Liz Flaherty Guest Blogs—You Might Want to Get a Tissue

Our winner is Kristina Knight! Congratulations, Kristina, and thank you to everyone who left such heartfelt comments!

Everyone, please welcome Liz Flaherty to ENALR! Her prize winner will be drawn from all comments posted between now and midnight EST on Wednesday, January 23. The winner’s name will be posted here and they will be notified via e-mail.

Author Liz Flaherty and her husband, Duane

Author Liz Flaherty and her husband, Duane

Thanks so much for having me at Everybody Needs A Little Romance. It’s a busy time, what with the release of a new book, JAR OF DREAMS, and making our first ever move-to-a-warmer-climate-for-winter. Romance, other than the writing and promoting of it, isn’t something I’d given that much thought lately. There was another time, long ago, when I didn’t give it that much consideration, either.

When I was in my late 30s, I had three kids in high school, a full-time job, and a marriage. That was kind of the order of things, too. Marriage shouldn’t take third place behind Everything Else, but it often does. I don’t regret that our kids always came first in those days, and the truth is I loved my job until the day I left it when I retired two years ago. But I’m not a person who believes if you love each other enough, you’ll have a great marriage—I think you have to work at it. Especially when you don’t feel like it. Sometimes during those busy years, we did. Sometimes not.

Anyway, like I started to say, I was in my late 30s when the mammogram showed…something. I got mammograms early because my mom and an aunt had died from breast cancer. I always figured I’d get a positive showing someday, just because cancer’s rampant in my family. But I didn’t think someday would be when I was 38.

Duane took a vacation day on the day of the biopsy—this was before Family Medical Leave existed—and we showed up at the hospital bright and early. I was so scared, and bargaining with God all the way up to the time the anesthesiologist said “night-night.” You know how that goes—“If You’ll just let me get these kids raised, I’ll never ask for anything else. Nevernevernever.”

It’s been a long time since that day, but I can see so much of it so very clearly in the memories I keep close to my heart. I remember hearing John Denver singing, “Some days are diamonds, some days are stones…” I remember the sun shining. I remember Dr. Murphy waking me up and saying, “Benign. It’s benign.”

I remember holding hands with Duane in the car on the way home and turning to him and saying, “Thanks for taking the day off. It seems like a waste of a vacation day.”

And he said, “Oh, no. It’s the best day off I ever had.”

It wasn’t in any way erotic and the earth didn’t move because of Duane’s response, but as romantic moments go, it was a keeper.

I’m giving away cups and saucers to promote JAR OF DREAMS. (Lucy owns a tearoom, Tea on Twilight—it seems appropriate.) The winner will be drawn from the commenters. All you have to do to enter is give us your email address and—just because we’d like to hear it—one of your romantic keeper moments. Good luck and thanks for coming by!

Jar of Dreams coverFor as long as she can remember, Lucy Dolan has been jotting down her hopes on slips of paper and saving them in a pickle jar–her jar of dreams. It was the first thing she saved when the beloved family diner went up in flames, and it’s safely buckled in her beat-up minivan when she lands in Taft, Indiana, to start over. She rents a room and goes into business with her landlady, but then Gert’s nephew comes charging in to “rescue” his aunt.

Boone Brennan will be damned if he’ll let Lucy take advantage of Aunt Gert, who raised him and his sister. Believing that she’s just passing through, he’s deeply suspicious of her–despite the sparks that fly between them.

Just as Boone and Lucy are starting to open up to each other, a series of fires throws Lucy under suspicion. Boone wants to trust her and his feelings, but with the whole town against her, will he stay by her side? Or will Lucy move on and find another place to make her dreams come true?

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