Lisa Wingate – Real Life Romance – Part 1 of 1

Shannon here: Womens’ fiction author, Lisa Wingate shares her grandparent’s real life romance plus a chance to win her latest release, The Prayer Box. Comment on this post to get your name in the drawing. Deadline: September 7th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Lisa:

Lisa WingateThe Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate

Lisa Wingate grandparentsLisa Wingate grandparents 2

Lisa Wingate Tells a Family Story about Love at First Sight

You never know when a love story will surface or a family secret will be revealed! There we were, in a hotel room sorting and assembling some freebie handouts at a conference recently. My mother (Sharon) was with me and we had picked up my delightful Aunt Sandy on our way. Mom and Aunt Sandy had a sisters’ weekend while I attended the convention.

While we were working, Aunt Sandy started asking us the questions from our conversation starter cards, just for fun. When we came to a question about an out-of-the-box love story in the family, we all thought of my grandparents, Vi and Norm. Their love story has always been one of my favorites, because it confirms that love-at-first-sight really does exist, and it can last a lifetime.  You can actually meet someone and know instantly that it’s the real thing.

The night my grandparents met, he was a tall, suave, drummer in a jazz band, and she was a shy young girl at the dance with her parents. During a break, my grandfather asked her to dance, and that night he went home and told his mother he had met the girl he was going to marry. He said that she just fit right in his arms, she could follow him just great, and he just knew she was the one. They could really cut a rug as they said in those days.

After a short period of sparkin’, my grandfather bought his sweetheart a beautiful diamond engagement ring. The picture is of them taking an old-fashioned carriage ride on the day they were engaged. Isn’t that the sweetest of love-at-first-sight stories?

What I didn’t know until that night in the conference hotel room, was that there was a little family secret about that sweet love story.

While we were working, my mother mentioned that my grandmother, when she was newly engaged, had lost that original diamond ring when it slipped into the potato peels and was thrown out in the hog pen with the slop. The ring, my mother had been told, was a little big on Grandma’s dainty finger.  Sadly, it was never seen again. Mom said her grandma had told her all about that—several times over the years, in fact.

My Aunt laughed when she heard my mother’s version of this story.  Aunt Sandy had been told (perhaps by one of my grandmother’s fun-loving brothers) that the engagement ring was lost in the pigpen because my grandmother threw it in there and broke up with my grandfather. Grandma had surprised her beau at a dance hall where his band was playing, and she saw him dancing with another girl. She’d have none of his explanation that the woman was an old family friend.  My grandmother then proceeded home and threw the ring into the pigpen. There was my mom with her jaw agape and we all had a hearty laugh!

Luckily for us descendants, the breakup was only temporary. But by the time apologies were accepted, and forgiveness was extended, the ring was long gone. The troughs and wallows were sifted, but the ring was never seen again. When my grandparents married, a plain, small, gold band went on my grandmother’s finger. My grandfather said he never bought her another fancy ring because she had thrown the first one to the pigs.

Perhaps the truth is a little something different. Perhaps that plain, gold band remained on my grandmother’s finger as a reminder that love is not about fancy tokens or flashes of emotion. Love that lasts is about patience, daily devotion, the determination to listen, the habitual extending of kindness, and the habit of looking for the best in the one you love.

A little creative storytelling doesn’t hurt either.

So, here’s to family history, that which is slightly altered, and that which is newly shared, and that which will always be tenderly remembered.

What about you? Is there an out-of-the-box love story in your family?  Or is there a family story that may have been creatively embellished along the way? 

All that hilarity over the two different versions of the story led to more family stories and to some brainstorming over my WIP, The Prayer Box.  Aunt Sandy insisted that she wanted to be in the story and own Sandy’s Seashell Shop. She’d sell shells (of course) but also hand-crafted jewelry from sea glass and beachy treasures. There were glass boxes and wind chimes and all kinds of mini seascapes in shells and ornament balls. The details were too good to leave out, so Aunt Sandy became a character, and around her developed a sisterhood of the heart. 

Eventually, Aunt Sandy and Sandy’s Seashell Shop even got their own story.  When my publishers asked for a prequel novella to The Prayer Box, I wrote The Sea Glass Sisters, and Sandy and her little shop were the stars.

Suffice to say that The Prayer Box and The Sea Glass Sisters are the books that girlfriends built. And as I write this, we’re making plans for a big book kickoff in Florida to raise money for a food program that gives snack backpacks to hungry kids. And of course, while that’s happening, (the real) Sandy and Sharon of (the fictional) Sandy’s Seashell Shop will be right there beside me, ready to sign their names to the title page, as well!

About Lisa: Lisa Wingate is a magazine columnist, speaker, and the author of nineteen mainstream fiction novels, including the national bestseller, Tending Roses, now in its nineteenth printing.  She is a seven-time ACFW Carol award nominee, a Christy Award nominee, an Oklahoma Book Award finalist, and a two-time Carol Award winner. Her novel, Blue Moon Bay, was a Booklist Top Ten of 2012 pick.  Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others, as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life. 

When not dreaming up stories, Lisa spends time on the road as a motivational speaker. Via internet, she shares with readers as far away as India, where her book, Tending Roses, has been used to promote women’s literacy, and as close to home as Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the county library system has used Tending Roses to help volunteers teach adults to read. Lisa lives on a ranch in Texas, where she spoils the livestock, raises boys, and teaches Sunday school to high school seniors. She was inspired to become a writer by a first grade teacher who said she expected to see Lisa’s name in a magazine one day.

