VALENTINE’S DAY IN THE 1880’s and 5 Sweetheart Ebook Giveaways!


Next Tuesday is Valentine’s Day, a day of love and romance.  Can you guess what the gift of choice will be this Valentine’s Day?  If you guessed flowers, you’d be right, coming in first place at 1.9 billion. In second place, for a measly 1.7 billion is candy! That’s right and I’d bet most of those edible delights would be chocolate.  While 38 % of us will go out to dinner, 20% will receive jewelry and 1.1 billion will be spent on greeting cards.


The Valentine Card first came about in the 1500’s and by the 1700’s people began sending lace and paper flowered cards to each other on printed cards.

But the first American Valentine’s card didn’t hit our shores until 1849 when Ester Howland of Massachusetts designed 12 beautiful cards made by hand and gave them to her brother who was a salesman. She was hoping to make a small profit of $200.OO by selling her cards and to her great surprise, her brother came back to her with orders for $5,000 worth of cards.


And Ester found herself in business.  Her valentines made her famous throughout the United States and she became known as the “The Mother of the American Valentine.”  She is also credited with developing the first “lift up” valentine and another design of layering lace and a three dimensional accordion effect where a bouquet of flowers can be moved by a pull down string to reveal a verse.  That concept is still used today.

Ester continued making her valentine cards for the next thirty years.  She sold her business in 1880 to George Whitney in order to care for her ill father.



Valentine cards have surely gone through a progression of change.  Friends, family, lovers, husbands, wives and even children indulge.  It’s a fun heart-filled day to enjoy and appreciate the ones we love.  These days hubby and I go out to dinner to celebrate the day. Do you have a favorite way to celebrate?  Candy?  Cards?  Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions?   Today I’m giving away 5 sweet reading treats– my back list EBOOK of The Billionaire’s Daddy Test to 5 lucky bloggers!.  (check later tonight for a list of giveaway winners)  







Wishing you a very happy sweethearts day and please keep reading as I have two new events to share with you!

Yay!  Taming the Texas Cowboy is available for pre-order:



After a disaster destroyed nearly everything Maddie Brooks owned, Trey Walker offered the petite redhead shelter at 2 Hope Ranch. A veterinarian, Maddie was smart, sexy, and good with animals… Impossible to resist, yet Trey is convinced he is cursed when it comes to women.
The temporary arrangement Maddie made with Trey was supposed to be strictly business. Easy, since Maddie had tried and failed to catch the handsome cowboy’s eye for a year. She thought she was so over him…until he kissed her. 


Barnes and Noble Nook –


Friends, if you’re in the southern California area, SAVE THE DATE, for this fun Reader Appreciation Day.  Come sit at the table I’ll be sharing with the awesome Christy Jeffries and join the conversation, play Book Bingo where you can win GREAT prizes, enjoy sweet treats and simply have a wonderful afternoon.  This is how it works: You buy a $5 ticket ahead of time to reserve your spot and pick the author you want to sit with for the event. It’s like an exclusive, backstage pass to Romancelandia. Then, you will get a $5 voucher for the onsite bookstore (so really, your ticket is FREE), fun tote bags with FREE swag (Christy and I are giving away a   GIRLS NIGHT IN gift bag to our readers) and books, plus a FREE raffle ticket for some amazing gift baskets. Did you catch the “free” part? It’s a Win Win for readers!  To purchase your ticket go to: TICKETLEAP


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19 thoughts on “VALENTINE’S DAY IN THE 1880’s and 5 Sweetheart Ebook Giveaways!”

  1. Thanks for the quick Valentine history lesson. I didn’t realize they went back as far as the 1500’s. I love finding some of the old ones. They are lovely.
    We rarely go out for Valentine’s Day. Restaurants are just too crowded and it makes me feel rushed. Which makes for a not so enjoyable evening.We may celebrate with a nice dinner at home or go out another night. This year, we will have a modified Valentine’s Day dinner on Sunday. Our daughter and her family will be visiting so we will have a family dinner for everyone.. I enjoy getting cards and little gifts for everyone. My husband and I usually don’t exchange gifts. We have planned a few trips for later this year, so those will count. Nice romantic delayed celebrations.
    Wish we lived closer. California Readin’ sounds like it will be lots of fun. Hope you have a great Valentine’s Day.

