Lorna Seilstad – Real Life Romance – Part 1 of 3

Shannon here: My critique partner, historical romance author, Lorna Seilstad shares a glimpse into roses and romance. Comment on any post dated July 25 – 29 for a chance to win a copy of her latest release: A Great Catch. Deadline: July 30th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Lorna:

A Rose Legacy

Roses. The word conjures up images of a dozen long stemmed beauties in a rectangular box being offered by a handsome man in a stunning black tux.


My imagination was going into overdrive.

Truthfully though, roses are the epitome of romantic flowers. I know Shannon is the queen of White Roses with her novel of that title, but I wanted to share a few stories about some times when this simple flower spoke when words seemed to fail.

“Love is like a rose. When pressed between two lifetimes, it will last forever.”

When my grandparents were in the fourth grade, they became sweethearts. My grandfather was a handsome fellow and the other girls often flirted with him, but he only had eyes for my grandmother. They married before he left for France to serve in WW1, and she remained in Iowa, teaching school.

While he was thousands of miles away, he arranged for my grandmother to receive a dozen roses on Christmas Day back in Iowa. That would have been an unbelievably hard to do, and he would have had to plan such an extravagance months in advance. I’ll never forget my grandmother’s face when she told me about those roses. They’d said more to her than any words could. They spoke to her heart, and years later, she still got tears in her eyes talking about them.

After he retired from farming, my grandfather filled my grandmother’s life with all kinds of flowers, including roses, in the most beautiful garden you can imagine. He died when he was 75 years old, but grandma lived to be 105. When she was around a hundred she told me, “I dreamt your grandpa was holding me in his arms last night, and I didn’t want to wake up. I never dreamed I’d live twenty-five years without him. I can hardly remember a time when he wasn’t part of me.”

My own parents loved each other very much, but my father wasn’t one to shower my mom with flowers. He’d buy her gorgeous dishes at an antique auction on a regular basis, but bringing her flowers was a rather rare thing.

However, on their twentieth wedding anniversary, I remember my dad brought her twenty yellow roses (her favorite) arranged in an antique yellow Vaseline glass bowl. The set had two candlesticks to match as well and the bowl rested on its own little stand. It took my breath away, but not because the flowers were so beautiful or the glassware so lovely, but because he’d gone to such efforts to bring her something that was so “her.”

When we were dating, the first gift my husband gave me was a long stemmed red rose. It opened beautifully, and I preserved it in silica sand as was the new rage. I kept the dried rose in a glass dish on my dresser even after we married. Then, one day, my then two-year-old son got into mommy’s pretties and crumpled that into tiny bits.

That was probably a good thing. I can’t imagine one of my daughters wanting to someday inherit the first rose her dad ever gave her mom. It was special to me, because of who gave it to me.

Today, my husband often brings me roses simply because he knows I enjoy them. They’ve not only marked birthdays and anniversaries, but they’ve marked the birth of our children, the publishing of a book, surviving tough times together, and just because. The flower itself means little, but the message behind them speaks volumes. And the notes he writes on the cards?  Well , let’s just say he can be quite a writer when he wants to be.

I do not know who decided roses would represent love. Perhaps they decided because roses are beautiful and yet have thorns. That seems appropriate since you can’t have the breathtaking moments of marriage without the occasional prick of the thorns. 

What about you? Do you enjoy getting flowers? Do you have any romantic rose stories to share?

About Lorna: Iowa native and resident Lorna Seilstad received her B.S. in education from Lubbock Christian University. After her first child was born, she quit teaching and became a professional wiper. “I wiped noses, tears, skinned knees, baby’s bottoms, and countertops every day. But at naptime, I wrote.” Today, she writes inspirational historical romance with a generous dash of humor, and lives with her husband and three children. A history buff, antique collector, and freelance graphic designer, Lorna Seilstad is the author of Making Waves and draws her setting from her home state of Iowa. A former high school English and journalism teacher, she has won several online writing awards and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.  Read more at www.LornaSeilstad.com.

About the Book:

She wants to change the world. He wants to change her mind.

It is the beginning of a new century at Lake Manawa Resort in Iowa, but some things never change. When 22-year-old Emily Graham’s meddlesome aunts and grandmother take it upon themselves to find her a husband among the resort guests, the spunky suffragist is determined to politely decline each and every suitor. She has neither the time nor the need for a man in her busy life.

Carter Stockton, a recent college graduate and pitcher for the Manawa Owls baseball team, intends to enjoy every minute of the summer at Lake Manawa, Iowa, before he is forced into the straitlaced business world of his father.

When their worlds collide, neither Emily nor Carter could guess what would come next. Will Carter strike out? Or will Emily cast her vote for a love that might cost her dreams?

The perfect summer novel, A Great Catch will enchant you with its breezy setting and endearing characters.

A Great Catch weaves humor, history, romance, and spiritual truths into a delicious story that will delight readers’ hearts. What a fun, relaxing read! I’d like to remain at Lake Manawa forever.”—Laura Frantz, author of The Frontiersman’s Daughter and Courting Morrow Little

“A grand slam! In a story as refreshing and invigorating as lemonade, Seilstad raises deep questions about a woman’s relationship with God, her dreams, and the people in her life—while making me laugh so loudly my kids came running to get in on the joke.”—Sarah Sundin, author of the Wings of Glory series

Come back July 27th for another glimpse into Lorna’s real life romance–something about buying chicken.

9 Responses to “Lorna Seilstad – Real Life Romance – Part 1 of 3”

  • Please enter me. Thanks!

  • Dawn Ford says:

    Two years ago for my birthday my oldest son arranged to have a dozen multi-colored roses in a beautiful vase sent to me. He had moved out on his own a couple of months prior and was (mostly) supporting himself and it was one of the first things he bought. I have the picture on my phone. I think he’ll make a good husband some day. 🙂

  • Your’e in, Angela!

    Dawn, that was so incredibly sweet and thoughtful. Yep, I think he’ll make a good hubby some day.

  • Laura Frantz says:

    Oh, this post brought tears to my eyes! The part about her dreaming of him long after he was gone is so touching. I can just imagine them being reunited in heaven! I’ve always loved roses and will think of this when I see them. Bless you, Shannon and Lorna!!

  • Marilyn French says:

    I love these stories, the pictures, I can just imagine Les fixing the anniversary roses. Its always more fun to read something when you know the people. It is sweet to hear that Dave gives you roses!

  • Laura, I know what you mean. Every time I think of my grandma telling me that story, I want to cry. I can almost feel the longing in her voice. What a reunion I bet they had!

    Marilyn, you know my dad. He loves to give gifts when someone doesn’t expect it. And David is sweet to bring me roses.

  • Judy Miller says:

    Loved both of those stories, Lori. I really didn’t need to cry today, but couldn’t help pulling out the Kleenex when I read your grandmother’s sweet words!

  • Judy, I didn’t mean to make you cry, but I have to agree my grandmother’s words were sweet. 🙂

  • Glad everyone enjoyed Lorna’s post.

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