Ultimate Romantic Date: My 23rd Anniversary

    USA Today bestseller Catherine Mann stops by today to tell a story and ask a question—the kind of question that makes you think. Cathy is a RITA Award winner, Bookseller’s Best winner, and five-time RITA finalist who writes steamy romances for Silhouette, and military suspense for Berkley & Sourcebooks. She has over 2 million books in print in 20+ countries. Cathy and her husband who is in the Air Force have four children and numerous pets, depending on how many are fostering at any given time.

     Finding the perfect – and unique – romantic outing can be a challenge, especially after twenty-three years of marriage. You would think a romance writer married to a military jet-jock would have tons of storybook worthy ideas. However, we’re just like any other couple with kids, overworked and overscheduled, always in search of time alone together.

     Our twenty-third anniversary was approaching and we knew we would only have one day to celebrate as my husband would be traveling for work most of the month. We needed to make our anniversary celebration count. Lucky for us, the perfect way to celebrate presented itself in a most unexpected package… an eleven month old shelter dog named Jafar.

     To backtrack a bit, Jafar arrived at the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida as a puppy in February. http://www.paws-shelter.com/ For six months he lived in a kennel run, watching countless other kennel mates get adopted while he was overlooked for no reason anyone could define. Just when he began to show signs of depression, of giving up… his second chance arrived.

     An amazing author friend of mine named Vickie Taylor http://vickietaylor.wordpress.com/ saw his photo on the shelter website and immediately fell in love with his goofy face – and e-mailed me to ask about his story since she knew I volunteer there. Vickie – also a FEMA certified K-9 handler – has fostered for her local shelter over 20 years. She offered to foster Jafar in her home until he is adopted…

     If we could just figure out a way to get him to Texas.

     Suddenly, my husband and I knew exactly how we wanted to spend our anniversary. Which is how we embarked on the coolest romantic road trip ever – transporting a goofy, adorable yellow lab named Jafar from Florida to Texas! My husband and I spent hours together in the van, talking, sharing, remembering all the reasons we fell in love. Rather than a candlelit dinner in an exotic locale, we shared a table at Waffle House in Monroe, Louisiana.

     And honestly, no meal has ever tasted as sweet, no anniversary has ever been as special!

     What are some unique romantic gifts, gestures and dates you’ve enjoyed over the years? Two people who post a reply will win an autographed copy of my August Silhouette Desire, WINNING IT ALL. FMI on my books, visit my website at: http://catherinemann.com And to see photo diary of “Jafar’s Journey” visit my facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=623542806

Thanks so much, Cathy, for such a heart-warming story. A shelter pet, like my daughter’s boxer/pit mix, can be a real joy. Bruiser is a gentle and loving family member who shows his appreciation for his third chance every day. Tomorrow, erotic romance author Emjai Colbert shares with us how to balance writing with children. I believe she said something about duct tape?  RitaVF

23 Responses

  1. […] Read more: Ultimate Romantic Date: My 23rd Anniversary « Southern Sizzle Romance […]

  2. Hey there neighbor in Navarre! Waving madly from Pensacola. It was great to see you and share a hug at RWA in Orlando. Thanks for being our guest here today- Great story. Cute husband- and the dog is adorable. Sherry/Jillian

  3. You and Rob are such an adorable couple. No wonder you write terrific romantic suspense with that loving history. I so enjoy your military suspense series (all your books are keepers) as well as the fun Desire reads, and can’t wait to read the new series from Sourcebooks!!

    Of all the great times I’ve shared with my husband, I will never forget the first meal with us both in paint jeans (he’d gone home to change from his suit to work clothes and come back into the outdoor advertising company’s paint shop where I was working late on a mural) sitting on the patio of a Mellow Mushroom restaurant in north Atlanta eating pizza. We’ve had far more froufrou meals since that one, but there’s nothing like the first. Well, except for maybe the night he proposed. 🙂

    Say hi to Rob and kudos on your well-earned success!!

  4. Hi there, Sherry/Jillian!!! Thanks so much for posting! Have y’all been getting as soaked over there in Pensacola as we have 1/2 down the road in Navarre? The rain’s been torential all weekend. Although good reading and writing weather for me. 😉

    Thanks for the kudos on the blog, hubby & dog!

