Oooh. I love romance and Valentine’s Day. I’ve only ever had one true Valentine. Our time together totals over 25 years if you add the years of dating to the wedding anniversaries. (Don’t ask, that subject could be a blog post all its own.)
The simple, totally mushy answer to the question above is “Whatever I’m doing with him.”
But, the more in-depth answer is, a home cooked Italian themed dinner, candlelight and something decadent for dessert. Decadence isn’t limited to chocolate, but warm chocolate lava cake is divine. Sighs.
I hate crowds and he loves my cooking. So, we usually do our “on the town” Valentine’s dinner the week before or the week after. But on the special day itself, we’re home with the lights down low, our phones and the television turned off, soft music in the background, and dinner by candlelight served on our fancy dishes.
We treat it as a true date with me with my hair done and full make up in a pretty outfit and him in a nice polo and Dockers. No shoes, unless we opt for dancing–then I want heels since I’m 5’2″.
I’ve prepared stuffed shells in meat sauce or lasagna. This year we’re going more simplistic with spaghetti with meat sauce accompanied by salad, garlic bread, and maybe some other veggie. Then, dessert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A truly rich and sexy dessert I’ve used in place of chocolate is super simple.
Pineapple and warm caramel sauce. The flavors are a smooth mix of sharp and sweet.
hint: if you feed them to each other by hand, the warmed caramel doesn’t always stay on the fruit and a napkin may not be the way you want to capture the excess yumminess.
But really, Valentine’s Day is romantic because you’re with the one you love. So, however you celebrate, do it with a heart full of love for your date and it will be the best time ever. Guaranteed.
Enjoy your evening of romance. Happy Valentine’s Day.
And, who better to help you set the mood if you haven’t finalized your plans for the big hearted day than some awesome romance authors. Here are a few who write in an array of genres that are sure to help you find inspiration. Click on their names to visit their sites.
Paranormal Romance Kay Hudson
Romantic Suspense Sharon Wray
Novels with Romantic Elements Jean Willett
Historical Romance Wendy LaCapra
Diana Belchase (What I Really Want for Valentine’s Day)
Feel free to share some of your ideas or memories of your most romantic Valentine’s Day in the comments.
Well, I have a confession to make. We’ve been remodeling our house since April of last year and the “office” is my storage room for all the things I haven’t been able to get sorted and put away. So, my desk is my lap because I’m using my laptop for all my writing. I just carry it from room to room and hook up my printer and all the other tech-ie gadgets I need like a hub to plug in my scanner, printer, external keyboard and mouse.
It isn’t ergonomic nor is it the most productive method, but it’s working for now. So, instead of showing you the favorite item on my desk, I’m going to share a picture of what we chose as the color scheme for the office walls before I stacked boxes and furniture so high, you can’t see the pretty colors. Don’t forget I’m an SEC girl. This was for my hubby, but I think it rocks too.
Now, it’s your turn. Show or tell us about your favorite desk item.
And don’t forget to check out the interesting desk items of these other talented, much more organized writers by clicking on the links to their posts:
Fellow contemporary romance writers Tamra Baumann – Jamie Wesley – Kat Cantrell – Priscilla Kissinger – Lauren Christopher | Paranormal romance writers Kay Hudson – Pamela Kopfler | Romantic suspense writers Carol Post – Sharon Wray | Novels with romantic elements Natalie Meg Evans – Jean Willett | Faith-based & Sweet romance writers Karen Fleming – Kristen Ethridge | Historical romance writers Kathleen Bittner-Roth – Wendy LaCapra
I’m sharing some tips on Romancing Your Readers Like a Romantic Comedy in celebration of Her Hometown Reporter releasing May 1st.
So, jump on over to Seekerville with this link http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/2015/04/romancing-your-readers-like-romantic.html and share with us your favorite romantic comedy or your favorite couple from either a book or rom-com. My “to be watched” list is growing and growing.
I can’t wait to see what your favorites are.
And here’s a little teaser from the inside cover of Gina and Toby’s story.
He’d shaken her trust in him.
Gina wasn’t willing to tread a path that could collapse beneath her feet. And believing Toby’s story was too big a hazard. He’d made her care about him. She wouldn’t give him the power to break her, too.
“It’s a nice story. Almost as touching as the one you wrote about the senator and the prayer journal. But I can’t afford to believe you. Trust isn’t part of a five-year plan. It’s a commitment, a loyalty that lasts forever. And I’m a forever kind of girl. You’re a short-term kind of guy. It was fun fighting with you, but then, it was all just a game to you wasn’t it? Congratulations, you win.” She kept her eyes open against the cold sting of tears, knowing that if she blinked they’d escape, and then he’d know how much he’d almost won.
He reached out and cupped her cheek. “If I’ve won, then why does it feel like I’m losing my best friend?”
The Pemberly Series
Isn’t it pretty? My very first published book will be available for purchase on September 1, 2014. It’s my Golden Heart winner, Love’s Advocate,–renamed, Campaigning for Love.
And book 2, Capturing the Minister’s Heart, with Jeremy and Abby is right behind it, releasing February 1, 2015.
There are so many people to thank for encouraging me and helping me reach this amazing milestone. Thank you, thank you for your support and faith in me. God truly blessed me when He opened my eyes to the amazing power of healing words can have on a broken heart.
