Today is the day of love and all over the U.S. (probably the world) couples will celebrate. My husband never really liked celebrating too many things but he loved Valentine’s Day. He’d always buy me a box of candy and a card. Never gave me flowers because he had asthma. I think he chose candy because he loved it and always ate at least half of what he gave me.
There was no doubt in my mind that he loved me though. I still have one of the cards that he made by hand (including his own words) and it remains one of my most treasured possessions.
A whopping six million men (and yes women) will propose on this day. And why not? It’s the day of romance and the mating of hearts.
I’ve written a marriage proposal (and/or wedding) into every one of my books. I just love validating the way my characters feel about each other and that’s the perfect way. Love means commitment and spending the rest of your life together. I’ve written two Valentine’s stories. One was “Cupid’s Arrow” in Be My Texas Valentine anthology with Jodi Thomas, Phyliss Miranda, and DeWanna Pace. We had great fun writing those stories. By the way, that’s still available online.
The other Valentine’s story was in the Hearts and Spurs anthology published by Prairie Rose. Cheryl Pierson posted about this anthology yesterday. My story’s title is THE WIDOW’S HEART.
Skye O’Rourke thinks her imagination is playing tricks on her when a man emerges from the shimmering desert heat. No one would willingly take a stroll under the scorching sun with a saddle slung on his back. She’s shocked to discover it’s Cade Coltrain, a man she once gave her heart to only to have him give it back.
Can she trust him not to abandon her this time? Yet, trusting each other is the only way they can survive. And love might just save them if they believe….
Cade Coltrain was a dangerous man. He’d always been someone to reckon with, but adding in the hardness that swept the length of him now he could put the fear of God in a man with only a look.
In her heart, she knew the truth. He’d become an outlaw.
But, it didn’t matter. Nothing did.
A sudden need to be held in those arms washed over her. She rested her head on the thick window pane and let the tears fall.
The loud ticking clock reminded her she had dishes to do. Raising her head, she brushed away her tears. Glancing out the window once more, she found Cade standing beside Matthew’s grave with his head bowed.
What would he say to the brother who’d married the woman Cade had cast aside when adventure called?
She prayed he’d move on soon, before she gave in to the desire that created such a powerful ache in her body.
Just to be held again, feel warm breath on her cheek; lay her palm on the hard muscles that rippled beneath the skin. Those desires were something she couldn’t put a price on. But they were the things she’d buy, if only she could.
Skye wanted to be a woman again. Someone cherished.
* * * *
Download the book and you’ll find lots of wonderful stories by Cheryl Pierson, Tracy Garrett, Phyliss Miranda, Tanya Hanson, Livia Washburn, Kathleen Rice Adams, Sarah McNeal, and Jacquie Rogers.
What do you hope to get from your honey for Valentines? Candy? Roses? Or something else?
Who loves a great Valentine’s Day story? I DO! I love to read them and write them! If there is a more romantic time of year, I don’t know what it is—and it’s especially so for me, since my hubby and I got married on February 10, 1979, thirty-eight years ago!
He’s my “real-life” hero, but I do love to write fiction—ROMANTIC fiction—so I couldn’t pass up the chance to let my imagination roam and write a few Valentine’s Day stories of my own, in both contemporary and historical genres. But goodness, we can’t limit ourselves just to ONE DAY, can we? I’ll be sure and mark the stories that have a Valentine’s Day theme—the others are just wonderfully romantic stories that you won’t want to pass up.
With flowers and candy at the top of the “romantic” list, I always indulge in a guilty pleasure or two and buy myself some VERY romantic stories to lose myself in at this time of year!
Here are a few “picks” for you if you’re looking for some romantic Valentine’s Day reading…
HEARTS AND SPURS is a short story collection that features nine sensual Valentine’s Day love tales of the old west that will leave no doubt—Cupid is a cowboy, and he’s playing for keeps! How do you capture a cowboy’s heart? HEARTS AND SPURS includes stories by many of our P&P past and present “fillies” along with Livia J. Washburn, Sarah J. McNeal and Jacquie Rogers!
FOUND HEARTS by Cheryl Pierson—An enemy from the past threatens Alex Cameron’s future on the day he’s set to wed mail-order bride Evie Fremont. Can they survive their wedding day?
OPEN HEARTS by Tanya Hanson—A woman living as a man to practice the law she loves must guard her identity—and her heart—from a handsome sheriff, who discovers her secret and must decide whether to turn her in or fall in love.
