90-year-old Valentine cards: A look back


A few years ago, my mother gave me some Valentine cards she had received when she was a girl in school. Most were not dated but one was: February 14, 1926. I’m sure all were from around the same time period. It’s interesting to look back at the styles and to read the verses. One read,

I want to send a Valentine

A friendly one to you

But it takes a bit of courage

Such a bold bold thing to do.

Another verse read,

I like to hear the birdies sing

Because it is the sign of spring;

I like to hold your hand in mine

Because you are my Valentine.

Valentines2Another feature of these old Valentine cards that I found interesting: Apparently some students reused cards from previous years. It was easy enough to see where one person’s name had been erased and a different person’s name added. In our throw-away world today, that may seem strange, but I suspect it was not uncommon almost ninety years ago when people often had to make do with whatever they already had rather than going out and buying new.

In any case, let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

What I’ve Learned from other writers- Perseverance

Carolynn Carey:

I can relate to Kate McKeever’s experience with publishing and second her comment that writing requires perseverance. Very nice blog, Kate!

Originally posted on Romance Author Kate McKeever:

Writing isn’t what I imagined it was when I first started. No, I didn’t expect it to be all bon bons and dictating to a secretary or getting rich on my first book, but I didn’t expect the changes that occur with the publishing business. Over the past twenty years or so that I’ve been writing, the ebook business has emerged and bloomed, self publishing has evolved from a “vanity” business to a thriving avenue for writers, another choice to make. And the “big” publishing houses are no longer the only businesses in town.

I’ll not go into my personal travails that I’ve gone through in my writing career, just suffice it to say, I’ve been around when two of my publishing houses closed down or were bought out. The thing is, my story isn’t that unusual. Other authors, some very well known names, have “closed down” houses, have had…

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Valentine-themed novella on sale

My Cupcake, My Love, which took first place in the Romance Novella category of the 2014 HOLT Medallion contest, is on sale through Valentine’s Day on Amazon. Priced at only 99 cents, this represents a savings of $2.00. Following is a brief outline of the story.

cupcake-web-copyBriana Galen is perfectly content operating her bakery in her hometown of Cedar Hollow, Tennessee, near the Great Smoky Mountains. She’s content, that is, until famous novelist Devin Morris moves back to town with his six-year-old daughter. Devin seems determined to think the worst of Bri, even accusing her of canceling her cupcake decorating class for children just to spite him.

Devin’s move back to the mountains from New York City was designed to comfort his daughter Kaitlin, whose mother deserted her to move to Europe with her lover. The last thing Devin wants is to become involved with another self-centered female, and Briana Galen appears to be just that. But if she thinks he’ll let her cancel that cupcake decorating class just because she’s busy, she’s got another think coming.

At the same time, who could have guessed that his volunteering to supply Valentine-themed cupcake decorations for Bri’s class would leave him with his own heart pierced by Cupid’s arrow? Now he can only hope that Cupid has Bri in his sights too.

So if you’re looking for a fun read that’s priced right, click the following link to get your copy: My Cupcake, My Love

Short Christmas story now available at most ebook stores

A couple of years ago, I wrote a short (15,000-word) Christmas story and priced it at 99 cents. For most of its life online, it was available only for the Kindle, but now it is available at most ebook stores. In addition to Amazon, Christmas with Tiffany is also available at Apple iBooks, for Barnes and Noble, for Kobo Books, and Inktera. To buy, just click on the name of your preferred vendor in the previous sentence, and you should be whisked right to the appropriate store.

For those who haven’t yet read Christmas with Tiffany, following is a short description. And if you haven’t read it, be aware that it’s a sweet, second-chance-at-love story that’s set in a small town in Tennessee.


Tiffany Elwood’s small-town gift shop has become her refuge. The quiet ambiance she created there helps her find peace after losing her father to cancer and her boyfriend to the sophisticated lures of California. Now, with Christmas fast approaching, she has high hopes that the profits from her annual open house will help her support her mom and little sister through the coming year.

But her peace is disrupted when her tiny shop is inundated with ten times the number of ornaments she’d ordered, not to mention the return of that old boyfriend, Bain Lyndhurst. Every time she turns around, the former man of her dreams is in her shop, and there’s no accounting for his sudden affinity for purchasing Christmas decorations.

