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To ring in the new year, we're experimenting with something new this year - group interviews with your favorite authors. Since we decided to start in February, what could be a more natural topic than Valentine's Day? So read on, as this month's authors chat about Valentine's Day memories and their current releases.

Be sure to check out February's new releases on the Spotlight page.


 
PASSING THROUGH PARADISE
Susan Wiggs
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ENSLAVED
Susan Kearney
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DR. DESIRABLE
Kristi Gold
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UNFORGETTABLE
Meryl Sawyer
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SECRET GAMES
Jeanie London
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THE KNIGHT AND THE ROSE
Isolde Martyn
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EVER A PRINCESS
Rebecca Hagan Lee
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ROSE IN THE MIST
Ana Seymour
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FALCON'S ANGEL
Judith E. French
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A SECOND-CHANCE PROPOSAL
C.J. Carmichael
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THE VALENTINE TWO-STEP
RaeAnne Thayne
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DOLPHIN'S SONG
Wilma Fasano
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GOOD TIME GIRL
Candace Schuler
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SILK, LACE, AND VIDEOTAPE
Joanne Rock
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Writerspace: What is your most special Valentine's Day memory?

Susan Wiggs: I'm not sure it's special but it shows my self-restraint. One year, Jay gave me an apron for Valentine's Day. I KID YOU NOT. Of course, I laughed and searched the pockets for the diamond tennis bracelet or string of pearls, but my husband (who suffers the form of brain damage known as Being Male) was so clever that all he put in the pockets was a pair of barbecue mitts.
We've been married 21 years, so clearly he has other worthy qualities. More on that later. ;-) Look at the bottom of this page for a hint.
http://www.susanwiggs.com

Susan Kearney: To me every day is Valentine's Day thanks to a great husband of 21 years. One day is not as important as loving and caring for one another day in and day out.
http://www.susankearney.com

Kristi Gold: Actually, the most special memory would be when my husband got down on one knee and presented me with my engagement ring. I was shocked and touched and in tears. That was 18 years ago this month. He still has his moments, even after all this time.
http://www.kristigold.com

Stella Cameron: Like so many newlyweds, my husband and I counted our pennies carefully in the early years of our marriage. When I say we counted carefully I mean we sometimes had to hunt for any pennies at all! When our first married Valentine's Day rolled around I fussed around, trying to decide if I should spend money on a gift because I didn't think Jerry would (we'd already decided to see a movie) and I didn't want to make him feel bad. Finally I bought the gift anyway, a shirt (yeah, I know, boring). Jerry came home with red carnations, a beautiful card and one of those heartshaped boxes of candy with a little bride doll on the top. Hokey? Maybe, but I was bowled over.
Stella's page

Meryl Sawyer: My most special Valentine's Day memory was receiving a fluffy ball of fur from my husband. Yes, a golden retriever puppy. She became my special side kick and the inspiration for many of my books, including my February 2002 book UNFORGETTABLE.
http://www.merylsawyer.com

Jeanie London: The Valentine’s Day when my local newspaper printed an interview about how romance writers celebrate love. All day long my husband’s colleagues kept popping their heads into his office to say, “So you light candles all the way to the bedroom, hmm?” Happy Valentine’s Day, Honey!
http://www.jeanielondon.com

Isolde Martyn: Floating up in a balloon on the warmest dawn imaginable just last year. It was sheer magic for both of us.
http://www.berkelyjoveauthors.com

Rebecca Hagan Lee: What is your most special Valentine's Day memory? When I was in the first grade my father bought Valentine cards for me to give to my classmates. He bought the kind with lollipops attached and he sat and addressed the envelopes as I told him the name of each boy and girl in my class and my teacher, Miss May. I was so pleased to give valentines with lollipops to my classmates and so excited and nervous hoping they would like them. But I went to bed a bit disappointed that I wouldn't have one. Imagine my surprise when after distributing my valentines to all my classmates, my teacher called me to the front and read a card addressed to me -- with love from Daddy. I still have that card.
http://www.berkelyjoveauthors.com

Ana Seymour: One of my most special memories involves an incredible luxury hotel in Acapulco called The Princess, starting the day with a room service breakfast on the balcony overlooking the blue Pacific, shopping in the colorful marketplace, a candlelit dinner in one of the hotel's restaurants with a Mexican "conjunto" playing soft tropical music in the background, and...hey, the rest of the memory is not for publication!
http://www.berkelyjoveauthors.com

Judith E. French: My most special Valentine's Day memory was many years ago when my to-be-husband and I were first engaged. He was in the Coast Guard and away on sea duty in the North Atlantic. I knew he wouldn't be home for Valentine's Day, and I knew he couldn't get to a store to buy a card. Still, I haunted the mailbox, looking for a letter from him. On the big day, the box was empty and I shed a few tears until I heard a knock on the door and there he was with a single red rose and a box of chocolate. Due to an emergency, his ship had returned early, and he'd driven straight through to be with me. I'll never forget his smile or the sight of that red, red rose against his white sailor uniform.
http://www.ivyauthors.com

C.J. Carmichael: Opening the door to my husband. He'd walked home from the subway stop in the pouring rain. His hair, his suit, his shoes were drenched. But he was holding out a bouquet of soggy flowers and smiling.
http://www.superauthors.com

RaeAnne Thayne: The first year we were married, my husband secretly made reservations at a very exclusive bed and breakfast in our town. We were both college students and struggling financially but he wanted to surprise me so he saved up for this big day. On Valentine's Day morning, he was in class and I was home when the phone rang. It was the B&B calling to confirm our reservation! They spoiled the surprise but it was still a wonderfully romantic gesture on my husband's part.
http://www.intimatemomentsauthors.com

