Wednesday, February 16, 2011


A. J. Nuest, Author
Don't you love hearing a happily-ever-after story that's true? Welcome to our guest author, A. J. Nuest. Here's her bio in her words: Born in northern Wisconsin as the middle child of three girls, I now call Northwest Indiana home, along with my loving husband, two beautiful children and several pets.

Contrary to the cliche "middle children are always ignored", I preferred a solitary lifestyle growing up, and would often disappear for hours with either a book or journal, happily content behind my closed bedroom door. I can't remember a time when I didn't write. Either poetry, song lyrics or a daily diary entry, jotting down my thoughts has always come naturally to me. Each year I found a blank book waiting beneath the Christmas tree, and after I left home for college, I bought them myself.

Early on I knew I would need to get bumped around a bit before starting a writing career. So I spent the years working as an Executive Assistant in several different fields, experiencing all the fun (and heartache) a single girl can have in the big city. Soon after, I met my husband, got married and started a family, moved to Indiana and together we started a business from our home.

My days are now filled with assisting my husband, and when time allows I write, once again happily content to be left alone with a book or journal - only now my journal is a Toshiba laptop. The rest of the time I'm busy gardening, cooking, fixing boo-boos, attending sporting events, tutoring, chauffeurring, cleaning, doing laundry, and snuggling.

Thanks for your bio, A. J. Take it away for the blog:


Couple and romantic sunset
When I was first given the subject title of this blog, I wasn’t sure from which perspective to write my post. Did the title mean I was supposed to tell everyone how I met my husband? Maybe I was supposed to become an investigative reporter, and research online dating companies like eHarmony and Or did this title suggest I write a blog detailing the various introductions of my heroes and heroines, and the subsequent goal, motivation and conflict arising from said meet (or meet-cute if you’re from Hollywood).

I spent several days mulling over my choices, still unable to decide, when last Friday my family went on a shopping excursion and on the return trip my daughter asked from the back seat, “Mom, can you tell me how you and Daddy met again?”

My husband and I shared a private smile across the car, and I began the story of the night Lily’s father and I met.

From The Wild Rose Press
April 10, 2011
And then it hit me. No matter which perspective I chose for this blog post, the situations were exactly the same…because of one very important reason. However characters are introduced into our lives, be they in real or from a current WIP, that meeting will follow both of you throughout the rest of your story.

I could have easily told my daughter the plain facts about how my husband and I met. We went to the same nightclub to see the same band, were introduced by a mutual friend who knew us separately, spent the evening talking, and the next day my husband phoned and asked me out on our first date.

Couple in a
But that’s not the story I told her. I added how the moment I first laid eyes on my husband, I knew we were destined to meet. Even though his back was facing me, something about the way he held his shoulders, the gait of his stride, how he raked his fingers through that thick sandy-brown hair immediately caught my attention. I offered her a detailed description of the black leather jacket he wore, the way his sea-green eyes sparkled every time they met mine across the room, and how the deep cleft in his chin nearly drove me mad.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that this story is true, or how after nearly thirteen years of pretty much wedded bliss, I can count on one hand the number of days my husband and I have spent apart.

The thing that brought this post into focus is how my daughter asks to hear that same story over and over again because of the details. I bet I’ve told her hundreds of times how her father and I met, but she never tires of hearing it. The same holds true for any story. As an author, you will want your readers to come back again and again. Whether your hero and heroine are life-long friends who miraculously discover their mutual attraction for each other, arch enemies who can’t stand being in the same room, or two strangers who chance upon a clandestine meeting, it’s important the author creates a meeting strong enough to follow them through to the end of their story.

The night my husband and I met is just the beginning. And I’m in no hurry to reach the end of our story. But when it arrives, I hope to be surrounded by a gaggle of grandchildren (or maybe even great-grandchildren) telling the story of how their grandfather and I met.

What about you? What’s one great meeting you’ve been blessed to experience?

Contact Information for A.J. on the web:


Horses are
great therapy
Haunted by nightmares, tormented by guilt, Jezebel came to Redemption Ranch to escape the past—except now she's stuck in the middle of nowhere with no redemption in sight. When her mother pushes her into riding lessons with local veterinarian Matthias Saunders, Jezebel balks. Sure, the doctor is gorgeous, but he’s completely obnoxious and knows how to push every one of her buttons.

Only her deep connection with The Reverend, a gentle stallion who guards her darkest secrets, has her agreeing to spend any more time with Dr. Saunders. Caring for the stallion is the first bright spot in her life in months, and if being around the horse means she has to deal with Matthias Saunders, then so be it. Surely a city girl like her can handle one country vet—even one with disturbing blue eyes. Can't she?


