Do you remember the scene in It’s A Wonderful Life, where Clarence the angel shows Jimmy Stewart what life would’ve been like if he’d never been born, and it builds to a melodramatic crescendo where Jimmy discovers his beloved wife is (wait for it): a spinster librarian!!!! Oh, the horror.
That part of the movie always makes me roll my eyes. It’s the most dated bit, in my admittedly spinsterish opinion. But this past week has made me believe that I’m living Mary’s alternative life—albeit yesterday’s librarian is today’s romance editor—and I want Jimmy Stewart back to set me straight! This week has clearly showed me that I’m living the ominous “or else” that comes from not having enough romance in my life.
My week started when I caved in and agreed to foster the homeless ten-year-old Balinese cat that had lived in the shed of my brother’s mother-in-law, recently passed. That brings this singleton of a certain age up to cat number five. I can only justify it by repeating the phrase “only fostering the cat” like a mantra.
As I gradually encouraged the cat out of the spare bedroom into the rest of the house, my enormous rescue tom cat from the summer, Will Feral, attacked. Clearly, he is intent on murdering the intruder. So little Kaya is back under the spare bed with the door firmly shut. And the other three cats have all had psychotic breaks and are randomly attacking one another.
At home editing during this perfect cat storm, I suddenly lost my online edit, which is already very late. And my new $850 iphone went dark. And I realized that the ceiling has begun to leak in the spare bedroom, which for some reason feels cold and now I’m wondering if shutting the door 24/7 for a week is going to bring the house down on all of us. Oh, and the newcomer keeps staring at a point on the wall where there is nothing, indicating I have a ghost.
So when the managing editor team found my lost line edit yesterday and then IT fixed my iphone, I realized that this is why we need romance. We need a partner to kiss us—which I should point out is not what the managing editors or the IT guy did—and stop us from adopting five cats and call a reputable roofer to figure out if the chimney caulking needs a fix or if we’ve got an ice dam and to help exorcize the house.
And without that guy in my life right now, at least I can read about other people’s romances!!! Thank goodness for small mercies. And thanks also to Marie Ferrarella, Shirley Hailstock, Muriel Jensen and Catherine Lanigan for four emotional, romantic Heartwarming books to get me past the leaking house and perfect cat storm.
I’d also just like to say goodbye to the Roman family in Marie’s Saving Home, the last of her Ladera by the Sea miniseries. I hate it when an author’s connected stories comes to an end. You get so invested in the world of those characters, four books just doesn’t seem like enough!
On the bright side, we’ve got In My Dreams, the first of Muriel Jensen’s Manning Family Reunion trilogy about an incredibly dysfunctional family and the struggle to reunite, as well as Catherine Lanigan’s A Fine Year for Love in her continuing series Shores of Indian Lake.
Finally, I’d like to give Shirley Hailstock a big welcome to Heartwarming with her story Summer on Kendall Farm. Shirley comes to us from Kimani Press and we’re delighted to have her book in the lineup.
We really do need romance. Or else. (Can’t help it: still rolling my eyes, despite the ghost and leaking house!)
Best in 2015,