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Friday, February 6, 2015

Book Fun Friday Welcomes Kadee McDonald

Valentine's Month is Here Fellow Readers!

This month we're going to have a lot of Valentine's themed books featured. And we're opening up with today's guest author Kadee McDonald's Regency Novella entitled An Arranged Valentine. But before we showcase her book she has graciously supplied a history short on Valentine's Day....enjoy:

A Short History of Valentine’s Day
by Kadee McDonald

Valentine’s Day has always been celebrated with candy, flowers and greeting cards, some heartfelt and others sappy, right?

Well, no…not exactly.

There really was a Saint Valentine…at least a dozen or so of them, in fact, depending on whether one consults the lists of martyrs of the Roman Catholic or the Eastern Orthodox Church. The name “Valentine” (or “Valentinus”) is from the Latin word, valens, meaning “strong.”

The simple feast (or Commemoration) of St. Valentine in the Roman Martyrology, the Catholic Church’s official list of recognized saints, has traditionally been February 14th, supposedly the date in the year 273 when Bishop Valentine of the Diocese of Terni (in what is now Italy), was imprisoned and killed in Rome for defying Emperor Claudius by secretly performing marriages for young lovers after Claudius forbade his young soldiers from marrying.

The first recorded connection of St. Valentine to the concept of “romantic love” was in the poem by Geoffrey Chaucer, Parlement of Foules, in 1382, which was written to celebrate the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia, who were married when each was but 15 years old. (Without doing any further research, methinks it certain that was an arranged marriage.)

Later writers such as Shakespeare (in Hamlet) and John Donne also mention Valentine’s Day. By 1797, a British publisher printed The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, with a number of suggested verses for young lovers who felt they were not capable of composing their own. By the early 1800’s, the Regency period in England, factory-produced paper valentines became popular, with fancy ones adorned with real cloth lace and ribbons.

Real lace became paper lace by the mid-1800’s. In the United States, Esther Howland received an English valentine from one of her father’s business associates. Since her father operated a book and stationery store, Esther decided to create and mass produce valentines in the late 1840’s, using decorations imported from England.

Hand-written valentines thus led to greeting cards, which paved the way for Valentine’s Day to become the commercialized, multi-billion-dollar industry it is today. Paper cards, e-cards, flowers, chocolates, and even diamonds are now necessary accoutrements each February 14th to go along with those three little words that never seem to go out of style: “I love you.”
Question for You- Post Your thoughts for Kadee in our comment box:
 So, what about you? Are you planning a very special Valentine’s Day this year? Or did a Valentine’s Day in your past lead the way to true love? Celia and I would appreciate it if you left a comment and shared a special Valentine’s Day memory with all of us today!

Kadee's Bio:

Growing up in Texas, Kadee McDonald was a world away from London and the beautiful English countryside. But she still loved all things British…the lilt of the language, tea & crumpets, the castles and country estates (Pemberley, anyone?) After devouring hundreds of Regencies, Kadee decided to start writing her own. She now lives and writes in sunny southern California.

Book Feature:  An Arranged Valentine (traditional Regency novella)

Log Line:

In the coldest days of February, can St. Valentine create enough heat to melt two hearts into one?
Book Blurb:

Miss Penelope Braxton has never met either sensible George Harburton or his more dashing younger brother, Henry, but she agrees to grant her dying father peace of mind by considering marriage to one of them.
The advantage of the match for the brothers is evident in the form of Miss Braxton’s substantial dowry. But her money takes second place when both George and Henry realize the extent of Penelope’s courage, wit, and devotion.
Will either gentleman be able to compose the perfect poetry to win Penelope’s heart?
 Book Excerpt:

 Divested of the boots at last, George dispatched Laurence for a pair of shoes more suitable to the house and told the servant he would find him working in the library. He needed to make a note in the account books of the additional amount now owed for the grain. There was another, less tedious, but certainly more difficult, task to complete, as well—the writing of the St. Valentine’s Day verse, the first step in his wooing of Penelope.
George paused at the entrance to the great hall, found neither Sir Robert nor his daughter anywhere in sight, and made haste, his stocking feet noiseless on the cold stone floor. Once in the library, he shut the door behind him and exhaled in relief, grateful that their guests hadn’t caught him running about the place like an errant child, with no shoes on.
“Good morning, Mr. Harburton.”
His heart sank to his non-existent boots. George turned and saw Penelope seated in one of the wing chairs by the hearth, with an open book on her lap and a look of amusement in her eyes.
“Miss…Miss Braxton,” he stammered. “Yes, good morning. I trust you slept well?” Gathering his wits, George embraced his embarrassment and strode forward, seeking the warmth of the fire.
“Yes, quite well, sir. Thank you.” She nodded and smiled, as if finding one of her hosts pacing about, wearing twice-patched stockings, was an everyday occurrence. “I pray I haven’t overstepped by making myself comfortable here with my favourite of Mr. Shakespeare’s plays?”
She held up the volume in question, so he could see the title, The Merry Wives of Windsor.
“Not at all,” he assured her. “But, may I say, what an unusual choice. For I can imagine you enjoying a romantic tragedy such as Romeo and Juliet or even a history, on the order of Julius Caesar, but not a risqué comedy.”
“Do you think I possess no sense of humour, then, Mr. Harburton?” She cast a fleeting look down at his unshod feet.
 Contact Kadee:

 Valentine Book Sale Special:

Just for Valentine’s Day, the ebook of An Arranged Valentine will be discounted to a very special $1.14 until February 13th. Happy February 14th, everyone!


  1. My honey and I will celebrate with a special get-away at a local historical inn and picnic on the beach.

  2. Hi, Celia, and thanks so much for inviting me to stop by today! Your plans for Valentine's Day sound perfectly lovely. I hope everyone will be spending time with their special someones! :)