PAWS for Romance, Book #3: “Healing Two Hearts: A Valentine’s Day Romance” is available now!

The third book in my series PAWS for Romance is available now! The title is Healing Two Hearts: A Valentine’s Day Romance. It’s exclusively on Amazon and also included for Kindle Unlimited subscribers! ~ Kadee

Healing Two Hearts: A Valentine’s Day Romance

Can love be just as lovely…the second time around?

Cardiac care nurse Tricia Alderson was heartbroken when she lost her workaholic husband five years ago. She’s now helping her brother and sister-in-law plan a Valentine’s Day vow renewal ceremony and she’s also happy to see two of her nieces in loving relationships. But Tricia believes that new romance is for younger people and she has no expectations of finding love for herself again.

Rone Malloy’s stressful management job in radio ad sales lands him in Tricia’s CCU on New Year’s Eve. Headstrong, and refusing to take his health issues seriously at first, he’s told he’ll have to change his ways or risk another attack, possibly even a fatal one. But old habits can be hard to break.

Rone really wants to see more of Tricia, the pretty nurse with the lovely blue eyes. When he’s offered a promotion that could bring even more stress into his life, will he accept it? And, if he does, after losing one man she loved to workaholism, will Tricia risk her heart a second time?

Author’s Promise: This is a heartwarming, contemporary romance with a “happily-ever-after” ending. It’s a clean story with nothing more than hugs and sweet kisses.

Healing Two Hearts: A Valentine’s Day Romance is novella-length, and book #3 in the sweet and clean contemporary small-town romance series, PAWS for Romance. Click here to check it out now on Amazon!

A Short History of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day has always been celebrated with candy, flowers and greeting cards, some heartfelt and others sappy, right? ??

Well, no…not exactly.

There really was a St. Valentine…at least a dozen or so of them, in fact, depending on whether one consults the lists of martyrs of the Roman Catholic or the Eastern Orthodox Church. The name “Valentine” (or “Valentinus”) is from the Latin word, valens, meaning “strong.”

The simple feast (or Commemoration) of St. Valentine in the Roman Martyrology, the Catholic Church’s official list of recognized saints, has traditionally been February 14th, reportedly the date in the year 273 when Bishop Valentine of the Diocese of Terni (in what is now Italy), was imprisoned and killed in Rome.

The truth behind the legends of this particular St. Valentine is murky, to say the least. In 3rd century Rome, Emperor Claudius II believed that young men who were single, without the encumbrances of wives or children, were more dedicated, so he forbade his young soldiers from marrying. Bishop Valentine defied this decree and continued to perform marriages, a stand that cost him his life.

The first recorded connection of St. Valentine to the concept of “romantic love” was in the poem by Geoffrey Chaucer, Parlement of Foules, in 1382, which was written to celebrate the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia, who were married when each was but 15 years old. (Without doing any further research, I’m thinking that might have been an arranged marriage.)

Later writers such as John Donne and Shakespeare (in “Hamlet”) also mention Valentine’s Day. By 1797, a British publisher printed The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, with a number of suggested verses for young lovers who felt they were incapable of composing their own. By the early 1800s, the Regency era in England, factory-produced paper valentines became popular, with fancy ones adorned with real cloth lace and ribbons for those who could afford them. It was also common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange handwritten notes and small tokens of affection.

Real lace became paper lace by the mid-1800s. In the United States, a young woman named Esther Howland received an English valentine from one of her father’s business associates in the late 1840’s. Since her father operated a book and stationery store, Esther decided to create and mass produce valentines, using decorations imported from England, and is known as the “Mother of the Valentine.”

Hand-written valentines thus led to greeting cards, which paved the way for Valentine’s Day to become the commercialized, multi-billion-dollar industry it is today. Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. Paper cards, e-cards, flowers, chocolates, and even diamonds are now necessary accoutrements each February 14th to go along with those three little words that never seem to go out of style: “I love you.”

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book cover for Healing Two Hearts, a Valentine's Day Romance with an older couple playing chess on a pink-and-white cloth on the grass in a park. A small dog lies nearby. This is Book #3 of the PAWS for Romance sweet romance series of books

Can love be just as lovely…the second time around?

Cardiac nurse Tricia Alderson was heartbroken when she lost her workaholic husband five years ago. She’s now helping her brother and sister-in-law plan their Valentine’s Day vow renewal ceremony and she’s also happy to see two of her nieces in loving relationships. But Tricia believes that new romance is for younger people and she has no expectations of finding love for herself again.

