Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Give a Character a Valentine Sweepstakes!

Posted by February 10th, 2015

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FLASH SWEEPSTAKES ALERT! With Valentine’s Day just 4 days away, we thought it would be fun to give away one Book Country notebook to 10 random contestants of Book Country’s Give a Character a Valentine Sweepstakes! To enter, answer in the discussion thread: What fictional character would you give a valentine to? 

You may also email your submission to info@bookcountry.com with the subject line “Give a Character a Valentine Sweepstakes.” Sweepstakes ends at 11:59pm ET  on February 10, 2015. Good luck! Continue reading

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A Writer’s Valentine by SHOTGUN LOVESONGS author Nickolas Butler

Posted by February 11th, 2014

A Writer's Valentine by Nickolas Butler

I remember the first time I saw my wife.  I was eleven or twelve years old.  I remember where she was standing, where the sun hovered in the sky, the color of her hair, the glint of light on the frames of her pre-adolescent glasses.  That moment was over twenty years ago.  Between then and now, we were married in a barn in rural Wisconsin.  We have lived in two houses, and two apartments.  We have changed jobs.  We have created two new people – our son and daughter.  We have almost been killed by elephants in Africa, and once, we were forced to outrun a freight train in northern Alberta.  At times, we have broken each other’s hearts.  We have acted foolishly.  But almost always, we have been there for one another and we have known each other in such a familiar and beautiful way that I do not expect you as the reader to understand because I don’t understand: my great fortune to have found this partner, the chemistry of my heart or brain, the physical proximity of two people on a planet, the notion of destiny, of love – of what love is . . . How people find one another – that mystery.

Shotgun Lovesongs coverA friend asked me to write this valentine because she knew that during the course of writing my novel, SHOTGUN LOVESONGS, the relationship between my wife and I was stressed by long-distance travel, by money, and by a commitment to art. All of that is true. It was a terribly lonely time for me, and this is because I was away from her. Away from her smell, our bed, the pattern of our lives. I apologize if this writing rambles.  It is hard to vector in on love.  To summarize a marriage.

I don’t believe that we accomplish great things by ourselves.  I could not have written a book without my wife.  Not just because she managed our household while I was gone, or because she cared for our young son, or because it was her job that was keeping us financially afloat. But because when the going became difficult, when I could not imagine how I would ever frame in the narrative structure of my novel, my wife rather matter-of-factly said, “You can do it. Keep working. Don’t complain.” Continue reading

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Love Is in Our Writing

Posted by February 14th, 2013

Brandi shares her Valentine’s Day challenge.


Happy Valentine’s Day. The day when couples stock up on flowers and candy and wine and candles and teddy bears and hearts and cards and lingerie and things that are pink and red.

And romance. Lots and lots of romance.

My wedding anniversary is at the end of February, so my husband and I have never felt the need to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We joke that every day is Valentine’s Day, just another opportunity to dedicate ourselves to each other. Even when I was dating, it wasn’t that big of a deal for me; I always thought I was more Noir than Regency Romance.

Then I read a Regency Romance, the excellent Ravishing in Red by Madeline Hunter. Holy moly. Sexiest proposal ever. (Hint: it involves the placement of an emerald necklace under the protagonist’s skirts.) A sweet, romantic and sexy scene of the couple looking at the stars. The moment when he saw her in that breathtaking dress.

And it inspired me.

How could I bring this level of intensity and passion found in the best romances to my own work? How could I strengthen my characters’ intentions and connections to one another?

I have a scene that I’ve written that I know is missing something. I’m going to borrow from Ravishing in Red and see what happens if I add a moment when the characters really look at one another. What will seeing each other cross the room do to them? What will they say when they peer into one another’s eyes? I don’t know, but I’m going to give it a shot.

I’d like to challenge you, too. Find one thing from romances that can help in your own work. Write a scene with it, and let us know what you discover.

©iStockphoto.com/Joe Biafore

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