn’t look right and I told Dwayne that I thought he’d mixed up our orders. Dwayne gave me a prideful, gloating smile and pointed down at his meal. “This is lasagna. I KNOW what lasagna looks like.” Both dishes were covered in a top layer of cheese and they did look similar, so I thought, fine.
Dwayne starts digging beneath all the cheese and discovered these tiny little spaghetti O’s. He turned red, his blue eyes bright with embarrassment and said, “Um, I think I’ve got your spaghetti ravacotti.”
It was MY turn to give him a gloating smile. My response was, “Imagine that. I hope you like spaghetti ravacotti, because I’M eating lasagna.” It was the first of a lifetime of friendly bantering.
We went out a few more times then didn’t date again until I was a senior. This time we dated all through college. We’ve been married for 17 years and have one daughter and I can’t imagine life without him.
1. What’s the most romantic thing your spouse has ever done for you? He decorated the house to look like a fancy restaurant for our anniversery.
We had a wonderful fondue meal just like at the “Melting Pot” restaurant.
2. Where is the most romantic place you and your spouse have ever been?
We had rented a beautiful cabin in the mountains and up on the cliff overlooking the mountain was a small church made of rock and out front near the entrance was the most stunning “cinderella”carriage i’ve ever seen, while we were there it began to snow.
3. Do you and your spouse have a favorite song?
When we were dating our song was “Right here waiting” by Richard Marx.
4. What simple gesture does your spouse do that melts you every time?
He has the most beautiful eyes, just the way he looks at me lets me know that I am very much loved, those eyes still get me even after 18 years of marriage.
5. How soon after meeting you did your spouse know you were the one?
Well we went out a few times then we didn’t see each other for a year in a half. One night while I was working at the mall, he saw me and came by to talk and we started dating again. Several months later he told me that the reason he came in to the store that night was because when he had walked by that night, God softly spoke to him to go back “you’re going to marry that girl”. I’m so glad he listened!
6. Who is most romantic, you or your spouse?
Oh, my husband without a doubt. He has been really good for me, since i’m an intravert, his love and affection have helped me to be a little more relaxed.
7. What is the most caring thing your spouse has ever done for you?
Loved me in spite of my many flaws.
8. What is the most caring thing you’ve ever done for your spouse?
Loved him in spite of his many flaws, lol.
9. Who said, “I love you” first, you or your spouse?
Lol, my husband of course. I wanted love but due to certain circumstances in my childhood, I was quite afraid of loving a man.
10. Where did you and your spouse go for your honeymoon?
Walt Disney World.
About Jennifer: Jennifer Hudson Taylor is an award winning author of historical Christian fiction set in Europe and the Carolinas and a speaker on topics of faith, writing and publishing. Her work has appeared in national publications, such as Guideposts, Heritage Quest Magazine, Romantic Times Book Reviews, and The Military Trader. She serves as the Publicist at Hartline Literary Agency. Jennifer graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in Journalism. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with family, long walks, traveling, touring historical sites, hanging out at bookstores with coffee shops, genealogy, and reading. Jennifer’s fiction is represented by Literary Agent, Terry Burns with Hartline Literary Agency. Learn more at www.jenniferhudsontaylor.com, www.facebook.com/JenniferHudsonTaylor, and www.twitter.com/jt4novels
About the book: Gavin MacKenzie, a chieftain heir who is hired to restore the ancient Castle of Braigh, discovers a hidden village of outcasts who have created their own private sanctuary from the world. Among them is Serena Boyd, a mysterious and comely lass, who captures Gavin’s heart in spite of harboring a deadly past that could destroy her future.
The villagers happen to be keeping an intriguing secret as well. When a fierce enemy launches an attack against them, greed leads to bitter betrayal. As Gavin prepares a defense, the villagers unite in a bold act of faith, showing how God’s love is more powerful than any human force on earth.
Where to purchase Highland Sanctuary:
Come back Oct 24th for inspirational author, Shellie Neumeier.