Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Issue 8 - Love at First Promise


I attended the Colorado Independent Publisher Association 2006 "Evvy" Book Awards dinner in June. I was proud to accept awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in various categories.  Unfortunately, only the 2nd place award was mine for THE ART OF THE SPARK. 

The other two awards belonged to a friend, John Sileo. He was unable to attend and asked me to accept for him.  He won 1st place in the Business category and 3rd place for How-To for a great book entitled STOLEN LIVES: IDENTIFY THEFT PREVENTION MADE SIMPLE.  If you're worried about this rising crime, as we all should be, check out his website at  Congratulations,

When I imagined making an acceptance speech for 1st place, I'd hoped it would be for my own book.  Even so, I was happy with my 2nd place finish for Self-Help, a field crowded with talented authors. I was also honored to accept the awards for John.


It's the wedding season.  And what do most newlyweds want even more than toasters or towels?  Lasting love, that's what!  If you have friends or family getting married this summer, The Art of the Spark would make a great wedding or shower gift. 


"Love is like pi - natural, irrational and very important."
-- Lisa Hoffman


As owners of a Safari Trek motor home, Jim and I attended the 2006 National Trek Rally in Sedalia, Missouri in June.  While we were there, I taught a "Romance in an RV" workshop.  RVers are a romantic group.  Being in love is a necessity for peaceful coexistence in such a small space.  I heard many romantic stories, and I'll share two of them with you.


I love "how they met" stories.  At the Trek Rally, Mary told me this story about how she met Brian.  Mary had recently had surgery.  While she wanted to stay home and convalesce, a friend convinced her to meet her at a bar. 

Mary sat down, said hello to friends and was introduced to a few strangers.  Her heart skipped a beat when she saw the handsome man at the opposite end of the table. They eyed each other for a while. When she looked up and noticed he was gone, she panicked.

She jumped up to look for him.  As soon as she turned around, she was standing face to face with the man of her dreams. 

The first words out of her mouth were, "Don't ever leave me. You're the love of my life."

"Okay," he promised.

That was twenty-one years ago.  He never left.


After Roberta attended the "Romance in an RV" workshop, she told me this story.  Roberta and Greg were on a cruise to Hawaii with another couple, Rita and Bob.  The first day at sea, Roberta left her traveling companions to play bingo.  She noticed three other women talking to the cruise director and getting very excited
about something. Roberta, never one to hold back when her curiosity was aroused, simply had to know what got them so energized.  When she asked, they told her they'd agreed to be part of the All Passenger Lip Sync Show on the last night of the cruise. 

Roberta was hooked.  She told the cruise director she'd be in the show under two conditions.  First, she'd do anything as long as she didn't have to do it alone.  Second, her husband, Greg, must not know anything before her big debut. 

The cruise director decided the four of them would be Aretha Franklin and her three backup singers.  Since the three women were roommates, they could practice their moves in their suite. That left the role of Aretha to Roberta.  On this fifteen-day cruise, they had less than two weeks to get their act together.  

Every day Roberta asked her husband and friends if they'd like to join her in basket weaving class.  Just as she anticipated, they turned her down, leaving her free to meet her new-found friends and learn the words to RESPECT.   Every evening she'd spend time practicing in her bathroom, using her razor as a microphone.  Greg suspected she was sea sick.  Little did he know...

On the afternoon of the show, Roberta had a private talk with Rita, letting her in on the secret.  Roberta said, "I'm in the show tonight.  You must convince Greg and Bob to get there on time.  I'll tell them I'm running late.  I've reserved front row seats for you."

Back stage, a professional makeup artist began the transformation on Roberta.  Her short blonde hair was covered up with a flamboyant red wig.  A form-fitting, glittery evening gown was topped off with a fluffy feather boa.  When Roberta peeked through the curtain at her serious-minded husband, her pre-show jitters went into overdrive.

Soon it was Roberta's turn in the spotlight.  She and her three back-up singers strutted onto the stage.  The crowd roared its approval of their flashy outfits and commanding stage presence. 

In the moment of silence between the introduction and the first notes of the song, Roberta and Greg made eye contact.

"OH MY GOD!  It's my wife!" Greg shouted.

Roberta lip-synced the words and shook her finger at Greg, with moves Aretha would have admired.  His eyes were glued on his wife.  His mouth hung open. 

In the minutes, hours and days following his wife's performance, he grew to appreciate the effort she put into the surprise, the fun and spontaneity she added to their lives, and what a lucky man he was to have her.


Kelly Calabrese sponsored the first in-home workshop. Ralph Bowman said he learned "great ideas to break from the mundane to the magnificent."  Trish Richardson said, "Mary delivers interesting info that makes romance seem effortless."  Thanks to Kelly and everyone who attended for making it an enjoyable

If you are in the Colorado Springs/Denver area, you can host an Art of the Spark workshop in your home.  If there are at least 5 couples who attend, the cost is $25 per couple, which includes 1 copy of The Art of the Spark for each couple, a $16.95 value.  The hosting couple attends at no cost and receives a free book. 
We will schedule this at a mutually agreeable time.  Please plan for 3 hours. 

Additional sessions can be scheduled at $20 per couple for 5 couples if you decide you want more time.  In the first session, we cover the basics. In the second session we plan an adventure. My husband usually comes with me so we can break into two groups and plan surprises for our partners.


"Long Island's Dating"
Live radio from New York
Friday, July 21 from 6:00 to 6:30 (Eastern Time)
WGBB AM 1240
At WGBB website, click "Listen Live" text at lower left, then click "Long Island's Talking" WGBB Call-in Hotline: 631 888-8811


Roche Harbor Resort, San Juan Islands, Washington
Wednesday, July 5, 6:00 p.m.


Sunday, September 10
General Merchandise Distributors Council
Health & Beauty Care Marketing Conference
Dallas, Texas
Spouses Program


If you enjoyed this free e-zine, please forward it to friends. I care about people and how they celebrate.  If you have any stories you'd like to share with others, please send them to me at  We can all learn from each other.

Wishing you a life of adventure,
Mary Zalmanek

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