Valentine's Day And Procreating Birds - Say, What?

February 14th is the day we openly show our love to the special people in our lives all in the name of St. Valentine. But did you ever wonder who Valentine was and how the tradition began?

One story says that Emperor Claudius II, having decided that single men made the best solders, declared it illegal for young males to marry. Valentine felt this was wrong and continued to perform these illegal marriages in secret. When Claudius discovered Valentine's actions, the Emperor ordered Valentine put to death.

In another version, Valentine was killed as he helped Christians escape tortuous Roman prisons.

Another legend says Valentine actually sent the first lovelorn greeting when he, himself, was a prisoner and fell in love with his jailer's daughter. He is said to have signed "From your Valentine," an expression still printed on billions of greeting cards to this day.

Whichever story is true, St. Valentine is always celebrated as a kind, compassionate—and most importantly—romantic hero.

But why February 14th? It could be that the celebration started to commemorate St. Valentine's death, which was most probably around AD 270. However, some might say that mid-February being the beginning of the mating season of birds might have had something to do with the chosen date. Makes great sense to me; nothing spells romance like listening to the chirps, warbles, and squawks of those procreatin' birds.   

Now here are a couple of interesting facts…

·        According to the Greeting Card Association, approximately one billion Valentine's Day cards are purchased each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday (bested only by Christmas).

·        85% of all valentine's are purchased by women. (What the heck is wrong with you men out there? Every February you're offered a prime opportunity to gain some precious lover-boy points and only 15% of the flippin' cards are purchased by you! Get with it, already.)

So now that we know who St. Valentine might have been and how the date might have been chosen... (I'm glad I could be so definitively informative) what special something will you do for that special someone in your life?

Kindle Fire HDX #Giveaway! Win a Fire, an Amazon Giftcard, or CASH!

                           January Kindle

Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)

Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7″.

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HDX (US Only – $229 Value)

Or $229 Gift Card (International)

Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)

January Sponsors
  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  2. Feed Your Reader
  3. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl
  4. Author Kimber Leigh Wheaton
  5. Author Inger Iversen
  7. Author Carol Davis Luce
  8. The Reporter and the Girl
  9. Author David Pandolf
  10. Bella Street Writes
  11. Author Bonnie Blythe
  12. Author Elizabeth Seckman
  13. MyLadyWeb: Women’s History and Women Authors
  14. Just One More Chapter
  15. Author Donna Fasano
  16. Author Lia Fairchild
  17. Author Linda S. Prather
  18. Author Heather McCoubrey
  19. Author M.A. Comley
  20. Jessica Loves Books
  21. Fae Books
  22. Author Cidney Swanson
  23. Lori’s Reading Corner
  24. Author Jennifer Laurens
  25. Allergic to Life
  26. ~Owl Always Be Reading
  27. Author J.L. Weil
  28. Buku-Buku Didi
  29. Barb’s Wire – eBooks & More
  30. Author Jennifer Gilby Roberts
  31. Another Head Full of Fantasy
  32. Fairiechick’s Fantasy Book Reader
  33. Author Kim Cresswell
  34. Mother Daughter Book Reviews
  35. Buried Under Romance
  36. Jenna Does Books
  37. Laurie Here
  38. The Bunny’s Review
  39. Bea’s Book Nook
  40. Fabulously Girly Book Blog
  41. The Loopy Librarian
  42. Bound4Escape
  43. Michael SciFan
  44. Chapter by Chapter
  45. Author Helen Smith
  46. Button-the-Push Books and Giveaways
  47. Author S.M. Blooding
  48. Back Off My Books
  49. Author Brinda Berry
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  52. More Than A Review
  53. Author Heather Gray
  54. Paige Ryan
  55. Fire and Ice
  56. Author Bryna Butler
Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Fire Giveaway:

Giveaway Details
1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7″ HDX (US Only – $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International).
There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7″.
Ends 2/9/14
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Slide down and sign in to start entering! 

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10 Tips on Having Fun - Growing Older is Mandatory, Growing Up is Optional

Being an adult can become drudgery if we let it. We have to work to earn a living. Those bills won't pay themselves. We have a house to clean, laundry to take care of, shopping to do, meals to cook—the list seems endless. Sometimes we're left wondering… where's the fun in life?

If you want to inject a little fun into your day, you need look no further than your own children. If you don't have kids, simply drive past the nearest school yard. Kids know how to have fun! They make the world their playground. And you can too.

How to Make Each Day More Fun

1.     Step out of your comfort zone – As we get older, we tend to cling to those things we know as safe. However, fun is found in taking a little risk now and then. I'm not suggesting you walk a tight-rope across Niagra Falls. Just do something different. Last night, I turned on some music and danced around the kitchen as I cooked dinner. 