Lisa also entertained childhood dreams of being an Olympic gymnast and winning the National Finals Rodeo, but was stalled by the inability to do a back flip on the balance beam and parents who wouldn’t finance a rodeo career. She was lucky enough to marry into a big family of cowboys and southern storytellers who would inspire any lover of tall tales and interesting, yet profound characters. She is a full time writer, and pens inspirational fiction for both the general Christian markets. Of all the things she loves about her job, she loves connecting with people, both real and imaginary, the most. More information about Lisa’s novels can be found at Learn more: Join me on Facebook and Youtube and http://http//

About the book – The Prayer Box: When Iola Anne Poole, an old-timer on Hatteras Island, passes away in her bed at ninety-one, the struggling young mother in her rental cottage, Tandi Jo Reese, finds herself charged with the task of cleaning out Iola’s rambling Victorian house.

Running from a messy, dangerous past, Tandi never expects to find more than a temporary hiding place within Iola’s walls, but everything changes with the discovery of eighty-one carefully decorated prayer boxes, one for each year, spanning from Iola’s youth to her last days. Hidden in the boxes is the story of a lifetime, written on random bits of paper–the hopes and wishes, fears and thoughts of an unassuming but complex woman passing through the seasons of an extraordinary, unsung life filled with journeys of faith, observations on love, and one final lesson that could change everything for Tandi.

An e-novella prequel, The Sea Glass Sister was released in July. 

Book trailer:

Come back August 28th for Karla Akins!

25 Responses to “Lisa Wingate – Real Life Romance – Part 1 of 1”

  • karen says:

    I’d love to win this book, sounds like a book I would love to read

  • Lisa Wingate says:

    Hi Shannon! Thanks for inviting me to your cyber spot today ;o)

  • Glad to have you, Lisa. I love your cute story.

  • Katie Edgar says:

    I don’t have an out-of-the-box love story in my family, but I love that my parents were high school sweethearts & now have been happily married for 40 years! I am still waiting for my love story, so maybe it will be an out-of-the-box love story! 😉

  • Bonnie Traher says:

    Would really really love to win this book.

  • Pam Nelson says:

    Been reading a lot about The Prayer Box! Hopefully now I’ll get to read the book!

  • I would love to read this. Been watching post for it. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  • Please include me in this giveaway. After reading the reviews, I added this book to my wish list, but I’d love to win it. Sounds like a beautiful story!

  • Connie Price says:

    Loved reading the stories-the 2 versions-of the lost ring!! Would love to win and read your book!!

  • What a great post. I loved reading this. Thank you for the chance to win.

  • shelia hall says:

    Your story is so sweet! Love to win it!

  • Sharon Timmer says:

    This sounds like such a great book – another one I need to put on my reading list 🙂

  • Thanking you for sharing the story..I loved it..:) I cannot wait to read the book! I would be thrilled to win..It sounds unforgettable.

  • I have loved Lisa’s previous books & I’m sure this one is equally fantastic! Thanks for the chance 🙂

  • Jeri says:

    I loved “The Sea Glass Sister” and can’t wait to read “The Prayer Box.”

  • Lisa Wingate is a very gifted author. i can relate to her story of love at first site. Thank you for a lovely feature of Lisa and her newest release! Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of The Prayer Box.

  • Oh, what a wonderful story! There’s always more than one side, huh?

  • I love getting to know author’s a bit better, and this is a great story! I’m so looking forward to reading The Prayer Box and would love to win a copy!

    iblog4books [at] gmail {dot} com

  • Barbara Thompson says:

    What a beautiful post about your grandparents. I don’t have any in my family. Book sounds great. Would love to win. Please enter my name in the giveaway. Thank you.

  • Janet Estridge says:

    If marriages today were like your grandparents there would be no divorce.
    Thanks for sharing their story.

  • Kathy Jacob says:

    Sounds like an amazing story!

  • Oh Shannon thanks for inviting Lisa to your blog. Such a sweet story she us about love at first sight. I had a sister like that. That is what her then boyfriend told his brother and friends. That he was going to marry that girl, and he did. Wed for many years. She died just before their 50th Anniversary. I would sure love to win Lisa’s book. Please put my name in. Thanks.
    Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  • bonnie says:

    Cute story of love & wonderful book storyline – would love to read the book!

    My mother & her sister always double-dated & had a double wedding – they were married at home. My grandfather didn’t want them to get married because he thought they were too young – he went down to his barn & wasn’t even going to attend the wedding, until the pastor (conducting the ceremony) went down & talked him into it. My mother didn’t find out until years later – that my grandfather hadn’t planned to attend her wedding. My parents have been married 71 years (as my aunt would have been, had not her husband died a few ago ) – guess they weren’t too young to get married, after all!


  • KayM says:

    One funny story about my grandmother and grandfather–they grew up in Northeastern Missouri in a very small farming community. Gramma always said she would never marry a farmer! Well, she didn’t actually marry one. Grampa got a job in Des Moines, Iowa, and they moved to the “big city”, where they lived until their two older children were married and gone. Then, Grampa bought a business in a small town in Southeast Iowa. I guess my grandfather had the last laugh, because as the business did very well, he was able to buy a small hobby farm. He did please my grandmother very much, I’m sure, by tearing down the old farmhouse and building a nice, modern rambler. I never heard her complain, so maybe by then, she didn’t mind living in the country and feeding a few chickens.

    I’m looking forward to reading The Prayer Box.

  • I have a winner! Janet Estridge won the drawing. I appreciate Lisa for being my guest and everyone else for stopping by.

Leave a Reply

Featuring Recent Posts Wordpress Widget development by YD