Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Happily Ever After – After forty two years

Listen up, ladies! If there's anyone who knows what it takes to keep romance alive it's author, Doris Lemcke, who's here with us today celebrating her 42nd WEDDING ANNIVERSARY! Whoo Hoo! Congrats, Doris on your outstanding example of living a true "happily ever after"!!

As an avid romance reader, I have to admit I sometimes read the end of a book first to determine if the end justifies the “read”. I’m not proud of it, but I can’t help myself. Even though my favorite book, Gone with the Wind had a doubtful ending, I never doubted Rhett and Scarlett would get back together. 

It’s this belief in lasting relationships that helps me build believable, flawed characters who overcome life’s trials and their own weaknesses to become a strong couple. In celebrating the 42nd anniversary of the day (today) John Lemcke and I promised to stay together “for better or worse” as long as we live, I’d like to share what I feel are the keys to “happily ever after”.
“Expect less” and “accept more”. The conflict that makes an exciting story is always due to expectations. A man and woman with crossed purposes struggle until they realize they’re stronger together than apart. People MUST change. Adapting to it means survival, and fighting it is a losing battle. 
In our nearly half-century together, John and I have dreamed dreams, seen them come true, and watched some of them fail. Each time, we’ve recovered and moved on—together. We’ve been happy, sad, angry, excited, bored and frustrated, but for both of us, our lives were better together than apart (I once moved the furniture so he couldn’t ignore me while watching TV—and it worked!).  We raised a fabulous daughter and rather than mourning our empty nest, enjoy watching her achieve things we never imagined. We built a life to suit ourselves rather than social convention; balancing each other’s weaknesses with our own strengths, changing the things we can and accepting those we can’t.
What doesn’t kill a relationship really does make it stronger—if you let it. Thanks for listening to my “not-so-sage” relationship advice. I’d love to know your secrets to “happily ever after”.


I'm a Michigan native now happily residing with my retired husband in sunny Southwest Florida where I'm a proud member of RWA, Mid-Michigan Writers and Southwest Florida Romance Writers. I've been in love with historical romance since I first read Gone with the Wind, and with the Wild West even longer.  Passion's Secret, Passion's Spirit and the Passion's Legacy Series are the fulfillment of a dream that waited patiently through years of stops, starts, heartbreak, happiness--and several careers--to come true. 
Passion’s Legacy - Not even Georgia’s founding family can keep its secrets hidden forever.

Follow the lives, loves—and haunting secrets of four generations of one of Georgia’s O’Grady family. Tempered by war, betrayal, love and loss, this brave and passionate family risks everything for love and leads us through the physical and cultural expansion of our great country—into a new century.

From the heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans, to New Mexico’s sacred Taos Pueblos, and the jungles of Cuba, meet the people who demanded their stories be told, baring their secrets—and sins to the world:

Book One - Passion's Secret
She’d never give in…Camilla Langesford has no intention of letting her ailing father’s Yankee partner steal their plantation. But Patrick O’Grady isn’t like other carpetbaggers. Claiming to be a soft Northern businessman, his powerful body, brooding Irish temper and pewter-gray eyes speak of a dangerous past. And his soul-searing kisses melt her frozen heart—until a deadly secret shatters it.

He'd never give up...Langesford Plantation is the former Pinkerton agent's last change to solve a mystery that's haunted him for four years. But he didn't plan on the chestnut-haired virgin with smoldering, green eyes and a fiery temper, dogging his every step. After a secret tryst in a hot-spring grotto, he discovers a treasure worth more than a cache of gold bars—until one night changes everything.

