First Meet Reader Stories

On August 28 I wrote a blog post about First Meets and how important they are in romance novels. This gave me an idea to hold a ‘First Meets’ contest, featuring stories from you, my readers. I received an overwhelming number of wonderful First Meet stories, and trust me when I say I really struggled picking the winner. Rachel Collings’ story won. Yay, Rachel! Rachel gets to select one of my three books as her prize.

tumblr_m4nbexpP2S1qfqudho1_500

There were so many cute, funny, romantic First Meet stories, that I decided to share my top five faves — in no particular order — on the blog today. Some have been revised for brevity. Enjoy!

Winner

Rodeo Meet

My now husband and I were both at an amateur rodeo. He was the bull fighter thaticonic-cowboy-hat-316x350 night. I thought he was cute so I took his cowboy hat, put it on my head, winked, and walked away. I figured if he wanted his hat back he had to come talk to me. We have been together for 10 years now, married for 8 and have 3 beautiful children.

That one could have come straight out of a contemporary western romance novel. Loved it!

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order)

Motorcyle Meet

motorcycle1I met my future husband through my sister’s pranks. My little sister and I were standing on our front porch when a guy on a motorcycle went whizzing by on the street. My sister yelled at him and said that I wanted to meet him then jumped down behind the porch railing where he couldn’t see her. He then turned around and rode his motorcycle down the sidewalk in front of our house and stopped. We started talking and eventually he asked me out and the rest is history.

I wonder if her little sister gets REALLY nice gifts at the holidays.

Wedding Meet

My husband and I met at a wedding where he was the Best Man and I was Maid of maid-of-honor-bestman-speech-one-tree-hill-10349248-443-500Honor. When I walked in the room for rehearsal night, he and I just stood there and stared at each other for several minutes. Everyone was mentioning that for many months afterwards. In fact, everyone was saying that night and much later that we would end up marrying, and a year and 2 months later, we did. We dated as just friends for 6 months, and then realized we actually loved each other as well as liked each other.

What more romantic place to meet than a wedding?

Loan Officer Meet

I was a Loan Officer in the consumer loan department of a bank, when I met with a very nice looking man who was requesting a loan. The minute I looked in his eyes my mother’s voice came into my head. I use to complain to her about never meeting anyone special and I felt I was getting too old for it to happen to me. She always said you will know when you look into his eyes that he’s the one, because that’s what had happened between her and my father.

meeting3After approving his loan, he came back in to sign the papers and pick up his check. When he came back in, he was dressed up. But he kept calling me back asking me questions about the term of the loan and the payment due date and other things. I answered all his questions but kept telling him that all this information was on his paperwork I had given him. But he still kept calling.

One day he came into the office and asked to see me. He had brought me a card, thanking me for being so nice to him, and a single long stemmed red rose. He asked me out on a date, and, well, the rest is history. We indeed went on that date, we moved in together 2 weeks later, and got married 3 months later. My mom’s voice was true, he was and still is the ONE!!!!! We have been married for 26 years!!!!

Love at first sight! Doesn’t get any more romantic than that.

Flat Tire Meet

I had noticed him at a dance party I attended. When I got ready to leave, I discovered Iuntitled had a flat tire on my Honda. He was the first to volunteer to come to my aid even thought he was dressed nicely he changed the tire. I thought that was so nice of him and really romantic. Later that week he called me for a date. And the rest is history….

Le sigh. So romantic. That guy was a true gentleman.

Thanks for sharing all your romantic stories with me. Happily ever after isn’t just found in romance novels.

Happy Stories

With all the bad news in the world, from the terror group ISIS and their exploitation of religion to justify their brutality, to the Russian-but-not-Russian invasion of Ukraine, to the never-ending unrest between Hamas and Israel, sometimes I just want to hunker down in my house and bury my head under my pillow.

But there are happy stories out there. Stories that reaffirm my belief in humanity.

Take the story of Ryan Holcomb, a teenager with Down’s Syndrome, who believed thathappy-face-9 just like all of his friends who were graduating from high school and heading off to college, he would be too. And he’d decided that college would be Clemson. Turns out Clemson, as well as some other colleges and universities, has a program for people with intellectual disabilities, and while it is highly competitive to get in, Ryan made it. Watching the video of him reading his acceptance letter made me cry.

Then there’s the story of Michael Brannigan, a teenager with autism who loves to run. He’s so good, more than 200 colleges, many Division One schools, have contacted him about joining their running programs.  His dream doesn’t end there. He hopes to be an Olympic athlete one day.

Or how about the story of Jacen Troxell, whose father is a police officer. He wanted to do something to protect his dad and other polices officers in Indianapolis, so he raised $13,000 for special plates that fit into standard bulletproof vests. The plates will protect the officers from high powered rifles, something that standard Kevlar vest can’t do.

These stories made me cry, but they’re happy tears, not tears of anger and frustration over senseless violence and death. Happy stories are out there, but more often than not, they get drowned out by the noise of all the bad stories. You just have to pay attention to the happy ones. Do you have some happy stories to share?

First Meet

Indiscreet cameraIn the world of romance novels, the “first meet,” the scene when the hero and heroine first lay eyes on one another, is an important hook for the reader, so I give my characters’ first meet a great deal of consideration when I begin a story. I for one, love amusing first meets, where the situation is a little embarrassing for one or both of the characters. Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins are known for their hilarious first meets.

Along this vein, in Ship of Dreams, my heroine gets her stiletto heel caught in a sidewalk seam and the hero rescues her (and her shoe). For the record, this actually happened to me — the heel in the sidewalk thing — not how I met my husband thing.

A romantic suspense might introduce danger into the first meet — the heroine is in the middle of a bank heist, and the hero is the cop who comes to the rescue. In a historical romance, the hero might see the heroine across a crowded room and wonder who she is.

I love real life first meet stories, too. I want to know if a happily married couple met on a sidewalk or in a hallway and did that little dance — you know the one where you try to pass one another but you keep shifting in the same direction, so instead you just keep running into each other. Or did they meet when she dropped an armload of books which landed at his feet? Or maybe he was lost (both literally and metaphorically), and asked her for directions (which she gave him, both literally and metaphorically).

My first meet story is nothing so funny or sweet. My husband and I were fixed up by a mutual friend. It was a pretty standard fix-up. Our mutual friend asked us both to meet her for drinks, and after an acceptable period of time, glanced at her watch and said she had to dash, leaving him to either behave like a gentleman and ask me out to dinner, or make up some excuse and get the hell out of Dodge. He asked me to dinner.

Dinner went pretty well. I found him fascinating. He was well-dressed, polished, and he’d traveled all over the world. When it was time to go, he politely walked me to my car — much to my chagrin — because the night before someone had stolen all four of my hubcaps and I had yet to replace them. Ironically, his gorgeous black Mercedes sedan was parked right next to my Chevy, which without hubcaps looked, well, ghetto.

He didn’t ask for my number, and I figured another one bites the dust. Did I mention he traveled? So about three weeks later my backline at work rang and it was HIM. Only our mutual friend had my backline, so I know he’d called her to get my number. He’d been traveling (as opposed to avoiding me), but he asked me out to dinner, and the rest, as they say, is history. That was twenty-two years ago. We’ll celebrate out twentieth wedding anniversary in May.

So, while our first meet wasn’t the stuff of romance novels, I have fond memories of it.

What’s your favorite kind of “first meet” story? Better yet, what’s your “first meet” story? The best story will win you a free download of your choice of one my romance novels and a $20 Amazon gift card. You can go here to tell me your story.