After she mistakes him for her blind date, one young woman ends up with a pleasant surprise – the perfect night.
This standing image starts Aiken author Betty Rollins Busch's debut novel – “Rendezvous with A Perfect Stranger.”
Busch, a legal secretary by trade, has written “for mostly all my life,” she said. She has written poetry, short stories and essays.
While she was writing this book, she was drafting out two other ones. “I decided I should go ahead and finish something,” she said.
For a period of around eight months, her focus was poured into “Rendezvous.”
She took it to writers' workshops to be critiqued.
Her friend, retired Aiken County English teacher Sharon Johnson, proofread it. “It was so much fun to read ... the characters jumped off the page as I was reading,” Johnson wrote in her review.
“Rendezvous” was published earlier this spring through WestBow Press.
In the story, “Francine Bruckner's three roommates are convinced she's sinking deep into a pit of despair as a result of her recent breakup with a longtime boyfriend. In order to satisfy their concerns, she agrees to go on three blind dates. When Jackson Tanner shows up at the designated place, Francine mistakes him for her third and final blind date. It was quickly obvious to Jackson that this is a matter of mistaken identity, but he was so intrigued and amused by this attractive woman, he went along without rectifying the error,” as stated in the book's description.
Busch can not remember how this plot formed.
“I just started writing,” she said. “It was really fun.”
Only two characters in the novel are directly based off people or animals that Busch knows.
When Busch was still writing her novel, her friend Shirley Jones Dyer told the author about her dog Katie.
Katie, a golden retriever, was an universal blood donor. “I never heard of that before,” Busch said.
So, she brought Dyer and Katie into her story.
“Rendezvous” is dedicated to Katie.
Set against the front's black cover is picture of a dark-haired couple kissing.
This picture is of two more people close to Busch – her daughter Allison Busch Steele and Allison's husband Jake Steele.
“The picture just fits perfectly. (Allison's) hair is black like the girl's in the book (Francine). She has on a dress that's kind of like one of the dresses (Francine) wears in the story,” Busch said. “Everything just fit so perfectly.”
Plus, Busch added, “I just think my son-in-law is gorgeous ... and Allison's favorite color is black.”
The Steeles married almost two years ago.
Busch performed the ceremony.
Busch met her own husband Richard Busch through her one-time boss Wyman Busch.
Wyman served as Aiken County's sheriff briefly in the 1960's, according to media reports.
Betty and Richard were married for 32 years, before he passed away.
In addition to Allison, the couple have a son named Chris, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Busch has been a legal secretary for around 50 years. She continues to still “fill in” as she's needed, she said.
Busch is native to Aiken and graduated from Aiken High School.
She is a member of the Aiken Whiskey Road Chapter of South Carolina Writers Workshop and a former board member of the official SC Writers Workshop.
Busch's next book project will be “more of a mystery” novel, she said.
“Rendezous” can be purchased through online retailers like Westbow's website, Amazon and Barnes and Nobles.
For more information or questions on purchasing the book, email Busch at email@example.com.
Stephanie Turner graduated from Valdosta State University in 2012. She then signed on with the Aiken Standard, where she is now the arts and entertainment reporter.