THE WIDOW’S HEART by Linda Broday—Desperate and alone, Skye O’Rourke finds courage and a love she thought she’d lost when a man from her past emerges from the shimmering desert heat.
COMING HOME by Tracy Garrett—Sometimes it takes two to make dreams come true. When a man who believes he’ll never have a home and family finds a woman who has lost everything…It takes a lot of forgiveness and a few fireworks to realize that together, their dreams can come true.
TUMBLEWEEDS AND VALENTINES by Phyliss Miranda—The wildness of a tumbleweed and the sweetness of chocolate bring Amanda Love the love of a lifetime.
THE SECOND-BEST RANGER IN TEXAS by Kathleen Rice Adams—A washed-up Texas Ranger. A failed nun with a violent past. A love that will redeem them both. (WESTERN FICTIONEER PEACEMAKER AWARD WINNER!)
What a wonderful anthology this is, and it’s now FREE THIS WEEK for the digital edition. It’s also available in print!
For this excellent collection as well as many other FREE and .99 books, stories and anthologies Prairie Rose Publications is running a huge VALENTINE EXTRAVAGANZA! Go to the PRP WEBSITE below to see many more free Valentine’s Day special offers you won’t want to miss!
A HEART FOR A HEART is a contemporary Valentine’s Day novella you might enjoy… Kiera Leslie is all set to welcome Cory Tiger into her home as a foster child. Orphaned and with a learning disability, Cory is looking forward to living with his tutor. Until his uncle shows up… Sam Tiger returns from military duty to find his deceased brother’s son being taken in by a stranger. The boy needs his family—and Sam is it. He never expects the tutor to stand up to him and want to keep Cory. Then the worst happens—he finds himself attracted to Kiera. It’s Valentine’s Day, and Cupid’s got deadly aim!
HIDDEN TRAILS takes place right around Valentine’s Day in a blinding snowstorm.
Levi Connor has never run from anything in his life, and he doesn’t intend to start now. After killing the two bandits who’d followed him into Indian Territory, he finds himself wounded and riding through a blinding February snowstorm. With no purpose ahead of him and no past to guide him, he discovers a reason to exist—the beautiful mixed-blood girl who takes him in and heals him. Valentine Reneau lives in fear that her father will find her someday in the heart of Indian Territory and force her to return to Mississippi to take her mother’s place—in every way. She knows her time has run out when a stranger shows up on her land with two hired guns—and the devil in his plans. With some unlikely help, Valentine must try to escape the slave’s fate that her mother left behind so many years before. Will Levi kill for a woman he barely knows? The chips are down, the guns blaze, and everything finally comes clear along these HIDDEN TRAILS…but who’ll be left alive?
HIDDEN TRAILS was a finalist in the short fiction category of the Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Awards!
No, this one is not a Valentine’s Day themed story, but it has to be one of my all-time favorite love stories. If you have not read it yet, you won’t be disappointed! It’s Penelope Williamson’s THE OUTSIDER—an oldie but a goodie!
Throughout the years on her Montana homestead, Rachel Yoder had never been afraid—the creed of the Plain People had been her strength. Then the day came when lawless men killed Rachel’s husband in an act of blind greed. Now, at her darkest hour, an outsider walks across her meadow and into her life… Johnny Cain is bloody, near death, and armed to the teeth. A man hardened by his violent past, Cain has never known a woman like Rachel—someone who offers him a chance to heal more than his physical wounds. Cain’s lazy smile and teasing ways steal Rachel’s heart and confound her soul. Soon she must choose between all she holds dear—her faith, her family, perhaps her very salvation—and the man they call the Outsider.
Another excellent story by Penelope Williamson that I really enjoyed was HEART OF THE WEST…you can’t get enough of Penelope Williamson!
Here are some tales that are sexy, romantic, and wonderful!
HANNAH’S VOW by Pam Crooks
TEXAS REDEMPTION by Linda Broday
SENECA SURRENDER by Karen Kay writing as Gen Bailey
BEYOND THE FIRE by Cheryl Pierson
When Kendi Morgan witnesses an attempted murder near her home one stormy November night, she makes the only choice her heart will allow: she has to help the victim. But bringing the handsome stranger into her home traps her in the middle of a deadly drug war.
Wounded DEA agent Jackson Taylor is a man with nothing to lose and nothing to fear—until he falls for the beautiful woman who risks everything to save his life.