Wilma Fasano: My most special Valentine's Day memory is visiting with Cass and Digger in Dolphin Bay, West Australia, the setting of DOLPHIN SONG. Cass introduced me to two of her special friends, the dolphin Darby and her baby Bubbles.
http://tara.writerspace.com

Candace Schuler: My husband Joe and I celebrated our 28th anniversary last November, which means we've shared a lot of Valentine's Days. One that stands out, though, is one when we weren't together on Valentine's Day. Joe had a 10-day business trip (I don't remember to where) he couldn't reschedule and I was deep in deadline hell and couldn't go with him like I usually do on his longer business trips. I told him it was no big deal; we could celebrate when he got back. (And I meant it. I really did!) On Valentine's Day I got a lovely mushy Valentine card in the mail and, later that day, a dozen red roses from a local florist. The flowers were beautiful, but it was the card that made it a special Valentine's Day for me. Flowers are easy, all they take is a phone call (usually the day before), but a card sent through the mail...he had to go to a store to pick it out ahead of time, then figure out when to mail it from wherever he was so it would arrive on Valentine's Day. That takes consideration and advance planning. And that's really romantic.
http://www.blazeauthors.com

Joanne Rock: My then-future husband and I packed a thermos of hot chocolate, a few heart shaped sugar cookies, and our earmuffs, then took off into the Adirondacks to attend a winter ice carnival. The sculptures were gorgeous-- one of the ice castles even had a real slide from its second story down to the ground. We discovered nylon jogging pants make for great sliding and we had a fabulous day.
http://www.blazeauthors.com


Writerspace: How does writing about Valentine's Day present a challenge to you as a writer? Romance authors celebrate romance year round - how do you use Valentine's Day to make romance more special?

Susan Wiggs: After the anecdote above, do I NEED Valentine's Day to be more special?
http://www.susanwiggs.com

Susan Kearney: I'm a romance writer who doesn't like to write about Valentine's Day. To me the holiday was invented by stores so consumers would buy stuff. Love is not about a one-day exchange of gifts, it's about loving the one you're with for life..
http://www.susankearney.com

Meryl Sawyer: No, I think Valentine's Day should be in the heart of everyone who loves another all year long. This day, though, is our chance to remind them of how much we care. Each book I've written (all 14 of them) has this quote from G. K. Chesterton: "The best way to love anything is as if it might be lost."
http://www.merylsawyer.com

Jeanie London: Because my stories do celebrate romance year round, setting a story to Valentine’s Day offers me a chance to have some fun with the whole romance theme. I did just this in my current Blaze release SECRET GAMES. Romantic contests. Erotic Valentines. A villain who’s secretly playing Cupid. I had a great time writing my Valentine’s love story!
http://www.jeanielondon.com

Isolde Martyn: It's a challenge because the story needs to have that extra magic for readers. I've done a contemporary office story about mischief on St Valentine's day because I think many readers could relate to that. However, when Women's Weekly Magazine commissioned a St Valentine's Day story from me in 2001. I made it a historical story-- set in France during the Hundred Years War--because it was a very special day in medieval times and people actually believed that birds chose their mates on that day. February can be such an icy miserable month in the northern hemisphere and St Valentine's Day reassured them that Spring was on the way. There is a most wonderful fifteenth century St Valentine's Day letter written by Margery Brews to John Paston. She calls him her "most well-beloved Valentine," and continues: "I commend myself to you with all my heart, longing to hear all is well with you; and I beseech Almighty God to keep you well, according to His pleasure and your's heart's desire. And if it please you to know how I am, I am not well in body or heart, nor shall I be until I hear from you." Is that not truly beautiful? All the poignancy of early love lies in that short, sweet letter.
http://www.berkelyjoveauthors.com

Rebecca Hagan Lee: I think writing about Valentine's Day is actually easier than writing romance all year long because on Valentine's Day everyone is celebrating. Everyone is more receptive to the idea of writing romances and believing in the power of love. I always think that Valentine's Day is the one day a year when rest of the world marches to the beat of my drummer.
http://www.berkelyjoveauthors.com

Ana Seymour: Since my last six books have been set in the 16th century or earlier, our modern notion of Valentine's Day doesn't apply, though there were paper Valentines as early as the 15th century. Certainly lovers have been exchanging tokens of their passion since the beginning of time. I've no doubt that early man's first attempts at cave painting were done to impress his lady!
http://www.berkelyjoveauthors.com

C.J. Carmichael:It's important to individualize the holiday to suit the characters and the specific book. In A SISTER WOULD KNOW the hero wants to buy red roses on Valentine's day for the heroine. Unfortunately, he lives in an isolated mountain town where the florist has a limited stock available. In the end, the hero is forced to barter with a man who'd preordered a bouquet for his wife.
http://www.superauthors.com

RaeAnne Thayne:It's easy to fall into clichés when talking about Valentine's Day. Flowers, hearts, chocolates, etc. A writer just needs to try to be original.
http://www.intimatemomentsauthors.com

Wilma Fasano: It's true that romance writers celebrate romance year round, but how many romances involve dolphins as well as people? Valentine's Day will always be special to me as the anniversary of the time I spent with Cass and Digger.
http://tara.writerspace.com

Candace Schuler: I've never thought of Valentine's Day as a challenge. In fact, now that you bring it up, I don't think I've ever used it in a book.
http://www.blazeauthors.com

Joanne Rock: I wouldn't call Valentine's Day a challenge, more of an opportunity. The holiday allows characters to be more romantic, to push the boundaries of their relationship to a new level. Of course, the results don't always have to be good. Often this boundary pushing can send one or the other of the hero/heroine running in the opposite direction and expose new levels of conflict.
http://www.blazeauthors.com


Go on to Part 2 | Current Releases

 

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