It’s my husband’s and my 25th anniversary today!!
So, I thought we might talk about love today, and, if you will bear with me, I thought I’d tell you a bit about my own very personal story of finding love with my husband, Paul. 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 of finding love again 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, although I wasn’t born there. 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…and here I was a romance writer.
So I was on my own and definitely enjoying being on my own. One of my best friends (whom I have known and loved 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 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. (I believe it was Paul’s first blind date, also.) The gentleman (Paul) 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, but perhaps a little conservative. I think I was a little stand-offish. (Remember I wanted nothing to do with men, romance, marriage.) 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 during the week that followed, 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 we’ll just get on with our lives” …or something like that. 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 he meant it. 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, 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. Interestingly, I’ve recently had the occasion to read the book again, as it will be coming out soon in the 25th Anniversary edition of the book, and I was reminded while reading the book how much I fell in love with this man. As I was reading it, I said to my husband that all the love I felt for him is in that book. Indeed, I think the character of Gray Hawk underwent a change in personality and became more and more the personality of the man I love.
Interestingly, I still have the pictures of our wedding on my website http://www.novels-by-KarenKay.com — can not bring myself to take them down, even though it’s 25 years later. 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 who once sang the song, “And Then He Kissed Me,” — it has always seemed to me that it started with that 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.
To the left here is the e-book cover of GRAY HAWK’S LADY, but, as I said, it’s going to be coming out fairly soon as a 25th Year Anniversary book so instead of giving this book away, I’ll be giving away a paperback copy of the book, THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR.
And please remember to check back on Wednesday or Thursday evening to see if you are a winner!
Happy Anniversary to the man I love!