TWP: Welcome to The Word Place, Jean Kingston! Tell me a little about yourself--before all this happened.
JK: There’s not much to tell. My mother died when I was three, and my father remarried ten years later. Nona was a lovely person and just what I needed in my life at the time. I went to Stephens College in Missouri on a scholarship and studied both fashion and interior design. I was doing an internship when I met Rand Kingston. It’s a cliché to say he swept me off my feet, but that’s what he did. Good looks, money, prominent family…it was all too much to resist. The old saying, “Marry in haste, repent at leisure,” is apt here.
TWP: It wasn’t a good marriage then.
JK: Rand always had a wandering eye. I knew almost from the beginning he was unfaithful to me, but I stuck it out because I didn’t know how I’d make it on my own with our daughter.
TWP: Are the two of you close?
JK: No, Juliana was always her father’s daughter. She still is, even married with a child of her own. She knew before I did that he planned to ask for a divorce.
TWP: That must’ve been a shock.
JK: Not really, but it did make me angry.
TWP: How long were you married?
JK: Thirty-three years.
TWP: That’s a long time. It appears you’ve moved on with your life though.
JK: Thanks to my former housekeeper Selina. She wouldn’t let me sit around and feel sorry for myself. Then when she started her own catering business and a brunch bistro, she gave me a chance to use my design skills. It was a risk for her, but because of her faith in me, I’m starting my own interior design business.
TWP: What about the new man in your life?
JK: Nick. Nick Cameron. What can I say? He’s wonderful.
TWP: Everything that Rand Kingston isn’t?
JK: Like night and day. Of course, we’ve got opposition: my daughter, his son. It’s caused some problems between the two of us, but we’re trying to work them out. And in a way, I’m part of the problem, too. For the first time in thirty years, I’m on my own, and I like it. Besides, my divorce isn’t final yet, so we’ve got some time.
TWP: There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your independence.
JK: Nick’s been very understanding. His wife died twenty years ago, so he’s had his fill of being on his own, but he’s willing to wait on me.
TWP: Was his first marriage a good one?
JK: He and Sarah were devoted to each other. She died too young--cancer. He understands what loving and being in love is all about--and I’m learning.
TWP: I understand you’ve had a problem or two unrelated to your grown children…
JK: Nick got mugged, and then someone broke into my apartment and tried to assault me. The police think the two incidents are related, but I’m not sure.
TWP: So what’s next for you and Nick?
JK: He thinks we need to get away from Houston for a while, so we’re going to Branson, Missouri.
TWP: I’ve been there. You’ll love it, especially the dinner cruise on the showboat, the Branson Belle.
JK: What a coincidence. Showboat is the first movie we watched together. I’ll mention it to Nick.
TWP: Do that, and have a wonderful time, Jean. Good luck--and thanks for dropping by The Word Place.
ON SALE THROUGH JUNE 19