Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Keep Your Eye On The Ball

by Gina Conkle (new author to Sourcebooks)


By nature, I’m 99% calm and contemplative, but, oh, my impulsive 1%.

Maybe that’s why I write romance? Nothing beats the vicarious thrills you find on the page…all experienced from the comfort of your favorite reading spot.



After a dating life that can best be described as a roller coaster, my own true love story began around the ripe old age of 26. I was ready for real adventure, and my 1% genetic material kicked things up a notch with a fabulous idea that had nothing to do with love:

Why not leave my comfortable biotech job in southern California and teach in parts unknown Africa?

My plans stayed a secret, except for telling my mom (who was not thrilled), but I forged ahead, finding an international school service. They sent an information packet with jobs in places like Mali, Mozambique, and Mauritania. So, I started making plans.



That’s when happy hour happened. 

I was late…the last one to arrive at a mid-summer gathering of my co-workers. There was one seat left, and it was by him.

My female peers had been all aflutter over this guy named Brian. I thought he was too good-looking (what heroine ever thinks that?!). But, that’s real life for you. Besides, I had more important things on my mind like adventure, not a man.

Yet, something happened that night.

Conversation flowed. He started telling me about his field biology background and about his side-tracked plans to work in Africa of all places, studying rhinos. Whoa! The coincidence was too much. Before you could say adventure, I spilled my secret to this co-worker I hardly knew. As soon as the words were out, I asked him to keep it quiet.

He did. Pretty soon, one thing led to another. The summer happy hour turned into Chinese food dinners and running dates and pool, lots and lots of pool (billiards to some). This was fine. Brian was set on not ever marrying, and I was set on Africa.



By Christmas, we both knew Africa wasn’t going to happen, and he wasn’t going to “not ever marry.” In fact, my 1% genetic material was about to kick in with its biggest shocker yet.

We were playing pool with some friends at a real dive. Some oh-so-romantic heavy metal hair band blasted from the juke box. Brian was about to call the 8 ball (a difficult double bank shot) when he leaned close and said, “If I make this shot, we’re going to Vegas. Tonight.”

He made the shot. We left for Vegas at midnight and drove all night. The next morning, we put our names in at the Candlelight Wedding Chapel for a 9:00 AM wedding, and went pronto to the courthouse. There, three ladies sat at typewriters, ready to take our information for the wedding license (yes, the era of typewriters…at least they were electric).

This is us years ago at another wedding.

We wore the same clothes from the night before, but an hour later, I married Brian, the man who won my heart. In a pool game. Sort of.
So, what’s your story? I'd love to hear how you fell in love.

And I'm glad to "meet you" here on the blog~
Gina


P.S. I write historical romance with Meet the Earl at Midnight coming soon.  If you’re curious for more take a look here www.ginaconkle,com


18 comments:

  1. What a fun story! Thanks so much for sharing.

    My DH and I met in college when we were singing in the same choir. (The man has a Voice!) I was going with another guy at the time, but found myself singing to my future DH across the room pretty much every day. He asked me out, but of course, I said no. I was not that kind of girl. I"m the faithful sort. He asked me again and again, but it kept getting harder to say no. Then the term ended and he was planning to travel with a team for a year. I knew I'd never see him again if I didn't do something. So I dumped my boyfriend, called and asked HIM out.

    My whole life pivoted on that one phone call.

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    1. Whoa, Mia! I think you've got a cute premise for a story right there with "My whole life pivoted on that one phone call." The two of you sound super cute. And he still serenades you, right?

      So nice to meet you here~
      Gina

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  2. What a fabulous story! Fate decided by pool! I love it Gina...thank you for sharing your story. I can't wait to read about your Earl...he sounds hot :)

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    1. Thanks Christy. Love your cover BTW. There's something about military man, no matter the era. :-D
      ~Gina

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  3. Thank you, Gina. Quite a "how we met" story. Somehow I think you and Brian would've headed for the altar even if he'd missed that pool shot. I know it's a cliché, but I gotta say it. Truth is stranger than fiction!

    Good luck with the release of "Meet the Earl at Midnight".

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    1. Thanks Mary Anne. You're right, Brian and I were meant to be. And here we are 20 years later with two teens and two dogs...and I still love kissing him. And cliches are welcome because sometimes they hit the mark best! So nice to meet you here, Mary Ann.
      ~Gina

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  4. Wow! That's an awesome story! And my sister worked in Africa for years. From what I hear of bugs and red tape, you didn't miss anything.

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    1. Thanks Shana. You'll have to tell me about your sister's adventures in Africa. We know we're bound there someday, but now's not the time. Have a great day~ Gina

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  5. I love it, Gina and I'm so glad it worked out the way it did. Talk about fate! :)

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    1. Hi Terry, thanks! Our boys are glad their crazy parents settled down, too. Funny how things work out and paths cross when they do.

      Nice to meet you~ Gina

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  6. So very nice to meet you, Gina. I look forward to reading your book when it makes its debut.
    My husband and I met online 16 years ago, without really meaning to. I ran across his profile at a penpal site on AOL and just felt drawn to write to him. We wrote back and forth a couple times and then about a month later we happened to be online at the same time and we started instant messaging this was back in the day of dial-up. After a couple months of that we started talking on the phone and there was no free long distance calls. Remember all those numbers you dialed before dialing the actual number you wanted to call? Those 10 cents a minute lines? Of course those ten cents add up when you talk for hours. He was living in Pennsylvania and I was living in Arizona. He flew out here to be my date for my brothers wedding and that was that. After a few months of travelling back and forth and major phone bills I finally said to him that it would just be cheaper if we got married, so he flew out to AZ a month later and proposed. We just celebrated our 15th anniversary last month.

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    1. Hi Sarah, Nice to meet you too! I love your story. And yes, I remember dial up, phones with cords, and long distance phone bills. LOL! Congratulations on your 15th wedding anniversary. Isn't it interesting when you hear about people falling in love through phone calls and letters? Your story is so sweet. I love the romantic "get-on-a-plane-to-propose" part. So decisive :-)

      I hope you enjoy Meet the Earl at Midnight and take care-
      Gina

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  7. Wowza! Don't think I can top that story! Glad it all worked out for you!

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    1. Hi Cheryl, pretty crazy, isn't it? I did put the brakes on the Elvis drive-thru wedding. Brian is a great guy and I still love kissing him. It's nice to meet you!
      ~Gina

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  8. Great story, Gina...a case of the truth outdoing fiction! I'm a mail order bride! I think it might be going to work out. We'll give it another 47 years before we make a final decision.

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    1. Thanks Carolyn! It's fate that you had your 'mail order' post and my came soon after with an eloping story. But, you've got corner on longevity with 47 years! And I'll bet the two of you not only love each other, but like each other as well.

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  9. What a wonderful story, thanks for sharing, I will look forward to learning more about your book.

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    1. Thank you! Love is one of life's best gifts and Brian's still 'the one' to make me smile. Have a great day-
      Gina

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