I hope each story of mine that you read supports my mission statement: Using Stories of Faith to Share Hope.
Again, thank you for turning my dream into a reality.
Here are the buy links. You can pre-order if you like so that it’s sent to you in time for the Sept 1st release. It won’t be in any stores, but print copies are available through all on-line retail outlets like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, Family Christian Bookstore, Christian Books, and many others. I thank you in advance for your support and hope you enjoy Nick & Kat’s story of forgiveness and happily ever after.
Short link: http://tinyurl.com/A-CampaigningforLove Amazon
Short link: http://tinyurl.com/B-N-CampaigningforLove Barnes & Noble
Short link: http://tinyurl.com/Powells-CampaigningforLove Powell’s
Short link: http://tinyurl.com/BAM-CampaigningforLove Books A Million
Short Link: http://tinyurl.com/Harlequin-CfL Harlequin
You have possession of your heart’s state of mind just like you have free will when it comes to making choices. The Bible instructs you to not let anyone take your joy. Sometimes it’s easy to miss the attempt to steal your happiness because it is subtle. Sometimes, the attack comes head on with guns blazing.
But you decide which answer you give: Is the glass 1/2 full or 1/2 empty? Most people choose one or the other. But have you ever considered that if you say the glass is 1/2 empty, it isn’t that you don’t have 1/2 of what you did, but that you still have 1/2. It’s yours to savor and enjoy at your leisure.
The devil likes you to be unhappy, downtrodden and outright hopeless. All those adjectives describe joylessness. As a child I learned a song in church, The Joy of the Lord is My Strength. If you want joy you must sing for it. It’s true and I still love that song. I put it into action every chance I get by singing along with one of my favorite CDs. But most of all, I learned the truth from that song that if I have a song in my heart, I have joy. No one sings a happy tune if they aren’t happy. I don’t believe you can frown and sign an upbeat song about happy, hopeful things. You can sing about tragedy, but you can’t while you’re smiling. Your face will be angled downward into a frown.
When I guest blog on sites, as I type my responses, I smile. I am a firm believer that your attitude is conveyed through your actions and even your words. It is easier to respond and to be sincere when I smile during those replies. It is freeing. It is empowering. God gives each of us that power–to travel this world with a song in our hearts.
I know you see references to Casting Crowns and their songs in a lot of my posts. Well, their music and the message behind their lyrics give me joy. They have a new album out called, Thrive. It is very upbeat and you can’t help but tap your steering wheel while you’re waiting at the red light to change when listening to most of the songs on the album, the 1st, 3rd, 6th, 7th, and 8th (the 3rd & 8th especially for me). There are a few songs that are a bit dark, dealing with struggling relationships and disconnected families and one about the thief that comes in the night to steal—your joy and anything else he can. Don’t let him take your joy. Guard it well. Revel in it. Rejoice in it. and Witness through it.
The title song, Thrive, makes me happy when I sing along with it.
So, what song brings you joy?
This year is going to be better than the last for me and my family. That doesn’t mean there won’t be problems, sickness, even death because there already has been even though we aren’t halfway through February.
But I have faith. And I’m surrendering my year to God and going to just be held. Watch this video from Casting Crowns and let God’s everlasting comfort be yours no matter what you face.
The joys we’ve had are renewed health, comfort, and a closeness of family that only comes from facing struggles together. And the countdown to the release of my first book, Campaigning for Love, grows closer each day. Yay!!!!
Let no man steal your joy. It is yours. A gift from God, placed in your heart along with the song of salvation. Rejoice and sing from your heart.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N756Tli-x4k&list=PL05E6E47D9CC4B590 This is my favorite Christmas song. It is by Casting Crowns. Enjoy and I pray God’s peace and love to you during this Christmas season.
I was blessed with an amazing early Christmas present. It came the night before Thanksgiving–so Thanksgiving Eve. Heartsong Presents of Love Inspired is going to publish my Golden Heart winning inspirational romance, Love’s Advocate, in September of 2014 as book 1 in a 3 book series.
I am beyond thrilled. Happier than a child receiving their first bicycle. Still Snoopy dancing.
And grateful beyond measure to my amazing agent, Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill Associates, Ltd, and Heartsong Presents, the talented and encouraging Heather Burch, Carol Post, Dixie Taylor, Sabrina Jarema, and Anne-Marie Carroll and Joni Fisher. No one could ask for a better group of ladies to have as their friends, critique partners, and encouragers. You are all the awesome present I was gifted with long before this one.
To Casting Crowns for some of the most inspiring and revealing lyrics to God‘s truth.
And I’m thankful to God, always. He has sustained me, guided me, loved me, and strengthened me when the days were too dark for me to see where I was going. He truly is a light unto my path, shining bright forever.
And my Firebird sisters. All of you ladies rock. Each one of you has inspired me and helped me realize this world is unkind to all of us, not just me. You keep me from being selfish and you help me know that if I keep reaching higher, I will catch that shooting star–one day. And that day was November 27, 2013.
Last but by no means least, I am thankful to and for my hubby, the amazing Typo-detector. We are starting a new journey, leaving sorrows behind and making new traditions with fewer people gathered around our holiday table, but they will always be in our hearts. I love you most.
And all of my family. Never has someone been more blessed than I am with all of you. I hope I can live up to your expectations.
Merry Christmas to all.