Rone Malloy’s stressful management job in radio ad sales lands him in Tricia’s CCU on New Year’s Eve. Headstrong, and refusing to take his health issues seriously at first, he’s told he’ll have to change his ways or risk another attack, possibly even a fatal one. But old habits can be hard to break.

Rone really wants to see more of Tricia, the pretty nurse with the lovely blue eyes. When he’s offered a promotion that could bring even more stress into his life, will he accept it? And, if he does, after losing one man she loved to workaholism, will Tricia risk her heart a second time?

Author’s Promise: This is a short, heartwarming, contemporary romance with a “happily-ever-after” ending. It’s a clean story with nothing more than hugs and sweet kisses.

PAWS for Romance, Book #1: “Rescuing the Single Dad”

The first book in my new series PAWS for Romance is available now. The title is Rescuing the Single Dad. It’s exclusively on Amazon and also included for Kindle Unlimited subscribers! Please check it out today…thanks! ~ Kadee

PAWS for Romance #1: Rescuing the Single Dad

Blurb:

Will Erin and Jason find their “forever homes” in each other’s hearts?

As the director of PAWS, the “Pearson Animal Welfare Society,” Erin Pearson stays busy helping stray and surrendered pets find the “forever homes” they deserve. The small-town animal shelter was the life’s work of her beloved grandmother, but when a million-dollar donation to a new building project is embezzled, Erin fears the scandal will be the end of PAWS.

The drive up from San Antonio to the beautiful Texas Hill County to adopt a dog for his daughter is no more than an inconvenience for financial advisor and single dad, Jason Blaine. That is, until he meets the lovely director of PAWS. When Erin later asks for his help in tracking down the consultant who made off with the donation, Jason couldn’t say no even if he wanted to. Erin is warm and approachable… everything his late wife Valerie wasn’t. But Jason is sure that Valerie’s wealthy parents won’t hesitate to sue for custody of their granddaughter if he starts dating again and not devoting every spare minute to being a dad.

Will Erin and Jason track down the missing million in time to save PAWS and her family’s good name? Caught between the fear of losing his little girl and the hope of a promising new romance, will Jason allow Erin to rescue him, too, even though he only has two legs instead of four?

Rescuing the Single Dad is book #1 in the clean contemporary romance series, PAWS for Romance. Book #2, Catering to Love is coming soon.

Buy link:  PAWS for Romance Book #1: Rescuing the Single Dad

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PAWS for Romance, Book #2: “Catering to Love” is out now!

The second book in my series PAWS for Romance is available now! The title is Catering to Love. It’ll be exclusively on Amazon and also included for Kindle Unlimited subscribers! ~ Kadee

PAWS for Romance #2: Catering to Love

A beautiful chef has perfected at least a thousand recipes, but will she and her handsome martial arts instructor find the right ingredients when they begin Catering to Love?

Blurb:

It takes confidence to launch a new catering company, but Chef Amber Pearson is fresh out, thanks to her cheating ex-husband. Her brother’s suggestion that she sign up for a self-defense class seems like a great idea to help her re-build her self-esteem. It’s only a few hours a week and there’s no commitment … she’s definitely not ready for any sort of commitment.

Luis Mendoza is faced with a dilemma when his high school crush walks into his martial arts studio on Town Square. He came home to help his family after his father’s untimely death and to start his own business, which means he needs to stay sharp and focused. Feeling like a nerdy seventeen-year-old again every time Amber shows up for class definitely doesn’t fit in with his plans.

Will Amber be able to learn to trust and love again? And, as they get closer, can Luis stop worrying that she isn’t really over her ex, or that he could show up at any time to try to win her back?

Catering to Love is book #2 in the clean contemporary romance series, PAWS for Romance. Click here to check it out now on Amazon!

“Short & Sweet” ~ 10-minute Romances to Warm Your Heart!

I’m happy to announce the release of a new anthology that I’m so pleased to be a part of. The title is Short & Sweet: 10-Minute Romances to Warm Your Heart. Visiting today to tell you all about it is one of my anthology partners, Yvonne Weers, who created this pretty cover and really did all the heavy lifting on this collection. ~ Kadee

♥♥♥♥♥

Thank you, Kadee, for inviting me to share the story of how our anthology came to be.

My history with these authors began a year ago, when an email went out on a writers’ loop that someone wanted to form a critique group specifically targeting a popular woman’s magazine. I expressed an interest in joining and they welcomed me with open arms.

