Tag Archive | Valentine’s Day

A Day of Love by Amanda Ward

From Christina: We each have special days in our lives, days filled with memories we will cherish forever. Author Amanda Ward shares one of her most memorable days…which just happens to be Valentine’s Day.

A Day of Love 

by Amanda Ward

Valentine’s Day.  A time of showing your feelings to that special someone.

In the Ward house, it is a special day for two remarkable reasons.  First off it is the very day that my husband Matthew was brought from the children’s home to live with his parents.  He was four months old. Second, it is our daughter Amy’s birthday.

What better way to celebrate this occasion than with the culmination of love?

We weren’t married at the time.  Matt lived seventy miles away and for me on a very bright February morning, instead of a smooch from my better half we had a doozy of an argument resulting in me slamming the phone down on him.  No red roses this year or a mug of tea brought in bed, nope, I was overdue, cranky and downright miserable.

Anyway fast forward later that day, at 6 that evening, I was in the front of my stepdad’s car wired up to a TENS machine that my eldest child had cranked up to full tingleness.  Both teenagers whining that they had to go to the hospital with me, and my stepfather praying that I didn’t give birth in his car.  As we got to the hospital turn off, I felt a pop, splat and heard a “Bloody hell” from my stepdad.  My waters had broken.  Combined with cries of “Ewwwww” from my teenage daughters, this was the icing on top of a really bloody awful day.

Within five minutes of getting into the hospital, seven pounds of Amy Margaret Rose made her appearance.  Her eyes wide open without crying.  Quite possibly the prettiest Valentine’s Day present I have ever had.  With one difference.  She is the present that gives me and her dad joy, day after day. (Apart from copious amounts of headaches and empty wallets)  Her dad was caught in traffic on the M25 and missed her birth by ten minutes.  He more than made up for it by panicking that there was something wrong with her, when Amy merely had hiccups.

Matt and Amy

Spending Valentine’s day, in such a manner makes me realise how short life is.  So don’t save romance, little gestures and affection for one day of the year…make each day Valentine’s day.  We do!

Cheat’s Chocolate Mousse

(From the MisAdventures of Pann Haggerty)

2 packs of ready made chocolate mousse from the supermarket

1pint of double (heavy) cream

Flaked chocolate

A chocolate of your choice…Hershey’s kiss anyone?

Whip the cream.  Fold the ready-made mousse into the cream.  After placing a chocolate at the bottom of the glass, plop over the mousse and top with flaked chocolate.  Enjoy with love.

Hugs

Manda xxxxxxxxxx

About Amanda: 

About Amanda:  Quiche loving, notebook collecting, historical anorak and avid reader.  Amanda lives in Bedfordshire, England with her husband, three children and two mad moggies.  Her bookcases are lined with romance novels and historical tomes.  She can rattle off facts on the Royal Families of Europe, and then change the subject to musicals, how amazing a cup of tea and biscuits are and the latest gossip.  Amanda shares her husband’s love of sci-fi and is an avid Dr Who fan, whilst still maintaining her love of The Waltons, Gilmore Girls and period dramas.  

Readers can contact Amanda at her blog:

Amanda J Ward – Romance Author

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Show…Don’t Tell by Ju Ephraime

From Christina: Every woman has a special heart throb, I think. Maybe a few of us have several! I know I do. While my heart and soul will always belong only to my husband, I’ll still drool over a handsome face on the silver screen, or more likely, the television screen. Today, Ju Ephraime talks about her Valentine’s crush.

Show, Don’t Tell

by Ju Ephraime

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and romance is in the air. Chocolate hearts, roses, and greeting cards are everywhere. But for me nothing will do without my true valentine. My true valentine is a man I can’t touch and can only watch on television. I watch him and my heart flutters. He’s not young, does not have a six-pack. He’s not even terribly handsome, but he knows how to use, what I’ve been told as an author, is so terribly important—show and not tell.

Boy, can that man show without ever opening his mouth once. He talks with his eyes and the tilt of his head.

Just by moving his head slightly and with the raise of an eyebrow; a squint of an eye, or a wide-eyed look, he conveys it all.

Michael Kitchen

I’m talking about the British actor, Michael Kitchen in Foyle’s War, the British detective drama television series. Phew!

For more on Michael, click here:

Michael Kitchen

 

OK, so who is YOUR secret crush? What handsome face makes your heart flutter?  Whose voice sends your head spinning with wild and crazy thoughts?

