The Very Personal Story of Gray Hawk’s Lady


Since we are coming up very soon on Valentine’s Day, I thought we might talk about love, and, if you will bear with me, I thought I’d tell you a bit about my own very personal story of finding love.  The year was 1995 — late in the year — and my third book, PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN had recently been turned in to AVON/HarperCollins for editing.  As I awaited the editing process, my attention went to another story and I had begun work on that.  That story is GRAY HAWK’S LADY.

My own tale began with a kiss.  But let me backtrack.  I had in 1992-1993 gone through a divorce and had come back to California, because at that time I had considered California like my home.  Unfortunately for me, I jumped right into a relationship that was very bad for…many reasons.  After that relationship, I wanted nothing to do with men, love, marriage again.  Sigh…

So I was on my own and definitely enjoying being on my own.  One of my best friends (whom I had known since 1970) was pushing me to go on a blind date.  I didn’t want to go and I told her I wanted nothing to do with men, relationships, marriage, dating…nothing….

But she insisted and I found my self consenting to one date.  That was in January of 1996.  GRAY HAWK’S LADY was due to my publisher (AVON) in July of 1996, but I had plenty of time to write it and had, indeed, started writing it when I went on this first date.

So off I went on this first ever in my life blind date.  The gentleman picked me up at my house and I noticed he was wearing cowboy boots, and, since I am interested in the West and Cowboys and Indians, this was great.  He was also born and raised in Montana, and I was very interested in Montana because the story of GRAY HAWK’ S LADY was to take place in Montana.

The date was good — okay.  We went out to eat, but I was left with the impression that he wasn’t really interested in me.  So, I put it behind me.  He never called, never asked me back out and never told me what was happening and so eventually, just to end my wondering about it, I called my friend, told her I was sorry it hadn’t worked out and … well, so long sort of thing.  To my surprise she wouldn’t let it go — I had just wanted to put it behind me.  She said, “Oh, no, he’s really interested in you.”  and I said, “Oh, no, I don’t think so.  Let’s just relegate that date to the past and go on from here.”  And she said, “No, I’m sure he really liked you.”

I had no idea that she would call his brother.  I am told that they talked, and that the upshot of it was that Paul then called me and asked me for another date.  Well, it had been a good first date, I thought, and he was a nice gentleman and perhaps we could be friends.  So I accepted.

Goodness!  Little did I know what was in store.  On the second date, we were both more relaxed, held hands, and I thought, okay, we’ll be friends.  He took me home, walked me to the door and just as I was about ready to go inside, he took me in his arms and kissed me.  Now, this was quite some kiss.  He meant it. And I became very aware of that.   His hands caressed my cheeks, my eyes, my face, my hair, my neck. It went on and on and on, and when he was done, I felt as though my world was spinning — but in a good way.  Afterwards I stared at him and for the first time, I thought to myself, “Who is this man who can make me pay attention to him with no more than a kiss?”

Well, that was that.  We had a date the next week, and within 2-3 weeks, I had moved in with him and we were married in May 1996.  Our first date was February 3rd 1996.  So it definitely was a whirlwind romance.

Now you may be wondering what this has to do with the book, GRAY HAWK’S LADY.  Well, a lot, I’m afraid.  As I mentioned earlier, I was in the middle of writing that book, and I fell so deeply in love with this man, who is now my husband, that of course that love was written all over the printed pages of GRAY HAWK’S LADY.  That first kiss and my emotional reaction to it is recorded in that work.  Also, my gradual coming to understand that this man was the most important man in my life is in that book.  His calmness, his teasing, his care…it’s all written there as I fell head over heels in love.

Did I mention that my earring (the night of that first kiss) fell off — and I have pierced ears…!

In May of this year, we will have been married 23 years.  Interestingly, I still have the pictures of our wedding on my website — can’t bring myself to take them down, even though 23 years more or less have gone by now.  People sometimes write to me and congratulate me on my recent marriage — and I smile.  To me, in many ways, it does seem like a recent marriage, as I fall in love with this man all over again every day.

