I hope your journey thus far has been exciting and full of passion and romance. I'd love to add a little bit of romance to your life as well so I'm hosting a couple of giveaways.
First, for anyone who buys one of my books during the blog hop (14th-17th), send me a copy of your invoice and I'll put you in a drawing for a free book of your choice from my backlog. Please send it to my email address: email@example.com
Be sure to put "Valentine's Day Hop Contest #1" in the subject.
Second, I have a pair of lovely, handmade wine charms that are sure to add a romantic flair to your wine glasses. These can be added to any type of glass with a narrow step (wine, martini, champagne, etc.). To win these, all you have to do is tell which of my books you've either read or would like to read. If you've read one, tell me what you liked about it/disliked about it. If there's one you'd like to read, tell me why. What intrigues you about that book?
All of my books are listed on my website.
Email answers to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to put "Valentine's Day Hop Contest #2" in the subject.
Okay, so let's get on with today's post and excerpt.
What do you know about Valentine's Day?
I've never thought much about it, other than as a good reason for my husband to buy me something. I did a little research and found some interesting tidbits:
1) St. Valentine's Day began as a celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Saint Valentine was actually imprisioned for performing weddings for soldier forbidden to marry, and for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire. He reportedly healed the daughter of his jailer and before he was executed, left her a note and signed it "from your Valentine" as a farewell.
Kind of a grim explanation of Valentine's Day.
I had no idea what venerated meant--although I must confess, with the morbid history lesson thus far, I expected something unpleasant--so I looked it up and it actually means to honor somebody or something as sacred.
3) The first recorded association of Valentine's Day with love is in Parlement of Foules by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1382. It was written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia, who were married at the age of 15. Though, there's been much speculation that his poem was actually referring to the mating habits of birds.
About time someone added some love in there. Even if it was for the birds!
Somehow that seems like cheating.
5) In 1847, Esther Howland produced and sold the first mass-produced valentines of embossed paper lace in the United States. While her father owned and operated a large book and stationary store, she actually got her inspiration from a Valentine she'd received from one of his business associates.
Wonder what her daddy thought about that?
Diamonds are a girl's best friend.
7) The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately 190 million Valentines are sent in the US each year. If you include cards made and/or exchanged in school activities, that number goes up to 1 billion.
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