With his cover blown, Jackson knows he’s all that stands between Kendi and Benito Sanchez, a powerful drug cartel lord. Sanchez swears his vengeance, vowing to see Jackson and Kendi both dead.
Love comes fast when there may be only hours left…can it survive? Or will Jackson sacrifice his partner’s life—along with his own—in exchange for Kendi’s safety? Does a future exist for them BEYOND THE FIRE… Previously published as Temptation’s Touch.
What’s the most romantic story you ever read? Leave your answer in the comments along with your contact information for a chance to win a digital copy of HIDDEN TRAILS! Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, everyone–and don’t forget to pop over to the PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS blog for tons of bargains from FEB. 13-17!!
Hi everyone! Well, I’m a day late for Valentine’s Day, but I wanted to show you some strange vintage Valentine’s Day cards since I did this for Easter and for Christmas. I was excited to try to find some “different” Valentine’s Day greetings as well, but oddly enough, didn’t have as much luck as with the Easter and Christmas holidays. But there are some really interesting cards here from “back in the day”, even if they’re not as strange as the Easter ones were (those took the cake)–so let’s take a look!
Here’s an odd one–two cupids setting this heart aflame! I suppose it was “burning” with desire…still, a little freaky, since there is no explanation or verse.
OK, here we have Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater professing his love to the lady in the pumpkin…I wonder if these people just wrote a verse that rhymed and then painted the picture to go with it?
But just when you think you have it figured out, there comes along a Valentine like this one, that doesn’t even pretend to rhyme or use the right number of syllables.
Ah, the smoking couple, in love. Evidently, this was a “thing” around the turn of the century, and maybe even before, because my grandparents’ engagement picture was styled like this–with my grandfather’s cigar (drawn onto the photo) swirling smoke rings into the air, and my grandmother’s picture inside one of those smoke rings at the top of the picture.
This is an odd one. Not sure what the inside sentiment is, but the picture is pretty off-putting. Who would buy this stuff?
OK, much better. I love these old fanciful scenes like this–much more romantic, and it lets your imagination take flight–which is what Valentine’s Day should do, right?
Here’s another one I just love–“one long Spoontime, Dearie!”
And last but not least, this dear little kitten…I’m not sure what he intends to do with the paintbrush, but I’m sure it’s something loving. After all, this IS for Valentine’s Day!
I hope you all enjoyed this look at some of the cards of the past, and that everyone enjoyed their Valentine’s Day yesterday!
What was the best Valentine’s Day you ever had, and why? Leave your comment and contact information for a chance to win my giveaway today!
I want to give away TWO copies of HEARTS AND SPURS, a wonderful Prairie Rose Publications anthology that was our first Valentine’s Day anthology back in 2014–but rest assured, these stories are wonderful ANY time of the year. If you just can’t wait to see if you won, here’s the Amazon link — and this book is on sale for a limited time for only .99! (Also availabe in print!)
I’m talking about my story, FOUND HEARTS, in the brand new Valentine’s Day anthology, HEARTS AND SPURS that was just released a week ago through PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS!
How do you capture a cowboy’s heart? Hearts and Spurs is a collection of nine stories by some of western romance’s best—just in time for Valentine’s Day! Following up their Christmas collection Wishing for a Cowboy, these ladies have done it again with new stories of handsome cowboys and the women who captivate them in Hearts and Spurs.
The authors in this edition of cowboy love stories are: Linda Broday, Phyliss Miranda, Tanya Hanson, Tracy Garrett, Kathleen Rice Adams, Jacquie Rogers, Livia Washburn Reasoner, Sarah J. McNeal, and yours truly. The variety of styles and stories in this sweet/sensual collection is just wonderful, and will keep you turning the pages!
My story, FOUND HEARTS, is about a young woman in the post-Civil War South, who is forced to leave first her home in South Carolina, then the safety net of her aunt and uncle’s home in Chicago. Her brother’s excessive drinking and expenditures have put her into a situation she never dreamed she’d find herself in–penniless, and at the mercy of others. The answer to her dilemma comes in the form of an advertisement in the paper from a man searching for a wife for himself, and a mother to his children.
I’ve always wondered about women who were mail-order brides. How hard it must have been to leave everything behind and go to a new place where everything was unfamiliar, not knowing anyone, and marrying a man who could be any kind of person–you wouldn’t know until you got there. What circumstances could force a person into doing something so desperate? Any number of things! That’s what makes a mail-order bride story so tantalizing.
