Valentine’s Day

The day to celebrate love and lovers is almost upon us once again! Amid the candy hearts and cards being exchanged and given to show our love for another, is a man who was beheaded for his beliefs and his aid to young martyred Christians. Being a student of Catholic school, while we did celebrate V-Day amongst ourselves, technically, the day was not officially recognized, and the nuns who taught us went out of their way to remind us of who the man behind the holiday was.

There are conflicting reports to his origin, but most agree he was a priest who was martyred in 269 AD. His crimes consisted of marrying Christian couples in the Roman Empire, and aiding other young Christians being persecuted during Claudius II’s reign. He was jailed and condemned to death. Supposedly, at first, they tried to stone and beat him to death, when it didn’t work as expected, he was beheaded. The date of his execution – you guessed it! February 14. It wasn’t until 496 that the date of his death was marked as the celebration of his martyrdom by the Pope at the time (I should know that, Sr. Maureen would be so disappointed in me). There is some dispute as to when his day of remembrance became associated with romantic love, but I tend to believe it was the Middle Ages when the day to celebrate romantic love truly became forever linked with him. Perhaps because he did marry Christian couples, although I also recall learning at some point that the origins of the rituals of Valentine’s Day come from cultures such as Ancient Greek and Roman societies. But I could be wrong, it was a long time ago when I heard that.

In any case, oddly, Valentine’s Day is not a big day for me. I know, I write romance novels, that day should be a highlight of my year. But it just isn’t. Way back when I was still a starry eyed young girl who thought a handsome knight would sweep me off to a life of pampering, luxury and utter adoration, I exchanged Valentines with my boyfriends, and swore undying love. Of course, I know better now, and looking back on some of those boyfriends, I am extremely glad that undying love only lasted a few weeks, or months, at best! And some of those special Valentine’s Days turned out to be pretty lousy no matter what plans I made. But these days, it’s usually just like any other day, it’s very rare to have anything special planned in our house. Priorities are making sure the kids have a fun day – usually includes a gift of some sort, making sure they wear red for their class parties, and of course, preparing their Valentines to share with their classes and friends. But after a full day of working outside my home, then coming home and working several more hours at my real (read: Mom) job, I’m just happy to get an hour or so to myself. Alone. With no kids, or a husband, needing me for something – which usually turns out to be something they can generally handle themselves – no laundry or dirty dishes to tend to, no toys to be picked up and the like. Though a box of chocolates would be nice. But I don’t need a holiday to indulge in that!

What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day tradition? Do you have special plans this year? Was there a particular Valentine’s Day that was especially memorable for you – either good or bad? Share it here – two lucky commenters will win either a $25 Amazon gift certificate or a gift basket from Bath & Body Works! I’ll announce the winners next Tuesday.

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Winners

I had meant to post this last night, but when I got home from critique group, the little guy was still awake, and the next thing I knew, I wasn’t! LOL!

In any case – Congratulations to Brita Addams and Alina290 – you’ve each won a copy of In The Devil’s Arms!

I’ll need your email addresses – still figuring this blog thing out, is there a way to direct message me? I know that’s a feature with LiveJournal, Twitter and Facebook, but am still a little clueless with this. I also haven’t figured out how to follow blogs – I thought I was following several people but apparently I’m not. *sigh*

Somehow, I’ll figure it out – but I’m open to any info anyone can share! 🙂 I think I’ve got way too many places to keep up with!

Congratulations to the winners!

It’s Release Day!

This day has finally arrived! I’m so excited to finally see In The Devil’s Arms released. Many many months of blood, sweat, and yes, quite a few tears, have paid off. This book is very near and dear to me for a lot of reasons, especially the people who inspired it, and encouraged me to keep going, even when I was ready to give it all up. And I quite literally was ready to give up the dream of seeing myself published again. Not only that, but this book inspired my current WIP, and spurred plans for another book or two in the Magiste community in New Orleans. The Magiste, which is the term encompassing various types of magical people, are everywhere, as I am finding out through some new characters who’ve recently introduced themselves to me. 🙂

Back to In The Devil’s Arms – I can’t stop staring at the cover. It is simply gorgeous, when I first saw it, it left me breathless. I’m getting silly about it, too, I think. I’ve printed a few copies to place around my various work areas, and even downloaded it to my phone. Fiona Jayde is an amazingly talented artist. If you haven’t seen it yet, here it is:

And the blurb:

“Helene Gaudet is finally free of her past – a rageful ex-husband whose curse has left her unable to have children. Helene shares those past agonies with no one – certainly not with a Marchand.

Her lonely life is upended when she encounters who she believes is her perfect Dom in an internet chat room. To her shock, her Dom is none other than Devlin Marchand, the very person who handed her over to a dark sorcerer to be killed.

Yet, Devlin proves himself to be a loving Master, and lust and love grow with each tormenting, releasing, encounter. But guilt over his past betrayal is multiplied when he learns the curse that has dogged his lover for years comes from the trove of magic created by his very own family. Devlin fears all he has built with Helene will be destroyed.

Can they overcome the past to have a future together?”

As my critique partners and friends all know, I love playing in alternate worlds, or realities, or planets. Magic is one of my favorite alternates, because I love how it can be used in so many ways. I’m also partial to vampires, and am trying to figure a way to blend the two again, as I did in The Taste of Magic. There are some ideas brewing, but I am trying to keep it to just notes until I finish Healing The Mage (for my critique partners, that’s Lily & Aidan). Harry Potter and Charmed are two of my favorite obsessions, as well as Highlander, which is an alternate reality as well. And a longtime favorite that is inspiring another set of characters is Dragon Ball Z, one of the most popular Japanese anime series from the 1980’s & 90’s. The recent remastering for the 25th anniversary has revved up my love for this show, especially those nasty Saiyan warriors, Vegeta and Raditz. Yes, I freely admit, I am partial to the bad boys and villains! I’m also starting to dip my toes into the True Blood pool, I’m sure it won’t be long before that takes up a permanent space in my favorite things list. Like I need another obsession to take up my time.

So in celebration of the release, I am giving away copies of In The Devil’s Arms randomly to two commenters to this post. So comment here and share your favorite magical stories, or recommendations. Or simply say hello!

In the meantime, pop over to Noble Romance and take a look at some of their other titles as well. Every one I’ve read is hot, hot, HOT! Here’s the link: http://www.nobleromance.com/Default.aspx