Reminiscing On My First Valentine’s Day-Themed Story
A guest post by New York Times bestselling author Kasey Michaels
In 1998, I was asked to write a “sweet” Valentine’s novella for Harlequin, to be part of a collection titled Key To My Heart (“sweet” meaning the bedroom door stays closed, by the way). Each novella somehow had to have a key involved. I remember the title of my novella, Love, Emmaline – but I’d forgotten everything else. Hey, 1998 was a long time ago!
The book is out of print, so I searched my bookshelves and found a copy, sat down to read it. Ah, I remembered now, just reading the first page…and by the end of the story I was sort of teary-eyed and feeling pretty good about the power of love.
Emmaline Whipple, married fifty years, widowed for two, was about to lose her bed and breakfast in Ocean City, New Jersey. She had only two last guests before the inn was put on the market and Emmaline moved to a retirement home. In truth, the inn had already closed, but she couldn’t turn down a young couple soon to be married, who had booked a room for the Valentine’s Day weekend. The problem was, Molly and Tim had called off the wedding three weeks earlier…they loved each other, but they both had a lot to learn about living with each other.
Because I’m a sucker for happy endings, without each other’s knowledge, both showed up at Emmaline’s just in time to be stranded there by an ice storm. That’s the fun of being an author, by the way—I can conjure up an ice storm if I darn well want to!
The “key” was the key to the Bridal Suite—with a heart shape on it that actually became the front cover art of the collection. Or at least that was the idea. But the real “keys” were Emmaline; sweet, wonderful, only slightly conniving Emmaline, and the utterly charming inn that bore her name.
Her late husband, the beloved Albert, had proposed to Emmaline on Valentine’s Day in the parlor of this very inn, and to Emmaline, Valentine’s Day was the most romantic event of any year. She decorated the inn with cherubs and cut-out hearts. She even made heart-shaped meatloaves for her only two guests for their first night’s dinner. Poor Molly and Tim—they knew they were stuck playing the loving couple for the weekend or else break this darling woman’s heart. They had to put aside their differences, even if it killed them.
And, thanks to the ice storm perhaps, or perhaps because love always wants to find a way, they actually talked to each other.
I loved the story then, and after reading it again, I realized I still love the story. Sweet love. New love, old love. Love that outlasts even life itself. Maybe that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about—remembering the love, reminding ourselves of what we have, who we’ve been fortunate enough to love, and counting our blessings.
What are some of your favorite stories that incorporate Valentine’s Day? Share them with me in the comments section below!
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About the Author: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author KASEY MICHAELS has written more than 100 books to date and has 10 million copies in print around the world. During her impressive writing career, Kasey has coped with time travel, ghosts, the dark side, the very light side and just about everything in between. Hers is also the creative mind behind the innovative Maggie Kelly mystery series. Lastly, Kasey is the author of the highly praised nonfiction book, written as Kathryn Seidick, …Or You Can Let Him Go, which details the story of Kasey and her family during the time of her eldest son’s first kidney transplant. You can find out more information about Kasey and her books at www.KaseyMichaels.com.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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