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Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope all of my sweetheart friends are having a lovely day today! Did you receive a treat from someone you loved today? Have you treated yourself? Well…for goodness sakes, why not?

Stop over at Dixie Dunbar Studio right now and get yourself something special. For one week only the rest of the month (thank you, Soteria!), use coupon code XOXO to receive 20% off your purchase!

And if you happen to be in Charleston, SC this week, do stop by 192 King Street on Thursday night for a glass of wine to celebrate Soteria and Anne’s post-Valentine’s Day bash!

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Heart-Shaped Box

Happy Valentine’s Day!

As you know, Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrated in my family between father and daughter. Every year, my father sends us all something cheesy and wonderful. This year, my gift was a gorgeous Italian hand-carved alabaster paperweight (pictured here). I love it!

Though this is very much my father’s tradition, I suspect my mother had a hand in it, and not just because she signed her name on the card.

My mother happens to be one of the very few people who has read  my favorite story I have ever written to date. I’ve sold it, but I can’t tell you about it yet. All in good time.

I will hint, though, that it might have to do with a certain princess whose heart was to have been put in a box…

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Darkness and Valentines

Know what people love to get for Valentine’s Day? Flowers.

The problem with flowers, though, is that they’re only beautiful for a short period of time. You have to make sure they have fresh water, trim off the dead buds, and then finally toss the whole kit & caboodle in your trash can and scrub the mold out of your vase.

Know what’s better than moldy vases? Books.

Right now over at Apex Book Company, there are a whole lot of great sales going on, and a super-duper Valentine’s Day Promotion.

First, there’s the brand-spanking-new anthology DESCENDED FROM DARKNESS II. If you remember the first volume, it’s kind of like a “best of Apex Magazine” collection. The unique thing about this volume is that while all the stories were published online by Apex, this is the first time most of them (and possibly all of them) have been in print.

DESCENDED FROM DARKNESS II includes my post-apocalyptic Patsy Cline-inspired tale “A Poor Man’s Roses.” The price on this very lovely and very affordable trade paperback is $16.95. But if you order now, you can get DESCENDED FROM DARKNESS I & II for the low price of $25.00. It doesn’t come with a set of Ginsu knives, but Apex won’t rape you for “shipping & handling” like those horrible TV ads. (People pay that much for a $2 bill? Really? Pull the other one.)

If you’d like something a little more personal for your Valentine, might I suggest the Apex “Byte & Sign” promotion? Here’s how it works:

From now until Valentine’s Day, when you buy an Apex book, it will be signed by the author(s) (or the editor for anthologies) AND you will be emailed the digital version (ePub/mobi/PDF) for free.

That’s right — an e-book you can dive into immediately, and then a beautifully personalized book you can give your sweetheart later. It’s literally the gift that keeps on giving!

The Valentine’s Day promotion includes my infamous essay collection BEAUTY & DYNAMITE (which, if you think about it, includes some fairly romantic material and would make a really great Valentine’s gift…why didn’t I think of this before?)

Look at that gorgeous, romantic cover…and you guys know how colorfully decorated my signatures get when I have time. I don’t have a lot of these hanging around to bring to conventions anymore, so if you’re looking for a signed copy, now’s your perfect chance!

(And who knows…maybe if enough folks order it, maybe Apex will let me put out another one. Fingers crossed…)

HAPPY EARLY VALENTINE’S DAY!

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Red Candy Sale

If you haven’t gotten your fill of Valentine’s Day candy on sale yet, well, that’s nobody’s fault but your own. Lucky for you, Easter’s just around the corner, with a significantly smaller proportion of Red Dye Number Five.

I had a lovely Valentine’s Day, thank you, in no small part because of my father. I don’t remember when the tradition started, but I remember waking up for school on Valentine’s Day and coming downstairs to find a silly little present on the island in the kitchen. It might have been a flower or a card or a bag of candy or a teddy bear stuffed into a coffee mug with a bag full of candy AND a card (with a flower on it), but there was always something and it was always from my daddy.

The best part is that this tradition has continued beyond our formative years into the time when we can tell the world how much we appreciate this small, silly, not-so-insignificant thing. Last year, Dad sent all his girls (there are three of us, plus my mom) a  big heart (pictured here) and an original poem for each one of us. This year was a bit of a blast from the past — a little panda teddy bear in a giant red coffee mug with sweet kissy expressions all over it. (Which means IN NO WAY can anyone mistake this one for theirs!) There was a poem enclosed this year too:

Her direction?

Keeps you guessin’

Where she’ll stay?

She finds a way.

What she’ll do?

Surprises you.

Thinks she’s beat?

Lands on her feet.

Amazing, huh?

ALETHEA.

Yes, folks, my father actually took the time to find a rhyme for my name. And if that’s not real love I don’t know what is. For me, Valentine’s Day is far more than just a cheesy Hallmark-created luvfest. For me, Valentine’s Day is Father’s Day.

Coincidentally, where last year’s Valentine’s Day had me on the front page of the Living Well section of the Murfreesboro paper and leading a teen-oriented paranormal romance discussion at the Bleeding Hearts Club, This year’s Valentine’s Day culminated in a FANTASTIC (and exceptionally long) interview with Greg Hall of The Funky Werepig. We had a lovely date, laughed a lot, covered an AMAZING amount of ground (yes, we probably talked about you), and sang.

That’s right, Greg made me sing. And it’s here for all time on the internet, if you want to have a listen. Turn it on and clean out that junk drawer you’ve been meaning to tackle — the interview clocks in at about 2 hours (including the 30-minute afterparty), so it is not for the faint of heart (or the exceptionally busy). And while the Werepig is usually For Mature Audiences Only, I’d rate our date at about a PG-13. As always, listen at your discretion.

In the meantime, I’m going to go make myself some smiley, kissy-face red coffee. Love you, Dad. xox

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