Contemporary romance author, Stephanie Craig shares insight into her real life romance plus a chance to win her short story, Flowers for Katie which is included in the short story collection, Heart Bouquets. Comment on this post to get your name in the drawing for four e-books including Heart Bouquets, A Familiar Shore, Really Rare Rabbits, & Cracks in the Ice. Details on each e-book are at the end of the post. Deadline: June 22nd, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Stephanie:
I love romance. Movies, books, true life stories. I’m a sucker for a happy ending. After I married, I realized that the happy ending is only the beginning. So I searched for romantic stories that takes place after people have been married for at least a few years, and I was sad when I found almost nothing enjoyable. Most books or movies that focus on married romance are depressing. They focus on couples going through problems, usually separating. and then finding their way back to each other.
Although those stories are nice and inspirational, I wanted to read stories about the everyday problems together like figuring out how to have time and energy for romance with kids around or what happens when one spouse loses a job. Couples spend only a couple years basking in the novelty of young love and many, many years (hopefully) in a different kind, more of a settled love. I wanted to glorify that time in people lives too. It may not have the emotional highs of new love, but it’s just as rewarding.
My husband, Scott, and I were friends for a long time before we started dating. Then at just the right time, God revealed our feeling for each other to us. As I said before I love romance, but Scott is not a romantic type of guy. He doesn’t get it and doesn’t quite understand when I explain it to him. That’s okay though, his way of showing me love is helping around the house and trying to take care of me. It works out great because I’m unorganized and a little flighty. I also tend to put myself last. He’s the perfect companion for me.
One of my favorite romantic stories took place on our tenth anniversary, although it didn‘t feel romantic at the time. We always planned to go on a cruise for our tenth anniversary, but that never happened. Our older son, four at the time, had been diagnosed with relapsed leukemia for the second time three months prior to our anniversary. We spent those three months preparing his body for a stem cell transplant. We were all exhausted because we had been fighting this disease for almost three years by this time. Unfortunately, we lived over a hundred miles from the children’s hospital and about the same from our nearest relative who watched our younger son during the long hospitalizations.
Scott had the day of our anniversary off work. But he had to work the days before and after because his time off was being saved for the upcoming transplant. Our son had blood transfusions, chemotherapy, and radiation that day. The only time Scott and I had alone was when he was in radiation, waiting for our son to wake up from the anesthesia. So we sat in a hospital room. We were too tired to even go to the cafeteria. Scott brought me a box of my favorite food T.G.I.Friday’s Buffalo Wings. So we ate wings together and stared at the TV while waiting for the call the our son was awake. There were no chocolates, cards, or flowers because we couldn’t afford them, not to mention that fact that bone marrow transplant patients cannot be around any plants dead or alive. Once our son was back in the room, treatment resumed, then Scott went home.
It seemed so unromantic to me. To make it worse, our friends who got married around the same time were taking trips to Hawaii and other exotic destinations to celebrate their 10 years. I have to admit that I was jealous. Not only were there kids healthy but they got to go on romantic vacations. But that jealousy became admiration for my husband. You see, Scott was just as tired as me. I stayed at the hospital for weeks at a time, but he stayed home, worked, and took care of our younger son when he wasn’t working. He drove four hours (to the hospital and home again) just to spend an hour alone with me on our anniversary. I was worn out and didn’t resemble the young, vibrant woman that he married. In fact, I doubt I had the energy to put on lip balm that day. But he was happy just to be with me. That’s a gift more valuable than chocolates or flowers. Although I’m still hoping for a cruse.
In case your wondering, our son is doing great. It’s been almost 2 ½ years since his transplant. The cancer never came back and he’s beginning to forget many of the details of his life in the hospital. He wears his hair a little long and curly after spending so many years of being bald.
About Stephanie: Stephanie Craig is a freelance writer from Michigan. She believes in writing about romance in everyday life because married people are romantic too. Flowers for Katie from the Hearts Bouquet collection is her first published work of fiction.
About the short story – Flowers for Katie – A woman is delighted when her husband sends her a special message through flowers, but doesn’t the message line up with his actions?
About the collection – Heart Bouquets: Romance is in the air. What do ice cream, flowers, bracelets, cars, coffee, and blind dates all have in common? Heart Bouquets. A collection of six romantic stories sure to touch your heart, make you smile, and/or empty the tissue box.
Click on each title for info on each giveaway:
Come back June 14th for Traci Tyne Hilton!