2.     Exercise your imagination – Close your eyes, take a deep, relaxing breath, and imagine yourself climbing a tree, or riding a roller coaster, or walking on the beach. See the landscape from twenty feet up in the air, feel the wind in your hair and the sun warming your skin. Children can get lost for hours in their imagination.

3.     Embrace spontaneity – Are your wheels stuck in a rut? Break out of the ordinary and do something wild! Go to the movies on a Tuesday afternoon. When was the last time you went bowling? Find a billiards hall and shoot some pool.

4.     Enjoy the moment – Whatever it is you're doing, be there. Don't worry about tomorrow, or yesterday, or even an hour from now. Clear your mind of all those chaotic thoughts. Wonder is in every moment, if you just focus on the here and now. 

5.     Laugh like no one is watching – Something happens to us when we become adults. We no longer want to be seen. We feel a need to blend in, to not be noticed. But if you watch children, they laugh right out loud. Self-consciousness is stifling.

6.     Create something – Grab a pencil and write a poem, or draw a picture of the tree that's in your backyard. Build a birdhouse out of popsicle sticks or a castle out of playing cards. Creating something for pure enjoyment brings a feeling of great accomplishment.

7.     What's the rush? – Consider giving yourself a few extra minutes for each planned task of the day. When you hurry from one thing to the next, you miss the opportunity to see and feel and experience what's happening to you in the moment. Like a child in wide-eyed wonder, slow down and take in the view.

8.     Smile! – I've read that a child smiles nearly 150 times each day while an adult averages fewer than a dozen smiles in the same time frame. Grins and giggles lift your spirit like nothing else.

9.     Explore the world – Children are in awe of nature, whether it's watching bees flutter from flower to flower or turning over rocks to see what creepy-crawlies are underneath. So get in tune with nature. Buy yourself some wind chimes. Or simply take a walk and listen to birdsong. Have you ever noticed the sound of dead leaves skittering along the asphalt? Or how rain hitting the roof can sound like steaks sizzling on a grill? Nature is a great place to find calm after a hard day's work.

10. Learn something new – Challenge yourself! Learn a new task. It could be as simple learning to fold a basic origami heart, reading a book on a subject that interests you, or you could go all out and learn a foreign language.

Take a break from thinking like an adult. Run and dance and climb a tree! Child-like behavior can bring a smile to you face and joy to your heart. 

What do you do to have fun?

New Release! Circle In The Sand by @LiaFairchild #Giveaway

(Link to Giveaway located at the bottom of the post.)

 Circle in the Sand

by Lia Fairchild

Four life-long friends bound by two decades of laughter, love, promises, and secrets. Once inseparable, the four grow into independent adults pursuing very different paths.

Sage, raised by career-driven parents, follows a carefully laid out future of success that leaves her wondering what she’s missed out on.

Emily, the college drop-out, now has three children that have become her whole life. She's slowly lost herself, subconsciously seeking dangerous ways to cope. Can she find herself in time?

Jax always lived on the edge, skating through life with no apparent ambition, yet remained the energy and emotional cement of the group. She longs for her friends to accept her without trying to fix her.

Ned, Emily’s twin brother, yearns to stand up and be counted. But his old loyalties and new feelings for one of the girls has him pulled in different directions.

Will the ties that held them together as kids be strong enough for them as adults? These four friends will discover the true meaning of friendship and unveil truths about themselves they never knew existed.

Lia Fairchild is both a traditionally published and independent author who writes contemporary fiction, chick lit, romance, and mystery/thriller. Fairchild was born and raised in Southern California and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a multiple-subject teaching credential. She is a wife and mother of two teenagers.

Look for updates on me and my books at the links below.

Opening Lines - Thrillers and Mysteries - #WomenWriters

This week, I'd like to introduce you to some friends of mine who write thrillers and mysteries. The opening lines of their novels are intriguing and meant to draw you in. Take a look at these amazing female writers who I feel privileged to call colleagues. 


THE SACRIFICE by Peg Brantley

"He shouldn't be here, he thought. Not tonight. A bad idea all around."

Find this book in the Amazon Kindle Store:  US  UK
Also available in paperback: US  UK

About the author: Peg has gone down a few rabbit holes in her life, but writing crime fiction isn't one of them. You can learn more about her by visiting her blog, or meet up with her on Facebook.



"Saskia Hartley knew she was the luckiest woman alive. She had a man who worshiped her and a son who told her daily she was the best mummy ever."

