Happy Heart Day!  

“I love romance. I’m a sucker for it.
I love it so much. It’s pathetic.
— Drew Barrymore

Okay, I’m pathetic. I’ll just go ahead and admit it. Me and Drew—two suckers for romance in any form. Scarlett and Rhett, Harry and Sally, Lady and the Tramp, you name it. If there’s even a hint of romance, I am soooooo there!

And while we’re being honest, let me just go ahead and get it all out there:  I watch Hallmark like other people watch the news, I have 14 shelves in my house crammed with romance novels and boxes more in the basement, and every time I see a scarlet cardinal at my birdfeeder, my pathetic heart skips a beat when the little Mrs. flutters by.

No question I’m addicted to romance. I suppose that’s not as bad as being addicted to Twinkies or Ho Hos because at least it won’t slap extra pounds on my hips. But it does compel me to hunt down romance in every conceivable form like a heat-seeking missile. Books, movies, date night with my husband or just getting a “fix” by writing my own romantic novel — to me, it’s all good.

So when a good author friend of mine asked me to do a guest blog a few years ago, I strained my brain trying to come up with some romantic event that was so sensational that sighs of envy would drift forth into cyberspace. 

But the honest-to-God truth is that my husband has never danced with me in the dining room (a la another good author friend of mine, Janet Dean) or hidden a piece of jewelry in a fortune cookie like author Gail Martin’s clever hubby, or even kidnapped me from work on our anniversary like one of my other friends. Her hubby not only surprised her with a romantic stay in a theme suite at a posh hotel, but he provided a video he made of a cute trip down memory lane that highlighted all the important places in their life—where they met, where they had their first date, where he proposed, etc.


True, Keith brings me coffee almost every morning, holds my hand in the car, and sent me roses when I gave birth to his son and daughter. But as far as a heart-melting, knee-weakening moment that swept me off my feet, I was alarmed to realize that I—a card-carrying romantic—was drawing a blank. 

So that got me thinking—hard! I mean, I’ve been married over 36 years to this wonderful man and consider our relationship to be one of the most romantic I have ever seen. But I can’t validate that with stories that would qualify for the Romance Hall of Fame. So what makes our relationship so special, I wondered?

And then I thought about what romance is really all about. Being cherished, loved, made to feel like you are the most precious thing to someone. It’s basically Ephesians 5:25 in a nutshell—Husbands, love your wives. Or Zechariah 2:8, where God calls each of us the “apple of His eye.” It’s why romance sales exceeded one billion dollars in 2013. Women want to be cherished.

All of a sudden, I realized that my husband does that for me every day of my life. A tender look, a lingering kiss, or just spooning at night. Telling me he never gets tired of being with me (yeah, I know, his boredom threshold must be pretty high), or dancing with me at weddings when I know he’d rather have a root canal. And then there were all those times he supported me and took my side in front of the kids, even when I was wrong. Followed by gentle conviction and prayer when we were alone. It’s a big, hulking guy reading my debut novel instead of Sports Illustrated and then tearing up when tragedy befalls a favorite character. It’s swooning at the sink when he kisses me from behind, purposely mimicking a scene in my book. It’s a man who makes me feel like I am the moon and the stars to him and tells me life with me is never dull. 

And … it’s a God Who not only feels the same way about each one of us, but actually made the moon and stars for us! The Lover of our Souls and the true Author of Romance, Who “cherishes” you and me more than we can ever imagine.

So married or not, in a romance or not, let’s celebrate Him this Valentine’s Day, because He not only invented love, He IS Love.

Hugs and Happy Heart Day — show somebody you love them!




Remember my impromptu contest last week where I wanted to thank those of you who voted in the Family Fiction Magazine contest? Well, I told you that if you sent me an email, telling me you voted in the contest (whether or not you voted for me), that I would hold a random drawing for one of three copies of a PDF of either Mitch and Charity’s Christmas novella, A Whisper of Hope from the Hope for the Holidays Historical Collection OR ta-da! a PDF of Blake “The Rake” McClare’s (the rogue brother and cousin in the Heart of San Francisco Series) very own novella to be released this spring, entitled Grace Like Rain.

I am happy to announce that those three winners are …

Sarah Claucherty

Brittany McEuen

Sasha Photenhauer

SUPER CONGRATS to each of the winners and MEGA hugs to every one who entered and who voted in the Family Fiction contest — you guys ROCK!!



This is it—my first FREE DOWNLOAD ever—for my award-winning indie novel, A Light in the Window, THROUGH SATURDAY, 2/14, so I need your help spreading the word!! 

A Light in the Window is the winner of the 2013 International Digital Award, 2013 Reader’s Crown Award, and the 2013 Book Buyers Best Award and currently has 178 five-star reviews on Amazon and a 4.7 rating, so check out the video starring my daughter for a sneak peek here: ALITW VIDEO 

So … because I need your help in spreading the word (and downloading the book if you haven’t already), I am implementing another contest this week only to promote free downloads. Points will be awarded every day you promote the sale on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, with family, friends, wherever. CONTEST BEGINS FEBRUARY 10, so just check out the Rafflecopter box below at the very bottom of this post and GOOD LUCK!!


COMING SPRING 2015 … a novella about Blake “The Rake McClare” from the Heart of San Francisco series, so check back for when and where.



a Rafflecopter giveaway