Doxology: Brian Holers’s Debut Novel

Doxology, the debut novel from author Brian Holers, is available in both paperback and digital format now! Fathers, sons and brothers reconnect over tragedy in this blue-collar Southern tale of love, loss and the healing power of community and family. Doxology examines an impossibly difficult...

Brian Holers

Relationship Blog Hop Introduces Sabrynne McLain

This week I’m participating in an event with a few other authors to share the word about our books.  There are a bunch of great posts on the facebook page for this event already (

Check out the post below by Sabrynne McLain.  She has taken over all the participants blogs for the day to share a number of great posts.  Follow along and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post to win a KINDLE FIRE. Come back tomorrow for another post from another awesome author and another chance to win! and the Must-haves List by Sabrynne McLain

My brief tenure on was the brainchild of Sharon, a woman I worked with at the LA Times in the late 90s. I had just ended a five-year relationship with a guy I had no intention of getting serious with (yes, I know, a very long time for a nowhere relationship, but I was too busy killing myself at work to complicate my life further with a break-up).

“Why do you think I need to join a dating site? I’ve never had trouble finding someone to go out with before,” I said a bit defensively.

Sharon explained that her old boss had found his girlfriend-cum-wife on Match and they were ecstatically happy. And besides, “I’m engaged now so I obviously can’t join. I just want to live vicariously through you for a while and hear all the juicy details of your Match hook-ups.”

Over a few lunch hours, we sat in the cafeteria and discussed my intro piece for the profile page. At that time, I had just started writing When Red Is Blue, so it got a brief mention, along with my background, job and interests. Then I got to the part where I was supposed to choose the things I wanted in my ideal mate.

This was when Hilary, another co-worker, decided to put in her two cents. “Just use your must-haves list,” she said.

Hmm. I had never thought about making a list of the things I “have to have” before I would consider dating someone.

Hilary was shocked. “Then how do you know if a guy is worthy of dating you?”

Worthy? Wow – good question. How exactly had I chosen guys before? After some thought, I realized it wasn’t me doing the choosing. Of course, I had to ultimately say yes or no to an invitation to dinner or whatever, but when it came to finding the man of my dreams, I had never thought about what kind of person would make me happy and then set out to get him. “What sorts of things are supposed to go on this list?”

“I think it’s different for everyone, but mine has the things that matter most to me in terms of my values and life goals,” Hilary said.

Now that sounded serious. But there I was, a 35-year-old with nothing but a string of unfulfilling relationships behind me, and apparently more than willing to repeat the same process over and over. What was the definition of insanity again?

“Hmm. Okay, I’ll give it a try. Thanks.” So I sat down to write my first-ever must-haves list.

Sitting at my computer 13 years after the fact, the list is a bit buzzy, but I do remember a few of the items.

  • Education – I decided on minimum college graduate since I had completed my master’s. I thought about being pickier on this, but I don’t truly believe formal education is everything, and I didn’t want to exclude a huge chunk of the male population over something I wasn’t convinced was a must-have.
  • Religion – my last boyfriend was surprisingly religious (I say surprisingly because we had never discussed religion before moving in together), which caused several arguments and tension on both sides. So in an effort to avoid future stress over this, I picked something along the lines of: religion is unimportant to him/nonreligious (or something).
  • Occupation/earnings – I think there was something on the form about this, but I don’t recall the choices. On my must-haves list, I said occupation didn’t matter but he needed to (of course) work and earn at least as much as me. This was based on a male friend telling me men hate it when women earn more than they do, combined with the fact that if I wanted to go on an exotic holiday, I didn’t want to hear my guy say he couldn’t afford it.
  • Children – I’ve never felt a burning desire to procreate, but I wasn’t completely against the idea either, so I put something like: not a priority.
  • Baggage – the form said something about accepting children from a previous relationship. Although I have no problem with children per se, I was sure I didn’t want the complexity and problems associated with ex-spouses, who gets the kids on holidays and visitation rights issues. So, a big no on baggage. If you feel I was being unfair, I’m happy to listen to your grievances, but I’ve heard too many horror stories from my friends to be swayed at this point.
  • Physical appearance – I’m not that big on appearance. Not that I’m immune or oblivious to what I find attractive in a man, but it’s a very complex thing for me; for example, I happen to like piercing eyes and a slightly cruel mouth-line (think Daniel Craig), neither of which were on the form. The only thing I picked on impulse was height of six feet or above. I got lots of grief over this, particularly by less-than-six-foot-tall men whose profiles stated they wanted “a woman with a perfect body who can eat anything she wants and still stay thin.”
  • Location – Ideally LA, but I was willing to drive an hour in either direction to meet my perfect match.

With everything completed and an uploaded picture from the previous Christmas, my profile went live. was one of the first online dating sites and when I joined, it was still in beta. So the vast majority of members were early adopters, or technology geeks, though I wouldn’t have considered myself one at the time. I received a number of emails from guys across the IT spectrum, which wasn’t an issue, since they all seemed to be doing well for themselves. I went on my first date with a software engineer from Torrance – he took me to a very nice Italian restaurant on Sunset Boulevard.  We had spoken a few times on the phone so I knew we would click, but when I met him I wasn’t attracted to him in a romantic way (probably lack of piercing eyes and/or slightly cruel mouth-line, though I can’t recall).

After that date, I hid my profile for a while and then, just before Memorial Day weekend, I unhid it again. A guy named Gareth emailed me and asked me out to lunch on the Saturday. I loved his name so I said yes; lunch segued into dinner, which then became another dinner on the Sunday, culminating into the whole day spent together on the Monday.

Thirteen years later, Gareth and I are still together and living in Edinburgh.  Which goes to show if you decide what you want, you are far more likely to get it. It’s been many years since I’ve spoken to Hilary, but if we ever cross paths again, I owe her a massive thanks.

About Sabrynne: Through the years, I’ve dabbled in both writing and editing. I’ve written a number of print and online articles and edited everything from non-fiction books to computer manuals when I wasn’t working my tail off at one corporation or another. During the last 12 years, in addition to all the normal havoc that everyone experiences in their lives, I wrote When Red Is Blue. These days my focus is on my family (Gareth and Barnaby, our rambunctious feline), my editing and proofreading business, the return to a 25-mile-a-week jogging routine and my next book.

To Purchase When Red Is Blue:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please check out the rest of the blog hop! Every page has another chance for you to enter! And remember to come back tomorrow for another great post and another chance to win a Kindle Fire. Thanks!

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One Response to Relationship Blog Hop Introduces Sabrynne McLain

  1. Emlyn Chand says:

    Oh, Sabrynne, I love hearing this! I signed up for two weeks ago and am still testing the waters. The fact that you found your happily-ever-after there makes me giddy <3

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