Find this book in the Amazon Kindle Store: US  UK
In the Nook Book Store: US
And in the iTunes iBook Store: US  UK
Also available in paperback: US  UK 

About the author: MA Comley is a prolific British author who currently lives in France. Visit her blog, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.


PURE JUSTICE by Linda L. Barton

"Lisa was glad the day was finally over. The art show had been a complete success, and her feet were killing her."

Find this book in the Amazon Kindle Store: US  UK

About the author: Linda L. Barton has done many different things in her life, from working as a hair stylist, a claims processor, to driving a Peterbilt Truck across the US, but writing is her passion. Visit her website, or find her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest


 SHE BELONGS TO ME by Carmen DeSousa 

   "A loud crack startled Jordon from his sleep. His hand flew to his pounding head as he looked around the room for the source of the noise.
   It sounded like a gunshot, or perhaps he was just having another nightmare. Sometimes he couldn't tell the difference."

This book is currently free in the Amazon Kindle Store: US  UK
Also available in paperback: US  UK 

About the author: A romantic-suspense writer, Carmen DeSousa writes novels that overflow with romance, mystery, suspense, a hint of paranormal sometimes, and of course—tragedy; after all, what would a great story be without a heartrending event setting the stage? Visit her online at her blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter.


 No Good Deed: Book One of the Mark Taylor Series by MP McDonald
"The baby floated face down in the tub. The image hadn’t changed, not that Mark Taylor expected it to. Not yet anyway. He tucked the photo in his back pocket and trotted down the steps from the ‘L’ platform. With any luck at all, the next time he looked, the baby would be fine."

Find this book in the Amazon Kindle Store: US  UK
Also available in paperback: US  UK

About the author: MP McDonald was born and raised in Waukegan, Illinois. The fifth of eight children, she found out early that hiding in a book was a great way to escape the noise and bustle of a large, busy household. Find out more about her at her blog, or visit her on Facebook, and on Twitter.


VIGILANNIE by Lia Fairchild

"The dusk sky loomed heavy over inner-city Detroit as she parked her crimson sports car in the empty lot. She hoped she wasn't too late."

Find this book in the Amazon Kindle Store: US  UK
In the Nook Book Store: US
In the iTunes iBook Store: US  UK 

About the author: Lia Fairchild is both a traditionally published and independent author who writes contemporary fiction, chick lit, romance, and thrillers. Learn more about her by visiting her blog, or find her on Facebook and Twitter


And last, but certainly not least, I offer you one of my favorites...

ETERNAL BEAUTY by Linda Prather 
"One more, sweetheart, and we'll be finished." He folded her hands across her chest, carefully arranging them to hide the missing fingers. "That's perfect."

Find this book in the Amazon Kindle Store: US  UK
Find it in the Nook Book Store: US
In the iTunes iBook Store: US  UK
Also available in paperback: US  UK

About the author: Linda Prather has a love of mystery, metaphysics, and the paranormal. Her books are clear evidence of this. Learn more about her at her blog, or visit her on Facebook and Twitter


I do hope you'll check out these books authored by extraordinary women writers! 

Top 10 Incredibly Romantic Quotes @DonnaFaz


noun –
1.    a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.
2.     a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, or remoteness from every day life.

verb –
1.     court; woo.
2.     another term for romanticize.

Most women crave it. Most men are either scared of it or think it's a waste of time. That's why women turn, again and again, to romance novels. Love stories satisfy that need for excitement and mystery. 

I've searched out some entertaining quotes about romance. Enjoy!

"I love your feet because they have wandered over the earth and through the wind and water until they brought you to me." ~Pablo Neruda  (Sounds like Pablo might have had a bit of a foot fetish. Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, only with what you are expecting to give—which is everything." ~Katharine Hepburn (Ah, Ms Hepburn… beautiful and wise.)

"I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. " ~Rita Rudner (I used this quote in The Merry-Go-Round.)

"We loved with a love that was more than love." ~Edgar Allan Poe's Annabell Lee (Okay, this is a tad cheesy and if my husband ever said this to me I would respond, "Huh?".)

"Love doesn't sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all of the time, made new." ~Ursula K. Le Guin (This quote appealed to the cook in me, AND for the fact that it's true.)

"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same." ~Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights (Ah, Heathcliff. *drool*)

"I don't wish to be everything to everyone, but I would like to be something to someone." ~Unknown (That's not asking for too much, is it?)

"Love me when I least deserve it, because that's when I really need it." ~Swedish Proverb (Damn right!)

"Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze." ~Elinor Glyn (THIS is what I try to capture in my romance novels.)

And lastly, although I am a romance author and I love happy endings, this quote touched my heart.

"True love stories never have endings." ~Richard Bach

Wishing you all the love your heart can old in 2014!