Marilee Smith of Grand Island, NE, was the second place winner for her story – Greco-Romance – in the personalized romance writing contest YourNovel.com held marking the anniversary of its 20th year in business. As readers here know, that contest resulted in the publication of the anthology of 10 winning stories called Celebrating Romance 2 (still available for order in either “wild” or “mild” versions). She chose as her prize a two-night stay at the Rosewood Country Inn, Bradford, NH.
Marilee and her husband visited in late August. They flew from Nebraska to Montreal, visiting Quebec City as well as Vermont and New Hampshire during their trip. Here Marilee shares a report for YourNovel.com about her romantic getaway with her husband.
“A romantic getaway doesn’t depend on perfect end-of-summer, hints-of-fall weather. Driving a deux on roads that wend through hills of quaint towns and wooded country might lead to spontaneous sidetracking for a cafe and lunch alfresco under trees heavy with apples beside a lake. The quiet camaraderie of nearby tables where French and English phrases mix with the sound of lapping water and with laughter.
“But all of that accompanied us when we traveled from Montreal to Bradford, New Hampshire en route to the Rosewood Country Inn. The last miles took us deeper into the woods and through some temporary roadwork that had us bumping along only to open out into acres of sunlit stretches of greenery and the picturesque inn. Warmth awaited us in the welcome, in the suite with its Jacuzzi for two and fireplace, and in the attention to details of comfort and ambiance.
“Morning views of the acreage with its footbridges and gazebo inspired a desire to get on with our day, but the breakfast awaiting those of us in the 10 guest suites was so far above-and-beyond that we settled into the spacious dining room comfortably exchanging plans for various excursions.
“Then, as a gluten-free diner I was thrilled to be able to partake in the fresh raspberry muffins and the blueberry pancakes with maple butter pecan sauce because baking and cooking had been done especially to accommodate me as well. Each morning offered an array of juices, fresh and unexpected fruit courses, muffins, and hearty main dishes like frittatas.
“There was a happy hour one evening with canapes and a chance to chat with our charming hostess, Lesley Marquis, who along with her husband Dick have been named as New Hampshire’s Innkeepers of the Year. The B & B was also awarded a most romantic inn designation for a number of years, and it has been featured in Yankee magazine as well.
“During our stay we managed to re-visit my husband’s nearby alma mater where students were just settling in for a new term and also to hike down the inn’s country road, but time there centered on relishing a private retreat–complete with champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries in our suite. Indeed, romance may not depend on such extravagance of atmosphere and lavish pampering, but it doesn’t hurt either. The sensory pleasures and bonhomie will, I suspect, remain with us as they have for so many guests celebrating weddings, anniversaries, honeymoons, and the heartfelt beauties of nature and hospitality–celebrating romance!”
Marilee not only writes great romance but also lives it. We applaud her for both.