With the magic of the Christmas season to aid them, can the two star-crossed lovers rediscover the passion of their youth and establish the trust they need to face the future together?

Forgotten Christmas Tree on sale for 99 cents

I’m writing today because I wanted to be sure my blog readers know that The Forgotten Christmas Tree is on sale for 99 cents for the next few days. After that, it will go back to the regular price of $3.99.

forgotten christmas web copy 3The Forgotten Christmas Tree is the fifth book in the Barbourville Series, but it can also be read as a stand-alone book. The story of the main characters, Jim Markman and Abby Grant, starts and finishes in this book.

The Forgotten Christmas Tree was first published in the latter part of 2013 and took first place in the short contemporary category of the prestigious HOLT Medallion contest (see all winners in the 2014 contest by clicking here). It is available on Amazon where it has an average of 4.6 stars.

So, if you’re in the mood for an uplifting Christmas book and haven’t already read The Forgotten Christmas Tree, this is a perfect time to download it. You can go straight to the Amazon site by clicking on this link: The Forgotten Christmas Tree. Enjoy!

Barbourville series continues

In case you haven’t heard, I recently published The Bow Wow and Meow Campaign, the seventh in my Barbourville series. The Barbourville series is set in a fictional small town in Tennessee, and while each book in the series can be read alone, there is also some continuity of characters from the first book (A Summer Sentence) through the last. In fact, the two main characters in The Bow Wow and Meow Campaign (Casey and Josh) were introduced in the preceding book, At Home in Barbourville. Following is a short description of the story:

bow-wow-web-copyCasey Trent is on the fast track as associate manager for an upscale department store in the city. Josh Preston is owner of a rundown farm in the country outside Barbourville, Tennessee. Casey is known as an up-and-comer; Josh, who takes in abandoned animals, is known as the cat-and-dog man.

Casey figures they have nothing in common, but when Josh tries to interest the citizens of Barbourville in building an animal shelter, Casey offers to help. The town can’t afford to support the center, so she suggests that she and Josh collaborate to raise funds for an endowment. Thus is born The Bow Wow and Meow Campaign.

As they work together to plan their campaign, Casey begins to realize that there are depths to Josh she hadn’t previously suspected, but nothing has prepared her to learn the full truth about his past. Once she does, can she find a way to forgive him, or is their tenuous relationship doomed to fade away?

If you read this latest in the series and are so inclined, I’d appreciate an honest review on either Amazon or Goodreads. And if you’d like to know when the next in the series is published or receive information about my other books, please sign up for my newsletter by clicking here.

Thanks so much!

Memories of Spanish moss

As the title of my blog implies, I sometimes reminisce about events that happened in my past. I never know when something in today’s world will remind me of yesterday. This happened recently when my husband and I visited Hilton Head Island.

limbsOne of the most endearing qualities of the island for me were the numerous beautiful live oaks. Those trees are delights in and of themselves with their whimsical limbs that grow in a seemingly haphazard fashion.

live oaksCreating even more visual interest, however, is the Spanish moss hanging from them. I’ve seen Spanish moss in various Southern states, but to the best of my recollection, I’ve never seen the quantity of Spanish moss as there is in Hilton Head. I absolute love the atmosphere it creates.

thick moss copyI think I can trace my fondness for Spanish moss to my teenage years. I first saw this epiphytic plant during my junior year in high school when I went to Florida on a school trip. I remember thinking then that Spanish moss was a parasite. As a matter of fact, I had to research the plant for this blog to know what to call it. I learned that it is not a parasite and does not harm the tree, which is fortunate considering how thick it sometimes becomes. When walking on Hilton Head, I saw blobs of the moss where it had fallen off the trees, and I was reminded of the small piece I brought home with me from Florida when I was seventeen. I hung it on a nail in my bedroom and kept it there for years. It didn’t change, just hung there. I guess I eventually threw it away. Or perhaps my mother did. I don’t remember now. I just recall how enthralled I was by Spanish moss. I still am, obviously. :-)