Valentine's Blog Tour Week Three featuring Linda Kage

To be honest with all of you, this is the week of the blog tour I've been looking forward to the most! Why? I guess it's no suprise, that as a romance writer, I'm in love with love and love stories. This week, the members of this blog tour will tell the story of how they met their significant other. I'm so excited to visit all the blogs and read!
Don't forget, commenting on a blog enters you in a contest where you can win $30 in gift certificates and a chance to win the grand prize valued at $50!

 Today I have the talented Linda Kage telling the story of how she met her significant other. Linda is a contemporary romance writer from the Midwestern USA, where she lives with her wonderful husband, daughter, and their nine cuckoo clocks. The eighth and final child of dairy farmers, she was forced into having a vivid imagination if she ever wanted to do something one of her siblings hadn't already tried.

I watched vh1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s on TV a while back and heard a line I loved.

"Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls came in number 39 and someone on the show made the comment that this was a good couples song. They said, "Couples who came together with Goo, stuck together." I was like, "Oh, yeah! Rock on," because of course that was me and my man's song back in 1998 when we met and, yep, we're still together.

So we digress way back to November of 1998, my freshman year of college. I came home for Thanksgiving break and made plans to meet my school friend Susan (hi Susan!) and get together to do... something. She made some comments beforehand about me meeting this guy friend of hers, but I didn't think too much of it at the time. I was more excited about getting to see Susan again.

The night of our reunion came. We, plus another friend of ours, piled into my 1990 Nissan Sentra and headed toward a honky tonk bar not too far away called Twisters. There, this guy friend of Susan's had already arrived and was playing pool with a group of his buddies. Susan introduced us, we all played pool for a couple of rounds, and then he asked me to dance.

I couldn't tell you what that first song was. It was probably some country tune. But after that, Garth Brooks "To Make You Feel My Love" came on and I oohed and awed over it because I'd just seen the movie Hope Floats with my sister. Graciously, he asked if I wanted to dance again. After that, he hurried to Susan and told he he'd like to go out with me sometime. Susan relayed the information to me, and instead of giving her an answer back, I walked over to him and felt obliged to tease him for being unable to ask me out himself. He blushed, I told him I’d be delighted to go out with him, and the rest is history. We went on our first date.

The next afternoon, before I had to drive back to college, we caught a movie at the local theatre, watching Will Smith in Enemy of the State, and then we went to Sonic Drive-In for a fountain drink. Since that day, Sonic has become "our special place". We usually go there every Valentine's Day to celebrate.

Six days ago, our daughter had her first birthday. And in July, we’ll celebrate our ten-year wedding anniversary. Who knows what we'll do next year, but I'm certain we'll do it together. Because we've been stuck together by Goo and our romance is one of those "for the long haul" doozies.

I think I’m such a romance junkie because I love hearing about, reading about, and watching movie about that first moment a couple meets. So of course I simple must—oh, yes, I must!—share the meet-scene from my young adult romance, The Stillburrow Crush:

The opposing team shuffled onto their bus with their heads lowered. And here came the champs. Braying like a bunch of coon dogs, they looked pumped and riled. The ground rumbled under my feet as the stampede approached.

Still huddled together in one lumped mass, they came, charging toward the side door of the gym that led to their locker room. Cleats click-clacked on the asphalt parking lot, reminding me of my Great Aunt Kay’s dog, Chigger, who liked to run across her linoleum floor, creating as much clatter as possible. The team blew by me, smelling of musty earth, sports cream and sweat.

I couldn’t spot Coach Newell, but there he was, trailing at the end, grinning with the rest of the idiots: quarterback Luke Carter.

I rose onto my toes and waved my hand. “Luke,” I called, and quickly dropped my fingers when I realized I probably looked like some overeager groupie.

The chanting was too loud, though. One player did glance my way, but moved on without speaking. All he saw of me was a long brown trench coat with a mop of fuzzy blond hair sticking out the top. Nothing worth pausing over, I’m sure.

“Carter!” I put a little more gut into the call and finally caught his attention.

In his red jersey smeared brown, he faltered a step, his head swiveling my way. Then with a quick sidestep, he slipped from the group and came toward me. The streetlights played the shadows like a puppeteer, dangling darkness over his torso and down. When he emerged from the shadows, I sucked in a breath. The football pads made his shoulders seem wider and his chest twice as broad, while thigh pads made his waistline look especially slim. He moved like he was full of cardboard, stiff and ambling.

