My Character’s Uncommon Ground

Hello there, my name is Debb and I love telling stories. I always have but as a career news journalist, I’m loving being able to plot and plan what happens in my WIP (work in progress), and for once, make it up!

My story is about finding love in the most unlikely place. I’m going to tell you about the hero and heroine in my first book, Paige and Tom, who is known as ‘Cowboy’ by colleagues and friends because it’s his military call sign – he’s a fighter pilot. He was born and raised in Texas and despite leaving for school young, he never lost the accent. It’s not original, but the guys who assign nicknames go for the obvious. It doesn’t help that during his time at the Naval Academy he got in trouble for trying to fly jets in cowboy boots.

Cowboy is highly motivated, honorable and courageous. A highly competent operator in a very competitive, adrenalin fuelled career, he can also lean towards an overdeveloped sense of self-confidence, or, when caught in the wrong context, arrogance. He doesn’t walk anywhere, he strides. His handshake is strong and he looks people in the eye when speaking to them. He stands tall. But many people would be surprised to learn he has a very gentle side with a soft spot for children with special needs. This is because his niece Kayla was born with Downs Syndrome and he adores her.

You won’t be shocked to learn that Cowboy is a hit with the ladies. It may be a cliché, but there really is something about a man in a uniform, including a flight suit, and if the face that accompanies the outfit is easy on the eyes, a girl can get a
little swoony. But despite the opportunities to settle down, my hero has focused on his work and yes, dated, but never with an eye to the future. He enjoys the company of women, and the attention of someone beautiful, but doesn’t want to be tied down.

So it’s funny that he would be attracted to Paige who can’t wait for a husband and family to share her life with. At 30 and professionally successful, this energetic florist, who is branching out into garden design would love have more than her Bassett Hound Hank and Netflix to come home to. Paige runs her own florist’s store, assisted by the slightly zany Tegan. Together they arrange and deliver across a swathe of Northern Virginia where Tom’s family also now calls home.

She’s always wanted to be a florist after learning to love flowers at the kitchen table growing up. Her mom was in charge of flowers for church and her enthusiasm caught Paige too. But her newest challenge is designing a sensory garden for a local school and it has Paige’s full attention as she takes her work very seriously. But when you can drag her out of the store she enjoys the outdoors, which she has in common with Cowboy, or at a church event or even a football game. Her younger brother Matt coaches the High School team after his NFL career was halted by an injury.

Paige could write a column on disastrous dates and probably make good money as she’s had a few, including the guy who got engaged to someone else during a date, and the one who cheated on her with his secretary. But her biggest disappointment is never knowing that fluttery-heart in the throat feeling you get when you meet ‘the one’. But she does know he needs to be a man who lives for Jesus first, others second and himself third.

They do have some common ground – both from loud, messy families who think each other’s business is their own and both very loyal to their people. But while Cowboy finds that family dynamic something to run from, Paige thrives on it. Both were raised in the church; Paige accepted Christ at a Young Life camp, while again, Cowboy wanted to live his life his way and not be dictated to. The thing about Cowboy, is that he’s entirely too self-reliant. He leans on his own skill and keeps his own counsel. Rarely does he confide in anyone else, especially not his family. Until now, that’s been easy, but his latest assignment has him smack bang in Northern Virginia and he’s about to run into Paige.

He has no idea that he’s met his match, and she has no clue of what’s about to hit her. I hope one day you’ll enjoy seeing their story unfold as much as I’m enjoying writing it.

At this point in my WIP he’s reeling and she’s mortified. Such fun!


DebbHackettDeborah Hackett is a military wife and mom to two little girls. She lives in Northern Virginia and is working on her first fiction project – a family saga. When she’s not writing, she loves to play bass on her church worship team, teach Bible study, explore, ski or bake. She serves on the Northern Virginia Young Life committee and is a print and broadcast journalist.

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