Shannon here: Women’s fiction author, Jennifer Slattery shares insight into her heroine, Ainsley, from her debut novel, Beyond I Do. Comment, give Ainsley advice, or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a print or e-book copy. Deadline: Oct 25th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Jennifer/Ainsley:
Post by Ainsley Meadows – heroine of Beyond I Do by Jennifer Slattery:
When you were a little girl, did you like to play dress-up? Did you ever host mock weddings, using streams of tissue paper for your veil? Maybe your attire was more elegant and used real satin, lace, and pearls.
But then your mother caught you fingering through her jewelry box and smearing lipstick all over your face—the kind that stains. Of course, you found the red smudges beautiful. The chapped skin that came from the scrubbing afterward? Not so much.
I was quite the fanciful child, always dreaming of my happily-ever-after. I had it all planned out. I’d wear the perfect gown, get married in a tiny cabin tucked deep within the woods. For years, I thought such a place didn’t exist except in my dreams. But then, not long ago, I stumbled upon a magazine that depicted just such a cabin—like the one I’d always dreamed of, on the cover.
Regressing to that toe-head little girl tottering around in her mother’s high heels, I grabbed the issue and hurried off to meet my fiancé for lunch, certain he’d be as excited about what I found as I was.
He wasn’t. To put it mildly.
(sigh) Which in itself isn’t such a big deal. Okay, so maybe it is. I mean, how often does one find the cabin of their dreams, literally? But though I pouted a bit, I got over it.
But cabin or not, I should be excited—I’m getting married soon!
The only problem is, I have the worst case of cold feet ever. Gina, my best friend, says I need to “listen to my gut.” To which I responded, “That’s just indigestion.”
Yet, I have to ask, how does one know when a beau is the one? You all have been reading real-life romance stories on Shannon’s blog long enough to know forever-love when you see it. That’s what I want—forever love.
When I began dating Richard, I thought I’d found that. We met at mental health conference hosted in Topeka. Being a pharmaceutical representative, I wasn’t exactly the guest of honor. Rather, I felt more like a life-insurance salesman at a funeral home. 😉
The place was packed with a bunch of stuffy psychiatrists in suits and ties dipped in so much starch, the fabric crackled when they walked. Richard’s jacket was equally pressed, but his smile was warm and friendly. Not to mention he was incredibly handsome. Tall, dark, thick hair, well-built, and intelligent, to boot. Brilliant, actually. Setting me at ease, he ushered me to an empty seat at his table and livened the night up with interesting stories.
A whirlwind of a romance followed. Oh, the places he took me! Over the next five years, we ate at the nicest restaurants, went to the theater, and attended the most elegant parties.
But then, he received a book contract, and everything changed. Or perhaps I should say, grew more intense, including him. I know he’s stressed. After all, writing and launching a book can’t be easy, especially while running a successful practice.
But what if this new Richard never goes away?
I suppose that leads me to my next question, and being the avid romance readers I know you are, I hope you’ll have plenty of advice to offer. None of us will behave perfectly all the time, and we all go through crabby or unpleasant periods. I was a mess all of high school! It’s any wonder my mother didn’t give me the boot.
Oh, wait. She did.
Anyway, back to my question… When should one end a romantic relationship, or at the very least, ask for a break, and when do they stick things out?
For that matter, is love, real love, really strong enough to overcome any challenge, argument, or set-back?
Ha! You didn’t know you’d be playing therapist today, did you? Shannon, I’m sorry if I’ve monopolized this post. It’s just I really need some advice.
Question: Did you or anyone you know have cold feet at the wedding?
About Jennifer: Jennifer Slattery writes missional fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes Christian Living articles for Crosswalk.com, writes and edits for Christ to the World Ministries, and writes devotions for her personal blog, JenniferSlatteryLivesOutloud, and Internet Café Devotions. When she’s not writing, her and her husband are probably sitting at a coffee shop somewhere, him reading a sports article on his phone while she loses herself in a great novel.
About the book – Beyond I Do:
Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?
Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.
Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.
Read a free, 36-page excerpt here: http://issuu.com/newhopedigital/docs/beyond_i_do_sample?e=6362996/8842858
Come back Oct 17th for Jennifer’s excerpt!