Over the following year, five of us wrote, critiqued, and submitted many stories. Then tragedy struck when one of our members, Karen, passed away after a long battle with cancer.

The shock of losing a friend affected everyone and the group’s activity came to a sudden stop. After a time of grieving, I offered to organize, format and publish a collection of our short stories and dedicate it to Karen. This project has not only provided a sense of closure for everyone but has also had the unexpected benefit of producing a joyful celebration of our collective talents.

Today, I’m honored to share Short & Sweet: 10-Minute Romances to Warm Your Heart, a collection of short stories written by Kadee McDonald, Bonny Dahlsrud, Beth Boyden, and myself, releasing today, June 15th. I hope you enjoy our anthology as much as we enjoyed bringing them to you.

Yvonne Weers is a California transplant living in rural Nebraska with her husband of 33 years. Together they have two adult children, a daughter-in-law, and three crazy doodle dogs. She spent childhood summers lounging on beaches, riding horses, and has lived in South Africa and Taiwan. Yvonne writes wholesome romance for the cowgirl at heart. Check out her author bio at: Yvonne’s Amazon Author Page

♥♥♥♥♥

Short & Sweet: 10-Minute Romances to Warm Your Heart is AVAILABLE NOW!

Click here to download your copy today!

Do you love reading sweet romance, but can never find the time for a nice long novel or even a shorter novella? This volume of 20 quick love stories from four talented authors is the answer! Read one (or more!) at lunch, on a coffee break, while riding the bus to work, or even while waiting for an appointment at the doctor’s office. a matchmaking grandma hopes to knit two hearts into one. A guy meets his dream girl on a commuter train, but a misunderstanding causes a sticky situation. Mistaken identity at a library leads to a new romance. And a meeting of The Red Hat Society brings two sweethearts back together after time and distance have kept them apart. Settle back and savor these short, sweet romances guaranteed to warm your heart. Enjoy! ♥

“Making the change to e-books” from author Carol Browne

I’m very happy today to welcome author Carol Browne, who’s here to share her epiphany about e-readers and why she’s now a believer. Carol, the site is all yours!

Photo by adamr.

Thanks, Kadee!

As a voracious book reader, I have lived my life believing in the superiority of the printed book; then my beta-reader kindly gave me her Kindle. Once I had figured out how to use it (three weeks well spent), my perspective underwent a sea change.

When I bought my first eBook and saw it download to my Kindle, it was a magical moment. I was also delighted to discover the device doubles as a flash drive.

There’s something amazing about travelling around with an entire library of books at your disposal and in these days of multi-tasking, being able to read, eat and drink at the same time in total comfort is most welcome. To someone like me on a low income, the availability of cheap or free eBooks is a blessing too.

From an eco-friendly point of view, no trees are cut down to make eBooks. Digital publishing also allows more authors to put their work before the reading public, often publishing great work that traditional publishers have rejected because they aren’t commercial enough.

I once assumed the device itself would be a distraction but, if you’re an avid bookworm, the body of an e-reader is no more of an intrusion than the body of a paperback; no more of a hindrance to your enjoyment than a screen is when you are watching a good movie.

Many will disagree. A teenage friend of mine prefers printed books because he likes the act of turning the pages. For me, the Kindle’s page-turning function is quicker and easier. Plus, you can say good-bye to the exasperation of having your bookmark fall out and not being able to remember where you were up to.

Meanwhile, another friend of mine is changing her opinion about eBooks. While moving to a smaller house, she regretted her vast collection of paperbacks that would have to be accommodated in less space—and then discovered many of them were moldy and infested with mites. Yuk. She’ll be buying her first Kindle soon!

There is still a place for printed books in my home. I have about a dozen I will always cherish, but these books belong to an exclusive club. It’s unlikely I’ll be adding new members.

Unless they’re written by me, of course!

Carole Browne writes speculative fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She is also a ghost blog writer, proofreader, copy editor, and copywriter. Along with a passion for gardening, Carol is an avid animal lover. Stay connected with Carol on Facebook and on Twitter.

“Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention” from best-selling author Claire Cook

Reinvention - Claire CookAfter giving us eleven novels in fourteen years, Claire Cook (Must Love Dogs) has reinvented herself once again with her first nonfiction book—Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (without getting lost along the way).

Wondering how to get to that life you really thought you’d be living by now? Finally ready to dig up that buried dream? Still trying to figure out what you want to be when you grow up? Then Never Too Late is the book you’ve been looking for.

