Chicken Soup for the Soul Love Stories: Stories of First Dates, Soul Mates, and Everlasting Love

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Overview

Whether it is at first sight, develops over time with a close friend, or it hits you like a ton of bricks?falling in love is a lyrical life-changing event. Chicken Soup for the Soul? Love Stories will transport you to the moments of your life that were filled with devotion and unconditional love.

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Chicken Soup for the Soul Love Stories: Stories of First Dates, Soul Mates and Everlasting Love

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Overview

Whether it is at first sight, develops over time with a close friend, or it hits you like a ton of bricks—falling in love is a lyrical life-changing event. Chicken Soup for the Soul® Love Stories will transport you to the moments of your life that were filled with devotion and unconditional love.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781623610746
  • Publisher: Backlist, LLC - a unit of Chicken Soup of the Soul Publishing LLC
  • Publication date: 9/18/2012
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 465,380
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield is a co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Mark Victor Hansen is a co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Biography

While Jack Canfield himself may not necessarily be a household name, it's very likely that you have heard of his famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series and nearly as likely that you have at least one of them sitting on your very own bookshelf! Having got his start as an inspirational speaker, Canfield's own story is nothing less than inspirational.

Jack Canfield had been traveling around delivering key note speeches and organizing workshops to help audiences build their self-esteem and maximize their potential when he had an in-flight brainstorm that changed his life. While flying home from a gig, Canfield realized that the very same advice he had been delivering during his in-person addresses could potentially form the basis of a book. Canfield used inspirational stories he'd gleaned over the years as the basis of his speeches, and he thought it would be a terrific idea to gather together 101 inspirational stories and anthologize them in a single volume. Upon returning home, Canfield approached friend and author Mark Victor Hansen about his concept. Hansen agreed it was a great idea, and the two men set about finding a publisher. Believe it or not, the mega-selling series was not an easy sell to publishers. "We were rejected by 123 publishers all told," Canfield told Shareguide.com. "The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge -- no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?"

Canfield wisely practiced what he preached -- and persisted. Ultimately, he and Hansen sold the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a small press based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, called Health Communications. The rest, as they say, is history. There are currently 80 million copies of the Chicken Soup books in print, with subjects as varied as Chicken Soup For the Horse Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup For the Prisoner's Soul. Canfield and Hansen ranked as the top-selling authors of 1997 and are multiple New York Times bestsellers. Most important of all, the inspirational stories they have gathered in their many volumes have improved the lives of countless readers.

This year, expect to see Canfield's name gracing the covers of such titles as Chicken Soup For the Scrapbooker's Soul, Chicken Soup For the Mother and Son Soul, and Chicken Soup For the African American Woman's Soul. He and Hansen have also launched the all-new "Healthy Living" series and 8 titles in that series have already been released this year. There is also the fascinating You've GOT to Read This Book!, in which Canfield compiles personal accounts by 55 people each discussing a book that has changed his or her life. The most compelling of these may be the story of young entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the age of 11 and made his first million dollars at the age of 14!

With no sign of slowing down, Canfield continues to be an inspiration to millions, who fortunately refused to give up when it seemed as though he would never even get his first book published. "Mark and I are big believers in perseverance," he said. "If you have a vision and a life purpose, and you believe in it, then you do not let external events tell you what is so. You follow your internal guidance and follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say."

Good To Know

Canfield is the founder of two California based self-esteem programs, "Self-Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara and "The Foundation For Self Esteem" in Culver City.

Writing the first Chicken Soup book was a lot more daunting than Canfield expected. After the first three years of research, he and Mark Victor Hansen had only compiled 68 stories -- 33 tales shy of their goal of 101 stories.

Along with co-writing dozens of full-length books, Canfield also publishes a free biweekly newsletter called Success Strategies.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Canfield:

"My inspiration for writing comes from my passion for teaching others how to live more effective lives. I started out as a history teacher in an all-black inner city high school in Chicago, graduated to a teacher trainer, then psychotherapist, then trainer of therapists, then large group transformational trainer and then a writer and keynote speaker. All along the way, my desire was to make a difference, to help people live more fulfilling lives. That is what I still do today. Most people don't know this but I was not a good writer in college. I got a C in composition. Nobody would have ever believed I would grow up to be a bestselling author."

"I play guitar, and I am learning to play the piano. I love movies and some TV shows. My favorites are Six Feet Under, Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. I love to play Scrabble, poker and backgammon with my in-laws, nieces and nephews. We really get into it. I love to travel. I have been to 25 countries and try to add two or three new ones every year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Barbara, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 19, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Finding Love Where You Least Expect It

Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.
Mark Twain

'I can't believe you're making me do this,' I yelled downstairs to my mom as I hopped on one foot from my bedroom to the bathroom, trying to fasten a sandal.

