Harlequin, a publishing company
that specializes in romance
novels has created a series of books with a NASCAR theme, "In the
Groove" by Pamela Britton is the first in a series of NASCAR themed
romance novels that hit the market in 2006. After all,
according to a 2005 ESPN poll, 42 percent of NASCAR fans are female and
are 26% more likely to read romance novels.
NASCAR Crew Chief Shawn Parker and
NASCAR female race car driver Deborah Renshaw are a real life NASCAR
romance and met each other at the start of the
NASCAR season in the motorhome lot at Daytona International Speedway in
February of 2004.
Although Shawn and Deborah had spent many
Daytona's in the infield, as fate would have it, they had parked their
motorhomes right beside one another in the infield. Deborah was there
competing in the ARCA series and Shawn was there as a crew chief in the
The night they had met was Feb. 12 and Deborah
had practice that day and Shawn had not made it down to Florida.
Deborah had lost her "ride" with the team that day after practice and
was back at her motorhome with family and friends. During this time,
Deborah and her friend, Jenny were chatting with their neighbor
Jonathan and explaining the days events. Night time came and Shawn had
made it into Daytona.
Deborah and Jenny had just retired for the
evening and they got a knock on the door from Shawn, at the request of
Jonathan (we think). Deborah answers the door and Shawn hands Deborah
a small piece of Deb's autograph card that she had ripped up and thrown
on the ground and Shawn asked her to sign it as a joke. After about 5
minutes of talking and laughing he asked Deborah to dinner because of
feeling bad of her loosing her ride. She was in shock and said she's
not sure . . . And she went inside and Jenny said she was crazy if she
Needless to say she went to dinner the very next
night. . . Which was a table full of her family and friends. The next
day was their first official date, Valentine's Day.
We spent the day walking around Sea World and the
night talking and learning of one another's special lives and tragedies
we had both experienced for as long as our eyes would stay open.
we both are forever marked by hard times, but the unexpected bonus is
what we learned from the loss. Healing from any great hurt can make
you stronger, more giving, compassionate human beings. And those are
gifts that no tragedy can erase.
People say that finding
someone special usually happens "when you least expect it. " THEY WERE
SO RIGHT! It couldn't have happen to two more special people.
Shawn proposed on the weekend of their 2 year anniversary, February 11,
2006 at Disney World. The same place Deborah and Shawn had their very
Deborah and Shawn will marry on November 25th in Nashville , TN at the Opreyland Hotel and Resort.
Best wishes to Deborah and Shawn from the staff at Ask Patty!