Ju

About Ju Ephraime: She describes herself as “an eternal optimist”. She’s also an avid reader and writer, especially of high heat romance. She loves a good, exciting story. You’ll find her and her many books at her blog:

Ju Ephraime

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Valentine’s Day Musings by Tea Cooper

From Christina: I loved this post from Australian author, Tea Cooper. I’m always excited when someone loves Valentine’s Day as much as I do, and it is with great pleasure I present Tea’s “Valentine’s Day Musings”.

Valentine’s Day Musings …

 by Tea Cooper

While I was doing some research for a historical romance, I stumbled across the ultimate Valentine … Australian love tokens or leaden hearts as they were also known. I’d never heard of them before. They weren’t solely reserved for Valentine’s Day but they belong as surely as any Valentine’s Day card, poem or love letter.

Musing1

 When This You See

Remember Me 

When  I am Far

    From Thee

 

 

 

Coins were used to create love tokens in England as early as the 1400s. At first, the coins were simply bent out of shape, usually twice, so that they could not be used as money. They were then given to a lover as a token or amulet.

When prisoners were sentenced to transportation to Australia between 1788 and 1868 it was seen as a one-way trip. Often they were imprisoned in Newgate or the hulks, rotting ships on the Thames, to await passage and during that time many of them fashioned love tokens as a memento to leave behind with their loved ones.

The National Museum in Canberra and the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney both have collections. I can’t look at them without tearing up. The messages on them tell so many stories of love.

There were also the more sophisticated leaden hearts that probably cost the poor convict his last remaining pennies…

Musing2

The engraved side shows a female figure with an anchor leaning on a rectangular structure, with two crossed hearts and a bird flying above, a ship sailing in the distance, and the text:

I love till death shall stop my breath

1802

 

And finally my two favourites because I am fascinated by the stories behind them…

A Token 

of Respect 

Given to S K. 

By J D her 

Brother in law 

April 3rd 

1816

The other side features a design of an ornate pot with crossed hearts below a border and flowers. I can’t help wonder about SK’s story and her relationship with her brother-in –law!

Willm. 

 Powell 

Manchester

1799

(with a heart engraved to one side.)

On the other side the text ‘

W.P. 

Mary Fin

 I’ve left you here for 

To complain til I 

Return to Old 

England, again.

So many untold stories!

By then I was bitten by the bug and went in search of other Australian ‘love tokens’ and I was sidetracked yet again. I found this Valentine’s Day card at the Powerhouse Museum.

Musing3

Apparently picture postcards first appeared around 1869 and marked the beginning of Valentine’s Day cards in Australia then around 1910 there was an outbreak of “vulgar” postcards and the straight-laced Australian society threatened to make the “Valentine’s Day card extinct…” Surely this couldn’t be the case!

Off I went again…. and discovered this….from the Brisbane Courier on 15th February in 1928

“Who’ll be My Valentine?”

Time was when St. Valentine’s Day brought to many a young maiden a sheaf of artistically designed missives from anonymous donors each expressing, per medium of a white dove, or the conventional heart pierced with Cupid’s dart, or, the true lover’s knot, the tenderest devotion. Yesterday was St. Valentine’s day, but the postman was not overloaded.

Alas! The patron saint of true lovers has fallen upon evil days … he is cast out from the ecclesiastical calendar … the advent of the picture post-card and the degeneration to vulgar humour dealt the custom its death blow … and this year it is safe to say that there were few of these messengers of sweet prevailment passing through the post.

Last year a determined attempt to resurrect the custom was made in England, but it is likely that the next generation will see its complete extinction.

Well, The Brisbane Courier certainly got it wrong or perhaps they just ahead of their time?  Maybe love letters, love tokens, even Valentine’s Day cards are finally destined to “complete extinction”.

How do people send their messages of love today? I can’t see a museum keeping a collection of emails, text messages, even Facebook posts. Something definitely gets lost in translation. Perhaps I’m a sentimental fool searching for immortality—I’d rather have a letter or a card or better still a love token, in the hope one day someone will look at it and tear up knowing my love truly was eternal.

This Valentine’s Day I will be sending my message handwritten with a fountain pen (yes, I still have one) on a piece of recycled paper in the hope that it will live on down the ages and the next generations will not “see its complete extinction.”

Musing4How about you? Cyber Valentine or old-fashioned romance?

About Tea Cooper: 

Téa Cooper lives in a stone cottage on one hundred acres of bushland, in the Hunter Valley. When she isn’t writing, Téa can be found haunting the local museum or chatting to the locals, who provide her with a never-ending source of inspiration. The settings for her stories range from the glittering beachside city of Sydney to small country towns and the harsh outback. Here first three contemporary romances will be available in print in February and March 2014.