Jezzy stopped. “I thought I was having a riding lesson.”

“You are.” He nodded toward the empty paddock. “Go in.”

“Go in?” Jezzy propped a hand on her hip. “You sure you know what you’re doing? Because it was my understanding that an actual horse is needed for a riding lesson.”

“Don’t you think it would be wise at this juncture to leave the understanding up to the professionals?”

Jezzy rolled her eyes. “You’re making this way too easy. Professionals? Please. Don’t get me started.”

“Why not? Getting you started is exactly what I’m here for.”

Jezzy’s jaw dropped. She didn’t quite know how to interpret that remark.

He held out the rope. “Now go in. And take this lead line with you.” Steely blue determination glinted in his eyes. There was no way he was going to give in.

Jezzy snatched the lead line from his hand and stormed through the gate, then turned when he closed it behind her.

He put a foot on the bottom railing and rested against the gate, facing the horizon. “Take the chair to the center of the paddock and sit down.”

“And just exactly how is that supposed to teach me to ride?”

He cocked an eyebrow. “You want out of the deal?”

Jezzy’s fist clenched tight around the lead line. What she wanted was to march back to the fence and smack his face.

Thanks, A.J. JEZEBEL'S WISH is a book I won't miss!

Announcing . . .
Last week's Roses Valentine Blog Tour winner was Sherry C and her $25 in gift certificates have been sent. Sherry's prize was donated by Amie Louellen and Lilly Gayle. I'll bet Sherry is already spending those handy gift certificates!

Enter the Valentine Blog Tour
This Valentine Blog Tour is easy peasy. Simply leave a comment to be eligible to win this week's prize and also be entered for the grand prize at the end of the tour. See? Didn't I tell you it's easy? The more blogs you visit and leave a comment, the better your chances of winning. Prizes increase each week in February to a Grand Prize of over $50!

Other blogs to visit this week to be entered for the $30. prize include: (that's this one)
Please return Friday, February 18th to talk with author Amy Corwin. Until then, thanks for stopping by.


Stephanie Suesan Smith, Ph.D. said...

When two people love each other long and well, it is always fun to hear how they met. Often they did not like each other at first, only to fall in love later. Sometimes they knew the moment they met their love. But always something about the story resonates.

Linda Kage said...

Sounds like Lily is going to be a romantic just like her mama. And I agree, the heart of every meet is in the tiny details that make it unique.

AJ Nuest said...

Stephanie, you are so right! I KNEW the moment I met my husband, he was the ONE! It's a strange thing, but to this day I can remember saying to my friend, "Uh oh, this is going to be trouble."

AJ Nuest said...

It's so funny because Lily Belle and I get so excited the minute a new Disney romance comes out. It's almost sorta gross how much we BOTH look forward to seeing the movie. Big brother Jack and my DH just roll their eyes. They usually go off to play video games.

wlynnchantale said...

My husband and I met as teenagers and the rest, as they say, is history. He would have to be the one person who has truly enriched my life. He gets me to experience the world rather than reading about it in a book.

AJ Nuest said...

Telly, my husband does the same thing! If it wasn't for him, we would never go anywhere (except the movies, because that's my favorite). He's the one always suggesting we take some sort of adventure with the kids. I would have missed out on so much without him.

Lynne Roberts said...

Aw, AJ... this one brought tears to my eyes. You're giving Lily the greatest gift ever, a security that her parents love each other.

I have to say, I didn't know the moment I met my man that he was the one, but I knew there was something different about him... something that eased the pressure/stress in me... he still does. When he walks in the door, I take a deep breath.

AJ Nuest said...

Okay, Lynne, now I'M gonna' cry. You're comments were so sweet. Thank you for that. And Ahhh...that deep breath. Gotta love that.

Jill James said...

AJ, you can always tell a good storyteller. The endless requests, to 'tell it again'. How wonderful that your daughter has that great story of how mommy and daddy met.

AJ Nuest said...

Hi Jill,
Yes, as my mother says, I've been blessed with the gift of gab! Thanks for stopping by. :-)

Sandra Crowley said...

AJ, Great post and excellent excerpt. Thanks for sharing. I totally agree--the story is in the details.

Wishing you the best. BTW, love your blog and thanks for hosting Caroline.

AJ Nuest said...

Hi Sandra,
Thanks for stopping by and the nice comments on the blog. This has been such a fun tour. I've made some wonderful friends. I highly recommend doing tours whenever you get the chance!