Shannon here: Historical romance author, Marjorie Vawter shares how she met her husband and how her characters meet in her novella, A Shelter from the Storm which is included in the 4 in 1 collection, Sundays in Fredericksburg. Comment on any post dated April 12 – 19 for a chance to win a copy of the collection. Deadline: April 27th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Margie:
How I Met . . . and Finally Kept . . . My Spouse
The short answer is Roger and I met at college when my roommate our junior year introduced us. But the story is really more complicated than that.
We attended a private Christian university where societies instead of sororities and fraternities dominate the social culture on campus. Each semester they have either a society members-only outing or a dating outing. Even though I was shy and never one to “chase” men, I did force myself once a year to ask a guy to join me for the dating outings. Only my sophomore year I had to ask way too many to get a date. I may have been shy, but I was persistent. So my junior year I decided to bypass all that by not going on that particular outing.
But I hadn’t factored my roommate into the equation. (I always was bad at math!) She decided a guy friend from her church in Illinois was just the one I needed to ask. He was seriously dating a girl who attended another college, so this would be a friends-only one-time thing. No worries. Except I didn’t take her up on it right away. Finally she told me if I didn’t ask him, she would. So I did.
He graciously accepted and asked me to lunch so we could meet and get to know each other a little before the actual dating outing. We had a great time on both “dates.” Because he was dating someone else, I was much more relaxed than I would have been normally. We were friends before the end of the first lunch date. We had a few more “dates” that semester.
But for Christmas, he gave his girlfriend a promise ring. And as far as I was concerned, that was that. Then he had second thoughts about the promise ring and really wanted to spend more time with me. Not knowing where this “new” standing in our relationship would lead, I agreed to getting to know him better. THEN I got nervous. LOL We dated for the rest of the semester, and he went home to break up with his girlfriend.
But when we returned to school in the fall, he had a different girl in tow. I wanted to be able to shrug it off as I had the year before, but at this point I was 99% sure he was “the one.” After lots of tears, prayers, and phone calls home, I finally accepted that God might have someone better for me.
Then two months later . . . Yep, he broke up with girlfriend #2, and asked me out again. This time I wasn’t so eager, but we met to talk, and I could tell he’d definitely made up his mind . . . finally. Two months later he proposed.
And in July this year we will celebrate our 35th anniversary.
In A Shelter from the Storm I made it easier on Mildred and Nelson, but the first meeting is still a little awkward.
Excerpt from A Shelter from the Storm by Margie Vawter:
“Fredericksburg, next stop,” the conductor called out as he entered the railroad car.
As he walked through, Mildred watched his progress. He stopped to talk to a man Mildred had noticed as soon as she entered the car in San Antonio—absolutely the most handsome man Mildred had ever laid eyes on. Not that she was looking. But after serving nearly two years in field hospitals in Belgium and France, she could safely say she’d seen her share of men, good-looking and otherwise.
The train slowed, and steam from the locomotive billowed past her window. Finally home. Excitement tickled her stomach as she reached down to grab her pack.
“Excuse me, miss.”
A man’s rich baritone startled her out of her musings. She looked up into steely blue eyes that contrasted sharply with his dark brown hair. Her handsome fellow traveler. Heat rose from the pit of her stomach, and she prayed it would stop before it reached the top of her high-necked blouse.
Swallowing hard to dispel the rock stuck in her throat, she mentally shook herself for her reaction to this stranger. “Yes?”
“The conductor said you might know if there is somewhere to stay the night, a hotel or boardinghouse? I didn’t expect to get in so late.”
“You must be new to Fredericksburg not to know that this train never keeps its published schedule.” Mildred smiled.
The train lurched and slowed, as the train whistle blew its warning, and the stranger grabbed at the back of the seat to steady himself. Only then did she see his cane.
“Oh my.” She scooted closer to the window. “How rude of me to make you stand. Please, sit down.”
He gave a relieved smile as he sank into the seat next to her.
About Marjorie: Marjorie Vawter is a professional freelance editor and writer who proofreads and edits for CBA publishers, edits for individual clients, and writes. An avid reader, she also judges for several prestigious awards in the inspirational marketplace, and she serves as conference director’s assistant for the Colorado and Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conferences. She has published several articles and numerous devotionals, many of them in Barbour publications. Mom to two adult children and a daughter-in-love, Marjorie lives with her husband, Roger, and cat, Sinatra, in the Ozarks of southwest Missouri. Learn more – Website: www.marjorievawter.com, FB: https://www.facebook.com/MarjorieVawterAuthor, Twitter: @MarjorieVawter, and Blog: The Writer’s Tool www.marjorievawter.blogspot.com
About the novella – A Shelter from the Storm by Marjorie Vawter: A nurse in World War I Europe, Mildred Zimmerman returns to Fredericksburg, which is dealing with an outbreak of Spanish influenza. Drawn into the hometown battle, Mildred opens her family’s Sunday house as an overflow to the small, overcrowded clinic. Death seems to plague those she loves, and she is determined not to allow herself to fall in love. . .until war hero Nelson Winters is placed in her care.
About the collection – Sundays in Fredericksburg: Come on down to Fredericksburg, Texas, where four generations of couples encounter romance in Sunday Houses. Having become a schoolteacher to avoid marriage, Amelia Bachman finds her resolve crumbling before a smitten carpenter. Determined not to fall in love, Mildred Zimmermann carefully nurses an army medic crippled in love and war. Somewhat of a homebody, Trudy Meier isn’t sure she has the courage to love a roving reporter. Gwendolyn’s beautiful wildflower field is threatened by a geologist’s search for knowledge. Will these four women risk their hearts for the love a stranger?
Come back April 17th for Lynette Sowell!