Please visit her website, Tea Cooper Author. You’ll find links to her blog, and an opportunity to sign up for her author newsletter.

The Luckiest Girl in the World by A J Best

From Christina: Ever gotten something you didn’t quite expect? That’s what happened to A J Best. I think you’ll enjoy her Valentine’s story. I certainly did.

The Luckiest Girl in the World

by A J Best

Sometimes I can be a little dense, and a little spoiled. So two years ago when my boyfriend got me the following three things, I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry:

Heart

1. Bacon flavored lip balm.

2. An anatomically correct plush beating heart.

3. A shirt that has the phrase “I love my geek.”

I was kinda in a w-t-f moment. The lip balm tasted like year old bacon grease and the heart….really? I was heartbroken. I didn’t know what I had done wrong to garner such a weird and thoughtless gift.

My boyfriend and I have a completely open door policy so we can discuss things that are bothering us.  After gathering the right words and the guts, I asked him about the gifts. And this is what he had to say.

“I knew you were disappointed, and I’m sorry. But this is what I was thinking. When I bought your shirt, I bought one for me that said geek on it. So we could wear matching shirts. But you haven’t worn it so I didn’t think you liked it. The bacon lip balm was just a little gag gift knowing how much you like bacon. And the heart, it’s mine. You stole my heart so I figured you should have it properly.”

I felt like the biggest heel on the planet. I’ve learned that you have to take time to understand gifts and not be so spoiled to think that you weren’t given the ‘proper’ gift. For that Valentine’s Day I was given something more precious than gold or diamonds. I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Daylily Lane by V L Locey

From Christina: It’s with great pleasure — and a huge smile on my face — that I present today’s post from author V L Locey. “Leave it to Locey” has become a catch-phrase in my vocabulary, meaning “What will she come up with next?”

What she’s come up with is a poem — never before published. It’s not any poem, it’s a “Gnome Poem”. Yep, leave it to Locey.  I loved it. I think you will, too. 

Now, as we begin the most romantic time of the year and usher in the Valentine’s Day season, please join with me to welcome Vicki and her gnomes. 

Gnomes

“Today is the day! Today is the day!” sang the gnome cobbler Gared DeGaine.
“Today is the day I propose to Fairain `neath the oak on Daylily Lane!”

He pauses once more by the round looking glass to check his best suit for a stain.
Upon finding none, he nods very pleased and sets his best cap to his brain.

With a slight touch of nerves, the anxious gnome beau pats his vest pocket once again.
Assured the wee ring does accompany him, he grabs up his hand whittled cane.

Once out his round door, the cobbler stops to tug out his watch by its chain.
Ten minutes he has lest he be running late and that his Fairain would disdain!

His squat little legs move him rapidly then through a gate that squeaks out in some pain.
He best hurry now and try to avoid the puddles made by last night’s rain.

His sight latches onto the hand-carved road-sign crafted by Artemis Dane.
The artisans touch makes his gnomey heart rush- This way to Daylily Lane

His throat tight and dry, the cobbler stops not to speak to the farmer Tremaine.
Nor does he do more than tug at his beard in reply to the bluebird`s refrain.

Bluebells wave at him, as do the tall glads, but his mind cannot even contain
a lone single thought for there `neath the oak sits his beautiful Lady Fairain.

He tidies himself and pats down his beard then tugs his green cap from his brain.
She glances up meekly from her seat on the mushroom and quietly calls out his name.

Oh the vision she makes dressed in red and white stripes, so much like a sweet candy cane.
The poor cobbler trips o`er his black-buckle shoes and squawks out a sound like a crane.

She giggles a bit at the sound that he makes her laugh light as the bubbliest champagne,
then the love-struck gnome beau kneels before the gnome lass hoping his words will explain.

“My dearest Fairain, for two years have we courted and played at the matchmakers game.
Marry me, love, and our hearts will soar high much like the great gnome mountain chain!”

“You honor me, dear, with your plea of great love that defies all the tries to explain.
A cobblers wife I will most proudly be and work hard for our lives to sustain.”

His ring on her finger they cling to each other, their joy they just cannot contain.
A kiss they do share as they plan out their days `neath the oak on Daylily Lane.

Lily

About the author:  V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, belly laughs, anything romantic, Greek mythology, comic books, Rangers hockey, and coffee (Not necessarily in that order). She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a steer named after a famous NHL goalie, and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

V.L. is a self-published and conventionally published author. She is a proud Torquere Press and Secret Cravings Publishing author. When not writing erotic  romance tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads.

Her most recent book, Pink Pucks and Power Plays is now available from Secret Cravings Publisher, at Amazon, and at other on-line booksellers.