Love and Cowboys: An Interview with Author Gloria Doty

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Gloria Doty, Author

If you’re into cowboys and romance, you’re going to love Gloria Doty and her new romance novels! What’s not to like about a title and cover like this? Bring a cowboy home? Don’t mind if I do…

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I fell in love with the book as soon as I saw it. And I pretty much fell in love with Gloria that way, too. She is a jewel. A people person and mother of a live-in adult daughter with autism, Gloria is a fascinating human being. She has a magnetic personality and we clicked immediately. Besides being an all-around great gal, her grit and work ethic are traits I highly admire.

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Click to buy

Her newest book is a winner, too:

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Below is an interview I did with Gloria. What a lovely woman and what a great author! You’re going to love her and her books!

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Tweet this: Bring a Cowboy Home! Why not?

The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani — 4.5/5 stars

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I don’t know where I’ve been and why I’ve not heard of Adriana Trigiani but here is an author I can’t get enough of.

Actually, I think I have read her before, but until I re-read her Big Gap book, I’m not positive. Funny how that happens.

This book was kind of surreal for me because it mentioned places I had actually been while traveling from Indiana to New Jersey. And this is the same time I read the book. I spent the night in Youngstown, Ohio on my journey there and back and that’s where the Macaroni Company ends up being. So odd for it to mention several other locations I actually knew about. Ever have that happen?

Youngstown_OHAnd it also has scenes in Italy. Which is one of my fantasy vacation spots.

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Take me here NOW!

And then there’s the patient, older, Italian husband who is romantic and an excellent lover. <sigh>

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Yes, I have a terrible crush on Andrea Bocelli. It’s okay, my husband knows. (In case you don’t know, this is the ultimate example in my mind of an older, good looking Italian man…)

Anyway, as secular market books go, I loved this one. What’s not to love about shoes and romance and pasta? I love reading about families who have strong ethnic ties. Being very, very, very American, I don’t have those types of traditions. So I enjoy living vicariously through those who do in books.

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This isn’t a book I’d normally pick up and I wasn’t sure I’d like it. And to be honest, I was thinking, if a new author wrote it, no one would publish it. It’s not hooky for one thing. And it doesn’t have a spell-binding plot. But there’s just something about the main character, Valentine, that makes you want to know what happens to her next.

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Adriana Trigiani, Author

I’m excited to read more of Trigiani’s books. I’m packing seven or so of them to take with me on vacation week after next. For one thing, she writes southern fiction, too, which made the fact that this book (and I think this is a sequel to some others) are set in NYC.

I’ll let you know how it goes. There’s nothing I like more than books. And I absolutely love southern fiction. Next to books I love shoes.

Wide-Italian-ShoesThis book was a perfect fit.

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Tweet This: Who knew macaroni and shoes had so much in common?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When life grabs you by the ankles tango anyway

Whew. It’s been quite an adventure these past few weeks and I’ve missed blogging regularly. Between college classes, writing a book and my son’s wedding, Holy Week activities and church responsibilities I feel like I’ve been in an abyss with an undertow pulling me under. But here I am! I’m baaaaaack! (At least for today!)

My son’s wedding was a delight for this writer Mama. He got married in the most unique, unusual wedding I’ve ever been to. It was small and untraditional. Very untraditional. My son, Noah, is known for his eccentric ways.

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Mr. Noah and Mrs. Sasha Akins

His new bride is also an eccentric girl. I like eccentric. I always taught my kids to be themselves, but I think Noah internalized that and took it to the next degree.

It was a fun wedding. Intimate. Different. The lasagna was delicious (Sasha’s step-father made it. WOW), and the reception was fun. And different. When I danced with my son we went from slow dancing to doing the polka to the tango. It was a blast.

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Family photo

It’s not what I imagined for my son when he was a little boy. I’m not sure what I imagined but I didn’t imagine this. I think it’s better than anything I could have imagined because he and his bride stayed true to themselves.

God makes us all unique. He sees what we are inside, not what we portray on the outside. Sometimes people judge my son for being so different, but that’s their problem, not his.

“…for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” 1 Samuel 16:7b.

I’m thankful the Lord doesn’t judge me by what I am on the outside. Especially in this picture of me and Mr. Himself at the wedding. I look like I’m chewing on a wad of tobacco. I assure you I’m not.

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Mother and father of the groom

On the other hand, is my heart where it should be?

Yes! Because of Jesus. Only because of what Jesus did for me is my heart something that pleases the Lord. I’m so grateful for that! I shudder to think what God would see if the redemptive blood of Jesus didn’t cover my sins. Thank you, Jesus!

Now, where’d I put that recipe for that amazing lasagna?

