Today I have the pleasure of inviting author Angelena Boden onto the blog to celebrate the publication day of Love Bytes Back.
I first stumbled across Angelena when I read The Future Can't Wait, which I absolutely adored. You can read my review here.
I then read her next book, Edna's Death Cafe, which is the first book in the Edna Reid investigation series. This book I found to be incredibly poignant, uplifting and life affirming. You can read my review here.
So, when I heard that Angelena was about to release the second book in the series I was very excited. The book is released on February 14th and is published by Matador. I will be reading this very soon and sharing my thoughts with you. But in the meantime I thought I would ask Angelena about Valentine's Day and how she celebrates this special day.
How do you celebrate St Valentine's Day?
Christmas is over and the shelves are filling up with Valentine cards – cute ones, funny ones, serious ones, but all with the ubiquitous red heart and saccharine-sweet messages of love.
Romantics love it, cynics hate it for its commercialism but there’s no doubt that the 700 hundred year old tradition has stood the test of time. Sales of flowers, chocolates and cuddly toys with an “I love you” tag round the neck get a special boost, and where love is concerned, money’s no object. Sorry if I sound a little cynical myself!
The origins of this day are interesting, if not a little muddy. St Valentine was a priest in Roman times who arranged secret marriages for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. He defied an order given by the Emperor Claudius to desist from his activities but he wouldn’t. As punishment he was jailed and consequently beheaded on February 14, 270 AD thereabouts.
It is believed that the martyred saint became connected to the tokens of romantic love that brought in £650 million to the UK economy in 2018.
Not every country celebrates this day or if they do, it’s in their own way. The Welsh, for example, don’t celebrate St Valentine’s Day. Instead, the men give carved love spoons to their beloved on January 25, the feast of St. Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers.
In Scotland, you can opt to be someone’s Valentine for the day and who knows where that might go.
In South Africa, women pin hearts to their sleeves, sometimes with the name of their love interest. I discovered that this is linked to an ancient roman tradition known as Lupercalia.
Brazilians go for Dia dos Namorados or “Lover’s Day” on June 12 when they exchange gifts and share dinner with lovers and friends.
A popular Valentine's Day gift in Italy is Baci Perugina -are small, chocolate-covered hazelnuts wrapped with a romantic quote.
As I walk round my town I spot the hotels and restaurants offering their Valentine Specials – romantic spa weekends, champagne suppers and walking retreats for couples. There’s no end to the imaginative ways we are encouraged to part with our money.
Here’s a personal story to make you smile. My husband and I were on holiday in Malta in February 2016. We were passing a flower cart bursting with buckets of single stem roses. I looked across at them and then at him. He’s the least romantic man on the planet. He thrust his hand in his pocket and jangled his change. ‘I suppose you want one of those,’ he said, sounding annoyed. I’ll give you three guesses as to my reply.
So, how will you celebrate Valentine’s Day 2020? May I make a suggestion?
For just £1.99, download my new e-book, “Love Bytes Back” and see how falling in love isn’t all roses. Enjoy.
About Love Bytes Back
When lonely widow Kitty Merriweather moves to Derbyshire’s Hope Valley, she joins the Silver Rose online dating site because it offers a safe place for the over sixties to find romance.
There, she meets the enigmatic Harvey, a scientist working on a conservation project in Bali who promises her “hot days and stormy nights.”
Love blooms quickly but Kitty breaks all the rules laid down by the agency, putting herself at risk. When little things don’t add up she dismisses them as being unimportant. Nothing matters more than her plans for them to live happily ever after.
When she confides in her new friend, Edna Reid, octogenarian and former café owner, Kitty gets angry at Edna’s implication she is likely the victim of a scam.
The more Edna hears about Harvey, the more she is convinced he’s only interested in Kitty for her money.
Using her knowledge of computers Edna finally uncovers the truth, but where does black magic and murder fit into this intriguing cosy mystery?
About the author
Angelena has spent thirty- five years as an international training consultant and counsellor, specialising in behavioural management, communication skills and conflict resolution. She has a Masters in Social Science from Birmingham University, and diplomas in Transactional Analysis, teaching, training, coaching and mentoring. Now retired, when Angelina is not dog walking, babysitting, landscape painting or reading astrology charts for clients, she writes the “Edna Read Investigates” series of cosy crime novels, which are set in the Peak District. She is also a champion for Autumn Voices, a website dedicated to promoting creative pursuits of authors over 60.