Lindi here–Whoops! No, it’s not Lindi–It’s Ane Mulligan.
(Y’all, this is my DEAR friend and TALENTED writer Ane Mulligan. As I’m traveling during this blog posting time, I’ve asked Ane to guest blog for me. And you’re going to love this post. I mean, I know you already love the title, right?)
Hello. My name is Ane Mulligan and I don’t write romance.
There. I’ve confessed. However, it’s not totally accurate. I hope my nose doesn’t grow. You see, I did write two: A Magnolia Blooms in Winter, which will come out this November from Firefly in the Southern Seasons Collection, and Love is Sweeter in Sugar Hill, in the Coming Home ~ A Tiny House Collection, May 2017.
When I wrote A Magnolia Blooms in Winter, it had a different name and was for an indie collection of Christmas romances. Then Firefly wanted it for their collection, and the other one wasn’t going anywhere, so I sold it to Firefly, who renamed it. I love the new name.
Then some writing buddies decided to do a collection and I said I’d join them. We agreed on a tiny house being the connection for all seven novellas. For some unknown reason, mine turned into a romance.
You would think with two critique partners who both write Inspy historical romance, I’d have it down. Wrong, little scribe. In fact, one of the comments from Michelle Griep on a scene was, “This sounds like a trussed up turkey!” Uh … yeah. She was right. I can get the smoldering eyes description down. I can get the tingles when he touched her hand. But thoughts … not so much. I’m chuckling as I write this, because it truly was funny. Fortunately, my CPs helped me turn my hero into a sigh-worthy one.
When I titled this post, I paused on the word “unromantic” in the title. Actually, I am a romantic in the true meaning of the word, but not in the sense of romance. I’m a bonafide writer romantic, meaning I see a story everywhere. I see old homes, some empty and falling down and right away, I’ve got a story about who lived there and what happened, adding whether the house haunted—that depended on the windows. Hubs rolls his eyes and keeps driving.
Here’s where this confession gets personal. My hero-husband is a Brit. But don’t conjure up images of Hugh Grant. Believe me … not all Brits are romantic like him. Don’t get me wrong; my Brit tries, but somehow he’s not the model for a novel hero.
(Here we are in 1972!)
What? You think I’m mean? No way. I’m just realistic. You want proof you say? All right … here’s what happened when my dear husband tried to plan a romantic Valentine’s Day. This was back when we lived in Southern California. That should tell you something.
He decided we’d take our boat out for a Valentine’s Day cruise. The Aney Lea (okay, I’ll give him that one; it was romantic to name the boat after me) bordered on small craft but was a respectable 25-foot and slept six. We had a lovely time as long as he stood with his eyes on the horizon to avoid getting seasick. Don’t even ask why a man who gets seasick owned a boat.
But as I was saying, we had a lovely time … until we came back.
At the end of a cruise, my job on the boat was to climb over the side of the rail and perch on the edge of the bow, hanging on to the railing. As we approached the dock, I’d wait until we were about three feet away then push off, leaping backwards onto the dock to keep the boat from crashing into it. The channel where our slip resided had a good current.
A good strong current.
A good strong current that ran at a 45-degree angle to the dock, necessitating stellar mariner skills.
That Valentine’s evening as we pulled into the slip, the current was a bit stronger than usual. A storm was gathering in the Pacific, churning up the waters in between Catalina and Long Beach Harbor, where we kept our boat. An unexpected surge in the current caught the bow threw it on a swift collision course with the side of the dock.
To avoid a crash and possible hole in the bow, my husband threw the boat into reverse.
Just as I made my leap.
I missed the dock.
Making a frantic grab for the railing, I managed by the grace of God, to catch it. I hung there, legs swinging in a blind search for solid ground—or solid dock—and connecting with nothing but air.
Seeing my hands firmly welded to the bow rail, and because the present danger had been averted, my dear husband laughed himself silly. Are you beginning to see my point?
Fortunately for my Brit’s sake, a gentleman strolling along the dock and obviously not a Brit, saw my dilemma. Heroically, (I’m sure his hair was billowing provocatively in the wind) he managed to reach my ankles and pulled me, and the boat, to safe mooring. The entire time my husband’s laughter could be heard coming from the fly deck.
With my feet back on terra firma, I seriously entertained thoughts of murder and mayhem.
So you see, my dear husband is not the romantic hero of novels … unless perhaps, you wrote murder mysteries.
Oh, and just in case any of you are worried about the state of our marriage, this was, to ease your minds, over four decades ago. My Brit still breathes.
Very carefully if we’re around boats.
Maybe, I’ll stick to women’s fiction and leave the romance to people like my CPs and Lindi Peterson.
Love is Sweeter in Sugar Hill: She has a tiny house. He lives in a mansion. She vows to charge a doctor with malpractice. His job depends on that doctor’s finances. Will love find a way?
Coming Home ~ A Tiny House Collection
Tiny houses are all the rage these days, but what can you do with something so small? Here are seven stories about people chasing their dreams, making fresh starts, finding love, stumbling upon forgiveness, and embarking upon new adventures in tiny houses. Travel with them around the country in this big novella collection.
One lucky commenter will win an e-copy or print version (winner’s choice) of Coming Home-A Tiny House Collection!
Award-winning author Ane Mulligan writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet tea. She’s a multi-published novelist and playwright. She believes chocolate and coffee are two of the four major food groups and lives in Sugar Hill, GA. You can find Ane at www.anemulligan.com or my Amazon Author Page.