'Just go and have fun,' my mom called back. 'It's not like you have to marry him.'

Two weeks before, my mom had been in contact with a long-lost family friend. Our families had been neighbors until I was in the fifth grade. Coincidentally, they had a son who was one year older than I was.

In the course of catching up on the past ten years, my mom and his mom had arranged a date between the boy and me. (Although, at the age of twenty-one, he could hardly be called a 'boy' anymore, but that's the way I remembered him.)

I hurriedly dressed and brushed my hair (a little haphazardly, with low enthusiasm for my date), and I thought about the boy I used to know.

I remembered being told that when he was only one year old, he brought a baby gift to my mom the day I was born. I thought of an old photograph in my scrapbook, his arm around me as we waited to go inside church for Easter service. As an awkward ten-year-old, I hid behind my mom when he tried to talk to me.

I remembered him as a self-conscious twelve-year-old, with buckteeth and a round belly. We went to the same elementary school, and when we passed in the hall, I would lower my head and avoid eye contact, trying desperately not to be noticed. But he always spotted me and managed to embarrass himself with an awkward 'hello.'

What have I gotten myself into? I thought as I quickly coated my lashes with mascara and gave one final glance at myself in the mirror.

The doorbell rang. I heard my mom walk to the front door. I stood silent, listening.
'Well, hello!' My mom was full of hospitality and enthusiasm. 'It is so great to see you after all this time.'

He answered back with an uncomfortable and embarrassed voice. I rolled my eyes.
This is going to be loads of fun, I thought sarcastically.

The phone rang. It was my best friend calling to see if I had met 'my date' yet.
'No,' I said, 'but I hear him talking to my mom downstairs, and he sounds really dorky.'
Then I had an idea: 'Hey, why don't you meet us tonight? That way, if things don't go well, I'll have an excuse to leave and end the date.'

My friend was game, more out of curiosity than a willingness to help me, so we arranged to meet at a restaurant downtown.

I walked down the stairs, trying to plan a last-minute escape. Could I feign illness? Fall and break my leg? Run out the front door and hide until he finally left?

I followed my mom's voice coming from the kitchen and reluctantly walked toward the noise, dragging my feet as if I wore cement shoes.

As I turned the corner and entered the kitchen, I saw him immediately.

Has there been some mistake? I thought. He didn't look like the boy I remembered.
He was sitting at the kitchen table, across from my mom. He had impeccable posture, with broad, muscular shoulders. His face was tanned. His hair was dark and perfectly trimmed. His deep brown eyes glistened as he smiled at me. And his teeth—his glorious teeth—were perfectly straight (years of braces, I thought) and brilliantly white.

'Hi,' he said. 'It's nice to see you again.'

His face was beaming. A strange, unexpected electricity filled the air.

He stood to shake my hand. He was tall and fit, and well-dressed, too. He was confident and poised—so different from the shy boy I was expecting.

I was speechless. I stuttered and stammered a feeble 'hello' before shaking his strong hand.

Nervously I said, 'Uh, I think I forgot something.' I ran back up the stairs and shut myself in the bathroom.

My heart was racing. That was no boy in the kitchen—certainly not the awkward boy I remembered. He was a man—a very handsome, polite man.

Adrenaline filled my ears and made them burn. My hands were shaking. I threw open drawers and began redoing my makeup—this time with care and precision. I brushed my hair and straightened my dress.

Should I change clothes? I wondered. No, that would be too obvious, too weird.

I walked back downstairs, giddy with nerves and excitement. We said good-bye to my mom, and he put his hand at the small of my back to lead me to his car. I was shaking.

As we sat side by side in the car, I discovered his charm went far beyond the handsome smile and strong physique. Our conversation became effortless, with no stops or awkward gaps. We told stories from our childhood and laughed about the times we had been so nervous around each other. We learned we had a great deal in common, that our connection was deeper than the history we shared.

My friend met us at the restaurant, ready to save me from my blind date. But she wasn't needed.

'You can go home,' I told her. 'Things are great; I'm having fun.'

'Are you sure?' she asked. 'You hardly know this guy.'

'Actually, I've known him all my life,' I said. 'And I think I'm going to marry him one day.'

Two years later, I did marry him. And one year after that, we had our own little boy.

