Romance authors spend their time dreaming up ways of bringing fictional people together, despite all the odds. Considering the twists and turns in the original Valentine's story, today really ought to be a celebration of romance writers, too. Since Pope Galasius declared February 14th 496AD the first official Valentine's Day, there have been arguments over which of three possible candidates called Valentine he was honouring. As one of them was executed for performing marriages and fell in love with his jailer's daughter, the other two have been forgotten. As "our" Valentine sent his girl a final love letter signed "from your Valentine", he became a posthumous winner in the romance stakes (not that it did the poor guy any good at the time).
I can still remember how it felt when a girl at school showed off the fist-full of cards she'd received. Later, we found out she'd sent them all to herself. That made the rest of us feel a bit better but the fact is, not everyone who wants a card will get one. That doesn't bother the retailers, who make vast profits from it. Around a billion Valentine's Day cards are sent each year. That makes it the second biggest annual card-sending occasion, behind Christmas.
How will you be spoiling yourself, or one you love, today? I'm offering a signed book from my backlist for your ideas. The winner will be a comment drawn at random on Tuesday, 18th February 2014.
Christina Hollis writes both contemporary and historical fiction - when she isn't cooking, gardening or beekeeping. You can catch up with her at http://www.christinahollis.blogspot.com, on Twitter and Facebook, and see a full list of her published books at http://www.christinahollis.com