I’ll tell you true that I love this man with all my heart — and as the years have gone by, that love does not diminish; it grows and grows and grows.   He stole my heart with that first kiss.  (I’ll knock on wood here.)  As the — gee, was it the Ronettes that once sang the song, “And Then He Kissed Me,” —  it has always seemed to me that it started with that kiss.    Ah, sweet!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the blog today and I hope you’ll come in and leave a message.  I would love to hear about your own personal love stories.

Will I be giving away GRAY HAWK’S LADY today as a Valentine’s Day Gift?  You bet I will.  I’ll be gifting that book to 2 (two) lucky readers today, so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.  Please know, also, that all rules for Giveaways apply — they are listed off to the right here of the page — at the very top. 

And please remember to check back on Wednesday or Thursday evening to see if you are a winner!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
Please refer to for all contest rules.

30 thoughts on “The Very Personal Story of Gray Hawk’s Lady”

  1. Hello Kay, I will write to you at your personal email. I have all your books so I won’t need this book as a gift.
    Bless you my dear friend.
    Love, Starr

  2. I am happy you were able to find a truly good man after having relationships that went so wrong. I can understand why you weren’t interested in another involvement. Your friend must have seen something in each of you to know that you would be a good match. It doesn’t matter whether you have known each other for weeks or years – when it is right, it is right. My husband and I were classmates for a couple of classes in high school, then didn’t see each other for 7 years. When we ran into each other again only seeing each other twice. We both felt there was something there that should be pursued. Unfortunately, we were on opposite sides of the world and it would be 6 months before I returned and even then we would not be close. He took care of that and flew halfway around the world to propose. We never had dated, but again, when it is right, it is right. We will celebrate our 47th anniversary this June. Not bad for not dating much of all before getting engaged and married.
    I wish you many more years of happiness.

    • Hi Patricia!

      I love your story. You’re right, I think. When it’s right, it’s right. Your story is quite beautiful — he flew halfway around the world to propose. Golly…it sounds like one of our books. And 47 years. I, too, wish you many more years of happiness.

  3. I am still looking for that special one. I have 3 failed marriages behind me and a 10 year relationship that failed. I guess I am just not good at the relationship thing. Now 68 and still not totally giving up.

    • Hi Jerri Lynn,

      It seems to me that an older person once told me that the best years in finding love are those after 70. So good on you for not totally giving up. May you find that happiness you seek soon. Gotta add that in my humble opinion, relationships are very hard nowadays. There seems to be so much in our society against those trying to keep it together. What I’m trying to say is that it may not be all you or all of those others. Our society, I think, could make it a little easier on marriage. My opinion.

  4. What a sweet love story. You are blessed to keep falling in love with each other. I met my husband in 1972 at a coffeehouse. I went home and told my mom that I met the man I was going to marry. Two months later we were engaged and six months later my dad married us. We built a hobby farm and enjoyed collie dogs, horses, kitties, etc. Our son was born five years later and was allergic to everything related to farm life. So we quit showing quarter horses and sold our hobby farm. To this day we are avid horse lovers. When we went through Glacier National Park in the fall, we stopped along a fence line to the Mad Dog Ranch. Several horses greeted us and wanted love pats. It was snowing and so beautiful. It reminded we of our early life together and the 47 years of love and trials that have nurtured our relationship. I thank God everyday for my husband. Blessings on your day Karen. Happy Valentines Day.

  5. Hi Kathy,

    Your story brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful tale of love — involving not only your husband, but your son. To give up the things you loved for another’s well being… This story really touched me. May you and your love have many more years of happiness.

  6. Thanks for sharing this beautiful life moment with us. I could feel the love in your words. It’s a true blessing to find love and I’m happy we have both found this.

    • Hi Tammie!

      Thanks so much for your post. So glad that you, too, found love. May many years of happiness be yours.

