First off, thank you to everyone who helped make my first release day so very exciting! There’s still a chance to win a copy of my historical (NOT paranormal) novella, The Legend of the Werestag, at Jennifer Haymore’s blog. Check it out! And while you’re there, treat yourself to the blurb and excerpt of Jennifer’s debut historical, A Hint of Wicked, releasing in just a few weeks. It’s an intense, passionate story of a woman torn between her love for her two husbands. (Yes, you read that right.) And the stepback alone is worth the click over!

I usually do most of my writing at cafes, because I find it too hard to concentrate whenever I have the darelings around or convenient internet access. So I pack up my laptop and head off to Starbucks or the Bean and Leaf or Borders and camp in for a few hours. Sometimes I change it up and go to McDonalds, and I’ve become a regular customer at the one near my kids’ preschool on Thursday mornings.

You see, there’s an older couple that comes in on Thursday mornings, too. I’ve chatted with them a few times–the gentleman is always interested in my laptop and how it works. And he’s very proud of his successful kids and grandkids, as any father or grandfather should be. His wife is always with him, and though she seems like a lovely person, she’s not able to speak much. She seems to be in an advanced stage of Parkinsons or some disease that affects the muscles–she can’t move her arms or hands, and she walks with difficulty. But every Thursday, they come into McDonalds and have breakfast together. The gentleman sees her to their regular table, and he goes to get their food. Then he feeds himself and his wife, too – holding the food to her mouth and telling her when to take a bite, or urging her to swallow a sip of juice.

While this goes on, I’m there writing my stories of love in its first blush–attraction, infatuation, courtship, wooing, and..well…romance. But I find it so touching and inspiring to see the proof of real-life HEAs sitting just a few tables down. And I’ve been fortunate to see similar examples within my own family–couples who truly live out that “richer or poorer, in sickness and in health” part of their wedding vows.

Detractors of the romance genre often decry the ubitquitous happy endings as “easy”. I’d argue they’re anything but. A happily-ever-after ending implies a lifetime of commitment, sacrifice, and hard work to come. Anything but easy, but wonderful and rewarding in the way only difficult things can be.

I’m sure my McDonalds couple has a very romantic story to tell about the beginnings of their relationship, too. Some Thursday morning, I’ll probably get to hear it! 😉

What examples of real-life romance inspire you?

10 comments to “Now That’s True Love”

  1. Laura T
    · May 14th, 2009 at 2:52 pm · Link

    Hi Tessa,

    I loved this blog so much. I hope that you one day find out how they met and fell in love. I also love what you said about Happy Endings. :).

    I know of 2 young couples that met and fell in love in HighSchool.. and like you said their HEA aren’t easy… especially to stay w/ your first true love. I think it is fantastic, and I look up to them., and I love seeing how happy they are together.

  2. Elyssa Papa
    · May 14th, 2009 at 2:55 pm · Link

    Tessa! You made me cry! Off to find some kleenex…

  3. Jackie Barbosa
    · May 14th, 2009 at 3:19 pm · Link

    I definitely see examples of happily ever afters all around me, and find them a wonderful affirmation of the fact that they can and do happen–perhaps more than we give credit for.

    I know I’m still working on my own happily ever after–almost twenty-one years after we met. It is hard work, but as you say, rewarding in the way only difficult things can be.

  4. Lori
    · May 14th, 2009 at 3:43 pm · Link

    Tessa–I met my husband to be when I was 18 and we married at twenty. After 14 years, we are still HARD at work on that HEA. It’s definitely not “easy,” but so worth it. This couple you speak of reminds me of a couple I watched in Sun. School this past Sunday that I fully intend to blog about, and just haven’t gotten around to yet–something else is always happening before I get to it. It’s nice to know, though, that I am not the only one inspired by the evidence that love can last a lifetime, and is all the sweeter for it.

    Lori @

  5. Jennifer Haymore
    · May 14th, 2009 at 7:11 pm · Link

    Awwww, that is so sweet! Made me teary! I hope that when you hear their courtship story, you’ll post it so we can all read!

  6. Sarah Tormey
    · May 15th, 2009 at 4:20 am · Link

    What a beautiful story! I’m nearly in tears over my morning coffee. I can’t wait to hear how they got their start.

    I’m impressed that you can work in cafes. Sometimes I try, but my best work usually happens at home. Or on the subway, which is a little strange. Perhaps it is because I use to write on my way to the office.

    I hope you continue to see great sales on your first release!

  7. terrio
    · May 15th, 2009 at 5:30 am · Link

    First off, that is a great step back. Wow. Second off, awwwwwwwww. I love stories like that. Reminds me of that email about the old man who visits his wife who can’t remember him anymore. When asked why he still goes when she doesn’t know him, e responds somthing like “because I know her.”

    I confess, when there’s a blog or a board thread where everyone gets to brag about their spouse and their HEA, I get cranky and avoid it. I don’t begrudge them their happiness, but when you don’t have it, it’s not so fun to read about. Oddly enough, I don’t mind reading it in Romances. Odd I know.

    I’m finding I write better in public places too. There’s a Burger King not far from my house that offers WiFi and I’m guessing the Starbucks might as well. I’m thinking of spending some evenings out after Kiddo goes to her dad’s for the summer to get some major writing done.

    And one more WHOOT for the Werestag. Awesome story.

  8. Sarah Frantz
    · May 15th, 2009 at 8:25 pm · Link

    That’s such a great story! Thank you for honoring them with your donation to IASPR!

  9. kelly krysten
    · May 17th, 2009 at 4:09 pm · Link

    Awww, now that is really romance.:)

  10. Tessa
    · May 17th, 2009 at 9:15 pm · Link

    Thanks, everyone! They bring tears to my eyes, too. I’ll try to get their story someday, and if I do, I’ll be sure to blog about it!