by Cindy Spencer Pape
When Decadent Publishing asked me to be a part of a Calendar Men series, it was something I had to stop and think about. I’ve been writing a lot of other stuff lately, and not spending much time on contemporary erotic romance. But I never can resist the idea of a wounded hero, so of course I eventually agreed. I was assigned November, and so my mind immediately went to Thanksgiving. However, I remembered that for a military man, Veteran’s Day might be even more significant. So while Thankful is in the title, my story does span both holidays.
Another thing that immediately came to mind was Douglas Adams’s Thanks for All the Fish. Just the title—nothing in the story is relevant to his satiric space fantasy. But that silly working title did give me a grip on my characters. Elsie owns a pet shop, and Sig, my battered hero, is building a large aquarium into the old house he’s rehabbing as he reevaluates his life. He’s drawn to Elsie, who seems completely oblivious to his disfiguring scars, so as he keeps visiting the pet shop, the scale of his project grows, just to he can have more excuses to see her.
Of course, to be the perfect woman for Sig, Elsie has to have some scars of her own. Hers are psychological, but they’re major and traumatic. One of the themes I love in this story is the idea that neither character is perfect. But if they can overcome all the issues holding them back, they just might be perfect for one another. In the end, I’m so glad I wrote Thankful for You. It ended up meaning a lot to me, and I hope it touches the reader’s heart in some small way.
Appearing in a benefit calendar may have been the dumbest thing veteran Sig Nowicki ever did. Suddenly, he’s become his small town’s golden boy, and he doesn’t much like being in the spotlight. Mostly he needs a job, now that his military career was ended by a grenade.
Pet shop owner Elsie Jordan came to Michigan to start over. She’s attracted to Sig and doesn’t give a rip about his scars, but the ones she carries inside her heart are the real hurdle. She just isn’t sure she has it in her to love and trust, ever again.
Elsie and Sig set out to boost each other’s confidence and finally give in to their explosive passion. The entire town seems happy to help. But both of them need to come to grips with their imperfections and accept that they might just be perfect for each other.
Cindy Spencer Pape firmly believes in happily-ever-after and brings that to her writing. Award-winning author of 19 novels and morethan 30 shorter works, Cindy lives in southeast Michigan with herhusband, two sons, granddaughter, and a houseful of pets. When not hard at work writing she can be found dressing up for steampunk parties andRenaissance fairs, or with her nose buried in a book.
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