  7. Congratulations. What a wonderful blog today. Sigh. Thanks for sharing. I had a co-worker/friend, Gina from church who set me up on a date. She was convinced that we were perfect. Sigh. Ok, I will humor her. Well, because I have epilepsy, the medicine I was on at the time, stopped my brain from working at normal time. So I had trained myself to not clap, laugh etc. Because when I did, it was past the time everyone else had. So Phil, came and picked me up and took me to a live theater. He was skinny, didn’t smile much. But his eyes were penetrating, like he could see right into me. Beautiful. So, the night went on. He dropped me off at my house and left. That’s it? I thought. Ok. Well turns out he was convinced I didn’t like the date because I didn’t laugh or clap, and because theater was such a huge part of his life, he didn’t think I was interested. He wanted to find someone that enjoyed the same things as he did. Fortunately Gina set us up again. But this time she explained some of me to Phil. He was extremely introverted. I was introverted. Well our second date went a lot better. We just went to a restaurant and talked. After that, we started doing a lot of different things together. After 6 months we got engaged. 6 months later we were married. Siggghhh. It is now 35 years later with two wonderful kids. Richard is now 34 and married with a sweet wife. And Heather is 31 and enjoying being single. Well now she is seeing a young man. So we will see where that leads. 🙂 Being married is both exhilarating and frustrating. But we are “one” so we put the other first. God had a most wonderful idea when He created marriage.

    • Hi Lori,

      Thank you so much for your compliment. Since this is a romance site, I thought it would be nice to share my very real life story. Now, I love your story. So very, very beautiful — and 35 years and 3 children later, still very much in love. Yes, God had a very wonderful idea when He created marriage.

  8. Loved your story. I had the same history. I was in doubt about ever having another relationship. Rocky’s sister-in-law got us to go out on a date. When Rocky kissed me, it said it all. That was in 1990. We lived together and got married in May 2012. So it has been 29 years for us.

    • Hi Kathy,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s true, isn’t it? That kiss… Always think of the song, “And then he kissed me.” You had me doing the math, though — and I was like…29?… Oh, then I went back and read it was from 1990. : ) Thanks so much.\

  9. So glad that you didn’t give up! Love does not always come with one’s first (or second or…) relationship. I’m so glad you found your forever love. Rudy and I were friend from the first day of High School, but never dated. I was even engaged to someone else briefly. We started dating in the spring of our College Sophomore year and married after graduation. So, he is my friend, husband, lover, father/grandfather of our children/grandchildren. After 43 years it is hard to remember my time without him. He still makes my heart flutter, my blood warm, and my worries calm!

  10. Hi Karen,

    What a beautiful story of love. These stories of friendship turning into real love are so truly joyful. Friend, husband, lover, father/grandfather, etc. What an extremely beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it with me and us here on this blog today.

  11. I was captivated with your wonderful story which warmed my heat. When I met my husband I knew that it was beshert. Yes, we were young but felt that we belonged together. This year will be 49 years.

    • Hi Anne!

      How beautiful. And 49 years. Have to admit that the word beshert sent me to the dictionary — but that’s good, cause now I understand it. Being young and in love is quite beautiful.

  12. I met my husband in high school. We dated for years and married. His charm, kindness, and strength was evident from day one and my love for him has never wavered. We are blessed with two beautiful daughters and our love will endure.

    • Hi Pearl,

      Love that you met your husband in high school. In many ways, that means that you’ve had more time together than had you met later, and when one is in love, one wants to spend forever with that person. I think you hit it right on. Charm, kindness and strength — so masculine. Takes a strong man to be kind. May you have many, many more years of happiness.

  13. Hi Kay,
    Well, I’m glad we spoke online recently, because if we hadn’t I wouldn’t have learned about your true love! It’s a fantastic story! You got one of the good ones!! I can relate–I feel the same way about my hubby. He still leaves me breathless after more than 40 years.
    Happy Valentine’s Day!


  14. Hi Charlene,

    Am so very, very glad that we’ve been talking lately online. Your stories and skills as an author are outstanding and I must admit to loving your books — and forty years of marriage. Were you 4 when you married? (joke) You look so young that it is amazing that you’ve been married for forty years. Congratulations Charlene. May you have many, many more years of happiness (knock on wood).

  15. Wow, I love seeing all of these other great personal romantic marriage stories. I think you left out how you seduced me and what is this mention about teasing.

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