Lynnette Austin gave up the classroom to write full time. An author of eight novels, she has been a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest, PASIC’s Book of Your Heart Contest, and Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Contest. She and her husband divide their time between Southwest Florida’s beaches and Blairsville, GA.
Advice on Love, the Second Time Around
“Where there is great love, there are always miracles.” Willa Cather’s words ring as true today as the day she wrote them a century ago. Picture Perfect Wedding is the story of love the second time around. It’s essentially the story of a miracle, that chance to find love and happiness after thinking it gone forever.
Beck Elliot and Tansy Calhoun Forbes, the hero and heroine of Picture Perfect Wedding, could sure use some help. Their relationship imploded the first time around. Now, they’ve been given a gift, a second-chance at love. If, at the beginning of the book, I could give them a piece of advice, it would be these words of Cather’s.
It’s not easy, though, to let go of the guilt, anger, frustration, and stubbornness. When Beck and Tansy meet again, the problems in their relationship remain unresolved.
Pops, Beck’s grandfather, never one to shy away from giving advice, told Tansy, “Not a single one of us gets to rewrite our history. It is what it is, and we take it from there.”
In other words, let go of the past. While it’s important to remember the good, it’s equally as important to put the bad behind and move on, to turn loose the anger and guilt. Tansy needs to be gentle with herself, to forgive herself; she’d avoid a lot of sleepless nights.
Beck didn’t get off scot-free, either. Pops sat him down for a piece of advice, too. “Life isn’t always what you expect. The trick is to stay open to it, to the possibilities it offers. Possibilities. Not so different than opportunities.”
There’s an old saying that when opportunity comes knocking, a person had better be sure to open the door. This is basically what Pops was telling Beck. He shouldn’t let old hurts and grudges blind him to new possibilities. Will things be exactly the same as they were? Probably not. But if he’s open and receptive, who knows? They might be even better.
What other advice would I offer Beck and Tansy?
First, I’d remind them to look toward the future rather than back at the past. This is very similar to what Pops told Tansy. Does that mean we should forget everything that’s gone on before? Absolutely not. Cherish the good, learn from the bad, and look forward to what’s yet to come.
Talk to each other. That’s the simplest of advice, but it’s so often neglected. Whether we hold back because of embarrassment or because we don’t want to cause the other hurt or because we simply don’t think it matters, keeping secrets can be fatal to a relationship. Keep those lines of communication open. I know, I know, it sounds so simple. But it can be so very hard!
My last piece of advice? No matter how hectic life gets, set aside some “couple time”. Save a night as date night. Tansy’s starting a new business, moving into a new home, and raising her daughter. All of these compete for her time. Beck runs a successful business and finds himself taking care of half the town. Despite all of this, Beck and Tansy’s relationship, if it’s to succeed, needs to take priority. If that relationship isn’t strong, it and everything else will fall apart. I have to give Beck kudos. When he finally asks Tansy out on a date, the man does it right! Some nostalgia, some romance, and lots of fun! I think he’s got this part of things down pat!
At one point, Tansy lies in her big bed and wonders if she’s destined to sleep alone forever. After watching the heat generated by her and Beck, I sincerely doubt it! If these two listen to Pops and me—and Willa Cather—they’ve got a fighting chance!
If you had to give advice to a couple, what would you tell them? What’s your secret to lasting happiness?
Third in the heartfelt and charming Magnolia Brides series from Lynnette AustinOne mistake can change everything…foreverBeck Elliot and Tansy Calhoun were inseparable—until Tansy left Misty Bottoms, Georgia, promising to come back after she finished school. Beck stayed behind to save the family business, dreaming of the day when Tansy would return. Instead, his trust and his heart were broken when she inexplicably married another man and bore his child.Five years later, Tansy comes home, a sadder and wiser woman. Despite his anger, Beck finds it hard to avoid her and her adorable little daughter—especially with all the busybodies of Misty Bottoms going out of their way to throw him and Tansy together, hoping a lingering spark will reignite their enduring flame…
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