First Loves and True Loves
My first love was a skinny, curly-haired red-head named Gerald. He was a twin from a big family, funny and sweet and the first guy to ever kiss me, in eighth grade, after a movie his mom drove us to. Somewhere I still have a little gold necklace he gave me for Christmas, and a pair of porcelain angels that were another gift. I thought my heart was broken when we split up, but of course, it mended. I went on to date other guys, and eventually met and married my true love, my husband.
But there’s always something about a first love that holds a special place in your heart – a fond, sweet memory we treasure.
For a writer, a first book is like a first love. Though we love all our stories, and like to think there’s something special about each of them, there’s something extra special about that first book.
Back in 1997 I finalled in the Golden Heart contest, Romance Writers of America’s competition for unpublished authors. I didn’t win, but one of the editors who read the finalist manuscript said she couldn’t use it, but what else did I have? That led to the sale, three months later, of my first book – Patchwork Hearts. Unavailable for some years, Musa Publishing has rereleased Patchwork Hearts – my first book has a new life, and a new group of readers get to enjoy the story.
Set immediately after the Civil War on the Texas frontier, Patchwork Hearts is the story of Lucy O’Connor, a young woman who plans to sew quilts and sell them to finance her dream of owning her own cattle ranch. Having witnessed the unhappiness of other married couples, she’s determined to remain independent. Trace Abernathy, a former Union soldier, has come to Texas to make a new start raising cattle. Burned by love to a headstrong woman, he wants nothing to do with independent Lucy. But love has other ideas for these two, and they find out together they are stronger than either is alone.
Patchwork Hearts combines three of my loves – romance, history and quilting. I had fun weaving lots of quilting trivia, superstitions and traditions into the story. The story still feels special to me, after all these years.
So, on the topic of first loves and true loves – what’s your story? Do you remember your first love? How about the first romance novel you read and fell in love with? What made that first one (book or person) special?
Word Count: 97000
Author: Cindi Myers
From the first time she laid eyes on handsome Yankee Trace Abernathy, Lucy O’Connor felt an undeniable thrill between them. Her friends noticed, too, and urged Lucy to finish the traditional bridal quilt that would ensure a loving marriage. But Lucy had always planned to use her skills creating quilts that could make her money before she married, giving her the freedom to marry out of love, not need. And yet, try as she might, the independent woman couldn’t resist the stubborn man who made her heart beat father. So when he faced danger from vengeful enemies, Lucy had to stand up for the man she cherished – and show the whole town how to patch things up...with love.
Link to buy Patchwork Hearts: http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12&products_id=40
She stopped struggling, though she still held herself stiffly away from him. He grasped her right hand in his left and rested his other hand at her waist, conscious of the warmth of her skin through the fabric of her clothes. Or was that merely the warmth she kindled in him at her touch? He looked around the room, anxious to distract himself. "I see despite the deprivations of the war, the ladies have managed to keep up with fashion," he remarked. "I haven't seen so many elegant dresses since before the war.” He looked down at her skirt. "Though I dare say I'm not the only man who wishes these ridiculously wide hoops would go out of style."
She giggled. He looked at her in surprise. "What do you find so humorous?"
She leaned forward. "Promise not to tell?"
He frowned "Tell what?"
She lowered her voice to a whisper. "They're not real hoops."
His frown increased, as did her laughter. "We haven't been able to get the real, steel hoops out here, so my friends and I made our own -- out of grapevine.” She gave an exaggerated thrust of her hips to the side, which made her skirt sway like a tolling bell. "Works pretty well, don't you think?"
He laughed. "You continue to amaze me, Miss O'Connor. Not only are you a writer and business woman, now I learn you're a fashion designer as well."
"Are you mocking me, Mr. Abernathy?” She looked indignant. "Some people seem to think that just because a woman takes an interest in business or a career that she's less of a woman."
"And who might those people be?” His hand tightened on hers. "Not me. I've already sampled your cooking, and your uncle was quick to point out to me that you are a model housewife."
Her eyes widened. "When did you talk to Uncle Nate about me?"
He looked away. "I came into the store the other evening. . . to buy more supplies. The subject just. . . came up."
She flushed and ducked her head. "Uncle Nate was just being kind. Some of the older women think I'm hopeless because I don't have even one quilt in my hope chest. And the one I've started isn't coming along very quickly."
"That would be the bridal quilt your uncle mentioned."
"I imagine your wife had dozens of quilts made before your wedding."
He smiled at this transparent attempt to fish for information. "I don't recall," he said. "If she did, I'm sure she didn't make them. She had slaves for that sort of thing."
"She must have been from a very wealthy family."
She fell silent, and he allowed himself to revel in the feel of a woman in his arms again after so long. Her hip flared enticingly from her slender waist beneath his hand, while above her corset he was conscious of the swell of her breasts. Lucy was tall for a woman, the top of her head coming even with his nose. The scent of her hair filled him, delicate and sweet as the passion flowers blooming outside. The dark locks looked like silk. His fingers ached with the urge to loosen the pins in her hair and lose themselves in the tumbled curls.
Musa Publishing will be giving away a ebook copy of "Patchwork Hearts" to one lucky commenter. So this giveaway is international just leave a meaningful comment for Cindi with your email address.