  5. Hey there, Dianna! Love the story of you and Karl in the paint clothes – I can so envision that. Your hubby is most definitely a keeper, for sure! Please do tell him I said howdy and give him a hug from the whole Mann family. 🙂

  6. Hi from Niceville!

    Any time my military husband and I can get away (kids, dogs, house) for a couple of hours is a nice time. We try to make a point to not talk about the (kids, dogs, house) during those few and far between dates and never make it. Sometimes we laugh about them, sometimes its a rant, but we always end up talking about them.

    So far as romantic gestures…my husband has email reminders sent to him for our anniversaries, my birthday and Mother’s Day to send flowers. Romantic?? Not so sure. Dependable, definitely!

    We are planning dinner and a movie in a couple of weeks when he returns from overseas.

  7. What a fantastic one-on-one day that road trip must have been! Reconnection while living the business of life is the main thing in a marriage.

    Hubby and I make a point to go deer hunting together. Without revealing too much, we’ll just say I’ve learned to eyeball a deer stand from the ground to judge stability. There’s just something about being outdoors in nature that is so freeing. lol And he doesn’t even mind the fact my behind could pass for a frozen Butterball when he cuddles me later! When my girlfriends say nothing could get them out in the woods I can’t help it: I just grin. Better than 25 years and I still LIKE HIM!!!

  8. I was surprised for Christmas one year with tickets to the Fox Theater to see Phantom of the Opera! It was great! Catherine, I love, love, love your books!!

  9. I was surprised one year for Christmas with tickets to the Fox Theater in St Louis, Mo to see Phantom of the Opera! It was fantastic – we went early enough to have dinner ahead of time and the show was terrific!! Catherine, I love, love, love, your books!!

  10. Hi Runere! Congratulations on 25 years!! Awesome – and I LOL over the cold Butterball part of your post. Too fun! And what wise words when you noted: “Reconnection while living the business of life is the main thing in a marriage.” Amen, to that!!

  11. What a great story, thanks so much for sharing.

  12. It sounds like a lovely anniversary to me!

  13. My husband and I spend almost all of our non-work time together, so on anniversaries (going on 23 this December), we typically include our daughter and often some friends. We enjoy sharing our celebration with others.

  14. Brenda, I think that’s so dear that your hubby wants to make sure he doesn’t forget special occassions! E-mail reminders are 100% romantic, imo. 🙂 Wishing you and your hubby a fabulous reunion!!!

  15. Kelli Jo – Thank you sooooooooo much!!!! I’m tickled pink to hear my books have brought you reading joy. 🙂 And a play at the Fox Theater – oh my!! I saw CAMELOT with Richard Harris at the Fox Theater a loooooong time ago and it was so amazing. I get chills thinking about it even to this day. 🙂

  16. Thank you, Tessa!!!!!!!! 🙂

  17. Ultimate Romantic Date: My 23rd Anniversary « Southern Sizzle Romance…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  18. Catherine, first let me say it’s because of your interaction on E-Harlequin that made me want to write for them. I love the way you and the other writers interact with your Readers there. Your Mann-ly Man posts were the first I ran across and you were so nice there you had a fan in me right away. So a big thanks for that. So glad to see you here with my Sizzlin’ friends. Thanks for sharing with us.

  19. Hi Darlene! Wow!! I’m so very humbled and thrilled to hear something I said helped you. 🙂 Thank you for sharing that with me. You’ve made my day! And hey, don’t know if you’ve seen it, but I’m running a big contest on the Mannly Men thread right now. After September, I’m going to take a hiatus from the thread to get some writing done, so we’re having a bit of a farewell party. Here’s a link to the page:


    Thank you again!

  20. Contest Winners!!! Kelli Jo Calvert and Runere McClain, you’ve both on an autographed copy of WINNING IT ALL! If you will please just send your snail mail info to me at: rwcathymann@aol.com then I will send your prize.

    Thanks again to everyone for a fun day visiting!!

    • Wow! Thank you so much, Catherine! I can’t wait to read it, and it will go with my other ‘keepers’ I have by you!

      You keep writing; we’ll keep reading! Guaranteed!


  21. Hi there! It’s come to my attention that I slipped up in picking doorprize winners by choosing one of the Sizzlers. (I simply tossed all the names of commenters in a hat and my daughter chose two.;-) Runere has been so very gracious in declining her prize so it could be passed along to someone visiting the blog. Sooooo, we have another winner!

    Darlene, you’ve won an autographed copy of my August Silhouette Desire – WINNING IT ALL! As soon as you send your snail mail address to me at rwcathymann@aol.com , I will have your prize in the mail ASAP. Congrats!! And thanks again for a delightful visit on the Sizzlers blogsite!

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