    • HI Patricia B!
      Sounds like you’ve got a great plan for the day! It’s always the best when you can spend time with family during a holiday time. I like the term, “Nice romantic delayed celebrations”. We do that too. Before or after, usually not right on the date… makes it so much easier. Have a good one!

  2. I didn’t know that the Valentine’s Day card went back as early as the 1590’s. That is a great history lesson. As for my husband and I, we go out to dinner or we stay home and he cooks us a steak dinner. I’m happy either way, because it is time spent with him!

  3. My husband doesn’t recognize Valentine’s Day anymore. He doesn’t recognize much of any holiday. But I got him a card and will make him a special dinner. I don’t know what it will be yet, but something I put a little more time than usual into.

  4. I love seeing old valentines! We have a tradition in my family that we celebrate all the holidays AFTER the actual holiday. No busyness, no crowds, cheap themed gifts (LOL), and the ease to celebrate if we wish. As for specific Valentine’s day memories, my hubby always gets something little for our three girls.

  5. You know, Charlene, I so love this kind of history. Wow! I had no idea. As for the Elsa sort of Disney thing — I saw some things about the two girls that made me uncomfortable — and I fear there might be a message there that is disguised with other aesthetic qualities, like the music and the love shown.

    It’s a movie that I couldn’t see all the way through because the two girls made me feel very uncomfortable — and after seeing the subliminal messages in The Lion King, I just don’t trust these Disney movies any more.

    My grandchildren love these movies, but as for me, I can’t watch them anymore. What I see now that I know they are there are the subliminal messages…

  6. I hope no one will mind my absolute love of history applied to this day.

    Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine, including the earliest one in Rome in the year 269.

    “Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine… originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day honoring one or more early saints named Valentinus.”

    Valentine’s day was not about romantic love, though, until Chaucer’s “Parlement of Foules” (1382) –his “love birds”:

    “For this was on seynt Volantynys day
    Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.”

    The earliest surviving valentine is a 15th-century rondeau written by Charles, Duke of Orléans to his wife that begins:

    “Je suis desja d’amour tanné
    Ma tres doulce Valentinée…”

    “The earliest surviving valentines in English appear to be those in the Paston Letters, written in 1477 by Margery Brewes to her future husband John Paston ‘my right well-beloved Valentine.'”

    And then there’s Ophelia’s words on Valentine’s Day in “Hamlet,” a poem by John Donne, and the line we’ve come to know (roses are red), “She bath’d with roses red, and violets blew,” in Edmund Spenser’s “The Faerie Queene” (1590).

    Charlene, I don’t have an ereader so I’ll send happy Valentine wishes to you and the winners of your ebook treat, as well as to everyone at P&P!

  7. Thanks, Charlene, for a great blog. The Valentines Ester made are the ones of my dreams. I love Valentine cards. My tradition really began when our two daughters were in college. I’d send them a card with money in it, so they could buy some candy. The tradition has stayed in place. When both girls and the families lived in Amarillo, we’d do a Valentine’s dinner and I’d buy candy. Now that half of my eight grands are in college and the other half live at home (out of state), I still send them a Valentine, appropriate for them individually, and $5.00, so they can buy their own Valentine treat. My oldest college grandson got his card yesterday and send me a text last night … of course he’s avoided the last ten texts I’ve sent him with questions. I believe in the old saying “money talks”. LOL Since my DH and I have been married for so long, we really don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, but used to … he does surprise me once in a while. Again, Charlene, thank you for a great blog and look at wonderful vintage cards, as well as fun ones. Hugs, Phyliss

  8. Hi Phyliss! Oh, I love your traditions with your family. It’s a fun way to keep in touch and not let the holiday decline. I get when you say, you don’t celebrate with hubby. We stopped long ago, except for going out to dinner. After so many years, we know how much we mean to each other, we don’t need extra candy in the house, and it’s all about the kids and grands now!!

  9. I don’t have a valentine. I’m going to have to read Taming The Texas Cowboy. I’m partial to Texas cowboys since Texas is where I was born and have always lived. Happy Valentines Day!

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