Stephen Bly – Real Life Romance – Part 1 of 4

Shannon here: Western romance author, Stephen Bly shares his real life romance and three chances to win his book, Throw the Devil off the Train. Three copies for three different winners if there are at least 10 comments on at least 3 of the 4 posts. Deadline: May 7, 11:59 AM central time. Here’s Stephen:

Steve’s Version: I remember the first time I saw her. She had long, shiny brown hair, teasing eyes, and pouting lips that at the time reminded me of a movie star. Rumor had it that she already had a boyfriend. It was just as well. I was too embarrassed to talk to her anyway. I had grown up in the country and felt much more comfortable with trees, animals, and tractors.

But my name being Bly, and hers being Chester, we were destined to sit next to each other in every class that had alphabetical seating assignments. In our freshman year that turned out to be English class.

Now I want to be the first to admit I was not the most cool dude at high school. I was a farm boy there with my flat top hair cut, blue jeans, white t-shirt, and black high-top tennis shoes. By Christmas of our freshman year I still hadn’t gotten up enough nerve to speak to this talkative young lady more than a few times. But she had made my list of the ten cutest girls on campus.

It took three more long years and ownership of a 1955 Chevy convertible, before I took a chance and asked her out for a date. To my utter amazement, she said, “yes.” To my continual bewilderment, she is still saying “yes.”

Janet’s Version: I had been dating a nice guy in high school for some time, but I finally sensed that we weren’t compatible. The relationship had gone stale for me and I wanted out, but didn’t know how to go about it. As Neil Sedaka was singing at the time, “Breaking up is hard to do.”

Finally, I told this guy that I had made other plans for the first football game of our senior year. I had intended to go with several girlfriends, but that fizzled out when they got dates of their own. So, I wound up going alone and meant to sit in the cheering section.

Just as I entered the stadium, I noticed my former boyfriend walking my direction. In a search for a way to avoid him, I shot a glance at the seats and noticed Steve halfway up, a jokester of a boy from my college prep classes who seemed to always delight in teasing me. Meanwhile, I often graded his tests when they were passed to the person behind. My first practice as his editor.

Now, he sat there, all by himself. In a quick moment of decision, I raced up the aisle and scooted next to him…just in time. The other guy passed below. Not my proudest moment. I made some lame excuse to Steve about my sudden friendliness and meant to move on. But, I lingered instead.

We had a fun time watching the game together. Then, he offered to take me to pizza afterward and home. Impressed with his manners and his blue Chevy with white top and red interior, I viewed him in a whole new sphere.

The following Monday at school I mentioned to him that I’d lost my student body card. “By any chance, did I leave it in your car?”

“Why, yes, you did,” he said.

“Oh, good,” I said.

“But you can’t have it back.”

I was a bit shocked. “Why is that?”

“Not unless you promise to go out with me this Friday night.”

Steve again: Back when I first saw her at age 14, I had no idea in the world that this cute, young teen would some day be my wife. And I never, even in my wildest teenage fantasy, dreamed that she would also be my very best friend. There’s nothing hidden from her. In the process of the last 48 years, we have built not only a family and a ministry, but also a partnership and friendship that has weathered storms and struggles, sorrows and delights as we discovered the joy of marriage. . .the ultimate invasion of privacy.

About Stephen: Stephen and Janet Bly have published 120 books…his, hers and theirs. Christy Award winner for westerns, Stephen’s newest novel is Throw The Devil Off The Train, a western romance hardback. The Blys have 3 married sons, 4 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild. They live in northern Idaho at 4,000 ft. elev. on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. Website: Blog:

Come back May 4 for Stephen’s real life and fictional romantic interview.

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