I’ll work off the calories doing the tango.

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Tweet This: When life grabs you by the ankles, tango anyway!

Y is for Yentl

Today’s A to Z Meme is sponsored by the Letter Y!

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Y is for Yentl. Yentl is my favorite, favorite movie of all time.

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Source: Wikipedia

Disclaimer: I do not at all agree with Barbara Streisand’s politics. Also, this movie does have some “hiney” nudity.  Yes, I’m a prude when it comes to watching such things in a family setting. This is not a family movie in my opinion.

I’m more fascinated with the story of Yentl  than with the movie itself. (Although, I must admit, I’m a huge Mandy Patinkan fan from way back and he’s sooo handsome in this movie.)

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Yentl (Pinterest)

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Princess Bride (Bing free use image)

My love for this movie stems from my love of learning and books. I can’t imagine living in a time when girls weren’t allowed to read books except for fiction storybooks. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a fiction writer, and I love the craft of weaving a story. I love reading stories, too. But I also love my nonfiction books just as much.

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iPad wallpaper click for source

Yentl lives in a time where girls aren’t supposed to know anything about the Talmud or Torah and her father is a rabbi. Every night he closes the shutters and teaches her. When he dies, so does her life with books and learning. So she decides to dress as a young man and join a yeshiva where she can learn. In fact, she’s at the top of her class, and she falls in love with her mentor (Mandy Patinkin).

But since she’s dressed as a young man, she of course, can’t do anything about her feelings.

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Yeshiva

In the meantime her mentor’s girlfriend’s father rejects him and he is not allowed to marry her because his brother committed suicide. This is considered dangerous breeding. So he talks Yentl into marrying her. What a mess this all becomes!

Eventually Yentl has to reveal  that she’s a woman and writes to her “wife” and family and explains the situation. Mandy Patinkin gets to marry his girlfriend after all and Yentl goes to America. The End.

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Tweet this: I think if I were Yentl, I would have risked the same thing to get to read.

I would have hated looking at a future without books. All women had to look forward to in her culture was being a wife who cooked, cleaned, and raised chickens and babies. For many women, this is their dream come true, and I admire them for it. But for me, like Yentl, I think I’d have been miserable and would have found some way to get my hands on more books.

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Free use Bing image

I’m grateful I live in this time of knowledge at my fingertips. It does pose its problems, though. It can get confusing. It can challenge my faith. It can easily lead to doubt. One must always temper knowledge with the Wisdom of God’s Word.

What say you? Are you like Yentl or more like what she should have been? Was she wrong to pursue knowledge the way she did? Or do you think women should just accept their lot in life whatever it may be?

What’s your definition of real romance?

31 years ago today I married my man!

At a little baptist church (that isn’t so little anymore) in Haysville, Kansas.

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(When we got married there was only the little building on the right and no passageway leading to a big building.)

(But that’s irrelevant.)

What’s relevant is that I’M STILL MARRIED TO THE SAME GUY!

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Besides being a parent, marriage is the hardest work I’ve ever done. And that’s not because of who I’m married to. It’s because of ME. Marriage has a way of stretching you. It really is a miracle this guy stayed with me all these years!

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We’ve been through so much together. So. Much.

How do we keep our marriage alive?

With real romance.

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Real romance is cleaning up the other one’s vomit during a stomach flu epidemic. (Sorry for that shocking visual, but it’s true.)

Real romance is doing dishes together–in the middle of the night–after the baby’s finally asleep.

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Real romance is eating eggs for supper on Monday night. And Tuesday. And Wednesday. And Thursday. And Friday. And Saturday. And Sunday–in order to pay the electric bill.

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Real romance is listening to the other one talk when you’d rather watch TV or read a book.

Real romance is wrapping presents and stuffing stockings together at 4:00 AM on Christmas Eve.

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Real romance is letting the other pick out the color of the new car.

Real romance is picking up their socks–and not complaining.

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Real romance overlooks those extra pounds every ten years packs on.

Real romance is giving each other the space they need to pursue their own interests.

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Real romance is loving each and every gift you get from the other one when it’s nothing at all you like.

Real romance is forgiving all hurts, wrongs, neglect. And letting it go.

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Real romance is giving up the right to be right.

Real romance fights fair and never damages another with words.

253046072782766124Real romance is praying together, worshiping together, studying God’s Word together.

Real romance doesn’t look very much like those romance novels some people are known to write. <grin>

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It’s not the candlelight dinners or gifts I cherish most. It’s the time my man sacrifices to be with me, do for me, listen to me. Even when I’m not lovely. Usually, when I’m the most difficult is when I need him to love me the most. And he needs the same from me.

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So that’s my definition of real romance.

What’s yours?