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!


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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 https://petticoatsandpistols.com/sweepstakesrules for all contest rules.

50 thoughts on “HAPPY 25th ANNIVERSARY TO US!”

      • I loved reading about your love story. My first impression of Paul was the incredible peace, intelligence and joy behind those eyes. And most of all how much he loves you. I consider you both dear friends. Happy 25th my friends!

      • Hi Nancy! Thank you so much for coming to the blog today. Your comment really touches my heart, and I love what you’ve said about Paul. I agree so very much. Thank you, my friends.

  1. Hello my dear friend! I’m very happy to know when your anniversary is. HAPPY HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to you and Paul! I don’t remember if I told you or not but my husband and I met on a blind date in 1967. We fell madly in love by just looking at each other. He made me melt! Unfortunately his mother broke us up, we each married on the rebound and had terrible marriages. We never stopped loving each other. I always told my son [now our son] about him, he always told his daughter and son about me. Eight years later on January 30th 1975 we reconnected, {we had both been divorced in 1974 not knowing it about each other}. Long story short, we were married on May 27th 1975, so we are about to celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary. Love with the right person is absolutely beautiful. Love ? Starr

    • Hi Starr,

      What a beautiful, beautiful story. Funny how when it is true love that we find our way to each other. May romance and love be yours always.

  2. May each anniversary be sweeter! We celebrated our 45th in January, and I can’t imagine those years without him! For me, it was his eyes that caught me, hazel with a gold ring around the outside. Even after all these years he can still make my heart race.

  3. Oh, Karen, your post brought tears to my eyes. Yes, these men can really steal a girl’s heart! May romance with you both always bloom!

  4. Congratulations on your yrs of marriage. I was a substitute date when i met my husband in 1964. The girl cancelled out at the last minute and my friend asked me to take her place. We went to a drive-in and then the 4 of us went to a bar. . I saw him and knew he was the one. He was a West Virginia boy. He went into the army and 2 years later we married. We had 43 yrs together before he passed in 2008.

    • Hi Emma,
      That’s a lovely story of getting to know and love your husband. I’m sorry to hear of your loss, please accept my sympathy. But, so good you had 43 years together.

  5. Yay! 25 years is amazing! How exciting to celebrate that together. Happy wonderful anniversary to you both and I wish you many more. How fun that all your feelings went into the story. Thanks for sharing! Hubby and I will celebrate 22 years this year.

    • Hi Susan! Thank you so much for your wonderful words and happy wishes. Twenty-two years is something to be proud of. Maybe you have many, many more.

  6. I love your story! This is so sweet and I’m glad you found the right guy for you! If you had any words of advice for couples that haven’t been married as long, what would you tell them?

    • Posted a long response which disappeared…don’t know where it went. Anyway, thank you so much for your sweet words and as far as advice, I’d say this in two different ways. 1) This is from me personally: communication is probably very, very important and communication with remembering all the love between you is best. It’s hard sometimes, but remembering the love I think is also important. Then, from my research of American Indian elders’ advice to newly married couples: 1) never say bad words to one’s spouse or raise a voice in anger. Instead go out and walk for a while or (at this time in history, go hunting) until one is certain he/she can speak without anger and without bad words. 2) Always listen to one’s wife’s or husband’s concerns and talk about them with one another. In my newest book (due out in July) BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER, the hero marries the two of them in Lakota style and takes these oaths (similar to this) as they marry. Hope this helps.

  7. Hey Karen! You should know I would leave a comment or two! As you know Doug an I have known each other almost forever! We will b celebrating this August 2 18 years married , We are already at 19 years together. Many years ago back to 1993 Doug an I spent a few short weeks together. I remember feeling the same way then as I did when we were teens, sneaking around seeing each other. So, when we got to see each other 19 years ago for me, that same teen age giddy feeling came crashing back! That’s when I knew I felt the same way as I did all those years ago. Now, he feels the way I used to! He’s always got this dreamy look in his eyes. He’s always asking me if I feel it, too? Well, For me it’s now much deeper then a feeling. I don’t know how to describe it. I just know he’s my rock when I need it. This past few month’s I’ve needed it with loosing my best g/f- sister, Jenny, to covid, as you know. Today we are heading out on a lunch date ! I’m looking forward to that. Happy Anniversary!!!

    • Hi Pam, What a wonderful and loving story of you and your husband. I like the way you describe him, also, as your rock. Really rings home with me as I feel in a similar way with my husband, too. Really good story.

  8. Happy 25th Anniversary! I’m not married, but my parents have been married for 56 years.

    • Hi Diana! Thank you so much! Wow! They’ve been married for 56 years. So nice!

    • Hi Charlene! Thanks so much for your sweet comment. And thanks for coming to the blog today.

  9. Happy 25th! I hope your next 25 years are as wonderful as your first 25 have been. When it is a good marriage, the time certainly flies.
    My husband and I were casual classmates in high school for only one or two classes. After our Junior year, his family moved and we didn’t see each other for 7 years. He had joined the Air Force and was stationed at the same base as my cousin’s husband. I was heading home on leave for Christmas from the Peace Corps and stopped to visit my cousin in CA to break up the jet lag on my way to NY. They had my friend over for dinner my first night there and he took us all out for dinner the next night and I left the following day. Just those two short dinners, not dates, and we both realized there was something special about the other that should be explored. I went back to the Philippines and he was transferred to Maine. In May he showed up at my assignment and proposed. Who needs dating, I guess. I didn’t give him an answer, but when I got home in Aug. he would drive 9 hours every third weekend to see me. We got engaged in September and he was shipped to Vietnam a few months later. We got married in June when he returned. No fireworks to start off the relationship, but the friendship and and respect I think are as important, if not more so, for a solid long lasting relationship. There were and are fireworks, but the friendship, respect, and love have grown even stronger. It will be our 49th anniversary this year and it certainly doesn’t seem possible it has been that long. Our youngest is almost 14 years older than I was when we got married.

    • What a beautiful story, Pat. I loved this story. I think you’re right. The friendship and respect is so very, very important. and he drove 9 hours to see you. Now, that’s quite a man. Knows what he wants and goes after it. Beautiful story.

  10. Love your blog, Karen. I so understand the significance and importance of that first kiss….because it happened to me, too. Twice. The first time, when I was 17 and really kissed, not pecked, for the first time. That was an awakening, He broke up with me just before graduation because he realized I wasn’t ready for a serious commitment. Then six months late I met The One. He got me with “wow”. And when he asked if he could kiss me, I knew. I guess so did he because he proposed three weeks later. Country girl that I was, I didn’t believe him until he put a diamond on my finger three months later. Our 56th is coming up next Saturday. So, yes, ladies, trust your instincts on how you react to that kiss.

    • Oh, my gosh. I love this story. Really love it. And 56 years later, you’re still in love. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful!

  11. Hi Karen – Happy 25th Anniversary!!! Your post about finding the right man (Paul) for you was Awesome!!! I have been married for 53 yrs. now to my wonderful man that I met at a gas station when they used to pump your gas & change tires. We got to talking while he put on my new tires & the rest is history. I have enjoyed reading all your books. Looking forward to your new one. Have a blessed day & stay safe.

    • I love this story. Really love it. Met at a gas station of all things. And now 53 years later. Beautiful!

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