Friday, January 22, 2016

Ethnic Valentine’s Day Customs

When I started writing When My Heart Knew aimed for a Valentine’s-themed call for submissions, I knew I wanted to include a holiday custom from the heritage of one of the main characters. So I started in on my research. Because this story would also take place in the setting of two other recent stories I'd created, I wanted the heritage different than what I’d used for those characters. Vevina, my heroine in Wandering Home is Irish, and Kell the hero is Norwegian. My heroine in Storybook Hero is of French descent, and for Trevor the hero, the subject doesn’t come up but I thought of him as a generic mix of Northern European.
I chose Scotland as the home country for hero Dylan MacInnes where he lived for the first twenty years of his life until immigrating to his uncle’s T-south Texas ranch five years earlier. So he was raised around the lore and customs taught by beloved family members from both his Scottish father and his Welsh mother. The tradition from his mother’s family he wishes to carry forward into the budding relationship he has with the heroine, Maisie Treadwell, is that of the lovespoon. The item is tangible evidence of his romantic intent-the wood carving displays his abilities, and the symbols indicate promises he’s making or represent special aspects or events of the couple’s relationship. For example: bells were for marriage, cross for faith, heart for love, horseshoe for luck, lock for security, and wheel for supporting a loved one.
I was quite happy with how I worked this tradition into the storyline.

BLURB:  For When My Heart Knew in Cowboy Kisses anthology from Prairie Rose Publications
Tomboy Maisie Treadwell meets her match in cowboy Dylan MacInnes. From the moment they meet, the sparks and words fly. Of course, if she hadn’t knocked him down and caused an ankle sprain, their relationship might have gone more smoothly. To avoid damaging the reputation of the family’s boarding house, Maisie is ordered to be at the mercy of meeting Dylan’s demands. When they discover a shared interest in adventure stories, a bond is struck. Soon, Maisie can’t wait to spend time reading aloud to the virile man confined to a bed. Until the afternoon she overhears him explaining that his demands were meant to teach her a lesson. Can Dylan find a way to gain her trust again?
Other authors with titles in the anthology are:
C. Marie Bowen, Lorrie Farrelly, Tanya Hanson, Gail L. Jenner, Kristy McCaffrey, Gil McDonald, and Beverly Wells
For more information on this and my other titles, go to my website


  1. What a fun tradition. Great story also. Doris McCraw/Angela Raines-author

  2. I love the symbolism in the lovespoon. What a lovely tradition. Thanks for sharing.