Here’s the blurb:
Southern belle Evie Fremont has lost everything—except hope. When she answers an advertisement for marriage to Alex Cameron who lives in the wilds of Indian Territory, she has few illusions that he could be a man she might fall in love with—especially as his secrets begin to unfold.
Ex-Confederate soldier Alex Cameron needs a mother for his two young half-Cherokee sons more than he needs a wife—or so he tells himself. But when his past threatens his future on his wedding day, he and Evie are both forced to acknowledge their new love has come to stay—along with their FOUND HEARTS.
And here’s a VERY quick excerpt:
Her voice trembled at the end, and Alex reached for her, but she tried to push him away.
“Evie—” He grasped her shoulders and turned her toward him.
“I should slap your face!”
He gave a slight smile. “Just wait.”
“This.” He leaned toward her and pulled her tightly into his arms, his lips coming across hers with tender impatience. Evie stopped struggling as his mouth closed over hers in a gentle, yet firm melding that he kept tightly leashed.
I’m giving away two digital copies of HEARTS AND SPURS today! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment and your contact information.
If you just can’t wait to see if you won, or if you’d rather have print, here’s the link:
Have you ever had a dream that “just happened” –before you could think about it anymore, or try to decide how to accomplish it—it was just…there?
One of the things I’ve always “thought about” was opening a publishing company of my own. That would be impossible because as everyone who knows me is well aware, I am NOT a “computer guru” at all. So how could I ever do all the things I’d need to do to open a publishing house? The answer is, I couldn’t.
I’d pretty much let those thoughts go until Livia Reasoner and I were talking about a way to be able to get some brand new, very talented authors “out there” for others to read and enjoy, and this topic came up. As it turned out, we both had the same idea—an imprint for women authors, both well-seasoned and fresh talent, to submit historical westerns and historical western romances.
Since so many women read westerns and western historical romances, Livia and I thought this might be a great way to reach even more women authors who write those kinds of stories. What we wanted to do was provide a venue for these authors to shine—to get their work “out there” with a publisher who is interested in helping give them a hand navigating the publishing waters and seeing that they get their fair share of profits for their hard work. With that in mind, our imprint, PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS, was born!
Livia and I are so excited to be working together. With her bookkeeping, formatting, and other computer skills and her ability to make such fantastic covers for our books I have no worries. It’s my job to edit, promote and do much of the correspondence (cause I DO love to talk about writing!)
Our first venture will be a Christmas anthology called WISHING FOR A COWBOY. We’ve got a wonderful group of authors lined up for this collection: Phyliss Miranda, Tanya Hanson, Sarah McNeal, Jacquie Rogers, Tracy Garrett, reviewer Kathleen Rice Adams, Livia and me. This short story grouping will be western historical romance, in the sweet to sensual category. All the stories have mentioned a certain holiday food, and the story is either built around the food or can just mention it casually. The recipes will be included in the back of the book, and we are just having a fantastic time with this! WISHING FOR A COWBOY will be available November 1, 2013, in print and digital formats—it’ll make a great Christmas gift for anyone!
We also have another anthology of cowboy romance coming your way for Valentine’s Day! It’s called HEARTS AND SPURS, and in addition to all the fine writers listed above, our fellow filly Linda Broday also has a story to contribute. These stories will be a bit “steamier” than the sweet stories in Wishing for a Cowboy. Well, it IS Valentine’s Day!
But it doesn’t stop there! I have a novel coming out early next year called THE HALF-BREED’S WOMAN. More about that in the future, but I am so excited about it that it’s really hard to keep it under wraps a while longer.
Once we opened PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS, we got e-mails from writers who wanted to know if we had a children’s line? Did we have a contemporary/futuristic line? Well, how could we say no? So, for the younger readers of western/historical stories (Middle Grade 9-12, Young Adult 13-17, and New Adult 18-24) we opened PAINTED PONY BOOKS. We’ve already had several submissions for this line and look forward to bringing out some excellent quality reading materials from this imprint.
In addition, we opened FIRE STAR PRESS for contemporary/futuristic books for adult readers, and TORNADO ALLEY PUBLICATIONS for young readers of this same genre. We are having a ball with all this, and are so thrilled with the submissions we have received. Our main goal is to help authors receive the royalty money they are due, and to provide some wonderful reading material for all ages.