Claire Cook speaks to real women—our fears and obstacles and hopes and desires—and gives us cutting edge tools to get where we want to go. Bursting with inspiration, insider stories, and practical strategies. Filled with humor, heart, encouragement, and great quotes.

You’ll hop on a plane with Claire as you figure out the road to your own reinvention. She’ll share her own stories, successes, and failures, as well as those of other reinventors, plus tips for getting a plan, staying on track, pulling together a support system, building your platform in the age of social networking, dealing with the inevitable ups and downs, overcoming perfectionism, and tuning in to your authentic self to propel you toward your goals.

A little bit memoir, a lot inspiration, Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (without getting lost along the way) is real, grounded, and just the book you need to start reinventing your life.

Claire shares the opening of Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (without getting lost along the way) on YouTube.

Find out more at ClaireCook.com and connect with Claire on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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Claire Cook

Claire Cook wrote her first book in her minivan outside her daughter’s swim practice when she was 45. At 50, she walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of her second novel, Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. She is now the USA Today bestselling author of 11 novels, and her first nonfiction book, Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (without getting lost along the way) is now available. Read excerpts of her novels and find book club questions at ClaireCook.com.

“The exuberant and charming Claire Cook is one of the sassiest and funniest creators of contemporary women’s fiction.”—The Times-Picayune

Hang out with Claire!
http://ClaireCook.com/newsletter/
http://facebook.com/ClaireCookauthorpage
http://twitter.com/ClaireCookwrite
http://pinterest.com/ClaireCookwrite

London Theatre in Regency Times

Covent_Garden_ Theatre_1809

By the early 19th century, The Industrial Revolution had made England the leading manufacturing and trading nation in the world. In 1800, London was already the world’s largest city, and its population would almost double over the next four decades, to approximately two million.

Large numbers of the working classes, drawn to jobs in commerce and manufacturing, began to attend the theatre for the first time, causing major changes to entertainments formerly reserved for more well-to-do patrons of the arts. Both Covent Garden and the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, were rebuilt in the 1790’s to accommodate about 3,000 and 3,600 people, respectively. Minor theatres were opened outside Westminster in the 1780’s and 1790’s; then,  in 1804, when the Earl of Dartmouth became Lord Chamberlain, he authorized the licensing of minor theatres inside the City of Westminster, so long as they did not infringe upon the rights of the “patent houses” of Covent Garden, Drury Lane and the Haymarket. He also authorized longer seasons for the Haymarket, which had been restricted to a five-month season and, by 1812, it was open seven months of the year.

Attempting to retain audiences, the patent theatres began to include minor dramas in their offerings and extended the evenings to five or even six hours. By 1820, it wasn’t unusual for the evening’s bill to include two full-length plays, an afterpiece, and a number of variety acts.

Since only the patent houses could play regular drama, along with the minor genres, the other theatres found loopholes offered by the burletta and the melodrama, characteristically a three-act play with a musical score. Thus, regular drama, such as Shakespeare, could be performed in three acts with musical accompaniment and called “melodrama.” This game of ruse and subterfuge continued throughout the Regency and after, until the Theatre Regulation Act of 1843, which abolished the privileges of the patent theatres, and allowed any licensed theatre to perform works of any type, although all plays continued to be licensed by the Lord Chamberlain.

The upper classes might have worn their very best, but otherwise, theatre-going was an informal business, with members of the audience talking loudly and arriving or leaving at any time during the performances. Dandies strolled and mingled in the “pit,” taking snuff and showing off the latest fashions.

Most of the romantic poets of the day attempted drama, including Coleridge, Wordsworth, Keats and Shelley. George Gordon, Lord Byron, who was a member of the governing committee of Drury Lane, wrote more plays suited for the stage than the others, although only one was actually performed during his lifetime (and that one, “Marino Faliero,” in 1821, over his objections).

The best known actors and actresses on the London stage during the Regency included several members of the Kemble family, especially Sarah Kemble Siddons, who was considered the greatest tragic actress of her day until her retirement in 1812. The Kemble “classical” school of acting was continued by Charles Mayne Young (1777-1856), J. M. Vandenhoff (1790-1861), and Eliza O’Neill (1791-1827). Their classical approach was challenged after 1814 by the romantic school, perhaps best exemplified by Edmund Kean. Kean perfected the style, and exerted his “star power” frequently to demand £50 or more for each performance, an amount unheard of before his time. Other well-known performers, such as William Charles Macready (1793-1873) and Mme. Eliza Vestris (1797-1856), later went from the stage into theatre management.