GRAY HAWK’S LADY — My Own Personal Story of Love and Romance


Ah, February — a true month of love.  At least for me.  My husband and I just celebrated the 25th Anniversary of our first kiss.  So very, very special and I hope you’ll bear with me as I tell you a little about our 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.  This is the 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 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 told her I wanted nothing to do with men, relationships, marriage, dating…nothing….
But she insisted for a while (several days) 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.  I think we were both a little shy of each other.  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, so after about a week, 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, “No, 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 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.  He was divorced.  I was divorced.  We could do things together.  (Mind you, he was also very good-looking.)  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 a 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 were spinning — but in a good way. 
Afterwards I stared at him and for the first time, I thought to myself, “Who is this man?  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.  He proposed to me in March 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 this book, and I fell so deeply in love with this man, who is now my husband, that of course this 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 one of my earrings (the night of that first kiss) fell off during the kiss — and I have pierced ears…!
In May of this year, we will have been married 25 years.  Interestingly, I still have the pictures of our wedding on my website — can’t bring myself to take them down, even though 25 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 a kiss.
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.

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.

38 thoughts on “GRAY HAWK’S LADY — My Own Personal Story of Love and Romance”

  1. I am so glad you went on that second date. I have only been on one blind date (in my 20s) and it was horrible. The guy got really drunk and obnoxious. Congratulations on your upcoming 25 year anniversary!

  2. Hi Janine! Yes, I remember being surprised by the fact that a blind date led to getting married. I’m reminded of a movie I once saw, called Blind Date, I think. Mine wasn’t anything like that. The blind date I went on was calm, friendly and wonderfully romantic.

  3. I’m glad it worked out for you. I went on a blind date as a teenager, was married after graduation, and divorced 7 years later. My husband and I recently celebrated 20th wedding anniversary.

  4. Hi Karen! Congratulations on 20 years of marriage. It really is something to be proud of, especially in this day and age. My best friend in high school also married right out of graduation and they were in love with each other all their lives. He recently passed away, unfortunately. But, they fell in love in high school and were in love all their lives. I love these kinds of stories.

  5. I’m glad it worked out for you two!! I’ve been on a couple of blind dates that definitely didn’t work out!

  6. Hi Trudy! You know, many other people tell me this, too. But, in this one case, it did work. Mind you, the friend who set this up was and still is one of my best friends. : ) Probably made a difference.

  7. Karen,

    What a touching story! So glad it all worked out so well for you and Paul. Congrats on 25 years together!

    I would like to read Genevieve and Gray Hawk’s story. I visited Montana in 2019. We loved Whitefish, MT and Glacier National Park. September was gorgeous!

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  8. Howdy! I’m trying to remember if I’ve been to Whitefish, MT. There was a time when I toured with my books all throughout MT and visited every reservation in MT. Glacier Nat’l Park is so beautiful and also really, really close to the Blackfeet reservation. So beautiful!

  9. So glad you found your forever love, and congratulations on 25 years! My husband and I just celebrated our 45th. His eyes captivated me then, and still do. It is the little, thoughtful things that show his love. Like today, he drove me to work, is coming back to pick me up and take me for my second COVID vaccine, then drive me home and go back to work himself. He doesn’t want me driving alone in case I have a reaction. I could take care of myself, but I can accept that he wants to “do” for me out of love. Guess he’s a keeper!

    • Oh, my, what a beautiful story and a beautiful husband. Yes, I think sometimes it’s the things these men do for us that really show their love. Beautiful story.

  10. On our first date I kissed my husband on the neck. I was surprised by my actions. He was a goner. Married almost 20years.

  11. Karen your story is so much like mind in 1963 I was asked to go on a blind date with another couple i was the last minuate replacement. We went to the drive-in and kisses started. We then went to a restaurant bar. He went into the army i then saw him at the base he was going to Germany. He then came to my home and at 3am we walked along my street. When he was in Germany he sent me a valentines day card and in a way proposed. I still have the card. We were together for 43 years before he passed.

  12. Hi! That’s so true. It was a kiss like none other. A simple kiss. It’s so powerful. Well, maybe it wasn’t so simple, but it’s still true that a simple kiss is a thing of beauty.

  13. Hi Karen, Congratulations on your almost 25 yrs of marriage, it sure sounds like you found your soul mate, and what a Beautiful story of how you met! Thank you for sharing it, you both are Very Blessed to have found each other. My husband and I will be together for 45 years and we’ll be married for 44 yrs this year. I first saw my husband when he went and applied where I worked, I never talked to him that day, but I did like what I saw. Well, about a week later he started working there and so I got to meet him and talk to him and so we went out for about a month,after a month we moved in together, we got married a year after that and have been married and been together ever since. I too found my soulmate and I am Very Blessed. Have a Great week and stay safe. Your book sounds like a Great read and the book cover is Beautiful.

