“Australia Burns” anthologies to benefit Australian wildfire relief agencies! And a giveaway!

We’ve all seen the news about the deadly and devastating fires in Australia. Did you want to help, but weren’t sure how? On this Valentine’s Day, here’s a way.

This post is part of a virtual book tour for AUSTRALIA BURNS, three collections published by The Wild Rose Press for a very special purpose. Stories in this collection are contributed by authors who care about Australia and the relief efforts from the devastating bushfires. All profits from the book will be donated to charities involved with the recovery efforts. The publisher and authors are not affiliated with the charities. They simply want to show Australia their love and support. The books will be available today! Be sure to scroll down to enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC.

Volume 1

Stories in this collection are contributed by authors who care about Australia and the relief efforts from the devastating bushfires. All profits from the book will be donated to charities involved with the recovery efforts. The publisher and authors are not affiliated with the charities. They simply want to show Australia their love and support.

A collection of Short Stories in Mainstream Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Thrillers, and Mystery

A Solicitous Wife by Madeleine McDonald
No One Knew by Larry Farmer
Pinochle by Brenda Whiteside
The Tuesday Night Meeting by Peggy Jaeger
911, What’s Your Emergency? by D. V. Stone
Tall Tales by Laura Strickland
Fare Gain by Alexandra Christle
The Note by Stephen B. King
Three Ghosts by Julie Howard
Detective Paws and Lip Gloss by Maureen L. Bonatch
The Ring by Margaret Ann Spence
Portrait of a Gunfighter by Hywela Lyn
Six Hours or So by Lisa Wilkes
Prussic Acid by Melody DeBlois

Volume 2

Stories in this collection are contributed by authors who care about Australia and the relief efforts from the devastating bushfires. All profits from the book will be donated to charities involved with the recovery efforts. The publisher and authors are not affiliated with the charities. They simply want to show Australia their love and support.

A collection of Romance, Young Adult, and Women’s Fiction Short Stories

Che Gelida Manina by M. S. Spencer
Recipes for Love by Carol Henry
Waiting for Caleb by Gini Rifkin
Wings of Fire by Jana Richards
A Lark by Gabbi Grey
Apple Crisp by Terry Graham
Goody Twoshoes by Mark Love
The Number by Barbara Bettis
Deadly Homecoming by Peggy Chambers
An Egg-Cellent Witness by Marilyn Barr
Season of Withered Corn by Judy Ann Davis
Beneath the Pines by Debby Grahl
Christopher Reisner by Linda Griffin
Unexpected Love: Chase Allen by Anna Lores
The Cowboy and the Lady by Jean Adams
The Heart Necklace by Amanda Uhl

The Relaxation Response by Darcy Lundeen
Dancing Through Tears by Jeny Heckman

Volume Three

Stories in this collection are contributed by authors who care about Australia and the relief efforts from the devastating bushfires. All profits from the book will be donated to charities involved with the recovery efforts. The publisher and authors are not affiliated with the charities. They simply want to show Australia their love and support.

A collection of Paranormal, Horror, and Sci-Fi Fiction Short Stories.

The Pilot’s Son by CJ Zahner
The Vengeance by Rhonda Gilmour
A Climb to Kill by ML Erdahl
Born of Fangs by Sydney Winward
Johnny Appleseed by Robert Herold
Rebellion in Slot III by Roni Denholtz
Home, Sweet Mobile Home by Alana Lorens
The Filthy Human by Tori V. Rainn
Baby Daddy by Kerry Blaisdell
The Witch of Calico Island by Cat Dubie
Stained-Glass Vision by Mary Morgan
A Witch’s Protocol by Tena Stetler
I Choose Life by Kristal Dawn Harris
Together Forever by N. Christine Samuelson
Where Is Your High School Sweetheart? by Donna Kunkel
Lost and Found by Joanne Guidoccio
Nursery Chimes by D.S. Lucas

Volume One Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0848W2HQT
Volume Two Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0849MSLBT
Volume Three Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084H4J37S

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, methinks 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 not capable of composing their own. By the early 1800s, the Regency period 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, Esther Howland received an English valentine from one of her father’s business associates. Since her father operated a book and stationery store, Esther decided to create and mass produce valentines in the late 1840s, 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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If you enjoy reading traditional Regency romance, please check out my novella, An Arranged Valentine, available only on Amazon and free for subscribers of Kindle Unlimited. Here’s a bit about it:

An Arranged Valentine - revised 1-31-2016

In the coldest days of February, can St. Valentine generate enough heat to melt these two strangers’ hearts into one?

“…a perfectly lovely afternoon read.”

“This is a wonderful little gem of a story, heartfelt and touching.”

“Of course, the overriding situation is one where it suits both parties to be arranged.”

“An Arranged Valentine” is a traditional Regency romance novella told in 10 short chapters.

Miss Penelope Braxton has never met either sensible George Harburton or his more dashing younger brother, Henry, but she agrees to grant her dying father peace of mind by considering marriage to one of them.

The advantage of the match for the brothers is evident in the form of Miss Braxton’s substantial dowry. However, her money takes second place when the brothers realize the extent of Penelope’s courage, wit, and devotion.

Henry doesn’t plan to give up his philandering to romance Penelope. George’s days are filled with the running of the family estate and he has never put aside his duties long enough to contemplate marriage. When one of the gentlemen changes his ways, will he be able to compose the perfect poetry to win Penelope’s heart?

An Arranged Valentine can be found here 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

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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

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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! ♥