Patrick talked to her from the other end of the pool as he washed, his deep voice young and carefree. “I've heard of hot spring pools, but never thought I’d enjoy one in private with a beautiful woman washing my clothes,” he chuckled.
“Just your shirt, Mr. O’Grady, and this is an emergency situation.” But Camilla couldn't forget the sight of his bare chest, the corded muscles defining his strong arms, or his soft voice when he’d called her beautiful. Suddenly, she ached to reach out to something, or someone.
But certainly not a Yankee! She shouldn’t have brought him to her secret haven where she could lay on the fresh grass and dream of far-away places. Now, the position of the sun told her it was well past luncheon.
“You better hurry,” she called. “Or we'll be late and my honor will be severely compromised.”
“We wouldn't want to do that, would we Camilla?” warmed her ear, and her neck tingled from the caress of his breath.
She turned to meet his smoldering gray gaze and wide smile. A heartbeat later, she was in his arms, her palms resting against the still-damp, curling hairs on his chest.
Her heartbeat quickened at the feel of his warm, moist skin against her fingers, his strong thighs pressing against hers through the thin, cotton dress. And when he kissed her, his lips suckled hers, top lip first, then the bottom, while his tongue tickled them into a smile.
She knew she should stop him, but the heat that spread though her body wouldn’t be denied. She’d never felt anything so...right. With her eyes closed, the curves of her body molding against the sharp angles of his, her hands slid up the rugged landscape of his chest and her arms wrapped around his broad, sinewy shoulders. Then her lips parted to taste him.
Book Two - Passion's Spirit
Untamed Hearts, Worlds Apart
Raised by Santa Fe missionaries, half-Apache orphan Elena Santiago has vowed to avenge their murders the Apache way. But first, she must masquerade as a white woman to deliver a dangerous message across the country, into the land of her enemies. But more dangerous than the warning she carries, is her heart’s response to the untamed spirit behind Sean O'Grady's smoky grey eyes in a body that reminds her more of an Apache warrior than a soft, white “gentleman”.

Sean O’Grady has always dreamed of exploring the Wild West, but at twenty-five, he’s put aside his dreams to run his family’s Georgia plantation and wed his neighbor. When Elena arrives looking and speaking more like a Spanish lady than an Indian mission girl, he wonders if she's really who she say she is. Is she a virgin or a vixen? The question taunts him as he struggles with feelings he’s never felt for a woman before. Feelings that could get them both killed.


When Sean pulled away, Elena looked into his eyes wondering, is this what love feels like, or is it only lust? She decided that nothing as beautiful as the moment they’d just shared could be evil. But it could never be love, either. She had felt his passion press against her and ached for him to fill her. Now she was grateful that he hadn’t. They were from different worlds that still warred against with each other. He could never survive in her world and she refused to live in his.

As if he read her thoughts, he leaned into her, whispering so close to her ear that it could have been a kiss, "Why can’t you be Mary Louise? And I the Apache brave who will eventually claim you?” Then he turned to stare at the stream that patiently followed the course nature had carved out for it.

The question echoed in Elena's mind. For a moment, his heart had matched the rhythm of hers. The curves of her body had melted into the angles of his as they breathed the same breath and tasted each other’s souls. For a moment, they had truly been one body and one soul.

Now separated, the chilly breeze that stirred the pine needles at their feet told her that when she was with him, even angry, she was whole. And though he changed his moods faster than the mountain gods and was promised to marry a weak and silly white woman, part of her would always belong to this loco Gringo.

She also turned her gaze toward the river. "We can only be who we are."

The more I write about this family the more there is to tell. I’m currently working on two additional books about the Langesford/O’Grady clan:

Passion’s Seed – Flora DeBoucher, the beloved quadroon servant from New Orleans whose secret enslaves her.

Passion’s Promise - Lily O’Grady, the musical prodigy with dreams of becoming the next Lily Langtry, but must help free a nation first.

Thanks for visiting with us, everyone!


LisaRayns said...

Great post. Happy Anniversary!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

What a lovely story. My Calvin and I met after I'd been divorced for 12 years and he for 5. We were both used to doing things our way. Talk about adjustments! But, oh, what a dearheart he is. Your advice about acceptance is spot on.

I enjoyed your excerpt very much and wish you great luck in your writing.

Kathryn Knight said...

Happy Anniversary! I so love historical romance AND anything set in Georgia is a favorite - I read GWTW in the 7th grade, my girlfriends couldn't understand my excitement to get home and read :)

Calisa Rhose said...

Wonderful story and very good advice, Doris. Mitch and I met, got married less than two months later and on Sept. 6th we celebrated 29 years of not always sweet, but always loving, years. The one piece of advice we both have adhered to all these years was something my mom told us in our first month; Never let the sun set on a fight and never go to bed mad.

Your books sound interesting and I love the covers! Congrats and good luck.

Robena Grant said...

Congratulations! Forty two years is an awesome achievement. Loved the advice for HEA. Also enjoyed the excerpt.

Joyce Henderson said...

Hey Doris,

I'm, so happy for your continued publishing success with TWRP. I was right! LOL

Reading your marriage philosophy only gives me another reason why I liked you from first meeting.

Congratulations on celebrating your milestone anniversary. Since Bob and I whizzed past our 60th anniversary last June, I can say with conviction you're right on the money about commitment and give and take in marriage.

Keep up the good work publishing, and may you continue to walk joyfully on life's path with your best friend.

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