He towered over me, a looming six feet two inches tall (according to the football roster) to my five feet seven. His helmet was off, hanging at his side, and he’d wrapped his fingers around the face guard. A cut across his right eyebrow sliced toward the corner of his eye. Tiny etches of blood filled the cracks and defined the spot where he’d have a healthy showing of crow’s feet someday. His wet black hair curled slightly down his forehead and around his ears. And his eyes were a blue so clear that if they’d been a lake, I could’ve seen right to their rocky bottoms.

Finally, he smiled…and I wanted to kick him.

He had a row of bright white teeth with a bit of an overbite, and a dimple I could’ve fallen into. I hated him for that grin. I mean, how dare he look at me with those blue orbs and display such a genuine smile? I didn’t want it. I didn’t want to step into line behind every other girl in school whose heart went into double-thump for this boy. He had no right to give me that busted-ice feeling.

Yeah, busted ice. It’s like making instant gelatin the fast way with ice instead of cold water. When the ice cubes drop into the boiling gelatin they crack and sometimes bust into a hundred pieces. Well, my stomach was full of a dozen of those cubes, busting and cracking all over inside me because Luke Carter was a vision.

“Yeah?” he asked, resting his helmet against his hip.

“Carrie Paxton,” I said, sticking my hand in the space of air between us. I tried to keep it professional despite my irritation over the busted ice in my gut. “Editor of The Central Record.”

“I know.” He took my hand. Compared to his, my fingers were small and weak. “You’re in my Trig class."

His handshake was cold and slightly damp. He squeezed my palm before letting go. My mouth dropped open.

He wasn’t supposed to know that about me.

I’m sorry. But no girl, despite how much that girl doesn’t care about popularity and all that junk, can remain calm when someone like Luke Carter shakes her hand and actually knows her name. OK, I admit he should’ve known my name. We’d gone to the same school since kindergarten. But noticing me enough to realize we shared a class? No way.

“Oh,” I said. If I’d had any air left in my lungs, I might’ve been able to continue, but I did a fairly decent job of making a fool out of myself as it was. “Well. I…I…I mean, is it OK to talk to you, er, ask you a few questions about the game? For the paper, that is.”

“Sure.” A bead of muddy sweat trickled out of his hairline and down his temple, mixing with blood before moving on. Fascinated, I watched it drool a crooked path down his cheek and neck and then into the collar of his jersey.

As if catching my entranced stare, he lifted the hand that held his helmet and wiped the sweat away with the back of his palm. “What do you want to know?”

I cleared my throat and dropped my eyes. “Umm, well…” I yanked a notebook from the inside pocket of my trench coat. The wind caught a few sheets, making the lined pages flail and thrash like they were drowning in the ocean or something. I tried to get a hold of them and rein them in but only succeeded in wrinkling most of the pad.

“Sorry,” I muttered, and dug deep into my outer pocket, frantically searching for my pen. I couldn’t find the irritating thing there, and switched hands on the notebook to search the other pocket. I didn’t dare look up. I could feel him watching and it made my cheeks hot.

He coughed, trying to get my attention, and my head flew up—long bangs falling into my eyes. He motioned toward my right ear with his index finger. I frowned, wondering if there was a twig or something in my hair and reached up, patting the area. And the pen, which had been securely tucked behind my ear, stabbed me.

What are some of your favorite meet scenes you’ve read, watched or heard about?

Don't forget to stop by the other blog stops today for more real-life romance!

Linda can be found at:

Linda Kage Blog Page - weekly -

Romance Books "R" Us - on the 12th of every month -

Climbing Roses of the Wild Rose Press - on the 12th of every month -

The Writers Vineyard - Every Fourth Wednesday -

Today's blog interary:

Meet author Amy Corwin at

Meet contemporary and paranormal romance author Jill James at

Meet romantic suspense author Kat Duncan at

Meet paranormal, and historical romance author Caroline Clemmons at

Meet historical and paranormal romance writer Lilly Gayle at

Meet Amie Louellen, author of fun and whimsical contemporary romance at

Meet erotic western historical author Jennifer Jakes at

Meet author AJ Nuest at

And I'm at Lilly's


Linda Kage said...

Thanks for hosting me today, Lynne!

Lynne Roberts said...

You're welcome, Linda! I love your story!

Caroline Clemmons said...

Nice story, Linda.