In our den, next to wedding photos and a picture of our son's first birthday, a photograph of two children—one three years old and the other four—hangs above the couch in an antique brass frame. The boy has his arm around the girl. They are sitting outside a church—he in his Easter suit and she in her new dress and bonnet. The girl is shy and looking at the ground. The boy has a twinkle in his eye. He is smiling at the camera, smiling at me as I walk past the picture on the wall.

Could it be, I often wonder, that the boy knew all along?

Sarah Smiley

©2007. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Soul Love Stories by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Peter Vegso. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street , Deerfield Beach , FL 33442.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Turtledoves Erin McCarty xiii

1 How We Met

Finding Love Where You Least Expect It Sarah Smiley 2

A Change of Plans Carol Bryant 7

Taking the Time Samantha Waltz 11

My Soul Mate Michelle Lawson 16

Romance Amid Turmoil Manny Gold 21

The Deposit Slip Tracy Kirk Crump 26

Forever Smile Ray Duarte 30

Blessings from Above April Smith Carpenter 34

2 The Power of Love

A Legacy of Love J. Jody Wilcox 40

The New Odd Couple Harriet May Savitz 45

One Soul, Two Bodies Arthur Bowler 49

Valentine Cindy Hval 51

Second Honeymoon Magic Suzanne Baginskie 54

Milestones Dayle Allen Shockley 61

Never Thought Sabrina A. Taylor 65

My First and Last Roses Stephanie Ray Brown 66

3 Gratitude

A Hand to Hold Stefanie Wass 70

Gotcha! And I'm Glad Peggy Frezon 73

The Precious Package Joyce Stark 77

A Man Has to Play Hard to Get Sometimes Joan Clayton 80

What's in a Name? Emily Sue Harvey 84

Circle of Love Sallie A. Rodman 88

A Little Scrap of Paper David McAmis 91

Through the Years Becky Povich 94

4 Overcoming Obstacles

With This Ring? Ken McKowen 98

Now, That's Love Barbara LoMonaco 101

Till Death Do Us Part-Again! Eva Juliuson 104

Some Assembly Required Paul James 108

Waiting on Wyoming Kathleen Partak 113

Tough Decisions Samantha Waltz 116

Crown of Commitment Janet Perez Eckles 121

I Love You Stephanie Ray Brown 125

First Kiss Jaye Lewis 127

Beware the Setting Sun Helen Kay Polaski 131

From Paw to Hand Heather Cook Lindsay 135

5 Through the Eyes of a Child

A Kind of, Almost, Sort of, First Date Arlene Uslander 142

True Love! Katie Knight 146

Northern Tissue Curves Samantha Waltz 148

Daddy's Home! Emily Sue Harvey 153

First Comes Love Jacqueline Michels 157

The Kiss Ferida Wolff 159

A Gift from Heaven Alison Kay Kennedy 162

6 Insights and Lessons

The Beauty of a Dull Glow Trina Lambert 164

Love Is Easy; Married Is Hard Sharon Melnicer 167

When the Right One Comes Along Patricia Smith 170

Fireworks Allie M. Hill 176

My Love Story Helen Colella 178

A Babe in Boyland Nancy C. Anderson 181

Love at Sixty Is Different Carol Duncan Sweet 184

Finding My Husband Again Saralee Perel 187

Watching from a Doorway Robert D. Russell 190

Romance Samantha Waltz 192

Marriage with a Firm Foundation Betty King 196

Love Endures, After All These Years Dayle Allen Shockley 198

She Had His Heart JP Shaw 200

7 The Power of Giving

His Trail of Love Notes Sandra Nevarez 206

A Space of Her Own Nancy Harless 213

A Love Story About a Ring Saralee Perel 217

Presents of Mine Marie-Therese Miller 222

Piano Love Donna L. Hull 226

8 Special Moments

When the Heart Speaks Julia Burnett 230

The Last Dance Joyce Laird 232

Magical Moments at the Old Yard Swing R. Goulet 236

Vegetable or Fruit? Paul H. Karrer 239

Gone with the Summer Breeze Amanda English 242

Who's Kissing Whom Now? Terri Duncan 246

I Struck Gold Joan Clayton 249

My Johnny Angel Mary Ann Bennett-Olson 251

On Lunch and Love Stefanie Wass 254

Stairway to Heaven Helen Kay Polaski 257

Have We Met Before? Sallie A. Rodman 262

Soul Mates Karen E. Rigley 265

The Magic Rock Stephanie Ray Brown 266

Stop the Car! Sandra R. Bishop 269

Who Is Jack Canfield? 271

Who Is Mark Victor Hansen? 272

Who Is Peter Vegso? 273

Contributors 274

Permissions 282

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