by Joyce Lamb)
Ace reporter Cathy Maxwell, the always hilarious author of this week's new The Bride Says No, book one of her new Brides of Wishmore series, hunted the world over for romance authors brimming with romantic tales of romantic marriage proposals. Turns out, it wasn't an easy row to hoe …
Cathy: HELLO, JOYCE ... Cathy Maxwell, ace reporter here, live and in person on the romance behind romance authors' marriage proposals.
I polled a number of romance authors asking, "Do you have a good proposal story?" After all, we see great marriage proposals on the Internet. There have been Austen proposals and Bruno Mars proposals. It stands to reason that those denizens of the happily ever after, those word slingers of the heart would have some entertaining, romantic personal experience to draw upon, right?
The response was crickets. That's right, Joyce. No response. Nary a word.
But I'm not one to give up. I beat the bushes, Joyce. I went after the story like a flea on a dog — and I have to report, romance writers need romance!
When pressed, Pulse of Power Comic creator and SEAL series author Anne Elizabeth informed me that she had heard of a man who proposed to a woman underwater. He'd taped his proposal to the bottom of the boat. "That was pretty neat."
"But did your husband, Carl, propose to you that way?' this reporter asked.
"No, Carl and the dog proposed to me and then they both kissed me."
"Oh," this reporter said.
"No, it was really adorable. Boomer and Carl were sitting in the dog bed together when he asked. I loved it!"
I smiled and decided to talk to the other side, Joyce — I interviewed spouses.
Cathy Maxwell, author of "The Bride Says No."(Photo: Cathy Maxwell)
Vince, husband of Leigh Morgan, author of the Warrior Chronicles contemporary series came back with not a tale of what he did to seal his wife's affections but what her grandfather did. While stationed in London during WWII, he was in a club drinking and dancing when the air raid sirens went off. Everyone ducked under the tables. He lit his cigarette lighter so that he could see, and what he saw was a fine Welsh woman under the table with him. He didn't miss a beat. "You'll do. Do you want to get married?" They were married shortly thereafter and stayed in that holy state until death parted them.
"Oh," this reporter said.
Debut author Jennifer Robson has written Somewhere in France. There is romance in France. French is the language of love. I expected a passionate tale, Joyce, especially from a husband named Claudio.
Apparently, they had been talking about marriage, but he hadn't given any sign that he was ready for the next step. Then, he surprised her by insisting on going out to dinner on a Tuesday night. He even made reservations at one of Toronto's fanciest restaurants. Just before dessert was served, their waiter set a covered dish in front of her and lifted the cover. There it was — the ring Claudio had designed especially for her. When the jeweler had called that morning to say it was ready, Claudio couldn't wait any longer.
Proposal over dinner. I was getting warmer for this story, Joyce. But what I needed was something with the big R.
Historical romance author Katharine Ashe delivered. She was kidnapped for a proposal, and her husband is a university professor. Yes, a kidnapping university prof. Who would have thought such a man existed?
While driving to her parents' house near Philadelphia, he veered off the road heading to — New Jersey. He took her to the beach. Not just any beach, but Nuns' Beach in Stone Harbor, where she'd spent her childhood summers. It was January and blistering cold, and she thought he was insane. But as they stood at the water's edge wrapped in wool coats, he pulled out a sapphire engagement ring and, with chattering teeth, said the sapphire represented the ocean Katharine adores. He'd been away doing research for his next book, looking out at the ocean and missing her, and he knew she was The One. He'd brought her to her special beach so that the ocean would always remind them they were together in their hearts.
That's romance, Joyce.
But I imagine some of your readers have better tales than these. Anyone want to share? We romance writers need 'em.
Cathy Maxwell's husband proposed to her while she was standing at the kitchen sink. It was the first and last time he ever saw her so domestic. For excerpts of her latest books The Bride Says No and The Bride Says Maybe, see www.cathymaxwell.com.