    • Hi Alicia! Wow 44-45 years together. Really something to be proud of. It sounds like you met your soul mate! I like that way you said, “I did like what I saw.” Made me smile. Something that simple being so powerful. Congratulations for 44 years of marriage this year. Love it!

  14. OH What a touching Love Story. Congrats for 25 years of marriage. Very few people make it that long these days. My parents have made it to almost 60 years of marriage. Congrats to you again. I haven’t found my soul mate yet. I’m still single and walking with God.
    I love books likes this. Would love to read and review all your books in print format.
    Hope I’m a Lucky Winner.

    • Hi Crystal! 60 years of marriage. That is something to be proud of as the offspring of your parents. You were a part of that, too. On the print books, one by one I’m re-editing these early books and then re-issuing them again as Anniversary books and when I do that I put them back into print. Some of them have been out of prints for years, so it’s exciting for me when I’m able to get them into print again. Just uploaded LAKOTA PRINCESS as an anniversary book and GRAY HAWK’S LADY will be the next book in line to fully edit and get back into print. That said, this particular book is in e-book only right now. But, it is next in line to edit. So hopefully soon I’ll have that one done, as well. Except for The Blackfoot Warrior Series and The Legendary Warrior Series, I think all the rest of my books are in print now. Let me know if there’s one you might like to review, and I’ll do my best to get a reviewer’s copy to you.

  15. Aww what a sweet story of your blind date .. so glad it worked out for you .. congratulations on 20 yrs together.. that’s an awesome accomplishment! My husband and I have been married 42 years .. there have been a lot of ups and downs but in the end love and our faith in God have gotten us through it all !

    • Hi Ruby! What a beautiful comment. Yes, there are ups and downs and it’s funny you say that because the book I’m writing right now has a bit of some ups and downs they must work through, also. So beautiful that you have 42 years together.

    • Aww! Thank you. Very sweet of you to say. Glad you’re enjoying the single life. I remember after my divorce being single for a while and enjoying it. And, I remember life before marriage also, and it was good, too. But, am very glad I met and married my husband. I do, truly, love him very much.

    • Hi Debra! Wow, 44 years. Congratulations! Warms my heart. I’d have to say something similar, that, although we don’t fight very often, it’s usually over little things.

  16. I too fell in love with my present husband on a blind date back in 1967. Unfortunately his mother thought I wasn’t good enough for her son, without his knowledge she wrote me and told me if I truly loved him I would let him go. She said he needed to find the right. Woman to fall in love with and marry. Like a fool I listened to her, broke it off. It broke my heart, especially when I found out I was going to have his baby. Don’t judge me, we had planned to marry when his mother wrote me. I lost the baby. He never knew. 8 years later he contacted me, we were both divorced during the same year and month. We didn’t know that the other was divorced so when he asked if he could come up to visit me, I told him no because I was not going to be responsible for breaking up his marriage. Then he said he wasn’t married, I said neither was I so long story short, he came up to the state of NY. January of 1975, May 27, 1975 we were married and still married.

  17. Hi Starr, What a story! I’ve heard of things like this happening before, and it really is a shame. I guess sometimes it’s hard for a mother to let her son go…I mean really be his own man. I can understand this a bit because as a mother, it’s hard to stand back and watch one’s children make mistakes that could’ve been stopped before they began. But, golly, when that mother contacts the sweetheart’s love interest? That’s above the call of duty, I think. So glad you both got it all together, though. Tough to have lost the baby. My heart goes out to you.

  18. For some it takes time to get to know someone and decide that they may just be the person for you. For others of us, it doesn’t take long to know that this person is the right one. Especially when there have been bad relationships, one can be cautious, but still feel deep in their heart that this time it is right. So happy for you that the right one was there for you and for him. May there bemoan more years of togetherness and wonderful kisses.

  19. Karen – Congrats on your 25th Anniversary. Glad you gave your soul mate a second chance date. I have seen you & your husband’s pictures on your web-site. My hubby & I will be married 53 yrs. this year. He was going thru a divorce also. I met him at a gas station & we got to talking when he was putting on my tires that he sold me. I have enjoyed reading your books for a number of years & they just keep getting better. Thanks, for the chance to win a copy of your new release. Have a Awesome Valentine’s Day!!!!

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